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Saturday, 6 June 2009

Orienteering to AR...its just a different scale

One of the highlights of the recent Super Series finale was the presentation of National orienteering squad stalwart and World Adventure Racing Champion Brent Edwards to a packed hall of competitors in Wharepapa. Brent outlined the incredible success of his adventure racing team "Orion Health Adventure" from novices to World Champions.

Its a great story. After failing to finish the 2005 World Championships in New Zealand, the team finished 6th, then 3rd, then 1st in the next three editions; Sweden, Scotland and Brazil. They will defend their title this year in Portugal. Brent went over some of the key lessons they had learned (as if I would repeat them to this audience:-)), some of the difficulties they had faced and backed it up with some incredible video footage from the World Champs and other races they have completed like the famous Primal Quest. The best footage isn't available on the web, but I found a photo presentation below from the Scottish race.

Alongside the JWOC team heading off to the Dolomites it must have been a great inspiration for the young people present to see some of the places and challenges navigation sport can confront you with. And Brent isn't alone, at least five members of the National Squad have podiumed in either the World Championship or Primal Quest, with Chris Forne (arguably our best orienteer currently;-)) also a key member of the Nike adventure racing team. There is no limit on this earth to the places orienteering can lead you to.

Chris Forne in the process of winning Primal Quest

Brent was asked a few questions after the session, including some on the differences in navigation, "quite similar just a different scale and different stresses", but for any that are thinking about having a bit of a practice at the longer stuff check out this earlier posting I wrote on topo map navigation, or just get out there on the hills with a map in hand, nothing beats a few lessons through experience!

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