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Advice for orienteers on Ash Dieback disease

Friday, 02 November 2012 16:13

Concerns have been raised in the media recently over the threat to ash trees in the UK following the identification of the potentially deadly disease of Ash Dieback (Chalara faxinea).
British Orienteering has issued the following advice to all clubs on the biosecurity measures that should be taken by all orienteers (i.e. Planners, Controllers and control hangers, as well as competitors) when holding or participating in an area suspected to contain Ash trees:

  • Thoroughly wash all footwear before leaving the area, ensuring that all mud, soil and leaf litter is removed.  Event organisers may wish to provide water, buckets and brushes at a suitable location i.e. at a point where there is little risk of further contamination.
  • On returning home, rinse all boots and shoes in a chlorine based cleaner or garden fungicide and allow them to dry thoroughly.  N.B. please read the manufacturer’s label and follow their instructions on use and disposal of the product.
  • Thoroughly wash and dry all kit and any other clothing that may potentially have been contaminated with fungal spores.
  • Clothing and footwear should not be reused for at least 48 hours after drying.

While it is currently thought that the disease is restricted to East Anglia and the South East of England, this position may change as Forestry Commission pathologists and surveyors enter more woodlands.
Peter Brett, Environment Officer

Peter Palmers Double For SYO Juniors

Thursday, 13 September 2012 19:45

Two teams of SYO juniors competed at the Peter Palmer Relays last Sunday morning. The relays start at 5am and the teams of 6 run through dawn to the early morning. This year the event returned to Sutton Park, Birmingham and was hosted by the City Of Birmingham Orienteering Club (COBOC).

SYOs first team won by 8 minutes to win the Peter Palmer trophy for the second time for the club. Such is the strength of the club juniors at the moment that, besides being able to field a second team, that second team won the Joan George trophy in a sprint finish with Lakeland Orienteering Club (LOC). Teams are eligible for the Joan George trophy if the team members have a combined BOF age of less that 90. The photo below shows both the winning teams (and a strange white rabbit!). Photo © Rob Lines. Results.

Congratulations to our juniors!

Both SYO Winning Teams

Forge Valley Club Night

Thursday, 30 August 2012 20:51

Forge Valley Club Nights FlyerCome along and have a good time at the club night at Forge Valley Community School every Thursdsay from 18:30 - 19:30. The sessions start on 13th September after a break over the school summer holidays.

The sessions are open to everyone but more aimed towards children and families. You will learn how to orienteer, how read a map, find out about adventure running and improve your fitness in a fun and exciting way. Lauren Ferrand is the lead coach and will be able to support you no matter your experience of orienteering. For more information, Lauren can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you are taking your son or daughter to the sessions, why not join in the fun and have a go yourself? As well as having a good time and improving your own fitness it is always nice to have a bit of friendly competition with your child - you may be surprised how good they are!

So remember, the club nights are for anyone of any age or experience (though are aimed at children and families) and are every Thursday from 18:30 to 19:30 at the Forge Valley Community School sports centre starting from 13th September. See you there!

Rachael Finishes top Brit in the World Champs Middle Race

Thursday, 19 July 2012 09:32

Club member Rachael Rothman finished 21st, and top Brit, in the World Championships Middle Race in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday.

From the British Orienteering website:

Rachael was asked if the race was as she expected today and she said “Pretty much, it was quite tricky and quite varied in the terrain, so yeas just as I expected.” She was then asked what she felt about her result and she commented “I am a bit disappointed not to be in the Top 20. I thought when I finished that the run I had would get me a Top 20 as I was satisfied when I finished, so I can’t be disappointed with it.”

