June 2020

SA Committee

President Rob Tucker
Treasurer Andrew Kennedy
Assistant Treasurer Vacant
Secretary Erica Diment
Assistant Secretary Fi Pahor
Technical Robin Uppill
Training & Coaching Coordinator Bridget Uppill
Newsletter Frank Burden
ENews Robyn Dose
Schools Coordinator Zita Sankauskas
Publicity & Promotion Olivia Sprod
Auditor Vacant
IT Manager Ken Thompson

From the president

Rob Tucker

The start of our orienteering year has certainly set some challenges for us.

It has been encouraging to see how many initiatives have been employed to maintain some semblance of orienteering activity.

A great deal of thanks must go to those who have established activities such as MapRun, permanent courses, training and more recently working on future events to be able to offer orienteering when restrictions are eased.

I hope all are keeping fit to hit orienteering soon, running!

From the editor

Frank Burden

Yay - it looks like the start of some limited orienteering competition (80 maximum but 300 next weekend, which includes organisers, competitors and spectators, pre-entry only, social distancing - 1.5m minimum, don't go if you are feeling unwell or recently returned from overseas, don't hang around after the event, hand sanitizing etc)! Time will tell whether locally we're emerging out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week's Black Lives Matter rallies will be a test of whether the virus is under control in Australia, and if further relaxations of social distancing rules will follow and allow larger scale events to be organised.

On a more cautious note though, as I write this (9 June), the world just recorded its highest number of COVID-19 infections in 24 hours and the World Health Organisation issued a warning that globally the situation is worsening. There is still a long way to go, so don't be complacent.

I have included a short article below on how the pandemic has affected five of the world's major orienteering countries and some of their top orienteers.

Also, there is an article on orienteering in SA in the 1950s by an "original", Andrew Jeffery. There are also articles by three frequent contributers (Robin Uppill on WOC Australia in 1985, 2002 Schools Team Flashback, DIY orienteering using MapRunF; Ken Thompson on ISOM 2017-2 new bush mapping standards; and Erica Diment on attack points). There is an article by Mark Overton on his family's orienteering experiences in South Africa, one by Kay Haarsma on 25 years of mountain bike orienteering in SA, one by Colin Price on SIAC, several snippets (from the Top End, Wallaringa, on mapping and the Alice Master's cancellation, and an overview of Bridget's ultra-long DIY Score event and results), one on efficient running techniques, and finally one on Minecraft Orienteering. Together, a great and varied collection of articles that I hope you will find interesting.

Prior to the pandemic, I had included a summary of results and future events, and a gallery of photos taken from various sources on the web. A dearth of suitable material this time around and some uncertainty about future event planning makes it inappropriate to include these articles in this newsletter, but I hope to resurrect them in the next newsletter. To keep up to date with what's happening in SA, keep checking OSA's home page, event calendar, and Facebook page.

Reminiscences of orienteering in SA in the 1950s

Andrew Jeffery, an "original"

The recent deaths of Neville Scott and Carl Cedarblad have set me thinking back to old times.

I attended Neville's funeral. I had caught up with him and his wife Adrienne over the years at his winery and more recently in Victor Harbor when they retired here.

I contacted Alison Cedarblad after Neville's funeral and subsequently visited Carl in his nursing home not long before he died. We had a great chat about our orienteering days.

I visit Brian Wale, who was a stalwart in my time and then for many years after orienteering resumed in the 1970s. He lives with his wife Somsong here in Victor Harbor. Owing to ill-health he is mostly confined to his home these days.

Trevor Kennewell also lives at Victor – I used to see him at U3A (University of the Third Age) but haven't caught up with him recently. His brother Colin was at the reunion of "the originals" at Scott's winery in 2004. I also see Dick and Anne Windsor occasionally.

I've lost contact with Murray and Brenda Kiely and Rex Jordan, all of whom were at the 2004 reunion. Please get in touch with me if you know their whereabouts.

Orienteering in Australia owes its existence to the great "Jesse" Jarver. I consider it a privilege to have known "Jesse" as a top athletics coach, author of the internationally famous Modern Athlete and Coach as the astute sports commentator "Achilles" and, of course, as the instigator of orienteering. I experienced his infectious enthusiasm, not only at orienteering events but also when we met for committee meetings in his office in the National Fitness Council.

"Jesse" must have been very disappointed that orienteering folded up in 1961 but thankfully he was an integral part of its revival in the early 1970s.

Unfortunately I was living and teaching in the Northern Territory when it was re-established and didn't get involved after I eventually returned south.

Carl and I had many a close tussle after I started in 1957. He had the better of me in the 1957 and 1958 "state" championships (I ran 2nd and 3rd respectively) but overall we were level pegging in the club runs in which we both competed. He won the first three championships (1956-1958) and I took out the next two with my young brother Robert winning the junior events. There was no championship event in 1961.

Brian Wale was always in contention - 2nd in 1956 and 1958, 3rd in 1957 and 1960.

