March 2020

SA Committee

President Rob Tucker
Treasurer Andrew Kennedy
Assistant Treasurer Brodie Dobson Keefe
Secretary Erica Diment
Assistant Secretary Fi Pahor
Technical Robin Uppill
Coaching Coordinator Bridget Anderson
Training Coordinator Adrian Craig
Newsletter Frank Burden
ENews Robyn Dose
Schools Coordinator Zita Sankauskas
Publicity & Promotion Olivia Sprod
Auditor Allison Whittaker
IT Manager Ken Thompson

From the president

Rob Tucker

Orienteering received great publicity in the Australia Day awards with Robin Uppill being awarded an Order of Australia Medal. This is a great recognition for her contribution and time dedicated to sustaining and improving the sport in so many ways.

The start of the new year was busy with a range of sprint events presented. Included was a series of five sprint events run in Adelaide over the long weekend forming a training event for elite orienteers Australia wide. Furthermore a sprint camp was organised in February by the coach in residence Evalin Brautigam. The summer sprint season was concluded with the SA Sprint Championships at the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide.

We are indebted to the many orienteering members who have put in so much work in running these events.

Many South Australian Orienteers went to the recent Melbourne Sprint Weekend and did well; congratulations to them all for their participation.

This month is the AGM on the 22nd in the South Parklands, see you all there !


From the editor

Frank Burden

Again, a wide range of articles in the newsletter. The main articles are on Robin Uppill's Order of Australia award, her life as an orienteer, and transition from geologist to IT worker. Other articles are on Junior Arrows recruitment, SA's Sprint Champion of Champions, orienteering techniques, including an orienteering simulator, Hill's fires, Top End snippets, smart phone orienteering, new sprint symbols, the 2020 interstate program, and more.

For those interested in statistics, each quarterly newsletter in 2019 was downloaded an average of 320 times by readers from 40 countries. About 240 were Australian readers and an average of just over 140 were South Australians.


Published results for events held in SA over past three months

In addition to training and school events, an average of about one competitive event a week open to all-comers was held in SA. The highlight events over the past three months were the Snap Sprint Series, the Adelaide Sprint Camp, and the SA Sprint Championships. Click event name to go to the results page. For all results, including splits, RouteGadget and OY results, going back to 2013 click here.

DateEventEvent type
1 Mar 20Pioneer Park/Flinders Park - Lincoln's 500th event!Foot orienteering,
park and street orienteering
1 Mar 20SA Sprint Championships - WaiteFoot orienteering,
park and street orienteering
23 Feb 20Adelaide Sprint Camp Knockout Sprint - Trinity College, GawlerFoot orienteering,
park and street orienteering
22 Feb 20Adelaide Sprint Camp Race 2 - Semaphore ParkFoot orienteering,
park and street orienteering
21 Feb 20Kirton Point Street/Park event - Port LincolnFoot orienteering,
park and street orienteering
21 Feb 20Snap Sprint Series Race 4/Adelaide Sprint Camp Race 1 - StirlingFoot orienteering
14 Feb 20Snap Sprint Series Race 3 - West Parklands Valentine's Day SpecialFoot orienteering
07 Feb 20Snap Sprint Series Race 2 - Adelaide UniversitiesFoot orienteering
07 Feb 20Lincoln North Street/Park EventFoot orienteering,
Park and street orienteering
31 Jan 20Snap Sprint Series Race 1 - Flinders UniversityFoot orienteering
24 Jan 20Twilight Series Event 6 (Rescheduled)- HackneyFoot orienteering
17 Jan 20Twilight Series Event 8 - Blackwood ParkFoot orienteering
10 Jan 20Twilight Series Event 7 - GlenelgFoot orienteering
13 Dec 19  Twilight Series - Event 5
Hazelwood Park - Burnside
Foot orienteering
6 Dec 19  Twilight Series - Event 4
Adelaide East Parklands
Foot orienteering
29 Nov 19  Twilight Series - Event 3
Colonel Light Gardens
Foot orienteering
22 Nov 19  Twilight Series - Event 2
Felixstowe and Torrens Linear Park, Lochiel  
Foot orienteering
15 Nov 19  Twilight Series - Event 1
Springfield - Waite
Foot orienteering


Nomination of Robin Uppill for Medal of the Order of Australia

Many of you will be aware that Robin Uppill was nominated for and recently awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (General Division) "for service to orienteering". Such awards are only made for significant services to the community over several years. Some of you, including the editor, might not have known Robin for long, so I thought it would be of interest to publish here the full script of Robin's nomination, which describes her major contributions to orienteering over the past two decades .

Nomination for Medal of the Order of Australia - by John Such.

