This year has been a great one for participation on the international stage, particularly for our younger members, Joanna George, Angus Haines and Dante Afnan competing in the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Denmark and Simon Uppill and Bridget Anderson competing in the World Orienteering Championships in Norway.
The Oceania 2019 Orienteering Championships centred on the ACT comprised the Oceania Orienteering Championships, Australian Schools Championships and Australian Championships. This was a great success for many SA members, with a far greater proportion of State representatives. Of note is the achievement of the juniors coming second in the States competition of the Nationals.
A highlight of the year is the Interclub Relays put on by the Southern Arrows. The event brings together orienteers in a collaborative and fun occasion. The trophy was won again by Yalanga for the third time in four years.
It was pleasing to see the many members at the OSA Presentation Event to celebrate the successes of our colleagues. In particular, congratulations to the Orienteer of the Year award winners and special thanks to Regina Reuter for her OY calculations over many years, from which she is now standing down. A special award is that of Sue Millard Trophies for the most improved junior, won by Lucy Burley and Oscar Johnston. Not before time the John Hall Memorial Service Award was presented to Marian and Clive Arthur for their dedication, support and hard work given to our sport. We are indebted to the time and energy that members put into the sport every week as Controllers, Setters, Organisers and Coaches, as well as the Council and Management teams. Currently Erica Diment and Olivia Sprod are representing OSA at the OA annual conference.
The year has been topped off with the marriage of Bridget and Simon our most successful and hard working orienteers for our sport.
From the editor
This newsletter is another bumper edition, and should not disappoint.
There are summaries of results of SA and Australian foot orienteering and MTBO championship events over the past three months, articles on awards presented to SA orienteers, an article on the pre-Australian life of our coach-in-residence Evalin Brautigam, an article that describes where to find World Cup 3 & 4 finals videos (WC4 videos are especially interesting to watch), four articles on orienteering maps and features, including a very amusing link to a video that shows different methods of crossing fences, a history of the early days of orienteering, including the similar activity of letterboxing ........ and there's more. So please enjoy, and have happy holidays while you are doing it.
Finally, I would like to reinforce Rob's thanks to members involved in organising events, and to those holding management and council positions that ensure the sport operates smoothly. While I do not get to as many events as I would like to, I still enjoy those that I do and very much appreciate the effort that goes into their organisation. Also, many thanks to members who supplied articles for this newsletter over the past year. Keep the articles coming!
SA results summaries
In addition to training and school events, an average of about one competitive event a week open to all-comers was held in SA. Click event name to go to results page.
Two major multi-event interstate competitions attended by several SA competitors were held in the period covered by this newsletter. These were Oceania 2019 (foot orienteering) held in locations centred on the ACT, and the Australian Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships held in Maryborough, Victoria. In the following table, click event name to go to results pages.
Oceania Carnival including Australian and Schools Championships
From a winning position early on, Simon Uppill eventually came third in M21E. Bridget Anderson also lost her early winning margin to come second by just seven seconds in W21E. In junior mens, Angus Haines and Dante Afnan were among a small group who dominated M20E in the early stages, with Dante finishing third and Angus fourth in the end.
Numerous other notable SA results include Ben Marschall equal first in M10, Tom Weihart second M14, Toby Cazzolato second M16, Tyson Hillyard third M35, Tim Ashman third M65, Robin Uppill second W65, and Paul Hoopmann first M70.
Australian Long Distance Championships, 29 September
Simon Uppill seems to have been a leading M21E orienteer since forever. He became the Australian with the most World Orienteering Championship appearances this year and also became the Australian Long Distance champion for the fifth time. This year he was never headed after taking the lead at control 8.
There were several close results in the junior classes, none closer than in M14. SA's Tom Weihart managed to achieve the first dead-heat in an A class at these championships for 40 years.
The over 35s also had many close contests. Among these, there were three within 39 seconds in W65 where SA's Robin Uppill just held on to achieve first in W65A.
Other notable SA results include Tyson Hillyard second M21AS, Kate Marschall second and Fern Hillyard third W21AS, Tim Ashman second and Adrian Uppill third M65A, Clive Arthur second M65+AS, and Zita Sankauskas third W65+AS.
Oceania and Australian Relays, 30 September
Simon Uppill led off for Australia's winning M21E team and Bridget Anderson ran third leg for the Australian W21E team, which finished second behind New Zealand. Despite being without Bridget, SA was still the best of the State teams in W21, finishing third ahead of a strong field. SA's team comprised Olivia Sprod, Evalin Brautigam (SA's new coach-in-residence), and Vanessa Round (now returned to SA after spending several years in Europe). Dante Afnan led off for Australia's M20E team, which came second, and Toby Cazzolato led off for Australia's M16A team, which came first in its class. M65 was very close, with Alex Tarr overhauling SA's David Winters to leave the SA M65+A team just three seconds behind the winner.
