The North West Orienteering Club (NWOC) team has preparations for New Zealand Orienteering Championships (NZOC) 2021 well underway. Mapping is well progressed on all the areas and an experienced team of setters and controllers is in place. Easter 2021 orienteering in Woodhill forest will be on world-class sand dune terrain maps. We maybe biased, but we think the intricate contour detail of the forest maps makes them among the best New Zealand has to offer.
Friday 2 April | Sprint distance: Updated map of a campus with a dense network of buildings. Fast decision making will be required for a clean run. Be prepared for the unexpected, the rumour is that the course planner is looking at adding some artificial barriers.
Saturday 3 April | Long distance: A new Woodhill Forest map of an area last used for orienteering in the 1990s. For the elite competitors, this event will have World Ranking Status (WRE). The event controller, Gene Beveridge, describes the area as “A combination of rolling and detailed sand dunes with pine plantation, coastal windbreak plantation with some unplanted sandy dunes, steep slopes with mature mānuka forest and hilly farmland with areas of dense mānuka forest and grazed grass. Runnability varies from very good in areas of mature plantation to very poor in areas close to the coast, areas with dense cutty grass and low branches, and some areas of mānuka forest.”
Sunday 4 April | Middle distance: A new Woodhill map of an area last used for orienteering in the 1990s. Another WRE event for the elites. This map is all classical Woodhill sand dune terrain, mature plantation forest with complex contour detail, and no major hills. Expect technically challenging and fast courses. Monday 5 April – Relay – Lake Kereta. Andrew Bell the controller reports, “The Relay is returning to the Kereta map which was first used for the 2017 Oceania Relay. There is a combination of terrain from scattered manuka farmland through to steeper more complex areas with intricate contours. The longer courses will visit the fastest and cleanest forest Woodhill can offer. Some great control sites have allowed the use of lots of forking so the head-to-head racing should be fast and furious but will catch out those who are not concentrating and chasing rather than navigating. There is a large arena area and a run through so Club support of their teams will be loud!”
Take the time to check out the great views across to the Tasman Sea.
One of the challenges for the event team and the mapper Mike Beveridge has been what contour interval to use for the Long and Middle maps; 2.5m or 5m? Mike’s summary of the outcome: “From a mapper’s perspective both the Long and Middle maps are uniquely different. The Long is a real mixture, as described by Gene above. In my mind, it is probably an area better suited to 5 metre contours, mainly because of the steeper farmland and forest parts that could create some legibility issues. However, with the areas of flatter sand dune terrain and to fit with the adjacent Hedley Dunes map, this map has been produced with 2.5m contours.
The middle area is your typical Woodhill terrain, situated to the northwest of the Long map. This area was last used, from memory, over 25 years ago, and back then it was drawn as a 5-metre map. It is very complex in places and much more suited to the current 2.5 metres, than the old 5 metres. On the previous version, much of the detail was generalised, very much high points/low points, and would have been challenging to say the least.
Orienteers who enjoy navigating through complex terrain should enjoy the challenge that both the Long and Middle areas will pose.”
Snippets from the four maps, see if you can match the snippet to the event:
NZOC2021 Embargoed areas
The area of Woodhill Forest and adjacent land outlined below, used for the Middle, Long and Relay, is embargoed until Easter 2021. Moreover, the area is all private land and no access is allowed without the land owners’ permission.
The area for the Friday Sprint event is Long Bay College and surrounding areas. This area will stay embargoed, while the embargoes for Rangitoto College and Massey University campus have been lifted.
We realise that in a densely populated area like Auckland, it is impossible to find an area suitable for a sprint where nobody from the orienteering community has visited, worked, or studied. Access to the Long Bay Sprint areas is permitted for normal daily activities but it is forbidden to train within these areas with a map of any sort, to test route choices, or take part in any activity that may give a navigational advantage.
For more information please visit the NZOC2021 website, where information will be added over the weeks and months ahead. Online entry will open in January 2021.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact the team via: [email protected]
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