I certainly enjoyed the fun and friendly rivalry in my five years competing as an original and I hope that orienteering will continue for many more years.

44 Cornhill Rd, Victor Harbor 5211

Phone: 08-85525315

Email: please contact the editor

WOC Australia in 1985

Robin Uppill

The video below is from WOC 1985 held on Kooyoora near Bendigo.

Click here if the video does not display.

Some early sections of the video have poor quality, however there is some interesting background:

  • Making maps with no digital data. Each colour is drawn with pen and ink as a separate layer
  • Courses are overprinted later onto the paper maps
  • The comment from Steve Key – “We do not hide controls” – course planners take note
  • Video of some controls in the forest
  • Radio information was relayed to the finish by radio systems organized by Ron Larsson

Managing orienteering events is often described as being labour intensive, and this may be so. However having come through the transition from no digital technologies being used in orienteering, to the current technologies we are accustomed to, running events now requires overall less effort then in the past.

25 Years of MTBO in South Australia

Kay Haarsma

Australia’s first official MTBO event was held on June 4th, 1995 on the Mt Pleasant map in the Adelaide Hills. I was the organiser and course setter.

I had heard of MTBO happening overseas and thought we should give it a go. I researched and used the internationally accepted rules, which were similar to ski O, with bikes being restricted to the tracks and controls placed beside them. The difficulty in MTBO comes in deciding the route choice quickly and in working out when and how to read the map without crashing! The track rich Mt Pleasant map was ideal and three courses of 10, 18 and 30kilometres were set. These were measured on the optimum riding route, to give the newcomers an accurate sense of their likely time out in the forest.

As the event start time came closer, I worried whether we would get any participants, that is, besides Peter, my mountain bike riding brother, who had been suitably bribed. The cars rolled in and bikes of all shapes and sizes emerged. This first event attracted 72 starters, a tremendous result. Participants were either: mountain bike racers; social cyclists; retired foot orienteers or current foot orienteers. Most went around in pairs or threes, perhaps using the “safety in numbers” philosophy. However, this almost resulted in divorce for one married couple. “He always headed off in the wrong direction and didn’t listen to my logic” moaned X. Some had home-made map holders on handlebars; while others either put maps in their jerseys or carried them in their mouths!

The excitement on the faces of the finishers summed up the day, with all getting a buzz from the new challenge. Bevan Hill (OHOC) declared “that’s the most fun I’ve ever had orienteering.” John Williams (Tjuringa) impressed in finishing the 18km course on a road bike. Two of my Marryatville High students, Danny Eckert and Joe Quarmby (who competed in the Junior MTB XC Worlds the following year) rode 75kms to the event and spent 3 hours to complete the 30 km course. Bike riders were generally beaten by those with orienteering experience, but reckoned they had learnt how to navigate and would reverse the result next time.”

Who would have foreseen that within 10 years Australia would host the 2nd World MTBO Championships in Victoria and win its first ever orienteering gold medal of any discipline!

After this initial success several other events were held in conjunction with foot O events in 1995. Consequently 5 - 11 events per year have been on the yearly OSA program. The first SA State MTBO Championships were held on October 26th 1997, again on the extended Mt Pleasant map. Courses were set by 16-year-old Marryatville HS student Michael Bammann and victories went to Heather Smith and Reuben Smith – no, not related.

Meanwhile different event forms emerged in an effort to capture more people to the sport. I organised a 2-day Bike Adventure rogaine type team event (based on a Czech model) with optional overnight camping, for 3 years from 2002 on maps at 1:25,000. From 2008 Bruce Greenhalgh orchestrated the annual LDMTBOTC (Long distance team challenges) which were 1-day events on 1:50,000 scale maps, using mostly country dirt roads. In 2016 Bruce rebranded these are Velogaines and arranged for Rogaining SA to take on the administration and these continue on as very popular annual events.

1998 saw the first Australian MTBO Championships held in Creswick, Victoria, organised by Blake Gordon. Inaugural elite winners were the multi- skilled Melbourne couple of Natasha and Warren Key. This event was notable for the amusing tale of setter and vetter (Rob Plowright and Keith Wade) both bogging their cars whilst putting out controls the day prior and having to ride back to Ballarat in the dead of night! SA had wins to Troy Merchant (M14) and me (W35). A memorable quote came from Tom Bammann, disappointedly beaten by a small margin in M18, in his words, “by some small red-haired kid.” This was Adrian Jackson, who, just 6 years later, would be Australia’s first ever WOC gold medallist. Blake would go on to co-ordinate the 2004 World Championships based in Ballarat, which had considerable SA input through me (coach), and mapping duo Reuben Smith and Andrew Slattery.

In 1999 SA hosted the 2nd Australian Championships at Kuitpo Forest. The Tjuringa club organised 2 great days of competition, with youngsters Claire Davill and Karl Hillyard both course setting and making the MTBO specific maps. Phil Davill was a strange sight, having forgotten his shoes, he did a “Cliffy” and rode in gumboots. There were lots of interstaters and the elite individual winners were Paul Liggins (Vic) and Steph Maxwell (ACT). Relay victors were ecstatic with their one metre lengths of Cadbury chocolate!

