Harvester Relay Triumph

At the Harvester Relays early on Sunday morning, South Yorkshire Orienteers triumphed in the Men's Open, Men's Handicap, Women's Open and Junior classes. The event was organised by Sheffield University Orienteering Club (ShUOC) at Ecclesall Woods and Limb Valley and was a resounding success. GPS tracking was used and this certainly added to the spectator aspect of the event.

SYO's junior and women's teams were battling it out for 1st place on the B relay and the junior team did well to maintain a 3 minute lead until the penultimate leg where Michael Adams handed over to Adam Bradbury 2 seconds ahead of Clare Baker handing over to Rachael Rothman. Adam and Rachael were both wearing GPS trackers so their progress (and mistakes) were shown on in the marquee. After an interesting leg 9 route choice, Rachael eventually pulled away and 'SYO Night Ladies' finished 7 minutes ahead of 'SYO Who Needs Aidan?'.

The mass start of 26 teams on the A relay at midnight was also interesting to watch with 10 teams wearing GPS trackers. Al Buckley had a great start for SYO NIght Raiders, leading the race for much of his leg, and returning in 2nd place only 25 seconds down.  After Nick Barrable's excellent second leg the team were in the lead, and although Matt Crane for BOK pulled back a bit on leg 3, the SYO team got a 25 minute lead that it never looked like losing.  Meanwhile, the SYO Zimmer Stars (handicap team) was battling amongst other teams in the top 10 of the A race, and trying to maintain a lead in the Handicap competition.  At mid race it was close, but strong runs by Bill, Charlie and Tim pulled out a lead in the handicap, and brought the team up to 6th overall in the A relay.

Harvester 2011 Team Photo

SYO entered 7 teams into this years Harvester and 4 of those comfortably came back with a trophy, not a bad performance!

The Harvester was also the final race in the UK Relay League and with the results from the Harvester included SYO won the Women's league and was 2nd in the Men's.


Trophy winning teams:

Class Team Name Runners
Men's Open SYO Night Raiders

Alastair Buckley, Nick Barrable, Neil Northrop, Alex Rothman, Andy Preston, Michael Sprot, Rob Baker

Men's Handicap SYO Zimmer Stars

Martin Ward, Nick Lightfoot, Dave Peel, Mark Chapman, Bill Edwards, Charlie Adams, Tim Tett

Women's Open

SYO Night Ladies

Kim Baxter, Jenny Peel, Lucy Wiegand, Clare Baker, Rachael Rothman

Junior SYO Who needs Aidan?

Simon Bradbury, Zac Field, Jake Field, Michael Adams, Adam Bradbury

WMOC 2011 Sprint medals for Tim and Nick

At the 2011 World Masters Orienteering Championships in Hungary neither Tim Tett M50 nor Nick Barrable M35 managed to defend their Sprint titles from Switzerland last year. But they did come away with medals. For Tim, he was SO close - a mere second (and he was level at the last control, just getting beaten on the run-in). But he walked away with a Silver Medal. For Nick he was overwhelmed with his Bronze. He is awaiting a knee operation in the next few weeks having not run for 9 weeks. "I thought I would be miles behind and this is a great surprise. Just don't tell the doctor I've been running! I just had to limp round as best I could and try to minimise any mistakes" said Nick.


Monday is a rest day, but the Long Distance qualification races on Tuesday and Wednesday are followed by the Long Final on Friday.

SYO at the World Orienteering Champs

South Yorkshire Orienteers members Rachael Elder and Oli Johnson have been selected for this year's World Orienteering Championships in France in August.

Oli has been selected for the Long race having won the final selection race at Holme Fell yesterday whilst Rachael was unfortunately ill and couldn't run at the weekend but has been selected for the Middle Distance based on previous form. They join former club coach Graham Gristwood who is running sprint, middle and relay and former club-mate Matt Crane who has been selected for Middle and Relay view the full selections here

The World Championships are from August 10th-20th in the Savoie region of France. There are spectator races for anyone who wants to head over and cheer on our runners! More info here

Rachael Elder

British Elite Long Orienteering Champs 2011



Congratulations to the 2011 British Elite Long Champions crowned King and Queen of the forest for the first time: Tessa Hill and Doug Tullie (pictured right, top).

Also, thanks to Steve Peat (pictured right, bottom), a world class downhill mountain biker, who presented the prizes for the weekend and also to his son Jake who was the fastest 6 year old round the string course at his first event!

Full results are available on the BOC 2011 website.

Thanks to British Champs officials

On behalf of SYO and all competitors at the British Champs, can I thank all the main officials and their teams of helpers who made it such an excellent event. In particular, can I thank Tim Tett (Weekend Coordinator), Lesley & Martin Ward (Organisers) and Jenny & Oli Johnson (Planners and Mappers) for their work over a long period, for heading up the whole show and for ensuring that competitors had a British Champs to remember. Thanks also to the various controllers (Tony Thornley, Steve Watkins and Philip Gristwood) for their help.

Although the British Relays was organised by EPOC, great thanks to them for making it a succesful YHOA weekend, with special thanks to
SYO's Neil Northrop for the Relay map and courses. 

Well done,
Monika Cooper
SYO Chairman

SYO dominate coverage of 1985 British relays

For those of you who don't follow Nopesport, you might be interested to see these film clips It was posted in January, but I've only just watched it

Tim (and his orange van) is the star of the show.  SYO won the Women's Open but I won't spoil the ending of the Men's Open  It was Steve Hale running for ShUOC vs Tim Tett on the last leg.  Chris Brasher is commentating and his accent makes it all seem a long time ago ("They're Oooorff").

Thanks to John Dalton for digging up the film.


Congratulations to the following SYO members who have been selected for various events and tours.

