Today the World University Orienteering Championships (WUOC) kick off in Alicante in sunny southern Spain. This year Australia is fielding a strong team of 10 athletes.
The mens team includes Murray Scown (ACT), Matt Parton (NSW), Oliver Crosato (QLD) and Aaron Breed (QLD/VIC).
The womens team includes Aislinn Prendergast (VIC), Rachel Effeney (QLD), Ilka Barr (VIC), Laurina Neumann (QLD), Bridget Anderson (QLD) and Lauren Gillis (SA).
The athletes and coaching staff of Evan Barr and Simon Upphill have spent the last few days in Alicante acclimatising to the to the warm dry conditions, the late afternoon siestas and the street rioting that occurs when the host country wins the European Football Cup during the carnival.
The racing kicks off tonight (tuesday night Australian Eastern Standard time) with the Long distance and with the mens race including over 700m of climb it should prove to be a tough day out for all.
This year clashes with the World Championships and the Junior World Championships have meant the some of the traditionally stronger countries are not sending full strength teams. This fact combined with competition terrain that is not dissimilar to Australian terrain means that the Aussie team could well post some great results.