SOG A5Rivers Wood + CoachingSat 09 November, 2019

Near: Haywards Heath
Level of event: Local
Type of event: Race



Hi All,

Hope you enjoyed the event today. Thank you to Mike for planning and everyone who helped today. There will not be any Routegadget results for this event. The league results will be posted shortly.


Planner's Comments

Thanks to all of you who came to Rivers Wood today, a fantastic turn out and great to see so many there for training too. The results make for fascinating reading! It was the first really cold morning, or at least it was when Benny and I were out placing controls. Serious orienteering weather is with us again and many lovely SO long-sleeved tops were on view! Luckily the rain held off until you’d all gone, beginning again just as we headed out to collect controls, thanks Peter S and Benny and with a special thanks to Mike Murray (SLOW). I feel that I should apologise for the exceptionally muddy uphill track at the start, but the track was dry when I began planning the course four or so weeks ago, so maybe no apology . Roger has always told me it’s a mud and blood sport!
It would seem that I placed control 124 (#1 on Blue, #15 on Green) in the wrong depression, the right one was just a few metres away. When I found and planned this control two weeks ago, I wasn’t even aware of the existence of the ‘right’ depression as it was hidden under bracken. The die-back of the bracken has been dramatic and swift but of course one of the joys of planning an event like this, at this time of the year, is getting to see these changes first-hand. I apologise though to any who might have been, hopefully momentarily, inconvenienced.

We get so used to SOGs ‘just happening’ that forget sometimes the amount of time and effort put in by so many to make it really happen. So thank you Les, Mike, Penny and Joe for IT, Peter for the new and mighty SO Hub, Di and Indie for Sales, John, Steve J, Tim and Linda for squeezing all the cars in, Kate for having the answer for all queries with the biggest smile, and Benny for being awesome on the Start. Personally, thank you too to Steve B, Will and Chris for help with planning/mapping. The happiness though is in seeing that exhausted sprint for the finish and smile at the end of it, and in the excitement of anybody, kids and adults, trying it for the first or nearly first time. I’ll never forget my very first SOG ever, in Rivers Wood in 2015, an Orange with Di. We set off from the start down the wrong path, because that was the way Green and Blue were going, keen to get out of sight so we could stop running and look at the map. Thank you Steve J for running after us and asking if we had a clue what we were doing . Still learning!



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

Rivers Wood is a beautiful working woodland, part of the much larger Balcombe Estate, comprising both deciduous and evergreen trees with an extensive network of paths and rides.

Coaching - open to all - adults and juniors

This week, we are running one of our popular coaching sessions which is open to all and runs from 10:00 to 11:00. The SOG start will remain open until 11.30 for those that attend the coaching, so that everyone can take part in both the training and the main event. Please pay for your entry and register, prior to the start of the coaching session.

The younger juniors will be focusing on identifying and following vegetation boundaries (“the edge of the veg”) whilst, as always, making sure that maps are correctly oriented and routes are being thumbed. The adults and older juniors will look at the technical skills needed for competitive orienteering and will be suitable for all abilities.

Please let Rob, our head coach know if you would like to join in, so he can ensure there is enough help.

SOG Series Info

SOGs are friendly club events where children and newcomers are very welcome. Yellow and Orange courses are suitable for children to run on their own with a bit of practice. Adults are welcome to shadow children until they are confident to go on their own. Green and Blue courses are run or walked by any age group - you can race competitively or just enjoy the woodland.

There are two series of events - autumn and spring of approximately 8 events each. Electronic timing (SI) is used.

Help on the day always appreciated.

Volunteer here

Enquiries here

Location Info

Nearest town: Haywards Heath

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

Directions / Parking

From Borde Hill Lane, turn East onto the concrete farm road (Rivers Road) immediately North of the railway bridge. The turning is very soon after the railway bridge so be prepared as Borde Hill Lane is busy, fast and visibility is restricted.

There will be a £1 parking fee so please have this ready.

Public Transport

Nearest trains at Balcombe or Haywards Heath.

Course Information

Yellow 1.4km, 25m climb
Orange 2.4km, 50m climb
Green 4.1km, 90m climb
Blue 5.7km, 125m climb

Entry Details

SO members fees: SO Seniors £5.00, SO Juniors free.
Non member fees: Seniors £6.00, Juniors £2.50. Extra maps 50p.

'Dibber' hire:
Electronic punching (SI) chips are available to hire. SIAC (contactless): £2, non-SIAC (not contactless) £1

Registration open

9:45 to 10:45

Start Times

10:00 to 11:00. Courses close at 12:30.

Map Details

1:7500 with 5m contours. Based on original map by Roger Maher 2004 with updates in 2012 and 2015 plus minor updates March 2019. The path network remains accurate but some vegetation has come and some has gone.

Terrain Description

Rivers Wood is a beautiful working woodland, part of the much larger Balcombe Estate, comprising both deciduous and evergreen trees with an extensive network of paths and rides. A previous map can be viewed at The bracken is dying back but there is still a lot of bramble, some of it impassable, much of it awkward. All courses avoid the worst of it. The wood is in its full autumn glory, the leaves tumbling down, but all paths should still be obvious. All courses (except Yellow) enter a small area of open farmland which is bordered by the River Ouse to the north. The ground here is wet, muddy and uneven as cows, until very recently, have been grazing on it. A public footpath runs north/south through the middle of the woods, otherwise it is private land entertaining everything from forestry to shooting to police dog training (not, I should hasten to add, while we’re running on it!).

Dog restrictions

Sorry no dogs allowed at this event.




Safety bearing is South West. This will bring you to either

a) the fence bordering Borde Hill Lane, in which case head south within the woods to the concrete track and then east to the car park. Do NOT go onto Borde Hill Lane b) the fence bordering the railway line, in which case head west within the woods to the concrete track and the car park. Do NOT go onto the railway line.

There are log piles in and around the registration/download area and on the parking trail. These are strictly Out of Bounds and not to be climbed on.
There is a very small area of dismantled scaffolding partially covered by undergrowth on a slope in the middle of the map. Although not marked on the map, this is Out of Bounds and will be surrounded by black/yellow tape. Although all courses avoid it, some on the longer courses might choose to use the slope.

Contacts / Officials

Planner: Mike Turner