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Tweet Thursday 18th April 2019

The UK’s Biggest Annual Orienteering Festival this Easter Weekend

Thousands are set to travel to Southern England for the Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering this Easter weekend (19 April to 22 April 2019).

The event is open to top International elite athletes who will be competing for top medal positions. The event is also looking to attract and encourage families and individuals of all fitness levels and abilities from across the country to take part and soak up the festival atmosphere of the event this year.

France's Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti Club). Credit Rob Lines

The full programme of this year’s UK Annual Orienteering Festival includes:

Date

Format

Location

Friday 19/04/2019

Sprint Race

Aldershot Garrison

Saturday 20/04/2019

Middle Distance

Windmill Hill, Frimley

Sunday 21/04/2019

Long Distance

Cold Ash, Hermitage, Newbury

Monday 22/04/2019

Relays

Minley, Fleet

Three of the four competition areas over the weekend are very close together near to Farnborough / Aldershot. The Long-distance race on the Sunday is near Newbury (an easy hour’s drive away).

Friday’s Sprint race and Saturday’s Middle-Distance race are International Orienteering Federation (IOF) World Ranking Events. In addition, all three individual days will form part of 2019’s UK Elite Orienteering League and the UK Orienteering League. All four days will use Emit touch-free punching.

The JK event is named after Jan Kjellström (born 1940, died 1967) who was an orienteer from Sweden who played an important role in the development of the sport of Orienteering in Great Britain. Kjellström, a son of Silva compass founder Alvar Kjellström, travelled to Great Britain to promote the sport. There, he helped to accelerate developments in orienteering competition, mapping and coaching.Orienteering is a family sport as well as for top international competition. There will be taster courses suitable for beginners of all ages and abilities.
 

Credit:  Active North Photography
Cat Taylor in the Long distance. Credit: Rob Lines

Di Smith, JK2019 Event Coordinator, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming top International athletes compete for the top medal places across the weekend. We are also looking forward to seeing many families and individuals taking part, with courses planned to suit all ages and fitness levels.”

There are entries to the JK2019 from a total of 27 countries. Organisers are delighted to see entries from as far as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and China. The top ten numbers of entries are from: UK, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, Finland, Denmark, Latvia, Spain.

Jennie Taylor, Communications Officer at British Orienteering, said: “This event generates a real boost to the local economy with people travelling from overseas and across the UK to enjoy top quality orienteering.”

Relay on Day 4. Credit: Rob Lines
Credit: Rob Lines

Orienteering is an outdoor sport. The aim is to navigate in sequence between control points, using a map, and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. The sport of orienteering is for everyone at different entry levels.

The organising team are looking forward to welcoming competitors to some great terrain.

For more information and to enter visit the JK website.

Credit: Chris Spencer, ActivNorth 
Credit: Rob Lines
Credit: Rob Lines
Competitors discussing their races.  Credit:  Rob Lines
Credit:  Rob Lines
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Tweet Thursday 18th April 2019

Who will be crowned this year's JK Champions?

There are many ways to keep up-to-date on the results as and when they happen over the Easter weekend.

  • Results will be displayed in the Event Arena, both printed and live scrolling displays.
  • Alternatively, results will be made available online at race-results.info/jk - updated live and mobile-friendly display.
  • Results will be linked from the JK website as soon as possible after the event including Routegadget, WinSplits, SplitsBrowser, Badge Times here.
  • TrailO results will be on the same links from the JK2019 website after the completion of each event here.

Snapshot of some of last year's winners. 

Photo credits:  Rob Lines 

British Orienteering would like to take this opportunity to wish all members a great international festival of orienteering this Easter weekend.  

British Orienteering would like to thank Event Coordinators Di and Terry Smith from Southampton Orienteering Club (SOC) and all the South Central Orienteering Clubs for their time, commitment and hard work they have put into this event.  

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Tweet Monday 15th April 2019

AGM 2019 Electronic Voting! Check Your Junk Mail?

By now all members should have received notification on how to vote electronically from the independent external voting company 'mi-voice'. 

The email has been sent to all members and should appear as follows:
'From: Private and Confidental - Sent on behalf of Peter Hart, Chief Executive, British Orienteering <elections@mi-voice.com>'

This email gives clear instructions on how to vote electronicall and contains your unique voter code.  

If you have not received an email from mi-voice you will need to check your email junk folder.

If you still haven't received a notification email in your junk folder then you will need to ring mi-voice ASAP if you want to vote.

Mi-Voice contact details

Tel: 023 8076 3987
email: support@mi-voice.com

If you are unable to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM), you have until 5pm on Wednesday 17 April 2019 to vote by proxy to vote on your behalf.

Photos: JK2018; Photo Credits:  Rob Lines. 

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Tweet Saturday 4th August 2018

World Orienteering Championships Sprint

Kicking off the 35th World Orienteering Championships in Riga, Latvia was the Sprint Distance event.

Beginning in the morning in Kronvalda Park in the centre of Riga it was a flat, fast and relatively straightforward course to get the athletes underway. Without any major technical challenges, competitors would have to be pinpoint precise to ensure they qualified in necessary top-15 positions, with some big names missing out. In the Ladies race – who started first at 7 am UK time – the GBR women of Charlotte Ward, Alice Leake and Megan Carter-Davies all qualified without any issues, Megan best of the day for the Brits in 3rd. In the Men’s race the story was similar, with Peter Hodkinson initially a worry for missing out, he, Chris Smithard and Kristian Jones all qualified for the final. It was not so lucky for the defending silver medallist in the Men’s discipline, Frenchman Frederic Tranchand, who missed out by just 4 seconds in 17th place. There were a series of mispunches, particularly in Heat C, caused by two similar controls in close proximity, though with no protests upheld, the results stood. In the Women’s field, the only major shock exit was the mispunch of Sabine Hauswith of Switzerland, who would have been challenging for the podium on a good day.

