September 2021

Published: 11 September 2021

SA Committee

President Rob Tucker
Treasurer Andrew Kennedy
Assistant Treasurer Vacant
Secretary Fi Pahor
Assistant Secretary Meredith Rasch
Technical Robin Uppill
Training & Coaching Coordinators Bridget Uppill
Evalin Brautigam
Newsletter Frank Burden
ENews Robyn Dose
Schools Coordinator Zita Sankauskas
Publicity & Promotion Leila Henderson
Auditor Vacant
IT Manager Ken Thompson

From the president

Rob Tucker

This year in South Australia we have been fortunate that orienteering events have been not been affected by Covid restrictions, unlike the wholesale cancellation of events in the Eastern States. However, it has been most unfortunate that the Australia Orienteering Championships 2021 in Tasmania have been cancelled for the second time. I know most of us have been looking forward to competing there. It has been most gratifying that members of the South Australian Orienteering community have rallied to the cause of organising some substitute events for the Schools participants in particular.

Currently the program for 2022 is being prepared. We trust that this process is supported by Forestry SA. which this year has not been able to process some requests for events because of staffing constraints.

Further, we are now in the planning period for 2024 Easter Carnival in SA, and will be seeking support from orienteers.

From the editor

Frank Burden

This newsletter starts off with a light-hearted cure for orienteering insomniacs, a story about a lost boy in the Flinders, the SA School's Team selection (congratulations and we share your disappointment about the cancellation of the Championships in Tasmania), and continues with much more. See the index for the full list of articles.

The article on international snippets includes links to videos and race analyses of several major championships held in Europe. The videos (especially WOC) are well worth a look. In addition, the article describes how five of the top European orienteering nations are adapting to life with Covid.

Life in Europe appears to be transitioning to a new normal. Restrictions are similar to those applied in Australia, but generally with no lockdowns and some open borders, even though new Covid infections continue to rise at a higher rate than in Australia. Key to European management of Covid is the introduction of national and/or international Covid vaccination passports, which should allow the resumption of major sport's events with no caps on numbers. Vaccinated people (spectators, organisers, and participants) in sport will be major beneficiaries, with restrictions applied to the unvaccinated. Face masks are generally recommended where social distancing cannot be achieved.

Insomniac cures

Cartoon, now further modified, provided by Leila Henderson after a bad day orienteering at Wilpena Spurs

Non-orienteer and orienteer's cures for insomnia
Orienteer's cure for insomnia after mispunching during a nightmare event

Original cartoon by Yuriy Manaev (Russia) for TAKAS-2007 ( Modification inspired by Leila's partner!

Little Boy Lost in the Flinders

Wilpena Pound. Photo: Advertiser.

During the Rawnsley Park event in June, Lyn Barnett recounted to several young orienteers the tragic story of a young boy lost in the Flinders Ranges. The story is told in the book The Fierce Country by Stephen Orr, and repeated in Adelaide Now in 2018. The link was provided by Lyn.

The 10-year old boy, a student at St Peter's College, became separated from a group when walking through Wilpena Pound in January 1959. After the group split into two, each party believed the boy was with the other party. It wasn't until too late that the walkers realised the boy was missing. A search on horseback commenced that evening, and was later increased to over 200 people, including police, more on horseback, some trackers, four-wheel-drive vehicles, some aircraft and a helicopter.

The boy's footprints were found 5km outside Wilpena Pound but the trail was lost when it passed into grass and bush. Despite a possible sighting of the boy from an aircraft, he wasn't found and the search was called off eight days later when he was officially presumed dead.

Nearly three years later, the boy's body was found by bushwalking tourists not far from the aircraft sighting.

The boy, Nicholas Bannon, was brother of John Bannon, a "tenacious runner" who became premier of South Australia.

SA Schools' Team Selection

The team selected to represent South Australia at the Australian Schools Championships in Tasmania from 28 - 30 September was announced in July. Congratulations to all team members. Unfortunately, the event had to be cancelled because of Covid restrictions!!! Perhaps next year - sigh.

Junior Girls


Junior Boys


Senior Girls


Senior Boys


SA and NT event results

SA and NT have been active since publication of the last newsletter. Highlight events in SA were: the SA schools' relay and the mid-north schools championships, the Flinders long weekend events, SA MTBO championships, SA night and middle championships, and the Burra weekend events. All results published on Eventor since June are listed below - click link to go to the respective results' pages. Some past results without a link have not yet been published, and results for events held from mid to end of September will become available when published. For all results, including splits, RouteGadget and OY results, going back to 2013 click here.

