British Orienteering Championships 2017

Saturday 6th May 2017 - High Dam

The British Orienteering Championships is one of the year's flagship events, used each year to decide the age group champions from 10 to 90 year olds. Join us at High Dam, a delightful area in the heart of the Lake District and one of the finest orienteering areas in the country. The area contains ancient mixed woodland, blocks of beech, birch and bouldery areas along with intricate and potentially confusing open fells which will provide an interesting technical challenge for every level of orienteer. The conditions are set to be ideal with little or no bracken on the open fells with the wooded areas being very runnable.

Courses have been planned to get the very best from the area for all courses and have been based on accepted course length ratios. A winning time of 90 minutes on the M21E course is expected.

For experienced orienteers the BOC is a chance to compete for the title of British Champion in their age group. For newcomers and novices the BOC is a chance to experience orienteering at its exciting best: interesting and challenging navigation in an area of beautiful scenery, and an exciting race with hundreds of orienteers criss-crossing the hills on their different courses.

Colour coded courses are available for newcomers and beginners to suit every level.

Competition Area

All areas of Great Britain change over time and High Dam is no exception.

To mitigate some of the changes NWOA have been fortunate in being able to extend the existing High Dam map to include the far slopes of Finsthwaite Heights above the Rusland Valley, which will be visited by the longest courses.

The last time these slopes may have been used for a major orienteering event might have been the 1983 JK Festival.

NWOA are grateful to the eight different land owners and land agencies who have made the event possible.

The area is embargoed for orienteers details of the exact area can be seen here

Map Samples

The whole area has been resurveyed including use of Lidar data where available.

High Dam sample 1    High Dam sample 2
For larger maps of the area click on the links here for High Dam or here for Rusland Beeches. Note that these are old maps which have been updated and revised.


The Long Distance Championships are open to members of the British Orienteering Federation and to members of IOF affiliated Federations. See Competition Rule A: British Long Distance Orienteering Championships for further information on eligibility to be a British Champion.

Championship Courses

All individual long distance championship age class courses will be offered, with course combinations as per Competition Rule A: British Long Distance Orienteering Championships.

No Men Women Ratio km Climb m Scale
1 M21E   1.00 15.0 750 1;15000
2 M18E, M20E   0.68 10.2 510 1;15000
3   W21E 0.65 9.8 488 1;15000
4   W18E, W20E 0.45 6.8 338 1;15000
5 M21L   0.81 12.2 608 1;10000
6 M35L   0.68 10.2 510 1;10000
7 M40L   0.65 9.8 488 1;10000
8 M18L, M20L, M21S W21L 0.51 7.7 383 1;10000
9   W35L, W40L 0.45 6.8 338 1;10000
10 M16A   0.44 6.6 330 1;10000
11 M18S, M20S, M21V W18L, W20L, W21S 0.35 5.3 263 1;10000
12   W16A 0.34 5.1 255 1;10000
13 M45L   0.59 8.9 443 1;7500
14 M50L   0.56 8.4 420 1;7500
15 M55L   0.53 8.0 398 1;7500
16 M60L   0.48 7.2 360 1;7500
17 M35S, M40S W45L 0.43 6.5 323 1;7500
18 M65L   0.40 6.0 300 1;7500
19 M45S, M50S W50L 0.40 6.0 300 1;7500
32   W55L 0.37 5.5 310 1;7500
20 M70L, M55S   0.37 5.6 278 1;7500
21 M60S W60L 0.34 5.1 255 1;7500
22 M75L W35S, W40S, W65L 0.31 4.7 233 1;7500
23 M65S W70L, W45S, W50S 0.27 4.1 203 1;7500
24 M80, M70S, M75S W18S, W20S, W21V, W55S, W60S, W65S, W75 0.23 3.5 173 1;7500
25 M85, M90 W70S, W80 0.18 2.7 135 1;7500
26   W85, W90 0.12 1.8 90 1;7500
27 M14A, M16B   0.34 5.1 255 1;10000
28 Light Green W14A, W16B 0.24 3.6 180 1;10000
29 M12A, M14B/ Orange W12A, W14B   3.5 125 1;10000
30 M10A, M12B/ Yellow W10A, W12B   2.4 100 1;10000
31 M10B/ White W10B   1.7 55 1;10000


Control descriptions for ALL courses except courses 30 & 31 will be pictorial.

Planners Notes

People expecting "High Dam as usual" will be in for a surprise. The conifer-covered light-green hill-top with its confusing ditches, marshes and man-eating tussocks is all gone - clear-felled, lightly brashed and not used.  On the other hand, the lovely wooded hillsides and the central areas of birches, larches, and heather all remain intact, with lots of mapped detail to keep you suitably entertained.

To get enough area for the competition, Martin Bagness has extended the 2012 map to the West (a sometimes-steep hillside of mature forest with considerable contour and rock detail formerly known as Rusland Beeches and possibly Finsthwaite Heights). With a couple more areas of new mapping as well, the longer courses will be running through an entirely new combination of varied and interesting terrain.

The fastest running is usually where the map is white. Rough Open can be very varied - heather, bilberries, dead bracken, tussocks, rough grass.

Areas of heather are generally criss-crossed with grassy bits and animal tracks so you can usually make good progress, if not exactly on the straight line you intended.

The arena area is overlooked by a steep and rocky-looking slope, which seems to have featured an experiment in bracken-removal which has left the soil very soft and the rocky bits very visible.  We've found a variety of age-appropriate ways through, and we think it will be much nicer to run down than first impressions would suggest. Spectators will get superb views of the elites and many of the other competitors.


Both days of British Orienteering Long Distance & Relay Championships 2017 will feature Contactless Punching.
BOC2017 will be using SPORTident (SI) punching and all control units will be upgraded to accept SPORTident Air Contactless (SIAC) cards as well as traditional SI ‘dibbers’. This Mixed Punching means that competitors will be able to use either contactless or punching SI cards at the event, with SIAC cards being available for competitors to hire.
SPORTident contactless punching was used successfully at the World Orienteering Championships in Scotland in 2015.  Mixed punching has been used at several events organised in 2016 and early 2017.
Certainly both Lakeland Orienteering Club and West Cumberland Orienteering Club will be using contactless punching for all of their events in 2017, as will higher profile events like the Northern Championships in February and the JK at Easter.
Contactless punching enables competitors to move through controls without the need to stop and punch and users have commented that as well as improving their flow and concentration it also increases the pressure on them as they have lost their excuse to stop and study at each control.  All this is consistent with this year’s IOF statement on mixed punching which can be found here.  You can find more information on the JK2017 SIAC FAQ page.
SIAC cards will be available for all competitors to hire for both days.

Start Times

Start times will be from 10:00hrs to 14:00hrs.
Call up will be -5 minutes for ALL courses, whether championship or colour coded/EOD.
Some courses are very busy and due to seeding, class and course combinations it may not be possible to find another start time so please make sure you get to the correct start in good time.

Parking & Assembly

Parking will be in different fields in the Finsthwaite Valley.
Parking will be between 400m and 1.5km from assembly.

Dogs will be allowed in the parking fields on the condition that they are kept on a lead at all times. There will be ewes and young lambs in adjacent fields.
No dogs will be allowed in the assembly/arena field as it does not have secure boundaries and sheep are at liberty to wander in and out.


Starts are 0.8km to 1.6km from assembly, with no start having more than 100m of climb.


Planner: John Britton

Assistant Planner: Ian Gilliver

Organiser: Sue Butterfield

Controller: Mike Forrest

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