Other notable SA results included firsts in M21AS and W21AS, and thirds in M45A, W45A, and M55AS.
Australian Schools Championships, 1-3 October
South Australia almost achieved its first title, which is an impressive measure of the state's current depth.
In the Sprint, the senior boys event was a duel involving SA's Dante Afnan. He led through the first half of the race, was level with the eventual winner at the second last control, but finally went down by just five seconds at the finish.
In the Schools Long Distance Championships, Dante was in control of the senior boys race for most of the way, but dropped two minutes at control 12. However, he still managed to claw back lost time and finished in front by seven seconds at the end. In the junior boys, SA's Toby Cazzolato lost a chance of a podium position by dropping from second to sixth with a small mistake at the third-last control.
The Schools Relays are always a big day. Again, SA was in with a chance to win senior boys, finishing the first leg in the lead. After the second leg, SA slipped to fourth and with Dante Afnan running the last leg, there was a chance he could break through into the top three. Unfortunately, this did not happen and the team had to settle for fourth at the finish. The junior boys team held second place until the final leg until NZ Harua eventually overhauled it to get second place by 34 seconds.
Oceania Long Distance Championships, 5 October
The venue was a tough physical area with complex rock. SA's Angus Haines finished fast in his event to be third in M20E, but a five-minute loss on control 16 left him with too much to do. There were close races again in the juniors; M14 had the same SA name at the top, with Tom Weihart not taking the lead on his course until the last control to win by 26 seconds.
Other notable SA performances were Tyson Hillyard second in M21AS, Fern Hillyard third W21AS, Phil Clem second M35AS, Trevor Diment third M55AS, Erica Diment first W55AS, and Clive Arthur third M65+AS.
Oceania Middle Distance Championships, 6 Oct
The final day's event was held on a small, rocky area on the north edge of Beechworth.
Bridget Anderson was within a minute or two of NZ's Lizzie Ingham throughout the first half of W21E before dropping away late to finish 4:46 behind in second place. Bridget's performance though was still good enough to give her the National League title. In M21E, the competition for third, fourth and fifth was decided between the last control and the finish. At the last control, the eventual third place getter was lying fifth, but had a good finish to push Simon Uppill back to fifth with just 10 seconds separating three of them.
M16 was a fluctuating race with six different leaders at different points on the course. The eventual winner was SA's Toby Cazzolato by 17 seconds after a mispunch and disqualification by the leader.
Other notable SA performances were Ben Marschall third M10A, Zoe Scott (honorary SA!) third W35A, Trevor Diment third M55AS, Clive Arthur first M65A+S, Marian Arthur second W65+AS, and Paul Hoopmann third M70A.
SA's Junior men and women, and Senior women all placed 3rd. Well done to Angus Haines for placing third in Junior men and Joanna George for placing 6th in Junior women. Also, three SA Orienteers (Robin Uppill, Paul Hoopmann and Simon Uppill) featured in the top point scorers.
The year was successful for many SA orienteers.
Congratulations to Bridget Anderson and Simon Uppill who won the Senior Women and Men National Orienteering League individual titles for 2019. Simon always had the edge, with three wins and eight top-three results. On the other hand, Bridget had never previously been in the top three. She had only won once, but had five second places and secured the title by beating Victoria's Natasha Key in the Oceania W21E Middle.
The year was a very busy one for them that included competing in the World Orienteering Championships, coaching our schools team at the Australian Schools Championships, Bridget competing in World Cup 4 in China .... and then getting married!
Well done to everyone who made this year a successful season for SA.
The SA Champion of Champions was determined by removing the effects of course length, gender and age from the results in the SA Long and Middle Championships. Corrections are based on an analysis of international forest orienteering results, and assume that courses at each championship were of the same difficulty, and scaled similarly for distance, climb and vegetation type. Strictly, course difficulty for 14-year olds and younger is not as hard as for older age groups so adjusted running speeds for them will be slightly faster.
The standard is set by the M21A Long and Middle winner, whose performance is given a value of 100. If after adjustment a competitor's speed relative to the M21A winner is greater than 100, their performance in the championships was better than predicted by the international standard for their age and gender, and if less than 100, their performance was lower than the standard.
Simon Uppill achieved the best performance in Long, just ahead of second placed Angus Haines and third placed Bridget Anderson. Mitchell Morcom achieved the best performance in Middle, with Simon Uppill and Bridget Anderson just behind in second and third places respectively, and several other juniors not far behind.