In 2002, Robin was the Carnival Coordinator for the Australian Orienteering Championships in the Flinders ranges, South Australia. Not only did she ensure that the Carnival ran smoothly with 700 entrants, she pioneered the use of the SPORTident (Sl) electronic punching and recording system with its associated software. lt was not a user friendly system and required skill and patience to master it, which Robin did.

At Easter 2007, she was the Carnival Controller for another national event with approximately 700 competitors. The planning and organising of such events begins about 2 years prior and involves numerous meetings and pulling together a team of course-setters, controllers and organisers as well as teams to run the starts, computer recording, results displays, the setting up of the events which are at different locations each day. Through the regular meetings which she chaired, Robin ensured that everything went to plan.

ln 2010, South Australia hosted another National Championships Carnival for which Robin was Carnival Organiser. Again over a period of about two years, she ensured that all aspects of these Championships were properly organised. lt is a huge task which Robin managed exceptionally well.

ln 2015, South Australia hosted the national Easter Carnival near Jamestown. Again, Robin was Carnival Controller. As in previous carnivals, Robin pulled it all together to ensure that a first class, world standard, event was held.

In 2016 she was instrumental in South Australia hosting a National Orienteering League (NOL) event as part of national calendar of events for elite Orienteers from around Australia. This was a world standard event held in the Flinders Ranges which Robin coordinated expertly and successfully.

2018 sees the Australian Orienteering Championships return to South Australia. Once again, Robin is the person who is ensuring that all aspects of the Championships are covered. For anyone not involved in orienteering, it is not easy to understand how technical and complex it is to conduct a national event. It is a huge undertaking which few are prepared to accept. Robin has managed five of them along with the lesser NOL event.

However, her contribution to Orienteering doesn't stop there.

On a regular basis, over the 16 years that I have known her, Robin has written event reports and articles for the Orienteering Australia Magazine, the SA Newsletter, Facebook and Enews. She collates and prepares results of weekly events on the Orienteering SA website. She has been an Orienteering Australia Board member and the Director Technical 2008 - 2013. She has chaired the Orienteering Australia lT Commmittee and managed the Orienteering Australia website. Robin has also managed the SPORTident timing and recording system in SA, being a mentor for orienteers who have needed to use the system at club events.

As an experienced Controller of Orienteering events, she has used her expertise to conduct several workshops over many years to train orienteers to gain controller accreditation. Robin was President of Orienteering SA 2003 - 2005.

At a "grass roots" level, Robin has been a constant and tireless contributer to Club events as a Club committee member, controller, organiser, course planner, coach and manager of the Sl equipment. All of Robin's work has been voluntary.

Robin's contribution to Orienteering has not just helped the sport generally, but she has been a great role model for women and girls both as an administrator and a competitor, and has the respect of the entire Orienteering community in South Australia.

She has been prominent in the running of training courses, encouragement of school children and the development of permanent courses in parks for the enjoyment by the public.

Editor's note: Robin is a frequent contributor of interesting newsletter articles to the newsletter, which has made the editor's job a lot easier.



Robin Uppill Q&A

For those of you who wanted to know more about Robin and what drives her, this is her story. Her responses are based on numerous questions sent to her by the editor.

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Robin and family at the 2011 SA Championships in Whyalla
Early Years

Born in the small town of Terowie in the mid-north of SA, and grew up at Saddleworth in the Mid North of SA, moving to Adelaide to attend university – studied a BSc(Hons) in geology, followed by a PhD in geology – all at Adelaide Uni. Hence I have always been involved in the outdoors and maps. Following completion of these studies, Adrian had also been studying part time, he looked for an activity for us and we tried orienteering (first event in 1980). We went on a course together for about 3 events – then rapidly decided we had to go alone and make our own decisions! We went to some major national events – first was the Australian 3 Days at Wirrabara, before moving to Darwin in 1983.

My employment in Adelaide was as a geologist, and I continued this in Darwin, where after looking at areas suitable for orienteering, we eventually started the Top End Orienteers. Orienteering in the bush was difficult due to the tall grass, as well as the hot humid conditions (all year round it was hot to just hotter). Maps were black and white and drawn in pen and ink, which was difficult in the humid conditions. However one club member was studying cartography and produced the first Top End colour map. Our first child Miriam was born in Darwin.

