Riccarton_LornaEadesImage from World Champs Bulletin 3

This week the big orienteering countries have announced their World Cup Teams. This follows World Cup Rounds 1 and 2 the previous two weekends.

The World Champs are in Edinburgh in July, with the medal races on 12th, 14th and 16th. World Orienteering Champs - Bulletin-3.

The IOF has announced they will be broadcast live on Eurovision Sport in UK, France and Germany. This is a free service.

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mapClip_Olten1 The 2024 World Cup begins with a Knockout Sprint, the fastest possible start you might say. It's to the now well-established format except the heats are the day before the knockout stages.

Illustration above is from Bulletin-4 for the World Cup Round in Olten, Switzerland

For women and men qualifying heats will reduce the fields from over a hundred to thirty-six. Then quarter-finals (three out of six progess), semi-finals (two out of six progress) and then the finals. Women and men are set the same challenges in the knockout stages.

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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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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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2022 Sprint World Champion - Vejle, Denmark

2022 World Championships Silver Medallist Knockout Sprint - Fredericia, Denmark

2022 World Championships Final Leg GB Sprint Relay Silver Medal Team - Kolding, Denmark

My first club was the Mid-Wales OC which I joined aged 8 with Mum, who had tried o...

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sarah-hagstrom-sprintRelay-eoc2023_otrlSarah Hagstrom in the walled town of Soave, a few minutes from taking the EOC 2023 Sprint Relay win for Sweden. Note grapes used for Soave wine drying traditionally in the tower! Photo: On The Red Line

The European Championships in 2023 were in the sprint formats in historic towns of Northern Italy. The event centre was in Pescheira del Garda and the races were in Verona, Soave and Vicenza. The Sprint Relay was won by Sweden, and the GB team was 6th. Ralph Street made the podium on all the race days with the sprint relay and two fourth places, but he didn't win a medal. Megan Carter-Davies, Jonathan Crickmore and Nathan Lawson had top-20 results. Cecilie Andersen, Peter Hodkinson, Eddie Narbett all got through qualification on one or two days, and Freddie Carcas missed out by the narrowest of margins. In fact the individual days were full of the competition of narrow margins.

Tove Alexandersson and Matthias Kyburz both won two gold and one silver in three races. Sara Hagstrom and Jonatan Gustafsson won two medals each and made the podium every day.

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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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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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cecilie-andersen-23WCuprd2_RLCecilie Andersen is one of 14 GB athletes in Northern Italy for the European Champs, Cecilie photo: by Rob Lines at the previous round of the World Cup this year.

The European Champs start early on Wednesday morning 4th October, continue on the 6th, and finish on Sunday 8th. It's the turn of the sprint disciplines and a large British team has gathered in Northern Italy. If you're not there the best way to follow it via the Live Internet TV with English commentary at 25 Euros for three broadcasts (or individual ones at 9 euros each), but if you don't have that then there are free online services.

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chloe-potter-BSR23_RLChloe Potter, first leg for South Yorkshire "Killer Bees" team, British Sprint Relays 2023, Brunel University London, photo: Rob Lines

There have been two important sprint format competitions in the UK this September. One was the gathering of top domestic and international runners for Sprint Scotland on the first weekend, and the other was a British Championships two weeks later. In between a 14-runner GB team for next month's sprint formats European Champs was announced.

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peter-molloy-c-WorldCup23SprintRelay_RLPeter Molloy, running in 2023 World Cup Round 2, photo: Rob Lines

As summer ends and Autumn begins GB orienteering attention is very much on the sprint formats. Our article Stepping to Edinburgh noted the next steps after World Cup Round 2 being the Antwerp Sprint Meeting in Ghent in mid-August and Sprint Scotland the first weekend in September. Both include knockout sprints.

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joshua-dudley-WOC23RelayJoshua Dudley running Leg 2 for GBR completes the final loop at the WOC23 Men's Relay

The favourite teams in the World Champs Relays, Switzerland in the Men's Race, and Sweden in the Women's, both had clear wins. So Daniel Hubmann did become the oldest ever World Champion (and no, he has not retired.) There were no big surprises. Both British teams finished lower in the results than they had hoped. In the men's race, run first, GBR were aiming for top-10 and were 17th (6 minutes off 10th). In the women's race GBR were aiming for top-6 and were eighth (3 minutes off a close tussle for 5th/6th.)

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grace-molloy-ctl3-WOC23MFGrace Molloy at Control 3 in the World Champs Middle Distance Race

The World Champs Middle Races in Switzerland were as expected incredibly technical, and hot weather and the tough forest took its toll on the athletes. Being over 1000m above sea level may not have helped either. Many top runners made mistakes, and some very big ones very early in the race. And in both races there was a clear winner as the defending champions mastered the navigation at their race speed.

The highest placed British runner was Megan Carter-Davies, 12th. She was however disappointed with errors at controls 6 and then at 18, right at the end. Grace Molloy was 28th, Ralph Street was 29th, and Alastair Thomas was 34th. All of them lost time at places on the course, as did most of the runners.

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WOC23LongSteep terrain for the World Champs long races (the sight looking from control 8 on the women's course)

The World Champs Long Races in Switzerland lived up to expectations with very challenging physical courses, difficult route choices and superb performances by several athletes.

The highlight for the British team was Megan Carter-Davies's seventh place, an exceptionally good result, and close behind the bronze medallist. The other British athletes had sound races. Cecilie Andersen and Jo Shepherd were 30th and 31st respectively. Peter Bray and Joshua Dudley were 37th and 39th respectively.

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megan-carter-davies-WOC23MQ-LasseGronMegan Carter-Davies runs in at the World Champs 2023 Middle Qualification, photo: Lasse Gron

It was six heats: three for men, three for women, with the first 15 in each to qualify by right (some runners from countries who would otherwise not have representation in the final also qualify.)

As regards the strongest countries it all went much to plan. Very technical terrain and good preparation were perhaps the main reasons.

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IbexBulletin4One of this year's trophies, from the World Championships Bulletin-4

On Wednesday 12th July the racing in the 2023 World Champs (WOC) begins. The Champs are at Flims-Laax in the mountain canton of Graubünden in Switzerland. The competition will be top-notch and the scenery will be stunning.

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chris-smithard-2023WCupNorway-relayChris Smithard, World Cup Relay, April 2023

The final races of The World Cup Round in Østfold, Norway were forest relays. On Sunday April 30th the men started at 1pm, the women at 3pm. It was a grand occasion as the sun shone, and the arena was laid out to bring the athletes close to the crowd, most of whom had run their own races (finishing in the arena) in the morning. The changeover and an arena passage were right next to the crowds, and with quarantine only closing 15 minutes before first start many of the national team athletes mingled with the crowd in the arena. The relays were close, exciting races, with both having several teams close together throughout, and there was a particularly spectacular sprint finish in the men's race.

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chloe-potter-2023WCupNorway-middle-startChloe Potter on the start line

The second race of the 2023 World Cup was a middle distance. It was expected that the men's race could be won by any of a dozen runners and the women's race would be won by Tove Alexandersson, the current World Cup champion. Tove won the long race on Thursday and has been the outstanding athlete in this type of race for some years. Compared to those expectations both results were a surprise.

Tove Alexandersson only came second as her compatriot Sara Hagstrom ended 10 seconds ahead in the 35 minute race. It was very exciting. Tove was 5 seconds quicker at the penultimate control, less than a minute from the finish. At the same time Sara Hagstrom was being interviewed as the big screen showed drone and fixed camera footage of Tove coming through the last control and dashing over the line, as the seconds ticked down.

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TVinterview-2023wcup1-longA TV interview at the first race of the 2023 World Cup in Norway

The first race of the 2023 World Cup was a long (target winning times: 82 minutes women, 90 minutes men.) It was expected that Scandinavian runners would be the strongest in the Nordic terrain and so it proved.

