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Tweet Monday 11th December 2017

Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering 2018 West Midlands

Friday 30 March – Monday 2 April 2018

The JK2018 – now less than 16 weeks away!

The West Midlands Orienteering Association welcomes you to Cannock Chase for the 51st JK competition. There are four days of great orienteering ahead of you on areas separated by a maximum of 15 miles!

The 2018 JK preparations are now moving ahead at quite a pace.

JK 2018 Event Coordinator Andy Yeates from Walton Chasers is doing a great job on behalf of the West Midlands Orienteering Association and it is certainly all systems go! 

With less than 16 weeks to go, hear what Andy has to say about this rapidly approaching event when he caught up with Jennie Taylor, British Orienteering Communications Officer this week.

"Andy, please tell us, how did you get to be the Coordinator for next year’s event?"

JK, Andy Yeates, Coordinator for the JK event, says:  “I like to think that it was fate that led me to become the Coordinator of JK 2018. I was asked to organise the British Middles in September 2014 after the original Organiser stepped down. This set off a chain reaction of events: becoming a Level A Controller in November 2014 and controlling the CompassSport Final in October 2015; having a discussion with the West Midlands Orienteering Association (WMOA) Fixtures Secretary at JK 2015, who told me that a Coordinator was needed for the JK in 2018. I mentioned it to the WMOA Chairman later that day, who asked if I wanted to do it. I laughed. Later I started to give it some serious thought as I was now a Level A Organiser and Controller and eventually emailed the Chairman offering my services. My hand still hasn’t grown back…”

"Are you making any changes to the event next year? Why the change?"
“As with JK 2017, we will be putting on a Sprint, Middle, Long and Relay which is not the traditional model. The reason for doing so is that the West Midlands does not have an abundance of top class areas with the essential parking and arena needs, so we need to work carefully with what we have. Brown Clee is a great area that does meet the requirements, but was used in 2016 for the British Champs. Beaudesert is also a great area and it was suggested I use that. I like my multi-days areas to be close together, so the idea of using a great area like Beaudesert (I had previously planned the Midland Champs on it in 2009) for the Long race led to also using it for the Relay and using Brereton Spurs as the Middle race for all classes (the 2014 British Middles was run there). With the areas having a proven track record, it seemed like a dream come true. A Sprint race in the vicinity on a University Campus was not an option as Stafford University campus was tiny, so it seemed like a logical choice to go to MOD Stafford, who have been really helpful in allowing us to put on the Sprint and host the British Orienteering Annual General Meeting.”

"What about TrailO? Are there any events being put on at this year’s JK?"
“TrailO will feature strongly at JK 2018. We have managed to place it by the arenas of days 1 (TempO) and 3 (PreO), which should make it a real part of the JK and, hopefully, attractive to everyone. I would urge everyone to think about taking the time to give it a go.”

"What do you think will make this a JK worth going to?"
“I think the combination of a compact JK and good quality areas is a great package. All areas are within 15 miles of each other, and if you take MOD Stafford out of the equation, it becomes more like 5 miles between arenas. Accommodation is not hard to come by either and you won’t have to think about moving. There is also an opportunity to stay at the Beaudesert Outdoor Activity Centre, though I suspect that accommodation will go very quickly. See the JK website for information.”

"And your final message to members?"
“The West Midlands Orienteering Association Clubs are working hard at making this a top-class event that suits everyone, adopting the Scandinavian start procedure, and incorporating three world ranking events (WRE) into the individual days. I hope I’ve whetted everyone’s appetites for four great days of orienteering and that the sun bathes us all in its glory. I think the JK2018 Orienteering tops look fantastic too, so please consider buying lots!”

“Thanks Andy.  We wish you well with the remaining preparations.” Jennie Taylor, British Orienteering Communications Officer.

The JK 2018 starts on Friday 30 March – Monday 2 April.

Day 1 is the SPRINT RACE on MOD Stafford, hosted by Walton Chasers OC (WCH) and Royal Signals OC (RSOC). This is a little used area and will be new to most people.

Day 2 is the MIDDLE RACE on Brereton Spurs, hosted by Octavian Droobers (OD). Last used in 2014 for the British Middles and 2015 for the Junior Inter-regional, it has been remapped for the first time using LIDAR data.

After the Middle Race, why not come along to a quiz night at the Apothecary, Stafford? At just £15 per person, this includes entry to the quiz and a roast dinner (vegetarian option available). More details on the Quiz page.

