Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Elite Squad head to Scandi

Six members of the Irish elite orienteering squad are heading for Finland on Thursday (17th June) as the first leg of the 2010 Nordic tour kicks off. This is part of the team's preparation for the World Championships in Trondheim, Norway, in August - the selection races will be in Norway in July. The Irish team of Niamh and Seamus O'Boyle, Gerard Butler, Darren Burke, David Healy and BOC's own Nicolas Simonin start the competition tomorrow.

The Nordic tour consists of three World Cup events held in Finland, Sweden and Norway throughout June. The runners fight in the first 2 competitions not only for prize money and glory, they can also get bonus seconds for the last stage which is a chasing start. They also have to run shoulder to shoulder in the knock-out-sprint in old town of Stockholm.

The programme for the event:

Stage 1: 17th June 2010 Tuusula, Finland Middle distance/sprint, combined
Stage 2: 22ndJune 2010 Stockholm, Sweden Sprint, Qualification and finals
Stage 3: 26th June 2010 Raufoss, Norway Middle distance, chasing start

How the stages are run:

Stage 1: The competition will be organised as a mix between middle distance and sprint. One part of the course will be of middle distance character and rules, while one part will be sprint character. There will be a map change with a change of scale and map standard. Bonus seconds will be given to the six best athletes after middle distance section: First 60 bonus seconds, second 45 sec., third 30 sec., fourth 20 sec., fifth 10 sec., sixth 5 sec. The bonus seconds will count for the overall Tour only.

Stage 2: The competition will consist of a sprint qualification of regular length and style. The 30 best athletes will qualify for the finals, which will be run in heats of 6 athletes/heat in quarter finals, semi finals and Final. All the heats will have mass start without forking with the best athletes advancing to the next round.

Stage 3: The competition will be a chasing start based on the overall results after two stages. The competition will have middle distance character and rules, but the courses will be 10-15 minutes longer than a regular middle distance.

You can follow the team's performances on the Nordic Tour website. There will also be live tracking of the events so you can support your team from afar! We also hope to have regular updates from the team members on the Irish blog. Best of luck to Nick and the team on the Tour and for all the team preparing for WOC.