A relatively new format for international orienteering is the Knockout Sprint. A knockout sprint runs for a day, through four rounds, with runners qualifying or not for the next round at each of the first three. It culminates in a six runner final. Rounds apart from the first are mass start, first-to-the-finish races.
There have been two at World Cup meetings so far, one last year in the Czech Republic, and one in September this year in Switzerland.
Of course a reason for it is the potential to engage an audience, to bring top orienteers close to spectators and to promote the sport.
There was also a need for a third format (alongside individual and the mixed relay) for the Sprint World Championships, now that Forest and Sprint alternate rather than being combined. The first World Champs Knockout Sprint will be 9th July 2020 in Fredericia, Denmark. (There is an accompanying six-day orienteering festival for spectators who want to run as well as watch.) The second will be in Scotland in 2022.
The TV from 2019 World Cup Round 3 which was a couple of months ago in Laufen, Switzerland is now available free.
For the GB team a highlight was the Knockout Sprint Men’s Semi-Final 1 with Forth Valley Orienteers’ Kris Jones (*) and SLOW member Ralph Street. It is one of three “semi-finals”. There are six runners who have come through the two morning rounds, and the first two at the finish will go through to the final.
* A few hours after this was written Kris was the third counter for the Gold Medal GB Men’s team at the European Cross-Country in Lisbon. Kris was 22nd, 1 second ahead of the third counter for Belgium. Had Kris been 23rd GB would not have won Gold.
Sadly the JHI will not be happening this year. It joins the other home internationals (senior and veteran) as a casualty of the pandemic.
We are still hoping we can host the Junior Home International this year, but obviously in the current circumstances we cannot confirm it. We have plans for necessary social distancing and hygiene for the racing, but we need lockdown restrictions to lift, our booked accommodation to be up and running, and to reconfirm our permissions. We are also mindful that a main aim of the competition is to promote the teams socialising, so that is fully in our minds too.
Junior Home International
South London Orienteers will put on the 2020 Junior Home International on the weekend of 10th and 11th October. The racing will be on the spectacular and tough terrain of the Devil’s Punch Bowl as used for last year’s Southern Championships.
The competition is between four teams of 24 junior athletes representing England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Teams include four athletes in each of M/W18, M/W16 and M/W14.
The teams will stay together, adjacent to the competition terrain, at the PGL Marchants Hill Adventure Centre.
Teams arrive on the Friday, and have an individual race on the Saturday and relays on the Sunday.
The perhaps self-contradictory term “Home International” is used in
the British Isles to describe sports competitions amongst national teams
Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England.
In orienteering there are three “home internationals”: junior (M/W18-), senior (M/W 20/21) and veteran (M/W35+). Each is organised separately, usually in the Autumn. The home nations take it in turn to host.
All competitions take place over a weekend, with an individual day and a relay day and calculate results by a points scheme. All prefer the individual on the Saturday and relays on the Sunday. There’s also a social element – a meal on the Saturday night, and ideally teams stay in the same place.
The competition details are specific to each competition. In general Scotland and England give each other a good match, and, but with lower points totals, so do Wales and Ireland.
As the Scandinavian 2017 training year ends, Ralph has written a summary of his year on Attackpoint . He says his worst relay run this year was the JK running for SLOW. He anchored SLOW to fifth place, a record high for recent times. He did show off the club jacket well at the individual prizegiving for the middle race (see picture below.)
Ralph runs for two other clubs too, one in Norway where he lives, and one in Sweden where he used to live – he joined them six years ago. Last month he helped Södertälje-Nykvarn Orientering (SNO), to third place in the 25-person relay in Sweden that is one of the all club great days of the year. 374 teams took part. Here is the SNO site (text in Swedish).
Ralph did several races for the Great Britain team this year, with some noteworthy team results in the sprint relay. The season finished with the World Cup Final Meeting in Switzerland, in Grindelwald just by the Eiger. Above is a team photo after the long race. The 2018 international season will start in Switzerland with the European Championships next May. They are at Ticino in the Italian speaking part. The website for the competition is here.
He also took part in the World Games, with a good run in the relay helping GB to 5th place. And he also had a minor hit with the feeling a bit naughty training picture.
But for many non-orienteers his 2017 will be best known for his contribution to a genre: Race The Tube – Oslo
Please click on a name to see the World Of O athlete profile.
Michael, Conor and Ralph formed the SLOW first team in this year’s JK Trophy Relay Race, coming 5th.
It is easy to follow the championships as Simon and James Errington (the developers of Routegadget) will be in Estonia providing up-to-the-minute entertaining coverage, as well as daily updates on the British Orienteering newsfeed.
Congratulations to SLOW athlete Ralph Street who raced for Great Britain in the final leg of the Men’s Relay at the World Orienteering Championships, taking place this week in the Scottish Highlands. After runs from Scott Fraser and Graham Gristwood, Ralph brought Great Britain in in fourth place, just behind France, a very strong Norway final runner, and winners Switzerland, and ahead of around 30 other teams from around the world.
Photos: World Orienteering Championships organisation (above), British Orienteering (below, Ralph on the right).
Congratulations to SLOW member Anne Straube who won the Gold medal at the World Trail Orienteering Championships held in Czech Republic on 15/16 July. This really is a superb achievement – Anne managed to beat all the competition, including several very experienced Trail-O competitors from the likes of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and won overall after two tough days of competition.
Anne has regularly competed in international Trail-O competitions, and was the planner of the Trail-O at this year’s JK in the south-east.
Anne has written an account of the event in German which can be found here. A rough English translation of this (via Google) can be found here. Anne hopes to do a proper English translation for the next edition of SLOWprint!
For those of you who don’t know much about Trail-O, the WTOC website describes Trail-O as follows:
“Trail orienteering is an orienteering discipline centred around map reading in natural terrain. The discipline has been developed to offer everyone, including people with limited mobility, a chance to participate in a meaningful orienteering competition. Manual or electric wheel chairs, walking sticks, and assistance with movement etc. are permitted as speed of movement is not part of the competition.
Trail orienteers must identify on the ground control points shown on the map. As this is done from a distance, both able-bodied and participants with disabilities compete on level terms. Proof of correct identification of the control points does not require any manual dexterity, allowing those with severely restricted movement to compete equally. Most trail orienteering events have classes open for everyone.”
Orienteering in London and Surrey. British Orienteering's Club of the Year 2013. Community Amateur Sports Club accredited.