DateEventEvent type
05 Jun 21Coffin Bay Golf Course Twilight eventFoot orienteering
06 Jun 21NT: East Point Recreation Reserve, ScatterFoot orienteering
06 Jun 21Coffin Bay - EP RelaysFoot orienteering
06 Jun 21Cobbler Creek Foot and MTBO Foot orienteering,
Mountain bike orienteering
12 Jun 21Day 1 - Flinders Ranges Weekend - Manawarra - North of HawkerFoot orienteering
13 Jun 21Day 2 Flinders Ranges Weekend - Wilpena Spurs OYFoot orienteering
14 Jun 21Day 3 Flinders Ranges Weekend - RawnsleyFoot orienteering
20 Jun 21Mt DuttonFoot orienteering
27 Jun 21Immanuel College Sprint OY and SSTFoot orienteering
27 Jun 21Salt CreekFoot orienteering
03 Jul 21Belair MTBO - SA Champs Warmup -MAPRUNMountain bike orienteering
04 Jul 21Watts Gully Foot and SA MTBO Champs Foot orienteering,
Mountain bike orienteering
04 Jul 21DoningtonFoot orienteering
11 Jul 21NT: Manton DamFoot orienteering
17 Jul 21Day 1 SA Night Championships & OY Rock OysterFoot orienteering
18 Jul 21Day 2 Rock Oyster OY & SSTFoot orienteering
25 Jul 21Surfleet CoveFoot orienteering
05 Aug 21Central Adelaide Schools Cluster Event 9 Park 15Foot orienteering
08 Aug 21Hidden ValleyFoot orienteering
08 Aug 21Mitchell ParkFoot orienteering,
Park and street orienteering
12 Aug 21Central Adelaide Schools Cluster Event 10 Goodwood OrphanageFoot orienteering
15 Aug 21Para Wirra Conservation Park (Eastern Part) Foot orienteering
15 Aug 21Surfleet CoveFoot orienteering
22 Aug 21SA Schools Relay ChampionshipsFoot orienteering
22 Aug 21South Australian Interclub Relays Trinity CollegeFoot orienteering
28 Aug 21Burra Bush Weekend Day 1 - Worlds End - Sat PM EventFoot orienteering
29 Aug 21Burra Bush Weekend, Day 2 - Paradise South - SA Middle Distance ChampionshipsFoot orienteering,
Park and street orienteering
29 Aug 21Whyalla EastFoot orienteering,
Park and street orienteering
05 Sep 21Keynes GapFoot orienteering
05 Sep 21Log Hut GullyFoot orienteering
12 Sep 21Nicolson-PlayfordFoot orienteering
12 Sep 21Narrinyeri Hills Long OY (Kinchina Conservation Park)Foot orienteering
19 Sep 21Ohalloran HillFoot orienteering
19 Sep 21Navigator College - End of Season eventFoot orienteering,
Park and street orienteering

Orienteering in the Adelaide City Parklands

Aylwin Lim

The first complete map of the Adelaide City Parklands was produced by Lee Merchant in 1990. At that time, sprint and street orienteering were virtually unheard of, and many were sceptical about orienteering in urban areas. However, Lee’s foresight proved correct, and over 150 persons participated in the first event.

The map was produced at 1:10,000 scale, rather than the 1:15,000 that was standard for bush maps at that time. It was larger than A3 in size! Following its success, several other mappers, from Tjuringa and other clubs, went on to produce even larger-scale maps of specific sections of the Parklands.

Today, the Parklands host a variety of regular and training events throughout the year, the latest being the SA School Relay Championships last month. Coordination of mapping activities is now undertaken by Adrian Uppill on behalf of OSA.

Click/tap map to zoom

Gallery of Parkland Event Photos

Click/tap to zoom image. Then click/spread to see at full resolution. Click left/right arrows, or drag, to see the complete gallery.

SA Champions of Champions

The SA Champion of Champions and rankings were determined in the same manner as previous selections. Firstly, the time of each class winner was adjusted to an equivalent time for a standard course, which for the following was the same length as the M21A course. The formula to do this is not a simple linear adjustment. Then, the equivalent times are adjusted using age- and gender-dependent running speed corrections based on international competition results. The result is a time that provides an objective method of comparing the performance of competitors in all classes.

When the final adjusted time for a class winner is equal to that of the M21A winner, then that class winner will have performed at the same level, eg national representative, state or club champion. If slower, then they would have performed at a lower level, and if faster then at a higher level. The M21A winner's time is set to 100 so that other class winners' performances can be compared more easily as a percentage slower or faster than the standard set by the M21A winner.

See the article here for more, find out how the calculations are done, and you'll also find a couple of apps that will allow you to do your own calculations.

SA Night Champion of Champions

The SA Night Championships was the first event of the Rock Oyster weekend held on the night of 17 July. This event was organised by Tintookies Orienteers, the course setter was Ian Grivell and course controller Robert Smith. Complete results of the event are here.

Simon Uppill.

