Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Italy, here we come!


The following people have been selected to represent South Africa at the 2009 Junior World Orienteering Championships:

Zoe Brentano (RACO)
Jessica Hemer (RACO)
Jessica Lund (RACO)
Sarah Pope (ROC)
Salome van Hoepen (RACO)

Bradley Lund (RACO)

The Championships will take place in Primiero, Trentino, Italy 5-12th July 2009. They will be immediately preceded by a training camp (28th June – 3rd July) at the same location.

The Team Manager will be Richard Lund (RACO) and the Coach will be Nicholas Mulder (ROC).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Well done to Zoe for finishing the Brown course in a decent time and being the first lady. On the Blue, Sarah managed to keep the mistakes down and was the first Junior - about 20 min behind Ian. Salome was nursing an injury apparently and still won the Green. Well done.

Here is the the Blue Course from the weekend. Ian won it and drew in his route. There are also some comments about his decisions and mistakes.
0-1 Started a bit hesitantly. I knew area was complex and didn’t want to mess up first control. Headed NE over the spur into the valley. Up valley and crossed over to other side and ran parallel to ditch until I hit the wall. Turned right along wall to control.

1-2 Followed wall until past thickets. Aimed off across re-entrant and saw boulders ahead. No problems.

2-3 Out on to track. Followed this round until clearing with large trees. Aimed off towards control. No problems.

3-4 Back to track. Ran hard down to bend. Aimed off to knoll. No problems.

4-5 Back to track. Followed round to gap in vegetation. Headed off down the hill and Straight into control.

5-6 Decided to go back to track the way I came in. Along to track bend. Contoured around re-entrant and along far side until fell into niche.

6-7 Down re-entrant and across valley to main track and past start. Able to run pretty hard along track. [Some people saw # 14 but I wasn’t looking on that side of the track !] Cut off to SE and over spur to join path. Along path past rocky outcrop on right. Turned left towards thicket and fell over # 8 !! Checked code and realised that I had misread map. However, once I realised my mistake, I went round thicket to south between thickets and up to clearing without problems. Not a bad route choice in the end but direct route would have saved time if I had been able to navigate properly. [lost 2 min]

7-8 Back the same way so didn’t have to think much. Went slightly too far but no real problem.

8-9 Out to path. Along until on north side of spur. Around up re-entrant and then up slope to control. No problem.

9-10 Out to track. Along and then through open area by ruin. Down slope and came across control much earlier than expected ?

10-11 Back to track and straight across. Headed NW until I hit other track. Along track until junction just past power line crossing. Aimed up hill between thickets and fell straight on to control.

11-12 Exited due west hitting path. Along path until I saw large knoll. Ran up re-entrant north of knoll, across end of wall and straight into control.

12-13 Headed SE down slope. Through area of trees (white) under power line but came too far south and saw fence. Realised I had overshot and contoured back to boulders. [lost 1 min]

13-14 Headed out of control NE down slope. Intended to run between large knoll and spur directly towards control (through semi-open area) However, after crossing track, I ran to the south side of knoll (also through semi-open area). Ended up (I think) on rocky knoll far to far south. Everthing seemed to fit but no control ! Eventually decided to go out on to track and run north, possibly up to junction. However, luckily I saw control from path and relieved to correct my biggest mistake [lost 3 min].

14-15 NW to track junction. Alog track, around bend and then head up slop just after thicket on right. Up re-entrant (not that obvious) and straight on to knoll and control.

15-16 Out to track. Follow track around bend and down hill. Saw thicket on right. Headed down slope and somewhat luckily went straight into control.

16-17 Out to track. Down to bend. Headed north from track bend. Between spur/knoll on left and thickets on right. Across top of small spur. Over larger spur and straight into boulder.

17-18 Headed NE into re-entrant and down hill. Hard down hill until hit ditch. Found path and along looking for wall on right. Not very obvious so overran to path/wall/rocks junction. Back along wall and up to crag. No sign of control – had to get within 1m before I saw it. Very relieved to find it.

18-19 Back to path. Along path, around bend. Boulder was very obvious from path. Control on far side.

19-20 Headed SW knowing that last control was very obvious by track.

