KYC: Julian Hartwell

This is the start of a semi-regular series of articles to help you get to "Know Your Clubmate" better in a format shamelessly stolen from CompassSport magazine. It's fitting that we begin with our Chairman, Julian.


Julian Hartwell

Age Class

M65 - just promoted and can't decide if I'm ready for it!

What other orienteering clubs do you belong to or have you previously belonged to?

Southampton University and Mole Valley - both many years ago.

When did you start orienteering and how?

At Southampton University with encouragement from Gerry Barrell and Lubor Velecky.

How often do you go orienteering?

As often as possible! Twice a week isn't unusual.

What do you enjoy about orienteering?

I'm tempted to say the hot bath afterwards, but there's more to it than that. I'm competitive for sure, so that's a big part of it, but I also enjoy running and being in the countryside. I find maps fascinating too.

What is your favourite SOC area and why?

Well it's got to be somewhere in the New Forest. Bramshaw (used for the Classic last November) was pretty good wasn't it?

What is your favourite orienteering discipline/distance and why?

Conventional line courses because, like others I suspect, I just want to be told what to do and get on with it. I also like the sense of a journey. And long courses because they give more time to recover from errors!

Car parking or controlling? What's your favourite orienteering volunteering?

I've done a fair bit of organising - the more you do the easier it gets. I have planned as well, but only for a few low key events. I'd like to do more planning when I have time.

What is the high point of your orienteering career so far?

Well that has to be running for England in the Interland last year. A fantastic experience which came out of the blue.

What other countries have you orienteered in?

New Zealand and France. The less said about New Zealand the better - who would have guessed you need a different compass in the southern hemisphere?

What training do you do?

I try to go out for a run a couple of times a week - obviously orienteering counts.

What one piece of advice would you give other orienteers?

Contact lenses are better than glasses - but either is better than pretending you can read the map OK when you can't!

What keeps you busy when you're not orienteering?

I do a fair bit of target rifle shooting, mostly on the open ranges at Bisley in the summer months - so it goes well with orienteering. And I have a small dinghy I keep at Warsash Sailing Club. Oh, and mucking about in the river outside our house in Cheriton!

What book are you currently reading?

In Your Defence by Sarah Langford - a fascinating insight into the world of a barrister doing criminal work.

Anything else you'd like to share with your clubmates?

As chairman I love to get feedback from members. Please tell me what you want from the club and we will try to provide it.

Leap up to help SOC on 29th Feb!

Coming up on Saturday 29th February is our Middle Distance Level D event at Mark Ash Woods in the New Forest.  Colin Hicks has planned some excellent courses to help sharpen skills required for fast, accurate orienteering over shorter distances.

We need volunteers please for the usual range of jobs (assembly, registration, first aid, control hanging etc.) so please let me know if you are interested in helping and whether you have a preferred job, and / or preference for helping early / running late or vice versa.

…and don’t forget….it’s half price entry fee for helpers!


Lisa lisajames(at)


I can help. I prefer to run first, before I get cold. I wouldn’t trust me to put controls out in the right places but happy to do other jobs as long as I get instructions!

natalie Morant 

British Long & Relay Champs 21st-22nd March

SOC needs you! 

The British Long Distance and Relay Champs weekend is the 21-22 March. The weekend is being held near Liphook, Hampshire. As the event is very local this year, it would be great to have a really big SOC turnout for both days of this event. 

I am coordinating relay teams for SOC (we already have 14 orienteers keen, almost 5 teams). Relays are teams of 3. If you've not run a relay before, they are good fun. The first person starts more like a normal running race but the courses you run have "forking" - with everyone running slightly different variations of the same course. In some ways, this makes the navigation easier as there is more likely to be people around! 

More info on the website here.

Why you should sign up:

  • New area for orienteering (apparently excellent!)
  • <60mins drive from Southampton
  • Similar Southern Forest to what we're all used to! 
  • SOC will pay the relay entry fee this year (previously paid half)
  • Sociable fun day for the Club

First entry deadline for the individual races (which are the day before) are the this Sunday 26th January, so get your individual entries in now for the cheapest entry then...

Please let me know if you'd like to run in a relay team.

We'll aim to take advantage of the early cheaper deadline, so please respond as soon as possible and ideally by Saturday 22nd February.

Looking forward to it,

Rob robertfinch615 (at)

SOC Committee and acting Team Captain for the British weekend

JK Relay 2019 photo - 6 SOC teams, can we beat it?