Progress of a junior orienteer

Hi. This is a post to show the progress of a junior orienteer and my journey in orienteering since I joined the club.

I started orienteering in 2018 when I decided to go to a JOG event because I enjoyed running and I was good at map reading. I met Roger and Judy who run the club and the JOG events and showed me how to use the compass and read the map. I really enjoyed it so I went to more events.
Around 2 years later I started going to the QOFL events, which are on a higher level and more competitive. I was getting really good results on the easier courses so I started to run the orange course, which takes you off the paths a little, making it much harder. After around a year, I started to meet some other members of the Quantock Orienteers and I was getting very good results on the orange course.
In the 2022 - 2023 season, I placed really well in the QOFL league, running the orange course, so I started running even harder courses and I started competing in national events including Spring in Shropshire, The Yvette Baker Trophy and the British Championships. I have recently joined the South West Junior Orienteering Squad, which will provide training and allow me to compete in even more national events and hopefully in the future, I will be able to compete in international events all over the world.

I hope this inspires new junior members to meet lots of new people in the club, sign up for more orienteering events and enjoy running in the countryside.

Finley Goddard


Thanks for sharing @Fin_G - it is great to see your enthusiasm at events and your progress over the last year has been fantastic. Really pleased to hear you have joined the SW Junior Squad - I am sure you have a bright future in Orienteering.

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Great to see this thread starting. Hamish Braine-Clarke and Ollie Lewis have also been invited to join the squad so perhaps they can encourage other juniors to progress from JOG to SWJS using this term’s coaching.
Well done Finley for taking the initiative.

Hi. Just a quick update on the thread I started back in August.

Since then, I’ve gone to many more events and training sessions with the South West Junior Orienteering Squad (SWJOS).
In September, all 12 of the regional junior squads in the UK came to South Wales for the annual Junior Inter Regional Championships. This is a 2 day event where all the junior squads compete against each other in a individual race and a relay race. The individual on the first day was held at Kenfig Burrows by SBOC. This was a technical sand-dune area and was lots of fun. We were lucky as it was a sunny day.
It was my first opportunity to see who my competition was in my age group. I had a good run and I came 13th in my age group and 3rd in my year. We then all went to a school hall to stay overnight, have dinner and for prizegiving. The relay on the second day was held at Llantrisant forest by SWOC. This was a hilly forest and unlike the previous day, it was very wet and rainy. It was my first experience of a relay and I was put in a team with James Agombar and Arthur Brooke. This was lots of fun and if you’ve never done a relay, I would recommend doing one.

I will try to update this more regularly and write about the past few months of orienteering and upcoming events.



Hi Finley. Thanks for the update. Good luck with the SW junior squad. It seems to have done very well over the past few years, so that must be quite inspiring. Always good to hear what you and the squad are up to.

P.S. Agree with you about relays, they are good fun. I’d recommed them too.

Concorde Chase 2024

On Sunday 28th February 8 QO members went to Barossa near Camberley for the Concorde Chase. This is an event hosted by Berkshire Orienteers every year. Barossa is an army training area and has some very nice terrain with a mix of woodland and open areas.

Here is a link to routegadget where you can see the map, the courses and mine and my dad’s routes: Concorde Chase Barossa 2024-01-28 (

I ran a green course and came 1st with a time of 46:48.
Control 1 - As I came out the start, I ran North up the path until I could spot the open area on the left. I could then run straight into the control from there.
Control 2 - I came out of the control and onto the path. I then ran along the path before going through the forest to cut the corner. I made a big mistake cutting in way too early and lost about 2 mins. I should have looked at the contours as I then realised that the pit the control was in was in a big re-entrant and I ran to the control.
Control 3 - I headed East onto the path and took a bearing in from the path bend.
Control 4 - I came up the re-entrant and into a small wooded area. I then ran down the spur and spotted the control in the re-entrant.
Control 5 - I passed the copse and ran in from the corner of the vegetation.
Control 6 - Went through the open area and into the control.
Control 7 - come out onto the path junction and took a bearing across the marsh. I fell in hip deep while crossing it. I then used the tracks of open area to take a bearing into the control.
Control 8 - Ran along the tracks and cut in from the tree.
Control 9 - Took a bearing.
Control 10 - Ran out to the path and followed it round. Cut in from the path bend and ran past the open area to come into the control.
Control 11 - Onto the path and ran along before cutting through the forest. Went through the gate and took a bearing into the control.
Control 12 - Ran round the paths before cutting into the control.
Control 13 - Took a bearing and used the contours to go down the gulley.
Control 14 - Ran up the gulley and past the path junction before going down into the control.
Control 15 - Went up the hill, through the gate and down the gulley into the control.
Control 16 - Came down and ran up the path, then came into the control on the vegetation.
Control 17 - Ran up the hill and onto the path where the control was before sprinting into the finish.

