2 January 2020: Southern Championships 2020 – Postponed

We regret that BKO has been forced to postpone the staging of the 2020 Southern Championships from the planned date of Sunday 26th January. We are currently in discussions about a new date in the Autumn.

Plans to stage our annual Concorde Chase in January 2019 had been prevented by a difficult search for an appropriate area. With the JK taking place in the region at Easter 2019 and using some of our top areas, options for a suitable area were very limited.  In discussions with Southern Navigators, who usually stage events on the army training area at Long Valley, it was agreed that BKO could use Long Valley North.  Unfortunately it was then impossible to obtain land permission from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) in the remaining time so our event was cancelled.

With the agreement of SN, we therefore sought and eventually obtained permission from the DIO to hold the event at Long Valley North on Sunday 26th January as a combined Southern Championships and Concorde Chase. Preparations were therefore well advanced when in late 2019 we were informed that the permit was being withdrawn as the land was to be used for an army training exercise on that day. Subsequent attempts to negotiate were unsuccessful and the club then attempted to consider other options but again these were unsuccessful in the very limited time available to plan for a Championship standard event.

We apologise that this information has not been circulated officially until now but the Christmas and New Year period has made discussions and communication harder.  We are now hoping to reschedule the event for the Autumn but, as previously, this involves discussions and negotiations.  The club has decided to replace the event with a regional Level C event using our local Star Posts although this will now be on Saturday 25th January (see Star Posts Regional Event) with Guildford Orienteers moving their Middle Distance event from the Saturday to Sunday 26th January (see GO Farley Heath Event).  We hope that many orienteers will still be able to join us for challenging orienteering over that weekend.