Monday, August 30, 2010

A Fine 2nd for Lawrence

The NSW School Champs were held on Sunday 29th August in Belanglo State Forest. Lawrence scored a very fine 2nd place in Boys 14A

There were a few solid performances in the accompanying State League Event.
With Rick Stele , Dave Lotty, Jane McKenna and Maureen Ogilvie 1st in their age classes. Dave Mckenna, Anne Darvodelsky and Ian Jones 2nd and Lisa picked up a hard fought 4th place.
well done to all.
With The NSW Championships a couple of weeks away the Uringa contingent should be at near full strength.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The rain in Spain fell in Latvia

Hello all - as Gayle and I prepare for the long haul home I thought I would fill in time by some thoughts on Latvia.
For both of us it was a bit of a shock brought on by ignorance that Latvia was still under the control of USSR until 1990s after their takeover in the 1940's. With over 800,000 soviets being resettled in latvia one can understand all the Russian looking writing and machinery. Having travelled in Estonia and Lithuania it was a similar story here. I have not yet looked but I would say that Latvia is a poor country. There were so many buildings in a very poor state of repairs and the roads were interesting.
That said the people were delightful and many readily responded to a smiling hello.
Like all of Europe there are buildings centuries old and cobblestone roads everywhere. the old town of Riga is very much living in history.
Food once was Latvian stodge but we ate heartily and well. Prices are quite cheap, especially after 10 days in Norway, and the quality very good.

We caught a bus into Riga from the airport, about 12kms, and it cost $1.40 each. We enjoyed Old Riga and the narrow winding streets full of history. The beer was great too!
We ventured both to the east and the west.
Driving along what they claim are major highways was a bouncy affair. In the middle of seemingly nowhere you came across a small town with a multi story apartments blocks, as well as factory buildings. Most of these were empty again signs of the demise of communisim.

Forget Bernard's Bakery in Bathurst we discovered Shirleys Bakery in Sigulda. Patries were 18c each and coffee, I am led to believe of excellent quality, was around $1. We ate well.

It rained often whilst we were in latvia which could account for water laying in fields. Fortunately it rained mainly at night.
We saw many areas of good orienteering country and some great areas for sprints but that was about as far as any thoughts of orienteering went.
We managed a trip to a Baltic Sea beach. Talk about bleak. the wind howling off the Baltic Sea remained cold and strong all day. There were 4 people who swam and the other three people on the beach were Gayle and I plus a guy sweeping up seaweed.

In Leipaja there were many two and three storey timber buildings which we have found to be unusual. Leipaja was a big naval town in the soviet years but now is much quieter. Lots and lots of empty buildings in vary state of degradation.
We have enjoyed our time in Latvia and are now planning where to go next time!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

WOC in Trondheim

Hello all from Trondheim Norway. We have just finished the WOC week and have had a most enjoyable time.

The weather was excellent with sunshine on all days and temperatures that dipped slightly into the low 20s. Trondheim is a beautiful coastal city surrounded by islands. Norway is a very expensive place to visit but I am looking forward to returning to explore the northern section of the country.

The terrain we ran on (WOC runners too) was varied with the first two days on very complex, marshy terrain. You quickly got used to having wet feet and very smelly clothes. The sprint was run in the old town and was great fun. Days 4 & 5 were on flatter, marshier area that featured a last minute dash down a steep hill to the finish. The area featured a huge ski jump and many courses saw legs go under the top of this massive feature. usually there is summer ski jumping but the jump is under repair right now.

The major feature of the terrain besides marshes was the higher land between the marshes. The land was quite bumpy and this was very distracting. As much as you tried it was hard to ignore the bumps. Vegetation also varied greatly with some very thick pine, long green grass and thickets.

The marshes were difficult to cross and one had to be very careful of the pits. Mind you I found out the hard way when after picking up my map I walked straight into a pit and ended up chest deep in bog. Fortunately some good soul jumped the fence and helped haul me out.

We used the emit punching system. It seems to be somewhat clumsy in use compared to SI. The bit you carry (called a brick) is large and can only go into the control unit in one direction and so you have to turn yourself around to punch. The have a piece of paper which you insert under the brick. Each control unit has a spike sticking up and leaves a pattern - good idea if your brick fails but judging by the number of pieces of paper littering the forest it is not very practical.

As far as Uringa performances went Maureen was first overall in her age group and Dick was in the top 10. Gayle and I both struggled with some of the navigation and had no result recorded in the final. Mind you Gayle completed her course on the last day but was after their course closure time as they had to set up the arena for the WOC Relays. I stomped off the map after having brain issues!

