Category Archives: Club News

CompassSport Cup Tie 2019

South London Orienteers were second behind a strong all-round Southdowns team performance in yesterday’s CompassSport Cup Tie in Ashdown Forest.

Results (on the host club Saxons website)

So we won’t be competing in the National Final (which is in the South-East) this Autumn. Our best wishes to Southdowns who will represent the home region.

Details of CompassSport Cup and results from round the country.

We had a great turnout of over 50, with a fair amount of car sharing and several cycling to the compact assembly at “An Enchanted Place”. Start and finish were nearby, and there was sunshine, but a biting wind somewhat curtailed the socialising.

Congratulations to four SLOW runners who won their races: Abi Weeds (women’s open), Mihaly Ormay (short brown), Andy Jones (men’s green) and Mike Murray (short green). And Tom Davies, Paul Couldridge and Alan Leakey would have won their courses had it not been for one of the above named team-mates.


(Photo Credit: Rob Lines)


Team Races Invitation

Attention SLOW members, your club wants you to run in our teams. Do come and join us for great club days out. And if you wear our club colours even better.

Everyone is welcome to take part, the more the merrier.

A fuller invitation is now circulating on our mailing list.

SUNDAY MARCH 17 – COMPASS SPORT CUP REGIONAL ROUND – ENCHANTED PLACE, SUSSEX

MONDAY APRIL 23 – JK RELAYS – MINLEY, HANTS

SATURDAY MAY 4
– BRITISH MIXED SPRINT RELAYS – BRADFORD UNIVERSITY, YORKSHIRE.

MONDAY MAY 6 – BRITISH RELAYS – MIDDLETON PARK, LEEDS

SUNDAY MAY 12 – SOUTH-EAST RELAYS – ADDINGTON HILLS, CROYDON (get there by tram.)

WEEKEND JUNE 15/16 – JUKOLA AND VENLA RELAYS, FINLAND

WEEKEND
JUNE 22/23 – HARVESTER RELAYS – SW ENGLAND

“Get Up to Speed” Videos

Last year, Sport England awarded South London Orienteers £3,850 for a project to help teenagers develop the orienteering skills needed for more technical courses.

This is our “Get Up to Speed” project.

As part of this project, we have produced a series of eight short videos. The videos are presented by athletes from the GB Orienteering team and are filmed in different locations.

The videos aim is to help juniors deal with more technically demanding courses, but they can also be used by newcomers wanting to “get up to speed”. Each video focuses on a specific orienteering skill.

The Playlist

One video per week is launched each Friday at 5pm during January and February. The video release is linked to races and coaching sessions taking place across the South East: watch a film, focus on a technique and have a successful run.

All the videos were produced by SLOW Development Officer Sarah Brown, with editing by Katherine Bett of Southern Navigators.

Newcomer’s Video

We realised as the videos were made it would be good to have a video to inform and guide beginners on what to expect at their first orienteering race. SLOW decided to fund this and we were delighted that Graham Gristwood agreed to host – his enthusiasm and expertise add a lot. Filming took place near Stirling and we were very lucky with the weather for the time of year, with sunshine complicating and permitting some of the shots.

The film covers the orienteering map, courses, controls, equipment and what to wear, and ends with Graham linking to the series of Skills Videos so that once beginners have the guide they can easily see explanations of techniques to help them improve.

Further reading: please see our introduction to orienteering.

CompassSport Cup Final

SLOW came fourth at the CompassSport Cup Final on Sunday, 21st October 2018. This is a really good result for the club in this, the national inter-club competition. We qualified at the regional round in the Spring, having missed the final the previous two years.

Some way ahead of us were winners South Yorkshire (SYO), second-placed Forth Valley (FVO) and third-placed Bristol (BOK).

We were ahead of local rivals Southdowns (who were 5th), and also Lakeland, Derwent Valley, Deeside, Devon, Edinburgh Southern and Norfolk.

The final was hosted by Walton Chasers (WCH)  on spur and valley terrain of Cannock Chase. Results are on the WCH website.

The competition uses individual starts and a complex scoring system that allows all members of a club to take part. A club can have an unlimited number of runners, but only certain people can run on each of the 11 courses and only a certain number on each course can count. It is the best scoring 25 runners that determine a club’s total score.

The courses and eligibility are based on the typical demographics of a British club – they have changed over the years as the average age of orienteers has gone up and up. We have a much higher proportion of younger adults than is typical, with no top juniors – and so fourth is an exceptionally good result. The three top clubs have a rich spread of elite runners across all the courses (numbers scoring 90+  SYO=22, FVO=21, BOK=18, SLOW=8.)

The golden boot for the fastest run-in was won by last year’s British Sprint and Middle Champion, Jamie Parkinson of Devon.

