2021 Nationals – final newsletter
By Christo Peters - Wed 28 Apr 2021 10:00pm
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Photo by Gene Beveridge (2020)

Kia Ora and greetings,
Welcome to the very last newsletter from the NZOC2021 team: the courses have been evaluated between competitors caught out at yet another artificial barrier on the Sprint, the medals have been handed out, and the last borrowed pieces of equipment are on their way back to their owners. Thanks for coming, your enthusiam and your commitment: we hope the text and photos below help preserve the many memories.
It’s a wrap folks, but it has been a great pleasure to host all of you at Long Bay and on South Head.

This newsletter is mostly filled with words and photos ‘from others’. A big thank-you to Neill McGowan (AOC) for agreeing to the use of some of his impressions of the weekend, as well as to Joolz Moore (PAPO), Thomas Stolberger (NWOC) and Jonathan Wood (HBOC) for generously sharing their photos on our dedicated Facebook page

On the off-chance you haven’t had a look there yet, please do: there are photo albums of the four events, giving a really good impression of the joy, the frustration, and the camaraderie! Also, a very funny video of the taming of a toilet tent, starring ONZ’s GM…
Orienteering Wellington (via FaceBook): ”Another Nationals is done and dusted –
and big thanks to North West Orienteering Club for hosting us for the 4 days.
We enjoyed the weekend tremendously!
New Zealand Orienteering Championships – Day 1: Sprint   Neill McGowan: “We were warned. The bulletin update mentioned there would be impassable barriers, and they didn’t lie. They were everywhere. Straight away from the start triangle, those barriers caused carnage and you couldn’t even read the map in those dark run-through corridors. It was a great variance worthy of a National Championships. And just as you were getting used to them, a map flip and more carnage.

Then a long down hill run to the primary school and another set of complexities before a bush bash and a very visible to the public sprint finish.
Photos by Thomas Stolberger (middle, left & right)
Jonathan Wood (bottom left) & Joolz Moore (bottom right)
Wellington Orienteering – via Facebook: “What a lovely day for a sprint at nationals. An unusual feature of the event was the extensive use of artificial barriers to obfusticate route choice. We had winners, and some not-so-winners.”
After the Sprint in urban Long Bay, the attention shifted to South Head for the remainder of NZOC2021 – three locations and two new maps. The map for the Middle was made possible by generous grants from both Foundation North and NZCT.
New Zealand Orienteering Championships – Day 2: Long 

Neil McGowan: “We’d been excited for 12 months at the prospect of a new area of Woodhill Forest being mapped and the warnings of the complexity were well placed. The Long is always a tough affair and adding to North West Orienteering Club’s history of putting on difficult events meant we were in for a treat.
Right from the start we were thrown in to an immediate hill climb to get the lungs bursting. A difficult 2nd leg over very unusual land formations caused carnage and then in to difficult sparse green vegetation, then a trip along the complex coastal strip. Map flip with long leg complexity in to the highly technical native bush, with contours everywhere. Route choice was absolutely key.
Out of the forest at the end and many were fooled with tiredness around the farm and some big mistakes occurred. A great long course befitting a National Champion-ships.”
All photos by Jonathan Wood

Gene Beveridge, controller for the Long and skilfull commentator during the whole of the event, interviewing the next generation of orienteers…

All prize-winners from Saturday’s Long, united with their trophies.
Photo by Joolz Moore
New Zealand Orienteering Championships – Day 3: Middle

Neill McGowan: “The guidance to sample the model map was ringing in our ears from the day before. The extra hour of the clocks going back was discarded to get up to the event and make sure the model map was undertaken. Complex land forms and knolls everywhere built the trepidation of another challenging affair to follow.
Short walk to the start and a beautiful open Woodhill downhill forest location, 30 seconds later and in to the low visibility up and down complex terrain. Many stories of over-cautiousness leading to mistakes and inaccurate compass work causing delays. Loads of controls everywhere causing airs of frustration and some seemingly straightforward controls catching out even some of the elites with large mistakes.
A run-through in to even more complex terrain and some seemingly easy late legs causing mistakes through fatigue.
Photos by Joolz Moore
New Zealand Orienteering Championships – Day 4: Relay

Neill McGowan: “Je suis fatigue… The problem with being given three of the best possible challenges that orienteering can provide is the fact that Day Four comes along with the relay. I certainly wasn’t the only person that turned up with a strong sense of tiredness and a slight fear of the day ahead. The relay is an entirely different psychological challenge and the sense of team really drives you through the difficult exhausting moments.

A number of the Auckland contingent have enjoyed a couple of Rogaines on the Kereta Farm in recent years but it really didn’t help, the brilliant setting of the multiple controls on the tea tree ridge over the water was outstanding and a challenge for even the most confident orienteer. It was a day of trusting your compass and simply not switching off, not easy as the intensity and mental stimulation of the previous days started to catch up.”

PAPO (via FB): ”A lot of fun at the orienteering National Champs this Easter. […] We had an amazing turnout at nationals and really stole the show in the relay competition – we so love seeing lots of red and black on the podium.”
Camping ‘on-site’ About 25% of participants opted to camp out at Leighton’s Farm for at least one night – and the feedback has been wonderful! Grant Leighton came down regularly to talk, and Karen gave the following feedback via email: “It was a pleasure having you all. Please thank everyone for coming. We are pleased it went well for you and everyone enjoyed their stay. I was amazed the weather behaved itself. We were so lucky.

To everyone who helped make NZOC2021 the success it was, thank you from NWOC!
 To all the NWOC volunteers: a massive ‘thank you’!
Photo by Joolz Moore
The weather gods were smiling, the Covid-19 demons stayed quiet, the locations were stunning and the orienteering courses challenging, but above all:

  He Tāngata, He Tāngata, He Tāngata -It is the people, the people, the people, who made these Nationals so successful.

 An event this size relies on countless volunteers: the bank-account checker, the dedicated startlists’ creator, the guys with the four-wheel drives, the ONZ-support, the mappers, the volunteer-roster-composer, our very competent-and-sometimes-cheeky team of setters and controllers, the kind ladies from registration, the flexible day-coordinators, the tireless map collectors, the set-up/pack down team members, the attention-to-detail start team, the cool-under pressure timing team, the amazing control-collectors, the invoice-payer and everybody else who helped out making this event special!
You receive this email newsletter if you have agreed to receive emails in relation to either NZOC2020 or NZOC2021. The contact list will be given to the organisers of NZOC2022 in sunny Nelson. If you do not want to receive information from next year’s Nationals, please use the ‘unsubscribe’ message at the bottom of this email.
Nelson Orienteering Club, at the top of the South Island, are looking forward to hosting you next year at the New Zealand Foot Orienteering Championship at Easter 2022.
We are planning some amazing orienteering, with challenging courses,
on a range of terrains, unique to our area.

We are aiming to have the first information available for you in the next few months so you can plan your stay with us, but in the meantime you can email us at [email protected] for more information
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