October has been a month with a hectic start and an even more hectic finish. Beginning with the second weekend of the Oceania Carnival – which saw some excellent individual performances , but Australia taking the Aspin-Key Trophy – and culminating with both the final round of the IOF World Cup and the Auckland Championships over Labour Weekend. The former of these saw two excellent performances from Tim Robertson and good results also for Tommy Hayes and Lizzie Ingham. Also, as it is October, the announcement of the National Squads for 2020 and a few other snippets from around the orienteering world.
National Squads 2020
Selection for the National Squads is based on criteria laid down in the High Performance Plan.
At the Senior level there are three qualifying criteria: (1) in the last three years to have had three finishes in named international races which are within a certain percentage of a base time calculated from the top three finishers, (2) to have been selected for the World orienteering Championships in the previous two years, (3) in the last 2 years to have had 2 top 3 finishes in elite grade out of ONZ, Australian and Oceania championships. Those qualifying under criterion (1) are deemed Elite (E) members and are eligible to have entry fees for World cup races paid by ONZ. In line with the split in the World Orienteering Championships between forest and sprint disciplines, there are separate senior squads for forest and sprint.
At Under 23 level there are 2 selection criteria: (1) in the last 2 years to have been selected for the Junior World Orienteering Championships, (2) in the last 2 years to have 3 finishes in in M/W20E out of a combination of the top 3 in the ONZ Championships, the top 5 in the Australian Orienteering Championships and top 5 in the Oceania Orienteering Championships. Additionally, for any squad, athletes must be a minimum age of 18 at some point during the year following selection and have been active over the previous 12 months. Athletes younger than 18 qualify as Associate (A) members.
So for 2020…
Senior Sprint Squad
Men: Tommy Hayes (E), Cameron de L’isle, Matt Ogden, Tim Robertson (E), Tony Scott
Women: Renee Beveridge, Lizzie Ingham (E), Laura Robertson (E), Imogene Scott
Senior Forest Squad
Men: Gene Beveridge, Nick Hann, Tommy Hayes, Cameron de L’Isle, Matt Ogden, Tim Robertson (E), Toby Scott, Nick Smith
Women: Renee Beveridge, Lizzie Ingham (E), Greta Knarston, Lara Molloy, Kate Morrison, Laura Robertson, Imogene Scott
Under 23 Squad
Men: Max Griffiths, Stephen Harding, Callum Hill, Joseph Lynch, Daniel Monckton, Kurtis Shuker, Will Tidswell
Women: Tessa Burns, Marina Comeskey, Katie Cory-Wright, Meghan Drew, Marisol Hunter, Kaia Joergensen (A), Tegan Knightbridge, Georgia Skelton, Briana Steven, Jenna Tidswell
Oceania Carnival Part 2
The second weekend of the Oceania Carnival in Australia was centred in the rocks of Beechworth, 3 hours north of Melbourne. Saturday saw the Oceania Long Distance Championships on Kangaroo Crossing – one of the legendary granite maps, first used as a training map for the World Championships was back in 1985. The tough rocky terrain, including very long legs on nearly all courses, was made even harder by the warm temperatures. With NZL well behind in the Pinestars-Bushrangers Test Match some strong performances were required by the Kiwis and Katie Cory-Wright and Lizzie Ingham duly delivered with excellent wins in W20E and W21E. Katie’s winning margin was over 5 minutes and she was backed up by Tessa Burns in 4th place and Briana Steven in 6th, although Tessa was not part of the Pinestars team for this race. Lizzie’s winning margin was even larger – a massive 9 minutes over second placed Natasha Key. For the men, Gene Beveridge was the stand out in M21E with a strong run to finish 2nd behind Brodie Nankervis in a race in which only the top 6 men got under two hours. Will Tidswell was also a top performer finishing 4th in M20E, 9 minutes off the pace but with a massive 15 minute gap behind him.
M20E: 1. Patrick Miller (AUS) 1:29:25, 2. Alastair George (AUS) 1:35:39, 3. Angus Haines (AUS) 1:37:58, 4. Will Tidswell (NZL) 1:38:57, 5. Ronan Lee (NZL) 1:53:48, 6. Duncan Currie (NSW) 1:56:05.
W20E: 1. Katie Cory-Wright (NZL) 1:03:01, 2. Zoe Melhuish (AUS) 1:08:27, 3. Mikayla Cooper (AUS) 1:09:41, 4. Tessa Burns (HB) 1:11:54, 5. Caitlin Young (AUS) 1:13:26, 6. Briana Steven (NZL) 1:15:05.
