As usual June has seen a major upturn in happenings. This started, of course, with the massive turn-out at Queen’s Birthday. This was followed a week later by the first round of the World Cup for 2019, though it was not particularly uplifting from the local point of view. Now we have the departure of the JWOC team and we start to look forward to both that and WOC, and not forgetting the World MTBO Champs which take place at the end of July.
*with added postscript
Queen’s Birthday 2019
Quite apart from being the home leg of the Pinestars-Bushrangers Test Match and the final round of the NOL, Queen’s Birthday provided the final domestic hit-out for those heading overseas for higher things. In that regard the two forest events showed the JWOC team to be in fine fettle, filling 5 of the top 6 places in M17-20E on both days, and almost completing the same feat in W17-20E. WOC-bound Gene Beveridge also showed his form finishing in the top 4 in all 3 individual races.
Competition kicked off on the Saturday on a re-mapped Whirokino in the north-east corner of Waitarere Forest. This was not the typical white, fast-running Waitarere with the rotting thinnings, inkweed, and steep slopes making it tough going for much of the courses, before the final blast on the hilly rough-open dunes. In M21E, what can probably be regarded as the current “big three” of New Zealand forest orienteering filled the first three places, gene holding out Matt Ogden and Nick Hann by around a minute, and none of the visiting Bushrangers featuring in the top 6. In contrast, in W21E Bridget Anderson started what was to be an excellent weekend for her, with a comfortable margin over Imogene Scott and Sara Prince forcing herself into third ahead of the rest of the Pinestars and Bushrangers. In the 17-20E classes it was New Zealand all the way with clear victories to Joseph Lynch (by over 8 minutes) and Katie Cory-Wright (by just under 5).
M21E: 1 Gene Beveridge (NZL) 1:04:09, 2. Matt Ogden (NZL) 1:05:02, 3. Nick Hann (NZL) 1:05:17, 4. Ed Cory-Wright (PP) 1:07:41m 5. Aaron Prince (PP) 1:08:17, 6. Tommy Hayes (AK) 1:08:47.
W21E: 1. Bridget Anderson (AUS) 1:14:07, 2. Imogene Scott (NZL) 1:16:20, 3. Sara Prince (PP) 1:22:19, 4. Lara Molloy (NZL) 1:23:51, 5. Renee Beveridge (NZL) 1:26:05, 6. Rachel Smith (BP) 1:27:04.
M17-20E: 1. Joseph Lynch (NZL) 53:12, 2. Kurtis Shuker (NZL) 1:01:28, 3. Scott Smith (NZL) 1:03:19, 4. Daniel Monckton (NZL) 1:04:19, 5. Angus Haines (AUS) 1:04:18, 6. Stephen Harding (PP) 1:05:15.
W17-20E: 1. Katie Cory-Wright (NZL) 1:01:51, 2. Briana Steven (NZL) 1:06:29, 3. Kaia Joergensen (NZL) 1:07:17, 4. Georgia Skelton (CM) 1:09:43, 5. Tegan Knightbridge (NW) 1:14:36, 6. Jess Sewell (NW) 1:15:23.
Sunday morning’s sprint on Awatapu-West End presented a completely different challenge. The small nature of the map meant that courses criss-crossed back and forwards through the two schools, with many sharp turns and only the backlog (mea culpa) at the obligatory crossing controls giving respite. Interestingly the Australians came much more to the fore with Brodie Nankervis only just pipped by Matt in M21E, and Krystal Neumann joining Bridget in the top 6 in W21Em albeit a little behind Renee Beveridge. Three of the visitors also figured in the top 6 in M17-20E where Kurtis Shuker shaded Joseph, while Caitlin Young was second to Kaia Joergensen in the junior women.
M21E: 1. Matt Ogden 12:08, 2. Brodie Nankervis (AUS) 12:11, 3. Gene Beveridge 12:13, 4. Nick Hann 12:16, 5=. Cameron Tier 12:17, 5=. Tommy Hayes 12:17.
W21E: 1. Renee Beveridge 13:27, 2. Imogene Scott 13:42, 3. Bridget Anderson 14:01, 4=. Krystal Neumann (AUS) 14:02, 4=. Alice Tilley (NW) 14:02, 6. Amelia Horne (RK) 14:23.