Overall, I had a decent run and I enjoyed the terrain however, I could have gone a bit faster.

Looking forward to the southern champs this weekend.

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A well written account that was shown to the QO Committee who congratulated Finley on his result of coming first on the course out of 106 entries at a National event

Good luck for tomorrow Finley - just run as well as you have been doing!

Congratulations again! Winner of his age class at the Southern Championships yesterday.
Let’s have another analysis of route choices on Routegadget. Can we have a photo of Finley on the podium in a QO top?

The Southern championships 2024

On Sunday, I went to Redlands wood near Dorking for the Southern champs. This was hosted by Guildford orienteers (GO) and Redlands wood is a verry hilly area with lots of elevation and there was a lot of nice runnable forest and clearly mapped vegetation.

Here is a link to routegadget with my route and course: The Redlands Return - based on Provisional results 2024-02-04 (

I ran the M14A course and came 1st in the southern champs and 2nd overall with a time of 45:56.
Control 1 - Took a bearing from the start kite and contoured into the control.
Control 2 - Ran to the path and took a bearing in from the junction.
Control 3 - Ran out to the path and followed the vegetation in.
Control 4 - Came out and ran along the path. I then got distracted by a mountain bike track which weren’t mapped and had to relocate to the path further up the hill, probably losing about 1 and a half mins. I then followed the vegetation in.
Control 5 - Followed the vegetation before crossing the stream and taking a bearing in from the path junction.
Control 6 - Came up the re-entrant and followed the blobs of vegetation coming into the control.
Control 7 - Ran past the quarry and crossed the path, then ran along the fence into the control.
Control 8 - Ran straight up the re-entrant and into the open area where the control was.
Control 9 - Came back down to the path and ran along it. Contoured round into the control once I’d got past the vegetation.
Control 10 - Back onto the path and going up the hill once I reached the bend. I then used the large depression as an attack point into the control.
Control 11 - Contoured round the spur until I reached the path, then contoured again using the veg boundary as an attack point.
Control 12 - Ran up to the path and got to the junction where I aimed off until I reached the second path by the road. I then ran too far along and had to take a bearing from the path junction probably losing about 2 - 3 mins.
Control 13 - I came onto the track and then ran down a couple of paths before coming into the control from the path bend.
Control 14 - Ran West onto the track and then ran down the path until I reached the vegetation by the control.
Control 15 - Ran down the hill onto the path and then ran along until I reached the vegetation by the control before going straight to the finish.

Overall, I feel like a ran at a good pace for most of the course but I made a couple navigation errors that cost ma a few minutes.


JK 2024.

Last weekend, 26 (I think) QO members went up to the JK, which was held in the midlands this year. There were 4 days: day 1 was a sprint at Loughborough University, day 2 was a middle at Beaudesert, day 3 was a long also at Beaudesert, and day 4 was a relay at Stanton moor. I had a small illness over the weekend and also for about 2 weeks before the weekend so I hadn’t trained in a while so my running pace wasn’t the best.

Day 1:
We arrived at Loughborough surprised to see so many orienteers as the was the first JK I’ve been to and I’ve never seen so many people at one event. I collected my bib and new JK t-shirt and went to go chat to some people before I went off. After I had warmed up I set off on my course.

I ran course 5 (M14) and came 4th with a time of 20:22. I got beaten by 1 sec to 3rd place which is annoying but I’m still very happy with my run. Here is a link to routegadget: 2024-03-29 JK 2024 Day 1: Loughborough University (
Control 1 was a nice easy control with no mistakes.
I was a little hesitant on control 2 when going down the little path that cut through into the buildings.
Controls 3 - 8 were all clean with good route choice.
control 9 I went up the wrong set of stairs but realised quite quickly I was on the wrong one.
Control 10 was clean and control 11 had a 50/50 route choice so I just chose one and got on with it because you would lose more time standing around and thinking of which one to take.
Control 12 I had a bad approach into the control, It would have been better to go through the canopy just South-West of 12.
13 and 14 were clean but I had a bad route choice to 15, I should have gone through the canopy just North of the control.
Controls 16 - 19 were all clean and a lot of people said that they missed the gap in the hedge that my control 19 was on, costing them time. Luckily my control was on that gap so it was pretty hard to miss.
From there it was nice and simple for the last 2 controls and a sprint finish.

Overall, I am very happy with my run and the course was well planned. I did get quite tired while running round but that was because of illness and a lack of training.

I will try to write about day 2 tomorrow,

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JK 2024 day 2:

We arrived at the car park after a 30 min drive from Rugeley, where we were staying for the weekend. There were road closures which meant that we had to go the long way round to Beaudesert.

