We have been treated to some great international orienteering recently with the ability to watch in real time the performance of our best junior and senior orienteers with JWOC in Denmark and WOC in Norway.
Congratulations to our South Australians, Joanna George, Angas Haines and Dante Afnan competing in JWOC and Simon Uppill and Bridget Anderson competing in WOC.
In addition Nigel Dobson-Keeffe and Leila Henderson competed in the Scottish 6 days. Leila’s performance was particularly notable as she continued to participate after suffering broken bones!
Paul Hoopmann did well in the World Masters Orienteering Championships 2019, held in Latvia.
Later this month Orienteering ACT will host the Oceania 2019 Orienteering Championships, comprising the Oceania Orienteering Championships, Australian Schools Championships and Australian Championships. Congratulations to all our South Australians selected for the schools team and we wish all participants their best performances.
From the editor
This newsletter was expected to be a bumper edition, and it should not disappoint.
There are reports on SA's orienteers' experiences in New Zealand, Spain, France, Scotland, in the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Denmark, in the World Orienteering Championships in Norway, and the World Masters Orienteering Championships in Latvia. Locally, there are articles on the Eyre Peninsula relays, the Burra weekend, and on the travels of a globe-trotting orienteer who calls SA home (when he's here!).
And there's more. So please enjoy.
SA School Relay Champs. To be held at Bonython Park on Fri 13th September with the mass start at 10 am.
Date for the diary. The Orienteering SA end of year presentations will be held on 17 November from 4pm at the Glenunga Hub (eastern side near the playground) 70 Conyngham St, Glenunga. Orienteer of the year awards will be presented on this evening and a fun orienteering activity will occur. Please plan to bring your own dinner to eat with your orienteering friends after the presentations are complete.
Australia's World Cup team selected. Orienteering Australia's senior selection panel have named five men and five women for the Australian team entered in the final World Cup round in China on 25 - 28 October, with the sixth man and woman to be selected immediately after the Oceania Sprint Championships (28 September). The team selected so far includes SA's Bridget Anderson, and is described as the strongest team Australia has sent to a World Cup for quite some time. Team members' names are listed here.
Pictorial control description founder dies aged 94. The Norwegian orienteer Kjell Staxrud, the founder of pictorial control descriptions, has passed away aged 94. In 1976 he presented the first draft of pictorial control descriptions with their distinctive symbols. In the period that followed, the control description symbols were developed further by the International Orienteering Federation Technical Committee, and they were finalised and approved for use in 1978. Visit here for more.
Could all new or newish Course Setters have their courses vetted before sending us all out there. I wrote to the SAO Newsletter about 25 years ago about dangerous control sites and things subsequently improved.
However at my last two events, namely Keynes Gap and Rock Oyster North (Event 3) I had to climb up or, worse, climb down steep hill faces to get to many of the controls. I, along with two other senior women abandoned our course at Rock Oyster as we found it impossible to reach the control that we had found but were unable to access.
We had come a very long way from the southern suburbs to the events and the event organisers were happy to take our money. As for taking money, senior women are invariably the ones sitting on the Registration Desk and these same women are not always being catered for out on the courses. We have paid our club membership fees and sat on committees at club and state level.
Once any person reaches 70 years of age, balance comes into question and course setters should be alerted to this fact. After all Orienteering is a cradle to grave sport for everyone.
I am now in the 75-84 age group. Let's hope we can all be orienteering well into our senior years.
Ann Nolan (TJ)
ARE THEY FOR REAL? (7/8/2019)
I note that the classes for W75, W85 as well as M75 and M85 on both days at the Burra weekend are all running the same course. In no other classes are the women running the same course as the men of the same age. Both days the courses are 3.4 km.
Does that mean that when I get to be 94 years old (a year older than HM The Queen) I'll be running 3.4 km on two consecutive days?
Let's get realistic if we want to retain club members into the future.
Ann Nolan (TJ)
See Robin Uppill's article below, which was received after the following was written.
Some valid points raised by Ann! On balance though, course planners get it right in the vast majority of cases, but it appears that one or two controls or courses might have failed the seniors' test for a few competitors in recent events. Guidance on planning courses for competitors in the age groups W65/M70 and older appears to be generally consistent at all levels of competition, from international down to club level, which is discussed below.
From about age 70, decline in speed and muscle strength (as well as other functions) occurs naturally in both genders at an increased rate, which is highlighted in course planning guidance.
For example, the World Masters Orienteering Championship manual has four requirements for good forest course design. The most relevant is: "... that they should be planned with their physical difficulty modified to suit the age group of the runners on each course. Special care must be taken for courses for M70+ and W65+ (see also International Orienteering Federation Competition Rules Appendix 2 - 3.11.6), even more so for the very oldest competitors."
The IOF rules referred to are as follows:
Courses should be set so that normally fit competitors can run over most of the course set for their level of ability.