This was more more difficult to determine than previous Champion of Champions because of the absence of comprehensive international night orienteering championships results on which to base age- and gender-dependent running speed profiles and corrections. The following was therefore based on forest (day) orienteering championship results.

Using this method, the clear SA Night Champion of Champions was Onkaparinga's Simon Uppill (also M21A winner). He thus set the standard against which other competitors' performances were determined. Simon as a national team representative means that Yalanga's Ethan Penck (2nd) ran about 10% slower than national representative standard for M20A, and Tintookies' Reuben Smith (3rd) just under 20% slower than the M45A standard.

The actual winner of M21A was Alastair George (NSW), who would have received a performance score of about 111 (ie 11% faster than Simon), and Angus Haines, who finished behind Simon in M21A, would have received a performance score of about 96, or 4% slower.

PositionClassNameClub Performance
1M21ASimon UppillOH S100
2M20AEthan Penck YA S90
3M45AReuben Smith TT S81
4=W21AEvalin Brautigam OH S79
4=M65AAdrian Uppill OH S79
6W20AJemima Lloyd TT S70
7=W45ASusanne Casanova TE S65
7=M14ABen Marschall TT S65
9=W65ALeila Henderson YA S63
9=M21ASTyson Hillyard WA S63

SA Middle Champion of Champions

The SA Middle Championships was the second event of the Burra weekend, and held at Paradise South on 29 August. This event was organised by Tjuringa Orienteers, the course setter was Aylwin Lim and course controller Robin Uppill. Complete results of the event are here.

Paul Hoopman.

This time the SA Middle Champion of Champions was easier to determine than the Night Champion because of the availability of results for several international middle events covering both genders and age groups from 10 to 85+. After adjusting winning times to a common distance, and removing the effects of age and gender, the SA Middle Champion of Champions was determined to be Tjuringa's Paul Hoopman (M65A), who presumably benefited slightly from being mapper for the event. Simon Uppill (M21A) of Onkaparinga was second, and Emily Sorensen (W21A) of Tintookies third.

PositionClassNameClub Performance
1M65APaul HoopmannTJ S103
2M21ASimon UppillOH S100
3W21AEmily SorensenTT S92
4=M55ASteve CooperYA S89
4=M20ALeith SodenOH S89
6M75ARobert SmithTT S87
7W20AAna PenckYA S84
8M45ARuhi AfnanYA S82
9=M14ABen MarschallTT S81
9=W65ALeila HendersonYA S81

Assumed age mid range for W55 - year of birth not known.

Club/State Snippets

OSA Committee

Covid-Safe Plans for organising and managing sports events in SA continue to be reissued as national and state infections and restrictions are updated. The last reissue was dated 9 September 2021 and circulated to all club secretaries.

Recent changes to OSA policies & guidelines, including event organisation, can be viewed by clicking on the links. These will take you to the appropriate index pages on the OSA website where you will see recently changed documents highlighted.

The committee is investigating the possibility of introducing a paid management position to assist in administrative tasks such as planning, implementation, and strategic development for OSA.

OSA event summaries

Since the last newsletter, several articles have been published on the OSA website. Summaries of these are provided below with links to the main articles.

June Long Weekend Orienteering near Wilpena, Flinders Ranges. Published 17 June 2021. Three days of orienteering were held in the Wilpena area over the June Long Weekend – the weather was much kinder than our last foray into this area in October 2020 when the events were held in hotter and in one case very dusty weather.

South Australian Schools Team 2021. Published 21 July 2021. The team to represent South Australia at the Australian Schools Championships in Tasmania in late September (now cancelled) had been announced. Congratulations (and commiserations) to all team members.

SA School Relays 2021. Published 21 August 2021. Yesterday 38 teams from primary and secondary schools took part in the annual SA Schools Relay Championships on a new map of the SE Parklands.. It was a very close competition particularly in the primary girls division with Stirling East Primary School winning by 2 seconds to one of the Goodwood Primary School teams.

School's Relay Mass Start. Photo: Aylwin Lim

Double Header Weekend Of Orienteering near Burra. Published 31 August 2021. An enjoyable weekend of orienteering was held in the Burra area on 28-29 August, with orienteers being treated to fast open mallee spur gully terrain for 2 events.

Club tit bits found in meeting minutes, newsletters and on the web


The club continues to be active, organising regular events in the Port Lincoln area and Lower Eyre Peninsula. Three of the club's juniors were selected for the State school's team – Austin Clem, Sienna and Bella White. For more news check out the club's website here


No recent newsletters but then the club's members have had their hands full mapping and organising major events, and coaching State juniors. There is a very brief glimpse of map-maker Adrian in a video on the Tjuringa Facebook page here prior to the Burra weekend events.


