In this issue:
- View from the Chair
- Club Spotlight – Hawkes Bay Orienteering
- Vote 2020 – A call for ONZ Council Nominations
- High Performance News
- Mapping Update
- Large events that are rapidly looming
Welcome to this month’s issue of Compass Point.
Thank you to those who provided feedback to the articles on Peter Snell and Bunny Rathbone that appeared in our last issue. Included in your feedback was this gem of a photo from the 2006 Dunedin World Masters Games – Peter and Bunny talking after the sprint event. Thanks also to Stuart Payne who mentioned that both also competed in the 2000 World Masters where Bunny won gold in the W60 Long Distance.
It has been a busy week with the ONZ Council Meeting, Sport NZ National Partner Forum and now Compass Point to round out the week.
At this month’s ONZ Council Meeting there was a huge emphasis on ensuring that we effectively align the business plan and budget. The challenge now is working out what is possible and how much it is likely to cost. With ONZ signalling an increased emphasis on club support, new initiatives including providing national event resources, developing a digital strategy and producing a national coaching accreditation programme are being factored in.
At the National Partnership forum in Auckland Sport New Zealand, Sport New Zealand reinforced their focus on play and physical education for Tamariki (5-11yr olds) and keeping Rangatiki (12-18yr olds) active and keeping them from dropping out of sport. Interestingly, when we look at School Sport New Zealand annual statistics, Orienteering rates well in this space with our participation numbers out performing a number of higher profile sports including Triathlon/Duathlon, Aventure Racing, Cycling, Mountain Biking, Lifesaving, Bowls, Golf and Kayaking.
With the next club newsletter a few weeks away, I will also take this opportunity to remind club committee members and delegates of events that ONZ is running using the zoom platform. Links have already been sent to clubs.:
Club database administrators zoom workshops
Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th February. Please contact me if you wish to attend one of these and have not already signed up.
Major event allocation meetings
Club delegates should remember that there are major event allocation zoom meetings on Monday 9th March (Northern), Tuesday 10th March (Central) and Wednesday 11th March (Southern).
Or Chair is hosting the first President’s Call which looks likely to be held in March. The meeting will offer an opportunity to discuss the good, the bad and the orienteering. It is also an opportunity to look at possible solutions for complex issues being experienced by clubs.
View from the Chair
I note that many clubs around the country are in full swing running various summer series events, and hopefully seeing a few new faces giving the sport a go in these low key events.
Being part of Orienteering Bay of Plenty (OBOP), I’ve noticed a real growth in people coming into the sport from adventure racing, and especially a lot of women coming in off the back of women’s only adventure races. This is great to see for lots of reasons, one being that many of these people are in their 20’s and 30’s, a demographic where we typically lose orienteers out of the system. What’s been interesting in the last 3-4 years is OBOP has made a conscious effort to bring some of these newcomers into the sport, encouraging them to set and run events, be part of the committee and get involved in volunteering generally. Whilst this took a bit of effort initially, there seems to be real momentum now, with more new people coming through wanting to be part of it, and really enjoying being part of the sport beyond just turning up for events. It strikes me there is a fly wheel effect here – moving a heavy flywheel is really hard when it is started from stationary, but once it starts turning faster, the effort required to maintain momentum is much less. Maybe that’s the way we need to be thinking about our volunteer resource – rather than always relying on the old crew, what effort is required to bring new people in. It takes work initially, but can pay off on spades later in, and takes less effort to maintain momentum once you have the system of bringing new people into the sport working. I am sure other clubs are finding similar things, however I also know that volunteer burnout is a common issue across much of the sport, and the only way to address this is through adopting some strategies and approaches that bring new energy and people into the sport.
Food for thought, and something I will be mulling over this coming week (along with other gnarly issues), as I ride my bike from East Cape to Cape Egmont (doing the Kopiko Aotearoa Brevet). I note there are a few other orienteers doing this event as well, so will look forward to seeing some familiar faces on the way. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the summer, and I look forward to connecting with many of you at some of the events coming up in the near future, including the Taupo Katoa Po all night relays – can’t wait!
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This month I approached Hawkes Bay President Jane Heries to provide our club spotlight article. Hawkes Bay is an area I have spent a lot of time in over the years. My mother’s side of the family stem from Hastings so the area is dear to me. It is where my mother grew up, my brother was born and where my grandfather was editor for the Herald Tribune. It warm my heart to see that Hawkes Bay is among the largest clubs in the country. In addition to the article, Jane also sent me a list of the club’s highlights. While the document is too long to share, it is an amazing record of the club covering everything from its inception on 27th February 1977 at a meeting at the Hawkes Bay Education Centre to the inclusion of NZOF affiliation fees for the first time in 1980 to the introduction of colour coded courses in 1995, running the NZSS Champs in 1997…
The first HBOC event was held at Te Mata Park in February 1977, with numbered coloured buckets as controls. An event was held there once a month for two years. Forty years on Te Mata remains our “go to” emergency area if any other event suddenly turns to custard. It is in close proximity to Hastings and it has many special tracks, making it an ideal place for a permanent course since 1995.