The total climb of a course should normally not exceed 4% of the length of the shortest sensible route.
The physical difficulty of courses should progressively decrease as the age of the competitors increases in Masters classes. Special care must be taken that the courses for classes M70 and over and W65 and over are not too physically demanding.
Orienteering Australia course planning rules repeat the above guidance. Although Orienteering SA course planning guidance does not explicitly repeat all OA rules, it does refer to them.
Course Planning Considerations for Older Age Groups
Some online material is available for planning orienteering courses, in particular from various course planning workshops, such as here.
Also refer to Appendix 2 in the OA Foot Rules here.
The intent of the course planner is to provide the appropriate orienteering challenge according to the navigational difficulty of each course. However the course planner also needs to consider the physical challenge of any course and its suitability for the expected age groups on a particular course, remembering that technical difficulty does not necessarily mean physical difficulty. So two important points to remember when course planning are:
Consider if the course is unnecessarily physical for age groups concerned - do not equate technical with physical difficulty.
Older age groups like a technical challenge but do not overdo the physical challenge.
Physical challenge includes considering the:
Total climb on a course – this is recommended to be not more than 4%, although in very fast running open terrain, higher climbs are possible as leg lifting over obstacles is much less.
For older age classes, consider if a lower climb is possible e.g. 3%, and avoid long steep uphill and downhill sections on a course. Going steep downhill is often more challenging than up hill.
Control sites that are physically difficult to get to e.g. at the bottom of a steep gully or creek.
Avoid a lot of green areas as these also can be physically more demanding.
Use your common sense!
For Orienteer of the Year events, the expected ages of the competitors on a course are known, however for other events this is out of the control of the course planner and event organiser. In general though the older age participants do the shorter hard courses and the moderate courses so consider the above points in planning these courses.
Two examples of variations between a course for younger fitter orienteers and older age classes are from the Australian Relays at Wiela – Bunyip Reach in 2018. The Course 1 example for elites covered all the types of terrain on the map, complex and at times deeper erosion gullies, and having to negotiate routes involving some cliffs. Course 6 which was the shortest hard course used shallower water courses for controls, with route options around steeper areas and gullies. This does however highlight the point that the course planner, when offering easier route choice options, cannot always be responsible when the orienteer chooses a physically more difficult route. For example on Course 6 – for controls 5 to 6, the physically easier route is available to go back passed control 2 and down the gentler slope as opposed to the rocky steeper slopes on the straight line. This course still did have the unavoidable climb to the last control however.
In the June 2019 edition of this newsletter, members were encouraged to help SA members selected to represent Australia in this years Junior World Orienteering Championships and World Orienteering Championships, which were both held in northern Europe. The aim was to help offset the high cost of our two Senior and three Junior elites representing Australia overseas. While Orienteering Australia pays some expenses, each member was required to fund their own airfares and contribute toward uniforms and other costs. Together with costs of attending selection races each team member probably contributed over $3000 themselves.
The Australia-New Zealand test match held in Wellington, New Zealand (1st to 3rd of June 2019) saw a team of Australian juniors and seniors competing against New Zealand in their Queens Birthday Orienteering Carnival. There were three days of competition, the first day a multi distance, the second day was two sprints with the last day being a middle.
The first day, held in the sand dunes, was my first experience running in terrain outside of Australia. I found the terrain to be very different from Australian terrain because the ground was sandy and covered with fallen branches, which sunk when I stepped on them. Navigating on the sand dunes was another new experience, I had to be extra careful and aware where I was so that I would not get lost.
The next day consisted of two sprints, one in the morning and a sprint relay in the evening. The sprints maps were not too different from Australian sprints maps. The sprint relay was a little different and consisted of a team of two girls and two boys.
The last day was a middle and in sand dunes. The map was similar to the map on the first day with just a few more technical areas and easier terrain to run on.
Overall the trip help expand my orienteering ability and exposed me to new and exiting terrain.
The annual Relay competition between orienteers from Whyalla and Pt Lincoln took place at Salt Creek, more than 60 km south of Whyalla, on Sunday 21 July in sunny and moderate weather.
The courses were set by Alan Holland in varied land features of mallee scrub, low hills, gullies and many creeks.
There were equal numbers from Saltbush and Lincoln clubs and teams were composed of three participants and there were three course lengths, about 2.9 km, 3.9 km and 4.9 km. The fastest Saltbush club in the A course comprised Darren Bergmann, Jason Munday and Adrian Watson and they received the Ironstone Trophy. The fastest of the B teams was the Saltbush team which comprised John Paterson, Greg Hancock and James Laurie and they received the Jade Trophy. The fastest of the C teams was Lincoln comprising of Cath Dickie, Bella White and Ben White and they received the Quartz trophy. The overall trophy was won by Saltbush with 16 points and Lincoln received 10 points and it was welcome as the last time the Saltbush club won it was in 2015. The Saltbush members and friends provided soups, stews, rolls and cakes to replenish the entrants after their courses and all of the club members from Whyalla and Pt Lincoln enjoyed the occasion and discussed their performances and the mapped features.
