Well spring has arrived, and disappeared again in some parts of the country. The 2nd major orienteering carnival for 2011 kicks off this weekend with the Wangaratta to Cooma via Wagga Wagga Oceania Carnival. The Victorian events- The Oceania Long and Middle Distance races have gone to major lengths to ensure the races will be of the highest quality for both athletes and spectators, with live GPS tracking being used for the first time in Australia. If you can’t make the event be sure to check out the event website and orienteering.asn.au for reports, or follow the coverage onFacebook or Twitter.
SILVA National Orienteering League update
There are 5 rounds of the 2011 SILVA National Orienteering League remaining, including 4 individual races and concluding with the Oceania Relay Championships next Sunday. In the Junior women’s class Belinda Lawford (ACT) has been the standout competitor this season. While there is a small mathematical chance of being beaten, Lawford’s 68point lead is unlikely to be challenged by 2nd placed Krystal Neumann (QLD) and Amy Buckerfield (TAS). The Queensland Cyclones are leading the teams competition on 79 points with Tasmania still a threat on 69 points and ACT fighting to hang onto 3rd with 47points,
Oliver Poland (ACT) is leading the very competitive Junior Men’s with 233 points from team mate Ian Lawford (222) and Oscar Phillips (214, TAS) not far behind. Lawford and ACT’s Lachlan Dow are likely to challenge for the lead by the end of the competition with some low scores to drop from their total. The strong ACT boys team has teams competition under control from Tasmania and 3rd place Victoria Nuggets.
In the Women’s elite class Vanessa Round (SA) is holding a 1point lead over Victorian Kathryn Ewels, and team mate Jasmine Neve another 5points behind in 3rd. This 3 way battle for the win should be a cracker, and the winner should be the one who pulls a few wins in the final rounds rather than consistent performances. The Victorian Women’s team has an unassailable lead over the Canberra Cockatoos and Southern Arrows.
With #1 ranked Julian Dent missing from the local scene for most of 2011 (and now residing in Stockholm, Sweden) the battle in the men’s class has been between Aussie Boomerang teammates Simon Uppill (SA) and Rob Preston(NSW). ACT legend Grant Bluett got the better of his younger rivals at Easter 2011 and Dave Shepherd (ACT) will make a return to elite competition and keep the field honest. With at 38point lead Uppill already has one hand on the trophy. In the teams competition, NSW Stingers have a slender 4point lead over Canberra Cockatoos, with Victorian Nuggets in 3rd place another 9 points behind. The Stingers have held the title for 2 years, but this class won’t be decided until the final race- the Oceania Relays.