The club logo featuring a magpie was designed by a teenage member in 1982. A club song was developed and then club O-tops with green, white and black bands were hand-made by a member in 1995.
In 1989 the club joined with the local tramping club and radio club to organise and host one of NZ’s first iconic adventure race – the Kaweka Challenge. This was the main fund-raiser for the club, was held annually for 22 years, finishing in 2011.
The club was very fortunate to have had a professional cartographer as one of its club members very early on. Stewart Hyslop, from Aerial Mapping NZ, provided the original cartography for many orienteering maps nationwide. He had an imported cartograph machine at his home – this has only just gone to a museum as Stewart, nearing 90, recently moved from his family home.
In 1995 a KiwiSport grant was used to get maps of twelve schools – they were hand-drawn, black and white sketches. Concentrating on junior involvement led to the club peaking its membership in 2008 with 330 members ( 170 seniors and 160 juniors ). Most schools in the Hastings/Napier and Central HB areas are mapped to sprint standard to enable Kiwi-O sessions.
Since January 2002 Geoff Morrison has organised a local annual junior training camp which remains very popular almost 20 years on. Geoff was ONZ’s Schools coordinator when he and his brother, Derek, pioneered NZ participation at World Schools (WSCO) when HNHS took up the invitation from ONZ to send teams — senior and junior girls to Scotland in 2008. The rest is history, as they say.
From 2010 it has been with pleasure that our club events have been the guinea pig for O-Lynx software trials. From 2010-2012 two of our elites, Ross and Duncan Morrison, show-cased their talents by creating Sprint the Bay – their own fund-raising event which has six sprints in 3 days – a concept that has been repeatedly mimicked elsewhere.
From this club several experts have been exported including Chris Morris, Rolf and Aiden Boswell, and Devon Beckman. But even though we have lost these, others return, including second-generation orienteers who now give vital input. The club has hosted 25 events each year since 1990 and continues to thrive in the HB Sport environment because of the solid foundation laid by many.
Yes there is a national election in September, but before that there is the ONZ National Council Election when candidates from all over the country are voted on to choose who will help lead our national body. …The only problem is that at this time we only have one nomination for the two Council positions being vacated.
At the February ONZ Council Meeting, the Council decided to extend the current due date for receiving nominations to Thursday 5th March to encourage additional applications. If you or someone you know feel they could add value to the Council please consider submitting an application. Information on the process and the application form can be downloaded from: https://www.dropbox.com/s/koo8m2jpfn2ibp9/2020%20Application%20Form.pdf?dl=0
Now is an exciting time to be involved with the National Council. At the end of 2019 ONZ surveyed members, interviewed key position holders and held its national business meeting in Wellington. Feedback from members (clubs and individuals) gave ONZ a very strong directive to provide more support for clubs. ONZ’s national governance (Council) is responsible for refocusing the organisation so it can best meet these expectations. Currently the council is finalising its business plan and accompanying budget as it starts on this journey.
Season 2020 is underway! A highly successful Lonely Mountain Sprint series saw a strong international field and gave a great demonstration of the new IOF knock-out sprint format. A report follows, also, as we move into 2020 a few notices of what is coming up and what we can expect from the Brave New Year.
Lonely Mountain Sprints
The 2020 orienteering season started with a bang at the Lonely Mountain Sprint series over Auckland Anniversary Weekend with a turnout of over 250. The feature was the WOC trial of the first knock-out sprint to be run in New Zealand and it did not disappoint in terms of excitement and drama. By late afternoon the big fields of nearly 60 men and 40 women had been whittled down to the 6 finalists. What followed was totally unexpected as both pre-race favourites, Frederic Tranchand in the men and Lizzie Ingham in the women, suffered disasters which changed the complexion of both races.
However, to begin at the beginning, the day started with the qualification race. Both fields were divided into 3 heats (the make-up of which was unknown to the runners) with the top 12 in each heat to advance to the knock-out quarter finals. The courses took in part of Te Henui cemetery before finishing in New Plymouth Girls High School. All the top runners made it safely through this stage with World Junior Sprint Champion Aston Key posting the fastest time of the men (10-15) and Lizzie Ingham of the women (11-12).