The choice between Australia or NZ presents a clash of loyalties: It is quicker and cheaper to travel to Auckland from Sydney than to go to Perth hence there was quite a squad of Aussies in NZ.
For us it was for family reasons that we decided for NZ: However we have always loved NZ terrain, their friendship and organization. This was a factor in our choice.
THE ORIENTEERING EVENTS
The Good Friday sprint was in the town of Oamaru. It was pleasant for us oldies but no great navigational challenge.
Easter Saturday I struggled with the map. In this terrain NZ white would be green in SA. This was too much for me!
Easter Sunday was a fine way to finish our carnival. I loved my course in gold mining terrain. (Others found it difficult in the more complex sections.) This area was reminiscent of Nasby (known to many Aussies). We flew home Monday.
I’ve been told I came 3rd (of three) in M80 but I no longer look at the results. Editor's note for John: I tracked down the results, which I've copied below! Spiking with the best route choices is enough for me now. The PAPO club still posted me my medals for third.
It was a thrill to find Meredith Rasch, Mark Overton & Jessica present at the event.
Thanks to Trevor Diment for entering me. Am I the last to be beaten by computers?
HIGHLIGHTS OF TOURING IN NEW ZEALAND
As a tourist, walking inside a volcano up to the caldera was a huge thrill and the hot water sand beach will never be forgotten.
This year, South Australia had a phenomenal presence at the Junior World Orienteering Championships, with me, Joanna George and Dante Afnan all heading over to compete in Arhus, Denmark. Travelling with the team, training and socialising together, especially with fellow South Australians who have all trained and competed together for many years was the highlight of the trip. With some spectacular results from the whole team, especially Aston Key's gold winning performance in the Sprint, the week was filled with many ups and downs. However the end of competition party was an excellent conclusion to a whole week of intense races, and a great chance to enjoy the social aspect of the championships, and kick back with like-minded athletes from all around the world.
The recent Junior World Orienteering Championships (7th to 11th July 2019) were held in Silkeborg, Denmark. This was my first year at JWOC and I really enjoyed all the excitement of the competitions. The atmosphere at the events was filled with energy as you got to see people from all different countries race into the finish and watch the live results changing. I found it a very fun and challenging experience to be able to run on maps which were very different to back in Australia and be able to experience the different terrain. Being at an event with lots of competitors and the excitement of being in another country was overall an amazing experience which I would love to do again.
All event details, including official results, times, maps and photos, can be found here.
Water, water everywhere…. Scottish 6 Days and OFrance
Leila Henderson & Nigel Dobson
Did you hear the one about Nigel Dobson (Yalanga) beating a young elite on a downhill at the Scottish 6 Days? It happens when you buy shiny new O pants, trip and slide down a muddy slope on your backside! Also his fastest pace according to GPS tracking, but sadly dropped his map and had to climb all the way back to retrieve it! Orienteering can be cruel sometimes.
Nigel and Leila (Henderson – also Yalanga Club) headed off in July for their first international events – OFrance, 5 days in the Hautes Alpes around Vars and Risoul, near the Italian border, and the Scottish Six Days in the Highlands (7 including the Wednesday ‘day off’ sprint).
Both events were incredibly well organised as you’d expect of World Ranking Events, but OFrance took the croissant for getting over 3,200 runners up the mountain on chairlifts without incident.
French start - magic panorama!
Key points from OFrance:
No water on course, but at finish there were proper plastic cups washed and reused rather than going to landfill. Big focus on recycling and environmentally friendly loos.
2000-2300m+ altitude put a physical load on, hearts pumping
Highly competitive – but also friendly. The French runners were extremely helpful and sociable to visitors. A lot of chatter on the courses.
Tough courses – we thought it couldn’t get harder… until Scotland.
Incredible scenery. food and BEER !!! added to the fun
More from France - click/tap to zoom.
Key points from Scotland:
Climb/walk to start was over 2km most days (“normal” for the event)
Course lengths and climbs in Scotland typically exceeded even long champs over here for some reason.
No water on the course OR at the end (in Scottish heatwave)…
Not as physical as OFrance (ie, altitude and climb) but very tricky navigation. “White”, “green” and “stripey green” mean very different things from Australian maps. Forests so dark you can’t see the map. Every blue line contained water and the bogs and marshes were a challenge, running was pretty much impossible.
Day 5, Nigel found himself chest deep in freezing water… and Leila (having fallen and !!!) ran into a bog thigh-high in mud….
Impressed by the media coverage in Scotland, GPS tracked and interviewed selected runners to give an idea of the inclusiveness of the sport
Held over four days from 12 to 17 August, Australia was represented by Bridget Anderson and Simon Uppill of SA at the World Orienteering Championships in Norway.
