The main focus in July has obviously been JWOC in Switzerland, again adorned by some excellent New Zealand performances. However, successes in the World Rogaining Championships and, closer to home, the National Secondary School Champs, need also to be acknowledged. Now is the time, however, to draw breath for a couple of weeks before the big one – WOC2016 – kicks off in Sweden. It has been a long wait this year.
So once again JWOC has come and gone and, from the NZL perspective, been marked by some excellent performances by the men in all three distances as well as the excitement of being as high as 2nd place in the relay.
As always JWOC kicked off with the sprint and it was Tommy Hayes who was the star showing that in subsequent years he can be a successor Tim Robertson at this distance. Tommy finished in 8th place but only 3 seconds away from the top 6 podium and a mere 5 seconds from 4th place! Devon Beckman was the second Kiwi man almost a minute slower than Tommy and 34 places behind him. At his first JWOC, Cameron de L’Isle was a highly respectable 63rd. The top woman was Danielle Goodall in 37th which was to prove the highest women’s placing of the week for NZL
Sprint M20, 3.7 km, 100 m: 1. Joey Hadorn (SUI) 12:47, 2. Thomas Curiger (SUI) 12:56, 3. Isaac von Krusenstierna (SWE) 13:04, 8. Tommy Hayes 13:21, 42. Devon Beckman 14:15, 63. Cameron de L’Isle 14:37, 87. Ed Cory_Wright 15:05, 113. Shamus Morrison 15:45, 117. Matt Goodall 15:48.
Sprint W20, 3.3 km, 85 m: 1. Simona Aebersold (SUI) 13:13, 2. Anna Dvorianskaia (RUS) 14:05, 3. Anna Haataja (FIN) 14:08, 37. Danielle Goodall 16:02, 53. Alice Tilley 16:22, 87. Katie Cory-Wright 17:19, 100. Kayla Fairbairn 17:49, 106. Sonia Hollands 18:08, 113. Lara Molloy 18:35.
The long distance, at an altitude of 200 m, was always going to be tough. With extremely steep slopes and areas of dangerous cliffs to negotiate route choice was crucial, particularly on the longer legs such as 4-5 on the women’s course (below) and a similar leg for the men. Tommy again had an excellent run to finish in 30th, but was shaded by Shamus Morrison by 16 seconds and 2 places. Ed Cory-Wright also had a good finish coming in 43rd pretty well giving New Zealand 3 finishes in the top quarter of the large field.
Alice Tilley continued her gradual improvement at this distance (84th in 2014, 47th in 2015) finishing as the top woman in 38th place, 9 minutes ahead of Katie Cory-Wright and Danielle.
Long M20, 8.8 km, 450 m: 1. Joey Hadorn (SUI) 1:05:01, 2. Thomas Curiger (SUI) 1:05:53, 3. Isaac von Krusenstierna (SWE) 1:07:05, 28. Shamus Morrison 1:16:08, 30. Tommy Hayes 1:16:24, 43. Ed Cory_Wright 1:18:33, 74. Devon Beckman 1:24:33, 79. Matt Goodall 1:25:21, 118. Cameron de L’Isle 1:34:58.
Long W20, 6.5 km, 310 m: 1. Anna Haataja (FIN) 57:37, 2. Valerie Aebischer (SUI) 59:27, 3. Sofie Bachmann (SUI) 1:00:31, 38. Alice Tilley 1:10:10, 72. Katie Cory-Wright 1:19:12, 74. Danielle Goodall 1:20:00, 95. Lara Molloy 1:26:11, 105. Kayla Fairbairn 1:30:38, Sonia Hollands dnf.
