Finally, after three months of relative inactivity, the national orienteering scene got under away in April with not only a highly successful and competitive ONZ Championships but also the first of the 2021 Regional Championships, the South Island Championships. These are both reported on below, along with a look at the international scene, which starts in mid-May with the European Championships (World Cup Round 1), and, with the opening of the travel bubble, rapidly developing plans for a trans-Tasman league.
The second ONZ Championships in 6 months took place over Easter weekend, organized by North West OC and taking in some highly complex sand-dune terrain on South Head as well as the environs of Long Bay on the North Shore.
The sprint, kicking off proceedings, was in the this newly developed urban extension to Auckland and featured, I think for the first time in New Zealand, the extensive use of artificial barriers to improve, and complicate, route choice in Long Bay College. The effect of this on the nature of the sprint is perhaps worthy of an article in itself, but, nevertheless, results in the elite grades nearly mirrored completely the winners from the 2020 Sprint in October. Once again in M21E Joseph Lynch held out Matt Ogden, this time by the comparatively large margin of 29 seconds, with Daniel Monckton, in his first appearance in 21E at an ONZ Championships, in third place but over a minute further back. In the elite women Lizzie Inghamwas again a clear winner, by over one and a half minutes from Jenna Tidswell who held out the more experienced Imogene Scott by 11 seconds for second place. However, in W20E Penelope Salmon, just as she did in October, ran the second fastest time on the course, 16 seconds slower than Lizzie, in retaining her 2020 title. Kaia Joergensen took second and Emily Hayes third. The only difference to the 2020 winners came in M20E where Will Tidswell took the win from Aryton Shadbolt with a tie for 3rd between Alex Jobbins and Fergus O’Neill.
M21E: 1. Joseph Lynch (PP) 13:09, 2. Matt Ogden (NL) 13:38, 3. Daniel Monckton (NW) 14:52, 4. Kieran Woods (AK) 15:20, 5. Jonty Oram (AK) 15:30, 6. Oliver Egan (PP) 15:32.
W21E: 1. Lizzie Ingham(TK) 14:57, 2. Jenna Tidswell (HB) 16:30, 3. Imogene Scott (NW) 16:41, 4. Briana Steven (PP) 16:58, 5. Amelia Horne (RK) 17:08, 6. Tessa Ramsden (RK) 17:50.
M20E: Will Tidswell (HB) 14:36, 2. Aryton Shadbolt (PP) 15:11, 3=. Alex Jobbins (AK) 15:37, 3=. Fergus O’Neill (PP) 15:37, 5. Cameron Bonar (NW) 15:38, 6. Liam Stolberger (NW) 15:43.
W20E: 1. Penelope Salmon (AK) 15:13, 2.Kaia Joergensen (PP) 15:58, 3. Emily Hayes (AK) 17:18, 4. Jess Sewell (NW) 17:52, 5. Amber Riddle (HV) 17:58, 6. Georgia Skelton (NW) 18:31.
Saturday’s long distance was on Karaka Swamp, an extended version of the map used for the WMOC Final in 2017, giving a complex mixture of forest of varying – but largely good – runnability, with detailed twists and turns on the adjacent manuka clad farmland slopes at the end.
In M21E the continuing close battle between Joseph and Matt never eventuated as Joseph inadvertently omitted control 3, resulting in a mis-punch. In fact, with Matt dropping time on the first control, the early lead up to control 11 was held by Duncan Morrison. At this point Matt hit the front and went on to record a comfortable 12 minute victory. Cameron de L’Isle also pulled ahead of Duncan mid-race but a series of mistakes over the last half dozen controls saw Duncan regain 2nd place. Ever-green Chris Forne, “fresh” from another Godzone win, was another minute back in 4th.
Despite a number of small errors W21E was a start to finish win for Lizzie with a margin of 6 minutes to Lara Molloy, thus repeating the 1-2 from 2020. The sprint course planner, Renee Beveridge took 3rd .
However, it was all change in M20E where Zefa Fa’avae was a surprise winner over Ryan Moore by 19 seconds, both of them well ahead of Fergus O’Neill in 3rd and defending champion Will Tidswell. Kaia Joergensen was a clear winner in W20E, while Emily Hayes produced her best run yet at this level to take 2nd ahead of Georgia Skelton.