The championship comprised four events: middle qualifier, long, middle final, and forest relay. Both of SA's representatives did incredibly well.
Simon finished 11th in heat 3 of the middle qualifier (4.2km 190m climb) in a time of 28:26, 3:05 behind Switzerland's Matthias Kyburz. Click here to see a map of the course. Simon went on to finish 30th in the middle final (6.1 km 255m climb, click here to see map) with a time of 40:35, 6:17 behind Norway's Olav Lundanas. He was the only Australian to have made it through to the final. Simon was second off for Australia in the men's relay. The team finished 15th of 35 finishers.
Bridget finished 12th in heat 1 of her middle qualifier (3.9km 160m climb) in a time of 34:35, 5:36 behind Norway's Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg. Click here to see a map of the course. Bridget went on to finish 47th in the middle final (5.5 km 225m climb, click here to see map) with a time of 54:43, 16:23 behind Sweden's Tove Alexandersson. She was the second of two Australians who made it through to the final. Bridget was first off in the women's relay. The team was 19th of 28 finishers.
***ADDED 16 SEPTEMBER***
For amazing full screen, high resolution replays of IOF videos of the event, including commentary, live route tracking and analysis, maps, competitors running through the terrain, prize-giving ceremonies, and of the final day's weather(!):
click here then the "watch again" button for the WOC Long final held on 14 August 2019 (5 hours of commentary and video),
here for the WOC Middle final held 16 August (just under 5 hours of commentary and video), and
here for the WOC Relay held 17 August (4 hours 20 minutes of commentary and video).
2019 World Orienteering Championships Sarpsborg Norway
Adrian and I attended the 2019 WOC in Norway as the last week of a 5 week European holiday. We met with Noelene and John Anderson in Sarpsborg as they had come to watch Bridget in the event as we had come to see Simon in his 10th WOC, the first in 2008. Australia did not send a men’s team in 2009 as they attended the World Games in Taiwan instead, and in 2018 Simon did not nominate. For us it was the 5th WOC we had spectated, having previously been to Norway in 2010, Finland in 2013, Scotland in 2015 and Estonia in 2017.
2019 was the first year of the forest only WOC, in 2020 only sprint events will be held, with alternating forest and sprint events on following years. So the format was a Middle Distance Qualifying and Final, Long Distance and Relay. In conjunction with WOC was a spectator event with 6 races (one urban sprint and 5 forest), we entered only 5. In the end I only ran 4 as the timing of the 5th meant I may have missed Bridget’s start in the Middle Final, and Adrian ran only 3 as he attended meetings of the IOF Map Commission.
The Middle Qualifying was held on an area separate from the remaining events which all had the same arena. The arena for the Qualifying was not much different standard from an Australian Championships, however that of the remaining events was a step up. Set on a golf course, a grassy arena and area used for start/finish, spectator and final controls was a great setting. Large tents for the cafeteria, a large area for spectators and a grandstand made for a great atmosphere on most days. A very wet relay day meant the cafeteria tent (1) became packed with wet orienteers after they had run the spectator races before the late afternoon relay start. Coincidently we met Martina Palumbo who is also from Trentino Italy, home of our previous scholar Stefano Raus, and whom we had met when visiting there in 2017. Martine is now studying in Oslo. She introduced us to Stefano’s sister Celina (not sure of name spelling) who was at WOC volunteering with some other Italian orienteers.
Bridget and Simon both qualified for the Middle final, finishing 12th and 11th respectively in their heats, of which the top 15 go through to the final. A new rule adds another 15 to the final to give those countries who had no qualifier in the final as long as that runner finished within 100% of the winner. Bridget and Simon were both the fastest Australians, but qualified in their own right. The second spectator race was held on the same map, some terrain pictures (2, 3) and our routes (4) are shown. All the details on the Middle Qualifying event are here.
The Middle Final was held with a start in the main arena, athletes entered from a quarantine area out of the arena to a start box (5, 6). The men’s and women’s course were identical apart from a section with additional controls on the men’s course. Simon had his best result in a forest WOC event, 30th in the final, whilst Bridget was 47th. All the details of the event are here. The photo of Bridget (7) in the event is courtesy of IOF. Of interest to the more technical is the size of the control stand needed to hold the 2 touch free EMIT Units (used in Norway and Finland rather than SI). I did not run that day, however walked early to the start to collect my map and took some terrain photos, this was part of the area used on the WOC Long Distance (held the day after the Middle Qualifying). These highlight the physical nature of the terrain which was overall quite tough going due the irregular ground and low bushes in the areas mapped as white, so that walking fast was even difficult. However the visibility in most areas was quite high.