After Darwin we lived in Townsville for a year, where Simon was born and then moved to Brisbane where we got back into more serious orienteering with Ugly Gully Orienteers. Our first involvement in a major carnival was planning the schools/club relays as part of the Australian Championships in 1991. Whilst in Brisbane we went to some of the major national events, but then had another 2 and half year period back in Townsville. During this period, with Brian Wale, also originally from Adelaide, we started the Townsville -Thuringowa Orienteering Club, now known as Totally Tropical. OCAD software was now available, so Adrian started drafting maps with OCAD V5, and we planned events with digital printed colour maps! On our first Epson Ink Jet printer each map took about 4 minutes to print! Simon and Miriam were introduced to orienteering over the Brisbane to Townsville period – from being carried around the short courses, to orienteering alone in the 10 year age groups.

Back in Adelaide in mid-1996, I started to get involved in the more technical aspects of orienteering, as well as organising and course planning many events. The first big challenge was the 2002 Australian Championships carnival which preceded the World Masters Games in orienteering in Victoria, and 2002 was also the year in which SA also first introduced SPORTident. The Australian Championships in 2002 in the Flinders Ranges with around 1100 competitors, many of them from overseas, is probably the biggest event ever held in SA.

Coinciding with my increased involvement in orienteering organisation, was a change in careers from geology in 2000 (a major mining industry downturn) to IT, an area in which I still work. With my geological work, time away was required, hence the enforced shift gave me more opportunity for volunteering in orienteering, and getting involved in the organisation of some major carnivals here in SA.

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Robin checking on the finish team in 2009
HelpingInTheFinish.jpg
Robin at the finish in 2010
Fitness and Orienteering Skills

Orienteering has also led to attempts to maintain aerobic fitness, initially just running – Adrian and I lived in Collinswood when we first started orienteering, and would run across to the Walkerville Oval and back. On interstate sojourns, running varied from cross country running in Darwin (hot and humid) to running around the suburbs where we lived in Brisbane and Townsville. Because running is not that easy for me (compared to Adrian and Simon), I needed to do some runs outside orienteering to keep fit for the sport, and especially to try and have runs that included hills. Now living in Hawthorndene and close to the Belair National Park, we have many nice areas for runs. And with Simon and Bridget in the Southern Arrows, we sometimes tag along to some of their summer runs (but don’t run with them). Running has become less and shorter over recent years, but I have mixed in gym work for more variety and for more overall body exercise, probably essential as you age.

Starting orienteering in the 1980s, no formal coaching was available, apart from club trainings where we mostly learnt from each other. The introduction of new orienteering formats, and improved and more complex maps, means that learning orienteering skills continues, but with some backward steps as errors on courses seem to get repeated! Prior to major events I might run with maps to do a virtual course to improve concentration. Over the last four summers I have taken advantage of the training exercises by the OSA coaches in residence (Stefano, Manu, Oliver and now Evalin), and these have generally been a lot of fun as the focus has been urban and sprint.

2010Commentary.jpg
Robin commentating at an event in 2010
2015SIsetup.jpg
Robin and Simon getting all SI units ready for the Australian 3 days at Burra in 2015
Favourite Events and Plans

I have been to many national events, initially as a family with Simon and Miriam participating until Miriam decided orienteering wasn’t a serious activity for her. After moving to Brisbane, with no serious orienteering for a few years, our first major event after getting back into serious orienteering, was the Australian Three Days at Big Badja when I had just moved into W35A – at the time there was no NOL, so we all ran our age class. So I was extremely pleased at the time to discover I could orienteer well, coming 2nd to Linda Rapkins a fellow Queenslander. Much more recently I was pleased to achieve another 2nd place at the Australian Three Days in WA n 2019, now in W65A. Our first major international event was the World Veterans Cup in Tasmania in 1992 at St Helens, on maps that have been used for many major events since. Other overseas/regional events have included APOC/Oceania in New Zealand.

In Australia I enjoy going to interstate events where the terrain is of a type we do not have in SA, but I guess as I have got older, am less keen on the areas with too much green and a lot of obstacles on the ground. These events always offer opportunities to catch up with orienteers from interstate.

WOC2013Finland.jpg
WOC 2013 Finland Middle Qualifiers
Simon just qualified for the final

With Simon, and more recently Bridget, being a member of the Australian team in both JWOC and WOC over a number of years, we have had opportunities to travel overseas to international events. These have been:

  • JWOC in Switzerland in 2005. Lithuania in 2016, and Australia in 2007 – Simon’s 4th in the long in 2007 was a big highlight (Bridget was in this team as well)
  • WOC in Norway in 2010 (followed participation at the World Masters in Switzerland) and again in 2019 (both Simon and Bridget in the Aussie team), Finland in 2013, Scotland in 2015 (when we also went to Oringen in Sweden before WOC), Estonia in 2017 (both Simon and Bridget in the Aussie team). My favourite was probably Finland in 2013, maybe partly because the shared house we had was adjacent to the assembly area for the Middle and Relay, and the Finns put on a superbly organised event for spectators. In a very exciting relay we saw Simon coming in on the first leg 54 secs behind the leaders.