The SA MTBO Champs were held on the flatish Portuguese Bridge mostly pine forest map near Mt Pleasant. Interesting that several riders did well on CX bikes with David Couche winning M60 & Karl Hillyard being a close 2nd to Harrison Waugh in M21. Aurelia Stroliz (W40) was fastest on course 2. Some of these riders are excited to be heading interstate to Maryborough for their first national carnival in October. Many thanks to course setter David Talbot, controller Phil Hazell & the Tintookies club, incl many juniors, for their organisation.
Harrison Waugh rode 44kms in 2hrs 6 for the victory with Karl Hillyard 2nd, Jack Allison 3rd.
Coming off the back of an eight week cycle trip in Europe, Steve and I decided that we would put that acquired fitness to use in the Australian MTBO Champs. We booked ourselves into a delightful B&B, centrally located in High St. From there we were able to ride to the practice and first three events.
After a very hot day we chose to go out late for the practice event, in the relative cool of the evening. It was very rideable eucalyptus forest, with gentle hills, but realized that we needed to pay very careful attention to the maze of tracks. It was important to be aware of track direction. With minimal understory giving good visibility, it was also important to use natural features, such as creeks and knolls to assist in navigation.
My experience over the next three days reinforced that. And oh, if only I had listened to my advice! I could have avoided some silly, but costly errors.
The riding was fabulous - lovely forest, manageable hills and mainly fast tracks. At times I rode faster than my brain could navigate. Comparing the splits, post event, showed that many riders made similar silly errors. The riding, though, was so much fun that it was easy afterwards to forgive oneself for the navigation errors and just enjoy the euphoria of a nice ride.
This was the first time we had used the new SIAC sticks, which simply required the rider to pass the stick within 30cm of the control. We gained in confidence in their use and managed to ride by the controls, feeling very professional!
At times the numbers of other riders in the forest was overwhelming, especially for the mass start event. It wasn’t just the distraction of people riding in all directions, but the risk of collision was high, and care needed to be taken while reading the map on the move. We both had a couple of near misses!
The course setters did such a good job that there were often multiple route choices between controls. This led to lively post-race conversations.
From our accommodation we walked to a variety of pubs, restaurants and cafes. The food at each of them was excellent. We also followed the historic walking route around the town and visited the historic settlements of Clunes and Talbot after the Dunolly event.
All up it was a fabulous event!
In October 2019, I was one of 10 South Australians who made the trek to Maryborough in Victoria to participate in the Australian MTBO Championships. I have been participating in MTBO in South Australia for the past 2 years, and when I heard the Aus Champs were only a short drive away (for Australia!) in the Goldfields region I was keen to give it a go.
Coming to MTBO from a cycling background and not much FootO experience, I was interested to see how my map-reading skills would go in a completely foreign location. With my only exposure to MTBO events being in SA, I had only ever done Long and Score events, and so I was also looking forward to my first foray into the Sprint, Middle and Mass Start formats.
The Mass Start on the Friday afternoon was certainly a high-stress start to the weekend: only 15 seconds to look at the map and then everyone was sprinting across the oval towards the start flag!
Perhaps my most anticipated event was the Sprint distance on Saturday morning, simply because I didn’t know what to expect. A much more reasonable 1 minute map-viewing window was still not enough, as I made a wrong turn almost immediately! Despite this, this was my favourite event of the weekend with control flags everywhere you looked and an interesting foray into a school campus.
The Middle and Long distance events more closely resembled the events we have in SA. My course in the Middle had me flipping the map a couple of times (time to get a bigger mapboard) and finishing in the pouring rain.
After the conclusion of the Aus Champs, I also attended the IOF Workshop presented by Sandor Talas where I learnt about the requirements for hosting an international-level MTBO event. I am looking forward to putting that knowledge to use organising some local events here in SA.
Certificates were presented by Tyson Hillyard for place getters in the Middle Distance Champs at Wirra Wirra. Individual Night Champs certificates were presented by Jan Hillyard (Secretary) and Lewis Carter (course setter) of Tjuringa.
Night champs trophy (Graham Paddick Memorial Challenge Trophy) was presented to Tintookies President (John Nieuwenhoven). OY Awards were presented (see list below). Remi took Dante’s OY award and Robin accepted Adrian’s.
Sue Millard Awards for most improved juniors were presented – Lucy Burley was winner for the girls and Oscar Johnston for the boys.
Bridget gave out junior medals from the nationals. Overall, SA came 2nd in the State competition this year. Bridget spoke about the busy year that SA juniors had and also about the National Orienteering League competition and representation overseas by our orienteers.
The John Hall Award recipients were made public, but Marian and Clive Arthur were not there to accept it. See below for more.