The forecast for the relay was to say the least terrible, with heavy rain expected with around 25 mm in the afternoon. The relays were timed to start at 4:20 PM for the women and 6:30 for the men. The very heavy rain was in the afternoon, so everyone in the preceding spectator race were drenched (8) and very few were out in the arena (9) before the relay’s start. By the start of the women’s relay, the rain had lessened, but continued for the whole race to its exciting finish with Sweden outrunning Switzerland in the finish chute to win. The rain had stopped by the start of the men’s relay which was fortunate otherwise the light would have been quite dim in the forest. The first leg of the men’a race finished with 13 teams within 15 seconds, including Henry McNulty for Australia who was equal fastest time with Finland. Hence Simon as second leg runner for Australia left with a pack on his tail. He held to 5th at the run through (10), but lost a little more time on the second part of the course coming in 11th about 5 minutes behind Sweden and Norway. Mistakes by several runners from the fancied teams on all legs ultimately gave Sweden the overall win. Australia was 15th, the best men’s result for some years, being ahead of Great Britain, Estonia and New Zealand, and less than a minute overall behind Russia, Denmark and Lithuania. All the relay details are here.
Holidaying with Orienteering Maps without Orienteering
Adrian and I recently holidayed in Spain, then visited Norway, and attended WOC. Prior to the Spanish part of the trip, we were provided with several orienteering maps by Manu Jurado, who was our coaching scholar in 2017-18, and has had a few quick trips to SA since then. The maps were forest maps and some sprint maps in urban areas. We also subsequently found additional maps online (from World of O mainly, as many European cities have city races and maps are posted by some competitors) for both Spain, and Oslo in Norway. The urban maps were very useful when used in conjunction with the tourist maps, as they were more accurate in street layout and actual representation of the narrow streets in historical town areas, and provided extra information about various parks. Adrian also georeferenced the orienteering maps in “MyOMaps” and so recorded many of our walking trips around various cities.
We started in Madrid where we had a sprint map of central Madrid (1 below), and sprint maps of park areas made by Manu, but we only visited one of these. South of Madrid, the sprint map of Toledo (2) was much better for navigation than a tourist map. From Madrid we travelled north to Soria, as one forest map of Navaleno provided by Manu, was west of this town. Soria was also the event centre for the recent Spanish 5 days, and a sprint map of the town was available. On a jog to a park in the town, Adrian found some permanent control markers. From this we were able to download 5 maps of permanent orienteering courses from the tourist web site, 4 in the town (park areas including of the hill with the former castle (3)) and park areas on the river) and one of a rock map, Valonsadero (4), about 8 kms to the west. Manu had provided us with another copy of part of this map with the course from the 5 days, but we had been a bit reluctant to visit this area as he mentioned the map area included paddocks where the bulls were kept prior to rounding up for the bull run of the local 'Lavalenguas' festival. However the permanent course map was on a part of the map outside of the “Cattle” paddocks, so we took a local taxi to visit this map. Below are photos of a permanent control (5, 6) and the cattle pens and fences (7) on part of the larger map. Cattle are herded down a valley bounded by cliffs and some fences into these pens (8). Also in this area is an example of pre-historic rock paintings (9) using ochre colours.
Click or tap maps to zoom.
Other maps in Spain were urban maps including two in Bilbao in the Basque country (city map plus a park map around the Guggenheim Museum (10)), and various maps in Barcelona. Here orienteering maps of two of the main tourist attractions – Mountjuic (11, includes an historical fort and the Barcelona Olympic Stadium, 13) and Park Guell (12) with features by the architect Gaudi, enhanced our visit to these areas as we were able plan how we visited the parks rather than wandering more aimlessly. We also had a map of the “old town” area of Barcelona from a city sprint race.
Click or tap to zoom maps.
In Oslo, we had the problem of so many maps being available, however we found 2 city sprint maps (14, 15), a map of a sculpture park, and a map of forest surrounding a lake on the edge of Oslo. The Vigeland sculpture park (16, 18) contains over 200 sculptures erected over a 10 year period by Gustav Vigeland. The Lake Songavann Forest Map (17) contains swimming (summer only I expect) areas, plus many walking and bike trails, so we did not venture far off track to find a few of the control sites on the map we had to see if we could actually understand the mapping. However the location suggests the area is locally used for training, and we found a small hanging control (19) from one such exercise. I am sure if Adelaide was surrounded by such maps we would all be better orienteers and the sport would be bigger here.
Click or tap maps to zoom.
So if you are travelling in Europe in the future search for orienteering maps as they can be a great navigational aid as well as lots of fun to use when visiting cities and parks.
WMOC 2019 results were scoured and Paul Hoopman of Tjuringa was discovered to be the sole SA representative from about 35 Australians competing in this year's event. The event was hosted in Latvia on the Baltic Coast between 5th to 12th July.
Sprint. Event qualifiers were held on 6th July. Paul finished 8th of 64 finishers in M70-1 (1.9km 28m climb) of five M70 qualifying races. He went on to finish 61st of 77 finishers in the M70A final (held 7th July), an event result that was subsequently voided because a locked gate shown as open on all maps would have been on a reasonable route choice in M70A.