M17-20E: 1. Kurtis Shuker 12:14, 2. Joseph Lynch 12:18, 3. Angus Haines 12:30, 4. Dante Afnan (AUS) 12:36, 5. Alastair George (AUS) 12:41, 6. Liam Thompson (AK) 12:44.
W17-20E: 1. Kaia Joergensen 13:34, 2. Caitlin Young (AUS) 13:52, 3. Jess Sewell 13:55, 4. Briana Steven 14:22, 5. Carolyne Nel (HB) 14:50, 6=. Arabella Phillips (AUS) 15:29, 6=. Tegan Knightbridge 15:29.
The most exciting racing of the weekend, for both athletes and spectators, came in the form of the sprint relay on IPU New Zealand on Sunday afternoon. The spacious private tertiary campus provided an interesting mix of terrain and the opportunity for good visibility for spectators, with proceedings significantly enhanced by Duncan Morrison’s informative commentary. NZL and AUS each had 3 teams and were joined not just by the NOL teams but also the school seniors.
NZL 1 (the elite team) had a start to finish win, leading at the end of every leg, with a final winning margin of 13 seconds. Behind them, however, positions changed continuously. Notable at the end of the first leg was that three schools teams, two from Auckland, with Penelope Salmon and Zara Stewart, and one from Central, with Tessa Burns, were in 2nd, 3rd and 4th ahead of the other 5 international teams and all the NOL teams. On leg 2, fast times from Gene Beveridge and Simon Uppill pulled NZL 2 and AUS 1 into the top 3, while Tommy Hayes put the NOL Northerners in touch with the leaders. Brodie Nankervis then put AUS 1 into second position at the final change-over, with Kurtis Shuker pulling the NZL 17-20 team into 3rd. Just over half-way through the final leg it looked as if Bridget Anderson for AUS1 had overhauled Renee Beveridge but the longer of the final splits appeared to make the difference as not only did Renee bring NZL1 home, but a fast finishing Katie Cory-Wright put NZL3 into second place.
Sprint Relay: 1. New Zealand 1 (Imogene Scott, Nick Hann, Matt Ogden, Renee Beveridge) 47:34.26, 2. New Zealand 3 (Kaia Joergensen, Joseph Lynch, Kurtis Shuker, Katie Cory-Wright) 47:47.87, 3. Australia 1 (Krystal Neumann, Simon Uppill, Brodie Nankervis, Bridget Anderson) 47:54.06, 4. Northerners 1 (Emily Hayes, Tommy Hayes, Cameron Tier, Alice Tilley) 47:54.51, 5. New Zealand 2 (Lara Molloy, Gene Beveridge, Daniel Monckton, Briana Steven) 50:30.30, 6. Australia 3 (Arabella Phillips, Angus Haines, Duncan Currie, Caitlin Young) 50:32.20.
The final race on Monday presented a much different Kaikokopu than in its last appearance in 2013. Pruning and thinning of many of the blocks meant that there was little, apart from a single block, in the way of open, clean running. Nevertheless the top end of the M21E field made short work of the thinnings – Matt pulling off his second win of the weekend ahead of Nick and Simon. One-two in women’s elite was the same as on Saturday with Bridget having a relatively comfortable margin over Imogene and Lara getting into the top 3 for the first time. Joseph was back on top of M17-20E but was run hard by Daniel Monckton who managed to push Kurtis out of the top 2 for the first time. Katie also repeated her win from the first day with Georgia Skelton 2 minutes back and Kaia, who early in the week was in doubt of running, completing a trifecta of top 3 finishes.
M21E: 1. Matt Ogden 43:51, 2. Nick Hann 44:06, 3. Simon Uppill 44:52, 4. Gene Beveridge 45:30, 5. Aaron Prince 46:12, 6. Conor Short (WN) 47:05.
W21E: 1. Bridget Anderson 51:36, 2. Imogene Scott 52:48, 3. Lara Molloy 55:00, 4. Sara Prince 55:46, 5. Renee Beveridge 56:20, 6. Rachel smith 58:17.