Research undertaken for the nomination for the John Hall Award showed that it was well overdue. The information gained indicates the dedication, support and hard work these members gladly give to their club, to the State Association and also to Orienteering Australia.
As with many of the older orienteers, these members' interests began through their children being introduced to orienteering by the teachers at their schools enrolling them in the State Schools Orienteering Championships. Consequently, like many of the older members of Orienteering South Australian, these members "got hooked" and have been involved with orienteering for 33 years.
At this point it is a privilege to disclose that Clive and Marian Arthur are the members who have earned the John Hall Award for 2019.
Thanks go to their son Bruce, John Lyon and David Tilbrook for supplying the background information to support this nomination, and Jan Hillyard for compiling the work.
Clive and Marian Arthur
Clive and Marian were introduced to orienteering when their daughter Janine took a short cut through a blackberry bush to come 3rd at the 1986 SA Schools Champs and made the SA Schools team and joined Tintookies in 1987 when son, Bruce, was also selected in the SA Schools team.
Morris Allen, as Bruce’s teacher, introduced Bruce to orienteering through the SA Schools Orienteering competition.
Clive enjoyed being faster than Bruce for about the first 3 months, running C courses at OY events.
Clive and Marian became involved with the organisation of events with the Family Relays in 1990 at Burra.
They coached the SA Schools team for around 7 years in the late 1990s and early 2000s and Clive was selector of the Australian Schools Honour team on many occasions.
Clive was given the Orienteering Australia Coaching award thanks to John Lyon’s nomination.
They have been successful at events and Clive is most proud of his 1995 SA Championships win in M45A at Cantara Dunes. I well remember that occasion because I was desperately looking for the last control for some time only to see Clive emerging from the bushes and heading for the finish.
Marian has won many national level events at A Short standard.
Clive has been an OASA executive member, and was Development Officer for a number of years.
They have been faithful and hard working Tintookies members and have taken on the roles of treasurer and committee members over the years and are active participants and organisers of mid-week events in South Australia.
It is in the activity of the schools competition that they have been most prominent, being regular organisers and course setters of the SA Schools Relay competition. They willingly took on these roles when Jeffa Lyon retired.
In 2002 Clive and Marian coordinated the Australian Schools Orienteering Championships held mainly in the Flinders Ranges and were co-organisers of the 2018 Australian Schools Orienteering Championships held in the South Australian Riverland and the forests north of Adelaide. They coordinated the accommodation, catering, purchase of tents and eskys and probably much, much more. They liaised with all state team managers to make this a success for all teams travelling to South Australia for the competition.
They coordinated the first South Australian celebrations of World Orienteering Day at Thornden Park.
The Arthurs always attend the national interstate competitions and are regularly on the presentation podium. As their son Bruce lives interstate this is a means of catching up with the family and supporting their grand children. Consequently when their family is competing they have split loyalties to South Australia and Victoria but they will always be loyal supporters of the South Australia Schools team.
Sunday 8th September provided the opportunity to Orienteer on the Crooked Straight map near Renmark, that was used last year for the national championships. The event was organised by Yalanga.
The weather was perfect for the 90 competitors and the courses were worthy of a State Championships set by Peter Mayer with oversight provided by Bob Smith as Controller.
The terrain of a sandy plateau dropping to the flood plain of the River Murray allowed for fast running in places through scattered bush, apart from where the loose sand slowed progress. Careful navigation was required on a map which allowed for many route choices and great competition.
School Relay Championships at Bonython Park - 13 September
Thirty six teams from a wide range of public and private primary and secondary schools competed in the SA Schools Relay Championships today at Bonython Park. Weather conditions were perfect in this beautiful location adjoining the River Torrens. Winning schools for the various shields were:
Primary School Girls: Stirling East Primary School
Primary School Boys: Hills Community Christian School
A search on the web found several references to a number of Brautigams in or around Bethel, Connecticut, USA, Evalin's home town. The first reference to Evalin was in 2004, when as an 8-year old she was already being described in a newspaper article as an orienteer, and the younger sister and daughter of orienteers. In fact, there are several international orienteering references to the Brautigam family in which they are all described as world-class orienteers. Her mother, Pavlina, is a Team USA coach.
The second reference to Evalin was in 2006 when she was second in a W10 orienteering event! Her Eastern Connecticut State University Warrior track and field bio page reveals some likes, hates and ambitions. Her response to the question "If I could travel anywhere in the world, it would be to:" was ... New Zealand. Maybe this has changed now.