In the women's race Tove Alexandersson (82:07) and Sara Hagstrom (83:02) of Sweden were one-two, with Marie Olaussen of Norway taking third place. Full Results.

In the men's race Kasper Fosser (88:06) of Norway finished 3 seconds and 9 seconds respectively ahead of the Swedes Emil Svensk and Martin Regborn. It was very, very close. Full Results

Official Results

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sasha-chepelin-and-megan-carter-davies_JK23JK2023 Overall Winners, Sasha Chepelin and Megan Carter-Davies

The four days of the Easter JK Weekend enjoyed lovely conditions in the Lake District. The weekend included World Ranking Events in Sprint, Middle and Long, and then forest relays on the final day, Easter Monday.

Congratulations to Sasha Chepelin (Interlopers) and Megan Carter-Davies (Swansea Bay OC) the overall champions. Megan took the win on all three Women's Open elite courses, but her club Swansea Bay were not able to retain the JK Women's Trophy. Sasha won the Men's Open elite middle race and was second to Joshua Dudley in the long. He anchored Interlopers to the JK Trophy win, coming from fifth place (90 seconds off the lead) at the start of the last leg.

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mapclipHighDam_2021High Dam mapclip, from Routegadget

The JK Weekend is upon us, the biggest of major events for all UK orienteers. This year it's again in some of the most delightfully scenic and challenging terrain in the country, and a great weekend is in prospect. The elite race fields are both encouragingly large and look very strong. Four successive days of top competition is very tiring so it is not unusual to see several of the top runners choosing not to run (or not to fully run) the long race on the third day, especially if they have been injured during the winter.

As in 2015 the weekend is hosted by the North-West Association at Lancaster University (Sprint) and in the southern Lake District. On Friday (7th) it's the sprint, on Saturday the middle at High Dam, and on Sunday the long distance at Bigland. All are World Ranking Events (WRE). The weekend rounds off with relays at Dale Park on Easter Monday.

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graham-gristwood-long031022_red_CAGraham Gristwood was the highest placed GB runner at last Autumn's World Cup Final Middle race in Switzerland, photo: Christian Aebersold

Experience counts for a lot in orienteering. That was very evident in last year's results from the GB team.

We look forward to four major international foot-O meetings in 2023, and five in 2024, the latter including the Home World Championships in Edinburgh. The tremendous GB success at last year's sprint World Champs is evidence of real strength in the team. And this year there's an almost entirely unchanged group of athletes, with a great deal of experience amongst the older runners. One of the challenges for management and coaches is the differing needs of athletes. The many experienced athletes know what works for them, and they'll be the ones aiming at the target results (top 20, top 10, podium, medal.)

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fiona-bunn-wcuplong_20221003Fiona Bunn finishes the long race in a "new best time", photo: On The Red Line

The 2022 international season finished with three forest races in Switzerland on 1st-3rd October. It was Round 3, the final one, of the World Cup for 2022. Saturday was relays, Sunday was middle distance, and Monday was the long races. They were on the steep slopes of alpine valleys in the east of Switzerland, with two of the starts reached by cable car.

The international racing was well attended, with over a hundred runners in each individual race. This was partly because next year's World Championships will be held a little to the west, in Flims Laax, in July and there were training camps running after the competition.

At the same arenas there were public races on Saturday and Sunday too so there were plenty of crowds. As ever, the Swiss team were well prepared for races on home terrain.

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prevMapDavos

The international season draws to a close with three forest races in Switzerland on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. It's Round 3, the final one, of the World Cup for 2022. Saturday is forest relays, Sunday is middle distance races, and Monday is the long races. The venue is Davos Klosters, best known for World Economic Forum Conference, near the Austrian border. The terrain is Alpine, high up with plenty of climb (of course) and it might snow.

Next year's World Championships will be held a little to the west, in Flims Laxx, in July 2023.

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ralph-street-middlefinal-eoc2022_cr_FHRalph Street on his way to 13th in the Middle Final, photo: Fred Härtelt

The European Orienteering Championships for 2022 took place in Estonia and were for the forest disciplines. The medal races were the 4th, 6th and 7th August.

Eventor - Orienteering World Cup Round 2 and European Championships 2022

All races used the same arena, in the Põlula forest, near Rakvere, midway between Tallinn and the Russian border. For the previous European Championships, back pre-COVID in 2018 and covering more disciplines GB had a team of 17 including only one runner outside the 25-30 age group. This time Britain took 13 athletes, but it was much more slanted towards development. Our preview article on the team

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Capri2_at_WOC2022Capri, the World Champs 2023 Mascot, on stage at the World Champs 2022

The sprint racing that has filled the international calendar so far this year is done. This week it's the second round of the 2022 World Cup, the European Championships. All races are in tough forest in Estonia: long (classic), middle and relay races.

Fourteen athletes are in the British Team, seven women and seven men. It's a larger and also much less experienced team than went to the (Sprint) World Championships in Denmark in June.

Congratulations to Rachel Brown, Chloe Potter, Peter Molloy and Joe Woodley who make World Cup debuts. Rachel and Peter are W/M20.

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Capri_WOC2023_TSThe WOC2023 Mascot, Capri, photo: copyright steineggerpix.com + woc 2023, by Thomi Studhalter

It was to Swiss mountain forests of the Flims-Laax valley for the World Orienteering Championships 2023. The courses were both as physical and technical as expected and the races threw few surprises in the medallists:.Tove Alexandersson and Matthias Kyburz both won two golds and a silver. They lost out in the long to the golden couple of Simona Aebersold and Kasper Fosser. The weather was heavy at times, but did not get as bad as two different days the next week, when the 5000 runner Swiss-O week cancelled races up the mountains because of dangerous storms.

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megan-carter-davies-number1Megan Carter-Davies jumps on the World Champion's Podium, photo: On The Red Line

The GB Orienteering Team had a tremendously successful World Orienteering Championships 2022.

Megan Carter-Davies is the World Champion in the Individual Sprint. She also won the silver medal in the new Knockout Sprint format, and a silver medal in the Sprint Relay.

The other members of the silver medal winning relay team are Charlotte Ward, Ralph Street and Kris Jones.

Alice Leake won the bronze medal in the individual sprint.

Britain had won a medal at a World Orienteering Championship eleven times previously, most recently in 2013, by Scott Fraser. It was the most successful GB team performance ever.

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TeamPhoto-2-29May22The GB team who were "fourth nation" at World Cup Round 1, photo:Rob Lines

There are eight athletes, four men and four women, running for GB at this year's World Championships in Denmark. The races are the sprint disciplines: individual sprint, knockout sprint and sprint relay..

There are three race days.

  • Sunday 26th June - Sprint Relay, in Kolding (where the Event Centre is)
  • Tuesday 28th June - Knockout Sprint, in Fredericia
  • Thursday 30th June - Individual Sprint, in Vejle

All the GB athletes raced in World Cup Round 1 in Sweden last month, and the photos below are from that competition. Thanks to Rob Lines for most of them. Rob's gallery of orienteering photographs is on Flickr.

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CarnegieSportsCentreLeeds Beckett University hosted the Sprint Relay at the Carnegie Sports Centre

On Saturday 11th June, Forth Valley Orienteers team of Scarlett Kelly, Chris Smithard, Kris Jones and Grace Molloy won the British Sprint Relay Championship Race. They won by just over a minute from Edinburgh University with last year's champions South Yorkshire Orienteers a further 15 seconds behind.

27 teams were on the start line, and when non-eligible runners, incomplete teams and mispunches were all taken into account, 12 teams were all complete in the results (representing 10 clubs).

On Sunday Megan Carter-Davies and Kris Jones won the Individual Sprint Championships in the two race qualifiers/finals format..

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nathan-lawson-sprintRelayMay22Nathan Lawson, Borås Stadtspark, photo: Rob Lines

The GB first team of Charlotte Ward, Jonny Crickmore, Nathan Lawson and Megan Carter-Davies, were sixth, fourth nation, in the Sprint Relay in the centre of Borås on Sunday 29th May.