M21E: 1. Brodie Nankervis (AUS) 1:46:06, 2. Gene Beveridge (NZL) 1:48:46, 3. Mat Crane (ACT) 1:49:20, 4. Aston Key (AUS) 1:51:38, 5. William Gardner (GBR) 1:52:11, 6. Peter Hodkinson (VIC) 1:53:44.
W21E: 1. Lizzie Ingham (NZL) 1:31:41, 2. Natasha Key (AUS) 1:40:42, 3. Grace Crane (ACT) 1:41:29, 4. Krystal Neumann (AUS) 1:47:37, 5. Vanessa Round (SA) 1:49:04, 6. Aislinn Prendergast (AUS) 1:51:15.
Sunday’s Oceania Middle Distance saw a very varied terrain with courses moving from forest to open heath/bare rock, back into forest, all with the ubiquitous granite cliffs and boulders. In M20E three Kiwis made the top 6 with Scott Smith taking 3rd place a little over 2 minutes behind winner Alastair George, and backed up by Oliver Egan and Will Tidswell. For the Junior Women Marina Comeskey came to the fore finishing 5th in the technical terrain. In the senior elite grades it was not a good day for NZL in M21E with no Pinestar making the top 6, Gene Beveridge again being the best, in 7th place. In the women, however, Lizzie produced another dominating performance to win by nearly a full 5 minutes, or, as commentator Warren Key put it, a minute per kilometres over second place, even having time in the finish chute to stop and hug her mother! Behind Lizzie, Lara Molloy had her best yet elite result finishing in 4th place.
M20E: 1. Alastair George 33:31, 2. Patrick Miller 35:27, 3. Scott Smith (NZL) 35:35, 4. Angus Haines 35:40, 5. Oliver Egan (NZL) 36:58, 6. Will Tidswell 37:51.
W20E: 1. Zoe Melhuish 36:07, 2. Caitlin Young 36:47, 3. Tara Melhuish 36:58, 4. Caroline Pigerre (QU) 38:31, 5. Marina Comeskey (NZL) 38:48, 6. Katie Cory-Wright 39:31,
M21E: 1. Peter Hodkinson 37:51, 2. Aston Key 38:59, 3. William Gardner 40:00, 4. Matt Crane 40:03, 5. Simon Uppill (SA) 40:10, 6. Matt Doyle 41:03.
W21E: 1. Lizzie Ingham 35:09, 2. Bridget Anderson (AUS) 39:55, 3. Belinda Lawford (AUS) 40:43, 4. Lara Molloy (NZL) 41:29, 5. Natasha Key 41;45, 6. Vanessa Round 42:00.
Taken over both the Queen’s Birthday leg in New Zealand and the Oceania Carnival, the final Test Match result was dramatically close. Aided by several Australian dnfs and mps over the last two days, although the Carnival leg result was AUS 230.4 NZL 159.1, in the overall result the Australians came out on top by only 1.3 points (395.7 – 394.4)! The Aussies therefore retained the Aspin-Key Trophy which they took off NZL at last year’s Australian championships. Hostilities will be rejoined next Queen’s Birthday back in Auckland.
As mentioned above, one interesting feature of the long distance courses was the really long, route choice testing, legs. In M21E the classic example of this was 11-12 which went right across the map from west to east, a straight line distance of well over 2 km. Given the general lack of such legs in New Zealand terrain, route choice is often something that Kiwis struggle with when faced with such legs in international competition. Some of the route choices on the leg in question are shown in the image. The fastest split came from Will Gardner (21:46) who in fact took a relatively direct route, although initially heading NE to avoid the sharp climb and rocky terrain out of control 11. Although sticking largely to the faster forest he was still faced with two rock bands to pass through. Aston Key took a similar, but slightly more northerly, route which was both longer and left him with an approach through lower visibility forest. His time of 23:54 was the third fastest on the leg, albeit 2 minutes slower than Will. Second fastest split actually came from Matt Dent who took a much, much longer route which essentially followed the tracks around the northern edge of the map before striking due south through white forest past the small lake. Despite the extra distance he was 40 seconds faster (23:16) than Aston, but still a minute and half behind Will. Gene Beveridge, who finished second, took much the same route as Matt but was over 90 seconds slower. Race winner Brodie Nankervis was one who opted for the equally long southern route which took runners back through the start but then required a much longer approach through the forest. Brodie’s time of 25:38 was only 8th fastest on the leg.
