Sunny Sussex WeekendHoughton ForestSun 12 May, 2024

Near: Arundel
Level of event: National
Type of event: Race



Planners Comments: Alan Velecky:

Thank you to everyone who took the time to give positive feedback on the courses, and thanks also to those of you who found the experience less enjoyable, but were too polite to say anything, and still managed to look cheerful at Download! Houghton is a physically tough forest at the best of times, and I think the combination of the heat, the recent vegetation growth over the last couple of weeks, and the fact that for many of you it was the 3rd race in 24 hours, added about 20% to times over what I had planned for.

This was a National event, so I wanted the courses to be a physical and technical challenge - my philosophy as a planner is to keep people off the paths as much as possible, and to tax brainpower as much as legs and lungs. Apologies to any who found the challenge too much! The nature of the terrain is that there is some rather green forest that has to be traversed to get between the lovely open beech woodland sections, and I tried to use these blocks of thick forest to provide route choice challenges on all but the easiest courses. Unlike Eartham yesterday, you couldn’t just set off on the compass on a straight line and work it out as you went.

Judging by conversations at the end, there was a real variety of routes selected, so please do make use of Routegadget so that your fellow competitors and I can see where you went! I would like to thank Chris Hooker for his excellent new map, Neil Crickmore (Controller) for his constructive suggestions and practical help, which always improved the courses, and for generally knowing everything about everything - OCAD, SI, where to find the new planning guidelines, etc. etc. Thanks also to control collectors Chris, Peter, John, Garry, Rob, Ed, and Linda.

Organisers Comments: Samantha Gibson

Thank you for visiting Sussex, and making the Sunny Sussex 2024 weekend such a success. We could not have banked on such glorious weather when we were preparing last month. As usual on these occasions, we are entirely reliant on our club members to step up and volunteer for the many, many roles that are essential if the event is to run smoothly.

On Sunday, Joe H led the impressive band of parking marshals who had to navigate competitors safely past the extraordinary number of motorcyclists who patronise Whiteways takeaway kiosk. The two starts in our beautiful beech woodlands provided a zen moment of ‘forest bathing’ before heading off on the challenging courses. Well done to our worthy prize winners. Some of you kept our finish marshals on their toes by finding unexpected routes out of the woodland, erupting from the bushes.

Our helpers in enquiries gently steered everyone where they needed to be. There was a delightful string course designed by Anna C and looked after for hours by Bea W and her family. And long after many had headed home, the control collectors were back out battling the undergrowth. So please, a big hand and thank you to: Joe H, David G, John M (pre-event) Steve and Julia J, Cliff W, Vince and Chris J, Linda and Tim H and Chris B on parking, Pete C, Neil W, John D, Harriet T, Tommy H, Will H, Jaime R on South Start, Nick H, Andy P, David S, Claire S, Claes H, Clive H, Kate T, Lars Otto N, Ian C on North Start, Ed F, Bridget H, Darren W-S, Di and Mike T, Marion W, Rob L, David W, Jan I, Clare L, Di and Ian G, Dan S, Bea W and Nicols family for enquiries, finish and string course, Chris H, John D, Garry G, Rob L, Ed L, Peter S for control collection. Our super team on download Penny P, Joe H and Les C. Not forgetting Mike G for map printing, Andy H permissions, Steve B for medical, Karen H&S, Dean from PULSE on first aid, Alan V for his ingenious and testing courses, Anna C as superlative mentor and coordinator and Neil C for ensuring the event was conducted in line with the best traditions of British Orienteering.

Controller's Comments: Neil Crickmore

Just a few comments from me:

1) You can blame me for there being no blank maps in the start lanes. This is a habit that we need to get out of.

2) You can blame me for not letting people who turned up early start early. This is a habit that we need to get out of.

3) You can blame some unknown person for moving control 78 some time between 8am and 10:30am. Thanks though to the early finisher on the White course that informed us that it was in the wrong place and allowing it to be quickly moved back.

4) Please do thank Alan and Samantha for their immense efforts next time you see them. The terrain turned out to be tougher than any of us expected, my final run round the area was two weeks before the event when just about every block of green seemed a shade lighter.


Is a web app for sharing and comparing orienteering routes. You can draw your own route or upload a GPS track from your watch. It also allows you to watch an animated replay with a simulated mass start.

Pre event info

START LIST - Final Details 003 Houghton has areas of beautifully runnable beech forest, combined with slopes which are dotted with depressions, knolls and embankments, which provide an interesting navigational challenge. Prizes on offer at this event and camping is available nearby at Eartham for the night before. Entries now closed - there will be limited entry on the day subject to map availability,

Sunny Sussex Weekend 2024 Series Info

A weekend of orienteering in the South Downs National Park, located between Chichester and Arundel. Take part in a high energy middle distance race at Eartham. Head over to Chichester Uni and Oaklands Park for an exciting evening sprint race and finish the weekend off with a long distance national event at the newly mapped Houghton. Pre-enter all three events and receive a £3 discount per adult. Convenient campsite available. The weekend coordinator is Anna Chapman.

