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Medal success at BOC 2019

Thursday, 30 May 2019 19:17

 Mini Relay Mass Start

The May Day bank holiday weekend saw the British Orienteering Champs visit Yorkshire for 3 days of top quality racing.

The British Mixed Sprint Relays were a new addition to the weekend and kicked racing off to an exciting start. Bradford University offered challenging urban orienteering on surprisingly hilly terrain. SYO’s mixed sprint teams performed incredibly well, particularly in the junior categories as we were missing many of our older juniors at the World Schools Orienteering Champs in Estonia. There were two fabulous wins – our vets team of Andy, Kim & Oli and our under 12s team of Robbie, Anna & James. There was a well-deserved silver for our under 16s team of Matthew, Freya & Will and there was bronze for our 2nd under 12s team of Oscar, Lawrence & Charlotte, who all still have another couple of years in this category!

Under 16 2nd place mixed sprint relaysVet Winners Mixed Sprint Relays

Sunday saw proceedings move to the Yorkshire Dales and the limestone pavements of Kilnsey. There were some fabulous performances from our members with a whopping 7 British Champions crowned. Congratulations to Robbie (M12), Tim T (M55), Peter G (M70), Charlotte (W10), Freya (W12), Kim (W40) and Amanda (W45). There were silver medals for James (M12), Ella (W10) and Judy (W65). Well done also to Freddie G who took his first victory on M10B.

Under 12s gold bronze medallists sprint relay

The final day of racing was the forest relays at Middleton Park in Leeds. The athletics stadium made a super arena with excellent spectating. Courses were surprisingly challenging with lots of runners getting caught out by the numerous thickets and paths. Relay day also saw the return of our WSOC juniors which bolstered the numbers in the junior classes. With 5 class wins and 4 other podium positions it is safe to say that SYO had a very successful relay day!

Older Junior boys enjoying the relays

Congratulations to:

1st Women’s Open – Kim, Mary & Cat
1st M40 – Andy, Nick B and Oli
1st M50 – Martin, Bill & Tim
1st W18 – Isabelle, Isobel & Alex E
1st M14 – Jamie, Olmo & Conrad
2nd W14 – Imogen, Freya & Alex
2nd Mini – Robbie, Anna & James
3rd Mini – Oscar, Ella & Charlotte
3rd M18 – Dom, Max & Euan
3rd W40 – Jenny J, Lucy & Amanda

W18s running in to take the win

Next year’s BOC will be held in the South East over the weekend of 19th & 20th March with both races to be held on a new area names Marley Heights. Get the date in your diary – we need to make sure we retain all those titles we picked up this year!

World Schools Orienteering Champs

Friday, 03 May 2019 21:09

The High Storrs Team


Twelve SYO juniors have been representing their country this week at the World Schools Orienteering Championships. Dom, Isabelle, Alex E, Sam C, Alex C, Imogen, Max, Euan, Alfie, Jamie, Dylan & Olmo have all performed incredibly over the 2 main days of competition.

More Sheffield Contingent

Result highlights are Imogen's 10th & 11th places in the middle and the long, Sam C's 16th place in the middle, Max's 15th place in the long and Jamie's 19th place in the long. However particular congratulations must go to Max for his 6th place podium finish in the M2 select class in the middle distance race and to Euan for his two gold medal wins in the M2 Schools Category.

Part of the Sheffield Contingent

In the team competition High Storrs (Euan, Jamie, Dylan, Olmo and Alfie) cam 7th in the younger boys Schools class, the England Select younger boys team (Max & Sam) came 5th, the England Select younger girls team (Imogen & Alex C ) came 6th and the older girls select team came 10th (Isabelle & Alex E) However the best result went to the Older boys select team (Dom) who won!

Schools World Champion

The juniors still have the friendship relay to go where they team up with competitors from other nations before returning to the UK on Sunday in time for the British Relays!

6th place

JK 2019

Thursday, 02 May 2019 22:22

Mini Relay Team Winners

Well what a weekend the JK 2019 was. No-one will forget the gorgeous sunshine, good areas, great maps, interesting courses, super organisation, lovely socialising and fabulous assembly areas. Sadly though, for many, the overriding memory will be the great results fiasco! On a positive note though, the (more or less) finalised results have been published today so at last we can celebrate the successes of the 100 plus SYO members who competed over the Easter weekend.