Another country club that is active, organising events around Whyalla and in the Middleback Ranges 30-60 minutes drive from the city. For the latest news, visit the club's Facebook page here.

Top End

At the time this newsletter was published, Top End's newsletter hadn't appeared on the club's website. However, judging by the club's Facebook page here the club had organised some events in really picturesque areas around Darwin and surrounding areas, and has more planned in coming months.


If her visa application was successful, Olivia Sprod is on her way to Spain for work. She has promised to "be back one day" and "if all goes well, bringing Manu back" with her. For those who don't know, Manu was SA's coach-in-residence a few years ago. Keep up to date with what's happening in Tintookie-Land here.


No recent newsletters to source tit bits, but the club's Facebook page here indicates that it has been very active over the past three months.


The club has had a few sad months with the passing of some life-long members. In June, Foundation Members Brian O'Neill (73) and John Clark (94) passed away, and in July Rae Harris (94) passed away. Articles on them, snippets on another Foundation Member, Geoff Davidson who passed away last year, and other news, including photos, can be found in the August issue of the club's newsletter here.


Great Fathers' Day event organised by the club at Keynes gap. Unfortunately, no newsletters, Facebook page, or website, to source recent news.


Mapping software


OO Mapper is free mapping software that can be installed on Windows (7 and higher), MacOS (10.12 and higher), and Android (4.1 and higher) computers.

The current version remains as 0.9.5, which provided several enhancements and fixed some bugs found in earlier versions.

For more information and downloads go to the OO Mapper website.


OCAD is Windows-only software and is now only available as a subscription version for single users or teams.

The annual license for the full team version is just under twice the single user fee (about $A375 compared with $A220), and two users can use OCAD per team license. Although sounding restrictive, OCAD offers the option of transferring licenses between team users within 24 hours. Thus, several team members could have OCAD installed on their computers but only two per license would be able use it at any one time. Discounts are available for three year licenses and volume purchases, and there are also limited and cheaper versions.

The current version of OCAD is 20.5.13, which has corrected minor problems and added some enhancements. Users are notified of new updates when they start the program. Older non-subscription versions of OCAD have not been updated for some time. For more information on updates and features go to the OCAD service update page.

National Notes

Australian Championships cancelled.

Although the Australian Championships in Tasmania has been cancelled, Turbo Chook and the Tasmanian Middle Distance Champs will still go ahead, if you can make it!

OA Board Minutes - 2 August

Summary copied from August 2021 OA E-news:

  • The NZ Government announcement of an 8 week travel ban from Australia to NZ effectively means the Australian NZ Elite Tests won’t be happening.
  • Valerie Barker is stepping down from the position of OA National Schools Coordinator, after the 2021 Australian Schools Championships. The Board thanks Valerie Barker for all her work as Orienteering Australia Schools Coordinator over the years. It is proposed that the Organiser for any given Australian Schools Orienteering Championships would step into a one-year transitional advisory position for following year’s Championships.
  • Membership review: The States agreed at a 19 July meeting to proceed with the Orienteering Victoria approach to family memberships. That is to have family friendly membership fees: OV has Adults $35, Juniors $6.
  • Call for nominations for a potential Australian team to contest an Australia-New Zealand Challenge in conjunction with Oceania 2022 next January in NZ, has been postponed due to the worsening Covid situation.
  • The Australian MTBO Champs will not go ahead on 17-20 September. Alternate dates of 31 Oct and 1 Nov proposed, but subject to unrestricted travel between states. The event may well end up being pushed into March 2022.

The full minutes are here.

OA Board Minutes - September (not yet published)

From Darryl Erlbacher. At the September meeting of the OA Board it was agreed that in 2021, the Silva Medal award would have been based on the Australian 3-Days, plus the cancelled Sprint, Middle & Long Australian Championships and the Tasmanian Middle Distance Championships. Statistician noted it’s not possible to win the Silva Medal without attending the Australian 3-Days. The Board agreed to make an award for 2021 based on the Australian 3-Days.

International Snippets

If you follow European news, you could reasonably conclude that orienteering (and life in general) has returned to near normal, with several major world orienteering events being held during the European summer months. The European Orienteering Championships was the first major international foot orienteering event to have been held since the World Cup final in China in 2019. An astonishing 1.3 million viewers, about 13% of the population, watched the EOC on TV in Sweden!