Under the IOF formula for the knock-out sprint the finishing order in the qualification heat dictated the make-up of the 6 mass-start quarter-final fields for both the men and the women. The quarter-finals used butterfly loops, all within Girls High School, to give 6 variations of the course to provide splitting of the field.
With the top 3 from each quarter-final progressing to the semis nearly all the main contenders had relatively easy passages. The only surprise was the elimination of Dante Afnan. Jensen Key was the only one to lose out in a sprint finish. However, an initial disqualification of Jensen’s brother Aston was overturned when it transpired that a control, not used up until that point, had not registered for him as he was the first to reach it after it had automatically turned off. Unfortunately, Aston had also taken the butterfly loop in question in reverse order and the missing control meant that this was not detected until later – leading to his ultimate disqualification from the final!
Four other men were disqualified for taking loops in the wrong order! In the men. Joe Lynch was the only Kiwi to win a quarter-final with the rest being shared between a Frenchman, a Finn, an Aussie and two Brits – demonstrating the depth and quality of the men’s field.
The home athletes fared better in the women’s quarters with both Lizzie ingham and Penelope Salmon winners, Penelope over Laura Robertson in quarter-final 1. The other winners were two Finns and two Australians.
The semi-finals saw a shift in location from Girls High to the south side of the cemetery and the grounds of New Plymouth Boys High School and the adjacent Western Institute of Technology (WITT). The semi-finals also saw the first use of the map choice option for splitting the field. In this, there is a split control(s) somewhere on the course and, on the start line, competitors are given 20 seconds to decide which option out of 3 they wish to take. It was clear from the outset that the choice on offer was not easy to decide between. Interestingly, in both the men’s and women’s semi-finalists there were qualifiers for the final who took each of the three options.
Despite not heading the quarter-finals, three NZL men made it through to the final. Toby Scott holding out Tommy Hayes to finish second in SF2, while both Joe Lynch and Cameron de L’Isle progressed following mispunches or disqualifications.
The qualifiers for the women’s final were split evenly between New Zealand and Australia, the latter having sisters Zoe and Tara Melhuish separated by only 1 second in SF2. A quirk of the IOF format is that the top 3 in each quarter-final all go into the same semi-final. Thus in SF1 Penelope Salmon and Laura Robertson again lined up against each other, finishing 1-2 in that order and with Lizzie Ingham a comfortable winner in SF3.
And so to the drama of the finals, with a big crowd both following the runners in the grounds of WITT and watching live tracking in the event centre. Both women and men started with 1 or 2 controls in the cemetery before a long leg back into WITT where there was combination of butterfly and phi-loops requiring detailed navigation prior to another relatively long leg back towards the finish.
The women ran first and Lizzie Ingham led as they exited the cemetery for the long leg to 2. Reaching it Lizzie found that her SIAir did not register and backtracked to re-punch, only to beat the control in frustration when she realised that she had not cleared and checked to activate the card! Although, after a pause to collect herself, continuing and manually clipping at each control, her race was over!The key leg in the women’s final as Laura goes left from 11-12 and gets her nose in front
With the Australian contingent falling behind it was a race, for the third time in the day, between Penelope Salmon and Laura Robertson. With the two of them having different orders of loops, who was in the lead was unclear and indeed, they arrived at control 11, at the end of the loops, together. It was the next leg from 11-12 which decided the race, Laura (red on the tracking) swinging to the left to use the smooth running road, while Penelope (blue) went right but had to climb two flights of steps to exit the main WITT buildings. Although the distances were equal Laura’s smoother route was 12 seconds faster, enough to make the difference even though Penelope closed the gap to 4 seconds at the finish.
The men’s final was just as dramatic. Coming out of the loops Frederic Tranchand had a commanding lead, but then, reading ahead for the long leg back from 14-15 (the same as the women’s 13-14), he completely overshot control 14 and was suddenly in 4th place as Peter Hodkinson, Joe Lynch and Jonny Crickmore all went past him. The mistakes were not yet over as Jonny, on the way to 15, mistakenly entered a wrong gap between buildings and Cameron completely omitted 15. This left Peter to take the win with Cameron crossing the line next, only to be disqualified, giving Joe 2nd and Frederic, benefitting from Jonny’s mistake, recovering to 3rd.One variation of the men’s final
Overall this first knock-out sprint and WOC trial was a great success. Congratulations are due to all the finalists who made it through a grueling day. Certainly, the experience shows that success in this format requires not just the usual sprint orienteering skills but also both the ability to run tactically and to survive four hard races in a single day.
A great deal of thanks are due to Orienteering Taranaki and especially Nick Collins and Annie Sanderson for facilitating the knock-out sprint amid the effort of organizing an entire weekend of orienteering. Thanks also to all the overseas entrants who helped make the field big enough that the IOF format could be used in full.
