CLARO – NEW MEMBERS BOOKLET
This booklet is designed to give you
information about our club in particular and Orienteering in general. If you are new to Orienteering
all the information will be useful. If
you are already an experienced orienteer, you will find information that will
introduce you to our club and Orienteering in the
The booklet includes:
Claro is the orienteering club for
Formed in 1990, Claro is the
youngest club in the north of
The club puts on a regular programme of open events as well as competing in those put on by neighbouring clubs and further afield. Other activities include regular Thursday evening running, social events, an annual league and schools development.
And just in case you were
wondering....Claro is not, as is commonly supposed, an acronym, but the old wapentake name for this part of
How we are organised
CLARO, like many clubs, is entirely dependant on volunteers to make the club run smoothly. We have a committee that is responsible for the general running of the club.
The committee consists of 4 elected officers – the chairman, secretary, treasurer and fixtures secretary. In addition there are three other elected general committee members.
The club also has a number of appointed officers. These officers look after things like the newsletter, membership, club equipment, mapping, relay teams, training, juniors and many other roles.
All our events are put on by volunteers. Typically we have three or four regional (Level C) events each year. Each one of these requires a planner and an organiser. In addition many club members are needed at such events to help with the site services, registration, SI, start and finish teams.
In the past few years we have also
put on a number of local events, aimed at beginners and to try and attract more
people into the sport. These events have
been based around
No two years are exactly the same as the timing of events, both locally and nationally, depends on land access, other events etc, but during a typical year these reflect the types of activities CLARO puts on as a club and the major national/ international events that a large number of CLARO orienteers go to.
Of course during the year we go to many other events locally and nationally.
January / February
Claro Level C Event
The Compass Sport Trophy first round.
Claro Annual Dinner – in a
The Jan Kjellstrom International Festival of Orienteering. This lasts for 4 days over Easter weekend and is a popular way of spending the holiday with club orienteers.
The British Championships. A chance to try your skills against the best in the sport in your age group.
Claro Club championships and picnic. Scoring is usually a little “off beat” to give everyone a chance to win.
July / August
The Peter Palmer Junior relays – a national inter-club relay event for the younger members.
Claro Regional (Level C) event
The Claro AGM
November / December
Claro Regional (Level C) event
Within our overall area we have a
number of mapped areas, which can be grouped into the larger locations of
Harrogate, Ripon, Boroughbridge,
Whilst not detailing every area the following gives a picture of the main areas that CLARO currently have mapped and which we use to put on our events :
Swinsty and Beecroft - An area of woodland just on the
west side of Swinsty and Fewston
Reservoirs about 5 miles west of
Timble Ings – An area of woodland on the west side of the unclassified road running from Otley to Blubberhouses, about 2 miles west of Swinsty reservoir. (SE 164529)
Askwith Moor – An area of open moorland, just south-east of Timble Ings. (SE 164529)
Brimham Rocks – The famous National
Trust lands about 2 miles north of Summerbridge
Guisecliff Wood – On the valley side
about 2 miles south of
Ellington Banks – 2 miles north-west of Ripon, a wooded area with a complex set of footpaths. (SE 275732)
Nutwith and Roomer – A very runnable wooded area, about 1 mile north of Grewelthorpe. (SE 225785)
Angram – Open moorland by Scar
House Reservoir at the top of the
Lindley Moor – Fairly dense woodland and a better Western area with some complex rock formation. Situated about 4 miles West of Harrogate, just off the B6451. (SE 225505)
Harlow Hill – The Pine woods
plantation and Birk Crag woods on the western edge of
The following areas are too small for open events and we use them for smaller CLARO only family and training events :
Plumpton Rocks – An interesting wood
land area surrounding a lake, with some good rock formations. About 1 mile out of
Conyngham Hall – A small area of woods surrounding the River Nidd, where the A59 crosses the river at Knaresborough. (SE 345572)
Hell Wath – Open, rough open and clumps of woodland, on the banks of the river Skell about 1 mile south-west of Ripon. (SE 299699)
Laver Banks - Rough open, with scattered woodland on the banks of the river Laver, about 1 mile west of Ripon off the B6265. (SE 292715)
Scott Gate Quarries – A set of disused
quarry workings, high on the hillside just outside
In addition we also put on Street events, having maps for
Ripon City Centre, Knaresborough Town Centre and West Park Stray & Valley Gardens, Killinghall Moor, Bilton all in Harrogate.