Another interesting leg was later in the same course from 24 to 25. The direct line here passed over a major area of rock. Keeping to the left meant a major climb, while heading right kept the runner in largely white forest. As can be seen from the live tracking image (with extended tails) there was again a spread of routes. It was here that Gene moved from 4th to his finishing position of 2nd when he took the northern route and had the fastest split of 9:19. The orange line disappearing of the bottom of the line is the tail from race winner Brodie who took only 8 seconds longer than Gene on a more direct approach. However, Aston, taking the high route to take advantage of the tracks, made an error towards the end that left him 3 and a half minutes slower than Gene.
The message? Really the best thing to take from this is probably that, within limits, the correct route choice is a very personal thing. A longer, faster running route may be beneficial for the faster runners, but those with the climbing strength may prefer something more direct. The most common mistake, however, is probably not looking wide enough to encompass all the options. Overall the most important thing is to play to one’s strengths, both physical and navigational, and whatever the choice executing it cleanly.
World Cup Round 4 – Guangdong, China
For the final round of the 2019 World Cup, for the first time the world’s top orienteers descended en-masse on China for a middle distance, a sprint relay and an individual sprint. New Zealand were represented by a team of six – Devon Beckman, Tommy Hayes, Tim Robertson, Lizzie Ingham, Laura Robertson and Alice Tilley. Although Tim and Laura had previously raced in China as part of the Park World Tour, for the others it was a trip into the unknown, especially so for Alice for whom this was the first appearance at this level.
The middle distance, held in one of China’s leading national parks presented little in the way of white forest, but a myriad of tracks through all shades of green, steep contour detail, and a maze of earthbanks, small open areas, lakes/ponds, and even some villages. Route choice to minimize both distance and climb, and avoid the densest vegetation, was a premium and largely involved picking the best option of the many tracks. The courses were also on the long side for a middle distance with winning times over the 40 minute mark rather than the more standard 35.
The women’s race rapidly became a battle between the last two starters – Tove Alexandersson of Sweden setting off 2 minutes behind Russia’s Natalia Gemperle. When Natalia caught the Swiss Sabine Hauswirth it looked as if, running together, the pair might pull away from Tove, but as Sabine tired towards the end, Natalia was left alone for the final few controls and was unable to match the fast finish of Tove. Behind these two places 3 to 7 were all filled by Swiss! Of the NZL team Lizzie was by far the best finisher coming in a creditable 41st, 12 minutes off the pace, but disappointed in herself by dropping 3 minutes when not seeing the flag at control 7 at dropping into a parallel feature. Both Laura and Alice were out for excess of the hour, although in the context of a World Cup race, with much stronger depth of field than WOC, Laura’s 58th place was also an excellent result.
Women: 1. Tove Alexandersson (SWE) 41:33, 2. Natalia Gemperle (RUS) 42:03, 3. Julia Jakob (SUI) 42:28, 4. Simone Aebersold (SUI) 44:36, 5. Sarina Jenzer (SUI) 44:55, 6. Elena Roos (SUI) 44:59, 41. Lizzie Ingham (NZL) 53:58, 58. Laura Robertson (NZL) 1:01:50, 75. Alice Tilley (NZL) 1:09:03.
Pride of place in team NZL however, went to Tim who finished in an excellent 27th place after holding a top 20 place through the first three-quarters of the course. Both Tommy and Devon had days to forget, although Tommy was well placed until dropping a lot of time between controls 7 and 10. At the front, Gustav Bergman made it a double for Sweden, to go with Tove’s victory, with a winning margin of over a minute from Joey Hadorn of Switzerland. Lucas Basset of France took bronze, but again, overall, the Swiss dominated with 4 in the top 10 and all 6 in the top 15. Official results for the men were held up for over 24 hours, however, as the jury ruled on a protest that many competitors had passed across an out of bounds (olive green area). Ultimately there were no disqualifications as the jury ruled that the mapping was not clear enough for these to be distinguished at race pace.
Men: 1. Gustav Bergman (SWE) 40:12, 2. Joey Hadorn (SUI) 41:25, 3. Lucas Basset (FRA) 41:53, 4. Andreas Kyburz (SUI) 42:10, 5. Daniel Hubmann (SUI) 42:17, 6. Kasper Fosser (NOR) 42:26, 27. Tim Robertson (NZL) 46:17, 93. Tommy Hayes (NZL) 1:01:59, 95. Devon Beckman (NZL) 1:02:27.
The sprint relay was a case of what might have been for NZL. Lizzie, on leg 1, got the team off to a good start only just over a minute down on Sweden 1 and Switzerland 1 at the front. A rampaging second leg from Tim, who ran the third fastest time on the leg, had New Zealand up to 13th overall, but in terms of the top team from any country, which is what counts ultimately, in 6th place. Tommy then appeared to improve this to 12th (5th) on leg three. Although Laura dropped some places on the last leg the real problem was that Tommy failed to register the final control leading to the Kiwis being disqualified from a race in which the finish position would have equalled their best yet in a sprint relay – ahead, for example, of Russia. Running in a composite team with a Ukranian and a Czech, Devon and Alice came in 32nd overall.