Day 3 is the LONG RACE on Beaudesert and Brereton Hayes, hosted by Potteries OC (POTOC) and Wrekin Orienteers (WRE). Beaudesert has been used over many years for top class events, the last one being the Midland Champs in 2009. The tricky terrain has been remapped for the first time using LIDAR data.

Day 4 is the RELAYS on Beaudesert, hosted by Harlequins OC (HOC) and City of Birmingham OC (COBOC). The relays will use some of the same area as the long race, but the planning will not make it easy for you!

Trail-O will also be available in close proximity to the arenas of day 1 (Temp-O) and day 3 (Pre-O). Please find some time to partake in both disciplines.

Photos from the JK2017.  Credit Rob Lines

Entries are already open!

Please note: To take advantage of the JK2018 ‘cheaper’ rates you will need to register before the first deadline: Sunday 17 December.

Entries are now available via SiEntries

Enquiries to Diane Jacks at:

(Junior / Student fees in brackets)

Entries by


Days 2 & 3 (per day)

PreO & TempO (per day)

Sunday 17th December 2017

£15 (£7)

£23 (£8)

£12 (£5)

Sunday 28th January 2018

£17 (£8)

£25 (£9)

£12 (£5)

Sunday 25th February 2018

£19 (£9)

£27 (£10)

£12 (£5)

Please note: The JK2018 ‘cheaper’ rates deadline is Sunday 17 December 2017.


JK2018 merchandise is available to buy here.

For more information visit the JK2018 website here.

Photos from JK2017 event.  Credit:  Rob Lines

Officials:  JK 2018


Andrew Yeates


Orienteering Services Officer

Dan Riley



Bob Dredge


Safety Officer

Eric Brown


Mapping Advisor

Bruce Bryant


Permissions (Brereton Spurs/Brereton Hayes/Beaudesert)

Ian Jones


Online Entries/Event Processing/Results



Entries Secretary (SI liaison,start lists)

Diane Jacks


SI Equipment Coordinator

Mark Stodgell


Non-SI Equipment Coordinators

Lester & Judith Evans


Web Site/Social Media Coordinator

Andy Johnson


String Course Coordinators

Sarah & Carol Dredge


Day 1 - SPRINT (MOD Stafford)

Lead Club:

WCH / Royal Signals


Dougie Craig


Assistant Organiser

Sally Calland

Royal Signals


Ray Collins



Mark Dyer


IOF Advisor

Mike Forrest



Graham Urquhart


Day 2 - MIDDLE (Brereton Spurs)

Lead Club:



Bob Brandon



Sue Hallett



Dick Towler


IOF Advisor

Simon Thompson


Day 3 - LONG (Beaudesert/Brereton Hayes)

Lead Club:



Brenda Morgan



Henry Morgan



Mike Chopping


IOF Advisor

Mike Forrest



Graham Urquhart


Day 4 - RELAY (Beaudesert)

Lead Club:



Lesley Brown


Assistant Organiser

Barbara Ford



Andy Hemsted


Assistant Planner

Barry Houghton



Allan Williams


Photos from JK 2017 event. Credit: Rob Lines


British Orienteering would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Andy Yeates and all the volunteers from the West Midlands Orienteering Association clubs involved in putting on this Major Event. 

Tweet Monday 11th December 2017

The Brighton City Race

The Brighton City Race is an urban event run under the Christmas lights of Britain's most vibrant of seaside resorts. It's a unique night-time event with a mass start and multiple gaffles to keep competitors on their toes. This year's race starts on the seafront and will use newly mapped areas to the East of the city. It takes place at 6pm on Saturday evening 16 December 2017 and is the final round of this year's South of England Orienteering League.

Photos below:  Competitors taking part and the Royal Pavilion.

Rob Lines Event Organiser and member of Southdowns Orienteers, says:  "In addition to the main race, entry fees also include a Super-Sprint competition set entirely within the Brighton Lanes. The Lanes comprises an intricate network of alleyways, cut-throughs and squares and will provide a high-speed mental and physical challenge. If the weather is mild the Lanes also offers spectating opportunities for local revellers, many of whom are happy to share their thoughts on orienteering."

The Brighton City Race is always fun and offers lots of festive cheer with mince pies and refreshments at Assembly.