Claro is a member of the
AIRIENTEERS - which covers the Leeds,
EBORIENTEERS – which covers from
Selby in the South, through
East Pennines Orienteering Club
(EPOC)- which covers the East Pennines (
South Yorkshire Orienteers (SYO) - which covers South Yorkshire including Barnsley, Doncaster and
The closed clubs are
Together the clubs of the YHOA put on a wide variety of Orienteering events over the whole year. The basic staple of the region are the Regional (Level C) events. Score events, relays and even National events are also a feature of the annual programme.
Each year the YHOA championships are held as part of a normal Regional event with awards in all age classes.
The association also runs a YHOA night league with each club putting on one night Orienteering event during the winter months.
A regional junior squad is supported, with the aim of providing a progressive coaching programme for those youngsters who are M/W14 and above and who are regularly achieving ‘gold’ standard at Badge events.
Most of the events put on by the
clubs of YHOA are within one hour’s drive from
A further advantage for CLARO members is that the Cleveland Orienteering Club (CLOK) which is in the North East Association (NEOA) puts on a number of events on the North part of the North Yorkshire Moors. These events are also within fairly easy reach of most CLARO members, so extending the choice of events.
In the past we have done reasonably well (given our size) and we have had some very talented individual orienteers. This was especially the case in 1998 when a number of elite orienteers were living in the area and joined the club.
Of course many others have achieved individual goals and the club aims to help everyone achieve their individual potential at whatever level it may be.
We have been successful in the Compass Sport Trophy event
1993 2nd, 1997 Winners, 1998 Winners
We have had JK winners – 1998 Harry Dowdell M40L, Dave Harrington M40S
Liz Day W18, Karin Wimmer W20, Richard Hensman M18, David Day M50
Great Britain Senior team – Siggy Gould selected
Scandinavian BOF tour for GB Under 20s - Liz Day.
GB team for World Junior Championships
Jaimie Doe, Rob Baker
British Team for World Student Championships
Janine Hensman, Jaimie Doe
Veteran Home Internationals
Andrew Kelly, Harry Dowdell
British Age Class Championships
Karin Wimmer W20L,
Andre Leumann M20L
Future Champions Cup Rob Baker Men’s champion
1999 Harvester Relays 5th
BOC – M21L Jason Inman, M10B Robert Kelly
2000 Liz Day – Future Champions Cup 4th.
Liz Day – Selected for British team for World Junior Championships
2001 BOC M21S – Jason Inman
Nicholas Morgan – BOF award for best Junior performance
Like most sports or activities, Orienteering has its own set of ‘buzz’ words or jargon. This can often make it difficult for a beginner to understand what experienced orienteers are talking about (you may even wonder if they’re on the same planet as you). The following glossary is intended to shed a bit of light on these terms – it only deals with the wider aspects of the orienteering world, rather than the many terms concerned with the technical side of the sport. For these you’ll need to consult one of the books recommended at the bottom of this leaflet – or ask any club member.
Kites Control kites – The shaped markers that hang at and thereby identify the location of a control. Made of red and white triangular pieces of material supported on a cane – identification number marked on them.
Description sheet The sheet that tells you the ‘control number’ that you will find at each of your controls and the description of the feature (e.g. ditch end, depression).
Pictorial description At major events, the description sheet uses pictorial symbols to describe each feature, rather than a textual description. These are internationally defined and standardised. With computer based control planning, most events use these description for all but the junior courses. The meanings of the descriptions can be found on the BOF web site
EPS Electronic Punching System. Orienteering with Technology. Electronic punching has been gradually introduced since 2000 and all YHOA regional events and national events now use the system. There are two systems available – Sportident & Emit.
SportIdent (SI) The
main electronic punching system used in the
Emit An alternative electronic punching system. It is more popular on the continent. Used for international events.
BOF British Orienteering Federation – The governing body of the sport, based in offices in Matlock, Derbyshire.
Level C event The standard Sunday orienteering event. Usually 7 courses are provided ranging from White (very easy and short) to Brown (technically very hard and long). These are events where you can just turn up, pay and run a course.
Level B event A series of ‘top quality’ major orienteering events held each year throughout the country. These events are held on the most technically challenging terrain.
Championship event The sports premier events. The British Orienteering Championships and the JK weekend comprise these events.
M/Wxx L/S Courses at can also be identified by the competitors age group.
(Age Class) M stands for Men, W for Women, L for Long, S for Short. The xx is then the age group. These are 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 for Juniors, 21 for competitors age 21 through 34. The groups then go up in 5 year spans. e.g. M40 will have male competitors age range 40 to 44. Note that you enter the age range at the start of the year that you attain that age.
POC Permanent Orienteering Course. A course where the kites (usually wooden posts) are left at control points permanently. Usually in public access areas.