Rachael Rothman (Credit - Dave Sprot)

World Masters Orienteering Championships

Sunday, 15 July 2012 12:07

The M/W65 podiumThe World Masters Orienteering Championships (WMOC) was held in central Germany earlier this month. Peter Gorvett won the M65 sprint final in 13:05 (for 2.7 km) with a significant margin of 25 seconds to second place. Peter is pictured here on the M/W65 podium with Jean Lochhead and Hilary Palmer who were 1st and 2nd in W65. Nick Barrable was 4th in the M35 class for the sprints, though improved this for the Long final to finish in 2nd.

Results Photo © Anne Salisbury.

Junior World Orienteering Championships

Sunday, 15 July 2012 12:05

Aidan at the JWOC sprintAidan Smith was selected to represent Great Briatin for the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) back in April and, along with the 11 other juniors, has been competing in the championships over the past week.

Last Sunday they competed in the sprint event around Košice city in Slovakia - where the championships are based. The weather was much better than that in the UK of late, the late starters had to cope with a high of 34oC. The area was very fast with results done to 1/10th of a second. Aidan finished in 73rd, 1:41 minutes down on the Russian winner.

The following day was the long event, west of Košice. Starting relatively early, Aidan avoided the torrential rain and thunderstorms which affected the later starters to finish a credible 68th. The British team did well, with the majority finishing in the top 100. Lucy Butt (SARUM) had an excellent run to finish 7th.

After a rest day on Tuesday, the middle qualifiers were held on Wednesday North East of Košice. Half the team managed to qualify for the A finals, with the other half in the B finals, including Aidan. There was frustration as 2 of the team missed out on the A finals by seconds. The team had an excellent day at the middle finals including Aidan who achieved 4th on the B final.

The final event of the JWOC were the relays. With the loss of Jonny Crickmore from GBR1 due to injury, GBR2 (Aidan, Tom Fellbaum, Duncan Birtswistle) stepped up to the mark and had a fantastic run to finish 13th overall. The women's GBR1 also did well an finished in a credible 9th.

Results Photo © Michal Eliáš


Monday, 25 June 2012 22:41
Aidan at the spectator control
Yasmin running in on the relay 
 Photos © Wendy Carlyle

The past weekend 10 SYO juniors ran for the Yorkshire and Humberside Junior Squad (YHJS) in the Junior Inter-Regional Championships (JIRCs) at Sandringham.

There was plenty of sunshine around for the individual event, though the recent rains had caused the bracken to grow to head-height in most places. Winning times throughout the weekend were longer than expected due to the vegetation. YHJS did well and finished 3rd for this first day, with notable runs from Aidan (1st), Zac (5th), Jake & Michael (=7th) and Louise (6th).

In contrast to the individual day, the relays started in torrential ran, thunder and lightning with many runners getting soaked. On her first JIRCs selection Pippa made it into the first YHJS girls team, a great achievement, and came 5th overall. The first YHJS boys team also finished in 5th place with Aidan running the fastest last leg of all boys teams.

Overall the YHJS finished 3rd, for the 5th consecutive year, with Scotland (SOA) coming 1st. Overall, individual and relay results. Next year the JIRCs moves to Dorset/Hampshire.

Those SYO members that were too old or young to be selected for the JIRCs attended the annual SYO BBQ at Tim Tett's house. Before the BBQ there was a short sprint event around the Walkley area accompanied with a few rain showers. A few people were caught out on the Long course with a numbering mix up, but this didn't really affect the overall results. [More to follow]

JK, Easter Weekend, Scotland

Thursday, 12 April 2012 12:43

This year's JK provided some good and not so good orienteering - the sprint billed as "probably the best urban area in Britain" wasn't - some said that the Sheffield areas were better.  What looked tricky at first sight offered little in the way of route choice as there always seemed to be a direct route through the flats.  SYO did however have some success with Aidan Smith 2nd on M18E, Oli Johnson 4th on M21E, Martin Ward 1st on M45 (although Dave Peel was non comp and was faster), Paul Bradbury (he doesn’t get a mention very often) 5th on M55 – perhaps he’s found his o’ing forte, Pete Gorvett 4th on M65, Louise 4th on W14, Jenny Peel 2nd on W40, Alex Kilcoyne 3rd on Women's Open.