SLOW’s 25 scoring runners

100: Mihaly Ormay; 98: Abi Weeds; 94: Andy Jones; 92: Paul Couldridge, Alan Leakey, Sue Carter; 90: Matthias Mahr, Diane Leakey; 87: Andy Robinson, Mike Murray, Dorte Torpe Hansen; 85: Tom Cochrane, Rebecca Dal Bon; 84: David May, Velina Valova; 83: Sarah Brown; 82: Don McKerrow, Peter Huzan; 81: Heather Findlay, Duncan Grassie; 78: Yordan Kolev; 76: Boryana Peeva, Michael Crone; 72: Zlatko Peev; 71: Karen Jones.

SLOW Night-O Series 2018-19

SLOW is pleased to offer a Night Orienteering series with five races from late October to March.

  • Overall series results will be calculated, but you are welcome to run at just one or two if you like.
  • All are based at a pub.
  • All are accessible by public transport.
  • All are on Tuesdays.
  • All have start times from 1800 to 1930 with courses closing at 2030.
  • All have a long course of 5k and a short one of 2.5k.
  • All use SIAC contactless punching; cards can be hired if you do have your own.
  • All cost £3 for SLOW members and Juniors. £5 for others. with £1 extra for SIAC dibber hire.

Event Schedule

The events typically take place on the fourth Tuesday of the month. The schedule for 2018-19 is this.

DateVenueOrganiserDetailsResults
30 October 2018Richmond ParkDuncan GrassieDetailsResults
27 November 2018Wimbledon CommonPeter HuzanDetailsResults
22 January 2019Oxshott/EsherAlan & Diane LeakeyDetailsResults
26 February 2019Wimbledon CommonSue CarterDetailsResults
26 March 2019Richmond ParkSteve ClellandDetails

Full details on each event are posted here on the SLOW website a couple of weeks before the event. If you would like to contact any of the organisers, please email the series coordinator Don McKerrow at to be put in touch.

The entry fee is £3 for SLOW members, students and juniors; £5 for others. The races use both SIAC contactless and SI electronic punching; SIAC cards are available to hire for those who do not have their own. A small number of headlamps are also available to borrow for free but you need to e-mail the organiser in advance of each race to reserve one.

Series Results

League series points are scored at each event, with 100 for the winner, 99 for 2nd place, 98 for 3rd, down to 1 point for everyone who finishes 100th place or lower. The organiser of the event scores points equal their best at any other race in the season. Men and women are included in the same combined results table for each race, and overall, but women’s positions will be highlighted in the results.

The overall results will be based on your best three scores in the series, and there will be prizes for the leading man and leading woman over the series. In the event of a tie, head-to-head results will be used.

Results of the 2017-2018 Night Series.

New Roundel

A low-key SLOW project to say thanks to long-serving committee members completed at the Waterloo Parks Race.

Last year Chris and Judy finally ceased their diligent management of SLOW’s equipment, and Andy and Chris, for so long key to all fixtures, confirmed plans to move to the Lakes, both after over three decades of “volunteering”. Teresa wrapped up over a decade as membership secretary, and Don, after a similar duration, stepped down as chair (but not from several other roles.) The club owes these people a huge debt, and as a small token presented framed personalized maps to them on various surprise occasions when there was a quorum and the weather allowed. We were pleased to make the final presentation to Don on the balcony of the pub at his Waterloo Parks event last week. And it was great that once again Pip had volunteered help for one her husband’s events and so could see a grateful club say thankyou.

We explained to Don that the map had been following him for some time – it had attended the CompassSport Cup match and the JK relays, although many will remember that neither occasion offered suitable conditions, unlike The Tankard PH.

As for the maps, well the ideas of our member Oliver O’Brien – do see his Suprageography blog –  provide the key.

His now sold out London North/South map is a great example of map as art, and shows how simple colouring and detail – in this case just buildings – can be very effective. And then we went to an event together last year and he mentioned  the SLOW roundel could perhaps be based on the real curves of the Thames rather than just the style of them. Put that together with a member (Ralph) who knows a bit about mapping software, and play around with centring on an address…

Here’s part of one of the results (contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right 2017):

New SLOW Roundel Map

GLOSS 2018: London’s Summer Series

June sees the return of the Greater London Orienteering Summer Series, or GLOSS. This is a series of five accessible orienteering races held in parks and parkland around London on Sundays through late June and July.

The events are perfect for beginners and families, and there is a club competition for the prestigious London Bus trophy for those who are members of one of London’s orienteering clubs. South London Orienteers won the competition in 2016 and 2015.

There are two course options: the GLOSS course which is about 3.5 to 4.5 km (with optional extension to ~6 km) and is of moderate navigational difficulty and a ‘Yellow’ course which is about 2km with easier navigation.

DateVenueOrganiserDetailsResults
24 June 2018Hornchurch Country ParkHAVOCDetailsResults
1 July 2018Addington HillsLOKDetailsResults
7 July 2018Ellenbrook FieldsHHDetailsResults
15 July 2018Wimbledon CommonDetailsResults
22 July 2018Beddington ParkMVDetails

Full details of the race series are available from the coordinating club London Orienteering.