freddie-carcas-2023_RL.jpgFreddie Carcas at last year's European Champs, photo: Rob Lines

British Orienteering has announced the teams for World Cup Rounds 1 and 2, in Switzerland and Italy on successive weekends of May and June.

Selection races included the three races last weekend of Sprint Scotland - Results, Winsplits, Routegadget.

British Orienteering Selection Announcement - World Cup Rounds 1 and 2 2024

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lucy-walker_BOC24_WCLucy Walker at this year's British Championships, photo: Wendy Carlyle

Although the first three senior internationals in 2024 are sprint format (World Cup Rounds 1 and 2, and the World Champs in Edinburgh) it was the forest team for the European Champs (EOC) in Hungary in August (16th-20th) that...

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rocks_britMiddle24_WCMiddle distance races emphasise interpretation of the map in often quite complex terrain, photo:Wendy Carlyle

On Saturday 27th April Airienteers hosted the British Middle Champs at Danefield near Otley in Yorkshire, with some intricate terrain and also fine views across Wharfedale. The Swansea Bay couple Megan Carter-Davies and Ben Mitchell took the open class wins. Megan is no stranger to British titles – she held them all at the same time a few years ago, but it is Ben’s first. He has previously come second four times, at night, middle and long. Ben is the OCAD reseller for the U.K. and an accomplished mapper e.g. JK2022 Clydach Terrace.

Results, British Middle Distance Champs 2024.

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mulgraveWoods_mapclip2024Map Extract, British Long Champs 2024, from Routegadget

The British Long Orienteering Championships were held in Mulgrave Woods near Whitby on April 13th. The British relays were held the following day at Hutton Mulgrave and Skelder Woods. Thanks to the clubs of the North-East Association, with coordinator Duncan Archer. The Long Championships key players were: Caroline & Alastair Mackenzie (Cleveland), Chris Mackenzie (Cleveland), Keith Tonkin (Borderliners), Ted Finch (Forth Valley). Key players for the relays were: Boris Spence (Northern Navigators), Francis Shillitoe (Newcastle & Tyneside), Graham Nilsen (Deeside).

The Briish Individual Champions 2024 are Will Gardner and Fiona Bunn.

The British Relay Champions 2024 are Forth Valley (mens) and Edinburgh University (Womens).

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luke-fisher_JK2024_otrlLuke Fisher on the run-in of Day 2 at JK2024,

The JK this Easter had sprint, middle, long and relay and the wins were spread around. Luke Fisher and Cecilie Andersen took the overall wins, Peter Hodkinson and Laura Robertson the sprint honours, and Forth Valley and South Yorkshire the relays. It was a well-organised successful weekend. Thanks to the Midlands clubs.

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MaryEarpsLboroHonDegree_UniWebsiteMary Earps, England Lionesses Goalkeeper, pictured at Loughborough University in Honorary Degree Regalia last December. She graduated from the University in Information Managment and Business Studies in 2016. A few days after receiving her honorary degree she won BBC Sports Personaility of the Year. She is the third Loughborough Alumni to win the BBC Award, the others being runners: Lord Seb Coe and Paula Ratcliffe MBE. picture source: University website.

On Good Friday Loughborough University will again host a major sprint orienteering race. It's the first day of the four-day JK Festival. Runners are in 40 classes (ages 10 to 90) ,and the top classes for men and women are World Ranking Events with 310 entries.

The JK Festival continues with middle and long races at Beaudesert in the West Midlands on Saturday and Sunday. and it finishes with Relays on Monday back in the East Midlands at Stanton Moor. The total number of entered participants is 2,400.

Results, which will be updated during the races.

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Euromeeting-Scotland-Oct23-mapMenKOSprintFThe route choice for leg 1-2 split the field in the men's knockout final

Forth Valley Orienteers hosted Euromeeting last weekend as part of the build-up to next year's World Championships. After the sprint relay on Friday 13th there was a full knockout sprint on Saturday 14th, and an individual sprint on Sunday 15th.

There is a very good writeup of the Euromeeting October 23 weekend on the Scottish Orienteering Association website.

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Mapclip-SR-EuromeetingThere was live tracking of the Sprint Relay at Euromeeting

Forth Valley Orienteers are hosting Euromeeting this weekend as part of the build-up to next year's World Championships. On Friday 13th it was a Sprint Relay.

Saturday is a knockout sprint and Sunday an individual sprint.

Evidenced by the podium photo (below) it is colder than last week's European Champs in Northern Italy (where Jonatan Gustafsson won two medals.)

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freddie-carcas-eoc23-Knockout%20SprintQ_otrlFreddie Carcas just missed out on the knockout stages. He was tied in the final qualification spot in heat 3 and lost out because he has fewer ranking points than the other runner.

The European Champs Knockout Sprint racing took place on Sunday 8th October in Vicenza. The morning qualification (athletes in quarantine by 7:30) was in the suburbs, on the Creazzo map. The heats reduced the fields from 142 men and 131 women to 36 of each for the finals, for six "quarter-finals" of six runners each. The finals were in the largely pedestrianised centre of the City, with quite a few pedestrians and cyclists, mostly unaware of "high-speed" runners until whistles and shouting announced their approach.

The qualification races were very tight as expected, and for the many near the cutoffs it was quite chancy. The knockout stages were full of excitement and noise, fast running in the streets, some possible danger and some tiny margins.

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nathan-lawson-eoc23-SprintRelay_RLNathan Lawson running leg 2 for GB in the International Sprint Relay at Soave 6th October 2023, photo: Rob Lines

The European Champs Relay took place on Friday 6th October in the walled wine town of Soave. Strong runs from Wednesday's silver and gold medallists in the women's individual sprint, Tove Alexandersson and Sarah Hagstrom, helped Sweden to what was, by the standards of these races, a clear win. A close race on the last leg for the other medals was won by Elena Roos of Switzerland holding off Venla Harju of Finland who was 3rd, and Victoria Haestad Bjornstad of Norway who was 4th. France were 5th and GB 6th.

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ralph-street-postFinish-EuroChamps23_otrlRalph Street made the podium but not a medal in the European Champs Sprint 2023: 5 seconds off gold, 2 seconds off silver, 1 second off bronze, photo: On The Red Line

The European Champs Individual Sprint racing took place on Wednesday 4th October in Verona.

It is a 2-race format, with qualification and finals. Both sets of courses were relatively straightforward by the standards of international sprint racing, and it was mere seconds deciding the quakification and the medals - especially in the men's race..

In the morning qualification races, held away from the centre of Verona, the fields were reduced from 144 men and 134 women to 45 of each for the finals (actually 46 women as in one heat two runners tied for the final qualification spot.)

In the afternoon, next to the Roman Amphitheatre and running through the Old Town near Juliet's balcony, the medals (and places, and World Cup points) were decided.

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