Generally a great run with a few minor problems. Probably lost 7-8 minutes in total – perfect run would have been 50-51 minutes. Not having a compass (I left it at home by mistake !!) probably helped as I was forced to read the map. The map is generally excellent the biggest problems being the vegetation which I found iffy in places and the interpretation of rack features.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Rather late than never... here's the Green Course from Laurentia. With a bit of luck I'll try to do the Blue course too.This Green course might not have many options, but I think it is still good to go through the process of planning a leg: looking for route choices, assessing the difficulty of the leg and choosing attack points.

Hedianga will be really interesting. Coming soon

Friday, September 19, 2008

South African team at JWOC 2009


Turkey and South Africa confirmed their partecipation to the next year Junior World Orienteering Championships. We are very glad to host them in our beautiful valley. The number of pre-registered team increase in size.
Posted by giancarlo_simion

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bushtrails analysis

Better late than never...
Most of the Juniors were on the Blue Course. Well done to Brad and Salome for outstanding performances over both courses.

Everyone should have drawn their routes on the their maps and had a think about their mistakes. You can compare your routes to what Nicholas would have done. You can also have a look at his notes to see his thought process. Thanks Nic!

One of the aims of this analysis is to make sure you don't make the same mistakes again. This Sunday you get to put it into practise.

Course 1:
S-1 Navigate your way through the buildings, then take a rough compass bearing from the path junction or nearest bend to the control, taking the easiest line across the river. The river is your attack point (AP).
1-2 Two route choices, follow the river or go for the road. My initial choice would have been to run next to the river, but some felling in the forest meant that the road was probably faster!
2-3 Easy crossing point at the gate, which is also your AP.
3-4 Run parallel to the fence until you find an easy crossing point. Keep an eye on the distance to the end of the forest, as this will give you a relative position to the rootstock.
4-5 With such high grass, get out to the path immediately.
5-6 Straight forward, read your control description and look far ahead of you when you are running for the significant tree.
6-7 The route choice to the W of the out-of-bounds is too long, thus you go along the eastern side. At the fence corner, take a rough compass bearing, also keeping an ensuring that you keep the stony ground on your left side. Running along the edge of this stony ground should lead you into the control area.
7-8 Don't assume that you will find an indistinct path easily! Always have a back-up plan, in this case, using the big cliff as your AP. The catching feature should you miss the control is the green hill immediately above the control.
8-9 Not much detail to go on, so play it safe and get to the cliff edge asap. The follow the top of the cliffs into the control. The first re-entrant is your final AP.
9-10 Find the easiest crossing point over the river, then up the hill trying to identify the open grass area between the bare rock. Look into the distance for the significant tree.
10-11 Short rough bearing. Make sure you stay in the open grass area.
11-12 Aim off by getting onto the top of the ridge early, then run down the ridge into the control.
12-13 Get off the stony ground area asap, then contour across the valley, looking at the hill slope to try and identify where the control is.
13-14 Aim off to the right until you are within sight of the fence, then run parallel down to the control, using the distance to the fence as a gauge.
14-15 Try go for a straight line. As you get to the valley, re-orientate, and try identify exactly where the control should be on the opposite hill. Look for the spur and the vegetation on top of it. 15-16 Get down off the hill onto the indistinct track asap. Stay on the track until you reach the edge of the undergrowth, then follow it into the control.
16-17 Try get a visual on what is the easiest route before leaving the control. This will probably be contouring slightly above the undergrowth.
17-18 It is generally easier to climb up a hill in tough rocky terrain on a ridge line, so arc slightly to the south, making use of the spur to reach the top of the hill.
18-19 Start heading off to the NE, until you get in sight of the fence. Then run parallel to the fence at the distance you feel the control will be at. Make a mental note when you pass the hill on the left and when you cross over the fist bare rock section. Then try and identify the rocky area / bare rock just before the control. Use this as your AP.
19-20 Short leg. Try get your distance judgement right here. A good AP is the boulder stuff between the two controls.
20-21 Get onto the small path immediately, then get down into the valley asap. Attack this control from higher up the valley.
21-22 Get onto the top of the cliffs asap. then take a rough bearing to the contol. Use the white forest area just before it as your main navigation aid.
22-23 Identify the fastest route down the hill. This will probably be down the track starting immediately behind the water feature.