2009 saw SA again host the Australian Championships, based in the South-East at Mt Gambier. Most events were held just over the Victorian border near Nelson. Andrew Slattery was the master-mind and it was an Aus v NZ Challenge. Great terrain but remembered for the windy, icy weather too.

In 2014 SA held the Australian Championships even more remotely, in Alice Springs (Northern Territory), just 1500kms up the road! Andrew Slattery was again the mapper and organiser with Lee Merchant, Steve Sullivan and Paul Darvodelsky being course setters. This time the Aus v NZ Challenge riders had warm weather and unique terrain amidst the red centre background of the Macdonnell Ranges.

In recent years Top End Orienteers in Darwin (affiliated with SA) have run at least one MTBO event while events have also been held annually in Alice Springs since 2014.

SA MTBO has been well served over the 25 years by enthusiastic co-ordinators including Steve Sullivan, Bruce Greenhalgh, Peter Mayer, Lee Merchant and Andrew Slattery.

Schools Team 2002 Flashback

Robin Uppill

The 2002 Australian Schools Championships were held near Rawnsley Park in the Flinders Ranges. The teams camped and food was provided by a catering company. Also the teams were transported in shared coaches rather than the traditional team buses. The SA team took second place.

2002 Schools Team Photo

Back Row: Miguel Clarke (coach, then a gap to Troy Merchant, Michael Ashforth, Nadia Velaitis
Middle Row: Alexander Frank, ?Gareth Williams, Brett Merchant, Steve Williams (manager), Simon Uppill, Wes Dose, Shannon Nicolson, Anthea Williams (manager)
Front Row: Tristan Lee, Mallory Hughes, Rebecca Hembrow, Katie Dose, Rachel Scott, Zebedy Hallet, Nicolle Such
Missing: Hannah Skehan, Sean Hooper (not sure why)

SIAC questions answered

Colin Price (aussieogear)
Australian distributor of Sportident equipment

How long does the battery last? How can I tell if the battery is getting flat? What is the Battery Test unit for? Do I need to touch the control as I pass? What happens when the SIAC is flat?

These are all questions I have been asked so I hope this helps you understand how to best enjoy your SIAC without boring you with Tech stuff. The recent Melbourne Sprint Weekend was great (thank you) and pointed out to me some things we need to look at (both competitor and organiser).

How long does the battery last in a SIAC?

I can’t say precisely but with average use about 4 years? It is up to each competitor to monitor this.  It does depend upon how many events you do in contactless mode. Changing to your old SI stick for Non Contactless events is just a pain for organisers and I have no evidence you will save your battery. Batteries have a shelf life and apparently Lithium batteries perform better if used regularly! A new SIAC will have 2.98v and will drop to 2.89, then 2.80, 2.71 with low voltage warning at 2.44v.

My current SIAC is 4 years old and is 2.80 or 2.89 depending on the test unit.

How can I tell if the SIAC battery is getting flat?

Each competitor has to monitor their own SIAC for battery voltage therefore the event organisers MUST supply the tools to do this at every SIAC enabled event. This is called a “Battery Test” unit which you saw at most of the MSW events.

What is the Battery Test unit for?

The Battery test unit is supplied so that you can check your SIAC is working (you will hear the BSF8 beep). If it is flat it will beep differently.  But the SIAC can still die out on the course (after which you need to punch). So it is IMPORTANT that you check the LCD display on top of the “Battery Test” BSF8 unit to see what voltage you have. It will also tell you OK or not. I would only worry after the voltage drops to 2.80v after which I expect the voltage may drop at a faster rate (normal for lithium batteries).

What happens if the event doesn't have a Battery Test unit? A question for OA and organisers as there will be a time when an Elite (or any orienteer) is disadvantaged by a failing SIAC.

Do I need to touch the control as I pass?

I noticed a lot of thumping of controls as orienteers passed (with their SIAC). You can pass the control within 30 cm to register you have been there. Hitting the control is not necessary as you get an audial and visual indicator that you have attended the control. By hitting each unit it is possible to damage the SIAC by dislodging the components. You need to become more comfortable with close passing and you will also save time! Please also run past the finish control when it is set as contactless as your time registers after you have moved out of the field.

What happens when the SIAC is flat?

A flat SIAC needs to go back to Sportident Germany for a replacement battery so you need to talk with the person you bought the SIAC from. Replacement is not a quick process but I have several options available for my customers. Alternatively you use your old SI Stick for a while.

The above are just my observations and more details are available on the Sportident Website or you can email Aussieogear.com and I will try to answer your questions. Not too technical please!

I hope this information answers most of your questions.

Big 5 Orienteering - South Africa

Mark Overton


South Africa turned out to be an absolute wonderful place to visit especially with the excuse of doing the Big 5 O (the Big 5 are Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhinoceros) which is South Africa’s fifth international five-day orienteering competition held every 2 years.