Attending a WOC Carnival is always a mixture of great fun and disappointment. You feel the disappointment of the aussie runners as they push themselves to the limit in many cases throwing caution to the wind and yet even then they struggle to get into the top half of the field. Mind you we had a number of runners in each of the finals.
To give you an idea of what we are up against there was a competition being run at the same time as the spectator events. It was for 12-18 year old. Each field had some 30-50 runners and these kids were treated like elites. The majority of each field were Norwegians. Interviews after completing their courses special prize givings etc. I guess only Linda could enlighten us more on the nature of these competitions.

The WOC relays were very exciting and whilst the women went out on the last leg with 3 teams in contention (The Swedish runner blew a 2 minute lead) the mens relay had 6 teams within 100 seconds. It was quite a fight and France blew their third relay in a row and the very happy Russians celebrated like champs in the finish chute.

We were able to catch up with Oystein and Vigdis who were members of Uringa in 1997,98. They live in Trondheim and we visited them in 1999 and were able to enjoy some time together again. Vigdis was a volunteer in the sanitary team looking after garbage etc. Oystein worked on timing and there was a squad of 30 looking after the technical needs of the event. The commentary team had 10 operators sitting behind them spotting worthwhile information.
From Trondheim the 20 plus aussie supporters headed in a variety of directions. Some were off to Scotland for more wet feet orienteering, some sightseeing in Norway and others were heading home, Gayle and I have a week or so in Latvia before heading back to Sydney at the end of the month.
We arrived in Latvia yesterday to 30degrees and a huge thunderstorm.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

WOC 2012 - Norway

At the moment, there is one highlight after the other taking place in Europe as far as orienteering is concerned. Tomorrow, 8 Aug, WOC kicks off in Trondheim with the sprint. Ron, Gayle, Dick and Maureen will be there to cheer on the Aussies.

WMOC 2012 - Long distance final

Result update of WMOC 2012:

1st Maureen Ogilvie W75B 43.40
Sorry, my mistake, thought Maureen had made the A final, didn't think they would put on 2 finals!!)

47th Dick Ogilvie M65A 1.06.30 (winning time: 45.23)

14th Sibylle Boos W40A 48.45 (winning time: 36.52 - winner won by about 5 minutes, I think she is ex elite)

The Australians picked up one medal with Jenny Bourne coming 3rd in W55A.

Well done, Uringa!!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Swiss O Tour 2012

Hot off the press ***** Just wanted to let you know (and help you with your planning of your holidays for 2010) that the 4th Swiss O Tour will be held that year prior to the World Championships in Lausanne. Apparently it will involve orienteering in 3 countries (I dare say probably Germany, Italy and of course CH). It will include the Italian part of Switzerland also known as Ticino, as well as Glacierworld, and will end in Lausanne for WOC.

The question is, will the Murphy's and Ogilvies make it 4 our of 4 participations ?????

World Masters (#2)

Great news for the Uringa camp at the World Masters; both Maureen and Dick made it to the A finals of their respective classes, W75 and M65 !! Our expat Sibylle has also made the A final in W40.

It appears that day 1 of the long distance qualifying took place in very runnable, open type, flat terrain as times seemed to be quite fast. Must have been tricky area though, as Maureen took 1h 44 mins to get around her course, while Dick was 18 mins down on the leader in his heat.
Sibylle put in a very solid race in her heat, but we know that she is good in these technical areas.

Day 2 of qualification in the long distance, saw Maureen putting in an excellent performance to come in 5th, only 10 minutes behind the leader, a massivly improved performance and she must really be in a chance for a medal now. Dick also had a great run, finishing 8th, 10 mins down on the leader. While Sibylle had another solid race in what I dare say was another technically challenging area.

The final kicks off Friday, 6th August and apart from our hopes for Maureen to medal, there are a few other Aussies who have great chances to get a podium finish: Tracy Bluett and Natasha Key (W35), Hermann Wehner (M85), Jenny Bourne (W55), and Warren Key (M50) who really dominated his heat.

Good luck, Maureen, Dick and Sibylle !!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

World Masters in Switzerland

Our die-hard orienteers, Maureen and Dick are on the orienteering circuit in Europe and have just completed their first race at the World Masters which are being held in the Western parts of Switzerland also known as the Jura. Well, before they head into the real technical areas, the sprint was first up and it's great to report that they both made the A-final. Here are the results:

Maureen W75A
10th / time: 16.10 (winning time: 13.09)

Dick M65A
54th / time: 17.44 (winning time: 13.48)

Sibylle B. W40A
26th / time: 15.46 (winning time: 12.07)

Australia has two new World Champions with Jenny Bourne winning convincingly in W55A and Herman Wehner in M85A. Jenny had already been doing extremly well in the Swedish 5-day were she was mixing in with the podium placings! Warren and Natasha Key are becoming regulars in taking home medals for their country, with Warren in 3rd and Natasha in 2nd.