The middle distance at JWOC is only race to have qualifying, with the top 20 from each of 3 heats making the final. Tommy, Ed and Shamus all qualified comfortably, with Shamus filling 4th place in Heat C. The strength of the men’s field is shown by the fact that the other three Kiwis, Cameron, Devon and Matt Goodall were all within a minute of the top 20 but still with several other runners between them and the top 20. Alice backed up her long distance by squeaking into the final in 18th place, the only NZL female qualifier, although Danielle missed out only by 38 seconds. However, the final was not a race to remember for Alice making several mistakes on route to 53rd place. In contrast the NZL performance in the men’s final was again excellent. Top finish went to Shamus in 9th place (following up his top 10 finish in the long distance in 2015) but Tommy was also on track for a top finish until making an error approaching 8 and 9 which saw him finish in 41st, some 9 places and just over a minute behind Ed.
Middle M20, 3.6 km, 230 m: 1. Thomas Curiger (SUI) 24:21, 2. Joey Hadorn (SUI) 25:10, 3. Audun Heimdal (NOR) 25:32, 9. Shamus Morrison 26:27, 32. Ed Cory_Wright 28:53, 41. Tommy Hayes 30:01.
Middle W20, 3.3 km, 190 m: 1. Simona Aebersold (SUI) 24:06, 2. Aleksandra Hornik (POL) 25:56, 3. Johanna Oberg (SWE) 26:17, 53. Alice Tilley 36:30.
In the earlier B finals both Devon and Matt made the top 10 (with Devon 2nd), while Katie, Danielle and Kayla Fairbairn all finished in the top 20.
So to the relay, and with Tommy, Shamus and Ed lining up for the men it was a question of how close could NZL get to last year’s 7th place, or even the 6th place podium finish of the year before. Although many countries have 2 teams in the relay, only the fastest of these counts (or is even shown) in the official results. To a certain extent this makes it difficult to keep track of positions during the race. Nevertheless, Tommy led out confidently on leg 1 and came in 5th less than a minute down on leaders France. While Switzerland stormed into the lead on leg 2, Shamus ran one of his best ever races, and the 3rd fastest leg time, to send Ed out in silver medal position! Sadly, it was not to be and with tiring legs after a hard week NZL faded to 8th, still a highly respectable position. Again, things were not as bright for the top women’s team of Danielle, Katie and Alice, although they did edge into the top 20 and had the consolation of finishing 2 places ahead of Australia.
Relay Men: 1. Switzerland 1:41:26, 2. Sweden 1:43:54, 3. Finland 1:45:07, 8. New Zealand (Tommy Hayes, Shamus Morrison, Ed Cory-Wright) 1:48:34.
Relay Women: Switzerland 1:39:01, 2. Finland 1:43:54, 3. Norway 1:44:08, 20. New Zealand (Danielle Goodall, Katie Cory-Wright, Alice Tilley) 2:02:51.
After all his performances at JWOC over the last few years Shamus provides his thoughts on 2016, and his thanks to those who have supported him.
“JWOC was a mix of highs and lows with plenty of complications. A few days before JWOC started we were doing a relay training against the Americans and Swiss and I slipped on a rock and broke my compass and magnifier, so I had to borrow a compass and go without the magnifier. On the same day I got a stye under my right eyelid which gave me problems with sight until just after the sprint.
Before the sprint I was sick, from nerves or breakfast I’m not sure which, but it put me off a bit and then I had my worst race I’ve ever had at JWOC.I was struggling to read ahead and made too many route choice errors so I didn’t even break the top 100.
The long distance was a beautifully planned course for the first half which I felt good for, then it felt like just a running race which was unfortunate because on the long leg I got a stone in my shoe which cut my foot up pretty bad, and cost me about 2 – 3 mins in running speed and 2mins on mistake I made due to the pain distracting me. 27th? 28th? I can’t remember my placing, anyway it was really disappointing given my result in the long last year as I could have seen the same kind of result this year if I hadn’t been unlucky with the stone, oh well.
