# Nationals 2021

New Zealand Orienteering Championships - Day 1: Sprint

Neil McGowan (AOC) via FB 

"We were warned. The bulletin update mentioned there would be impassable barriers at Long Bay College, and they didn't lie. They were everywhere. Straight away from the start triangle, those barriers caused carnage and you couldn't even read the map in those dark run-through corridors. It was a great variance worthy of a National Championships. And just as you were getting used to them, a map flip and more carnage.

Then a long down hill run to the Long Bay primary school and another set of complexities before a bush bash and a very visible to the public sprint finish."

"What a lovely day for a Sprint at Nationals. An unusual feature of the event was the extensive use of artificial barriers

to obfusticate route choice. We had winners, and some not-so-winners.” Wellington Orienteering - via Facebook

New Zealand Orienteering Championships - Day 2: Long

Neil McGowan (AOC) via FB 

"We’d been excited for twelve months at the prospect of a new area of Woodhill Forest being mapped and the warnings of the complexity were well placed. The Long is always a tough affair and adding to North West Orienteering Club's history of putting on difficult events meant we were in for a treat.

Right from the start, we were thrown in to an immediate hill climb to get the lungs bursting. A difficult second leg over very unusual land formations caused carnage and then in to difficult sparse green vegetation, then a trip along the complex coastal strip. Map flip with long leg complexity in to the highly technical native bush, with contours everywhere. Route choice was absolutely key.

Out of the forest at the end and many were fooled with tiredness around the farm and some big mistakes occurred. A great long course befitting a National Championships."


New Zealand Orienteering Championships - Day 3: Middle

Neil McGowan (AOC) via FB 

"The guidance to sample the model map was ringing in our ears from the day before. The extra hour of the clocks going back was discarded to get up to the event and make sure the model map was undertaken. Complex landforms and knolls everywhere built the trepidation of another challenging affair to follow.

Short walk to the start and a beautiful open Woodhill downhill forest location, 30 seconds later and in to the low visibility up and down complex terrain. Many stories of over-cautiousness leading to mistakes and inaccurate compass work causing delays. Loads of controls everywhere causing airs of frustration and some seemingly straightforward controls catching out even some of the elites with large mistakes.

A run-through in to even more complex terrain and some seemingly easy late legs causing mistakes through fatigue." 

New Zealand Orienteering Championships - Day 4: Relay

Neil McGowan (AOC) via FB 

"Je suis fatigue… The problem with being given three of the best possible challenges that orienteering can provide is the fact that Day Four comes along with the relay. I certainly was not the only person that turned up with a strong sense of tiredness and a slight fear of the day ahead. The relay is an entirely different psychological challenge and the sense of team really drives you through the difficult exhausting moments.

A number of the Auckland contingent have enjoyed a couple of Rogaines on the Kereta Farm in recent years but it really didn’t help, the brilliant setting of the multiple controls on the tea tree ridge over the water was outstanding and a challenge for even the most confident orienteer. It was a day of trusting your compass and simply not switching off, not easy as the intensity and mental stimulation of the previous days started to catch up."

A massive Thank-you!

The weather gods were smiling, the Covid-19 demons stayed quiet, the locations were stunning and the orienteering courses challenging, but above all:

He Tāngata, He Tāngata, He Tāngata -

It is the people, the people, the people, who made these Nationals so successful.

An event this size relies on countless volunteers: the bank-account checker, the dedicated startlists' creator, the guys with the four-wheel drives, the ONZ-support, the mappers, the volunteer-roster-composer, our very competent-and-sometimes-cheeky team of setters and controllers, the kind ladies from registration, the flexible day-coordinators, the tireless map collectors, the set-up/pack down team members, the attention-to-detail start team, the cool-under pressure timing team, the amazing control-collectors, the invoice-payer and everybody else who helped out making this event special!

For more photos, please head to our dedicated NZOC2021 Facebook page: great photos by Joolz Moore, Thomas Stolberger, Annemarie Hogenbirk and others, giving a really good impression of the joy, the frustration, and the camaraderie! Also, a very funny video of the taming of a toilet tent, starring ONZ's GM...

Some of the NWOC team still smiling after the relay on Monday.

Winning club members

Congratulations to all our club members who placed in the top 3 following successful racing at Nationals.

Sprint M10 - First place Quinn Harris
  M21E - Third place Daniel Monckton
  W21A - First place Maddie Longson
  W40A - First place Madeleine Collins
  M45A - Third place Shaun Collins
  W50A - First place Marquita Gelderman
  W60A - Second place Phillippa Poole
  W70A - Third place Lorri O'Brien
  M70A - Third place Rob Garden
  M75A - Second place Chris Gelderman



Relay Mixed Open - Second place Cameron de L'Isle / Renee Beveridge / Daniel Monckton
  Mixed Veterans - Third place Geoff Mead / Phillippa Poole / Dave Middleton
  Open Short - Second place Alan Janes / Suzanne stolberger / Alex Monckton

Orienteering NZ Awards

It was fabulous to see four North West members receive awards at the Orienteering NZ prize-giving held at NZOC2021 over the weekend. Congratulations to:

  • Marquita Gelderman, recognised as a volunteer for her contribution to all things technical for ONZ.
  • Gene Beveridge, named Coach of the Year with special recognition of the innovation he has brought to the role with the Leg by Leg coaching video series.
  • Annemarie Hogenbirk, Administrator of the Year for her tireless work as Secretary of NWOC and organising multiple events (not to mention the 2021 Nationals).
  • Owen Means - inaugural recipient of the ONZ Innovation Award - recognising his development of the Enter O software that provides an on-line entry facility for orienteering and other events. 

Congratulations to you all!

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