Kim Winner of W40L

The weekend began at Aldershot Barracks on Good Friday with the JK sprint. Racing was fast and furious and although courses were not particularly technically difficult, keeping up the speed in the heat was certainly challenging. Eight SYO members achieved a well-earned podium finish. Well done to JK sprint champions Ella (W10) and Peter G (M70). Congratulations also to silver medallists Rachael (W35), Kim (W40), Anna (W12) and Lawrence (M10) and bronze medallists Judy (W65) and Alice (W10).

1st and 2nd place in M55L

The heat continued for day 2’s middle race at Old Windmill Hill. The area’s many spurs, re-entrants, pits and knolls meant technically challenging courses. For Sunday’s long race we all travelled a little further afield to Cold Ash. The extensive path network and runnable forest meant a good result was about excellent route choice and keeping the speed up over the full distance of the course. The main JK results are determined by combining times for day 2 and 3 so our podium finishers had to race superbly over both days. Congratulations to our four overall JK Champions Charlie (M55L), Kim (W40L), Peter G (M70L) and Charlotte (W10A). Well done also to our silver medallists Lawrence (M10A), Bill E (M50L), Tim T (M55L), Rachael (W35L), James B (M12A) and Freya (W12A) and our bronze medallist Lucy (W50L). Mo also had a good weekend, winning W45S, as did Stanley who won M10B age only 7!

Silver medal winners in M W12

Easter Monday saw the turn of the relays at Minley – a runnable woodland with numerous confusing thickets. The day began overcast but soon turned into another scorcher. The mini relay got the event off to a very exciting start with excellent commentary. Sadly, however, as the main relays got underway very little information got through to the commentary team so it was difficult to follow proceedings. Many of our final leg runners spent over an hour queuing in the download tent to resolve timing issues and there was considerable confusion in the results with teams being disqualified unfairly left, right and centre. Eventually some relay prize givings took place but most were postponed (now to be presented at BOC 2019). When the results were published a few days later teams that had apparently been correct on the day were now disqualified! Whilst we have submitted an official protest regarding the disqualification of one of our Junior relay teams, we do fortunately have plenty of excellent relay results to celebrate. Well done to all our relay teams that achieved a podium place:

Mary Pippa Cat 2nd place in womens trophy

1st Mini Relay – SYO Mini Bees – Oscar, Ella & Charlotte
1st Junior Relay – SYO Beestrong – Will G, Alice & Sam T
1st Senior Women – SYO Beewitched – Rachael, Amanda & Kim
1st Senior Men – SYO Bee Stings – Andy, Nick & Oli
2nd Women’s Trophy – SYO Honey Bees – Mary, Pippa & Cat
2nd Mini Relay - SYO Busy Bees – Robbie, Anna & James
3rd Intermediate Men – SYO Bee Awesome – Max, Sam C & Euan

2nd mini relay team

SYO sail through to the final of the Yvette Baker Trophy

Monday, 29 April 2019 11:00

Well done to the 50 SYO juniors who took part in the heat of the Yvette Baker Trophy yesterday. The competition was hosted by HALO at Mausoleum Woods near Grimsby. The runnable terrain and good path network suited our runners well and we scored the maximum points possible - 899! Congratulations to our scorers:

Euan - Green Boys - 100
Isabelle - Green Girls - 100
Matthew - Light Green Boys - 100
Alex C - Light Green Girls - 100
Ben T - Orange Boys - 100
Anna - Orange Girls - 100
Caspar - Yellow Boys - 100
Charlotte - Yellow Girls - 100

The 9th counter scored 99 points and was one of Will G, Freya, Conrad, Ciara, Oscar, Ella & Rafferty who all came 2nd in their classes.

Well done to everyone who took part and thank you to Jacky for her fabulous captaincy of the team. The final is on 7th July at Sandringham in Norfolk - please put the date in your diary.

SYO win Club of the Year

Friday, 26 April 2019 13:37

Club of the year

South Yorkshire Orienteers have been awarded Club of the Year 2018 by British Orienteering for their outstanding work in the development of the sport and the provision of orienteering activities, coaching, club nights and events. Chairman, Martin Ward, was delighted to receive the award at the British Orienteering AGM and thanked all those involved in supporting the club's development activities. 

Magnetic Fluctuation unsettles plans for JIRCs Relays 2019 at Tankersley (April Fools!)

Tuesday, 02 April 2019 11:22

Preparations for the JIRCs relay at Tankersley on the 29th September are well underway, but have been thrown into turmoil this week after officials encountered a rarely-witnessed phenomenon.