The race was won by Sweden's second team. The favourites, Sweden-1, made noticeable mistakes on leg3 and leg4, causing them to finish third. Switzerland-1 was second. Norway-1 were fourth, so third nation. Switzerland-2 were fifth.

Official Results - Orienteering World Cup Sprint Relay May 2022. There are two lists: one for just the leading teams for each country and one for all teams, including up to four teams per country, plus the "mixed" teams.

The GB second team of Alice Leake, Chris Smithard, Will Gardner and Grace Molloy were twenty-second of the fifty-seven teams that started, just behind Czech-1.

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mcd-inSemi-KOsprint_RLMegan Carter-Davies leads a quarter-final

Megan Carter-Davies won the silver medal in the World Cup Knockout Sprint in Borås, Sweden.

The Knockout Sprint races took place on Saturday 28th May. They comprised a qualification early in the morning, and then quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals in the afternoon.

Ralph Street got through to the men's final coming 7th (the final had an extra runner after a protest). Charlotte Ward, Cecilie Andersen and Jonny Crickmore qualified for the knockout stages and were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Official Results - Orienteering World Cup Knockout Sprint May 2022.

The excellent photos here are the work of Rob Lines. You can find Rob's oeuvre of orienteering photographs on Flickr.

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charlotte-ward-interview_May2022Charlotte Ward, interviewed after her terrific run

A GB team of 12 athletes, six men and six women, is in Borås, Sweden for three races forming World Cup Round 1. The races are the sprint disciplines: individual sprint, knockout sprint and sprint relay.

The individual sprint was on Thursday 26th May, and Kris Jones and Charlotte Ward both finished with a "top 10" result.

Official Results - Orienteering World Cup Individual Sprint May 2022.

Thanks to Rob Lines for the excellent photos.

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hemsideBanner7

GB has named a team of 13 athletes, seven men and six women, for 2022 World Cup Round 1 in Borås, Sweden at the end of May. The races are the sprint disciplines: individual sprint, knockout sprint and sprint relay.

Broadly, selection was made on two domestic sprint competitions earlier this year, Sprint Scotland and the JK Sprint, and last year's international races in Switzerland (European Champs), the Czech Republic (World Champs) and Italy (a sprint relay).

The team will be supported by Lasse Grøn, Jo Stevenson, Murray Strain, and Emil Wingstedt. All have recent experience with the team.

British Orienteering Announcement - Team for World Cup Round 1.

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JK2022_IndividualPodium_smThe JK2022 Individual Podium

The JK Champions for 2022 are Megan Carter-Davies and Sasha Chepelin.

The JK Relays were won by Swansea Bay (Women) and Octavian Droobers (Men), both for the first time.

The JK Sprints were won by Alice Leake and Sasha Chepelin

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ClydachTerrace_mapclip2Part of the terrain for this year's JK Middle Race (mapper squad member Ben Mitchell)

The "JK", the biggest annual festival in the UK orienteering calendar, held every year at Easter, is back and upon us. We really missed it in 2020 and 2021. This year the Welsh Association are hosting, and some of the areas used are the same as in 2014 when they previously hosted.. How's the winter training gone? Have you got everything planned out and have you read through 37 pages of programme? How did you fare on your big weekends in the Winter and early Spring?

Event Programme (Version 6)

Our report on the most recent JK, in 2019.

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BOC2022Winners_RLphoto: Rob Lines

The British Long Distance Champions for 2022 are Megan Carter-Davies and Graham Gristwood.

The British Relays were won by South Yorkshire (Women) and Forth Valley (Men.)

The British Champs Weekend

On Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th March, the British Champs 2022 were south-west of London near the Surrey/Hampshire border in an area not previously used for orienteering. The same arena was used for both days, with Day 1 called "Golden Valley and Cognor Woods" and Day 2 called "Iron Hill and Parkgate Rough".

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BOC22_mapclipfrom British Orienteering website, image: mapper Dave Peel.

With the weather set fair, the British Long Distance Champs are on Saturday March 26th, using an area new to orienteering south-west of London. There's a strong field including 59 names on the M21E startlist. The course is 16.6km with 815m climb; with the recommended winning time of 90-100 minutes. There are 18 entries on W21E for 11.3km with 495m climb and a winning time of 70-80 minutes.

The British Relays are the following day, using the same arena.

The British NIghts and the British Middles have taken place, the former in the very opposite of fair weather.

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CansiglioMenMiddleStartthe start of the men's middle in the Cansiglio forest, October 2021

The Final Round of the 2021 World Cup took place at Cansiglio–Cortina d'Ampezzo in north-east Italy from 30th September to 3rd October.

The long race on Thursday 30th September and the middle on Saturday 2nd October were in runnable beech forest on high Karst terrain. These decided the individual World Cup with Kasper Fosser and Tove Alexandersson both winning both days and becoming the World Cup Winners 2021.

There was a thrilling sprint relay in Cortina d'Ampezzo on Sunday 3rd, with four nations including GB starting their last leg runners at the front within a few seconds of each other. It was like a double length knockout sprint. At the end Andrine Benjaminsen stormed in to win for Norway, the first time an international sprint relay was not won by either Sweden or Switzerland. GB were fourth nation. Sweden won the team World Cup.

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Archeton-mapclipa training area, the Archeton - Valmanera map used for Italian Middle Champs March 2021

The Final Round of the 2021 World Cup takes place at Cansiglio–Cortina d'Ampezzo in north-east Italy from 30th September to 3rd October.

There's a long race on Thursday 30th September, a middle on Saturday 2nd October (same day as the British Long Champs*) and a sprint relay on Sunday 3rd.

*if people can get to Devon despite the petrol supply problems in England

It's the region for the 2026 Winter Olympics, and it should provide a typically scenic finale to the year. The forest races are in beech forest, "Karst terrain with lots of point details; occasionally stony." The sprint relay is "Typical mountain village with detailed historical centre and houses with private and public ownership: 80% asphalt surface, 20% grass and open field."

The long will run for most of the day to a prize-giving at 4:30pm UK-time. There's no TV production but results, arena sound and picture, and GPS from 11am.

The middle and sprint relay do have Internet TV (10 Euros for both) with commentary from Katherine Bett and Jonas Merz. On Saturday it's 11:30-3:30, on Sunday 12:30-1:55.

A full British Team of 12 athletes is entered.

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Idre_WomenRelayPresentationWomen's Relay Presentation, from the IOF Internet TV Broadcast

The World Cup Round 2 at Idre Fjäll in Sweden did a good job of testing the best orienteers and in beautiful wilderness forest. There was a long race on Thursday 12th, a middle on Saturday 14th, and Sunday was forest relays. Running times were often a bit longer than expected.

There were challenges throughout the races, mental, technical and physical. In particular, some of the hardest navigation problems came later in courses, after big climbs or stretches of featureless forest slope, and often where visibillity decreased as spruce supplanted pine. We saw runners get close to controls and not see the kite, so assume that many were set low. Any faster runners who managed an error-free run did well, and amidst many smaller errors there were some big, spectacular and unexpected mistakes from very good orienteers. The surprises made for very exciting spectating on the Internet TV, and unexpected names on the podiums of the middle and relays.

Results of World Cup Round 2 at IOF Eventor.

Britain sent a full team of 14 athletes including six World Cup debutants. Alastair Thomas, Nathan Lawson and Grace Molloy made their senior debuts at the World Champs. It was first time in the senior team for Joshua Dudley, Fiona Bunn and Laura King

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previousMapIdre4

The World Cup Round 2 at Idre Fjäll in Sweden has races on Thursday 12th (long), Saturday 14th (middle) and Sunday 15th August (forest relay.) For all races the terrain is mainly high runnability and high visibility pine forest at 600m-900m, with plenty of contours and marsh, and little else.

Britain is sending a full team of 14 athletes. Six men and six women can run each individual race, and there will be two GB teams in each relay.