The second day of LMS saw the arrival of Tim Robertson on an early morning international flight into Auckland and then on to New Plymouth. Not to be discouraged by jetlag, Tim duly won both the two sprints held in the lovely setting of Pukekura Park, ahead of Chris Smithard and a joint 3rd place between Aston Key and Dante Afnan in the first, and Peter Hodkinson and Aston in the afternoon race. Lizzie, after the frustration of the previous evening was a clear winner in both the women’s races, with Emma Bjessmo 2nd in both and Tara Melhuish and Laura Robertson filling 3rd in the morning and afternoon respectively.
The highly successful Lonely Mountain weekend finished on the Monday with a wonderfully entertaining and competitive 2-person mixed relay. This was won by Tim and Emma ahead of Peter Hodkinson and Krystal Neumann, with Chris Smithard and Lizzie in 3rd.
IOF is inviting applications for the 2020 O-Ringen Academy to be held in Uppsala from 17-26 July. The academy is aimed at helping young people to both improve their own orienteering and to help to develop, or become more fully involved in, orienteering in their home country. The Bulletin for the Academy can be found at https://orienteering.sport/iof/global-development/globaldevelopmentandexchange/o-ringen-academy/ and there are a number of scholarships available with information at https://orienteering.sport/iof/global-development/globaldevelopmentandexchange/o-ringen-academy/ .
JWOC/WUOC Trials – 21/22 March
As detailed in December the primary JWOC/WUOC trials on 21/22 March will be on newly mapped areas in the north of Woodhill Forest. These races will also be the second round of the National-O League. Course planner Gene Beveridge rates the terrain as some of the most varied and best he has come across in New Zealand. Again, as stated earlier, both races will have starts for triallists from 9.30 am so out-of-towners will need to be in Auckland on Friday evening. Don’t miss it by being late.
Self-nominations for consideration for selection were due by 1 February.
Wellington Regional Camp 18-20 January
The 2020 Wellington Regional Camp took place the weekend before LMS and was based in Masterton in most un-Wairaraoa like weather. Saturday and Sunday were spent on the Glenlean/Mingmingi map and it was most unusual to see low mist and light drizzle hovering around the tops of the rocky tors. Attendees were largely from the Wellington area although there was also a small Christchurch contingent keen for any extra training.Verbalization on Mingimingi
Saturday’s start was somewhat delayed by various participants being held up by road closures associated with the NZ Cycle Classic, but concentrated on route choice on the farmland part of Glenlean, across the bushy gullies and around the rocky hills. Sunday moved into the highly technical forest of Mingimingi for, first, a verbalization exercise done in pairs. This was followed by a middle distance course over the same terrain before the day finished back on the farmland with a mass start race around the rocky bits.
Both Saturday and Sunday utilized tracking as a training tool and finished with an evening session discussing the exercises and how people had gone about them.
With half an eye on LMS Monday was dedicated to sprint training. This started with a route choice corridor exercise on Rathkeale. This was followed by three short courses with loops done in pairs to simulate racing in the forthcoming KO sprint. The whole shebang then moved to Hadlow Preparatory School for a sprint course.
Thanks to Paul Teesdale-Spittle for his impeccable organization of food and accommodation as well as leading the training of the junior attendees.
The IOF has introduced a new mapping specification for sprint orienteering events. It takes effect for international events from Jan 2020. There are few changes which NZ orienteering participants will notice, but there are lots “under the skin” which are designed to improve legibility.
Some examples: the green circle and cross get a white halo. The green dot gets a tiny white hole in the middle to help the colour-blind. The dark green/black disappears, plain dark green is used for impassable vegetation. There’s a new symbol for an elevated paved area. There is more emphasis on minimum separations of features on the map.
We would expect new maps to follow the new spec, and existing maps to be converted over time. The Mapping Committee has prepared advice for both clubs and mappers about the changes. You can see these in the Mapping Section on the ONZ website (it’s under “Resources”).
Something emphasised in the new spec which was always the case, is the need to enlarge the scale (which is 1:4000) for young and old orienteers. The international specifications are tailored for elite competition, and it’s recognised that close eyesight begins to deteriorate for many people in their 40’s.
In standard orienteering where the spec is for 1:15,000 we cater for this with widespread use of 1:10,000, or even larger. Urban terrain such as campuses where sprints are most common needs at least this sort of enlargement, given the importance of small gaps and “which side of the barrier” puzzles which planners put in front of us. Scales of 2500 and 2000 should become common. A3 sheets may now be used if required.
We look forward to easier to read sprint maps, starting with the sprint festivals in January, and working their way through the rest of our events.
ONZ Mapping Committee
Large events that are rapidly approaching
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