M17-20E: 1. Joseph Lynch 40:10, 2. Daniel Monckton 40:37, 3. Kurtis Shuker 42:10, 4. Stephen Harding 42;25, 5. Will Tidswell (NZL) 42:48, 6. Dante Afnan 44:04.
W17-20E: 1. Katie Cory-Wright 52:09, 2. Georgia Skelton 54:13, 3. Kaia Joergensen 56:43, 4. Carolyne Nel 58:33, 5. Jess Sewell 59:27, 6. Tegan Knightbridge 1:03:08.
In terms of the Pinestars-Bushrangers Test Match, after the weekend the final scores were M21E: Pinestars 78 Bushrangers 57, W21E: Pinestars 73 Bushrangers 62, M17-20E: Pinestars 94 Bushrangers 54, W17-20E: Pinestars 78 Bushrangers 52, Relay: 21E Pinestars 20 Bushrangers 15, 17-20E Pinestars 20 Bushrangers 15.
However, under the new system in which the home and away legs are combined into an overall competition, scores are normalized to give the winning team in each class 100 points. When this is done the situation looks as follows:
M21: AUS 72 NZL 100, W21: AUS 82 NZL 100, M17-20: AUS 59 NZL 100, W17-20: AUS 68 NZL 100, Overall: AUS 281 NZL 400
Thus the Australian Bushrangers have a bit of catching to so when competition resumes at the three Oceania individual events in late September.
National Orienteering League
The Queen’s Birthday 3-day event was also the final round of the NOL. The series consisted of 11 races in total with the best 8 scores to count, with competition in men’s and women’s senior and junior elites classes.
The M21E title was retained by Gene Beveridge – the only one in this class to run in all 11 races. Gene was 80 points ahead of 2016 and 2017 winner Nick Hann. Matt Ogden, who ran in only 6 races, was third with a relatively large gap back to the next placings.
M21E: 1. Gene Beveridge 700, 2. Nick Hann 620, 3. Matt Ogden 510, 4. Ed Cory-Wright 338, 5. Conor Short 330 , 6. Tommy Hayes 327 – full table Senior Men (M21E)
In W21E Imogene Scott took the title for the third consecutive year with 680 points, overhauling Lara Molloy over the course of Queen’s Birthday weekend. A series of consistent performances pulled Renee Beveridge into 3rd place just ahead of Sara Prince.
W21E: 1. Imogene Scott 680, 2. Lara Molloy 561, 3. Renee Beveridge 494, 4. Sara Prince 440, 5. Alice Tilley 332, 6. Tessa Ramsden 307 – full table Senior Women (W21E)
Pride of place, however, goes to Joseph Lynch in M17-20E, who won 7 of the 11 races, finishing with 780 points out of a possible maximum of 800. Joseph was another to retain the title won in 2018. Second place went to Kurtis Shuker with Will Tidswell third.
M17-20E: 1. Joseph Lynch 780, 2. Kurtis Shuker 490, 3. Will Tidswell 452, 4. Daniel Monckton 433, 5. Stephen Harding 413, 6. Scott Smith 375 – full table Junior Men (M17-20E)
W17-20E was the only class with a new winner as Katie Cory-Wright took out the win with 600 points. Tessa Burns, the early leader in the series missed the last 3 races in favour of ensuring making the schools team to Australia, thus finishing 88 points behind. Third place produced a tie between Briana Steven and Kaia Joergensen.
W17-20E: 1. Katie Cory-Wright 600, 2. Tessa Burns 512, 3=. Briana Stevens 490, 3=. Kaia Joergensen 490, 5. Jessica Sewell 427, 6. Marisol Hunter 365 – full table Junior Women (W17-20E)
The junior elite classes were in fact highly competitive with no fewer than 13 of the men’s field and 11 of the women’s competing in at least 8 of the 11 races.
Southern Cross Challenge Team(s)
Queen’s Birthday was also the trials for the NZL schools teams to compete against the Australian state school teams in the Southern Cross Challenge. With New Zealand now being allowed 2 teams this has become a really major logistical exercise involving 40 athletes. The events take place in the week between the two weekends of the Oceania Championships. Congratulations to all the following.