M21E (14.15 km): 1. Matt Ogden 1:33:12, 2. Duncan Morrison (AK) 1:45:20, 3. Cameron de L’Isle (NW) 1:46:15, 4. Chris Forne (PP) 1:47;27, 5. Jonty Oram 1:51:57, 6. Thom Reynolds (BP) 1:52:00.
W21E (8.79 km): 1. Lizzie Ingham1:25:55, 2. Lara Molloy (WN) 1:31:57, 3. Renee Beveridge (NW) 1;33:08, 4. Amelia Horne 1:43:31, 5. Jula McMillan (NW) 1:44:49, 6. Briana Steven 1:46:50.
M20E (11.34 km): 1. Zefa Fa’avae (NL) 1:34:50, 2. Ryan Moore (PP) 1:35:09, 3. Fergus O’Neill 1:42:49, 4. Will Tidswell 1:43:31, 5. Cameron Bonar 1:44:35, 6. Liam Stolberger 1”49:59.
W20E (6.71 km): 1. Kaia Joergensen 1:24:21, 2. Emily Hayes 1:36:50, 3. Georgia Skelton 1:38:44, 4. Juliet Frater (AK) 1:42:45, 5. Jess Sewell 1:43:44, 6. Amber Riddle 1:47:44.
The middle distance on Sunday was billed as sufficiently intricate that a model map was provided and all competitors advised to pay it a visit before running. It was somewhat of a relief to find that the actual competition map, although with similar contour detail, was much cleaner under foot than the model. Nevertheless, mistakes came fast and furious for most. In M21E both Matt and Joseph dropped time on the first control and after 5 controls were in 14th and 11th places respectively. Continuing his form from the long, Duncan again led for much of the race, finally being overhauled by Matt and Joseph at control 19 and with only 43 seconds covering the three of them at the finish. Lizzie also had to work hard for her hat-trick of wins, when with a 2 minute lead she dropped to 3rd mid-race when she mis-read where she was crossing a vegetation boundary. At controlm12 she was 2 seconds ahead of Lara, a margin that widened to 29 seconds by the finish. Renee was again third. In W20E Kaia’s technical ability came to the fore to give her a 9 minute margin over Emily, who held out Rebecca Greenwood by the smallest margin for 2nd. In The junior men Zefa showed that his long distance win was no fluke with another strong finish for 2nd behind Will. Ryan backed up his log distance 2nd with another podium finish.
M21E (5.88 km): 1. Matt Ogden 32:02, 2. Joseph Lynch 32:19, 3. Duncan Morrison 32:45, 4. Jonty Oram 35:51, 5. Thom Reynolds 36:17, 6. Chris Forne 36:41.
W21E (4.23 km): 1. Lizzie Ingham 29:58, 2. Lara Molloy 30:27, 3. Renee Beveridge 31:05, 4. Imogene Scott 32:30, 5. Jenna Tidswell 35:47, 6. Jula McMillan 35:54.
M20E (5.88 km): 1. Will Tidswell 38:11, 2. Zefa Fa’avae 38:59, 3. Ryan Moore 42:07, 4. Alex Jobbins 42:42, 5. Dougal Shepherd (PP) 44:09, 6. Liam Stolberger 44:34.
W20E (4.23 km): 1. Kaia Joergensen 32:09, 2. Emily Hayes 41:47, 3. Rebecca Greenwood (AK) 41:48, 4. Jess Sewell 44:06, 5. Juliet Frater 44:07, 6. Isabella Zinzan-Dickie (PP) 45:50.
The ONZ relay returned to the scene of the 2017 Oceania Relay at Lake Kereta. The first leg was very much a race between Matt (Nelson 1) and Cameron (North West 1) with Matt holding a 15 second lead. Two PAPO teams held 3rd and 4th, the latter seeing Joseph sending Kaia off on leg 2 just under 90 seconds down from the front. With a much different team from that which won the last ONZ relay in 2019, Nelson were never likely to threaten overall, and it was Renee for North West who came in at the front for the final changeover. Kaia had mover PAPO 1 into second, but still 76 seconds down. Imogene Scott had meanwhile pulled Auckland 1 into 3rd running the fastest short leg of the day, but 3 minutes overall down on PAPO. Lara, with the second fastest time had Wellington 1 in 4th. Daniel Monckton, on the final leg for North West, ahd the unenviable task of holding out Chris Forne for PAPO. But Chris was on fire and by the finish line the 76 second deficit had become a lead of just over 5 minutes. Daniel was still well ahead of Jonty Oram who brought Auckland in for 3rd.