The middle qualification had to be the most fun I have had orienteering this year, fun course with awesome terrain. I had a really clean race so halfway through I thought to myself “you’re doing good enough, ease off to save the legs for the final” so I did and it payed off still qualifying 4th in my heat. The middle qualification was the most fun I’d had until the middle final, the terrain and courses were insanely technical and if you look at my gps tracking you can see my hesitation going to the first control as you were thrown straight into the detail. I made only one small error on the control 13 before the spectator control. Besides that my race was pretty much clean and it was a lot of fun. A 9th placing made up for the long and the sprint. Along with the 2 CHF I made off of Cameron De lisle and Jan Erik Naess in a little bet on who of us three would have the fastest finish sprint!
I had a strong relay, starting out in a pack meant I could use the others to lead me into controls while I planned ahead and saved as much energy as I could. On the flatter sections I was pushing really hard to keep up with the top guys and had to take all the advantages that I could get on the hills to stay with them. I had a clean race and ran as hard as I could, so I can be happy with my performance and hopefully our performance as a team helps motivate everyone for next year’s JWOC.
Overall I have mixed feelings on how I went during the week as a whole, but I am very happy with my results over these past 4 years. I will take the opportunity now to let everyone know that I am going to be taking a break from orienteering now to focus on other things such as finally getting back to uni. Maybe in a year’s time I’ll come back and have a proper go at the senior level but until then, thank you to everyone who has supported me, pushed me to better myself and inspired me to compete in this sport.”
Finally on JWOC, as I have remarked elsewhere, in the aftermath, as we now look forward to the 2017 version in Finland, it is worth taking a wider look at how our results have progressed over the past several years. When this is done it becomes apparent that, at least compared to the men, the women’s results have been disappointing. A focus for the next several months, in the lead-up to Finland has got to be to engage with athletes, coaches and advisors to see if there are reasons for this that can be addressed. Certainly the natural orienteering talent is there, but at present clearly there is a missing ingredient that we need to find.
New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships
In the excitement of JWOC it was almost possible to overlook the NZSSC which took place the weekend afterwards around Cambridge. The senior Championship grades here provide a guide to who how future JWOC representative are likely to be. So here, for those who missed it, are the results of the individual grades.
Sprint Senior Boys: 1. Max Griffiths (Tak GS) 16:41, 2. Scott Smith (Cash HS) 16:56, 3=. David Rawnsley (Nap BH) 17:31, 3=. Ryan Williams (West BH) 17:31.
Sprint Senior Girls: 1. Harriet Holt (Nap GH) 20:03, 2. Ellenna Caudwell (Puk HS) 20:55, 3. Heidi Stolberger (Avon) 21:27.
Long Senior Boys: 1. Ryan Williams (West BH) 48:02, 2. Andrei Popovici (West BH) 49:01, 3. David Rawnsley (Nap BH) 50:00.
Long Senior Girls: 1. Heide Stolberger (Avon) 51:04, 2. Harriet Holt (Nap GH) 52:08, 3. Isabella Kelly (NPGH) 53:54.
Following the NZSS the team for the Southern Cross Challenge against the Australian States at the Australian Carnival in Queensland was announced. Congratulations to the following:
Senior Boys: Max Griffiths, Callum Hill, Andrei Popovici, Scott Smith
Senior Girls: Georgina Dibble, Carolyne Nel, Briana Steven, Jenna Tidswell
Junior Boys: Isaac Egan, Tom Harding, Sebastian Safka, Will Tidswell
Junior Girls: Olivia Collins, Sofie Safkova, Jessica Sewell, Georgia Skelton
World Rogaining Championships
The World Rogaining Championships, held to the east of Alice Springs in the East McDonnell Ranges, were well populated by New Zealanders and saw considerable New Zealand success. Chris Forne, partnered by Greig Hamilton, warmed up for WOC n Sweden with a convincing overall victory by 520 points, covering over 90 km during the 24 hours. Not to be outdone the first women’s team also came from PAPO, with Georgia Whitla and Lara Prince finishing in 12th place overall. However, judging by her comments on Attackpoint Georgia is obviously a perfectionist:
“First the positives:
– We won
– We worked well together. I think you would be challenged to find a team that is more evenly matched in speed out there. It felt like we were seldom more than 3m apart for the whole race
– Lara seems to be more happy in the day and able to take the lead on the navigation, I seem to get going from after 11pm-6am while she gets sleepy.