All races have internet TV coverage with English commentary.

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20220628_Traffic Signal GoPedestrian Crossing Signal in Fredericia

Great Britain had a very successful championships. It was simply incredible.

The success began with the first of the five races, the Sprint Relay, where GB won silver. It was GB’s first medal after seven World Championships without one, and the first ever in a Sprint Relay. The success was crowned for GB in the last race as Megan Carter-Davies became World Champion in Individual Sprint. The team won four medals in all, which is as many as in the previous 17 years combined. Additionally there were two top-6 results, two top-10s, and three top-20s. Only 2 of the 13 entries were not at least top-20.

Update November 2022: The full TV broadcasts are available free of charge - International Orienteering Channel on YouTube; they are very good.

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MeganMegan Carter-Davies, on her way to 6th in the World Champs long race, July 2021 photo: Fred Haertelt

The World Championships (WOC) reached the Czech sandstone terrain for its final races. Thursday 8th July, late on, it was the Forest Relays. Next day it was the classic (or "long") races. With three minute start intervals and 80 minutes (women) 99 minutes (men) target winning times, the event goes on a long while. There wasn't therefore much gap between the relays and the classic races.

Six British athletes took part these two days. On Thursday the British women, Grace Molloy, Jo Shepherd and Megan Carter-Davies, ran well for 7th. The men, Peter Hodkinson, Hector Haines and Ralph Street, were 15th. All of them have had at least one top-6 in this event before, so we think it is fair to call that result disappointing.

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Varsity2011Sandstone Terrain

This picture is from a World of O "Route to Christmas" post nearly ten years ago. The popular advent calendar-like series invites readers to first think about their own route, and then to see what others thought and what happened when runners tackled the problem in a race. This problem is in Czech sandstone terrain. It has particular memories for one of the British team, as they ran it in the 2011 Orienteering Varsity Match (a sporting contest between teams from Cambridge and Oxford Universities.)

The need to choose your own route is a key characteristic of orienteering. This is an example of decisions athletes will take in the World Championships (WOC) on Thursday 8th July and Friday 9th. Thursday it's the forest relays. Friday it's the the long (or "classic") races. At last, WOC 2021 reaches, with its final races, some of the most famous orienteering terrain in the World! It's one of the reasons why so many were looking forward for so long to these championships.

The two athletes in the British team who have not yet run make their entrance to the racing. Both live in Scandinavia and are very experienced (both have won the British Long and have run WOC Long several times before).

The World of O "Route to Christmas" visits Czech sandstone terrain. The course was set by the planner of the Sprint Relay, Radek Novotný.

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peter-bray-2-WOC2021-MF_TBPeter Bray in the final, photo: Tomáš Bubela

The World Championships Middle Distance was on Tuesday 6th July in tough mountain terrain in the Jablonec nad Nisou district of northern Czechia. The borders with both Poland and Germany are not far away.

World Championships middle races have a reputation for being held in the toughest of forests, the sort that rips numbers off backs and means runners finish showing blood. In warm, humid weather the extremely challenging navigation on courses running longer than recommended provided a full-on experience. In the men's race particularly many of the leading runners picked up runners starting in front of them (there was a 2 minute interval) and had company for many controls, which could help them both.

The athletes have certainly earned a rest day before Thursday's forest relays.

In the morning qualification four British athletes qualified for the finals later in the day: Cat Taylor, Megan Carter-Davies, Peter Bray and Ralph Street. Alastair Thomas, who drew the earliest possible start came 16th in his heat (with 15 to qualify). Grace Molloy was 20th in her heat.

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woc2021-sprint-relay-mapclipMap section, showing the gaffling style and use of artificial barriers

The World Championships (WOC) Sprint Relay took place in the early evening of Sunday 4th July in the host town Doksy.

Recognising that the town is "not particularly complicated in terms of elite runner navigation" the planning used artificial barriers and plentiful gaffling (British English uses a Swedish word, International English calls it "forking".)

It was a great sight, a picturesque town graced by such athleticism in evening sunshine. Again the TV coverage was great. In the race Sweden won gold without making it close. Tove Alexandersson ran from the front, and established a lead on the first leg, with only Switzerland close (3rd was 38 seconds behind Simona Aebersold). And then, with the exception of a measured start on leg 2 by Emil Svensk matched with a very fast start from Joey Hadorn for Switzerland meaning they hit one control together, the Swedish runners ran alone. Gustav Bergman extended the lead on leg 3 and anchor leg Sarah Hagstrom had plenty of time to celebrate with her team on the run-in.

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TrainingCzechia1"Relevant terrain" - a training area

The World Championships Middle Distance races are on Tuesday 6th July.

They are at Jizerské hory. It's tough mountain terrain with plenty of high cliffs, broken ground, and marsh at altitude 530 - 83om. The racing is on steep slopes with granite boulders and cliffs, and variable visibility. Runnability is also variable, from very good in mature beech forest, to significantly limited by the steepness of the slopes covered in uneven rocks, in some parts with fallen trees, high blueberries and thickets too.

The qualification races are from 8am UK-time. The final begins at 2:50pm (men start), with the TV broadcast starting at 3:20pm, ending about 7pm. The first 15 in each of three heats qualify for the final, plus some lower placed runners where they are the highest placed finisher from their country. British runners will assume they need to be in the first 15 of their heat to make the final.

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alice-leake-v-worldchampsfinal2021Alice Leake, fourth in yesterday's World Championship Sprint Final

The World Championships (WOC) in Czechia have the Sprint Relay in the early evening of Sunday 4th July in the host town Doksy. It starts at 5:20pm UK-time and is estimated to finish just over an hour later.

The TV broadcast, in Britain a paid-for service on the internet (6 Euro), begins at 5:10pm. Yesterday's broadcast of the Individual Sprint Final was very well done. It was compelling viewing for orienteers, showcasing the top-level of the sport at its best through great filming with smart graphics, GPS tracking and astute and well-informed commentary.

It should be a great sight. If the race goes to recent form the medal contests will split in two. Switzerland and Sweden deciding gold and silver, and a closely contested race for bronze with several teams in the mix. Best wishes from On The Red Line to the British quad, Alice Leake, Ralph Street, Peter Hodkinson and Megan Carter-Davies.

Start List - Sprint Relay (26 teams, including No 6 - neutral)

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Landscapephoto from Competition Bulletin 3

The Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships 2021 take place from Saturday 3rd to Friday 9th July. The host town is Doksy, a summer vacation resort in the Liberec region of the Czech Republic / Czechia. The Sprint Relay is in Doksy. The individual sprint is in/around an internationally known eighteenth century fortress. The forest races are in two types of distinctive terrain: the middle on steep bouldery slopes with plenty of thick vegetation, the long and relay in the sandstone where the best route can often be a long way from the straight line.

The previous championships, in 2019, were in Norway and were in the forest disciplines. The last time the sprint disciplines were contested in a World Championship was in Latvia in 2018.

The first entry in the competition programme is that there is no O-training on Thursday July 1st - because it's the main COVID testing for entry to the "WOC Bubble". These are the times we live in, and our first thought is gratitude to the Czech organisers, for running the World Champs, a huge task of itself, but even more this year in the significant shadow of a storm of COVID regulations. Thanks to them too for adding Sprint and Sprint Relay races to the original forest championships.

All finals will be televised. In Britain the broadcasts will as usual be a paid-for service on the internet (6 Euro per broadcast or 20 Euro for all five.) IOF Web TV Broadcast Schedule.

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LongTestRace2021-ralphRalph Street in a WOC Test Race, credit Petr Kadeřávek

The World Championships (WOC) in Czechia begin with Sprint Qualifications and Final on Saturday 3rd July.

The Great Britain Team has been selected. The team includes six women and seven men, and includes five athletes making their WOC debut. As the other eight all have at least three previous WOCs, it is an easy description that the team combines a lot of experience with the several newcomers.

