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2020 Orienteering Reflections

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Twilight Series and Sprint Series – the January – February events were completed on schedule, including a Spring Weekend coinciding with Australian Day where our visiting US coach Evalin Brautigan ran 3 days of sprint competition including a knockout sprint on the Sunday.  The “sprinting” culminated with the Sprint Championships at Waite where Dante Afnan set some challenging sprint courses.

A number of South Australians then attended the Melbourne Sprint Weekend on the March Long Weekend, coinciding with the start of the start of the toilet paper hoarding and other panic buying in the shops.  Bridget Uppill and Olivia Sprod were 2nd and 3rd in the overall results in W21E, Simon Uppill was 6th in M21E.  Two weeks later an event in the South Parklands, held in conjunction with the OSA AGM, was the last scheduled event until mid-June. With COVID-19 lockdowns, all events were cancelled until after the June Long Weekend, with any decision on further events deferred until that time.

No restrictions were placed on individuals or family groups undertaking outdoor exercise, so a number of MapRunF courses were tested and established, including on some additional map areas – West Parklands and the adjacent cemetery and Wittunga Botanic Gardens at Blackwood.  These courses were available for orienteers to do in their own time, and are still available on the OSA website here.

With the Australian Three Days cancelled, Brodie Nankervis organized a Easter challenge including a fixed time tempo run, a Strava art challenge and a hill climb, for people to do in their home locations and submit the results.  Australian animal Strave Art by Evalin and Angus in the South Parklands and Bridget and Simon's Mona Lisa at Blackwood Park and surrounds

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As restrictions eased in early June, orienteering events were planned to recommence after the June Long weekend.  The Flinders 3 days of events were cancelled over the June Long Weekend, however a few orienteers still camped at Rawnsley and ran some long self-timed score events (example below by Robin and Adrian Uppill at Prelinna). Bridget Uppill also planned 2 hour score events on maps closer to Adelaide for orienteers to do in their own time. In fact Bridget created this as an Australia wide competition, across the country more than 70 completed the event, with SA the winning state with the highest number of “controls” visited per person!

Prelinna Score.All

After the June Long Weekend events resumed as pre-entry only, starting with Foot and MTBO Score event at Anstey Hill.  For the descriptions of the some of the courses at the events refer to an article in the December SA Newsletter. Despite the requirement for pre-entry, a number of new comers and non-members appeared at many events. Highlights included the club relays at Wirra Wirra, the SA Long Championships on an updated Narrinyeri Hills map, the 3 day weekend near Wilpena – rescheduled from the June Long Weekend.  As NSW residents were able to visit SA at this time, we event saw some interstate visitors at this very well attended weekend, which saw both challenging orienteering and weather.

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A Halloween event in the West Parklands including the cemetery was run by our coach Evalin, followed by the start of the Twilight Series in mid-November in the South Parklands However due to a small outbreak of COVID-19 in Adelaide, 2 of the 5 pre-Christmas events were cancelled, but 2 more successful events were held at Oaklands and the Northeast Parklands.

Orienteering in 2021 is planned to include the Australian Three Days at Orange and the Australian Championships in Tasmania – both deferred from 2021.  An NOL event is planned for SA in the Riverland on the Anzac Day weekend.  Hopefully orienteers can enjoy these and many other events – competitive and otherwise, in 2021.

Robin Uppill

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