Australia just lost the Individual Australia-New Zealand Challenge, 31 classes to 29 over the three days, but tied the relay 10-10, ending a run of unbroken home success in the Challenge which extended back to 1994.
The Oceania Long Distance Championships saw New Zealand win 11-9, a decisive result given the tied score coming into the event. It was a very close-run thing. In a result as close as this, there are always some ‘what might have been?’ stories; New Zealand won M50 by 15 seconds, and also had less than a minute in hand in M40.
The locals also looked to have won the relay by the narrowest possible margin, but the disqualification of the New Zealand M20 team (for taking a wrong map) made it a 10-10 result. Ultimately critical were two close results in the women’s events; Nicola Dalheim won a sprint finish in W45, and Anna Hyslop held off a fast-finishing Jenni Adams by less than a minute in W40.
Australia had a long list of individual Oceania Champions in the Long Distance. Race winners in A classes were Kylian Wymer (M12), Jarrah Day (M16), Bruce Arthur (M35), Geoff Lawford (M55), Nick Dent (M60), Gordon Howitt (M80), Alyssia Wymer (W10), Cathy Hogg (W35), Jenny Bourne (W50), Robin Uppill (W55), Valerie Barker (W60), Ann Ingwersen (W70) and Maureen Ogilvie (W80), while Grace Crane (W21E) and Oliver Poland (M20) also took Oceania titles while finishing second behind European opposition.
While the open classes were not Challenge classes this year because of the World Cup, Australia also took the Oceania title in both elite races. Simon Uppill, Rob Preston and Chris Naunton were second behind an Italian-Austrian combination, while Aislinn Prendergast, Susanne Casanova and Kathryn Preston were first across the line.
The World Cup continues on Sunday in the Hawke’s Bay region, while for other classes there are events on both days of the weekend.
Australian Schools Orienteering Team
Friday Evening saw the Australian Schools Orienteering Team join the Swedish World Cup Team for an impromptu get together in Napier. The Juniors were welcomed into the Swedish Team meeting to meet and mingle with some of the world’s best Orienteers. The Swedish team were seen having photos with our juniors as well as signing various bits of memorabilia. The schools team also got to chat with their various idols in what was a highlight for the schools team.