This blog is in recess. New contributions will still appear from time to time and new contributors are welcome. Check out and the facebook o scene for your regular online orienteering fix.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Evolving Squad Performance idea...evolves

Hey, have just finished updating the squad performance spreadsheet, here

Has made me even more determined to follow up on that idea regarding continuous improvement of standards. An average in the 120's is not good enough. To overcome the problem of feeding new people into the squad we could keep the entry level standard at 125...they then get exposed to the elite scene and encouragement to improve, they then have targets over the next few years to remain in the squad...while people who are in the squad have to maintain their standards... Neil has expressed an interest in helping develop this, so hopefully we will get a chance to work on it while over in Oz

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Welcome to the World Karin Prince!

In big squad news, Karin Prince was born this week, quite big and long apparently and with dark hair. Mum was heard to say, "that was much easier than an adventure race" while Dad was just stoked she has 10 fingers and 10 toes. A very cute little baby by all accounts although she does seem to have inherited the blank stare of Dad rather than the sparkling eyes of Mum. Go you good things!

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Some video footage from akld champs

Heres something I found on youtube, some hard men orienteering ;-) at either end with a dorky adventure racer wearing pajamas prattling on the middle.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Whats Going On

Ok, so I'm nice and refreshed after a non o or ar driven weekend, relaxing playing golf/tennis etc, bringing a bit of balance back into life... So not quite sure whats going on, or if there were any events to report from. I do know that with a few others I'm off to Oz at the end of the week, should be a blast. As always wish I was a bit fitter. Route Gadget is up from the Akld Long, please draw your routes, we need to get into the habit of doing so for all of our benefits...I know that other countries use this technology so we can't let ourselves slip behind. Stuff I'm slowly working away on includes: evolving squad standards, timetrials, self assessment sheet, feb training weekend. So keep your eyes open for new developments in the squad. Random picture is Whanakao, the 2nd highest mountain on the east cape and a goal for my next free weekend!

Leg 3: Akld Middle

Ok so you can't win an o race in the first three controls...but you can sure lose it and plenty of the field was out of the reckoning after leg 3 of the akld middle. In my little excerpt the purple line swerving off to the left represents the common mistake made by people without decent plans. They were trying to hit a linear feature (either the line of hills or the depression before the control) on quite an acute the lines they were trying to hit were parallel with their direction of travel, so no potential for safety/aiming off etc. My route choice indicated by the pink lines and arrows was slightly better. I decided to read the tracks and used the track bend (admittingly vague and inaccurate) as an ap and a definite place to turn so at least I was hitting those linear features perpendicular (although I foolishly didn't aim off and wasted a little bit of time relocating) Looking back at a better/safer way of doing it, another possibility may be going further right and using a few obvious features,A, B, C along with the vague tracks to read your way into the control. Dudes you have to have a plan!!!

Friday, 21 September 2007

Focus on Starts

Ok, so a little bit of focus on starts...although maybe we should all be listening to Jack Vincents thoughts judging by how he nailed the first 5-6 controls at the Akld Middle... Haven't been orienteering for a while, what are you thinking about? Some ideas?

1) Making quick positive contact

2) starting slowly to get into the scale, style of the map

3) Making sure you have a plan

4) Staying in the moment to deal quickly with the unexpected

My first two controls, hadn't orienteered for three I know what I am doing...start beep...1) sweet this is a short compass leg, careful rough compass, look up, run hard to other side of track, check compass enter forest...unexpected detail before control but keep going...sweet. 2) how to do this easy, bearing to clearing, onto track, reading detail, knolls etc, informal tracks everywhere... getting to grips with map, two round hills contour round them to the right, nice. Spike on second hill. Good carefull, yet fast orienteering

Night Nav

The Southerly Storm remnants have been busy organising the annual Night Nav event which fundraises for their super series travel...sounds like tis being a success with numbers growing each week, check out the site at some maps there also for a bit of route selection practice.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Auckland Champs

Hey yeah, so the Auckland Champs, it happened! It was awesome orienteering, not really an event as such, just plain out awesome, challenging orienteering, then we went home and had lunch. Star of the weekend was Neil, tearing the field apart in the long distance. Rachel was as always, all class in the ladies and the juniors failed to fire in elite...although I'm sure that won't take long.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Waiuku OY

Map kindly provided by Nick Harris after he eased past Mark in the weekend...some comments...