Based on the weather from yesterday and overnight, it was expected to be be very muddy in the forest, and it was as there were some deep marshes and very slippery terrain that slowed a lot of people down. Only the Southern area of Beaudesert was used for day 2 which was more hilly and muddy.
Here is a link to routegadget: 2024-03-30 JK 2024 Day 2: Beaudesert (

I ran course 20 (M14) and came 10th with a time of 30:09.
I was a bit hesitant on 1 because of an unmapped path just as you run out from the start which I’m sure a lot of people came across. Controls 2 - 4 were all clean but on 5 I lost around 4 - 5 mins as I got overconfident and decided to contour without a bearing which meant I didn’t cross the re-entrant I was hoping to cross so I ended up at 6 and had to take a bearing to 5 from there. Controls 6 and 7 were clean and after that it was like a yellow course. The run in to the finish was slightly up hill, which was quite tiring to sprint up, especially at the end of the course.

Overall, I feel that I could have knocked off 5 mins without the mistake and if I rand a bit faster but I am happy with my result.


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British middle champs.

Last weekend, me and my dad drove up to Skipton in West Yorkshire for the British middle champs and the Northern champs.
In the morning, we got ready, had breakfast and headed off to Danefield, near Otley for the British middle champs. The weather was quite nice compared to what the forecast had said, so it was nice all day.
We then walked 1.8km to the arena, where we spoke to some friends, watched the first starters come in and got ready to go to the start. It was quite a hilly area (even though my course only had 95m of climb), with lots of boulders on the slopes. Most of the forest was nice and runnable, although some parts were to steep to run down.
Here is a link to routegadget: 2024-04-27 British Middles 2024: Danefield (
Control 1 - Went straight down and turned onto the ride, then took a bearing in.
Control 2 - Came up to the big track and took a bearing from the junction while using contour features to head into the control.
Control 3 - Out onto the path and followed it to the open area, cut the corner and then followed the path to the control.
Control 4 - Out to the open area and used the vegetation to get to the other side of the fence and dropped into the control.
Control 5 - Came out onto the path and dropped into the re-entrant before following the stream to the control.
Control 6 - Out to the path and went into the control once I passed the junction and followed the spur into the control.
Control 7 - Followed the path and boulders into the control.
Control 8 - Came out to the path and followed it until I passed the first of the two ditches where I took a bearing into 8.
Control 9 - Followed the path and ditch until I could see the crag the control was on.
Control 10 - Took a bearing and went over the spur before dropping into the re-entrant.
Control 11 - Went out to the path and then up to the second path (I came up earlier than I wanted to so I was a bit hesitant), followed the ditch up when I got to it.
Control 12 - Bearing.
Control 13 - Aimed off coming out of the control so I got to the ditch before the control and followed it into the control.
Control 14 - Out to the path and around the copse and then around the bush to the control.
Control 15 - Out the path and followed it to the control.
I came 3rd with a time of 24:52 and I was very happy with my run and was just under 3 mins slower than the fastest time of 22:03.

I will try to wright about the Northern champs tomorrow,

Another fantastic result and a thorough write-up. Thanks for carrying the QO name into the National and Regional results, Finley.

Northern Champs.

The day after the British middles, was the Northern champs. This was hosted by CLARO at Kilnsey South, which is an open moorland area with lots of technical contours. When we got there, the weather wasn’t very good as it was quite cold outside, it was raining and it was very windy. Luckily I had a late start, and the weather got much better throughout the day. However, we still had to wear waterproof coats while running.

Routegadget: 2024-04-28 Northern Champs Courses 1-17, Kilnsey South (

On control one I could guess where the control was before I even picked up the map as I could see from the control descriptions that 1 was on a wall and looking at the blank map and also looking where others on my course went out of the start, There was only 1 place control 1 could be, so I could plan my route to it in the start lanes. Control 2 was just following the crags. On control 3 I took a bearing. Followed the path to control 4 and cut in when the hill top was to my right. I used contour features to get to control 5 and I caught up one of my closest competitors who started 3 minutes ahead of me. I went in between the two big hill tops and then used the fence, path and smaller hill top to get to 6. On control 7, I used the hill top, fence and spur, I somehow managed to stay in an almost perfect straight line without even taking a bearing! On control 8 and 9 I used the spurs and re-entrants. 10 was easy as I just went out to the path and across the wall. 11, 12 and 13 were just following paths, fences and walls. I made a small mistake on 14 by overshooting the control and going to the wrong spur, which lost me about 30 secs. Control 15 was following the re-entrant down and 16 was just a bearing. You could see the wall going to 17 from 16 so I just followed that. Followed the wall to 18 and then it was the run-in control and the finish.

I came 1st with a time of 37:47. unfortunately, I didn’t get a trophy or get to stand on the podium because I’m not a member of a Northern club but it was the final selection race for the JHI England team so I’m hoping I might get selected.


Congratulations on the win, well done!
Great idea to plan the route to control 1 before seeing the map. Having a good start sets you up for a good run.