A total of 260 competitors from 21 countries turned up in Graskop, an old historical trade post and gold mining village famous for its picturesque mountains and forested landscapes. Located at an altitude of 1400m above sea level, it is on the touristic ‘Panorama Route’ that follows the Drakensberg Escarpment. The town is only 45 minutes from the Kruger National Park and was a wonderful event centre overlooking the lowveld.

During the five days, the event also hosted two World Ranking Events for the Elite categories and could be considered the European winter playground for Orienteers. Some of the elites were heading to Dullstroom high altitude training camp afterwards, whilst we went to the Kruger! The Big 5 O is a very friendly and social competition with a pub quiz (sadly, the combined Australian, Swiss and German team didn’t do so well at this), New Year’s Eve dinner (a game potjiekos accompanied by thundering rain), a parkrun (for those who had the energy) and a final dinner (which included a night-time guided viewing lift and gorge walk experience down to the lowveld below).

View from Graskop over the Infinity Pool
Paradise Berg Start and Finish

Day 1 was Paradise Berg and the first opportunity to work out how to use the EMIT system which was so clunky and slow in comparison to the SI system but a lot cheaper for the South African Orienteering clubs which suffer from a lack of members and income.

To quote the event information “Paradise Berg is a very large boulder field on gently sloping terrain. Dense vegetation is almost non-existent as short grassland predominates. The density of rocks and stony ground will determine running speed. Areas of the map will be extremely intricate and navigation very testing, particularly amongst some of the rock pillar formations.”

The blurb did not mention the tussocky grassland which was extremely hard to run through without going flying onto your face and we all agreed that the navigation was testing!

Paradise Berg (click/tap to zoom)

Day 2 was Waterval North which is part of a Forestry plantation adjacent to the Waterval Spruit which flows over flat bare rock towards the Berlin Falls. To quote the event information “The terrain is mature open pine forest plantation with very good runnability. Large areas of grassland and rocky outcrops are also present. There are numerous small sink holes in the forest and isolated mining trenches and caves in the rocky areas. Vegetation is negligible but some areas of grassland can have thick undergrowth (bracken/ferns).”

The start was deep in the forest all covered in pine needles.

Waterval Start
Which Stump? (click/tap to zoom)

We learned very quickly to avoid the areas of bracken. And of course, the controls were well hidden on tree stumps!

Day 3 was Waterval South which is the southern section of the Waterval Map that was used on Day 2. The event arena, start and finish were all reused from the day before therefore the Big 5 O signpost wasn’t as important as the day before!

Run to finish

The only part that was really the same was the run in from the last control on the rocky outcrop to the finish which seemed just as hard on the second time.

Day 4 was London Plantation which was again on Forestry land and was in a hidden valley at the headwaters of the Treur River. The Treur and Blyde Rivers join downstream at the famous Bourke’s Luck Potholes another tourist site.

To quote the event information “The forest plantation is in a valley bowl with steep slopes on three sides. Runnability is generally very good, but some compartments have recently been felled and brush cuttings remain on the ground, reducing runnability. There is also an open area with significant historical sand and gold mining works. Parts of the open area have notable bracken/ferns.” Runnable yes, steep most definitely and also included a very boggy patch with very deep patches of stinking marsh!

Marsh (click/tap to zoom)

The final day was the WRE Sprint down in Hazyview – and down in the altitude sense as the town is on the lowveld and thus hotter and more humid. The event was held in the Kruger Park Lodge and was a mix of golf course, roads, buildings with the odd herd of impala thrown in.

Kruger Park Lodge (click/tap to zoom)

The finish was situated right next to a swimming pool which was relief to many of the competitors!

Jessica flying into the finish
Running past the pool

Although none of us had fantastic runs and some were downright awful (including falling into that really stinking marsh and someone going out with the wrong map) it was brilliant to experience an international Orienteering event and Southern Africa was beautiful.

Although none of us had fantastic runs and some were downright awful (including falling into that really stinking marsh and someone going out with the wrong map) it was brilliant to experience an international Orienteering event and Southern Africa was beautiful.

What is ISOM 2017-2?

Ken Thompson

The following is based mainly on IOF documents.

Latest Para Wirra
ISOM 2017-2 conversion

You may recall my earlier article What is ISSprOM 2019 in the March Newsletter which described the new mapping standards for sprint maps. ISOM 2017-2 is the new international specification for general orienteering maps. It replaces ISOM 2000. Existing maps are being progressively converted. The Para Wirra maps are among my most recent conversions. To see one of these go to the Orienteering SA website and About Orienteering -> DIY Orienteering. See how many of the changes I mention you can find on the map.

One of the changes is that the map type should be shown on the map itself so look out for "Conforms to ISOM 2017-2" or similar words. Some changes for ISOM 2017-2 are the same as ISSprOM 2019. Where this is the case there is a # at the start of the comments column below.

