Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club

World Masters Orienteering Championships 2009, Sydney

Four ESOC members went to Australia for WMOC 2009: Ian Pyrah (club captain), Eleanor Pyrah, Janice Nisbet and Brian Yates.

The World Masters is an annual event, open to anyone who is 35 or over. There are over 1000 competitors from 32 countries, with more than 100 from Great Britain. ESOC members Ian and Eleanor Pyrah, Janice Nisbet and Brian Yates were there.

The sprint events were held in urban parkland with open areas, buildings, gardens, tracks and many changes of vegetation – the courses included classic urban sprint orienteering with some challenging route choice and intricate navigation.
The Sprint Qualifier was on Saturday 10 October, at Macquarie University in Sydney’s northern suburbs. In M65, Ian came 17th and Brian came 56th in their heat (there were 2 heats for M65); in W55, Janice came 18th; in W65, Eleanor came 6th. Ian, Janice and Eleanor qualified for the A final in their class.
The Sprint Final was on Sunday 11 October at Sydney Olympic Park, scene of the 2000 Olympic Games. Ian came 19th in M65A; Brian came 36th in M65B; Janice came 22nd in W55A and Eleanor came 7th in W65A – some excellent results in very competitive fields.

The long distance events were in the Blue Mountains, NW of Sydney, in terrain described as follows: “predominantly gully spur terrain with some areas of sandstone rock outcrops. Vegetation is open eucalypt forest with very little undergrowth. Visibility is very good and runnability is fast. There are some steeper areas but most of the terrain has gentle slopes.”

For the qualification races, competitors in classes with more than 80 entrants were allocated to parallel A and B heats by a random draw. This applied to M65; W55 and W65 had fewer than 80 entrants.
Long Distance Qualifier 1 was on Wednesday 14 October, in Ben Bullen State Forest. In M65A (62 entrants), Ian came 15th and Brian came 51st; in W55 (77 entrants), Janice came 7th; in W65 (53 entrants), Eleanor came 11th.
Long Distance Qualifier 2 was on Thursday 15 October, in Clandulla State Forest. In M65A (59 entrants), Ian came 25th and Brian unfortunately mispunched; in W55 (67 entrants), Janice came 8th; in W65 (51 entrants), Eleanor came 29th.
The overall Long Distance Qualifier results were:
M65A - Ian 25th, Brian mp in 2nd qualifier;
W55 - Janice 8th; W65 - Eleanor 25th.
Ian, Janice and Eleanor qualified for the A final in their respective classes.

The Long Distance Final took place on Saturday 17 October in Clandulla State Forest, and it was reported to be a very warm day, with challenging terrain. According to the event programme, the area has a series of deep valleys with many impassable cliffs, numerous boulders, narrow passages and other rock detail. The forest is generally open, with some thicker vegetation and rocky ground in places. There are many watercourses and termite mounds.
Ian came 34th in M65A; Brian was non-placed in M65B, having mispunched in one of the qualifiers (but came 7th out of the 16 non-competitive entrants); Janice came 26th in W55A; Eleanor came 22nd in W65A.

For full results and more information about the event, see the WMOC 2009 website.
There are also some interesting news items on the British Orienteering website about the Sprint Final, the Long Qualifiers and the Long Final.

Updated 18th Oct 09