Born in early 1996, Evalin is a member of the Western Connecticut Orienteering Club. Her international orienteering career started in 2013, when she competed in the Canadian Orienteering Championships. Selected to represent the USA, she competed in the Long distance and Sprint events in the Junior World Orienteering Championships in Bulgaria in 2014. This included six weeks of training in Finland, Norway and Bulgaria, a first in the Bulgarian Razlog Cup Middle and 2nd in the Sprint.
More JWOCs followed. In 2015 she competed in Norway (Relay, Middle and Long) and 2016 in Switzerland (Middle, Long and Sprint). Later in 2016 she also competed in the World University Orienteering Championships, Hungary, in Sprint and Middle. These events must have been good preparation for the North American Orienteering Championships, in which she won Middle, placed 3rd in Long and 4th in Sprint. In 2017 she competed in Long, Sprint and Relay in the World Orienteering Championships in Estonia, and in 2018 in Sprint and Middle in WUOC, this time in Finland.
Her World of O profile photo below was copied with permission, and if you would like to read more about her national achievements click here and here for her international record.
For more, search the web or, better, contact Evalin! We all hope you have a great and safe stay in Australia. And finally, has your favoured world destination now changed?
Then under Web-TV click "WATCH AGAIN". If needed, click the full screen icon () at the bottom of the display.
The World Cup 4 videos are especially interesting to watch. Middle and Sprint terrain was unlike previous World Cups, and was probably unlike anything most orienteers have ever experienced. The Sprint was a particular challenge and required additional skills to the ones needed to navigate quickly around a course. Good eyesight to see some the very narrow alleyways on the map, as well as having the ability to run slightly sideways down the narrowest alleyways, would have been a bonus!
The new format knock-out sprint held in World Cup 3 in the small town of Laufen in Switzerland was exciting to watch. Initially, male and female events were reduced to a field of 18 over six heats (first three in each heat went through to a semi-final). They then competed in three semi-finals with the first two in each race going through to the final.
Competitors started in groups of six from stalls. At one minute to the start time, each competitor was shown three course maps (A, B and C) and given 20 seconds to select one to race over. The courses varied slightly with some common controls and a different set of maps used for heats, semi-finals and finals. Competitors in the start line did not know the course selections of their fellow competitors.
From the start, competitors had to make split-second route choices at high speed with no navigation mistakes around the town's streets and alleys, while at the same time avoiding collisions with pedestrians! Course winning times were around seven minutes with an average of about 30 seconds per control.
The latest version of Open Orienteering Mapper (version 0.9.1) has just been released. Of many improvements, it now provides the ability to import GeoTiff background material exported from the SA Government's NatureMaps. This means that setting up and aligning background maps and photos exported from NatureMaps is automatic. Alignment of other georeferenced maps and photos, such as OpenStreetMap exports and aerial photographs supplied by Aerometrex, is also automatic.
The new OOMapper version provides options to save in OCAD formats up to version 12 and corrects a bug in earlier versions that incorrectly transferred georeferenced data in maps saved to OCAD format.
The only hassle some users might find is that OOMapper files created with version 0.9.0 and later will not be compatible with Purple Pen versions before Nov 2019. You will need to go to the Purple Pen website to download and install the Nov 2019 release to get around this problem. A work around if you don't want to do this, or can't do this, is to open a saved .omap file in a text editor and change the map version number in the second line from version="9" to version="8", and then re-save. Alternatively, saving OOMapper files in any of the OCAD formats will automatically get around this problem.
Details of all key features in the latest version of OOMapper are here.
In collaboration with OCAD and with the help of various open map data, the young Swiss Andrin Benz has created an automatically generated orienteering map of the whole world.
The map can be accessed from any internet-enabled device. The handling and basic functions are similar to all common map portals. You can select bush or sprint map format and zoom to improve the scale.
Although some areas are not mapped accurately, many features are included that would allow a map to be used for basic orienteering. The link will take you to a map of North Adelaide at maximum zoom.
You can find the world's largest orienteering map here.
Although the origin of orienteering is generally acknowledged to be in Sweden in the late 19th century, letterboxing, a similar but less intense and more cerebral activity has beginnings on Dartmoor, south-west England, over 30 years earlier in 1854. Equipment used by serious letterboxers include a map, compass, and a note book to record the successful find of a letterbox.
Letterboxing is practiced by thousands of supporters, mainly walkers, throughout the UK and around the world. A letterbox is a container, typically a durable plastic box, containing a rubber stamp used by a letterboxer to record a visit in their personal note book. Also inside the container is a visitor’s book in which a letterboxer leaves their mark, often in the form of a personal stamp to prove the visit.
Dartmoor letterbox clue sheets are sold for charity at a bi-annual letterbox meet, and a catalogue of clues published by the "100 Club" is also available for purchase. Membership of the "100 Club" is open to anyone who can prove they have visited at least 100 letterboxes on Dartmoor.