Middle forest. Qualifiers were held on 9th July, when Paul finished 9th of 63 finishers in the M70-1 qualifier (5.1km) of five M70 qualifying races. He then went on to finish 32nd of 76 finishers in the M70A middle forest final (3.51km, held on 10th July) with a time of 29:14 behind the winner's time of 21:29.
Long forest final. Held 12th July, Paul finished 39th of 75 finishers in M70A (6.15km, 150m climb), with a time of 59:56 behind the winner's time of 43:06.
Paul's finals' maps are below - click or tap to zoom.
All results, split times, and maps, can be found here.
The two OY events over the weekend 17-18 August near Burra attracted nearly 100 orienteers. The events were in Paradise (middle distance) and Mulga Valley (long distance), organised by Tjuringa and Tintookies respectively.
Ben Schultz turned up with a “relay control” to the 1 September North Adelaide event, promoting the World Orienteering Championships in Denmark in 2020. Ben, originally from Tintinara in SA, is travelling a lot and taking the control with him, promoting the event next year. He hung the control on our shelter while he went off to complete his long run, and then took it away with him again to continue his travels. If you would like to see more about this go to the event's Facebook page or visit the official WOC 2020 website.
Someone expressed surprise at the recent North Adelaide event that there is a member of OSA living in Kiribati. This prompted a look back at previous newsletters.
From the Wallaringa Orienteers Newsletter April 2016 - Wallaringan runs in Greenland
Ben Schultz is a Croweater based in the Philippines and joined our club last year. He is in the M50 class and a keen orienteer. Although not yet having had the opportunity to run in Australia as a Wallaringan, the largest island in the world (no correspondence will be entered into), he has run in the second-largest. Ben hopes to compete here in the near future. Recently he sent Secretary Frank the following email:
I was a bit late however have signed up again with the Wallaringa Orienteers. I still haven’t managed to time a trip back to SA with the Australian orienteering season though did manage to run in Greenland under the Wallaringa flag (came 8th in the North Atlantic Orienteering Championships out of a rather small total number) and we have established orienteering here in the Philippines which is keeping me busy (sadly that involves more mapping and course planning than competing).
Enjoy the ultra-long up in the Flinders; it looks like a fantastic event.
In January 2015 Ben had written as follows:
I am looking to sign up with the Wallaringa Orienteers via the Eventor site as I am originally from SA (Tintinara to be exact) and find myself back in SA regularly and wouldn't mind going for a run when my schedule allows. I am based in Manila, and as there are no orienteering clubs here would like to join with the Wallaringa Orienteers so that I at least have a club when I join events in different parts of the globe (off to NATLOC in Greenland in June and was in Tassie a few weeks ago).
If there are any problems with that please let me know, otherwise I'll sign up for the Full Membership and hopefully be able to join for a run now and then. At the very least you'll get Wallaringa representation in some interesting spots (Azerbaijan last year!).
We look forward to having Ben Schultz compete for Wallaringa in Australia in the future.
From the Wallaringa Orienteers Newsletter April 2018
On March 27 Secretary Frank Tomas and the author met our overseas member Ben Schultz.
Ben (M45) is South Australian born and educated but beginning in accountancy, has spent most of his working life overseas as a consultant in governance and project managing in developing nations across the Asia-Pacific. He is presently based in Myanmar (Burma) with his partner and wife (also an orienteer) Yumi.
Ben is a very keen participant in our sport, not only in competition but also in mapping and establishing orienteering clubs in remote places such as the South Tarawa atoll in Kiribati (“Battle of Tarawa” is worthwhile googling) where he utilised commercial fish ponds to set some challenging courses!
Ben is pictured with Frank and the Wallaringa T shirt presented to him.
From the Wallaringa Orienteers Newsletter August 2019
Wallaringan in O-Ringen, Media Star
Frank Tomas received another email from Ben Schultz, our overseas member, on July 31:
I am just back from O-Ringen in Sweden where I had a fun, albeit poor performing, 5 days of H45. Whilst there I was interviewed by a Swedish web-TV station in relation to my setting up orienteering in Kiribati. [Editor's note: a link was given, which failed to work, but I did find a media link here to three stories that featured Ben. The catch is that in order to read all stories in full, you need to pay 49Kronen!]
I was also interviewed by the local paper in Norkopping as well as for Skoggsport (the Swedish orienteering magazine), each time about Kiribati.
So whilst my orienteering skills may have provided an abundance of mirth in the household I was staying, at least I managed to retain my dignity in the media! Enjoy the upcoming event.
From the upcoming Wallaringa Orienteers Newsletter October 2019
Carrying on from the international news in our last newsletter, on August 28 Ben Schultz wrote:
A delay in a contract in Kiribati and some work to be done in Australia means I will be in Adelaide this weekend and will attend the Tintookies urban event in North Adelaide. If there are any Wallaringa Orienteers attending I'd love to meet you.