So what has changed? I will focus on some of the visually obvious changes. There have actually been 106 changes! If you want to know more, particularly if you have an interest in mapping, I suggest you look at the specifications themselves on the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) Mapping website.

Most of the changes aim to improve clarity - symbols below are enlarged for illustrative purposes.

ISOM 2000       ISOM 2017-2              Comments     
1:15 000 or 1:10 0001:15 000 or 1:10 000Scale: When 1:10 000 or other larger scale it must be a strict enlargement of 1:15 000
1:15 000 500m 1:10 000 250m300m apart regardless of scaleMagnetic North lines
 isom2017_01.png# For area symbols in brown, black or blue a minimum gap 0.4mm at 1:15 000 (0.6mm at 1:10 000) to ensure clarity.
 isom2017_02.png# Minimum gap between all symbols of the same colour 0.15mm at 1:15 000 (0.225mm at 1:10 000). This includes all point symbols.
isom2017_031.pngisom2017_032.png# Small fountain, water tank or well. Improves clarity for colour blind people.
isom2017_041.pngisom2017_042.png# Prominent water feature. Improves clarity for colour blind people.
isom2017_051.pngisom2017_052.png# Prominent landform feature . Replaces brown cross. In Australia often used for termite mound. Improves clarity for colour blind people
isom2017_061.pngisom2017_062.png# Prominent large tree. White mask under the object to improve clarity.
isom2017_071.pngisom2017_072.png# Prominent small tree or bush. Small white dot inside & under object to aid the vision impaired.
 isom2017_08.pngDistinct vegetation boundary. An alternative on map with a lot of rock detail. Only one version can be used on a map
isom2017_091.pngisom2017_092.png# Prominent vegetation feature. White mask under object to improve clarity.
 isom2017_10.png# Railway line.
 isom2017_11.png# Stairway.
Hand placed individual dots. At least 3.isom2017_12.pngBroken ground. Area symbol (individual dot symbol still available).
Hand placed individual dots. At least 3.isom2017_13.pngVery broken ground. Reduced runnability. Area symbol.
Hand placed individual dots. At least 3.isom2017_14.pngBoulder field. Area symbol (individual triangle symbol still available).
Hand placed individual dots. At least 3.isom2017_15.pngBoulder field reduced runnability. Area symbol.
Hand placed individual dots. At least 3.isom2017_16.pngStony ground slow running. Area symbol (individual dot symbol still available.
Hand placed individual dots. At least 3.isom2017_17.pngStony ground walk. Area symbol.
Hand placed individual dots. At least 3.isom2017_18.pngStony ground fight. Area symbol.
 isom2017_19.pngRocky or artificial trench.
 isom2017_20.pngNarrow ride. Two extra variations to show runnability. Top - difficult to run. Bottom - slow run.
 isom2017_21.png# Canopy.

Running Techniques

Success in orienteering relies not only on the ability to understand and navigate using maps but also on being able to move quickly and efficiently through the terrain, which can range from roads, footpaths and tracks to rugged open, forested or heavily vegetated land.

Walking and running are the most basic and natural forms of human movement used by orienteers, and running is the first thing many people turn to when they want to get fitter. But while many of us can run, not everyone does it well. An internet search for running techniques will reveal an enormous number of sources of information, which range from personal experiences and opinion to science-based advice on such topics as stride frequency, foot strike position, knee, hips, arms and head position.


One animated article discovered on the ABC website here compared the running style of a recreational runner with that of an Olympic-class athlete.

Upright stance (blue) = more efficient running posture

Key differences between the two included:

  • The recreational runner spent 3% longer with their foot on the ground than the Olympic-class runner, or, in other words, the Olympic-class runner was moving forward in the air 3% longer than the recreational runner.
  • The Olympic-class runner travelled 10cm further with each stride, feet struck the ground more directly below the body, and foot strike was mid-foot to forefoot compared with the heel for the recreational runner. The latter when combined with a more forward foot strike resulted in a braking force transmitted up the leg to the knees and hips on each stride, unlike the force in the Olympic-class runner which is stored in the Achilles tendon and released to push the body forward on the next stride.
  • The hips and lower body of the recreational runner were tilted more forward than the Olympic-class runner, who had a more upright stance. This in turn resulted in a higher and more consistent centre of gravity and hence more efficient running style.

That is, running isn't all about the feet and legs. Key tips from the experts are:

  • Don’t sink: run tall and be light
  • Try shortening your strides by increasing the frequency
  • Be high in your hips; don’t stick out your bum
  • Kiss the ground; don’t bash it, and
  • Don’t think about your feet
Other sources

There are numerous other sources of information on running. Here is a list of the top 10 Australian running blogs, and here a list of the world's top 100 running blogs. They cover topics ranging from running styles, fitness training to injury prevention. RunnersConnect, a popular US-based running website, provides helpful advice on curing common running injuries. You can also join for free to receive a weekly newsletter with running and training tips.


Top End - March Newsletter

Susi Bertei (Schools co-ordinator) and Lachlan Hallett (President) received Orienteer of the Year awards.