NZL Harua: Senior Boys – Mitchell Cooper (AK), Patrick Hayes (AK), Ryan Moore (PP), Liam Stolberger (NW), Will Tidswell (HB); Senior Girls – Tessa Burns (HB), Anna Duston (AK), Sylvie Frater (AK), Kyla Rayward (NL), Jessica Sewell (NW); Junior Boys – Nathan Borton (AK), Luke Clements (AK), Riley Croxford (NL), Luke Farrand (NW), Flynn Hunter (PP); Junior Girls – Juliet Frater (AK), Paulina Harrison (NL), Emily Hayes (AK), Sophie Toes (AK), Daisy York (PP).
NZL Karahiwi: Senior Boys – Adam Bateman (AK), Cameron Bonar (NW), Tom Harding (PP), Ronan Lee (HB), Aryton Shadbolt (PP); Senior Girls – Cara Bradding (NW), Amy Culham (HB), Jessie Fa’avae (NL), Kaia Jeorgensen (PP), Penelope Salmon (AK); Junior Boys – Olaf Baker (WN), Liam Buyck (AK), Zefa Fa’avae (NL), Felix Hunt (PP), Samuel Sinclair Taylor (AK) ; Junior Girls – Alice Egan (PP), Mercy Jones (TK), Hannah Mangnall (NL), Ruby Nathan (AK), Zara Stewart (AK).
World Cup Round 1 – Helsinki
The first round of the 2019 World Cup took place near Helsinki from 8-11 June involving a middle distance prologue, a chasing start (or pursuit) long distance based on the prologue results, and a sprint relay. New Zealand had 2 entrants, Tim Robertson and Lizzie Ingham, although injury forced Lizzie to miss the two forest races. The middle distance was a tough challenge over a mix of white forest, bare rock interspersed with marshes. Tim did not have his best day finishing some way behind winner Gustav Bergman of Sweden who was a minute clear of the rest of the field. In the women’s race Tove Alexandersson destroyed the competition winning by over a minute and a half.
Men: 1. Gustav Bergmann (SWE) 30:20, 2. Frederic Tranchand (FRA) 31:23, 3. Olav Lundanes (NOR) 31:51, 4. Magne Daehli (NOR) 31:56, 5. Marin Regborn (SWE) 32:10, 6. Daniel Hubmann (SWI) 32:25, 107. Tim Robertson (NZL) 45:40
Women: 1. Tove Alexandersson (SWE) 29:54, 2.Natalia Gemperle (RUS) 31:32, 3. Marika Teine (FIN) 31:53, 4. Karolin Ohlsson (SWE) 32:03, 5. Kamilla Olaussen (NOR) 32:29, 6. Venla Harju (FIN) 32:30.
The chasing start long was more of the same with phi-loops to split the field up. This was where both Tove Alexandersson and Natalia Gemperle at the front of the women’s field both made mistakes, showing that under pressure even the best can come slightly off the rails. First Tove, approaching 4 missed the control to the north and bounced off the road, meanwhile, Natalia, with number 4 being her number 3 and the chance to take the lead, left the control towards number 9 rather than to the east to number 5. Still in the lead Tove went on to overall victory although well done in times on the day. Natalia’s mistake proved more costly with her dropping to 4th overall. In the men, the prologue winner Gustav Bergman, considerably slower than Emil Svensk on the day, retained his position at the front of the field, ahead of Frederic Tranchard of France and Norway’s Magne Daehli. Tim, having picked up a slight injury, pulled out.
Men: 1. Emil Svensk (SWE) 1:09:57, 2. Miika Kirmula (FIN) 1:10:22, 3. Vojtech Kral (CZE) 1:10:55, 4. Joey Hadorn (SUI) 1:10:57, 5. Jerker Lysell (SWE) 1:11:11, 6. Martin Regborn (SWE) 1:11:15.
Women: 1. Anastasia Rudnaya (RUS) 56:54, 2. Anna Bachman (SWE) 56:55, 3. Elena Roos (SUI) 57:16, 4=. Marika Teini (FIN) 57:20, 4=. Kamilla Olaussen (NOR) 57:20, 6. Sari Anttonen (FIN) 57:23.