1. PAPO 1 (Joseph Lynch, Kaia Joergensen, Chris Forne) 1:34:13, 2. North West 1 (Cameron de L’Isle, Renee Beveridge, Daniel Monckton) 1:39:14, 3. Auckland 1 ( Kieran Woods, Imogene Scott, Jonty Oram) 1:43:48, 4. PAPO 2 ( Fergus O’Neill, Briana Steven, Ryan Moore) 1:44:22, 5. Wellington 1 (Stuart Engleback, Lara Molloy, Lizzie Ingham) 1:44:50, 6. Nelson 1 (Matt Ogden, Anya Murray, Zefa Fa’avae) 1:45:52.
JWOC Team Announced
Although ONZ will not send a team to JWOC in Turkey, in normal circumstances the ONZ Champs at Easter would have been the trials. To recognize those who would have been our representatives a “paper” JWOC team has been selected. Congratulations to the following.
Women: Juliet Frater (AK), Emily Hayes (AK), Kaia Joergensen (PP), Penelope Salmon (AK), Jess Sewell (NW), Zara Stewart (AK), Reserve – Amber Riddle (HV)
Men: Cameron Bonar (NW), Zefa Fa’avae (NL), Ryan Moore (PP)Fergus O’Neil (PP), Liam Stolberger (NW), Will Tidswell (HB), Reserve – Dougal Shepherd (PP)
Hopefully, come 2022 you will all get to experience the real thing.
The extended Easter weekend finished with the Knock-out Sprint at Carrington. This had no qualification but only three KO rounds, with all runners getting 3 races. With many of the top elites and junior elites heading home after the ONZ Champs there was the opportunity for several of the younger juniors to foot it with the top athletes, the format of A and B semi-finals and A-F finals meaning that the field gradually sorted itself out into levels.
The quarter-finals used the map choice option of splitting the field. Between control 1 and control 4 there were three possible options for controls 2 and 3. Given only 20 seconds to choose, the majority selection of one option (C) was likely due to the fact that, in the time available, this looked the simplest on paper. However, on the ground the routes into the common control at the end of the two control split were a little more obvious on A and B. There were no surprises in the quarter-finals with wins for Joseph Lynch, Jonty Oram, Matt Ogden, Emily Hayes, Lizzie Ingham, Lara Molloy, Kaia Joergensen and Imogene Scott in their respective heats.
The first 3 in each of the quarter-final heats proceeded into A semi-finals, places 4-6 into B semi-finals. These took place in the northern part of the campus and used butterfly loops amid the dense array of buildings, the top 2 in each semi-final progressing to the A final. Again, there were no real surprises although a quirk of the draw saw Lizzie and Kaia in the same semi-final in a prelude of what would be the final showdown.
Men Semi-Final A1: 1. Daniel Monckton 8;35, 2. Ronan lee 8:39, 3. Aryton Shadbolt 8:49, 4. Michael McCormack 9:32, 5. Ryan Moore 9:56.
Men Semi-Final A2: 1. Joseph Lynch 8:08, 2. Nathan Borton 8:24, 3. Jonty Oram 8:54, 4. Liam Stolberger 9:23, 5. Stuart Engleback 10:03.
Men Semi-Final A3: 1. Matt Ogden 8:12, 2. Kieran Woods 9:09, 3. Liam Buyck 9:31, 4. Riley Croxford 9:58, 5. Sam Carryer 11;12.
Women Semi-Final A1: 1. Ruby Nathan 10:05, 2. Emily Hayes 10:13, 3. Jess Sewell 11:06, 4=. Sofia Toes 11:58, 4=. Katelin Toes 11:58, Isabella Zinzan mp.
Women Semi-final A2: 1. Lizzie Ingham 9:07, 2. Kaia Joergensen 9:15, 3. Anna Babington 9:52, 4. Briana Steven 11:11, 5. Phoebe Hunt 11:21, 6. Anya Murray 11:33.
Women Semi-Final A3: 1. Imogene Scott 9:16, 2. Lara Molloy 9:31, 3. Jenna Tidswell 10:05, 4. Juliet Frater 11:15; 5. Katherine Babington 11:17.