At most of these we have done some of the public events, more for the experience of the different terrains, rather than attempting to be competitive. The trips have always also had a major tourist focus as we have visited other countries on each trip as well as those hosting the events.

So I want to keep orienteering as long as possible, and have fun doing it! This year we plan to attend the Australian Three Days in NSW, and the Australian Three Days in Tasmania. And next year Oceania in New Zealand. No other overseas orienteering events are currently planned, however I would certainly like to attend O-Ringen again.

Volunteering and Advice

So why volunteer – my parents were always involved in working in the local community in many different organisations, so the volunteering ethic was something I grew up with. As I enjoy orienteering so much, I have always been prepared to put back into the sport in the areas in which I am best suited. We all have different skills, I have found the areas that suit me best in working in orienteering, and others have other skills and contribute in other ways.

Not being particularly athletic, but being reasonably proficient on the map reading skill in orienteering meant I could have some success which I would not find in other sports. However I always measure my results against myself as well as others – if you feel you completed a course well, then this is just as important as the actual result. I think this is an approach that many use, especially seniors who have less competitive pressure on them than the juniors. But I have been fortunate to achieve some good results in orienteering, with a number of placings at national events.

Adrian with his involvement in mapping, has provided me with the additional technical knowledge in this area, so rounding out my overall knowledge when controlling major events. Simon as he developed into an elite athlete has provided many insights into course planning, and better ways that I could have completed a course seeing route choices that I should have taken but didn’t, although at the SA Sprint Champs at Waite on March 1st I think I chose a couple better than he did!

Focus on mental well-being is often a news item, and for me orienteering is something that supports both physical and mental well-being. Whilst orienteering this is all you can think about, so everything else is pushed aside and continues with all the post mortems with fellow orienteers after you have completed your course. Orienteering was especially important to me in 2018, when I had the extra effort required for the 2018 Australian Championships carnival organisation to minimise too much inwards focus on my own problems. However the effort that everyone else put in for the carnival made the running of 8 great events over 9 days so successful. Orienteering also builds resilience, self-confidence and independent decision making in juniors, so for this reason is a great sport for young people.

For me I have been fortunate that orienteering has been a family affair, with Adrian, Simon and Bridget heavily involved. Miriam has even occasionally come orienteering in more recent years.



Looking for new members for the 2020 Junior Arrows squad!

JuniorArrows.png

Bridget Uppill
Junior Arrows and SA School Teams Coach


Warning: because of Covid-19 restrictions, all training and selection trials have now been cancelled. For Bridget's latest training suggestions go to the Orienteering at Home section on OSA's home page or OSA's Facebook page.

Are you aged 12-18 this year and at school? We want you to come to join the Junior Arrows orienteering squad.

Who are we?

The SA Junior Arrows Orienteering Squad caters for young school aged orienteers aged 12-18. We have fun, game based orienteering trainings once a month with the aim for junior orienteers to better their orienteering skills. We help juniors with their orienteering goals so that they can become a better orienteer, make new friends, get fit OR one day they may be selected into the SA Schools orienteering team. On leaving high school hopefully our juniors will progress to the Southern Arrows Team.

Best of all, the squad is free, most of the trainings are free and we have the best squad shirt in the whole of Australia! (shirt $45)

2020 training dates

Throughout summer there are orienteering trainings on Wednesday night at 6pm. Information about these trainings are on the OrienteeringSA Facebook page every Monday. In 2020 Junior Arrows trainings will be held once a month around orienteering events.

These dates are below:

  • 28th March Junior Arrows training day and new comer day
  • 5th April (before the Pewsey Vale event)
  • 2nd May Women’s coaching day
  • 9th-10th May 16-20 year old Pre JWOC training weekend
  • 23rd May Belair pre schools training
  • 30th May (Port Lincoln training)
  • 9th-12th July Junior Arrows training camp Venue TBC
School Selection Trials

Each year we select a team of up to 20 for the South Australian Schools Orienteering team to compete at the Australian Orienteering Championships. This year the championships will be held in South Australia! To be selected for this team you need to nominate and attend as many of the Schools Selection Trials as possible. You must run either MW14 or up in the trials or run the course stated by the Schools Coach/Manager.

These trials are:

  • 1st March (SA Sprint champs) (metro trial)
  • 5th April Pewsey Vale (metro trial)
  • 25th May SA Schools champs (metro trial)
  • 31st May Wanna Port Lincoln (country trial)
  • 8th June SA middle champs Prelinna (country and metro trial)
  • 12th July (last day of SA junior camp)

For more on the Junior Arrows click here, and to contact Bridget (Junior Arrows and SA School Teams Coach) click here.