Course 2:
S-1 Down the main track to the junction. Then aim off slightly to the right, so you come past the bend in the river first before entering the marsh area.
1-2 Out onto the road asap, then down the track to the fence corner.
2-3 Road and then following the ditch is probably the fastest.
3-4 Finding an easy crossing point in the fence is very important. There will probably be one where the path crosses it. This will also lead you straight into the control. Use the white forest patch to confirm your exact location if the paths aren't too visible.
4-5 Fastest line across the field and back up the side of the fence. From the fence corner, take another rough bearing, aiming off slightly to the left, so that you can run parallel up the ridge line / cliffs into the shallow re-entrant / cliff.
5-6 Contour along the slope, wherever it is easiest to run, probably on the edge of the bare rock / open grassland. You might not see the indistinct track, so keep an eye on the big track approaching on your right when attacking the control. Try and identify the significant tree just before the control.
6-7 Straight up the hill, running for a short while on the track. Try and identify the re-entrant before leaving the track.
7-8 Not much to go on here. Take a rough bearing, looking forward into the distance for the small hill with vegetation on top of it. The line of open grassland behind it serves as a catching feature.
8-9 When you get to the top of the cliffs, stop for a moment and try and read the detail on the other side of the valley. With a bit of luck, you might even see the control.
9-10 Up the hill wherever it is most runnable. When you get to the top, locate yourself on the circular ruin and line of cliffs if you can't already see the pit.
10-11 Straight down the valley. Use the track bend as your AP into the control. Make note of the ditches.
11-12 Finding the indistinct track will be the fastest route option. Leave the track as late as possible before going into #12.
12-13 Back out the same way and across the path.
13-14 Immediately back onto the path again, as you need it to cross the undergrowth in the valley. Follow the path down the left side of the valley, leaving it when it crosses back over the river, where there should be a break in the cliffs to reach the control.
14-15 Stay on the high ground above the cliffs.
15-16 Stay on the ridge line once again until you hit the path, which will be faster running off the hill.
Thanks Nic!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Jess Lund Doornpoort

Here are my routes for W20 (Course 3) at Gerotek and Green at Doornpoort.


Long O Champs at Gerotek

The W16 girls thought their course was a bit short, at about 3.6km. Salome won it in a fast 40 odd minutes. Well done! Here is a picture of the W16 course. Sarah drew her route in blue pen before it was scanned. Alex drew what he thought would be the best route in bright blue. Its pretty similar to Sarah's.
Dylan got hold of a W20/M50 map and drew what he thought the best route would be:
Brad was the only one of the Juniors on course 4. Despite the lack of competition he had a good time.
Well done to the Juniors who finished the M12 and W12 courses

And meanwhile, back at the start/finish area, Karen was practising her best teacher impression...
...And Alex was about to have a Chicken Burger. Thanks to the moms for making it another successful fundraising event.

And thanks to everyone for supporting us!

Monday, July 28, 2008


Next Sunday is the Long-O at Gerotek and you're going to be HUNGRY after orienteering for a Long time.

The mothers are putting together a feast. The menu looks like this:
Soup and bread
Chicken burgers
Drinks and beers

So leave your cool boxes at home and spend lots of money on food and drinks.


Ruin(ous) detail at Doornpoort

We're going to try and make this a regular thing. We will put up some stuff to help the Juniors analyse their races.

Yesterday we headed north of Pretoria to a brilliant new map made by the van Hoepen's. Salome helped with the map, so she couldn't race. Well done!

All of the Junior's except Dylan were on the Green course, so we should be able to do some good analysis.

Firstly, the splits for the green are on Attackpoint here

Secondly: Peter asked Gary de Klerk to draw in his version of the ideal route for the Green course. Thanks Gary!Finally: Alex wore his GPS. He was walking/jogging around the course. He had a slight wobble at #1, but otherwise spiked everything. He just beat the girls, perhaps due to some more daring route choices. They should have been going faster than him on the day :-)
Here is a link to Motionbased, where you can see the route combined with Google Earth pictures.

The moms were out in force once again with a spread of muffins, biscuits and hot drinks. Thanks!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Unseen photos!

