# O-Ringen 2019

O-Ringen, 2019

by Geoff Mead

With over 30 NWOC and AOC orienteers at Oringen this year, there was quite a NZ contingent. Every orienteer needs to go to an O-Ringen event at least once in their orienteering career. O-Ringen is the world's largest orienteering adventure - an annual five-day competition in Sweden. About 18,000 competitors, with 10,000 camping at the O-Ringen campsite / event centre.  The 2019 event was held in Norrköping, about 3 hours train travel west of Stockholm. Four long events, one middle and a chasing start on the last day. NWOC was well represented and shared a corner of the giant campsite with AOC and other NZ orienteers. We had a great time both socially and with the orienteering challenges. Clubs are grouped together with similar start times, so you can travel and hike to the start with your club mates.

Takeaways from the event…….

  • Challenging O terrain, both physically and technically. The white Swedish forest is what we would often map as light green forest. It is typically rocky under foot with knee high vegetation. Long legs with few track options or catching features. Lots of rock features, marshes, hills all the same size. There are some map snippets below. We all came away better orienteers and the impression that orienteering in NZ is often “soft”. Our NZ carpet-like underfoot conditions in our sand dune forests, track networks in our plantation forests, all too easy. We need to toughen up if we are going to compete in the Scandinavian home of orienteering.
  • The phenomenal number of good orienteers and the depth in the grades. We could never ever imagine doing the winners’ times. So many super fit and expert orienteers. I guess a Swedish rugby team would feel the same visiting NZ? A completed course with no DNF / MP was a good outcome for a standard NWOC club member.
  • Marquita did however display her excellent bike and orienteering skills by winning the MTBO event in her age group!
  • The organisation and logistics, so good. We think 500 people is a big event, well 18,000 is big. Fleets of buses to get people to the events (no need for your own car), many starts, long walks (up to 3km) to the starts, many finish chutes. See the picture below of one of the event centres. You had to go down the finish chute that matched the sponsor of your competition class.
  • The O gear shops, the communal showers (segregated by gender) – well, the event is in Sweden. Good salad bars in the supermarket replaced eating in restaurants.
  • What a great O experience and holiday.
  • Map snippets and event centre photo below.


And some more photos of NW member at O-Ringen

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