Perhaps somewhat perversely, however, the World Cup points are awarded both on the prologue and on the basis of the finishing order, not the actual running times, in the chasing start. Thus, overall, Gustav and Tove took the honours for both races.
With only the two Kiwis present there was no NZL team in the concluding sprint relay. Tim, following his pursuit experience, did not run, but Lizzie, trusting her dodgy ankle on the flatter surface, ran with 3 Australians in an unofficial team. Although officially only thebest team from each country counts, the race was dominated by the Swedes who finished 1st and 3rd, only the Swiss getting into the medals with them.
Sprint Relay: 1. SWE 1 50:53, 2. SUI 1 51:24, 3. SWE 2 51:43, 4. CZE 1 51:47, 5. NOR 1 51:58, 6. RUS 1 52:08
Now, of course, attention turns to JWOC. For those wanting to know such things as how the team members start their day, check out https://www.orienteering.org.nz/blog/introducing-the-new-zealand-jwoc-team-2019/ . More seriously, JWOC starts on Sunday 7 July with the sprint in Lyseng. The following day sees the long distance in the wonderfully named Velling – Snabegaard. There is then a day’s rest before the middle qualification, middle final and relay on three successive days. Risking the kiss of death, what do the NZL chances look like?
Being realistic, perhaps the best opportunity lies in the opening sprint with Joseph Lynch and Kurtis Shuker. Both have shown a real affinity for this distance, Joseph having finished 15th at JWOC2018. Although sand-dune terrain, the forest races will present a much different challenge to such terrain in New Zealand, with more varied vegetation and runnability. Max Griffiths, Daniel Monckton, Will Tidswell, Marisol Hunter, Briana Steven and Katie Cory-Wright will all be keen to improve on their long distance results from last year, with the key to that probably being the perennial importance of good execution of route choice. In the middle distance, priority will be qualification for the final, something achieved by Max, Joseph and Katie in 2018, but often elusive in a race where a single mistake can be crucial. The 2018 relay performances were disappointing with 2 of the 4 teams mispunching. In 2019 a strong performance from both the top men’s and women’s teams looks a possibility as long as fitness holds up at the end of a tough week. Denmark is currently 10 hours behind New Zealand and live tracking, commentary and on-line results will presumably be accessible through IOFLive (https://orienteering.sport/live/).
NZL bid for JWOC 2022
Responses to various questions raised by IOF have now been sent. These dealt with a variety of issues, one of the principal ones being arena production. This has required not only advice on GPS tracking (thanks to Magnus), but also trying to tie down the actual location of arenas for the various races (thanks to Russell and Gillian for an entertaining tour of one particular forest). The picture below, sadly, will not be a JWOC arena.
The next stage is a presentation to the IOF Foot-O Commission, which will be given by the HP Leader in Sarpsborg on Monday 12 August, the day before the start of WOC.
Following the World Cup in Helsinki, the field almost exclusively remained in Finland for the Venla and Jukola relays the following weekend. Both Tim (first leg – Koovee 1) and Lizzie (second leg – Halden SK 2) fronted up and were joined by Kate Morrison running the first leg for OK Linne 2. All three Kiwis had good runs, with Tim, especially, bringing Koovee in in 20th place at the first changeover, the team eventually finishing 7th.
PS> My apologies to Laura Robertson, Matt Ogden and Greta Knarston. As communicated by Laura…
“Just wanted to point out the Matt, Greta and I were also at Jukola. (It’s hard trying to spot everyone without trawling through pages of results!!)
Matt ran the last leg for OK Linne 2 and posted an impressive 39th fastest time on the leg.
Greta was getting in some last minute WOC training and ran the last leg for Halden SK 4 while I also ran the last leg for Rajamaen Rykmentti 2. We ended up starting and finishing less than 1 minute apart but didn’t see each other at all out in the forest despite swapping positions!!”
I was aware that Matt was there, but I hadn’t realised that he ran. In my defence, unless I know someone is running at Jukola it’s almost impossible to randomly find Kiwis in the results!