Until the 1970s, there were about ten letterbox sites around Dartmoor, usually in the most inaccessible locations. Now there are hundreds. Features used as letterbox sites are similar to those in orienteering. Some can even be under rocks, and clues to their location can be cryptic. Some letterboxes remain "word of mouth" and clues to their location can only be obtained from the person who placed the box or are found in other letterboxes. Other clues can be found on the internet, but this is more common for letterboxes in places other than Dartmoor, where no "100 Club" catalogue exists - descriptions of some letterboxes in South Australia were found here!
Interest in letterboxing in the US is generally considered to have started with a feature article in the Smithsonian Magazine in April 1998 and the first event in North America was held a year later. There are now 1000s of Letterboxes in the US. The growing popularity of the similar activity of geocaching (GPS receivers are used to find geocached controls) during the 2000s has increased interest in Letterboxing as well. Clues are published on several websites, such as here, where clues to the locations of other Australian Letterboxes are listed.
The term "orienteering" (the original Swedish name for orienteering is "orientation") was first used in the mid 1880s at the Swedish Military Academy Karlberg and meant the crossing of unknown land with the aid of a map and a compass. In Sweden, orienteering grew from military training in land navigation into a competitive sport for military officers, and later for civilians. The first orienteering competition open to the public was held in Norway in 1897, when Norway was still part of the Swedish Union (which was dissolved in 1905). This was followed by a period of little activity until the mid-1920s, when the sport gradually increased in popularity.
With the invention of inexpensive compasses, the sport gained popularity during the 1930s. By 1934, over a quarter million Swedes were participants, and orienteering had spread to Finland, Switzerland, the Soviet Union, and Hungary.
During World War II, the Nazi government tried to control sport in countries it controlled, which resulted in a general boycott of organized sports. Secret orienteering competitions, which were not under Nazi control, were then arranged. From 1941, maps were confiscated and sales of maps were prohibited, which made participation in secret competitions more risky. Orienteering saw an increasing interest among Norwegian refugees in Sweden, and the sport was also part of military training. About 300 instructors were educated, and about 2,800 compasses were brought to Norway from Sweden during the war.
Kompani Linge (the popular name for Norwegian Independent Company No. 1 or NORIC 1) was a British military company created during World War II that comprised Norwegian volunteers. Members of Kompani Linge became agents used in offensive operations against Nazi Germany interests in Norway. The agents' training included orienteering, and several competitions were organised in Aviemore in Scotland during World War II. Aviemore is in a rugged and picturesque part of Scotland that has been a popular centre for outdoor activities for over a century.
Following World War II, orienteering spread throughout Europe and to Asia, North America and Oceania. In Sweden in 1959, an international orienteering conference was held. Representatives from 12 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, East and West Germany, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Yugoslavia) participated. In 1961, orienteering organisations representing 10 European nations founded the International Orienteering Federation (IOF).
Since then, the IOF has supported the founding of many national orienteering federations. By 2010, 71 national orienteering federations were member societies of the IOF. These federations enabled the development of national and world championships. World championships were held every two years until 2003, then every year.
Did you see ‘Numbers Man’ In the Saturday Advertiser Magazine SA Weekend ,pages 14-16.( November 9-10) The erstwhile orienteer aka Vice- Chancellor Adelaide University (Professor Peter Rathjen) is reported thus:-
‘..... he went on to orienteering. ”It’s a heavily physical sport, an endurance running sport, he says. The best orienteers are getting on to being Olympic-class runners” ‘.
In paragraph 4 ....’Rathjen excelled .........as a national champion in orienteering- a sport which combines cross country running with negotiating mystery routes for which competitors only get a map once the race starts’
‘Orienteering requires stamina .......’
It can't be guaranteed, but if you are a newcomer to orienteering, or just thinking about doing it, you might be starting on a journey to academic excellence. From past experience, many orienteers are a rare breed... and we are proud of it!
Fences can be an ongoing challenge for orienteers – both physically and when map reading. Read on to learn more about these pesky but useful obstacles.
The decision to cross (or not cross) a fence can be one which saves you time, puts you in physical difficulty or gets you disqualified. It is worth thinking about.
Let’s start with the map considerations.
On Bush Maps…
On a bush map (a normal orienteering map) fences can be shown as ruined, crossable or uncrossable with different symbols. The International Orienteering Federation specifications and descriptions for fence-related symbols appearing on an orienteering map are given below. These include the official three digit reference number for each symbol, and whether the symbol is represented on maps by a point (P) or line (L).
517 Ruined fence (L)
A ruined or less distinct fence. If the fence forms an enclosed area, tags should be placed inside.