Superb videos with commentary, maps and live GPS tracks, and WorldOfO race analyses for foot events, are now available as follows:

European Orienteering Championships / World Cup Round 1 (Neuchâtel, Switzerland)
Sprint Relay - 13 MayOfficial video/live GPSevent analysis
Knockout Sprint - 15 MayOfficial video/live GPS
(qualifiers live GPS)
event analysis
Individual Sprint - 16 MayOfficial video/live GPSevent analysis
World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships (Kuortane, Finland)
Mass Start - 12 JuneOfficial video/live GPS
Sprint - 13 JuneOfficial video/live GPS
Middle - 14 JuneOfficial video/live GPS
Long - 16 JuneOfficial video/live GPS
Relay - 17 JuneOfficial video/live GPS
World Orienteering Championships - Czech Republic

The event started well with a reported 2,000 spectators watching the Sprint competition. However, Covid-19 broke into the event bubble when a team official tested positive just before the forest relays were due to start on the second to last day. Other team officials were ordered to isolate and be tested, and after testing negative affected teams were allowed to start. A day later, a competitor from another team tested positive and was ordered into quarantine in the Czech Republic before being allowed to return to their home country. Two weeks later, 15 positive cases were reported (two variants detected) involving five different WOC teams. As a result, the IOF has tightened its rules on future event management. The full story and recommendations on future bubble management can be read here.

The men's relay started late, in rain, in poor visibility, and leaking map covers made some maps difficult to read. A few competitors in the men's relay benefited from wearing head torches, presumably to assist in reading maps during the gloomy conditions in the forest. The damp conditions also affected the video of the relay event, with transmission being lost for several minutes at the end of the first men's leg.

Overall though, all videos are excellent to watch.

Individual Sprint - 3 JulyOfficial video/live GPSevent analysis
Sprint Relay - 4 JulyOfficial video/live GPSevent analysis
Middle - 6 JulyOfficial video/live GPSevent analysis
Relay - 8 JulyOfficial video/live GPSevent analysis
Long - 9 JulyOfficial video/live GPSMen event analysis
Women event analysis
World Masters Orienteering Championships (Hungary)

Held 6 - 13 August, links to Sprint, Middle and Long event descriptions, results, maps, photos and some short videos can be found here.

World Cup Round 2 (Idre Fjäll, Sweden)

The subscription period for all videos has expired so they can be viewed or downloaded for free.

Long - 12 AugustOfficial video/live GPSevent analysis
Middle - 14 AugustOfficial video/live GPSevent analysis
Relay - 15 AugustOfficial video/live GPSevent analysis
Junior World Orienteering Championships (Turkey)

The rescheduled championships were held 5 - 10 September, and included Sprint, Middle, Long and Relay events. No results were published at the time this newsletter was being prepared. However, event details, results, photos and live, free videos of the event will be published on the championship website here

International impact of Covid-19 on orienteering.

Covid-19 cases for key European orienteering nations continue to rise, although the rise is slowing. Most European nations are attempting to live with, and not eliminate, Covid-19. The intention of restrictions (e.g. social distancing, group size limits, mask wearing, limited lock downs, restrictions on movements when needed, and now vaccines) is to keep local infections at manageable levels and not overwhelm hospitals.

The following case numbers were obtained from Our World in Data. As of 30 August:

  • Although still rising, confirmed cases in Sweden have flattened significantly since June. Current case totals are about 11% of the population compared with 10.5% three months ago. Six months ago, the number was 6.7%!
  • The curve has also been flattening in Switzerland, where confirmed cases there are about 8.8% compared with 8.0% three months ago,
  • Denmark is around 5.9% compared with 4.8% three months earlier,
  • Norway is 2.9% compared with 2.2%, and
  • Finland is 2.2% compared with 1.7%.

To put these figures into perspective, reported cases in the USA are now about 11.6% of its population, compared with 10.0% three months ago, and in Australia the number increased by a fraction of a percent (seems like considerably more, according to the Australian media!) to rise to about 0.2% of its population, compared with 0.1% three months earlier.

European orienteering is slowly restarting, although social distancing, group size limits (a killer for big events), mask wearing etc still generally apply. Some nations experienced drops in orienteering membership because of Covid restrictions applying to training and club events.



Current government regulations allow up to 900 participants in races and similar events. Face masks are no longer recommended except in areas where social distancing is not possible. Entry to Sweden from many countries is not allowed, except where exemptions apply. Exemptions apply to travellers from Nordic countries, those who have had a negative Covid test no more than 72 hours before entry, or have a valid Covid vaccination certificate. Swedes who have travelled overseas are advised to have a Covid test on returning.

Tove Alexandersson, won all of her events in the World Orienteering Championships in the Czech Republic, and returned home with Covid-19! Her symptoms returned for the World Cup Round 2 held in Idre, Sweden, when she was unable to perform at her best. This opened the door for another Swede, Hanna Lundberg, who still as a junior came home first in the Middle ahead of Swiss Simona Aebersold and Russian Natalia Gemperle.

The Swedish Sports Confederation awarded 513 million Swedish Krona (approximately $A91.5 million) to 2400 sports federations and associations to compensate for financial losses caused by Covid restrictions in the period January to April. Of this, the Swedish Orienteering Federation and district federations received 1.35 million Swedish Krona ($A215,000). In addition, the Swedish Orienteering Federation was awarded 3.7 million Swedish Krona ($A592,000) to restart the sport in 2021.