Here are some of the photo we've got that didn't make it onto the blog. We may regret some of them.

Dylan punching the last control on the relay. He ran the 1st leg
Alex, just after the last control on the relay, setting off after the Irish Ruairi.
Finishing the relay. He managed to get past Ruairi.
Dylan at the banquet with the Japanese Girls
The Latvian guys and girls before the banquet.
Yes, we did wear that to the supper part of the banquet.
Dylan negotiating the tricky middle run in.
Dylan BEFORE the long. Intense focus.
The start of the women's relay. Some SA girls in there next year?
Alex and Henrik at the start of third leg of the relay. The Estonian second team didn't have a great start and weren't far ahead of us.
The Ladies Sprint Podium. The winner was 16 years old.
The Mens Sprint Podium.
A picture off the web of Alex leaving the last control on the sprint.
Dylan discussing his race with Ruairi. Also off the web.
The SA top 10 list
A picture at the airport


Here's a summary of our results from the week's competition. The best percentages were achieved in the sprint. Positions in the different races are hard to compare, but the Long produced better positions than the sprint. Dylan says he enjoyed the Sprint the most. Alex enjoyed the Middle Qualifier the most.

Name ..... Pos ..... Time ..... Winning Time ..... Percentage
Alex ....... 130 ...... 17:14 ..... 13:21 .................... 129%
Dylan ..... 121 ...... 16:48 ..... 13:21 .................... 126%
Alex ....... 126 .... 1:51:05 ... 1:12:22 .................. 153%
Dylan ..... 119 .... 1:47:37 ... 1:12:22 .................. 148%
Middle Quali
Alex ........38 ........ 37:36 ...... 27:04 ................... 139%
Dylan ..... 48 ........ 44:56 ...... 25:55 ................... 173%
Middle Final
Alex(B final) 57 ..... 49:38 ...... 29:23 .................. 169%
Dylan (C final) 41 .. 38:10 ...... 20:37 .................. 185%
Relay (note: used the fastest time on the day, but courses differed)
Alex ..................... 1:16:39 ... 48:22 .................. 158%
Dylan ................... 1:11:49 ... 48:22 .................. 148%

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Back at home

We're back at home. We were a little short on sleep on Monday and took the opportunity to enjoy some of Gothenburg's parks. We spent the night in Karl's flat and traveled home on Tuesday.
That brings an amazing experience to an end. We've really enjoyed ourselves. JWOC is a great event and hopefully many other South African's will be able to experience it.

Thanks again to our sponsors, supporters and families. We appreciate all the interest in what we got up to.

Thanks must also go to the organisers. It was fantastic!

Keep an eye on the blog for the next few days. We'll put up some unseen photos from our trip, like our Banquet outfits and more importantly the Latvian Girls Banquet outfits

Monday, July 7, 2008

Beer O and Banquet

We finished off a tough week of competition with something a little different - Beer O! We weren't expecting it to be so competitive. We called it quits after 1 litre and 2km of orienteering. Henrik called it quits after throwing up 5 times. You can see Dylan and Henrik in this photo.
Then it was off to the banquet and party. Good times!


We joined up with a Belgian named Gilles for the relay. He had been getting similar results to us, so it seemed to be a good match.
Here is part of the mass start. Dylan is in there, near the front!
Dylan started for us. He had a solid run, coming home in 1h11. Gilles produced a good performance, with a time of 1h08. Alex had some big wobbles, but managed to get around in 1h16. After Gilles' run, we were about 37th. Alex came home in 39th. He managed to outsprint the Irish team on the run in.

We'll put up the map when we get home.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Long Day Out

Today was the long distance final. The men’s course was 10.2km with 400m of climb. We were expecting a tough map with big contour features and few paths. Alex saw a thermometer at the start at 12:30 reading 30 degrees.