SA's Sprint Champion of Champions - Zoe Carter

Editor's selection

There were a few hidden success stories in the SA Sprint Championships held at the Waite Campus on 1st March. These were apparent only after analysis using the applications first published in the March 2019 newsletter here.

By assuming that courses were of similar difficulty and scaled similarly for distance and climb, it is possible to eliminate the effects of distance, gender and age on finish times using running speed profiles derived from international records. Adjusted class winning times are then compared directly with the winning time of the M21A class winner (here, Simon Uppill). The result, after multiplying the ratio of times by 100, produces a number equivalent to performance relative to the M21A winner. The M21A winner automatically receives a performance figure of 100. Class winners with an estimated performance greater than 100 will have performed at a higher level than the M21A winner, and those with performance less than 100 at a lesser level.

The analysis showed that Zoe Carter achieved the best result, running about 8% faster in W16 than predicted from the M21A winner's time. Mark Overton (M55A) was 3rd, running just 2% slower than predicted from the M21A winner's time.

PositionClassNameClubPerformance
1W16Zoe CarterTJ108
2M21ASimon UppillOH100
3M55AMark OvertonWA98
4=M20AAngus HainesOH94
4=W20AJoanna GeorgeTT94
6=W21AOlivia SprodTT91
6=W45AKate MarschallTT91
8W55ARobin UppillOH89
9M14Mitchell MorcomTJ88
10=W65ALeila HendersonYA82
10=M65AAdrian UppillOH82


SLO Orienteering Techniques!

South London Orienteers have a YouTube channel here, on which you will find several short videos featuring UK-representative orienteers demonstrating a range of O techniques. The channel also has videos of interviews with UK orienteers.

Click the start arrow below to watch a series of eight O technique videos following a short introductory video:



Hills Fires

The Cudlee Creek fire started on 20 December, when a tree branch is reported to have fallen on a power line. About 25,000 hectares was burned and one person died. During the following month, spot fires continued to break out and kept residents within and near the affected area on high alert.

A few days later, on 4 January, a second fire started in the Watts Gully area 10km north of the northern-most boundary of the Cudlee Creek fire. This was again reportedly caused by a tree branch falling on a power line. About 19 hectares was burned.

Several other fires occurred around the state, but at the time of publication it is not known if these affected any orienteers or orienteering areas. See here for locations of reported fires. Zoom out to see the extent of many significant fires in the state.

CudleeCreekFire.png
Extent of the Cudlee Creek fire. Gumeracha is at the top, middle of the map, and Mount Barker and Nairne are just off the bottom. (from CFS information)

If the permanent orienteering course in the Lobethal Bushland Park (118 hectares of beautiful natural landscape just north of the town) is still active, then at least one marker seen a month before the fire will have been destroyed. The Fox Creek: Thomas Hill permanent courses about 4km west of Lobethal were damaged and are closed for the present. Visit here for updates.

The Watts Gully fire was very very close to the home of Tintookies John and Jeffa Lyon. They were forced to leave and on returning found that their home had been saved although temporarily without power.

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John and Jeffa Lyon.

It is not known if the fires affected other SA orienteers, but the Cudlee Creek fire was a source of stress that lasted a month for at least two members and families with properties just south of the southern burnt area. For them, billowing smoke from the fire nearly 20 km away was first observed directly over their properties mid morning on 20 December, with charred leaves raining down. Luckily the leaves were not smouldering so did not start spot fires. Property owners closer to the fire front and flank, after a mid afternoon wind change, were not so lucky.



Top End News Snippets

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Snippets found in the Top End Orienteers Bearing North newsletter, which couldn't be ignored. Copied from Lachlan Hallett's President's Chat.

Snippet #1

We are also trialling a low-volunteer-workload option in this year’s Wet Season Series. There will not be any physical orienteering checkpoints on these three street events, instead we will be using power poles. You can record your visit by writing down the number on the power pole or by using MapRun (see article below), a new phone-based orienteering app. MapRun is designed by Australian Orienteers and it uses your phone’s gps to record that you have visited the checkpoint. Your phone will beep when you get next to the correct power pole & you won’t need to stop (think how much time you could save over the whole course). Plus, it automatically calculates your time and result, making it easier on the finish table. Download it from the usual places before you come to the event if you want to try it.

