The British Night Championships were held on Saturday evening in the woods at Hambleden near Henley-on-Thames. Hambleden is a private shooting estate, and was an excellent venue for the championships – technical and hilly but very runnable. The organising club Thames Valley did a terrific job putting on the championships and a big race the following day. The area was previously used to host two days of the biggest UK orienteering festival, the JK, at Easter 2013.
Congratulations to club stalwart Paul Couldridge who won the M45 trophy through fast and accurate orienteering and a well-paced race. He built a lead of four minutes in the last third of the course of 8.3km with 300m climb, to finish in a time of 55:23.
Paul is pictured above with the trophy, bracketed by second-placed Nicholas Cooper of South Yorkshire and third-placed Will Heap of Southdowns. In the fluorescent jacket is the organiser, John Dalton of Thames Valley O.C.
Paul has previously won both the M35 and M40 (twice) night trophies.
The W35 trophy was won by SLOWprint editor Sarah-Jane Barrable. This was her first win.
Third on M35 was fixtures secretary Duncan Grassie. (Sarah-Jane’s husband Nick Barrable who runs with South Yorkshire was second in this class.)
Other runners from SLOW were: Juste Raimbault and Yordan Kolev on M21L, Fiona Tam on W21L, Matthias Mahr – fourth on M40, Sue Carter – fourth on W50, Dorte Torpe Hansen – fifth on W50, Richard Stanhope on M60, Paul Street on M65 and Jim Mallinson on M70.
The M21L trophy was retained by Graham Gristwood of Forth Valley Orienteers who covered the 11.9km and 380m course in just 60:21. His speed was not very different from that of his run at the JK Middle race back in 2013. He has represented GB at World Orienteering Championships a record number of times. And he also presents our video Introduction to Orienteering.
The W21L trophy was won by Megan Carter-Davies of Mid-Wales O.C. Megan now holds all four British trophies, having won the long, middle and sprint titles last year.
Sadly the JHI will not be happening this year. It joins the other home internationals (senior and veteran) as a casualty of the pandemic.
We are still hoping we can host the Junior Home International this year, but obviously in the current circumstances we cannot confirm it. We have plans for necessary social distancing and hygiene for the racing, but we need lockdown restrictions to lift, our booked accommodation to be up and running, and to reconfirm our permissions. We are also mindful that a main aim of the competition is to promote the teams socialising, so that is fully in our minds too.
Junior Home International
South London Orienteers will put on the 2020 Junior Home International on the weekend of 10th and 11th October. The racing will be on the spectacular and tough terrain of the Devil’s Punch Bowl as used for last year’s Southern Championships.
The competition is between four teams of 24 junior athletes representing England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Teams include four athletes in each of M/W18, M/W16 and M/W14.
The teams will stay together, adjacent to the competition terrain, at the PGL Marchants Hill Adventure Centre.
Teams arrive on the Friday, and have an individual race on the Saturday and relays on the Sunday.
The perhaps self-contradictory term “Home International” is used in
the British Isles to describe sports competitions amongst national teams
Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England.
In orienteering there are three “home internationals”: junior (M/W18-), senior (M/W 20/21) and veteran (M/W35+). Each is organised separately, usually in the Autumn. The home nations take it in turn to host.
All competitions take place over a weekend, with an individual day and a relay day and calculate results by a points scheme. All prefer the individual on the Saturday and relays on the Sunday. There’s also a social element – a meal on the Saturday night, and ideally teams stay in the same place.
The competition details are specific to each competition. In general Scotland and England give each other a good match, and, but with lower points totals, so do Wales and Ireland.
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 Steven Clelland 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.
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.
After the final race at Nonsuch Park on Sunday, and once the arithmetic of the handicapping had been applied, SLOW were determined to be second behind the series winners HAVOC – Havering and South Essex Orienteering Club. The score in the final race was 528 – 524.
Thanks to Mole Valley for the Nonsuch Park race. With their kind permission and support Sarah Brown ran a flapjack stall for the Orienteering Foundation appeal to support the GB Team in the forthcoming World Championships. Sarah thanks runners for supporting the appeal to the value of £51.20.
A park on a nice summer Sunday morning can be quite busy, and several passers-by took an interest. It’s good to be able to talk about the range of our great sport.
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.
Orienteering in London and Surrey. British Orienteering's Club of the Year 2013. Community Amateur Sports Club accredited.