Location Info

Nearest town: Arundel

* Postcodes are not very precise in some areas, so don't rely on them for an exact location.

Directions / Parking

Please check road closures before you travel. The M25 is due to be closed between junction 9 & 10 both ways. There is also due to be a carriageway closure on the A27. Check National Highways for further information.

Parking is at Whiteways Car Park, just north of the roundabout where the A29, B2139, A284 meet. Turn left when you arrive and park in the grass area allocated for Orienteers. The entrance to the grass car parking area has a height barrier (2m). There is an alternative access for higher vehicles. Please let the parking official at the entrance know if you need alternative access. Beware that if you park in the surfaced area it is subject to parking charges.

Course Information

Black (M21) 11.8km 250m climb
Brown (M20, M35-40, W21) 9.8km 260m climb
Short Brown (M18, M45-50, W20, W35) 8.3km 185m climb
Blue (M16, M55-60, W18, W40-45) 6.2km 175m climb
Short Blue (M65, M70, W16, W50-55) 5.1km 115m climb
Green (M75, W60-65) 4.4km 125m climb
Light Green* (M14, W14) / Short Green* (M80, W70) 3.7km 90m climb
Very Short Green (M85, M90, W75-90) 3.2km 95m climb
Orange (M12, W12) 2.8km 95m climb
Yellow (M10, W10) 1.9km 50m climb
White (M10B, W10B) 1.5km 60m climb

The course/class combinations reflect those suggested in the new British Orienteering Course Planning Guidance, effective from January 2024. You may find that the recommended course is different to that which you have run in previous SE League events so worth checking, you can change your course online at any time before the final closing date. You are, of course, free to enter and run whichever course you want.

*The Short Green meets the planning guidance for a Light Green, so we have combined these two courses.

Prizes will be awarded for the first three results in each of the following age groups:

M10, M12, M14, M16, M18, M20, M21, M35-40, M45-50, M55-60, M65-70, M75, M80, M85+

W10, W12, W14, W16, W18, W20, W21, W35, W40-45, W50-55, W60-65, W70, W75-80, W80+

Competitors will be eligible if they run their recommended age class or run "up" i.e. a longer course.

Entry Details

Entry via

Entries before 8pm on Friday 10th May:

(Entries close at 8pm on 10th May, but maps numbers will be set from 8pm on 5th May. Enter whilst maps available.)

Seniors very short green to black (British Orienteering Member) £16.00
Seniors very short green to black (Non-member) £18.00
Seniors white, yellow, orange £8.00
SO Juniors Free
Other juniors £6.00

Discount codes

Family rates for non-SO members capped at the rate of 2 adults plus 1 child. Enter the first three competitors as normal, then second, third child etc. using discount code 'Family'.

SO juniors use discount code 'SOjuniors'.

Start Times

Allocated start times from 10am to 12noon. It will be a punching start.

Map Details

Newly mapped in Autumn 2023 by Chris Hooker
1:10,000 with 5m contours

Terrain Description

Houghton is a mixture of beautifully runnable beech forest, combined with slower areas of coniferous plantation, and patches of bramble and brashings, which can generally be avoided. Many slopes are dotted with depressions, knolls and embankments, which provide an interesting navigational challenge. The area is well contoured, meaning that careful route choice will be needed to minimise climb on the more technical courses. There is a good path and ride network, as well as a number of mountain bike tracks.



Whiteways Takeaway Kiosk will provide a great selection of food and drinks.


Compass Point will be attending for all your Orienteering supplies.


Toilets, Pulse First aid.



Camping is available on the Saturday night at the Eartham assembly area. This is a regular campsite with toilets, shower, and drinking water. We have the exclusive use of the field for the whole weekend. If you want to camp there (£10 per adult per night, children free) please contact the owner, Mr Pirt, directly on He can provide limited space on the Friday night outside the parking area. Because of space limitations, those arriving to camp on Saturday will need to wait until the assembly field is clear of cars after about 3pm before pitching their tents.


Free string course for children, featuring an animal theme. It is set in woodland, 100m from assembly. Certificates and a small reward will be given to participants. The string course start is located adjacent to the portaloos on the north side of the lower car park/assembly area.


These events are well suited to beginners, juniors and family groups who want to try orienteering or move up from school to forest orienteering.

Pre-enter as in the entry details section below. If you don't have a "dibber" (the electronic timing device) you can hire one - you will be allocated one to pick up at the Enquiries tent at the event. You will also pick up your map at the event - at the start.

The location information on the event web page will take you to the parking and / or the event centre (the Download flag and the tent will be where you pick up your dibber). At the event centre, club members (wearing yellow high visibility jackets) are there to help and advise. The start is usually very close to the event centre, but if not, there will be red and white tapes placed intermittently along the route that you follow to get between the event centre and the start and finish.

If you are new to this sport, please select the Yellow or Orange course. This may seem short but it's the best way to learn. Most families start with a “Yellow” level course which is about 2.5km long and will take around 30-45 minutes.

Contacts / Officials

Planner: Alan Velecky

Organiser: Samantha Gibson

Controller: Neil Crickmore

Photo Gallery

click/tap photos for a larger version