For more, go to O-news releases. Tip: in Windows use a Google Chrome browser, and right click to automatically translate to English.



Organisers of events with up to 1,000 participants can decide whether access for people from age 16 can be permitted without valid COVID certificates, but large-scale events with more than 1,000 participants can only be attended by people with valid COVID certificates. Face masks are only required indoors when social distancing of greater than 1.5m cannot be maintained and people do not have a valid COVID certificate.

Other Swiss O-news including reports of events can be found here.

Restrictions stricter than those applying in Sweden and Switzerland apply in Denmark, Norway and Finland.



From mid June, the group limit for outdoor events was raised to 500, and events with more than 500 participants are required to have health plans and participants to have Covid-19 vaccination certificates. The government's health rules and regulations indicate that the only place where face masks or shields are required is at airports.

Media reports indicate that the country is about to remove all restrictions now that 80% of the nation has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

More Danish O-news can be found here.



Significant Covid-19 restrictions continue to apply, with limits of 800 participants in four groups of no more than 200 at outdoor sporting events. This includes organisers and support staff at events. Norwegian participation in the Finnish Jukola and Venla relays was heavily affected because of strict quarantine requirements when teams returned home.

Sports teams and organisations can apply for support for loss of event income due to Covid-19 in the period 1 January-31 August 2021. The purpose of the government scheme is to stimulate activity in voluntary teams and organisations, but it also applies to events that have had to be cancelled or restricted as a result of restrictions or advice from the authorities in connection with covid19.

More Norwegian O-news can be found here.



Finland has been less affected by Covid-19 than most other European countries. In mid July, the Finnish Orienteering Federation reported that there were neither Covid-19 cases nor exposures in Finland. This appears to have resulted in many orienteers using social media to demand the right to compete. The Federation then reminded members of their obligation to follow Federation's rules and event organiser's instructions, and to refrain from the use of social media! Generally, training and major competitions appear to have continued, presumably within government-directed constraints.

Finland's major annual international event, the men's seven-leg Jukola night/day and women's four-leg Venla day long-distance relays, went ahead in August this year attracting respectively over 900 and 700 starting teams. This means that around 10,000 competitors will have attended the event.

More news can be found here.

Start of Finland's Arctic Jukola Relay

Levelling the orienteering playing field for old, young, male and female

The March 2019 OSA newsletter had an article on speed profiles for running (non-O), sprint and bush-O events. Typical profiles for male and female runners (non-O) and sprint orienteers are in the figure below.

Speed versus age graph
Example speed profiles for leading male (blue line), leading female (red), mid-range club (yellow), and slow club (green) runners and orienteers.

The article indicated that running speed potential increases at a near constant rate with age from age 10 to about 21, plateaus to about age 35, declines at a near constant rate to around age 75, after which it declines more rapidly.

Importantly, the speed profiles can be represented by simple equations that are a function of age and gender. For running (non-O) and sprint orienteering events, the speed difference between male and female competitors performing at similar levels (such as international, national, state or club levels) over courses of similar length is typically around 10% and for bush-O around 20%. Speed as a function of distance is also predictable and can be estimated from event results using a simple equation.

A result from a competition can be used to estimate an equivalent time for a longer or shorter course and, further, the effects of age and gender on the estimate can be removed so that the performance of all competitors can be compared directly. In the earlier Champion of Champions articles, the performances of all championship class winners were compared directly with the M21A winner, whose winning time was adjusted to 100. This became the standard against which the performance of other competitors was measured. The only requirement is that all courses in an event should have similar difficulty and scale similarly for distance and climb.

The following applications estimate equivalent gender- and age-adjusted times for courses shorter or longer than those for which results are held. This allows the performance of competitors of different ages and genders competing over different course lengths to be compared directly. Estimated time calculations are based on an analysis of four years of international running and orienteering championship event results for ages ranging from 10 - 80+ years old. Estimates are referred to a uniform standard defined by the performance of M21A/E competitors.

As an example, using the Step 1 application a 25-year old female who completed a 5km course in 60 minutes would be expected to complete a 7km course over similar terrain in just under 86 minutes, and not 84 minutes if simple linear scaling was used. Relevant input data and estimated time is transferred automatically to the Step 2 application.

The application in Step 2 removes the effects of age and gender from course times (you will need to select if the event is "running", "sprint/street/park-O", or the default "bush-O") so that the performance of older or younger runners/orienteers of both genders can be compared directly to a common M21A/E standard. Examples of how this is used follow.