TankersIey is known for its infamous Bell Pits, but what is perhaps less well-known is that these were created as a result of Iron Ore mining, which took place there over hundreds of years until the 1800s. It appears that because of a combination of earth movements due to forestry works, and extreme temperature fluctuations (such as this spring) causing exfoliation, there has been a significant breakdown of the outer layers of the ancient mine workings, exposing much of the remaining iron ore deposits. The Environment Agency is aware, but have assured SYO that this poses no health risk for wildlife or other users of the area.

As a result of this, magnetic north has effectively changed. This phenomenon was discovered only a few weeks ago, and this is the first ever case recorded in orienteering history. The change has been calculated currently to be 104.19 degrees from grid north, but there are fears this figure will continue to fluctuate throughout the summer, depending upon climatic conditions.

Whilst other parts of the world, such as Australia, are more familiar with the effect of Iron Ore on compasses, there has never before been a reported problem in the UK.

A geology expert within SYO commented “Polar wander is always happening, but this far more significant… It’s similar to a total magnetic reversal, but this has never been seen on just a local level in the UK.”

It has been declared today in a statement that SYO will be “monitoring the situation closely, with hopes that the magnetic instability will settle as we move into Autumn, and that a reliable figure can be obtained”.

This clearly will have significant implications for the map of Tankersley. After careful consideration, three options as to how to overcome this issue have been put forward:

SYO are carefully considering the options as we speak (All maps © South Yorkshire Orienteers 2019)

The first is to superimpose north lines on competitors’ maps on the day of the competition. Due to the nature of waterproof paper, it has been suggested perhaps the best (and fairest) way to do this would be for athletes to draw their own north lines on the map in the start lanes – sharpies will be provided. However, this has a major impact on Tankersley’s all-important undergrowth screen, with lines running roughly perpendicular to the north lines, with huge potential for confusion.

The other option would be to establish an accurate reading for north as close to the competition date as possible, and then produce the map accordingly. But this would be a very time-consuming adjustment, potentially with just weeks to go until the competition, with significant work to undertake particularly on the area’s many bell-pit depressions & pits and the undergrowth (all of which are orientated to north on a map drawn to the ISOM 2017 standard).

It is also not clear how a re-orientated map would fit on a standard A4 page, and so to keep costs down for the event it may be that the scale will need to be altered – causing yet more work for the mapping team.

A third solution would be to re-calibrate competitors’ compasses on the day of the event. This technique has been trialled in Australia, and SILVA confirm that this causes no lasting damage to the compass. It is uncertain as to whether re-calibration complies with BOF rule 19.4.1

A final decision on re-mapping vs compass re-calibration is expected to be confirmed later in the season.

Competitors who have previously run on the area may be faced with significant navigation issues, with some suggesting it will change the ‘feel’ of navigating on the area.

Concorde Model Flying Club, based on a field adjacent to Tankersley Woods, has also been adversely affected, with club members forced to ground all planes due to magnetic interference with their radio signals.

The event organiser raised concerns just yesterday that the re-magnetism of the area could prevent the use of SIAC enabled controls for the forthcoming event, due to unknown inaccuracies. SportIdent UK are yet to comment.

SYO would like to take this opportunity to reassure juniors that the JIRCs Relays will nonetheless still go ahead, and that every effort is being made to overcome these technical difficulties.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please do get in touch.

Convincing victory for SYO at the Compass Sport Cup Heat

Monday, 18 March 2019 10:12

Over 100 members of the club travelled to Sherwood Pines near Mansfield to take part in the Compass Sport Cup Heat. Thankfully the day was mostly dry and sunny and, in contrast to last weekend, there was very little mud to be found anywhere. Conditions were quick and many members raced round their courses in very swift times. 

SYO won convincingly by 97 points over DVO. We had 7 course winners - Oli, Al, Kim, Tim T, Paul B, Dom and Freya - who scored the maximum 100 points. Our other scorers were Chris W, Charlie, Jenny P, Peter G, Euan, Jill, Pete T, Imogen, Martin, Jaimie B, Amanda, Alex C, Olmo, Isabelle H, Lucy, Jenny J, Alex R & Michael. (Ian and Colin S also scored 95 points the same as our last scorer). Well done to everyone who took part, even if you didn't score, as you all helped push down the score of other  clubs.

The final is on 20th October at Pippingford Park near Crowborough in the deep south! Please put the date in your diaries - we need as many members as possible to attend so we can hold off BOK and FVO to retain our trophy!

Related: view SYO's CompassSport Cup history.