Many congratulations from On The Red Line to the whole team and especially the WOC debutants: Alastair Thomas, Cecilie Andersen, Grace Molloy, Nathan Lawson and Peter Bray. Alastair and Grace are first year seniors. Nathan is not (yet) a member of the squad.

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EOC_organisersOrganisers in Neuchâtel

The European Sprint Orienteering Championships did take place. The place was Neuchâtel, Switzerland; it looked lovely. The weather was a bit rainy. The Swiss, Swedish and Norwegian teams provided the medal winners, apart from Yannick Michiels (who got an EOC medal after many close misses, and lots of wins in other World Cup races.) And there was a small British team taking part.

On May 13th, there was an International Sprint Relay, the first since the the final round of the 2019 World Cup. In fact the whole meeting was the first senior international since then. May 14th was the Sprint Qualification. Saturday May 15th was the Knockout Sprint Final stages of quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. Sunday May 16th was the individual sprints.

The three days that medals were awarded had excellent TV coverage. Throughout, COVID secure protocols were in place, and substantially there were no local spectators apart from the organisation team, but as it was sprint racing in an urban setting there were always some people about.

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EOC_organisersOrganisers in Neuchâtel

The European Champs in the three Sprint formats have begun. Yesterday, May 13th, the Sprint Relay was won by Switzerland, with Sweden second and Norway third.

There was no British entry in yesterday's relay because UK Government rules on international travel meant few GBR athletes can attend the championships. Most European countries have usual size teams but numbers of athletes from further afield are down. There are no runners from Ireland, Australia and Canada, or China (which hosted the previous World Cup round, the Final Round of 2019, with runners from the home team winning two medals.)

Today May 14th is the sprint qualification races from 2pm UK-time. There are 119 men running, including Tam WIlson of Great Britain, and 105 women, including Megan Carter-Davies and Jo Shepherd.

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coatOfArmsNeuchâtel, City Coat of Arms

Fingers crossed, in Switzerland next month International Orienteering Teams will meet after a year of no racing. The European Champs in the three Sprint formats are to be contested in Neuchâtel May 13th-16th.

British Orienteering has done some good work to be able to make the announcement of a four-athlete team. As noted in the announcement many GB athletes are unable to travel to this competition, so it is not the full team Britain would have liked to send (Britain had places for six men and six women in each individual format.)

On The Red Line congratulates and wishes well to Thomas Wilson making his first senior international appearances. Thomas is a Scot, growing up with Clydeside Orienteers and the Edinburgh University setup. He's not currently a member of the GB squad so doesn't appear in our Athletes section, but we do have a picture of him on a podium

Thomas's Attackpoint log

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FlagsThe season finished not soon after it started.

In the UK we had racing until the middle of March. And then it all stopped. The British Nights were held. The first round of the UK Elite League took place.

There were immediate cancellations/postponements of the big Spring events and the Welsh multiday summer festival. Other events, such as the Home Internationals, held out hope for varying lengths of time, but in the end none could see a way to take place. And that was pretty much it for racing in the UK.

There may be a short Autumn flurry, as has already started in Sweden and Norway - let's see.

But there was considerable creativity on recreational lines. Clubs created MapRun courses for independent exercise, and many regular orienteers reminded themselves about permanent courses. There were the Lockdown festivals.

And so it was across the world, and we had little of our usual fare to report or link to. But there were a few things, here's a roundup.

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team

As Lockdown began there were eight GB athletes in the top 50s of the Sprint World Rankings

The pandemic has made clear there are important things bigger than any sport. Health, wellbeing, work, travel, weddings, family visits. Gosh, it even stopped professional football and reduced how much it was in the news.

Those for whom orienteering is a big recreational interest felt quite a sense of loss, as planned outings and trips were cancelled, and events didn't happen.

And so midsummer 2020 passes with no Jukola. There were no events in the spring. The 2020 international orienteering programme has been lost to the pandemic.

The cancellation of the international programme was particularly hard on the top international sprint-focused orienteers, as they had "waited" through 2019, a year with no World or European Champs in the sprint disciplines. And with the pandemic, with another cancellation for 2021, none were scheduled for 2020 or 2021 either.

Several GB squad athletes were in this position. They are mainly focused on the format and they were on track to be at the top of their game this year.

The recent news about next year's international programme, namely that (fingers crossed) there will be major international sprint orienteering at European and World level, is therefore very good.

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startThisWayThe British Night Championships were held on Saturday evening in the woods at Hambleden, a shooting estate on the north bank of the Thames near Henley. The estate was the location for two days of the Easter JK festival in 2013 (the middle and the relay),and had not been used since.

The fast hilly woodland proved great for the Night Championships. Our thanks to hosts Thames Valley O.C. who did a very good job. There was quite a buzz in the crowded and warm marquee after the race as the final runners came in, and results were readied for the prizegiving. The organiser was John Dalton, planner was Neville Baker and controller Alan Rosen. Results were posted online through the evening.

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krisKris Jones at the finish, World Cup Sprint Race.

Kris Jones took the men's silver medal at the final day's racing of World Cup Round 3 in Laufen, Switzerland. It was a sprint race around the narrow streets and passageways of the Old Town. It was again a tremendously exciting day, brilliantly organised and planned with the courses having a lot of technicality.

The race was won by the Belgian Yanniock Michiels. Tove Alexandersson won the women's race.

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ralphRalph Street on stage for the World Cup Knockout Sprint Flower Ceremony

The second day's racing of World Cup Round 3 in Laufen, Switzerland was Knock-Out Sprint. It was a tremendously exciting day, brilliantly organised and planned, as morning qualification and then quarter-finals setup a spectacular afternoon's racing. This was in and around the narrow streets and passageways of the Old Town, and there was great TV coverage for the large and noisy crowd gathered in the specially constructed arena.

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JonnyJonny Crickmore had a long stay in the leader's chair today

The first day's racing of World Cup Round 3 in Laufen, Switzerland was middle distance. The races were won by Tove Alexandersson and Joey Hadorn.

Full Results World Cup Middle Distance 27th September.

World of O Report - including maps and GPS

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RS Ralph Street finishing in an urban area at a Swiss World Cup race, 2017

The three days racing of World Cup Round 3 are in and around Laufen, Switzerland this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is televised with English language commentary on the internet at Live Orienteering.

  • Friday is the Middle Distance.
  • Saturday is a Knock-Out Sprint.
  • Sunday is a regular sprint, with A and B races for both men and women.
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image1Megan Carter-Davies

Megan Carter-Davies took the Women's British Sprint and Middle Distance titles last weekend. It has been a very successful 2019 for Megan in domestic races: she adds these titles to the British Long Distance, the JK Sprint and the JK Overall.

In the men's Kris Jones won the Sprint and Graham Gristwood the Middle Distance

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mapclip The home international, with individual races on Saturday and relays on Sunday, was hosted by Swansea Bay Orienteering Club (SBOC) on behalf of Wales. The competition is for teams of 18, six from each of W21 and M21, three from each of W20 and M20.

The weekend was a great success, with the athletes enjoying the terrain, great courses, the competition and the company.

England won, beating Scotland 27 to 23 in the individual and 28 to 23 in the relays. Wales beat Ireland by 13 to 9 and 11 to 10.

Weekend Points Scores (on the SBOC website).

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BritishIsles The perhaps self-contradictory term "Home International" is used in the British Isles to describe sports competitions amongst national teams Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England.

In orienteering there are three "home internationals" and this coming weekend is the Senior Home International. Teams are 18 strong, six men and six women in the open class, and three men and three women 20 or under. This year's competition is organised by Swansea Bay O.C. on sand dune terrain in South Wales. The event dinner is being done by the Welsh Junior Squad.

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The 2019 Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships (WOC) took place in Østfold, Norway from 13th - 17th August. Østfold is the county of the south-east part of Norway, between Oslo and Sweden. The event centre was the city of Sarpsborg. The Championships were very well organised, and the accompanying spectator races were also well attended.