Snippet #2

We haven’t had orienteering in Katherine for a number of years now. So we will return for the May Day long weekend. The format of the races will be determined soon. We intend to have a good variety of terrains (sand dune, sandstone and limestone karst) plus a good variety of events. Our club is currently in discussion with other clubs and we hope to offer either a long score event or a short rogaine.

Snippet #3

Singapore are hosting orienteering events in mid-June. I have just booked my flights ($215 return). It should be a good weekend plus I will get the chance to advertise our potential major events in 2021 (we have applied to have Orienteering included in the Arafura Games). Come support our neighbours!

Snippet #4

The final new “thing” is an orienteering weekend in Indonesia in November. It is great to see orienteering getting established in our “neighbourhood”. Please let me know if you are interesting in attending these Indonesian events.



MapRunners, MapRun, MapRunF, and MyOMaps

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MapRunners is a new, alternative format of orienteering that avoids the need to put out flags and SI units on a course. The MapRun app, or the latest build MapRunF, is a free smart phone app developed by a Brisbane-based orienteer to perform the tasks of punching and timing. The more comprehensive MyOMaps app is used by mappers and organisers to set line or score courses.

Competition options include using a map with course and controls displayed on the smart phone - the display does not show the current location or tracks. Another option is to use printed maps with courses for line events or controls for score events marked in the common orienteering form, and carry the smart phone to automatically record visits to controls.

The initial app development was funded by a grant from the Australian Sports Foundation (ASF). The ASF Giving4Grassroots™ (G4G™) fund is a national small grants program that funds initiatives and programs aimed at increasing participation in grassroots and community sport throughout Australia. Further funding has been provided by Orienteering Victoria and the Australian Sports Commission via grants to Orienteering Australia.

The MapRun app is a variant of the MyOMaps app for iPhone and Android, tailored for ease of use by participants in organised events. It is available free from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. With the full (only $5.99) version of MyOMaps, users can store their own maps and course on their device and run in their own "events".

MapRun is active in some clubs in Victoria, NSW, Queensland, NZ, UK, and more recently in Hungary and Austria.

For more information, visit the MapRunners website here or the Facebook page here.



Virtual-O

Virtual-O is an orienteering simulator that has been under development since about 2015. It is being developed mainly for PCs (minimum recommended 64 bit Windows 7 to 10) as a training aid to improve map-reading and orienteering techniques. The developers claim that it can be used for coaching and by orienteers from top level to school newcomers.

The Virtual-O website has links to blogs that provide more descriptions of its capabilities and uses. The most comprehensive description of Virtual-O's capabilities (dated early 2016) was found on the World Of O website here. A 2016 fairly detailed review of Virtual-O by somebody who is not an orienteer was found here! Overall, reviews appear to be favourable with the Steam website giving Virtual-O a 9/10 rating from 60 reviews. Although most reviews appear to be dated 2016, when the app was first made available for public download, Virtual-O continues to be improved with more realistic representations of land features.

Virtual-O also has a YouTube channel here, where you will find about 30 short videos that demonstrate its many features.

Its advertised price is A$49.95, but like many downloadable apps it can be bought at a discount if you are prepared to wait for the next sale.

Below is an 18 min YouTube video that demonstrates most Virtual-O features, starting with a race around a simulated course.


If you are or have been a user of Virtual-O, how about sending the editor a review of its features for publication in the next newsletter?



What is ISSprOM 2019?

Collated by Ken Thompson

This is the new international specification for sprint orienteering maps and is supposed to be used with all new sprint maps from the start of this year. Existing maps are being progressively converted. For example the first two maps used for the 2020 Snap Sprint Series (Flinders University & Adelaide Universities) have been converted. One of the changes is that the map type should be shown on the map itself so look out for Conforms to ISSprOM 2019 or similar words. General maps also have a new standard (ISOM 2017-2) but I will describe this in a separate article. Some changes for ISOM 2017-2 are the same as ISSprOM 2019. Where this is the case there is a # at the start of the comments column.

So what has changed? I will focus on the visually obvious changes. There have actually been 87 changes! If you want to know more, particularly if you have an interest in mapping, I suggest you look at the specifications themselves on the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) website here.

Many of the changes aim to improve clarity.