Unfortunately I am left with an annoyed feeling about this race. Maybe I am too much of a perfectionist and it is silly to be unsatisfied with winning a world champs but we were very inefficient for points/km. Our plan turned out to be not good, or we didn’t deal well with the fact it was too long. We cut out some controls we probably shouldn’t have. I should have planned a route with more contingency if it was too long (as I was being quite ambitious with the planning) instead of cutting ourselves off at the furtherst point from the hash house. Stupid and annoying as I consider planning to be one of my strong points. Perhaps I just got a bit over confident and complacent. It is good to have a bad race to learn a lesson and still take the win I guess. I think we could have got maybe 200 more points with minimal extra effort but maximum cunning.
Happy to have achieved the goal of winning the open women’s. But frustrated by our overall performance. Seems like I will just have to try and go to Latvia to improve.”
Other top Kiwi combinations in the open grades were Nik Mulder and Shane Thrower (2nd men’s team, 3rd overall), Tm Farrant and Tane Cambridge ) 4th mens, 5th overall). Phil Wood and Rob Jarvis were also 3rd men’s veterans and 6th overall.
While Chris Forne has been preparing for WOC at the World Rogaining Championships, Gene Beveridge has been the first of the New Zealand based athletes to have arrived in Scandinavia. Along with Tim Robertson and Kate Morrison he has been running at O-Ringen, although was unable to get into the top H21E class and has been producing some good runs in H21E2. Both Tim and Kate, however, have been in top elite classes. Tim produced excellent runs on days 1 and 3, finishing 10 minutes behind the never-aging Thierry Gueorgiou on a relatively long day 1 and then producing a 6th place finish in day 3’s sprint. Kate also produced a good sprint result finishing just less than 2 minutes down on Tove Alexandersson, who has cleaned out the D21E field every day as she prepares for WOC on her home turf. Following on from performances at JWOC Tommy Hayes and Matt Goodall have also been performing well in H20E. Tommy also had excellent results at Swiss O Week the previous week. Meanwhile in Slovenia/Austria/Italy Lizzie Ingham has been fine tuning WOC preparations at the OOCup where after 4 of the 5 days she leads the W21E field by 10 minutes overall.
The final countdown for WOC will begin the weekend before when Chris, Tim, Lizzie, Gene and Imogene Scott will all run at Nighthawk in Norway before the team starts to assemble on the Monday for final preparations. A mix of sprint and forest training opportunities are planned for that week and, for those not running in the sprints, right through to the following week. In 2016 the NZL the is lucky to have plenty of local help with Wellington Club’s Magnus Bengtsson back in Sweden for the duration, and Rassmus Andersson, having missed out on the Swedish team, also having offered to help in any way, including having arranged the use of an OK Linne minivan for the team.
Of course WOC performances in 2016 will earn points to be added to those earned last year which ascertain how many entries each country will have in the forest events in Estonia in 2017. Following the men’s promotion to Group 2 last year, and the women’s rise up Group 2, the starting points within that group for this year as shown below. With the Middle, long and relay races to count at least one relatively high score is desirable from each of the individual races as well as a solid relay performance.
Men: 9. EST 197 pts, 10. AUT 174, 11. LTU 160, 12=. LAT 156, 12= BUL 156, 14. DEN 142, 15. RUS 132, 16. Hun 118, 17=. POL 110, 17=. NZL 110, 19. GER 80, 20. ESP 78, 21. BLR 71, 22. ITA 70.
Women: 9 LAT 210 pts, 10. UKR 173, 11. FRA 172, 12. LTU 156, 13. EST 148, 14=. NZL 143, 14=. AUS 143, 16. HUN 130, 17. GER 119, 18. CAN 114, 19. ESP 111, 20. POL 107, 21. AUT 105, 22. USA 66.