Example 1. The winner of the female World Cup 2 Long championships this year was Simona Aebersold, who completed her 12.8km course in 88:31. The winner of the male Long championships was Kasper Harlem Fosser, who completed his 17.2km course in 99:53.

Using the Step 1 application, an estimated equivalent speed and time for the longer male course for Aebersold was 7:03/km and 121:21 respectively. Then, after removing the effects of gender using the Step 2 application, Aebersold's time reduces to an estimated 97:31.

Aebersold's equivalent gender-adjusted winning time was close to 2:30 quicker than Fosser's time, and thus in this example, her long championship performance is considered superior to that of Fosser.

Example 2. A similar comparison in the Middle event indicates that the performance of the female World Cup 2 winner, Hanna Lundberg who recorded a time of 39:20 over her 5.45km course (equivalent gender-adjusted time of 37:28 over the male course), was superior to that of the male course winner Joey Hadorn, who recorded a time of 40:00 over his 6.39km course.

Similar comparisons can be made for older and younger competitors. For example, using this year's World Masters Orienteering Championships results:

Example 3 - Masters' Middle. W55-A winner was Jana Smutna who completed her 3.60km course in 39:36. This is equivalent to a gender- and age-adjusted time of 34:47 for a 4.62km course (the M55-A course length). The M55-A winner was Conny Forsberg who completed his 4.62km course in 33:09. After removing age effects Forsberg's finish time is 27:37, compared with Smutna's time of 34:47. Forsberg's performance was thus superior to that of Smutna.

Example 4 - Masters' Long. The W70-A winner was Jurate Uleviciene with 48:48 recorded for her 3.90km course. This is equivalent to a gender- and age-adjusted time of 40:41 for a 5.70km course (the M70-A course length). The M70-A winner was Keld Johnsen who recorded 50:42 for his 5.70km course, which equals 35:06 when adjusted for age.

Step 1: estimate time for course of different length.

When you click the submit button below, details entered and the estimated time for a course of different length will be transferred to the Step 2 application below.

Year of birth (4 digits) or age at end of year (2 digits)

Results for current event:
Distance in km (eg type 5.7)
Time recorded:
Minutes     Seconds

Estimate time for course of distance in km (eg type 8.3)

Step 2: estimate age- and gender-adjusted time

This app can also be used to determine relative running speeds for different age groups based on estimated speeds for M21A/E class.

Year of birth (4 digits) or age at end of year (2 digits)

Event time:
Minutes     Seconds
Event type:
Running (non-O)

Health and Fitness Snippets

Preventing age-related decline in aerobic capacity

A pre-proof article published in Experimental Gerontology and found on ResearchGate here reported on a study of the long-term effects on aerobic capacity (measured as VO2max) of aerobic exercise. The study's participants included lifelong exercisers and previously sedentary males in the age range 53-74 years.

Four years after completing a short period of intensive aerobic exercises, re-testing of participants found that aerobic capacity had decreased from peaks measured at the end of the exercise phase, but remained at the same level measured at the beginning of the study. Age-related decline in aerobic capacity of about 5% would normally have been expected over the four year period.

The authors of the article concluded from these findings that age-related decline in aerobic capacity could be halted in older males with just six weeks of high intensity exercise every four years.

The article also summarised a number of other studies on the health benefits and reduction in biological ageing arising from physical activity. For example, running was associated with a 30% reduction in cardiovascular mortality, and that small improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness have a disproportionately large impact on health and survival. Even, sedentary individuals who take-up exercise later in life can achieve considerable health benefits!

Exercise offsets some harms caused by poor sleep

Sleep, or rather the amount we need, has attracted a lot of media interest over the past year. Stresses arising from the pandemic in particular are a major reason why many people currently have sleep problems. The recommended nightly amount of sleep for adults is seven to nine hours, and less or more increases the risk of having poorer health. Teenagers require eight to 10 hours of sleep, and the amount required increases with decreasing age rising to 17 to 20 hours in babies. Poor sleep in adults has been associated with inflammation, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and premature death. The list of adverse effects is enough to increase anxiety and cause poor sleep!

An article in The Conversation reported on a UK sleep study of 380,000 middle-aged adults over a 11 year period. The study found that some of the negative health effects of poor sleep can be offset by 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise a week (for example, a brisk walk or leisurely cycling that makes you slightly out of breath) or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous exercise a week (for example, sports such as running that make you breath hard). In addition, a recent World Health Organization study found that people who meet these physical activity targets lived three to four years longer on average than those who did not.

How to improve sleep quality

In interviews relating to the sleep study and reported in The Times newspaper and by CNN, additional rules were identified to improve sleep quality. Suggested rules to achieve better sleep included:

  • Stick to a bedtime routine.
  • Turn off electronic devices.
  • Try meditation and muscle relaxation before bed.
  • Eat healthy foods and exercise regularly.
  • It's fine to work out in the evening.
  • Don't overdo it.