The finals moved back to the south end of campus and presented 3 loops of very differing lengths, making it difficult for runners to assess their positions. The women’s A final provided the big surprise of the day as Kaia handed Lizzie her first defeat since the Lonely Mountain KO sprint in January 2020. Lizzie made an early route choice that was much slower on the ground than it appeared on the map, and spent the rest of the race trying to make up for this, falling short by a mere 2 seconds in the finish chute. Imogene was 3rd. In the men it was the anticipated race between Matt and Joseph, with the latter repeating his win from the ONZ Champs sprint, this time by 16 seconds. The surprise here was the excellent third place by Nathan Borton.
Men A Final: 1. Joseph Lynch 8:43, 2. Matt Ogden 8:59, 3. Nathan Borton 9:32, 4. Daniel Monckton 9:36, 5. Kieran Woods 9:59, 6. Ronan lee 11:08.
Women A Final: 1. Kaia Joergensen 1:20, 2. Lizzie Ingham10:22, 3. Imogene Scott 10:40, 4. Emily Hayes 12:03, 5. Rosie Monckton 12:13, 6. Lara Molloy 12:57.
For those interested Joseph Lynch wore a head cam for each of his races and has matched the film to the map. These can be watched at the links below.
South Island Champs
Following close on the heels of the ONZ Champs has been the South Island Champs, held amid the glorious autumn colours of Central Otago. Much as at the ONZ Champs a strong M21E field was dominated by the trio of Joseph Lynch, Matt Ogden and Chris Forne, although on this occasion Joseph took the long distance honours and Matt the sprint. Joseph also had a blistering run in the middle distance to win by nearly 5 minutes. W21E was again headed in all 3 races by Lizzie Ingham with Renee Beveridge and Briana Steven providing the main competition. Will Tidswell was similarly dominant in M20 in which Zefa Fa’avae backed up his ONZ Champs results with another set of top performances. In W20 a slight surprise was provided by Daisy York shading Kaia Joergensen by 34 seconds in the long distance. Kaia was a convincing winner of the middle and sprint.
Long distance -M21E: 1. Joseph Lynch (PP) 1:28:15, 2. Matt Ogden (NL) 1:29:57, 3. Chris Forne (PP) 1:30:17, 4. Jonty Oram (AK) 1:41:15, 5.Oliver Egan (PP) 1:46:31, 6. Tim Wright (PP) 1:47:12.
W21E: 1. Lizzie Ingham(TK) 1:12:23, 2. Briana Steven (PP) 1:24:08, 3. Renee Beveridge (NW) 1:25:07, 4. Rebecca Gray (DN) 1:27:13, 5. Lara Scott (PP) 1:34:54, 6. Emily Forne (PP) 1:39:30.
M20E: 1. Will Tidswell (HB) 1:28:07, 2. Zefa Fa’avae (NL) 1:28:46, 3. Felix Hunt (PP) 1:33:32.
W20E: 1. Daisy York (PP) 1:16:14, 2. Kaia Joergensen (PP) 1:16:48, 3. Amber Riddle (HV) 1:20:25.
Sprint distance – M21: 1. Matt Ogden 13:41, 2. Joseph Lynch 14:05, 3. Daniel Monckton (NW) 15:38, 4. Chris Forne 15:39, 5. Kieran Woods (AK) 16:04, 6. Jonty Oram (AK) 16:14.
W21: 1. Lizzie Ingham17:10, 2. Renee Beveridge 18:43, 3. Rebecca Gray 19:44, 4. Briana Steven 19:51, 5. Sarah Wright (PP) 21;28, 6. Lara Scott 21:39.
M20: 1. Will Tidswell 15:25, 2. Cameron Bonar (NW) 15:31, 3. Zefa Fa’avae 16;24.
W20: 1. Kaia Joergensen 18:20, 2. Amber Riddle 19:46, 3. Anya Murray (NL) 20:28.
Middle distance – M21E: 1. Joseph Lynch 30:38, 2. Chris Forne 35:37, 3. Matt Ogden 36:02, 4. Oliver Egan 39:04, 5. Greig Hamilton (PP) 40:18, 6. Kieran Woods 40:31.
W21E: 1. Lizzie Ingham 39:02, 2. Renee Beveridge 45:11, 3. Briana Steven 47:20, 4. Rebecca Gray 48:24, 5. Lara Scott 51:19, 6. Marisol Hunter 53;39.
