Riga, Latvia, 5 - 12 July
The World Masters is an annual event, open to anyone who is 35 or over. This year, it took place in Riga, the capital of Latvia, which lies on the Gulf of Riga, at the mouth of the Daugava river. The historic city centre is a World Heritage site, noted for its Art Nouveau and 19th Century wooden architecture.
There were over 3,700 competitors. The WMOC now has three orienteering disciplines: Sprint, Middle Distance and Long Distance. Races were spread over the week, with qualification races and also model events for each discipline.
The qualifying event was held on Saturday 6 July in Dzegužkalns, an urban area of private and multi-apartment residential housing and a park, in the western part of the city. There were multiple heats in each age class, and the number of competitors qualifying for each final was defined to split the competitors evenly between the finals. ESOC competitors had mixed fortunes:
A Final: Helena Nolan (W50), Ian Pyrah (M75), Eleanor Pyrah (W75)
B Final: Mark Wood (M50), Richard Oxlade (M60), Anne Hickling (W60)
C Final: Ronnie Nolan (M50), Anne Hoy (W60), Janice Nisbet (W65), Brian Yates (M75)
The Sprint Final was on Sunday 7 July, at Vecriga, in the old city centre, on the east side of the river. There were many cobbled streets and narrow alleyways. Unfortunately there was a problem: a door to an alleyway was unexpectedly closed, which affected many courses, and almost all age classes were voided. The only ESOC competitors with an official result were Eleanor Pyrah, 11th out of 66 in W75A, and Brian Yates, 12th out of 29 in M75C.
The forest qualification event took place on Tuesday 9 July at Bumbukalns, a few kilometres NW of Riga. The terrain was open pine and spruce tree forest on coastal dunes up to 20m high. Again there were multiple heats, with competitors allocated to Middle Distance finals such that the finals were evenly balanced.
The Middle Distance Final was on Wednesday 10 July, again at Bumbukalns.
M50B (79 competitors): Ronnie Nolan 54th, Mark Wood 65th
M60B (78): Richard Oxlade 55th
M75A (81): Ian Pyrah 73rd
M75B (81): Brian Yates 76th
W50A (64): Helena Nolan 30th
W60C (49): Anne Hoy and Anne Hickling both unfortunately missed some controls
W65A (81): Janice Nisbet 47th
W75A (68): Eleanor Pyrah 15th
A complicated system of promotion and relegation between finals was applied to the Middle Distance results to determine which Long Distance Final each competitor ran in.
The Long Distance Final was on Friday 12 July at Garezeri, about 20km along the coast NE of Riga. The terrain was open pine forest on coastal dunes, with varying hill sizes and many paths.
M50B (74 competitors): Mark Wood 39th, Ronnie Nolan missed some controls
M60B (76): Richard Oxlade 40th
M75B (79): Ian Pyrah 18th
M75C (46): Brian Yates 34th
W50A (60): Helena Nolan 21st
W60C (62): Anne Hickling 17th , Anne Hoy 43rd
W65A (81): Janice Nisbet 63rd
W75A (67): Eleanor Pyrah 40th
Further details and full results are available on the WMOC 2019 website.
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