Pawtuckaway NRE Event Recap

September 9-11, 2022

Pawtuckaway State Park, in southern New Hampshire played host to the 1992 Orienteering World Cup and since that date has been the site of over 25 years of annual Camping Weekend fun held every year in early September. This year the host club, Up North Orienteer’s opted to up the ante and used their one-day fee waiver to host a National Ranking Event (NRE).

The weather was great and two days of conventional orienteering along with Canoe-O and a number of Night-O variants combined with the group camping and potluck picnic supper made for a very memorable weekend. Thank you to Lex Bundschuh and her tireless team for another awesome year at Pawtuckaway!!

JWOC ’22 – Part Deux – Return to the Forest

Back in July, Orienteering USA sent a strong team to Portugal to compete in the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC). Most of the 10-person squad arrived early and got in a week of quality training under very hot conditions. Unfortunately, conditions were so extreme that Portugual closed all forest access across the country, forcing the organizers to pivot and essentially create a ‘sprint-JWOC’ for all the athletes who trained so hard. At that time, the decision was made not to hold formal closing ceremonies, but to postpone the forest races until later in the fall after the danger of fires was gone.

The TeamUSA Executive Steering Committee is now excited to announce the team that will return to Portugal this November to finish what they started. Due to school commitments, many of the team members from July can not attend the forest races. Of the original 10 athletes, four will be returning: Lily Addicott (GAOC), Anna Campbell (NEOC), Alex Merka (QOC) and Holden Sopoti (USMAOC). Joining them will be Oriana Riley (DVOA) who was originally selected as an alternate for the original team, and Emilia Schmidt (QOC) who was selected to compete on the 2020 JWOC Team, but due to the cancellation of JWOC ’20 to the pandemic was unable to compete.

Emilia also brings along her personal coach, Kari Jussila,, who has agreed to be the coach for the US Team. Jussila is the general manager of the elite team for Tampereen Pyrintö – a well-known & regarded Finnish multi-sport club – and has about 50 years of experience in orienteering. Coaches Evalin Brautigam and Thomas Laraia, who coached the team in July, will remain as backup coaches and assist the team remotely, but are unable to attend the competition. Also accompanying the team will be parents Tuija Schmidt and Angelica Riley.

Links to the Original JWOC Team Announcement and the JWOC ’22 (Part One) Event Recap.

17th World Rogaining Championships Event Recap

August 26-27, 2022

Ten Teams from the United States ventured to the Czech Republic last month to compete at the 17th World Rogaining Championships. Rogaining is, at its essence, an ultra-distance score orienteering event with controls placed over a very large area, frequently on steep and demanding terrain. Looking at the maps from Czechia, this years event didn’t disappoint in the steep & long category. Teams have 24 hours to visit as many controls as possible, with varying point values depending upon distance & difficulty.

A number of US Teams managed podium placements in their respective categories. The Women’s Super Veteran category was won by Team Menopawsome with members Shari Hymes (USA) and Australian Thorlene Egerton. Another long-time US/AUS collaboration between Sharon Crawford (RMOC) and Robin Spriggs (AUS) took bronze in the Women’s Ultra Veteran category. Over in the Mixed Ultra Veteran category, perennial competitors the Nightcrawlers (Eric & Mary Smith, CNYO) also took the third spot. Winner’s of last year’s Lake Tahoe Rogaine, Nikolay Nachev & Ashley Blake (COC) just missed the podium, placing 4th in the Mixed Open division. They will definitely be a team to watch when the World Rogaining Championships come back to Lake Tahoe next July. Keep in mind that in Rogaining, teams are eligible for all categories in which they qualify so in the results below some teams have up to four ‘results’.

Photos courtesy of Hana Orienteering / WRC ’22

The World Games – Birmingham Event Recap

July 15-17th, 2022

The first major international orienteering event in the United States in over 25 years took place in Birmingham, Alabama in July. The World Games, traditionally held the year following the Summer Olympic Games, brought over 3,600 athletes from 100 countries to compete in over 30 sports. 80 of the worlds best orienteers, 2 women & 2 men each from 20 invited countries, traveled to Birmingham to test themselves in the Sprint, Middle & Sprint Relay disciplines.

An amazing team of volunteers, both local and Orienteering USA members from across the US, came together in Birmingham to create world class events in the hot Alabama summer. The team, led by Cristina Luis of Tucson Orienteering Club, overcame many obstacles created by working in a complex multi-sport, high security environment to produce events at 3 different venues that challenged, and perhaps surprised, the worlds best orienteers. Thanks to all those that helped make The World Games orienteering events so memorable.

Pre-Event Media

July 15th 2022 – Sprint @ Birmingham Southern College

July 16th, 2022 – Middle @ Oak Mountain State Park

July 17th, 2022 – Sprint Relay @ Railroad Park