Find out more:


Photos supplied by:  Rob Lines (Southdowns Orienteers)

Tweet Monday 11th December 2017

2017 Southern Night Championships

This year’s Southern Night Championships took place at Penn and Common Woods, just north of Beaconsfield. The event was part of the two day Chilterns Night & Day, being put on by Thames Valley Orienteering Club.

Chilterns Night.   
Chilterns Day.  

Photo credits:  Andy Johnson

There were some 300 entries for the Southern Championships, boosted by a large contingent of army personnel taking part in the Army Inter Corps Championships.  After the bitterly cold windy weather over the previous few days, Saturday was calm and much milder.  However it turned damp and misty as dusk fell. Headlamps lit up the mist, negating some of the advantage of the brightest lamps.

Organiser for the weekend Alun Jones says: “One of the biggest challenges with a night event is finding enough club members to run the event.  Thames Valley Orienteering Club is a large club, but the membership is spread over a large area.  With the event at the eastern end of our patch and many of our members based in Oxford and Abingdon, 30+ miles away to the west, we struggled to find enough helpers.  However, several members of Berkshire Orienteers, the club immediately adjacent to us, offered to fill some of our gaps; we really appreciated their support.

“And things went pretty much like clockwork over the evening itself. Which was fortunate, because our teams had to be back on duty early the following morning for the second event of the weekend, a level C with nearly 500 competitors.

Photo credits:  Andy Johnson

Sarah Rollins, Southern Navigators, won the Womens Open class by a country mile.  She commented:  “I always wonder what on Earth I’m doing on a Saturday night in the dark, especially in some light misty drizzle... and then I get out in the forest and realise why.  And yesterday was no different but in particular, apart from having one of those runs you only have once every few years (completely concentrated and no mistakes and felt great), it was made particularly good by the quality of the terrain, map and planning.  And having the car park just next to a pub was a particular planning success!

Photo credits:  Andy Johnson

Men’s Open was much more closely contested.  Jegor Kostylev won the class but, being a member of Interlopers, was not eligible to be Southern Champion.  Alex Lines of Southdown Orienteers therefore took the honours this year.  He said “The course and terrain were pleasantly challenging with nice variation between the woodland and the open areas.  Limited visibility caused by the rain mist and denser woods meant accurate bearings were a necessity and allowed decent room for error when attacking one of the many depressions.  I found utilising the twisty path network useful for reaching attack points and found the map reliable for doing this.  A thoroughly enjoyable and memorable race.

But perhaps the performance of the evening was Thomas Howell of Southern Navigators.  An M16, he was running up at M18, which had the same course as Men’s Open.  A stunning run saw him finish two minutes clear of Jegor.  Clearly a star of the future.

Photo credits:  Andy Johnson

Neville Baker, Planner noted: “I originally intended to use just Penn Wood but found the NE section too heavily brashed for Night-O, hence the decision to go across to Common Wood for the two longer courses. This meant a double road crossing but did provide an additional change of terrain.  Penn itself had some nice variety for all the courses.  There was quite a lot of ‘green’ on the map which needed avoiding but was useful in generating route choices.  Fences in the area were not to be crossed so planning was compromised a little by the need to use the gates.  I would like to thank Bob and Pattie Beresford for their excellent mapping efforts and both Controllers for their light touch.  Gary Walford, the Sunday Planner, took on the job of sorting out all the course overprints for the whole weekend, quite a tricky thing with two map scales over the two days.

Mike Pemberton, controller from Berkshire Orienteers, says: “Competitors seemed to enjoy their courses and were happy to talk through what went wrong for them.  The weather was kind to us and most people had a good time.

Photo credits: Ian Buxton

Neville, in his capacity as Thames Valley Orienteering Club Chair, also added:  “I would like to thank the members of TVOC (plus some from other clubs), and the Controllers, for their sterling work in putting this event on”. 

Full results are available here.

Thanks to the Woodland Trust and Penn & Tylers Green Residents Association for permission to run in the woods.

Planner: Neville Baker, Assiated by Gary Walford, both TVOC
Controller: Mike Pemberton, BKO, assisted by David Framption, HH
Organiser: Alun Jones, TVOC
Mapper: Bob & Pattie Beresford, TVOC


British Orienteering would like to thank all the volunteers for their hard work in putting on this event and for providing a great night of orienteering for many to enjoy.


Tweet Friday 15th September 2017

Beat the Street has arrived!