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ggGraham Gristwood, in the WOC2019 Relay. credit: Rob Lines.

The British Women's team of Charlotte Watson, Megan Carter-Davies and Cat Taylor were ninth in the World Champs Relay 2019. The race was won by Sweden with Karolin Ohlsson overtaking Julia Jakob of Switzerland at the end. Russia were third.

The British Men's team of Peter Hodkinson, Graham Gristwood and Ralph Street were 17th in their race. That race was also won by Sweden, with Finland second and France third.

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meganThe Finishing Line (credit: Philip Gristwood)

Today was the second day of the World Champs Middle Distance, a colossal step up for drama, crowd size, and sheer noise compared to Tuesday's qualification races. Wednesday's long distance finals were noticeably big and noisy: today's Middle Distance Finals even bigger and noisier. There must be every chance that tomorrow's relays will be even more intense. If Norway are in a close race for a medal expect that, as the phrase goes, "it will be so loud you can't hear yourself think".

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PeterPeter Hodkinson, credit IOF/WOC2019

It was a qualification only day at the World Championships today - the first one since 2013. There were no medals won, no cameras in the forest, no big screen and it was all over in quite short time. So there was not the high sustained drama we look forward to for the three finals days coming up. There was however plenty of interest and good orienteering, there were nervous athletes, and there were of course individual dramas, triumphs and sadness. As Peter Hodkinson says in his interview (see below) "You can't win but you can lose". So it was perhaps more of a necessary day rather than a hugely memorable day for most of those present.

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team

A sport's World Championships aren't just about medals. They are an occasion when the sport celebrates its attraction and strengths, and shows the top level of the sport to those who take part at any level and to a wider audience.

Expect therefore that next week the International Orienteering Federation will say how many countries are taking part, and for all the competitions to have features that help make a spectacle. So for example there will be some easier controls sited with TV in mind - there will be many other tougher controls out of sight of the cameras. (The championships are carried live by Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Estonian National TV, as well as by Web-TV - just 10 euro for the three days.)

Nevertheless it might be interesting to think about the destination of the 18 medals.

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team The nine athletes of the Great Britain Team for the 2019 World Champs. Credits: Matt Speake by Karl Orud, Jo Shepherd by WOC2018 Latvia, Charlotte Watson and Megan Carter-Davies by South London Orienteers (from the "Get up to Speed" videos), others by On The Red Line

The Great Britain Team for the 2019 World Championships includes nine athletes, all of whom have run WOC before. The championships include middle and long (classic) distance, plus relays.

World Championships Website.

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cwCharlotte Watson in Lillomarka OL Relay Kit

The Venla and Jukola relays, the latter the biggest orienteering race in the world, took place in Finland last weekend. There were over 20,000 runners and an estimated 50,000 people attending the competition centre and camping in 70 hectares near Kangasala. The weekend is both top-level and mass participation sport. Most of the top British forest orienteers were there, running for their Scandinavian clubs.

Our preview article.

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LogoKangasala-Jukola Logo from the Organisation Website

The weekend of 15th/16th June is the Venla and Jukola Relays in Finland. It's both a big festival weekend - the above logo is out directing traffic on the main motorways several days beforehand - and one of the main competitive weekends of the international orienteering calendar. The relays are a mix of top-level and participation sport like the London Marathon but with a team ethos. It's a tradition, and it gets a great deal of general interest in Finland. There is also something of a link to Finnish national consciousness with it moving round the forests and its naming from the first great work of Finnish literature.

Some numbers: The competition centre, accommodation and parking takes 70 hectares. There are about 1750 tents, 450 provided by the military. 50,000 people will be in and around the competition area over the weekend.

As they say "For a good accomplishment the orienteer needs resolution, persistency and brisk sports spirit."

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TeamThe Great Britain Sprint Relay Team for World Cup Round 1

Preview

The race starts at 17:57 Finnish Time (2 hours ahead of UK) on Tuesday 11th June. It can be watched on the internet for 6euro.

Live services.

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SashaSasha Chepelin at the arena passage

Today was the chasing start longish races at World Cup Round 1 in Finland's Nuuksio National Park. ("Longish" rather than "long" as the official description was just "chase" and "long" has specific meanings which do not exactly match the situation.)

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PeterPeter Bray, shortly after the race

It was "phew what a scorcher" conditions for the runners tackling the first World Cup Race of 2019, a middle distance at Tervalampi in Finland's Nuuksio National Park. It was 90 seconds start intervals, and a typically well-mapped Finnish forest, with plenty of boulders and contour detail.

World of O Briefing on World Cup Round 1

The highest placed British runners were Megan Carter-Davies 29th in the women's and Ralph Street 24th in the men's.

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ChampionsBritish Champions 2019, Photo: Rob Lines

Today is the 1st June and as the vegetation in the forests gets high the orienteering season for many of the leading British runners passes from a domestic focus to an overseas one. Most of the big domestic competitions (the "major events") have been run, and the first senior international races, in Finland, are next weekend. That is World Cup Round 1, which also includes a sprint relay in the centre of Helsinki the following Tuesday The weekend after is Jukola and Venla. These relays have a record entry of over 20,000 this year - the organisers attribute it partly to the "growth ... of fitness orienteering". In early July, test races for the World Champs take part, after which the British team will be selected. The World Champs themselves are forest disciplines only, in Norway in August, just after the Scottish 6-Days. And then, with more of a sprint focus, there are World Cup Round 3 (September, Switzerland) and 4 (October, China).

2018 Jukola After Movie.

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FinnishForestNuuksio National Park, photo courtesy of the World Cup Round 1 organisation

Six men and five women are selected to represent GB at the first round of the 2019 World Cup, being held in Finland in June. All will run the middle and chasing start races, and there will be one team in the Sprint Relay. There are three officials in support.

British Orienteering Official Selection Announcement.

The biggest orienteering relay in the world, Jukola, happens not so far away the following weekend. Most/all of the GB team will be joining their Scandinavian club teams after the World Cup to prepare.

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PodiumBritish Champs Podium, Kilnsey May 5th 2019, credit: On The Red Line

All Results Index Page

The British Champions 2019 are Alasdair McLeod and Megan Carter-Davies. The Championships were held on the open moorland of Arncliffe and Kilnsey North on May 5th 2019.

The Sprint Relay champions are Edinburgh University.

The Forest Relay champions are

  • Men: Airienteers
  • Women: South Yorkshire.
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Day2 PrizewinnersJK2019 Middle Distance Prizewinners, credit: Iain Shepherd

The 2019 took place in central Southern England from April 19th - 22nd.

  • Friday was a World Ranking Sprint Race at Aldershot Garrison
  • Saturday was a World Ranking Middle Distance Race at Old Windmill Hill
  • Sunday was a Long Distance Race at Cold Ash
  • Monday was the JK Relays, the biggest UK relays competition, at Minley.

The weather was exceptionally warm and dry, and everything about the competition was very good, except the results service and timing which were not up to it.

(It's late Tuesday evening now, and "All results are now under review and will be published as soon as they are validated.")

W21ETop three in the Women's Overall enjoying the weather, credit: Iain Shepherd

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DR+HMDave Rollins and Heather Monro

There was no prizegiving for the the racing at Cold Ash today but there was a presentation by past members of the British team, represented by Heather Monro (ran at 8 x WOC, and a bronze medal in 2005) to former manager Dave Rollins who led many GB international trips.

The provisional results - today only (not the two days combined)

Women:
  1. Megan Carter-Davies
  2. Cecilie Andersen
  3. Lizzie Ingham
Men:
  1. Chris Smithard
  2. Will Gardner
  3. Peter Bray
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KrisPhoto: Kris Jones in last year's World Champs Forest Relay, by Janis Ligats for WOC2018 Latvia.

(This is a republication of a post inadvertently deleted, although given how Kris's predictions turned out - not entirely Kris's fault with both tipped men not starting - we perhaps need not have bothered )

Kris Jones is not running the JK this year. He is currently recovering and training in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kris wrote about his injury for "Fast Running".