Also on the line at WOC is entry for the 2017 World Games in Poland. Here the emphasis is on the sprint, middle and sprint relay, which are the 3 races at the World Games. The IOF entry criteria are as follows:
“The thirteen (13) best nations, Poland (host nation) excluded, in the 2016 World Orienteering Championships, shall have the right to enter up to 2 + 2 runners. The nations are ranked using results from two individual format finals (Sprint and Middle Distance) and one teamevent (Sprint Relay).
The ranking shall be based on the total sum of points from the two individual finals and Sprint Relay event. In the individual events, 1st place is awarded 100 points, 2nd is awarded 80 points, 3rd is awarded 60 points, 4th is awarded 50 points, 5th is awarded 45 points, 6th is awarded 40 points, 7th is awarded 37 points, 8th is awarded 35 points, 9th is awarded 33 points, 10th is awarded 31 points, 11th place 30 points and subsequent places are reduced by one. For each Federation, only their best two scores per event and class contribute to their ranking. For the Sprint Relay event, 1st place is awarded 200 points, 2nd is awarded 160 points, 3rd is awarded 120 points, 4th is awarded 100 points, 5th is awarded 90 points, 6th is awarded 80 points, 7th is awarded 74 points, 8th is awarded 70 points, 9th is awarded 66 points, 10th is awarded 62 points, 11th place 60 points and subsequent places reduced by two.”
IOF General Assembly
In conjunction with WOC the 2-yearly IOF General Assembly will take place and will discuss and vote on several issues which may have significant impact on New Zealand.
Many of these are tied up with the review of the competition programme which proposes that there be 4 main periods of elite competition in the year. World Cup rounds in May/June, June/July and September/October, with WOC being in August but no longer a round of the World Cup. The first implication of this is that is probably unlikely that we will see a future round of the World Cup in the southern hemisphere. Not only is the timing wrong in terms of weather (unless Australia can find a suitable venue) but it is doubtful that in a compressed 5 month season that the major northern hemisphere nations will want to travel down under.
In terms of future WOC it is proposed that forest WOC’s (from Norway 2019) will have qualifying heats for the middle distance re-established (3 runners per nation) with every nation guaranteed one finalist subject to having sufficient WR points. The long distance will continue to have 1, 2 or 3 places allocated on previous national performances, although the Oceania Champions will continue to have wild card entry. This is probably the best result that NZL could have expected.
Sprint WOC (from Denmark 2020 – to be confirmed) will introduce a “new” format in addition to the individual sprint and the sprint relay. This is heavily tipped to be a knock-out format as had been previously trialled at World Cup races.
The new competition programme also proposes the formal introduction of biennial Regional Youth Championships in M/W16 and M/W18 grades. This will make these grades as presently run at the Oceania Championships a formally recognised IOF competition, which up to now they have not been. Changes are also proposed for WMOC, which from2020 will have sprint, middle and long distance races.
However, perhaps of more import for NZL is the Swedish motion to increase the women’s long distance winning time for WOC, JWOC, and World Cup races. This proposal, if passed, would see the women’s winning time made the same as the men’s and therefore increase from the present 70-80 minutes at WOC/WC and 55 minutes at JWOC, to 90-100 minutes and 70 minutes respectively. The survey carried out by the athlete’s commission on the desirability of such an increase found an almost 50-50 split in views. Interestingly it is fair to say that many of those in favour were the already top international women, while there was a less warm response from those further down the rankings. This probably nicely encapsulates the problem for New Zealand – we already have relatively few women who are prepared to undertake the long distance at WOC, an increase in the winning time would almost certainly exacerbate this situation. Envisage the case of this motion being passed, a New Zealand woman winning the Oceania Long Distance at Easter next year, and thereby giving us 3 long distance places for Estonia, but then finding that we can’t fill them. Would that be progress? We would not be the only smaller nation to have such potential problems.
The Swedish proposal actually has 2 parts. The first is the principle of such a lengthening of women’s times, the second is specifying actual times as outlined above. It may be that the most likely outcome will be to go with the principle but to leave the times to still be worked out. Watch this space….