Dylan had the better result. He finished in 1:47:39 in 119th place. He limited his mistakes to ‘medium sized’ ones. Soren Bobach, who started 4 minutes behind, passed him on the way to #3. Soren finished 7th in 1:15:15. Johan Runneson won another race, bringing his tally up to 2 golds and 1 silver! Dylan’s route is below.
Alex had a steady result. He finished in 1:51:05 in 126th place. He made a mistake on #3 and messed up the route choice to #7. On his route below, you can see him exiting #6 and then spotting the route on the road. He decided it would still be quicker to take the road. Soran caught Alex at #7 – the beginning of the butterfly. Soran started 16 minutes behind Alex.
The splits are here

Tomorrow we are running the relay with a Belgian Orienteer. He has been getting similar results to the us.
This is a picture of Soren punching the last control. An Eastern European runner (?) is falling over in his wake. Peter was too busy taking pictures of the 'scenery' to get any of us.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Rest day before the long

We had a day with no running or orienteering. We spent the morning walking around the center of Gothenburg. The afternoon was spent studying the old version of tomorrows map and relaxing.

We have both chosen middle start times. We will start between 11:00 and 13:00.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hot day, not so hot from the South Africans

It was hot and sunny today in Gothenburg. We had the same start venue as yesterday, but used a more technical western part of the map. Here is Dylan sprinting into the finish.
After a decent run from Alex yesterday, he was the 6th starter in the B final. Unfortunately he didn’t click and had two big mistakes. The rest of the controls would be classified minor mistakes. There was more fine contour detail today. He finished in 49:38 in 57th (and last - boo) place. Another one of those learning experiences. A South African finally got a mention by the commentators: “And here we have Pope, Alex Pope, in a time of ... um ... oh ... um ... 49 minutes.” We think the high speed finish had him thinking it was going to be a competitive time.
Dylan ran the C final and also had ‘below par’ run. He finished in 38:10 and in 41st. He had one big mistake and thinks he had a total of 10 minutes of mistakes.
Anyway, Swede Johan Runesson, the men’s silver medallist from the Sprint distance became the Middle Distance World Champion. Venla Niemi of Sweden won the ladies A final.

Now we have a rest day before the Long Distance race. We're expecting a hot and tough race.
Good luck to the WOC team who are leaving for Czech Republic soon. Look out for their blog...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Middle Qualification

The three middle distance qualification races were held at Änggårdsbergen. Alex ran in heat A and finished the 3.9km course in 37:36 and 38th place. The top 20 from each heat go into the A final, the following 20 into the B final and the remaining 20 into the C final. Alex just made the B final, which he is very happy about. He had a decent run, with no major mistakes. His route is below. He says that although he didn't mess up too much it is a bit disconcerting when the Scandinavian girls run faster through the forest.
Dylan ran in heat B. He finished in 44:56 in 48th place. He will be in the C final tomorrow. He says he had a bad day, with plenty of mistakes. His course and route is below.

Here is a picture of our Swedish Taxi Driver friend Karl (as requested from SA). He is coordinating the photos and videos for the host club. The video we watched last night will be on Youtube soon.
The B and C finals start at 12:00 tomorrow and the A final is later in the afternoon.
Apparently the live commentary and results worked well today. The splits are already on Winsplits

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Middle Model

Today we went back to Hisingsparken, where we ran the Swedish JWOC qualifier about a week ago. We found the area better than last time, although the amount of rock and contour detail on top of the hills is still very difficult.
We’re expecting a less rocky and less detailed map tomorrow. The three qualifying heats are 4km long with 220m of climb. We’re expecting some big hills and cliffs. Alex is starting 10:30 and Dylan is starting at 10:56.

Here is a picture of the hillside from today.

The Sprint Race

We both had clean runs in the sprint and reasonable results. The winner was still close to 4 minutes ahead!

Dylan finished the 2.8km course in 16:48.3 to put him in 121st place. He made a few route choice errors, but with nothing too costly. He ran past #10 and thinks he lost about 40 sec. His route is drawn on this map:
Alex finished in 17:14.7 to put him in 130th place. He is happy with most of the route choices. He rushed #15 and lost about 30 sec. The Swede who finished 2nd came cruising past at #7, so he lost a minute over the first 7 and then about 3 minutes in the last 9 controls. His route is drawn here:
The splits are on winsplits and there are some photos here
Here we are warming up before race:
The opening ceremony was held at Liseberg, a famous amusement park. JWOC teams were allowed free access to all the rollercoasters and rides. We made good use of that. Here is a view from the observation deck. You can see the wooden rollercoaster.