Minimum length: two dashes (3.65 mm - footprint 55 m). If shorter, the symbol must be exaggerated to the minimum length or changed to symbol Fence (516).
If the fence is broken it is unlikely to offer any real barrier to your route choice – but be careful to note is as you pass so that you know where you are. They can be easy to miss as they sometimes lie completely flat on the ground.
Sometimes you only see where a broken fence is by the old fence posts every now and then.
516 Fence (L)
If the fence forms an enclosed area, tags should be placed inside.
Minimum length (isolated): 1.5 mm (footprint 22.5 m).
If the fence is shown as crossable on a bush map it means that the mapper has decided the fence would be passable to an average elite orienteer under normal conditions.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that the fence will be passable to any orienteer.
Choosing to cross a fence without a crossing point may slow you down, depending on your physical abilities.
518 Impassable fence (L)
An impassable or uncrossable fence, normally more than 1.5 m high.
If the fence forms an enclosed area, tags should be placed inside.
Minimum length (isolated): 2 mm (footprint 30 m).
On a bush map the uncrossable fence symbol does not make crossing the fence illegal. The fence will be difficult to cross, and may even cause you to be in danger, but if it is not also marked as out of bounds in some way, then you may still cross it if you choose to do so.
Of course this is likely to slow you down even more than a normal fence, so is probably not recommended.
If the crossing of a fence is not allowed on a bush map there will be a “forbidden route” symbol such as ISOM 520 (Area that shall not be entered), ISOM 708 (out-of-bounds boundary), ISOM 709 (out-of-bounds area) or ISOM 711 (out-of-bounds route)
On Sprint Maps…
On Sprint maps an impassable fence is indicated with a prominent thick black line (ISSOM524 – Impassable fence or railing) and should not be crossed. If you pass this barrier you may be disqualified.
518 Impassable fence or railing (L)
An impassable fence or railing shall not be crossed. If the minimum length is shorter than 3 mm, it must be presented with the symbol Impassable wall (515).
If the fence forms an enclosed area, tags should be placed inside. Minimum length (isolated): 3 mm (footprint 12 m).
Obstacles which can be crossed on a sprint map are represented with a significantly thinner black line. A fence on a sprint which can be crossed looks like this:
516 Passable fence or railing (L)
A passable fence is a barrier enclosing or bordering a field, yard, etc., usually made of posts and wire or wood. It is used to prevent entrance or to confine or mark a boundary. A railing is a fencelike barrier composed of one or more horizontal rails supported by widely spaced upright poles, usually it can be slipped through.
If a fence or railing is dangerous or very difficult to cross, it shall be represented with the symbol Impassable fence or railing (518).
Minimum length (isolated): 2.2 mm (footprint 8.8 m).
If they can be easily crossed they should be represented with a very thin black line
To Find out more…
If you would like to read more about the mapping specifications, both the general and the sprint specifications are available freely on the web here.
The control description for a fence is:
A broken down fence will be shown as ruined as well.
Detailed information on all international control descriptions and their format can be downloaded from here.
How to cross Fences
There are many and varied ways to cross fences. Let’s look at a few of them.
Find a crossing point
You may be able to identify a crossing point (gateway) on the map by finding the map symbol for this.
There may have been fence crossing added by the setter – they will be indicated with a crossing symbol (710).
710 Crossing point (P)
A crossing point, for instance through or over a wall or fence, across a road or railway, through a tunnel or out-of-bounds area, or over an uncrossable boundary is drawn on the map with two lines curving outwards. The lines shall reflect the length of the crossing.
1. Go over the fence by:
a) Jumping over
Only if you are athletic. Otherwise it is a good way to break something.
b) Climbing over between the posts
There are sometimes places where the fence sags and is low enough for you to get over- look ahead as you approach the fence and try to identify somewhere with obvious low areas or saggy bits.
Find the spot between two posts – this is likely to be a little lower and looser. Grasp the wire on the top and push down on it, stepping over and making sure to avoid getting your crutch caught.
c) Climbing over at a fence corner
If you can find a fence corner you can often find a way to hold on to the steady large post on the corner and step up on the taut wire of the fence, carefully avoiding the barbed wire on top. It gets easier to do after some practice.
Keep at least one hand on the post. Put the foot furthest from the fence on one of the wires between the barbs, but as close to the fence post as you can. Try to get this as high as you can comfortably do.
Swing your other leg over and place it on the fence on the other side (toes in or heel in, whichever is comfortable).
Bring the other leg over and climb or jump down.
Be aware that the higher the fence, the less stable it will be. There is also a risk that the wire will come loose from the fence post when you put pressure on it, and collapse.