BOC/BEOC British Orienteering Championships / British Elite Orienteering Championships. These are the annual championships for the whole of GB. Each age class is run. The Elite championships are now a separate event for those at the pinnacle of the sport.
The ‘JK’ The
Jan Kjellstrom International Festival of
Orienteering. This is the main ‘social’
orienteering event of the year. It is named after the young Swedish Orienteer
who made a great contribution in establishing orienteering in the
The ‘Harvester’ National inter-club relay competition, held annually. The first legs start very early in the morning.
relays A national inter-club relay competition for Juniors. Takes place at the end of September. The first couple of ‘legs’ are in the dark!
Trophy A national competition for Juniors. Regional heats are used to select a club from each region. This is based on teams of 7, but everyone who runs can count.
Compass Sport The national magazine devoted to Orienteering. Six issues every year to keep you informed of all that’s happening and all that’s new in the orienteering world, both nationally and internationally. Also contains listings of events throughout the country.
Cup Inter-club competition. Every member of the club can take part in this competition. The course you run is determined by your age group, with a total of 8 different ‘teams’ making up the full complement. Your position within that team then counts towards the club score. The club with the best combined score wins.
Ultrasport The two main suppliers of Orienteering equipment. They often turn up at Level B events with mobile shops.
Wilf’s Mobile Vegetarian catering company. Attends all the major national events and a very popular and welcome source of nourishment. Good value for money.
The Clarion The regular newsletter of CLARO. Giving information on all forthcoming events and news of what’s happened, especially involving club members.
The above only touches the surface - to become familiar with the sport you may wish to subscribe to Compass Sport magazine (contact CLARO secretary for details), or obtain one of the excellent books on orienteering which will give lots of information orienteering techniques.
If you do want a good book to introduce you to the sport the following are recommended :
Carol McNeil - Orienteering skills of the game (The best introductory book).
Gareth Bryan-Jones - Orienteering Techniques
Peter Palmer - Orienteering Pathways to excellence.
Editor Peter Palmer - The complete Orienteering Manual
CLARO also has a small club library.
Lots of other books and information are available from BOF.
If you’re a newcomer to the sport the following brief notes attempt to guide you through the ‘formalities’ that you need to do at an event. After a couple of trys it all becomes second nature and with many of the items you can adapt them to suit your own preferences.
Clothing – Orienteers must wear full body cover (to prevent the risk of infection from scratches), although short sleeves are allowed. Usually trackster/ track suit bottoms, long sleeved T shirt/ sweatshirt and trainers are adequate to start with. Take note at events of the clothing that more experienced competitors wear. E.g. studded orienteering shoes, thermal tops and nylon ‘O’suits. Cagoules may be required if the weather is bad.
Equipment – the following is useful for starters. As you become more accomplished you can adapt to what suits you best. Again notice what other experienced orienteers use.
Bag - to protect map from rain/ mud. Available from orienteer traders
Whistle - recommended for safety (compulsory at some events)
Compass - to help you navigate
Safety pins - to attach descriptions to your clothing
Wristband - for the control descriptions
Other useful equipment can be a watch, scissors, head band.
Registration – You first need to pay and buy a map. This is usually about £5.00 for a Senior, £2.00 for a Junior. You then need to select a course suited to your ability. Don’t be fooled at first, especially if you are a competent runner – courses take much longer than just running an equivalent distance. White and Yellow are good for children, Orange/Red for novice adults. It’s better to have a easy first run, than over-stretch yourself and be put off.
Dibber hire – If you don’t have your own dibber (unlikely if you’re just starting) then these canbe hired at registrationfor a small fee (0.50p or £1.00)
Control Descriptions – These are given in order. Next to each sequential number, which indicates the order you must go to the controls, there will be an identifying number which you will also find on the control kite at the control site. A description of the feature where the control kite is situated (e.g. boulder, pit, stream bend) is also given. Many orienteers cover the descriptions with transparent film or a bag and pin onto a wrist band. They are then easy to see and don’t get lost.
Map – check the scale usually 1:10000 or 1:15000. Use a polythene map bag to protect, if the map isn’t waterproof (many are nowadays)
Start – you queue and go through a box system till you start.
Setting off – Make sure that you orientate your map.
Controls – Each control site is identified by a red and white triangular marker. Check the identification number on it is correct. Dib your Dibber.
Finish – This is usually marked by red and white tape for the last 50 metres.
Download – You must ‘download’ your dibber to record your run. You will get a printout of the timing for each control and your overall time. Downloading is also essential to record your safe return.
Results - Clubs put results on the Internet now, so if you have access you can get your results that way.
We hope this booklet has been interesting and of use. All you have to do now is to go out and do some orienteering – whatever you do and at whatever level, enjoy yourself !