2020 Orienteering Reflections

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Twilight Series and Sprint Series – the January – February events were completed on schedule, including a Spring Weekend coinciding with Australian Day where our visiting US coach Evalin Brautigan ran 3 days of sprint competition including a knockout sprint on the Sunday.  The “sprinting” culminated with the Sprint Championships at Waite where Dante Afnan set some challenging sprint courses.

A number of South Australians then attended the Melbourne Sprint Weekend on the March Long Weekend, coinciding with the start of the start of the toilet paper hoarding and other panic buying in the shops.  Bridget Uppill and Olivia Sprod were 2nd and 3rd in the overall results in W21E, Simon Uppill was 6th in M21E.  Two weeks later an event in the South Parklands, held in conjunction with the OSA AGM, was the last scheduled event until mid-June. With COVID-19 lockdowns, all events were cancelled until after the June Long Weekend, with any decision on further events deferred until that time.

No restrictions were placed on individuals or family groups undertaking outdoor exercise, so a number of MapRunF courses were tested and established, including on some additional map areas – West Parklands and the adjacent cemetery and Wittunga Botanic Gardens at Blackwood.  These courses were available for orienteers to do in their own time, and are still available on the OSA website here.

With the Australian Three Days cancelled, Brodie Nankervis organized a Easter challenge including a fixed time tempo run, a Strava art challenge and a hill climb, for people to do in their home locations and submit the results.  Australian animal Strave Art by Evalin and Angus in the South Parklands and Bridget and Simon's Mona Lisa at Blackwood Park and surrounds


As restrictions eased in early June, orienteering events were planned to recommence after the June Long weekend.  The Flinders 3 days of events were cancelled over the June Long Weekend, however a few orienteers still camped at Rawnsley and ran some long self-timed score events (example below by Robin and Adrian Uppill at Prelinna). Bridget Uppill also planned 2 hour score events on maps closer to Adelaide for orienteers to do in their own time. In fact Bridget created this as an Australia wide competition, across the country more than 70 completed the event, with SA the winning state with the highest number of “controls” visited per person!

Prelinna Score.All

After the June Long Weekend events resumed as pre-entry only, starting with Foot and MTBO Score event at Anstey Hill.  For the descriptions of the some of the courses at the events refer to an article in the December SA Newsletter. Despite the requirement for pre-entry, a number of new comers and non-members appeared at many events. Highlights included the club relays at Wirra Wirra, the SA Long Championships on an updated Narrinyeri Hills map, the 3 day weekend near Wilpena – rescheduled from the June Long Weekend.  As NSW residents were able to visit SA at this time, we event saw some interstate visitors at this very well attended weekend, which saw both challenging orienteering and weather.

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A Halloween event in the West Parklands including the cemetery was run by our coach Evalin, followed by the start of the Twilight Series in mid-November in the South Parklands However due to a small outbreak of COVID-19 in Adelaide, 2 of the 5 pre-Christmas events were cancelled, but 2 more successful events were held at Oaklands and the Northeast Parklands.

Orienteering in 2021 is planned to include the Australian Three Days at Orange and the Australian Championships in Tasmania – both deferred from 2021.  An NOL event is planned for SA in the Riverland on the Anzac Day weekend.  Hopefully orienteers can enjoy these and many other events – competitive and otherwise, in 2021.

Robin Uppill

Flinders Ranges Weekend - Great Events and Challenging Weather

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Great orienteering was experienced in the Flinders Ranges over the October Long Weekend but the weather was somewhat interesting.

Event 1 –Saturday -  warm-up event on the flatter eastern section of Wilpena Spurs, after arrangements were made to enable access through the new locked gate on the Sacred Canyon Rd. Event was held by Tintookies on a hot afternoon with the courses by Bob Smith


Route Gadget Courses

Event 2 – Sunday - Long OY event on Rawnsley – with a strong northerly and increasing dust through the morning into the afternoon so that Rawnsley Bluff was hidden by the dust.  Somewhat challenging weather although not as hot as the previous afternoon. Fortunately the assembly and download were in the covered area at the Rawnsley Bunkhouse.  Event organized by Tjuringa with courses by Sarah and Aylwin Lim


Route Gadget Courses

Event 3 – SA Middle Distance – by far the best of the weekend weather as a cool change and a little rain arrived on Sunday evening. Hence a cool morning initially with low cloud for the orienteering on the very challenging courses set by Bridget Uppill (assisted by Simon) with the event organized by Onkaparinga Hills.


Route Gadget Courses

For more photos of the weekend - see the OSA Facebook page


Club Relays and SA Long Championships – we’ve crossed the finish line!

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After all the months of uncertainty about gathering limits and social distancing, once it became possible to hold minor events with COVID-plans in place, suddenly there was a glimmer of hope that the club relays and SA Championships events might be able to go ahead after all...

First, the Club Relays were hosted by the Southern Arrows at Wirra Wirra on what was admittedly a rather wet Sunday Aug 30th, so it was really good to see approx. 65 two-person teams compete on Simon Uppill’s complex courses, with some tight finishes between teams, in a beautiful arena alongside the redgum-lined creek. 

The calculations for the winning club have now been finalised; the algorithm takes into account results achieved by the clubs in all categories, but also the percentage of the club’s members who competed on the day, so in this scenario, little can in fact beat big - and Yalanga won for the second year in a row:

1st           YA          46.58 points     

2nd        TT           31.32 points

3rd         TJ            25.42 points

4th         OH          17.47 points

5th         WA         13.05 points

Two weeks later and in much better weather, the SA Long Orienteering Championships were held by Wallaringa Orienteers on Sunday Sept 13th     in Kinchina Conservation Park with the 1999 Narrinyeri Hills map having been  re-done by Adrian Uppill using LiDAR flown by Aerometrex.    WA Logo

Courses planned by Jenny Casanova (supported by part time controller Andrew Kenendy - who had to wait to get out of quarantine to do the final field check) utilised the eastern escarpment with many trickssy rockses, and attempted to minimise traverses of the rather-green regrowth area from 2005 bushfires. The first controls were in numerous different directions from the start, leading to some interesting routes (not necessarily route choices) and the final control on many courses offered expansive  views out over Murray Bridge and the surrounding plains. 

It is not known how many competitors also attended the model event on Saturday, but some of those who hadn’t, were overheard to wish afterwards that they had done so...

Organisers Frank Tomas and Peter Kreminski would like to thank the 135 (!) people who entered, for making this event a success – and for those of you who didn’t collect your placegetters’ certificate on the day, see Jenny at one of the Flinders Ranges events on the October long weekend!


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