ISSOM 2007     ISSprOM 2019     Comments     
1:5 0001:4 000Scale: Other scales are permissible but larger scales must be a strict enlargement
150m apart120m apartMagnetic North lines
 issprom01.pngMinimum gap 0.40mm between buildings to ensure clarity.
 issprom02.pngMinimum gap 0.15 between tracks. This rule applies to all symbols of the same colour.
Was 0.09mmissprom03.pngStep or edge now 0.10mm to improve clarity
 issprom04.pngLight traffic 30% brown. New
 issprom05.pngHeavy traffic 50% brown. New
 issprom06.pngPaved area with scattered trees. New symbol
Grey lineissprom07.pngPassable wall. Option of grey line removed.
 issprom08.pngPassable retained wall. New symbol.
 issprom09.pngPaved area in a multi level structure. New symbol.
issprom10_1.pngissprom10_2.pngArea that shall not be entered with bounding line. Replaces the 4th very dark green which looked almost black on a printed map.
issprom11_1.pngissprom11_2.png# Small fountain or well. New symbol. Improves clarity for colour blind people.
issprom12_1.pngissprom12_2.png# Prominent water feature. New symbol. Improves clarity for colour blind people.
issprom13_1.pngissprom13_2.png# Prominent landform feature. New symbol replaces brown cross. In Australia often used for termite mound. Improves clarity for colour blind people
issprom14_1.pngissprom14_2.png# Prominent large tree. White mask under the object to improve clarity.
issprom15_1.pngissprom15_2.png# Prominent small tree or bush. Small white dot inside to aid the vision impaired.

Why not check out the next sprint map you use and see how many of these changes you can find.



New Sprint Map Symbols

Robin Uppill

The new sprint mapping specification (ISSprOM 2019) has some new symbols. One is a brown cross hatched area to show multi-levels – i.e. you can pass at both the top and bottom level. These are illustrated in the accompanying images which shows the new symbols and 3 photo/map examples.

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Special Sprint Symbols

Illustration1CarparkMultiLevelSymbol.jpg
Carpark Multi-Level Symbol

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Carpark Multi-Level With Underpass

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Bridge Multi-Level With Underpass

Other new symbols are:

  • Paved area with scattered trees.
  • Permitted access on a track through Olive Green Forbidden area – should have a white border.

The complete sprint map symbol set is here.



Future Major Interstate Events

Warning: because of Covid-19 restrictions, all events are subject to change or cancellation at short notice. It is important that you regularly check event details with organisers.

Australian MTBO Selection Trials (4 - 5 April)

A sprint event at the old Mayday Asylum site in Beechworth NE Victoria will be held on the 4 April, afternoon, followed by a Long distance event the following morning at nearby Stanley. Both of these events will double as selection trials for the Australian MTBO team for the World Championships to be held in Czech Republic in August. For information on Day 1, click here and Day 2, click here.


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To be held in New South Wales around Mulong and Orange over Easter 2020, the Easter 3 Day Carnival with the National Orienteering League features bush events over 3 days (11-13 April), plus urban sprint races on Good Friday (10 April). Entries close 15 March. For more information click here for details of events, locations, accommodation, bulletins etc. The carnival includes additional sprint and bush events in the following week (15-19 April).


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Two sprint races are being held in Queensland as part of the 2020 National Orienteering League. All races will be held in the northern part of the Gold Coast, with easy access from Coolangatta or Brisbane airports < 1hr. Click here for more information on Day 1, and here for Day 2.


National Orienteering League Final

The final will be held on the south coast of NSW on 16-17 May. For more information click here (day 1) and here (day 2).


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The 2020 Australian MTBO Championships Carnival will be held in the Newcastle/Hunter Valley Region of NSW from 17 to 20 September. For more information click here.


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The Australian Championships in Tasmania will be held in conjunction with the Australian Schools Championships and the Turbo Chook 3 Days.

To be held from 26 September to 4 October, this year's Australian Orienteering Championships in Tasmania will comprise 11 Events in some of Australia’s best terrain. This Includes new areas and maps featuring granite boulders, intricate erosion detail, spur gully landscapes and stunning coastline. Early bird entries are now open to 30 April, with regular entries closing 22 August. For more information click here.

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This year's Australian Schools Championships in Tasmania will be held from 29 September to 1 October, and comprise Sprint, Long and Relay events. For more information, including eligibility requirements, and how to enter visit the Schools webpage here.

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Linked with the Schools Championships, the Turbo Chook 3 Days will be held from 29 September to 1 October and include Sprint, Long and Middle events. For more information, visit the Turbo Chook webpage here.


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Including Sprint, Mountain Bike, Bush and Night orienteering, the Alice Springs Master Games orienteering events will be held from 11 to 14 October. Visit here for more information.


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Comprising the Victorian Sprint Championships on 28 November, and Melbourne City Race on 29 November, the Melbourne City Race Weekend will be based around Port Melbourne. For more information, visit here.




March Australian Orienteer

Michael Hubbert (AO Editor)

AO March 2020 Cover Page
Promising MTBO junior Will Whittington from Tasmania won all four M20 titles at the 2019 AUS MTBO Champs.