6) Nick aimed of to the right to hit the reentrant, nice plan 7) Nick attempted to attack off end of track, possible alternative top of hill as track ends/bends typically much less precise feature. 8) hard leg, need for disciplined compass straight to control on slope. If not spot on should be able to relocate on slope given the curve. If no backstop then would need to look at soem form of distance judgement...time/paces etc 9) compass leg 10)straight on compass, relocating when cross stream. Possible mental error here from Nick, need to dominate that moment when the stream appears.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Theres a lot of hot air in Taupo

Squad Weekend Taupo

So a quick summary of what went down. Training, a couple of good solid runs round the local Taupo tracks, what an awesome area, wish that was in my backyard. Also a nice interval session which I will write up later on. Socialising a bit of general chatting and beer drinking and watching rugby. Next time I'm going to organise a themed costume party.

Discussion outcomes, plans from here:

1) the shifting squad standard idea. some disagreement mainly from people questioning whether raising standards for the squad would lead to increased motivation. General support from more motivated squad members. Jamie to raise idea with Carsten, others

2) individual continuous improvement idea: general agreement on actions: performance spreadsheet to be kept up, self assessment forms to be developed and athletes to be expected to engage in process, route gadget use to be developed (Martin) and athletes to be expected to record routes for self and peer benefit.

3)squad activities idea: plenty of discussion, people against staying together at nationals, but for it at other times. Like idea annual get together aug/sept maybe associated with tough guy, perhaps focus on physical goals in future rather than O. Jamie to look to organise o weekend late feb, asociated with running race of some kind, preferably one that can be replicated year on year.

4)Developing squad ownership/leadership: General understanding, after some confusion, that we can achieve more with everyone contribution. Its not about building up brownie points, its about contributing to a positive community. Jamie to monitor activities and to continue to encourage squad members to create training opportunities for each other 5) Likelihood of smaller more competitive WOC teams: discussed, general recognition that WOC teams will be hard to get into and perhaps smaller teams with the top athletes running most is the best way forward, although this remains in selectors hands. 6) WOC Training Tour: given competitive nature of WOC selection need to look at more sanctioned opportunities to get people European experience...fall back option if they don't make the world champs as done by NZ Triathlon etc. Neil keen to help, potential timetable to be created for 2008 tour, Jamie to investigate official sanctioning.

Friday, 7 September 2007


On my request from the Smithsonic.. Here is a brief something for you Jamie.... The Papo OY 5 was held on the tricky sanddunes at Woodend beach. It was a pretty fast course which stayed pretty much in the open forest, with only a couple of legs in hellish blackberry. Both Aaron and I had pretty good runs, with most of the other men making at least one large mistake, putting them out of contention. Georgia had a good run, winning the women's grade. Control #20 near the end of the course seemed to trip up quite a few people. I was aiming to hit the large open depression to the north of the control, but carelessly ended further north than intended and was all confused. Fortunately after a short bit of aimless circling and wandering I identified the light green area surrounding the control and consequently the control itself. Time lost: ~90s aaargh. Aaron too had problems, and went sailing off too far south - all the way to the man made feature 150m away to relocate. Results: (if I remember correctly... I'm sure they will arrive on the Papo website eventually) Michael Smithson 65 Aaron Prince 68 Alistair Cory-Wright 85 Matt Scott 86 Georgia Whitla 92 Dennis DeMonchy 93 Jenni Adams 95 Lara Prince 96

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Former squad member produces offspring

Hannah Hudson was born Monday afternoon, weighing 2.66 kg, she was reported as having an unfortunate resemblance to her father.

8) A focussed high quality training environment

Do we have this...certainly not. The way this is worded suggests more team sports, where athletes train together often in a defined place. Our place or environment as a squad is much more dispersed and unstructured. We have constraints on the ammount we can get together and on the specific training we can do. This means, in my opinion, we need to concentrate more on the links that bind us together, common purpose/goals, regional events, and dare I say it the internet. We must create our focussed high quality training environment not by turning up on time to the gym every day but by working together, but apart, towards common goals.