Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Thanks for reading the blog, posts got a little slow during the jwoc week, just a reflection of how busy we were. We appreciate all of your comments, the trip this year was amazing, and we have many more stories to share once we are home.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Jourdan and Tom went out first. Both having fairly good runs, just a little bit of the pace.
Kate and Nicola went off for the girls relay teams. Kate came in about mid field and Nicola just a little bit behind.
Toby, in the second boys team, had a really good run, catching up to Scott, which meant that Simon and Andrew went out on leg three about 30 seconds apart. In the girls relay both teams were fairly consistent with each team member having about the same time for their leg.
The map was fast and had a few technical sections. The start was the part of the course that caught most of us out. It was really technical with lots of rocks and contour detail.
The course also had something which hardly anyone had done before and that was that we had a map "change". This meant that when you got to the first spectator control your first side of your map ran out and you ran to a new start triangle and turned over your map and did the rest of your course. The reason for the map change was that we had controls that were on the same part of the map and this made the map less busy and easier to understand.
One thing that we have all found out is that the Italians love long runs to the start triangle, long finish shoots and also long spectator legs. The long spectator leg after the second radio control was the worst. It was a gradual uphill run in an open field and everyone could see you!!
The European teams fought out the top places and the boys race was really close with second place only about 30 seconds behind.
The boys relay was won by Sweden and the top New Zealand team was about midfield - the boys can't remember. In the girls Switzerland won and the top New Zealand girls were 13th.
In the Overall country competition New Zealand ended up 10th - the best that we have ever done!
It has been a good week that has gone by so fast. Well Done to Everyone and thanks to all your support and encouragement during the competition!
Ciao Rachel and Nicola
Friday was the middle Final and the map was called “San Martino – Centro.” The starts of the races were in the same place but went in an opposite direction to the Qualification races.
The B and C Finals headed off first, followed by the A final. Competitors were numbered according to their places, so the fastest qualifier started last. This made for interesting racing.
All the finals had similar courses, but the A finals had a spectator pivot control, which made it more spectator friendly. Today’s map was much more technical that yesterday, with a lot of rock and contour detail towards the end.
In the girls A final, Tove Alexandersson from Sweden took out first place and the three Kiwi girls were all about 10minutes behind her. All agreed that there was room for improvement. In the B final Nicola had a good race, and Rachel and Greta had early mistakes, meaning that they were a bit off the pace.
In the boys, Tom had a fairly clean race with only a few small errors and all the other boys were about midfield.
Watching the A final, especially the last few runners was definitely a highlight. It was amazing to see the speed that some of them travel through the forest at. The boys had great fun cheering on the runners, in all kinds of languages as we were socializing with other teams.
Overall it was a fairly good day and most people were pleased with the end results.
Now there is just the relay to go.
The relay teams are;
Ciao Kate and Rachel
The middle qualification was Thursday. The map was “San Martino-Nord” which was a 30min bus ride up the valley of Primiero. The way that the middle qualification works is that there are three people starting together and each of those three people are on one of three courses, which are called heats. Which course you get is completely random. The top 20 from each heat qualify into the A final, the next 20 the B and the rest into the C.
The courses were fast, as the expected wining time was 20mins – meaning that the girls needed to do a km rate of about 6mins and the boys 4.5mins. It was pretty much a downhill course, with minimal climb compared to the step terrain that we were in.
The middle map was much cleaner underfoot than the long and the weather was significantly better too!! The start of the race greeted us with a nice 270m run to the start triangle. The courses had a fast, easy start with a bit of route choice. Then a more technical section in the middle of the course that was around a creek bed. The end of the courses reminded us of home, as it was steep clean pine forest.
The most nerve-racking part of the races was the wait. The wait for the last runners to come in, the wait for the names to move on the board and the wait for the final results.
In the girls, Angela managed to qualify for the A final in 19th position, Kate and Georgia were in heat C and they both also qualified for the A final. Nicola, in heat B, narrowly missed out by about a minute and her, Greta and Rachel made the B final.
In the boys, Tom and Jourdan just missed out on the A final, due to the last few runners knocking them out of the top 20 positions. All the other boys had fairly consistent runs and managed to make the top 40 in their heats. This meant that all the New Zealand boys qualified for the B final.
Good Luck to all those in the A final.
Rachel and Kate
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Four seasons in one day today! Jourdan left for his 10am start in beautiful sunshine, he even managed to finish his race before the rain came. Those of us in the middle of the day were waiting with Mark at the pre start when the clouds rolled up from the far side of the Passo. The top of the hill disappeared and so did Mt Doom (one of the mountains). Then came the rain just before Simon arrived, complete with his jandals. Andrew, Simon and Kate settled down in the bivvy bag as the water began to flow through the tent.
Meanwhile the forest had been transformed by the water, streams were high, everything was boggy and the mist had rolled into the clearings. Those at the finish were trying to keep dry, in an increasingly boggy event area. We had the luck to get first and last start today so we were waiting until the end to see Andrew finishing under clear skies once again.
We found today’s map heaps of fun. The newer version with the Lidar contours and remapped rocks made the area so technical into the circle. The long legs posed problems with very few tracks to provide an easy option. Most of us used the streams on the map (though this got harder with the weather closing in). The vegetation varied from sparse trees down to tight small trees in some places. The rain made the slopes really slippery to traverse and bare rock really slick. The first control caught out quite a lot of people because it required lots of concentration right from the triangle.
Greta and Kate had great runs in the girls. Greta came in 19th. She said that her run had lots of hesitation and caution, which no doubt helped avoid a big error. Kate was 22nd after a great run right near the end of the girls start block. She had some great early time checks but lost out a little to mistakes near the end. I was best boy in 31st. I lost 2 minutes at 1 and had some more errors throughout. Quite surprised at the spread of the boys times. Simon was next in 54th, after a couple of mistakes.
Results are up on www.jwoc2009.it, along with radio control times (look for Kate at the first radio in 6th!)
And man we can’t wait for the long!!!
Monday, July 6, 2009
We ate at our JWOC restaurant today for the first time. Its fair to say that we will not be going hungry, not to say we have been with Norms fantastic cooking! We now have a three course italian meal for lunch and dinner. Its good to see what the locals eat but we will have to be carefull to eat what we are comfortable with for the races.
Today is the sprint race. We got our start times last night which we are all reasonably happy with I think, they are posted on maptalk for you to see. Its raining this morning so we hope it will not be thunderstorms this afternoon. We are running between 3 and 6 this afternoon. There should be coverage up on the jwoc website (see the link on the side of this page). Unfortunatly this race is not at the best time for you in NZ to watch! Everyone is trying to keep calm this morning and turn our nerves into excitement about the race ahead. I know I just want to have a clean run and orienteer the way I know how to.
Bye for now