M20E: 1. Will Tidswell 38:31, 2. Zefa Fa’avae 40:24, 3. Cameron Bonar 40:45.
W20E: 1. Kaia Joergensen 45:16, 2. Amber Riddle 51:28, 3. Daisy York 54:11.
National O League
Following the ONZ and SI Champs positions in the National O League are starting to firm up although there is an obvious bias to those who attended both. In M21E the race looks as if it will be between Matt Ogden and Joseph Lynch. Matt’s current lead is just over 80 points although largely results from Joseph’s mis-punch in the ONZ long distance. Between them they have won all 7 races. Despite her narrow defeat by Kaia Joergenson in the Knock-out sprint which was so narrow to effectively give her maximum points, Lizzie Ingham already has an almost insurmountable lead in W21E. To defeat her overall someone will need to win all of the remaining 8 races in the series. A good battle is developing in M20E between Will Tidswell and Zefa Fa’avae but Will has a clear edge at this stage due to 5 victories. Kaia Joergensen has a clear lead in W20E and, like Lizzie, it will take a monumental effort for someone to overhaul her.
Leading positions (points out of 700 in M21E/W21E, out of 600 in M20E/W20E, no of races in brackets) are shown below. Full tables, also showing points for each event, can be found at https://www.orienteering.org.nz/groups/high-performance/gpages/national-o-league/
M21E: Matt Ogden 680.2 (7), Joseph Lynch 596.3 (7), Jonty Oram 592.8 (7), Kieran Woods 558.6 (7), Stuart Engleback 530.5 (7), Chris Forne 527.5 (6)
W21E: Lizzie Ingham 700.0 (7), Briana Steven 591.6 (7), Kaia Joergensen 466.6 (5), Renee Beveridge 451.8 (5), Amber Riddle 377.8 (5), Lara Molloy 369.3 (4)
M20E: Will Tidswell 591.6 (6), Zefa Fa’avae 569.0 (6), Cameron Bonar 552.9 (6), Felix hunt 279.7 (3), Liam Stolberger 264.8 (3), Alex jobbins 259.8 (3)
W20E: Kaia joergensen 594.6 (6), Amber Riddle 504.9 (6), Daisy York 464.2 960, Anna Cory-Wright 445.9 (6), Emily Hayes 252.0 (3), Anya Murray 247.2 (3)
The next round of the NOL is the re-scheduled Riverhead Orienteering Weekend on 8/9 May.
World Cup/WOC and JWOC update
IOF have reported that surging Covid-19 cases in Turkey have led the organizers of JWOC and the national health authorities to request that JWOC is postponed until September. However, the European Championships (World Cup Round 1) in mid-May in Switzerland is still scheduled to go ahead with Covid-secure bubbles. Tim Robertson is the only NZL entry and will be looking for top performances as EOC is a sprint based competition featuring both a knock-out sprint and an individual sprint. Indeed, a look at Winsplits shows that many of the top nations, including both Switzerland and Sweden, have been running KO sprints for their own national squads in preparation.
WOC in July in Czech Republic is similarly still planned to go ahead. Again, at this stage, Tim looks like the only NZL entry as Laura Robertson is still suffering injury problems and has withdrawn. Tim may be joined by Toby Scott.
Trans-Tasman O League
With the opening of the long awaited trans-Tasman bubble plans have rapidly progressed in the formation of an Australia-New Zealand O League. The intention is that this will go some way to making up for the lack of European opportunities over the last two seasons. The current proposal is for 11 events based around the Australian Carnival in September and the Oceania Championships in January 2022. At this stage these are (note the post-Oceania events have still to be confirmed):
Sat 25 Sept. Australian Sprint Champs Univ. of Tasmania, Launceston
Sun 26 Sept. Australian Middle Champs Goshen
Tue 28 Sept. Oz carnival Public Event 1 – sprint Bicheno
Wed 29 Sept. Oz carnival Public Event 1 – long St Helens
Thu 30 Sept. Oz carnival Public Event 1 – middle St Helens
Sat 2 Oct. Australian Long Champs St Helens
Mon 11 Jan Oceania Sprint Champs Lincoln
Tue 12 Jan Oceania Long Champs Laidmore
Fri 15 Jan Oceania Middle Champs Prebble Hill
TBC Post-Oceania long
TBC Post-Oceania middle
Of the 11 events it is likely that 7 will count to the final score of an individual with competition in M21E, W21E, M20E and W20E.