1. Switzerland 55:14, 2. Sweden 55:51, 3. Norway 55:59, 4. Finland 56:16, 5. Czech Republic 56:35, 6. Poland 57;00, 32. Mixed UKR/CZE/NZL 1:04:44 (Devon Beckman 16:41, Alice Tilley 18:41), New Zealand mp (Lizzie Ingham 14:30, Tim Robertson 13:52, Tommy Hayes mp (14:31), Laura Robertson 15:54).
The relay was held in what was described as Nanhai Movie and TV town and featured some complex navigation both in terms of picking route choice and in actual control location. Particularly problematic seemed to be the control in the walled courtyard (8 for the women, 10 for the men) where several athletes tried to access the control through the underpass (partly obliterated in the image by the lines) which led only to a blank wall of the internal building.
After a day rest the individual sprint on Tuesday took place in a residential area consisting a highly complex myriad of streets and alleys interspersed with uncrossable fences and walls and broken by areas of thick vegetation and water. Tim, Tommy and Lizzie all had good runs, Tim finishing just outside the top 10 in 13th place, Tommy in 31st and Lizzie in 26th equal. Both Tommy and Lizzie, after good starts, were disappointed to lose time in the final third of the course where two complex long legs presented multiple route choices. It was on the first of these legs, 14-15 for the women, that Laura also had problems missing a turning in the complexity of streets and dropping close to a minute. However it was 15-16 for the women (17-18 for the men) where Tim and Lizzie took vastly differing routes and both lost time on those (including Tommy) who went straighter and found the way through a bit of green forest. Taking the long route to the north Tim dropped 14 seconds on the fastest split – enough to have put him on the top 6 podium. Lizzie fared even worse, taking the more direct route to begin with but then spurning the route through forest/bush to wind through the streets, a choice that cost a massive 41 seconds on the fastest split, a saving that would have had her just outside the top 10.
Victory in the men went to Yannick Michiels, his second of the World Cup season, ahead of Frenchman Maxime Rauturier. For the first time at this level China got on the men’s podium with Li Zhuoye taking bronze ahead of the other fancied runners, including the Swiss who nevertheless has 7 in the top 15. Things were even better for the hosts in the women’s race where Shuangyan Hao, who finished 11th in the middle distance three days earlier and was 10th in the WOC sprint in 2009, took the win. World Cup overall winner Tove Alexandersson had, for her, a disastrous day finishing 8th.After a day rest the individual sprint on Tuesday took place in a residential area consisting of a highly complex myriad of streets and alleys interspersed with uncrossable fences and walls and broken by areas of thick vegetation and water. Tim, Tommy and Lizzie all had good runs, Tim finishing just outside the top 10 in 13th place, Tommy in 31st and Lizzie in 26th equal. Both Tommy and Lizzie, after good starts, were disappointed to lose time in the final third of the course where two complex long legs presented multiple route choices. It was on the first of these legs, 14-15 for the women, that Laura also had problems missing a turning in the complexity of streets and dropping close to a minute. However it was 15-16 for the women (17-18 for the men) where Tim and Lizzie took vastly differing routes and both lost time on those (including Tommy) who went straighter and found the way through a bit of green forest. Taking the long route to the north Tim dropped 14 seconds on the fastest split – enough to have put him on the top 6 podium. Lizzie fared even worse, taking the more direct route to begin with but then spurning the route through forest/bush to wind through the streets, a choice that cost a massive 41 seconds on the fastest split, a saving that would have had her just outside the top 10.
Men: 1. Yannick Michiels (BEL) 15:18, 2. Maxime Rauturier (FRA) 15:20, 3. Li Zhuoye (CHN) 15:23, 4. Gaute Hallan Steiwer (NOR) 15:31, 5. Matthias Kyburz (SUI) 15:43, 6. Jonas Egger (SUI) 15:44, 13. Tim Robertson (NZL) 15:56, 31. Tommy Hayes (NZL) 16:26, 102. Devon Beckman (NZL) 21:43.
Women: 1. Shuangyan Hao (CHN) 13:18, 2. Simona Aebersold (SUI) 13:28, 3. Sara Hagstrom (SWE) 13:34, 4. Julia Jakob (SUI) 13:47, 5. Tereza Janosikova (CZE) 13:49, 6. Sarina Jenzer (SUI) 13:57, 26=. Lizzie Ingham (NZL) 15:15, 69. Laura Robertson (NZL) 17:09, 76. Alice Tilley (NZL) 18:04.