Kris provides his thoughts about the racing, and bravely predicts which of his fellow GB athletes might take the wins.


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WillWill Gardner on the run-in

The JK Sprint Champions are Will Gardner and Megan Carter-Davies. Both kindly shared their immediate thoughts - post-race interviews on Twitter.

Official results

The races were at Aldershot "Home of The British Army", which was a great venue and looking particularly lovely in the warm sunshine. Nearly all of each course was in the secure garrison area, with fast running mostly on tarmac or flagstones. There are many buildings, fences, and hedges, and interesting and fair courses weaving in and out set many short route choice decisions.

But, and this is a rather significant "but", the timing system fell short, both in regard to displaying the information to commentary and the audience, and runners being confident about reliably recording which controls were visited

Provisional results may be found at https://race-results.info/live/1660/class.pdf or at https://race-results.info/live/1660/

We are nervous about the timing system for the rest of the weekend.

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Kris

Kris Jones, winner of the JK Sprint the last three years (and planner in 2014), is not running this year. He is currently recovering and training in Albuquerque, New Mexico. So we will have a new men's champion. Kris wrote about his injury for "Fast Running".

Kris provides his thoughts about the racing, and bravely predicts which of his fellow GB Squad athletes might take the wins.


We think both these races look very open.

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KrisPhoto: Kris Jones in last year's World Champs Forest Relay, by Janis Ligats for WOC2018 Latvia.

On The Red Line Comment. Most years the JK Middle is arguably the most competitive domestic race. This is because of the quality of the terrain, map and planning, the quality of the field (and that they are all going 100%) and the timing with regard to selection. This year the men's field has all the top runners from the UK ranking list (Alasdair McLeod, Will Gardner, Peter Hodkinson, Jonny Crickmore) an experienced international based in Norway (Matt Speake) plus a proven world-class international coming back from injury (Graham Gristwood). The Women's field has top runners from the UK ranking list (Megan Carter-Davies, Alice Leake) experienced internationals based in Scandinavia (Jo Shepherd, Jess Halliday, Charlotte Watson) and a proven world-class international coming back from injury (Cat Taylor.) And by the way It's one of three forest races in the UK this year with World Ranking status. As many will know the JK was in South Central England in 2013, again using Cold Ash for the long race, when the overall winners were Matt Speake and Cat Taylor.

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TrainInStation Photo: Saturday's Assembly. Credit: Lakeland Orienteers on Twitter

It was the Red Rose Classic* - the second weekend of the five that make up the main domestic open class series - the UK Elite Orienteering League. On Saturday there was a middle distance at Haverthwaite, and on Sunday a long distance at Hampsfell.

*A Red Rose is traditionally associated with the County of Lancashire, as the White Rose is with Yorkshire. Wikipedia - Wars of The Roses

On both days Megan Carter-Davies and Will Gardner won the races. Will cut the second day quite fine though, having an identical time to that of Ben Mitchell at the last control.

The leagues's remaining weekends are Scottish Spring, the JK and the British.

Scottish Spring includes a middle distance race on Tentsmuir planned by Kris Jones - the same area Kris filmed the Intricate Contours video.

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W21E Sprint Photo: Cecilie Andersen ahead of Megan Carter-Davies and Kirstin Maxwell, leading three in the Women's Sprint, towards the end of the course (credit: Steve Rush)

South Yorkshire Orienteers - terrific job, thanks - organised both events for the Northern Champs Weekend, 9th-10th March. The (Long) Championships were on Wharncliffe on Sunday. On Saturday, as the majority of orienteers attending the weekend ran an urban race, there was a sprint race to start the UK Elite League.

On The Red Line article about the League.

Saturday was wet and the terrain of Ponderosa, a mixture of parkland and estates with intricate alleys, was slippery. Sunday was wet and windy too, with snow on the moorland for earlier runners. The sprint races were longer than usual, and the championship races a bit shorter.

In the women's Megan Carter-Davies won both the sprint and the Northern Champs race. Megan, of Mid-Wales Orienteering Club, is not eligible for the Northern title, which was won by Charlotte Watson of West Cumberland O.C..

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Will Photo: Will Gardner at Portugal O Meeting 2019

The Portugal O Meeting traditionally attracts large numbers: 2.600 this year. The top open classes, have large entries. This year over 100 in the women's, and well over a 120 limit in men's meaning there is a split to "super-elite" and "elite" based on world ranking position. The races see many of the world's best having their first competitive races after the winter. Several top clubs such as Halden and Kalevan Rasti are there in strength, and the Swiss National Squad ran Sunday and Monday's races.

  • Friday March 1st - Sprint Relay Competition and Open classes.
  • Saturday March 2nd - Middle distance
  • Sunday March 3rd - Middle distance
  • Monday March 4th - Middle distance World Ranking Event
  • Tuesday March 5th - Long distance, chasing start for elite classes.
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overhead Picture: Overhead shot of a GB Runner orienteering

Link to the "Get Up To Speed" Videos.

South London Orienteers have, with funding from Sport England, produced a series of eight short videos illustrating techniques used in orienteering. The videos are filmed in different locations and each is presented by a member of the GB Team. The aim of the series is to help juniors deal with more technically demanding courses, but these films can also be used to help newcomers to the sport. Each video focuses on a specific orienteering skill.

Videos are being released on Fridays (5 pm UK-time) in January and February.

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November Photo: Southern Championships Forest, November 2018.

Dull November brings the blast; Then the leaves are whirling fast.

Sara Coleridge The Garden Year

In November, the 2019 GB Squad was announced. There was one major domestic race: the Southern Championships, which incorporated South London Orienteers' "OK Nuts" Trophy. The UK Elite Orienteering League announced its 2019 fixtures. Alasdair McLeod married, and the groom had company at a Parkrun that morning (and no, they didn't let him win as it's a time trial not a race.)

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kris

Whilst the final race of Orienteering's 2018 World Cup was happening in the Czech Republic, Kris Jones ran for Wales in the first Commonwealth Half-Marathon Championships in Cardiff. Kris ran a new personal best of 63:55.

Commonwealth Half-Marathon Results

Kris Jones website.

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World Cup Round 3 was three days of international racing in Østfold, Norway on 31st August and the 1st and 2nd September. Normal World Cup rules applied with the strong countries having eight runners per race rather than the limit of three that is used at the World Champs, and fields of more than a hundred. It was a tough programme of four races in three days.

This was pre-WOC 2019, being where the 2019 World Championships are,and in similar terrain. Compared to rounds 1 (the European Champs, held in Switzerland) and 2 (the World Champs, held in Latvia) the Swedes did better and the Swiss less well. Tove Alexandersson of Sweden won on all three days, establishing a formidable lead in the 2018 World Cup women's competition. In the men's the Swiss Matthias Kyburz and Daniel Hubmann lead, but Olav Lundanes of Norway is close and three others still in range.

World Cup Table.

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mcd Photo: Megan Carter-Davies, WOC2018 Middle Race, courtesy of Janis Ligats / WOC2018 Latvia

With four disciplines to run, I thought the major challenge of the week would be physical: making sure I was in good condition at every start line. Of course, I've raced hard at the JK and World Uni's day after day so I knew I could cope well enough.

Anyway, it transpired that the biggest challenge I would face would be mental.

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The 2018 World Championships took place in Latvia (celebrating 100 years) from 4th - 11th August. The event was based in Riga and Sigulda. The Championships were supported by Nokian Tyres.

This was the last all-disciplines World Championships. Next year it will be the Forest races (Norway), in 2020 the Sprint races (Denmark.)

menrelayteam Britain sent a team of 14 athletes. They achieved one podium place, in the men's relay.

Full results are in IOF Eventor - WOC2018 and results and photographs are also at the Latvia World Champs site. An index of our news reports and a summary of British results follows below.