I'll be the lost looking person with silver hair in a red Kiribati Orienteers shirt.
I have with me one of the twenty controls sent around the World from O-Ringen for the World Orienteering Championships in Denmark (control #13). Hence the IOF are keen for some photos of Australian orienteers with the flag and who better than Wallaringans!
See you in Adelaide (and make sure Adelaide has plenty of Pale Ale in stock - it's been a while).
Although the September 1 event was not very well attended, there were sufficient Wallaringans to make Ben feel welcome. Pictured is Ben wearing his Kiribati O shirt with our Sarah Gilbert
The International Orienteering Federation Council is currently conducting a review into TrailO in order to see if it can be made more widely attractive as a part of our sport and if the current model of TrailO is the best model.
TrailO is an orienteering discipline centered around map reading in natural terrain. The discipline has been developed to offer everyone, in particular people with limited mobility, a chance to participate in a meaningful orienteering competition.
Manual or electric wheel chairs, walking sticks, and assistance with movement etc. are permitted as speed of movement is not part of the competition. In fact, IOF competition rules specify that TrailO course terrain must be chosen so that the least mobile competitors, such as those confined to and propelling low fixed wheelchairs and those who walk slowly and with difficulty, can negotiate the course within the maximum time limit with ease. Map scales are either 1:4000 or 1:5000.
Trail orienteers must identify control points shown on the map. As this is done from a distance, both able-bodied and participants with disabilities compete on level terms. Proof of correct identification of the control points does not require any manual dexterity, allowing those with severely restricted movement to compete equally. Most trail orienteering events have classes open for everyone.
Athletes who cannot participate on reasonably equal terms in the sport because of a functional disadvantage due to a permanent disability are eligible for the paralympic class.
TrailO was recognised as an official IOF discipline in 1992. Most events are held in Europe, with a few held in recent years in Asia and north Africa.
The first ever World Cup in TrailO was held in 1999 and replaced with the World TrailO Championships in 2004. The World Championships are organised every year, and this year's event held in Portugal attracted competitors from 25 countries. This year's Asian TrailO Championships will be held in Hong Kong between 29 November to 2 December.
For more information visit the official IOF webpages here,
There are a few very active map-makers in SA and probably a lot more members who might be interested in starting, but either don't know where to begin, or would prefer to remain low-key and low-cost until they've built up a little knowledge and experience. Well, this article could be for you.
Since the 1960s, when orienteering maps were black and white copies of government maps, map-making has gone through some major evolutions. Before PCs, GPS, the internet, freeware and Google, producing orienteering maps was a laborious process. Each map colour was drawn separately on different sheets of drafting paper, and background material was usually limited. If you were lucky, you might have had a government map to base your work on, and if very lucky recent aerial photographs of the area of interest. Ground surveys were a major part of map-making.
How things have changed! Now, almost everything needed to produce a top quality map is available free on the web. This includes guides and videos on map-making, software for producing the maps and for designing and producing courses, very high resolution satellite photographs, street maps with ground-based street views, and plans with contours on which to base the maps. All an aspiring map-maker needs is a desktop computer (Windows or Mac, and possibly an Android tablet or phone), an internet connection, and the ability to check work with a walk or cycle around the area being mapped. The most costly and time-consuming part of map-making is probably time spent conducting field surveys to identify features not discernible in the base material, and then verifying a new map's accuracy.
Although OCAD remains the preferred software for producing orienteering maps, the free Open Orienteering Mapper does a similar job. Maps produced with OOMapper can be used with Purple Pen course setting software. OOMapper also has options to open and edit OCAD files and save in the same format, as well as save in several other formats such as PDF, JPEG and PNG.
A good first step for any mapping project is to read Adrian Uppill's guide to urban map-making here. For those who don't know, Adrian is a member of SA's Onkaparinga Hills Orienteering Club, Australia's representative on the International Orienteering Federation Mapping Commission, and also a prolific producer of orienteering maps.
Open Orienteering Mapper
There are many Youtube videos on OOMapper. These range from brief overviews to comprehensive demonstrations of how to create a map. For example, this 20 minute Youtube video demonstrates map creation and production steps. Although the video uses US base material, each step is analogous to the Australian environment. There is also a guide on the Orienteering Australia website that describes the initial steps in starting an orienteering map, and an OOMapper on-line manual is here.
Other useful sources of information are the current orienteering map standards published by the IOF. The current forest standard known as ISOM 2017-2 can be downloaded from here, and the future sprint standard known as ISSprOM2019 (which supersedes the current standard ISSOM 2007 from 1 January 2020) can also be downloaded from the same source. ISSproM 2019, which is based on ISOM 2017, recommends the use of 2m or 2.5m contours; 2m (urban) and 5m (rural) contour information is available free from the SA Government's Nature Maps website (see below). In addition, the IOF has also published guidance and recommends six additional symbols for use on school maps, which can also be downloaded from the same source.
