Taitonga South Island Champs  | Ōtepoti Dunedin
By Christo Peters - Thu 2 May 2024 7:06pm
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Feedback from the event: “The weekend was like a three-course banquet -– three very different terrains, great courses wonderfully cooked up and served, and even a thoughtfully placed piece of warning tape marking some ongaonga in the middle of a kānuka stand!“

The long weekend started with the sprint on Anzac Day afternoon on a new map in Green Island. A mixture of school, church grounds, farm, memorial gardens and park terrain.

On the Friday, Jenni Adams of PAPO held a training session at the Forrester Park/Bethunes map where she catered to different skill levels by having a junior/beginner session, followed by a more experienced group session. Some Dunedin club members assisted with coaching. Participants were encouraged to take advantage of not being in a timed race situation to focus on building good habits. The aim for this session was orienting, folding and thumbing the map. The quote of the day from coach Jenni: “PRACTICE MAKES PERMANENT!”

Some sprint training was also held elsewhere in the city on several maps, by the coaches of the NZ JWOC team for those preparing to travel to the Czech Republic in June/July. Others chose to be tourists on the Friday and ride Te Aka Ōtākou (The Otago Vine) bike trail that circles the harbour from Port Chalmers to Portobello, with a ferry crossing to complete the loop.

The Long Distance on the Saturday was held on another new map, Hereweka, with varied terrain: steep farmland, pockets of open run kānuka, sprinkles of rock detail, kiln areas, macrocarpa bordered ruined stone homesteads, revegetation plantings with access tracks, marshy areas and rock walls. The event centre was based at Portobello Domain near the edge of Otago Harbour and competitors were transported by mini bus to the start at the top of the new Hereweka (Harbour Cone) map and finishers bussed back to the domain after their races. Many of the women preparing for JWOC chose to enter M20E to simulate JWOC course conditions and proved to be very competitive with the men!

The Middle Distance on the Sunday was also held on the Otago Peninsula, at The Pyramids. The terrain was largely open farmland with sand dune terrain and patches of trees, pine forest and marshes. Good map contact was absolutely essential.

The weather for the weekend was outstanding and it was great to see orienteers from all over NZ participating, and a couple from Oz!
Here’s more comments from visitors:
“We had a blast on the gorgeous Otago Peninsula!”
“A fantastic weekend! Thanks a lot Dunedin Orienteering.“
“The best 4 days orienteering, thank you to all the organisers, volunteers who made it all happen, you’re legends.“
by Antonia Wood

The Taitonga South Island champs featured in the Otago Daily Times with a story about Jenni Adam’s training session here
And Zara Stewart featured on the cover on 29 April with a story (paywalled) . Zara says: “It is a cool sport in that all ages and abilities can get involved. You can run it, you can walk it you can do what you want.” The Taitonga South Island champs course ” was quite hilly and is varied: so it is quite relevant preparation for JWOC.”
Full results here 

SPRINT – Green Island
1 Daniel Vickers PP 20:16
2 Leo O’Neill PP 21:30 +1:14
3 Max Cunninghame DN 22:53 +2:37

1 Anna Babington PP 20:08
2 Katherine Babington PP 20:30 +0:22
3 Zara Stewart AK 21:14 +1:06

1 Matt Ogden NL 17:08
2 Tane Cambridge PP 19:27 +2:19
3 Tim Wright PP 25:00 +7:52

1 Briana Steven PP 21:08
2 Sara Prince PP 24:04 +2:56
3 Phoebe Hunt PP 24:24 +3:16

LONG  – Hereweka
1 Riley Croxford NL 1:28:19
2 Katherine Babington PP 1:40:58 +12:39
3 Daniel Vickers PP 1:42:44 +14:25
4 Tide Fa’avae NL 1:47:42 +19:23 

1 Anna Babington PP 1:06:20
2 Juliet Freeman PP 1:10:18 +3:58
3 Kyla Moore PP 1:35:02 +28:42

1 Felix Hunt PP 1:34:34
2 Matt Ogden NL 1:47:46 +13:12
3 Tane Cambridge PP 1:56:58 +22:24

1 Lizzie Ingham WN 1:15:47
2 Briana Steven PP 1:31:54 +16:07
3 Sara Prince PP 1:35:13 +19:26

MIDDLE – Pyramids
1 Riley Croxford NL 34:05
2 James Wright PP 39:45 +5:40
3 Leo O’Neill PP 42:33 +8:28

1 Tide Fa’avae NL 37:03
2 Zara Stewart AK 39:52 +2:49
3 Anna Babington PP 40:10 +3:07

1 Felix Hunt PP 30:11
2 MaƩ Ogden NL 32:23 +2:12
3 Tane Cambridge PP 36:25 +6:14

1 Lizzie Ingham WN 38:41
2 Sara Prince PP 42:23 +3:42
3 Briana Steven PP 45:15 +6:34

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