The Spring (!) in Sheffield Weekend

Sunday, 17 March 2019 19:27

Control in the sleet

The name “Spring in Sheffield” clearly sealed the fate of the weather last weekend – there was no way it was ever going to be anything other than grim! Future weekends will be called “Stormy Sheffield” or “Sheffield in the depths of Winter” and the weather will be glorious! However despite the rain, sleet, snow, hailstorms and mud SYO delivered two fantastic days of competition in two very different areas. The weekend also formed part of Sheffield City Council’s Festival of the Outdoors.

Junior on the urban race

Saturday's Ponderosa urban orienteering race offered fast and furious orienteering through intricate areas of social housing and inner city parkland. The races, which attracted close to 500 entrants,  were part of the UK orienteering league and the Elite orienteering league. There were many positive comments on Colin’s tricky courses. The inclement conditions meant participants and helpers alike were very appreciative of Bill’s indoor event centre and the “SYO Junior Café” proved very popular.


The Elites were first out into the terrain with a challenging sprint race and then it was the turn of the juniors, veterans and non-elites. The men’s elite race was won by Will Gardener (OD), Dom was the highest placed SYO runner in 20th place. The women’s elite race was won by Megan Carter-Davies (MWOC) with Mary the highest placed SYO female in 4th place. In the other classes there were good results for Peter G winning the ultra vet class and Lucy taking 3rd on women’s open. SYO showed the strength of their junior section with Euan winning the junior men’s race and Matthew taking 3rd place. In the young Junior races it was a clean sweep for SYO with Robbie, James & Joseph taking 1st, 2nd & 3rd in the young junior men and Freya, Anna & Charlotte finishing 1st, 2nd & 3rd in the young junior girls.


Sunday saw the turn of the Northern Championships. The race, with close to 900 entrants, was again part of the UK and Elite orienteering leagues. We are sure everyone’s hearts sank as the sleet lashed down and they drove through the grotty industrial tracks to the swamp that constituted the assembly area. It was slightly unfortunate that the lovely tree-lined assembly had just been felled prior to the competition but, on the upside, at least the building of 800 houses had been delayed to the end of March! Fortunately helpers and participants made the best of the grim conditions and were surprisingly chipper as they went about their business.

A junior

Wharncliffe is incredibly physically and technically challenging and Oli and Jenny’s courses tested competitors to the limit. While the challenge of competing and volunteering affected many members’ results, there were still plenty of hardy SYOers that performed superby. Well done to the following:

W10A 1st Charlotte, 2nd Alice, 3rd Ella
W10B 1st Ellen
W12A 1st Freya, 3rd Anna
W14A 1st Imogen
W16B – 1st Hannah D
W18L – 1st Isobel
W35L – 2nd Rachael
W40S – 1st Susan
W45S – 1st Emily
W50L – 3rd Janet
W70L – 3rd Jill
M10A – 1st Maxwell, 3rd Lawrence
M12A – 1st James, 3rd Robbie
M12B – 1st Ben A
M16A – 3rd Euan
M16B – 1st Alfie
M40L – 1st Kim (not a mistake!)
M45L – 1st Pete T
M50L – 1st Dave P
M70L – 3rd Peter G
M75L – 1st Brian

A huge thank you to everyone who braving the horrendous conditions while helping over the weekend but particular thanks to Lucy, Bill, Oli, Jenny & Colin who fulfilled our major official roles. A big thank you also to the two controllers – Steve Kimberley and Andy Yeates.

Helpers at the start

Interland 2019

Saturday, 16 March 2019 09:43

Ryan Interland

Well done to 6 members of SYO who competed for England at the Interland competition in France on Sunday 10th March. The star performer was Ryan who won the M20 class. There were good results for the rest of the SYO contigent too. Well done to Nick B and Tim T who were 2nd in M40 & M50 respectively, Alex C who was 4th in W14 and Amanda who was 7th in W40. Jamie also took part as a travelling reserve.

Read this excellent report by Ryan in the Junior News section

English Interland Team

British Night Orienteering Champs 2019

Saturday, 09 March 2019 11:01

Amanda British Night champs

It was a very small band of dedicated orienteers that made their way from South Yorkshire to the British Night Champs in Scotland on Saturday 23rd February . The competition was held in the very technically challenging area of Muir of Dinnet on Deeside. There was just one SYO British Night Champion - huge congratulations to Amanda for winning W45L. Well done also to Martin and Charlie A who both picked up silver middles in M50L and M55L and Pete T who won bronze in M45L.