The club organised MapRunF street series courses, which allowed orienteers to go for a run in their own time without the need to put out control flags and punches. As an aside, a web search for the term "MapRun" indicates that it is increasingly being used by many clubs around the world.

Wallaringa - June Newsletter

Wallaringa Kirribati member Ben Schultz continues to be active overseas, after finding himself in Vanuatu when the Japanese government evacuated his wife but not him. With time on his hands, he produced a map and Vanuatu had an orienteering competition in May. Ben wrote that the event went well with another event tentatively scheduled for June, and there is also talk of setting a permanent course on the Port Vila waterfront for tourists (when they return) and for locals to use as they wish.

Ben also described problems of producing maps in the tropics. One of the biggest problems is the pace vegetation can change, for example, from clear field to impassable grass in a month and paths disappear rapidly when people stop using them. Also, dense spider webs can be an unnerving experience for sensitive, inattentive competitors!


Open Orienteering Mapper version 0.9.3 was released on 16 May. This includes bug fixes and new features, such as a preliminary ISSprOM 2019 symbol set. For more details click here.

OCAD 2020 has undergone several updates to add new functionalities, features and correct some bugs. These include a new symbol set for mapping homes(!), one click generation of maps, improved import functions, import IOF XML files from Eventor, improved Route Analyzer, and a Course Setting feature added to the Starter edition. Full details are here, which also lists the updates for OCAD versions from version 9 onwards.

Alice Springs Masters Games

Kay Haarsma

Sadly the 2020 edition planned in October has now been cancelled by the NT Government as of June 1.

However the great O terrain, O maps and kilometres of mountain bike tracks (including many new ones} are still there, so consider a holiday to Alice when the borders re-open.

Ultra-long DIY Score event

Held June 6 AT 6 AM to June 7 AT 9 PM, the Australian ultra-long control online challenge was organised by Bridget Uppill. Details of the event are here. Basically, it involved setting a scatter course with a maximum of 60 controls and two hours to visit as many controls as possible. The area (bush or urban) and map could be anywhere legally accessible, and courses were set according to several restrictions (eg at least 300m between controls, maximum of 10 on tracks, allowance for climb). GPS tracks, maps and number of controls visited were then uploaded to determine winners. Over 71 people participated.

  • The winning state average was SA - 43.3 controls visited, NSW close second with 41, and most controls visited was TAS 680 controls.
  • Longest distance covered: Sam Woolford 21.24km and Grace Molloy 20.97km
  • Longest distance covered: Sam Woolford 21.24km and Grace Molloy 20.97km
  • Most controls visited: Aston, Brodie, Joseph, Dante, Grace and Sam all visited 60 controls.
  • Youngest participant: M/W16 (many states).
  • Oldest participant: M75 From WA.
  • Best represented state: TAS with 22 participants, 19 from SA, WA 17.

Some OSA maps are posted here.

Robin Uppill wrote that she created a course at Prelinna that she and Adrian used. Toby and Max also used this with a few extra controls added, being younger and able to go further.

How has Covid-19 affected orienteering around the world?

If you go to IOF Eventor you will see that after 14 March, the day a World Ranking Event was held in Brazil, all major national and international orienteering events originally planned up to August have been cancelled.

Filling a gap in this covid-constrained competition calendar, but not included in the IOF Eventor calendar, has been the online Catching Features World Cup 2020 held over ten weeks to 6 July. Middle (including a night event!) and long distance events are held at virtual venues in Finland, USA, Sweden, France, Norway and Greenland - 20 competitions in total. Results are posted here; click links listed at the top of the page to view event results. Early events attracted over 500 entrants from around the world.

During May a few online events started to appear in the IOF Eventor calendar, but notably none organised by any of the world's most successful orienteering countries (Scandinavian/Nordic countries plus Switzerland). So what's been happening in these countries?


On 11 March the Swedish government announced a limit of 500 people at public gatherings, which was reduced to 50 on 29 March. Physical outdoor activity was encouraged, including training (no maximum limit given) and competitions involving up to 50 participants were allowed. The Swedish Public Health Agency gave general hygiene advice similar to that announced in Australia, but this was not mandated. It also advised that older people, especially those over 70, should avoid public places. Major orienteering competitions and training camps were cancelled or postponed, with tentative plans to restart competitions by around September.

Last year's internationally dominant female orienteer, Tove Alexandersson, was struck down at the end of March with a prolonged illness and symptoms similar to Covid-19, but was not tested. Although feeling recovered, she had not restarted training by mid May because of a heart problem possibly caused by her illness.


The Norwegian government's restrictions on public gatherings have been more severe than those in Sweden, and are similar to those adopted in Australia. Since early April, all forms of organised sport have generally been banned or restricted to be consistent with the government's rules on hygiene and social distancing. National sports bodies decreed that event organisation and management was important, with outdoor and indoor events for up to 50 people still possible provided at least one metre distance can be maintained between everyone not from the same household. These restrictions are expected to remain until at least mid June, with some training events provisionally planned to commence in early July.