An internet search identified numerous other rules for good sleep. However, a recurring theme in most is to exercise regularly and eat healthy!

Poor diet leads to increased inflammation

A Harvard School of Public Health study reported in 2018 followed nearly 122,000 male and female health care professionals over 26 years and found that inflammation-causing properties in foods such as red and processed meats, sugary beverages, and refined grains were associated with a 32% increased risk of developing colorectal cancer when compared with diets containing lowest amounts of inflammation-causing foods. In addition, chronic inflammation was associated with several chronic illnesses, including other cancers, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

According to another long-term, large Harvard study reported in 2020, anti-inflammatory foods include leafy greens, whole grains, and coffee and tea. A Healthline article identifies 10 specific foods with anti-inflammatory properties and other health benefits. These are kale, pineapple, wild salmon, mushrooms, broccoli, dulse (a type of seaweed), blueberries, sauerkraut, bone broth, spices and herbs. Another article summarised the Harvard study and provided food suggestions for increasing anti-inflammatory food intake. Other recommended foods identified by experts in nutrition, and reported in a story in The Times, included walnuts, green and herbal teas, light or medium-roast coffee, yoghurt, cottage cheese, cherries, apples, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, oily fish, and spinach.


According to the ABC's Doctor Norman Swan and quoted in in a book review in The Conversation, "the more plants you eat as a proportion of your diet, the better", sugar rots your teeth, and eating better, exercising more and drinking less booze will boost your chances of staying healthy longer. And according to Doctor Swan, he "almost never sleeps" although he loves a daily nap!!

September Australian Orienteer

Michael Hubbert (AO Editor, still!)

AO September 2021 Cover Page
Cover photo: Matt Crane (Canberra Cockatoos) at NOL Broulee Dunes event.
Photo: Tom de Jongh.

The September magazine has congratulations to those selected for State Schools Teams - unfortunately, when the magazine was at the printer the Australian Championships was cancelled for the second year due to Covid. There's also some detailed coverage of WOC 2021; there's news of a new event planned for next year's AUS Championships carnival; Orienteering turns 50 in ACT; Goldseekers Basil and Jean Baldwin are honoured; Kay Haarsma is interviewed by Marina Iskhakova; Spot the Difference gives some of the solutions to the June puzzle (and leaves readers to find the rest) and there's a new puzzle for September; O-SPY discovers some quite interesting news, and Top Events encourages readers to think ahead.

Another one not to be missed.

Note from Michael Hubbert:

All Editors to date have been 'original Orienteers' from the days when Orienteering was becoming established in Victoria and had still to spread to other states. David Hogg and Michael Hubbert both competed in and finished the inaugural Upper Beaconsfield event in 1969 while Ian Baker joined the Orienteering scene soon after.

It's been 17 years since I took on the Editor role and I have enjoyed every moment. however it is time to hand over the baton to a new and younger Editor who may have some different ideas on the direction the magazine should follow. I am happy to carry on until a new Editor can be found, so if any of you out in Orienteering Land are interested in the role, please get in contact with me.

Competition program

The spring period is when the orienteering calendar transitions from mainly bush orienteering on Sunday mornings to street/park orienteering on Friday evenings. For the latest program and event information go to the OSA Event page. The confirmed competition program on 8 September for Adelaide and surrounds, Lincoln, Saltbush, and Top End clubs, is currently limited, but you can be assured that in the next few weeks a full calendar of mainly street/park events will be formalised for the period to next March.

Warning: because of possible Covid-19 restrictions, all events can be subject to change or cancellation at short notice. It is important that you regularly check event details with organisers.

DateEventOrganising clubDiscipline
Sun 19 Sep 21O'Halloran Hill - Glenthorne ParkOnkaparinga Hills Orienteering ClubFoot orienteering
Sun 19 Sep 21Navigator College - End of Season eventLincoln Hills Orienteering ClubFoot orienteering
Park and street orienteering
Sat 25 Sep 21Middle Distance Event - Venue TBAOrienteering SAFoot orienteering
Sun 26 Sep 21Long Distance Event - Venue TBAOrienteering SAFoot orienteering
Tue 28 Sep 21Sprint Training - Model Event - Venue TBAOrienteering SAFoot orienteering
Wed 29 Sep 21Sprint Event - venue TBAOrienteering SAFoot orienteering
Thu 30 Sep 21Sprint Relay - Venue TBAOrienteering SAFoot orienteering
Sat 30 Oct 21Halloween Vampire-OOrienteering SAFoot orienteering

Comments and Feedback

If you have any thoughts on what you would like to read or see in future newsletters, would like to submit an article or photo, or have comments on this or previous newsletters, please let the editor know using the form here.

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