Thrilling downtown Auckland action | Auckland Triple Crown
By Christo Peters - Fri 1 Mar 2024 9:47pm

The 2nd instalment of the Auckland Triple Crown event saw a a large group of domestic and international orienteers travel up to Auckland over the Waitangi weekend.  Three of Auckland’s finest locations were provided all within walking distance of Downtown as part of the 3 day festival. 
Saturday saw the Oceania Sprint Champs at the University of Auckland map.  A very tricky map used the building works to full effect to create layers of complexity and route choice challenges everywhere. Joseph Lynch took the WOC qualifying slot in M21E, 1 second ahead of Tim Robertson, with Emma Bjessmo taking the win in W21E, Mikayla Cooper taking the WOC slot.  Nathan Borton and Nea Shingler took out the 20E wins.
Sunday saw the move across to Auckland Girls’ Grammar School and surrounding parks with the organisers throwing a visit to the local housing area.  The Girls campus is tricky and complex on the side of a hillside which caused many early problems.  The complex of 15 non-orthogonal buildings can be compared to European style urban sprints. Tim took out the win ahead of Joe, with Ines Berger gaining revenge on Emma.
Monday was a rest day allowing a bunch of Orienteers the opportunity to see some sights, with the organisers creating some maps on local volcanoes including Rangitoto volcano in the harbour which attracted a large group to head over on the Ferry.

The Tuesday finale saw a visit to the Auckland Viaduct and the opportunity to run on urban streets. With the Event Centre on the waterfront it provided the ideal location for fast urban style racing. The Triple Crown event was an accumulative-time competition with reverse starts to create the true theatre. A top 10 shoot-out created an empty course and the W21 and M21 went off at the same time.  Joe vs Tim and Emma vs Ines created an exciting atmosphere to close the event out.
Joe took the win on the day but wasn’t enough to take the overall Crown from Tim. Emma made it a double win for their Household with a storming run to win the Womens’ race with both of them being “crowned” on the throne during the prize giving. 
Three, very unique and different events, in the heart of NZ’s biggest city.

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