In the period to June, group events were restricted to 10 or fewer participants, while also being constrained by hygiene and social distancing requirements, and from June, events of up to 500 people (includes competitors, organisers, spectators etc) can be held. Guidelines on event organisation (eg start timings, start and finish area sizes, hygiene arrangements) are being written.


This year's World Orienteering Championships was to have been held in July in Denmark, but because of the pandemic this has been postponed to 2022. No other information on the effects of Covid-19 on orienteering in Denmark could be found.

The dream of the country's leading female orienteer, Maja Alm, to run the 5000m in this year's Olympics hit a major hurdle as a result of Covid-19. In February, before Covid-19 struck, she ran 9:04 leading all the way in an indoors 3000m, which was a new Danish record. So it looked like she was well placed to do well in the Olympics, until it was postponed until next year.


Since 24 March, organised events, including activities described as "training", are prohibited, although outside activities described as "exercise" are encouraged. The national Swiss orienteering organisation applies these recommendations to clubs and regional bodies but not to orienteering elites and juniors, who are exempt from government Covid-19 guidelines. However, any training by elites and juniors must still be carried out under strict and controlled conditions.

While under Covid-19 restrictions on 16 April, Matthias Kyburz, one of Switzerland's leading orienteers, set a new unofficial world record for 50km - on a treadmill! His time was 2:56:35, or about 3:32/km.

Mobile DIY Orienteering with MapRunF on your Phone

Robin Uppill


Orienteering SA has established several virtual orienteering courses around Adelaide to complement the existing Permanent DIY Courses here.


The courses can be completed using the MapRunF phone app which can be used on both Android and iPhones available for download from the relevant App store for each type – see here.

All courses have a published PDF course map so you can use the paper map printed at home and the phone app to record the controls visited.

The available courses are listed on this page. Those available at the time of writing this article are listed below.

To access these courses, open MapRunF.

  • Choose select event.
  • Scroll though the list to South Australia.
  • Choose the course your require.

Set 1 - In Folder "Orienteering SA Adelaide Parklands":

  • Adelaide Botanic Gardens C1 - 2.7 km - PDF Map - please respect other users in the gardens
  • Adelaide Botanic Gardens C2 - 3.7 km - PDF Map - extends into the adjacent parklands
  • East Parklands C1 - 2.8 km - PDF Map - caution - road crossings
  • South Parklands C1 - 3.1 km - PDF Map - caution - road crossings
  • South Parklands C2 - 4.2 km - PDF Map - caution - road crossings
  • West Parklands and Cemetery C1 - 3.8 km - PDF Map
  • West Parklands C2 - 2.8 km - PDF Map

Set 2 - In Folder "Orienteering SA Belair and Blackwood":

  • Belair Golf Course 1 - 3.8 km - cross country course - moderate navigation - PDF Map.
  • Belair National Park C1 - 5.1 km - cross country course - moderate navigation - PDF Map.
  • Wittunga Botanic Gardens C4 - 2.4 km  please respect other park users - PDF Map.

Set 3 - In Folder "Orienteering SA Other Adelaide Courses". The Shepherds Hill courses use a mixture of control sites from the permanent courses and virtual controls - so at some sites you will see a permanent control marker.

  • Shepherds Hill C1 - 2.4 km - cross country course - moderate navigation - PDF Map
  • Shepherds Hill C2 - 1.8 km - cross country course - moderate navigation - PDF Map

Set 4 - In Folder "Orienteering SA Regional Courses"

  • Winkler Park 60 Min Score Course - 21 Controls - PDF Map

A blank map of Winkler Park with some of the map features highlighted is also available for download - Winkler_Park_Trails_Map.pdf

When you arrive at the course location and are ready, start your phone GPS and give it a few minutes to stabilise. Then select “Go To Start”. Wait for a GPS lock indicated by the displayed red dot/line indicating your position on the map, let it stabilise. Go to the start triangle and make sure the GPS is tracking your position.

When you reach the start, the phone will beep to indicate you have passed the start and the timer will start. Your current position will no longer be shown on the map. The phone beeps at each control (within a few metres – although sometimes takes a while on the first control or 2, and obviously you have to be at the right location).

The phone also beeps at the finish and timing stops.

To see results – on the MapRunF app home page, choose show results and then choose the correct course. Results are also visible on the MapRunF home page. Select Results > “Leader Board Quick Link” > type part course name then select your course.

Minecraft Orienteering During Isolation

Evalin Brautigam, Angus Haines

Over the past couple months, we haven’t been able to go out for orienteering. So, we had an idea to create virtual orienteering courses inside the game Minecraft. If you’ve never heard of it, or aren’t quite sure what happens in this game, basically you can explore a world and build things. There are many places in real life that have been recreated in this game and available for people to go on and explore in them. The two worlds in particular that we used were Adelaide Uni and Venice. The great thing about these is that there is already an orienteering map in existence.

