It seems the cold wet weather may have kept more than a few orienteers away from the twilight/ night orienteering as absolutely no one tried the novice course and those entering the Intermediate also planned to do one of the night courses later that evening.
For the night orienteering, the winners on both courses beat my expected winning times by a large margin. Paul Heuts topped the 4.9 km Short Advanced in just under 35 minutes, nine minutes ahead of Bruce Glen of Montreal. Anita Brattland posted the best time for the ladies. Richard Guttormson edged Bert Waslander for the best time among the ‘veterans’.
According to the SI print out three different orienteers had the lead at different times in the Long Advanced course and four athletes posted ‘fastest legs’. I like to see that. It means the course was very competitive. Jeff Teutsch took first place almost two minutes ahead of Alexander Bregstrom with Phillippe Cote-Jacques and Francis Falardeau not far behind. Pavel Kornilev of Rochester NY placed a strong fifth.
A strong contingent of 87 entries representing over 100 individuals took to the woods for the Sunday race. They varied in age from under one year to the mid-80s. The novice course was dominated by team entries but there were at least two names to watch for the future. Evan and Lucas Raz, 11 and 10 years old respectively blitzed around the 2.7 km novice course in 21 and 27 minutes respectively. This was not your usual novice course with a control at every turn. I took advantage of the more urban terrain to throw in more substantial navigation and route choice decisions. The Raz boys passed with flying colours. They credited their participation in the club’s youth program for giving them the skills to compete.
Eric Chambers took the lead at the second control and won the Intermediate course by nine minutes over Mark Cherwonka. Team Midnight Wanderers topped the groups and Liz Stirling was best among the ladies.
Daniel Guolla led from start to finish, had the best time on every leg and won the Short Advanced by 15 minutes over John Moffett who was closely followed by Rob Haddow and Ken Moore. Among the ladies Anita Williamson edged Marketa Graham by 44 seconds. Marketa beat out her son Tomas by just under three minutes. Richard Guttormson was again tops in the unofficial but highly competitive Team CPP class (open to everyone whose life is at least partially sponsored by a monthly cheque from the Canada Pension Plan).
But you should have seen those young studs on the 7.4 km Long Advanced course. Near the end of the Start window I went out to relieve Robert Graham from his duties as starter. There sat Eric Kemp. Alex Bergstrom, and Philippe Turcanu each waiting for the others to start. There is a definite advantage to have your rivals in your sights in front of you. It was like one of those bike races where you do not want to be the first one to sprint so you almost stand still on your bike. How could I break the log jam? Simple: I told them that we were almost out of Long Advanced maps and we had printed extras on a flimsier paper and I wasn’t sure the paper would stand up to the folding and abuse of the race. Soon the stars were picking up the last of the ‘good’ maps and were off at respectable two minute intervals. National team member Kemp prevailed to win by 90 seconds over national junior team member Bergrstrom. There were actually eight orienteers within about 8 minutes of Kemp. It was a runner’s course and those guys can run!! Kemp navigated his way around the 7.4 km straight line course in less than 6 minutes/ km. It turned out three different men took turns leading the course and fastest legs were shared among five.
Carolyn Connell topped the ladies in just over one hour. (She sure has improved since her high school days- an inside joke)
Meanwhile back at the Royal Oak “the joint was hopping”. I had been expecting that a few of the orienteers would want to stick around, socialize and share some refreshments. I was not disappointed and nor were the folks at the Royal Oak. When I wrote to ask how they felt the event went and if we could do it again Holly Manuel, the manager, responded, “We all thought it was fantastic! We would be honored to host your Summer Solstice series, sounds like fun!” So mark your calendar for an evening in June; I just don’t know which one yet.
Finally, of course, there goes a very big thanks go out to the group of helpers – Linda Connell and Lorna Guttormson on registration, Eric Teutsch and Rob Haddow on the timing, Jeff Teutsch and Bill Anderson who pitched in to help with set up. A special thanks and congratulations for a job well done goes to David Agar who acted as controller, running and advising changes on several of the courses and map improvements. He also was out in the rain Saturday afternoon to place controls and Sunday afternoon to pick them up. David: You’re the Man!