Open Street Maps
For base material, called templates in OOMapper, Open Street Maps is probably the best base map to start with. When you visit the OSM website and select an area of interest, you have the option to export (button is top left of screen) a copy of an area of interest, which is automatically georeferenced. This means that X-Y coordinates on the screen in OOMapper are automatically associated with real-world coordinates. This makes importing GPS data at a later date, such as tracks and point features identified in field surveys, far easier to do. First, you need to zoom in to the area you are interested in, and a second export button will appear in a window that appears on the left of the screen. You will then receive a save file prompt - it is suggested you save the file to a "templates" folder created as a sub-folder within a previously created "maps" folder.
Although the exported OSM data is very basic (eg roads, and some tracks and building), its biggest advantage is that it provides georeferenced data and by default results in any map produced using OOMapper also being georeferenced. The important thing to do when importing an OSM map is to know the geographic coordinates of a recognisable point of interest on the map you are producing, such as a track or road junction, and to know the difference between true north and magnetic north (also known as declination, which is about +8 degs in SA), because you will be prompted to enter this information when the OSM map is loaded as a template. The map then becomes automatically adjusted so that magnetic north is at the top of the page.
Next, visit Google Earth. If not already installed on your computer go to the Google Earth installation/uninstallation webpage. Long-time users of satellite images are astounded at the current quality and resolution of freely available images of almost anywhere in the world. If you zoom in you can now see sub-metre objects, and in some cases objects as small as fence posts. However, a problem at high resolution, determined by an "eye alt" of about 150m, seen in the bottom right corner of a Google Earth image, the area covered on the screen is relatively small. To get around this restriction, you can copy the screen image (from Edit, select Copy Image), or shift-printscreen on a Windows PC, and paste into a basic photo editor (also free). By going over the area of interest and copying overlapping screen images to the photo editor, you can crop out unwanted information and then join images together into a single larger high resolution image, like a patchwork quilt or mosaic. The final image can then be saved as a jpeg file to the "template" sub-folder used for OSM.
Next, visit Nature Maps, which provides contour information to 2m resolution for urban areas and 5m resolution for rural areas. Again, in order to see information at highest resolution, including the 2m contours, zoom in to the area of interest, copy screen images, paste into your photo editor, and then join together and save as a jpeg image. Nature Maps also provides options to access street maps and satellite imagery, but the resolution is generally not as good as that obtained directly from Google Earth and Google Maps.
The final source of background material is Google Maps. Although not providing the detail found in Google Earth, if used for urban map-making, it provides council and individual plot boundaries when zoomed in. Also, street view available in Google Maps is more flexible to use than in Google Earth, so you can use it to confirm detail you might have missed in a ground survey of the area. Again, screen images are copied to a photo editor, joined together and saved as a jpeg image. Saving as a PNG image is also possible, which is compatible with OOMapper.
Before importing base material files into OOMapper, you need to be aware that the different background map sources are aligned with either grid north or true north, whereas the convention for orienteering maps is to align with magnetic north. It appears that Google Maps is aligned with true north whereas Google Earth and Nature Maps use grid north as their north datum. Although the difference in angle between grid north and true north is relatively small in SA, being one to two degrees, it can cause difficulty when trying to align base material in OOMapper.
Downloading and installing OOMapper
The final step before starting your first map is to download OOMapper and install on your computer. Visit here to read more about it, and follow the link to download the latest versions (at the time of writing it was 0.8.4) for Windows, Android and Mac. After installation, click "create a new map", and you will prompted to enter a map scale and select a map symbol set. Select "templates" and "template setup window". In the template window that appears click the "+" sign and start adding your base material, beginning with an Open Street Map template. Re-positioning, re-scaling and adjusting angles of base material can be done after they have been added. So don't be too alarmed if the templates don't align accurately at first. After this stage, individual templates can also be turned on or off as required, their transparency adjusted from 0% to 100%, and their relative positions changed (eg to be above or below other templates), as aids to drawing.
The SEPTEMBER edition of The Australian Orienteer features 2019 JWOC in Denmark and Aston Key’s great runs in all three Finals plus the excellent performances by the whole of our JWOC Team. There’s also coverage of WMOC in Latvia & WMTBOC in Denmark; Indoor Orienteering at Monash University; news of events coming up including the inaugural Melbourne City Race and a feast of Sprint events. Spot the Difference is a little different this time with the JWOC Sprint map compared with a training map prepared by JWOC Team member Duncan Currie prior to the event. We preview the AUS Schools Championships; Stephen Bird shows how to use split times to fine tune your training; and Ian Baker interviews Ron Frederick in the lead-up to the 50th Anniversary event in Victoria.
The period starting September is when mainly bush events held on Sundays begin to give way to urban events usually held on Friday evenings. For program updates, go to the OSA Event page. The confirmed program on 8 September organised by Adelaide and surrounds, Lincoln, Saltbush and Top End clubs is as follows:
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