If the fence is not too tight you may be able to climb between two strands of wire, or push up the barbs and climb under them.
At the spot between two posts go under the wire at hip height. Push down on the wire below your hip level. And cross between the wires, lifting the leg nearest to the fence upward behind you and swing it through totally. Move your body through next, and then the second leg. (it’s like bending forward and taking a high step to the side, then another high step with your other leg)
It’s not an ideal solution (especially on a wet day), but sometimes it is safest and fastest, even if it isn’t the cleanest.
I wish I could do it like this….
For a bit of a laugh you might want to check out this video of one very cool dude crossing a fence… I wish I could do it like this.
Just one last thing….
Check you have everything before continuing on.
Fence crossings are often places where orienteers lose their map, compass, SI stick, control card or drink bottle. Take a moment to check you have everything before you go on.
If you want to read more about the mapping of fences (or anything else) all the mapping specifications can be found here.
I hope that these tips will equip you for great fence decisions in the future. Good luck.
IOF ISOM 2017-2 – international specification for Orienteering maps (Jan 2019)
Orienteering Australia competition rules (May 2018)
ISSprOM 2019 International Specifications for Sprint Orienteering Maps (Jan 2019) – Valid Jan 2020
It is essential that competitors know which map features they are not allowed to cross. These are shown with a combination of map symbols and purple course planning symbols. The forbidden features are to both support competitor safety and the needs of the landowners.
In forest maps, the only map symbol that represents a forbidden feature is the olive green. This may have a thin black border line for clarity. Where paths or roads cross the area they should have a white area adjacent to the path to make the route clear to competitors.
On sprint maps a number of features are forbidden as shown in the following diagram. Vegetation areas that are forbidden to cross may be shown in dark green, or sometimes the olive green for manicured or landscaped garden beds. The symbols that are forbidden are generally the thickest black lines for linear features, or have a thick black boundary e.g. uncrossable water.
The purple areas defining forbidden areas are generally used for more temporary areas not to be entered e.g. construction or high public use areas such as cafes.
On forest maps some features may be considered dangerous for competitors or are to be out of bounds e.g. steep cliffs, areas of dangerous pits. These can be marked out of bounds with the purple course planning symbols. And if necessary marked on the ground with taping.
Additionally some other course marking symbols are used:
Mandatory marked routes
Crossing points, these are often across out of bounds areas
Forbidden routes – the purple “X”. Recent changes means such routes can be crossed but not used.
If major roads and other line features are not to be crossed, then these may be marked with purple “out of bounds boundary” symbol, or have continuous olive green sections on each side.
For the more technical minded and mappers -
The map symbols are defined in the 2 mapping specifications for foot orienteering. (ISOM 2017 – 2 and ISSprOM – 2020). These are available here. Many sprint maps are still mapped by the previous standard ISOM 2007. The actual symbols are almost all the same, however their symbol number and actual description in the standard may have changed
The symbols which are forbidden to competitors are actually defined in the Orienteering Australian Foot Orienteering Rules. Currently these refer to ISOM 2007, but should be updated early in 2020.
Andrew Kennedy has scanned Wallaringa’s old maps into PDF form in 2016. This led to the finding of a map owned by the Ananyi club. A corner of this is reproduced:
Having contacted Peter Ashforth, the only one of the 1980 mappers still an orienteer, the author enquired as follows:
Please help solve a mystery: What/who was the Ananyi?
Peter replied promptly and I realised that here is some of South Australian orienteering history that few are aware of:
They were a very small and short lived club who needed help to map Kyeema for the State Champs. They probably arose from the Western Scramblers but didn't last. Interestingly, they didn't get into the orienteering history book published in 2005.
The DECEMBER edition of The Australian Orienteer features the recent and highly successful Oceania Carnival & Schools Championships, as well as the associated Juniors Invitational Tour which drew 150 attendees. The inaugural Melbourne City Race is covered, as is 2019 WOC, the recent World Cup Round in China, and the AUS MTBO Championships held in Maryborough, VIC. Stephen Bird continues his series on how to use split times to fine tune your training; Ian Baker reviews the 50th Anniversary event held in Victoria; there's details of upcoming major event carnivals; and Duncan Currie's "Jeff" is at it again - poor Jeff.
The summer period is when the local orienteering calendar comprises mainly urban events held on Friday evenings. For program updates, go to the OSA Event page. The confirmed program on 8 December organised by Adelaide and surrounds clubs (note: Lincoln, Saltbush and Top End calendars were not available) is as follows:
If you have any thoughts on what you would like to read or see in future newsletters, would like to submit an article or photo, or have comments on this or previous newsletters, please let the editor know using the form here.