The biggest task in creating an orienteering race in Minecraft was the technical stuff, like creating a timing system and the control flags. After a lot of practice runs and tech work, a timing system was created. When someone walked through the start, the timer began. The race even had an SI Air system, when you arrived at a control, all you had to do was run past it and it would beep. Almost every aspect of the online event mimicked what a real orienteering race would look like. There were start times and a start call-up. Runners had to “clear” before starting. There was a finish, download and results board. The only difference was that competitors received their map the day before so they could print it out at home.

Both events had about 80 people register and start, including some of Australia’s elite juniors, but a majority of the participants were from Europe. It was really cool to be on a multiplayer server with so many orienteers from around the world. After the event, some people were discussing what they thought would be the best method to read your map efficiently while running, because in the game you need both hands to play. The ideal method would probably be to have another person holding your map and rotating it for you if you can get them to sit next to you for the whole race. Apart from the races, anyone who registered is able to go on the server whenever they want and explore/build in the embassy world, where people from different countries have built bases and put their flags up. They can also go back and rerun their race as many times as they like.

If you’re interested in seeing what the event was like, you can watch the recorded livestream on twitch.tv/spurposting. There will also be more events at some point in the future, but no info is out yet.

Attack Points

Erica Diment

I recently went down to Kuitpo to orienteer on a training course near Christmas Hill.

The first control was a log near some thickets (many of you may remember this area from previous events at Kuitpo). It is a tricky area, because it is hard to know which thicket you are near. They all look the same.


Since this was a training course, I decided to practice using my compass and decided to go on a straight line to the control from the start.

Needless to say, I was slightly off course anyway, by the time I arrived at a place with prickly thickets and needed to negotiate my way around them. By the time I had done that I was not sure where I was, and wasted quite a lot of time trying to figure out where I was.

I convinced myself that I had found the control (even though I had not seen any pink tape as expected), but looking at my run loaded against the map later, I realised that I had found one of the stumps (shown by a green cross) , and not the correct control at all (not even the correct type of feature!!).


I should have used an attack point!

An attack point is any obvious or large feature near the control. You find the attack point and then use that to find your control. I could have saved myself a lot of time, and actually found the control.

Having spoken to a number of orienteers who found this control I have heard that most of them used the watercourse ends (with the man made feature opposite, which is a post, which could be found by the side of the track). Others used the small watercourse (to the north west of the control), or they used the thickets (I’m not sure how they recognised they were on the right one).

A good attack point is always:

  • Obvious
  • Unique and distinct
  • Close to the control
  • Easy going to the control

Looking at this list, I believe that the water course crossing with the track that a number of orienteers used as their attack point was a good one. The only thing to be careful of would have been which one of the two they were at. (not quite unique).

The safest attack point is one that has two line features which cross each other (for instance a fence or creek crossing a track), as the location cannot be mistaken.

You could also use a feature with a unique shape Iike a strangely shaped knoll), or a feature of which there is only one in your area.

It is a really good practice to find an attack point before each control.

Look at your map – what can you find close to your control that is recognisable and easy to find? Aim to locate this first, and then work your way in to your control from there. You might need to find another smaller attack point, closer to the control to get you there.

Here is some practice from the same course – what would you use for your attack point for these controls?


This one (below) was particularly interesting. Proof of the need for an attack point was shown by one orienteer, who took quite some time roaming through the thick bush in this area, before finally returning to number 9, and, from there, going out to the track, which he followed until he found a good attack point, and then found the control easily.


Next time you are out on an orienteering course, take the time to work out an attack point for each control. You might find that you save yourself a lot of time.

June Australian Orienteer

Michael Hubbert (AO Editor)

AO June 2020 Cover Page
Tasmanian junior Arabella Phillips at the 2020 Melbourne Sprint Weekend

The June edition is a bumper 52-page issue for you to read as we (hopefully) climb out of this lock down. We look at how Covid-19 has affected our lives; we cover the outcome of the IOF Fair Play survey; and Ross Barr brings us some Great Legs from the Melbourne Sprint Weekend. Marion Burrill pays homage to those who have had a big hand in building the Queensland Junior squad; Tash Key interviews Swiss legend Simone Niggli; Steve Bird continues his series on "How to Improve your Orienteering"; we bring you maps from the ACT Sprint Series; this year's Stockholm Indoor Cup map included an eye-watering 10 floors with 68 level changes, and that was just for the "Aunts" course; Aston Key is our 2019 Athlete of the Year; the Lehtonen family compare Orienteering in Australia with Finland, and there's a masterclass on MTBO navigation in Finland from Ingrid Stengard; Ray Howe follows Melbourne's Millennium Club Legends as they notionally run around Australia and New Zealand; Dennis Mews offers some tips on drawing simple maps near our homes; Spot the Difference brings you a complex spur/gully/mining area to hone your map reading skills; and Top Events lists coming events that (again hopefully) we might be able to take part in.

Another read not to be missed.

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