The first of the main individual days on Dunalistair was good but a poor assembly field meant everyone stayed in the car park and the latter part of most courses was poor when compared to the early sections of most courses. The second day on Craig a Barns was magnificent with typical Scottish forest with plenty of contour detail and some reasonable planning – and it didn’t rain on either day! SYO successes were perhaps fewer than in previous years but notable performances were Dane Blomquist (new recruit to SYO) 1st on M16, Aidan Smith 1st by 10 mins on M18E, Oli Johnson 4th on M21E, Andy Preston 5th on M35L, Mark Chapman 5th on M45L, Pete Gorvett 1st on M65, Brian Shaw 1st on M70, Katherine 4th on W16, Amanda Leo 5th on W20E, Rachel Rothman 5th on W21E, Louise Preston 1st on W21V, Jenny Peel 2nd on W40, Wendy Billing 1st on W50S.

The Relay area was below par for Scotland and unfortunately SYO were below par too. The only notable performance being the M16s (Dane, Michael Adams and Jake Field) coming 2nd on M48-. Hopefully the British Relays in a couple of weeks will prove better for SYO.

Tim Tett, Team Captain.


Tuesday, 20 March 2012 11:20

SYO-Dan Lane-4The event was a great success. The new amphitheatre made a great arena for the event and the Park Hill complex and excellent map and planning meant the courses were as challenging as the best urban orienteering. Even the scenery was excellent, surprising even long term SYO members with views and crocuses in the Cholera Monument Park and the vibrancy of Victoria Quays with its narrow boats and cafes. (Peter Gorvett - controller)

Photos have just been addded to the event page (;view=details&id=346:urban-event-shaff-weekend&Itemid=88). A brief report and results analysis can also be found on the page along with many praising comments by those that took part.

Urban Nights – The finale

Monday, 12 March 2012 20:33

How quickly 4 months goes by! Several hardy souls ran all 5 races and it was particularly pleasing to see several fell runners sticking it out to the end – as one was keen to say upon finishing "I haven't got a clue where I've been but it was thoroughly enjoyable" – which is what it's all about. The courses visited several industrial heritage artefacts, a preserved 'dig' beneath a glass slab, the local Tesco, the law courts and a dash through one of Sheffield's red light areas. Several runners were offered dubious substances, several were cheered on by the public and at least one was warned loudly via a speaker that he had been filmed on CCTV. Urban orienteering offers more than you would care to think!!

At the sharp end, several of the top orienteers in the country fought for the glory of 1st spot with Ralph Street, fresh from his some would say idiotic exploits of 2 weeks earlier leading the national country championships for the first ½ mile, showing the field that perhaps he does indeed have a turn of speed to respect. Others would say he was just the lucky one to pick the route to 24 which wasn't blocked by an 8ft fence! The split times (should be up on the SYO web site soon and also with the map on Routegadget) show the lead changing several times during the race.

One of the problems with planning city races is you never know when building works will come and go – one marked on the map was removed 2 days before the race, one new fence went up in the week before (spotted when hanging controls) and one previously spotted fence was moved to block the obvious route choice – not spotted when hanging the controls. Luckily it was just a fun event and everyone took it in their stride – a certain Kris Jones climbing two fences to reach the control and Oli Johnson limbo'ing under another.

For at least 4 of the orienteers, this was their first night event – hope you enjoyed it. It's a relatively safe way to begin with lots of urban glow to help. Rhys and Karl did well to get round so quickly with no light at all using street lights and map memory when it got quite dark. Several people failed to punch the finish control for some reason and one missed the penultimate – must have been the rush to get back for the beer and food. The Fat Cat rewarded us with some excellent home cooking and a fine selection of Real Ale – the event will be repeated next year.

A separate write up of the series will appear in due course.

Tim Tett – series organiser.