As usual, the magazine covers a wide range of topics. It has 20 maps, and articles on Bushfire Damage in all states, Xmas 5 Days, junior Lydia Stott's recovery from injury, a Q&A with Daniel Hubmann (Switzerland), Monash Indoor/Outdoor Pop-Up, Victoria's Coach-in-Residence (Frédéric Tranchand of France), several pages of O'challenges, a comprehensive coaching article "Improve your Orienteering", Duncan Currie's "The Adventures of Jeff" X3, Nutrition, Macedon Ranges Sprints, MTBO, World Rogaining Championships, and much more.

Another one not to be missed.




Competition/training program

The autumn period is when the local orienteering calendar transitions from mainly urban events held on Friday evenings to bush events held Sunday mornings. For the latest program information go to the OSA Event page. The confirmed program on 8 March to the end of June organised by Adelaide and surrounds, Lincoln, Saltbush and Top End clubs is as follows:

Warning: because of Covid-19 restrictions, all events are subject to change or cancellation at short notice. It is important that you regularly check event details with organisers.

DateEventOrganising clubDiscipline
Fri 13 Mar 20Lincoln Cove Marina/Billy Lights Point street/park eventLincoln OrienteersFoot orienteering,
Park and street orienteering
Sun 15 Mar 20NT - East PointTop End OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 15 Mar 20Training Day Para Wirra (South West)Orienteering SAFoot orienteering
Sat 21 Mar 20Darts training and lunchOrienteering SAFoot orienteering
Sun 22 Mar 20Nicolson PlayfordSaltbush OrienteersFoot orienteering,
Park and street orienteering
Sun 22 Mar 20South ParklandsTjuringa OrienteersFoot orienteering
Wed 25 Mar 20Mid Week Training Mack Creek EastOrienteering SAFoot orienteering
Sun 29 Mar 20NT - Territory Wildlife ParkTop End OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 29 Mar 20Belair National ParkWallaringa Orienteering ClubFoot orienteering
Sun 29 Mar 20Tumby Bay street/park eventLincoln OrienteersFoot orienteering,
Park and street orienteering
Sun 05 Apr 20Whyalla EastSaltbush OrienteersFoot orienteering,
Park and street orienteering
Sun 05 Apr 20Pewsey Vale OY EventTintookies OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 05 Apr 20MourilyaLincoln OrienteersFoot orienteering
Wed 08 Apr 20Mid Week Training Kuitpo Forest The EucalyptsOrienteering SAFoot orienteering
Sat 02 to
Mon 04 May 20
Long weekend events KatherineTop End OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 03 May 20Shepherds HillTjuringa OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 03 May 20Wild Dog HillSaltbush OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 03 May 20Kapinnie Lakes Lincoln OrienteersFoot orienteering
Wed 06 May 20Mid Week Training Mt Crawford Forest Watts GullyOrienteering SAFoot orienteering
Sat 16 May 20Coffin Bay Golf Club night eventLincoln OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 17 May 20Blackwood Park to Belair Score Event - Foot and MTBOOnkaparinga Hills Orienteering ClubFoot orienteering
Sun 17 May 20Coffin Bay township Lincoln OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 24 May 20Belair National ParkSA ArrowsFoot orienteering
Mon 25 May 20SA Schools Championships Thorndon ParkTintookies OrienteersFoot orienteering
Mon 31 May 20Heathfield City to BushYalanga OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 31 May 20Moonabie WestSaltbush OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 31 May 20Wanna Lincoln OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 31 May 20OY Casuarina ReserveTop End OrienteersFoot orienteering
Wed 03 Jun 20Mid Week Training Para Wirra NorthOrienteering SAFoot orienteering
Sat 06 Jun 20Wilpena Spurs (TBC) Middle Distance EventTintookies OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 07 Jun 20RawnsleyTjuringa OrienteersFoot orienteering
Mon 08 Jun 20SA Middle Distance Championships - PrelinnaOnkaparinga Hills Orienteering ClubFoot orienteering
Sun 14 Jun 20Mid Week Training Mt Crawford Forest ChalksOrienteering SAFoot orienteering
Sun 14 Jun 20Anstey Hill MTBOYalanga OrienteersMountain bike orienteering
Sun 14 Jun 20The Tadpole - EP Interclub RelaysLincoln OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 21 Jun 20Mitchell ParkWallaringa Orienteering ClubFoot orienteering,
Park and street orienteering
Sun 21 Jun 20Katunga HillsSaltbush OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 28 Jun 20Mack CreekTintookies OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 28 Jun 20OY Holmes JungleTop End OrienteersFoot orienteering
Sun 28 Jun 20Mena ViewLincoln OrienteersFoot orienteering


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