  • European Youth Orienteering Championships (Czech Republic) - Aidan Smith (M16), Zac Field (M16 reserve), Katherine Hall (W16)
  • Junior World Orienteering Championships (Poland) - Mairead Rocke
  • Nordic Orienteering Tour (Scandinavia) - Graham Gristwood, Rachael Elder

More info can  be found on the British Orienteering website.

Northern Ireland JK Weekend

Women's trophy team finishing in 2nd

The weekend was a successful one for many SYO members with 25 podium finishes in total. These are summarised below, but some commentary is given here. In the sprint Jenny Peel had an excellent run to retain here W40 champion title with almost a 90 second lead! Katherine Hall improved on last year's result of 2nd to win her W16 class.The JK was held this past weekend in Northern Ireland for the first time and about 2000 competitors made the journey. Day 1 was a sprint around Stranmillis University College in Belfast. Days 2 and 4 were held at Tyrella South, a complex sand dune area near Newcastle. Day 3 was at Slieve Croob, a large peak north of the Mourne Mountains.

In the individual, Aidan Smith and Charlie Adams both retained their trophies, with convincing leads or over 5 minutes, on the M16 and M45L classes respectively. In W40S Mo Chapman secured 2nd place by narrowly beating fellow club member Jenny Lightfoot by 14 seconds. Mairead Rocke and Adam Bradbury also won their age classes with leads of over 5 minutes.

M16 1st Aidan Smith
M20L 1st Adam Bradbury
M40L 2nd Bill Edwards
M40S 2nd Tony Udris
M45L 1st Charlie Adams
M60L 3rd Peter Grovett
W16A 3rd Katherine Hall
W20E 1st Mairead Rocke
W21V 1st Kelly Candy
W40L 1st Jenny Peel
W40S 2nd Mo Chapman
W40S 3rd Jenny Lightfoot
W45S 3rd Roseanne Field

In the relays, the team of Nick Barrable, Neil Northrop and David Brickhill-Jones secured 3rd place in the JK Trophy by 14 seconds. The girls went one better with Jo Stevenson, Mairaid Rocke and Rachel Elder finishing in 2nd place on the Women's Trophy, on the final leg Rachel went out 17 seconds down on the leader but couldn't overtake Sarah Rollins. Similarly, in the W48- class, Cari Littler, Louise Adams and Katherine Hall had fantastic runs, but a sprint finish was needed by Katherine to achieve 1st place by 3 seconds! However, Martin Ward, Charlie Adams and Bill Edwards managed to win the M120+ class by a comfortable 6 minutes.

Full results here.

M16 =1st Aidan Smith
M40 2nd Bill Edwards
M45 3rd Charlie Adams
W16 1st Katherine Hall
W20E 1st Mairead Rocke
W21E 3rd Rachel Elder
W40 1st Jenny Peel

JK Trophy 3rd Nick Barrable Neil Northrop David Brickhill-Jones
Women's Trophy 2nd Jo Stevenson Mairead Rocke Rachel Elder
M120+ 1st Martin Ward Charlie Adams Bill Edwards
M48- 1st Zac Field Michael Adams Aidan Smith
W48- 1st Cari Littler Louise Adams Katherine Hall

British Sprint & Middle Championships

Martin Ward at the British Sprint Champs

M21 Podium at the British Middle Champs

The British Sprint and Middle Championships were held near Brighton this weekend in glorious sunshine. There were 11 SYO members with podium finishes. At the British Sprint Championships at Sussex University, Oli Johnson, Charlie Adams and Katherine Hall all just missed out on 3rd place by a second each. Jenny Peel won by over 2 and a half minutes at the British Middle Championships near Crawley and retained her trophy from last years championships. Podium finishes are summarised below.

Photo top right: Martin Ward running at the British Sprint Championships, photo © Robert Lines.

Photo bottom right: M21 podium at British Middle Championships with Oli Johnson in 3rd and Graham Gristwood in 1st, photo © Robert Lines.

British Sprint Champs - Podium Finishes
M16 2nd Aidan Smith
M Elite 2nd Graham Gristwood
M40 3rd Martin Ward
W14 2nd Louise Adams
W40 1st Jenny Peel
British Middle Champs - Podium Finishes
M10 3rd Joe Field
M16 1st Aidan Smith
M21 1st Graham Gristwood
M21 3rd Oli Johnson
M45 2nd Charlie Adams
W16 1st Katherine Hall
W20 1st Mairead Rocke
W40 1st Jenny Peel

Farewell to GG

Last Night's club night was Graham Gristwood's last event as SYO coach before he moves to Sweden. He had planned a special mystery handicap orienteering race which took in the Hallam campus, the Botanical Gardens, Lynwood Gardens and some never used before urban map of Sheffield. There was a mass start at 7:00. All participants went from control to control as directed by paper instructions at each control site. Participants went their own way depending on age, sex, whether they had represented their county and other such criteria. There was an Easter egg for the winner, Kathryn Hall and afterwards we met at Champs for a celebration of his work for SYO over the last 18 months. This was an opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to Graham from the coaching sub-committee, from the SYO committee and from everyone in SYO and probably SHUOC, who has benefited from his coaching leadership over the past 18 months. He has made a big impact and many people have benefited not only from the sessions he has organised and delivered but also from his enthusiasm for the sport which will have rubbed off on many. There aren't many world class orienteers who are prepared to put as much back into the sport as GG has.

We hope GG has enjoyed his time in Sheffield as much as those around him have benefited from his work here and wish him well in Sweden and if the move improves his orienteering as much as it did Steve Hale's we expect he will soon be standing on even more podiums collecting even more medals. Good luck GG from all in SYO and ShUOC!

You are here: Home News