Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Thursday, April 06, 2006

WOC sprints


Writing an O' blog has some perks. You get to meet people you might not otherwise meet. And those people are nice to you, sometimes they even do things like give you maps.

On Sunday, for example, Matthew gave me some sprint maps from Ohio. I've been looking at them the last few days over my lunch hour.

Looking at the maps got me thinking about the WOC sprint race in Denmark. Coincidentally, I read Eric's thoughts about "sprint philosophy" (check out his April 5 entry at carolsteam.org). As I read Eric's analysis, I think he's expecting some tricky sprint courses at the WOC. But, as I've thought about it, I'd expect the sprint courses in Denmark to be quite straightforward.

Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Here is a sprint map the WOC organizers put on the web:

It looks relatively staight forward. Not the tricky, complex sprint O' we sometimes see in Europe.

Here is a map with a sprint course the Swedish team used at a recent training camp in Denmark:

As I thought about the WOC sprint, I also thought about the previous WOC sprint courses.

The first sprint WOC was in this area in Finland (Tero's routes):

The Swiss sprint WOC was in an urban area, but not especially tricky (again with Tero's routes):

The Swedish WOC sprint qualifying and final courses are similar to the Finnish race (more of Tero's routes):

The Japanese courses look a bit similar. But, I haven't gone to the trouble of finding and uploading a map. So, you'll just have to take my word for it.

I think the sprint courses at WOCs haven't been tricky because of the strong course control processes. I don't know the detail, but I know that at a WOC the course controlling function is rigorous. I'd expect that to emphasize fairness in control placement, which would probably reduce the chances of tricky legs or control locations.

This brings me back to the sprint maps that Matthew gave me. The U.S. is full of terrain like the north and west areas at Sharon Woods (these are two of the areas Matthew gave me maps of). To me, this sort of orienteering looks fairly relevant for a WOC.

posted by Michael | 5:19 PM


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