Onto the Final, and the Women again got proceedings underway. The Final offered a far more complex navigational challenge to the runners, with extensive artificial barriers and alleyways opened specifically for the event; yet with no height gain on the course, the running speeds would dictate proceedings just as much. The main issue though would turn out to be the spectators and cars out in the streets. With the organisers not shutting down the roads for the runners, there were continual issues of cars and buses attempting to drive into the tightly-packed arena. This was only exacerbated by the overlapping routes taken by runners leaving the arena for their start, entering the arena to head through the arena passage, and finishing runners. Add to this the chaos caused by the crowded streets, and the public not paying attention to the runners as they were competing (there were numerous instances of athletes colliding with members of the public), it was havoc on the courses.

Charlotte Ward began things for the British Women, and after a slow start, she began to get into her running. As the course opened up towards the end she used her running strength well, but it was just a bit too much to do to fight back into the top twenty at the end of the day. After finishing 4th, she slowly dropped to 24th, two minutes down.

The next GBR Woman was Alice Leake, and again it was a slow start for Alice, but as they entered the tricky middle section of alleyways and barriers, she began to fly. From 19th at the 5th control, she would gain time on her rivals for the top-10 all the way to the finish. Starting just a minute in front of Tove Alexanderson, there would always be a lot of pressure, but Alice had no problems. Alexanderson would best Alice’s leading time by 50 seconds to take the lead at the finish, but Alice would hold on for 8th. The final GBR Woman out into the city was Megan Carter-Davies. Megan started quicker than both Alice and Charlotte but came unstuck exiting the difficult middle section. She tried to gain the lost time back as the legs opened up from short technical navigation into more open, wide route choices, but more mistakes cropped in. Still, it was an admirable performance, and for the youngest member of the team a great sign of things to come, with a 28th here.

Many would try to better Tove Alexanderson’s time, with numerous runners, including one of the main favourites Judith Wyder, all falling around thirty seconds short. But as the heavens began to open and rain spattered the cobbled streets, the Danish favourite and defending champion Maja Alm, pipped her by 17 seconds, denying Alexanderson the one individual World Championships gold medal she has yet to add to her collection.

Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen
Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen

As the rain intensified and turning into a storm, the Men’s race got underway. The cobbles by this stage had turned slick, and competitors were gingerly taking the corners around the old town. There was initial hope that this would curb the issues of the crowds, but there was no such luck.

Peter Hodkinson got things underway for the British Men and held his own in the tough conditions. A couple of errors crept into his run, though it seemed less problematic than his qualification this morning. Into the finish, he was second, 20 seconds down on the lead of Martin Hubmann (SUI), but would eventually slip to 29th –  way down on his 13th from last year. Chris Smithard was next out of the gate, and the script ran similarly to that of his teammate Peter. Though not a disaster, the competition at this level is extremely tight, and Chris would fall to 35th place by the end of the day, just not having his best day in the office – again, way down on last year’s 14th. With both though, they have confirmed their quality, with such placings from sub-optimal performances.

The main British hope of the day had to be the final GBR starter, Kristian Jones. Coming into this race, Kris was one of the hot favourites for the gold medal, and a medal was all he was aiming for. He started well, and despite an early slip, was in touch at the first split. Then, disaster struck. In the complex alleyways in the central section of the course, Kris got confused by a section of mapping which was far from clear and headed inadvertently into a restaurants kitchen – needless to say all those involved were slightly shocked. The lack of clarity on the map can often throw runners, but the glaring error here didn’t only catch out Kris but several others as well. He pushed on regardless and was still in touch, but a bad error on the 16th towards the end of the course cost him that real top result he was after. It would be 10th in the end and a 12 month wait for another chance at the title for Kris.

Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen
Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen
Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen

In the fight for gold though it was nail-biting. With the storm taking down the electrics and TV screen in the arena, it was hard to keep track of each runner in such a furious, fast and chaotic sprint, but Daniel Hubmann stormed into the lead having started with just a third of the field left to follow him 20 seconds ahead of his teammate Andreas Kyburz. So often having played second fiddle to his brother Mattias, today was Andreas’ day, seeing off repeated challenges to his podium spot, and clinching a bronze medal, despite a late charge from Belgian Yannick Michels, who finished a mere 0.6 seconds down in 4th. It was New Zealander Tim Robertson who would pose the biggest challenge to Hubmann though, trading the lead with him the entire way around the course, but just came up short at the end, finishing 1.1 seconds off the lead to take home a thoroughly deserved silver medal and allowing Hubmann to retain his title.

Results:

Women:

1. Maja Alm, Denmark, 2. Tove Alexandersson, Sweden, 3. Judith Wyder, Switzerland

GBR: Alice Leake – 8th, Charlotte Ward – 24th, Megan Carter-Davies – 28th

Men:

1. Daniel Hubmann, Switzerland, 2. Tim Robertson, New Zealand, 3. Andreas Kyburz, Switzerland

GBR: Kristian Jones – 10th, Peter Hodkinson – 29th, Chris Smithard – 35th.

 

Mixed Sprint Relay:

Tomorrow sees the Mixed Sprint Relay, and the final sprint discipline of the week takes place. GBR will again be going to a medal results, but it will be tough with so many nations on top-form. The team has yet to be released, but we will put it up online as soon as we know it.

Thank you to all those who have got involved on Twitter, hopefully, I will have better WiFi coverage tomorrow.

Will Gardner

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