Jennie Taylor Communications Officer caught up with Northern Ireland Orienteering Association Secretary and active Lagan Valley Orienteers member, Stephen Gilmore.    

Stephen Gilmore says: “You may have heard of ‘Beat the Street’ which came to the greater Belfast area last autumn. It’s now back again this year and Lagan Valley Orienteers have formed a partnership with Beat the Street to encourage active participation with a grant from Active Belfast.”

Please tell us, Stephen, what is ‘Beat the Street’?

Stephen continues: “It could be best described to an orienteer as a gigantic semi-permanent urban score course with electronic punching.

Gigantic refers to the game area which covers most of Belfast and stretches out to Lisburn, Newtownabbey and Holywood.

It is a semi-permanent course and the controls are out for a 7 week period between Wednesday 13 September and Wednesday 1 November 2017.

It is a score course with around 400 controls which are placed in the urban environment. You can start and finish at any control. The first control does not count, but every control you visit thereafter is worth 10 points each.

Electronic punching is used but not SI or Emit.  Credit card sized Beat the Street cards are freely available from Leisure Centres, Libraries and Tesco along with free Beat the Street maps. These are also being distributed to schools in the area and Lagan Valley Orienteers have a stock. The controls are about the size of a shoe box, mounted mostly on lampposts. When the card is touched against the control it beeps, or burps or makes another rude noise which kids love! The boxes are linked to the internet so that the visit is recorded on-line within seconds.”


This all sounds great!  How are Lagan Valley Orienteers linking in with Beat the Street?
Stephen explains:  “Okay, so Lagan Valley Orienteers are linking with Beat the Street in a number of ways.

Beat the Street can, of course, be used for an individual personal training challenge to visit every control. 

When you register your Beat the Street card you basically select your school or organisation. Lagan Valley Orienteers is also listed as an organisation to choose and this lets the score be added to the club’s total.  You can then see all the scores and how you fare in the overall league table.

Beat the Street will promote the Wednesday Evening Events (WEE) Series and in turn as the WEE Series progresses Lagan Valley Orienteers will promote Beat the Street.”


I understand that Lagan Valley Orienteers will be running informal orienteering activities on Sunday afternoons for a number of weeks, starting this Sunday?
“Yes, during the challenge Lagan Valley Orienteers will be providing informal score activities on Sunday afternoons from the 17 September through to 28 October each starting at 3.00pm.  These activities will be held from a suitable point such as a café.  Organisers are still needed for these activities. This is generally an easy role which requires hardly any orienteering experience and involves simply choosing a café in an area which can be surrounded by controls.  Importantly also making sure the management are happy to host the activity, of course!  The Organiser will then begin the score activity by giving a friendly briefing to everyone participating prior to them setting off in a mass start.  Initially, the Beat the Street maps will be used.  However, towards the end of the time, we would like to be using orienteering maps with the Beat the Street controls marked accurately on them.

From Sunday 5 November Lagan Valley Orienteers plan to continue with the momentum we have already built up. We are hoping to use urban orienteering maps with a similar score format. However, following a recent demonstration in Lisburn, we have been shown an easier way to have an urban score activity without using SI.  This alternative way has a question with a multiple choice answer at each control site. For example, when arriving at the control participants will be faced with a question to answer.  The question could be something like: ‘What’s the number displayed on the lamp post at this control?’  The participant will have to choose the correct answer from the multiple choice list of answers.  For example, multiple choice answers could be listed as being:  a) 12, b) 16 or c) 24.  The participant will then choose the answer and then move to the next control on the map.

One other thing I would like to highlight if I can is that I am personally delighted that Lagan Valley Orienteers have been awarded a grant for additional urban mapping and coaching to supplement their existing map of Belfast.  The mapping team is currently working on an area of North Belfast and soon will move to cover an area of East Belfast.”


Thank you Stephen – this all sounds great! Best wishes to you and all Lagan Valley Orienteers as you roll out these orienteering activities over the next weeks.

The challenge continues and takes place over the next 7 weeks through to Wednesday 1 November 2017.

The Beat the Street website is now LIVE and you can find out more details and how to get involved here

Juls Hanvey Northern Ireland Active Clubs Officer says: “We are really excited to kick off this project making orienteering accessible to so many. Looking forward to watching it grow and change into the autumn and the lead up to our North and East Belfast Community Orienteering Hubs after the Beat the Street challenge.”