See also the virtual arena (with links to many GB photos) at Maprunner WOC 2018

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kris Photo: Kris Jones starts leg 2 for the GB men's team, WOC Relay 9th August 2018, by On The Red Line.

The races took place in very hot weather in the forest next to the Turaida fortress in Latvia. Both were decided right at the end.

In the women's the favourite teams pulled away. On the last leg it was Sweden and Switzerland together at the last difficult control after a climb to the wall of the fortress. The race was decided in the short parkland section right at the end.

In the men's there were nine teams almost together at the run-through on the last leg, and at the end here were eight teams within a minute. But after all the drama it was the favourite teams who took the medals. It was the long leg up to the fortress that had decided it.

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ralph Photo: Ralph Street, on the runthrough, WOC Middle 7th August 2018, by On The Red Line.

World Of O's Preview

Neither of the GB teams are amongst the favourites, but both have the status of outsiders who can do well on a good day.

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megan

Megan Carter-Davies recorded the highest British position in today's women's middle distance World Champs race. She was 20th. Cat Taylor was 26th and Charlotte Watson 53rd.

The forest was tough, with mostly low visibility; it was not possible to stay on a bearing because of obstructions, and climbing and crawling needed to be part of an athlete's technique.

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middle-runners.jpg Photo: The five GB athletes who will run the Middle races

The World Champs Middle races are on Tuesday 7th.

GB has three women and two men running. Good luck to them. The women's race is first; and a two minute start interval is used.

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kris Photo: Kris Jones, WOC Sprint Relay, Riga, Latvia August 2018.

Great Britain, helped by a great run from Kris Jones on second leg, were seventh in the World Champs Sprint Relay in Riga, Latvia. The medals were won by the same countries as in 2017, and 2016, although as last year there was some swapping of positions.

The race, held in Riga but across the Daugava River from the Old Town, was an experience far removed from that of yesterday's individual sprint finals. And indeed from the experience of the vast majority of British orienteers.

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WOCprovidedPhoto Photo: WOC Latvia (of Sandra Grosberga)

Update 2nd Aug 10am: Timings updated from Bulletin-4.

If you like this coming weekend, in the morning you can run, and in the afternoon you can watch World Champs sprint orienteering - perhaps with some fellow members of your club.


Here are timings for the World Champs races in Latvia.

You can choose between paid-for Internet TV (it is €20 for the week, there'll be an individual race option too) and free-of-charge online results and social media.

Most interesting:

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woc2018team Photo Composition: GB WOC Team 2018 by On The Red Line

The World Championships are in Latvia with races from 4th - 11th August. They are also Round 2 of the 2018 World Cup.

WOC Bulletin-3.

An IOF article in January is entitled

A very special WOC on a very special year for Latvia

The championships in Latvia will be 35th WOC and the last one in modern history of orienteering with both sprint and forest races on the programme.

The British team is quite large, with seven women and seven men, all members of the senior squad.

Of the fourteen athletes, three are selected for sprint only, three for sprint and forest, and eight for forest only. We noted in our 'one race' article how half the team, seven athletes, are concentrating on a single race.

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map Image: Section of the Relay Map

Long Distance

In the women's, Marie Olaussen of Norway won the gold, Johanna Öberg of Sweden the silver, and Paula Gross of Switzerland the bronze.

For GB, Megan Carter-Davies was 15th, Cecilie Andersen 24th, Fay Walsh 32nd and Sarah Jones 77th.

In the men's, Jonas Egger of Switzerland won the gold, Paul Sirum of Norway the silver, and Håvard Haga also of Norway the bronze.

Jonas Egger 2017 interview by Portuguse Orienteering Blog.

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map Image: Section of the Women's Sprint Course

It has been noted that of the 12 British athletes in the team, four are Welsh. Team Selection Announcement.

It has been very hot. The Sprint Relay had very little navigational challenge, the Sprint had a better balance, and the Middle was very technical: some difficult controls in low visibility forest with modest contour and rock detail. You can see all the maps and courses via the GPS link. All the runners carry GPS and are races are live on GPS and a streaming channel.

Sprint Relay

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Sasha Photo: Sasha Chepelin at European Champs 2018

Tomorrow, 16th July, at 4pm Finnish time (2pm UK-time) the Sprint Relay is the first race at the World Universities Champs.

The schedule is:

  • Tuesday – Sprint Relay
  • Wednesday - Middle
  • Thursday – Sprint
  • Friday – Long
  • Saturday - Relay

You can follow the races online (free). All runners have GPS.

There are three members of the senior squad in the GB Team: Megan Carter-Davies, Sasha Chepelin, and Jonny Crickmore.

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Charlotte Photo: by Steve Rush

Charlotte Ward won the World Ranking (WRE) Sprint in Antwerp yesterday, with the field including athletes from several nations preparing for the World Championships. Teresa Janosikova (CZE) was second and Sigrid Alexandersen (NOR) third.

Megan Carter-Davies was fifth, and Kirstin Maxwell ninth.

The men's race was won by Frederic Tranchand (FRA) with Tim Robertson (NZL) second, Yannick Michiels (BEL) third, and Chris Smithard fourth. Dane Blomquist was ninth and Peter Hodkinson 13th.

Antwerp WRE Sprint - Results.

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cakestall Photo: by Brian Ward

Thankyou to the generous orienteers who donated and supported the cakestall run by Charlotte Ward at the "Sea, Sand and Spires Weekend" put on by her club HALO (Humberside and Lincolnshire Orienteers.)

It was mass-start Sprint Races in Cleethorpes, a Middle Distance Urban in Louth, and a spectacular indoor steel maze in Louth Cattle Market - do checkout the map!

Louth Maze Map

Louth Maze Race Photos

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Jess Photo: Jess Tullie in Domnarvets GOIF colours

This year's TiomIla Women's race is in the afternoon of Saturday 28th April. It starts at 12:15 UK-time and the winning team will finish about a quarter to five. You can watch it on the internet, with English commentary from Boris Granovskiy and Graham Gristwood. There will be several hundred teams. Apart from the sprint specialists, most of the GB Squad women will be running, and they are looking forward to it.

Video showing the start of the 2016 race There wasn't English commentary in 2016 but you can see Jess lead off for the lowest numbered team.

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ali (Photo: Steve Rush)

Alasdair McLeod and Hollie Orr won the JK Long World Ranking Event races today.

World Ranking Event Points.

Alasdair was the only man running under 100 minutes for today's 17.9km M21E course at Beaudesert. His win did take the overall JK title, which is awarded on combined time for the middle and long distance races.

Hollie's win was a narrow one, and not quite sufficient to win the overall JK title, which was taken by Jessica Tullie by 2 seconds, with Tessa Strain and Megan Carter-Davies third and fourth again only some seconds further back.

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mgjk

(Photo: Maprunner)

Kris Jones and Megan Carter-Davies won the JK Sprint World Ranking Events races today.

World Ranking Event Points

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Orienteering was included in the 2017 World Games held in Wrocław, Poland, with the orienteering races on 25th, 26th and 27th July. Wrocław is Poland's fourth largest city, the largest city in Western Poland. The World Games features a whole set of non-Olympic sports. In many countries the Games are highly prestigious with much media coverage akin to that of the Olympics. But not in Great Britain, where Parliament has decided Olympic medals are the be-all and end-all. This time some orienteers won or lost significant performance-related funding deals from their governments based on a few seconds.

Official Results - World Games Orienteering 2017

sprintRelayTeamIn the final event, the sprint relay, held in heavy rain in the park and zoo by Centennial Hall, Great Britain came 5th. Below is a link to a video of the whole race.

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The 2017 World Championships took place in Estonia from 1st - 7th July. The event was based in Tartu. The Championships were supported by Nokian Tyres.

SprintRelayTeam Britain sent a team of 16 athletes. They achieved one podium place, in the sprint relay.

Full results are at the Estonian World Champs site. A summary of British results follows below.

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