The 2019 World Cup titles for men and women went, respectively, to the Swedish pair of Gustav Bergman and Tove Alexandersson. Lizzie was the only Kiwi women to score points finishing in 55th place, while in the men Tim was 43rd, Toby Scott 84th and Tommy 85th.
Somewhat more low key than in China, the Auckland Championships were also held over Labour Weekend. Fields were relatively small, particularly, with exam season approaching, in the junior elite grades, and largely dominated by locals. Proceedings started with a middle distance in the Muriwai Regional Park part of Woodhill before moving onto the ultra-steep Mushroom Road East, and finishing with a fast sprint around Wyniard Quarter on the Auckland Waterfront.
Men’s elite was dominated by Matt Ogden and Gene Beveridge, while W21E saw a different winner on each of the three days. In W20 Kaia Joergensen was the only one of the elite/junior elites to win on all three days.
M21E: 1. Matt Ogden (NW) 32:01, 2. Simon Jager (AK) 39:22, 3. Will Tidswell 39:23.
W21E: 1. Sonia Hollands (BP) 40:21, 2. Renee Beveridge (NW) 42:06, 3. Jula Macmillan (NW) 46:07.
M20: 1. Daniel Monckton (NW) 35:53, 2. Liam Stolberger (NW)42:28, 3. Liam Thompson (AK) 53;35.
W20: 1. Kaia Joergensen (PP) 35:00, 2. Georgia Skelton (CM) 38:49, 3. Anna Cory-Wright (AK) 41:45.
M21E: 1. Gene Beveridge (NW) 1:28:45, 2. Matt Ogden 1:29:40, 3. Scott Macdonald (HB) 1:36:28.
W21E: 1. Renee Beveridge 1:31:52, 2. Lara Molloy (WN) 1:35:30, 3. Sonia Hollands 1:51:06.
M20: 1. Daniel Monckton 1:32:28, 2. Liam Stolberger 1:40:19, 3. Scott Carswell (NW) 2:20:06.
W20: 1. Kaia Joergensen 1:21:01, 2. Meghan Drew (AK) 1:24:42, 3. Georgia Skelton 1:25:13.
M21E: 1. Matt Ogden 16:26, 2. Gene Beveridge 16:34, 3. Cameron de L’Isle (NW) 16:41.
W21E; 1. Penelope Salmon (NW) 15:42, 2. Renee Beveridge 16:37, 3. Jula Macmillan 16:52.
M20: 1. Liam Stolberger 17:20, 2. Daniel Monckton 17:52, 3. Liam Thompson 19:50.
W20: 1. Kaia Joergensen 16:22, 2. Georgia Skelton 17:04, 3. Meghan Drew 18:03.
Lonely Mountain Sprints – KO Sprint WOC Trial
WOC2020 is the first sprint only WOC and will feature, in addition to a standard individual sprint and a sprint relay, a knock-out sprint. New Zealand will be allowed 3 men and 3 women in each of the individual and KO sprint as well as 1 sprint relay team. There will be 4 sprint trials to help select the NZL team. Two of these will be in the new knock-out format, the first being at the Lonely Mountain Sprints on Saturday 25 January. Entries for this close on 7 January and formation and entry details are at https://lonelymountainsprints.weebly.com/.
The Knock-Sprint will follow the standard IOF format. There will be a qualification race in the morning with a winning time of approximately 10 minutes. In each of the men’s and women’s classes the top 36 in this race will qualify for the knock-out rounds. (Note: this number may be reduced depending on the final size of the field.) The qualification race will have a one minute start interval. The subsequent knock-out rounds will be mass starts. The 36 qualifiers will be split into 6 quarter-final heats of 6 athletes each. The top 3 in each quarter final will qualify for the semi-finals. The 18 semi-finalists will be divided into 3 semi-finals of 6 athletes, with the top 2 in each semi-final going through to a single final. All the knock-out rounds, including the final, will have winning times of approximately 8 minutes. Athletes who do not qualify for the knock-out stages will be entered automatically in the afternoon public race. This will also be available, if desired, for those knocked out at either the quarter or semi-final stage.
In the knock-out rounds the various methods of splitting the field as recommended by IOF will be used. These include butterfly loops, phi-loops and map choice. In the latter version, pre-start, athletes will be given 20 seconds to choose which of 3 possible variations in the course they wish to run. No athlete will know which option has been chosen by any other athlete.