21st World ARDF Championships Jizerske hory Liberec Czech Republic 27/8-2/9.2023

Bulletin 4 with all the details of the Competitions.

The team in the new snazzy outfits raring’ to go, after a 4 year break of International competitions due to Covid. (Postcard with thanks to Janelle and Ewen)

We were all picked up with other competitors by a preorganised bus at the Prague Airport and had a pleasant ride to the University accommodation in Liberec where we were going to stay during the event.

This time,Jack VK3WWW is a Referee and Ewen,Janell and Peter are competitors in the M70 and W65 agegroups.

Here’s Jack and the other Referees.

Couple of things to add was for the first 3 events the rain was a nuisance. It was also quite chilly but that was better for running. But, not for the transmitter sitters. In WC with so many competitors classic events have half on 2m and the other half on 80m so there were 10 transmitter sitters/technicians hidden under. camouflaged tarps low to the ground so most of the competitors never even realised they were there. Also 5 of the 7 referees were wandering the course making sure there was no cheating. There were a couple of disqualifications but in general all were well behaved. One thing that did come up though is the smart watch issue and gps watches with mapping. Smart watches are fairly new and pose a bigger threat than older gps watches. It will be interesting to see how the Region 1 technical advisory committee handle it. All in all it was a great event and the Czech clubs that joined forces did a great job I estimate the organisers had about 50-60 people organising most were ARDF people and on top of that number still had plenty of top athletes in all categories to fun full teams.-Jack

From Janelle and Ewen

Training

The first two days comprised of training which was invaluable. Having had limited training before leaving Australia, these practice events were a good opportunity to test our equipment and familiarise ourselves with the terrain in the area. The altitude and contours were a definite reality check.

Classic 1

Most of the older age groups competed on 2 metres. It was a day of mixed results for our team. Personally, 2 metres is my least favourite event, and my focus was to keep in touch with the map. The high points on the map gave the best bearings and I was delighted to find my three transmitters and have a secure path to the finish, 4th place but well off the pace. On the M70 course the transmitters were more elusive. Although not the result Ewen and Peter were hoping for, they finished within the time limit. There were reflections everywhere. From the start Ewen had good DFs to the North, South and West to the number 4 TX.

Photo – a good reason to smile

Sprint

Following the bearing and high speed were the tactics for success. With very runnable forest in most of the course, there was no need to keep in touch with the map. The winning time in the M70 class was just under 20 minutes. Ewen was pleased to have a good run and apart from a small error was placed halfway through the field. This was only Peter’s second international sprint competition and timed it perfectly to get back with just 33 seconds to spare. Not a great day for me, lost considerable time on the first 3 Txs and finished overtime with no result.

Note: we need more 80 metre sprint practice.

Photo – Ewen

Rest day

We began the day with lots of resting and then joined some of our US friends for a coffee and cake at a local café. We returned several times to this café, the best coffee and cake in Liberec!!

Photo – coffee shop

Classic 2

Revitalised, we were ready for the 80 metre course. Should have known when I taped the overlay with north facing south on the map that was not a good omen. (Perhaps I needed Peter’s spare compass that faced south instead of north) The terrain was similar to Classic 1 with some excellent tracks. Taking the direct approach proved heavy going with low vegetation and fallen timber. Some of the lesser tracks had been used by machinery and very muddy. My reluctance to tackle Tx1 straight up the hill resulted in a very convoluted route and well down the result list. The M70 course was far more challenging. Both M70 and W65 had Tx2. It was difficult to get a good bearing from the start and decide the transmitter order. Fortunately for W65 course, the Tx4 and Tx2 had similar bearings and lead to a high point that gave a clearer direction for TX2. M70 was not so lucky with Tx5 and Tx1 to the east and south of the map, that Tx2 was the obvious choice for their first Tx. It was certainly hard work. Peter and Ewen managed 8th placing in the teams event.

Foxoring

The wet weather had cleared and there was promise of fine weather and some sunshine. Would have loved a later start as the mornings were still quite chilly. For the foxoring, there is not the luxury of studying the map and working out a strategy before you start. The buzzer goes, you grab your map, run, and try to plan a good route as you head down the start corridor. In hindsight stopping for 30 seconds and setting up the map compass would have been beneficial. In the rush to get started, I lost my position and precious time and consequently my orienteering advantage. Fortunately, the kit 80 metre receiver worked extremely well and the Txs all appeared on cue. No amount of fast running could make up for lost time and finished with another 4th. Ewen’s goal in orienteering has always been to choose the optimum course and this has obviously paid off with his choice today, the same order as the top competitors in M70. In 12th place with all Txs, it was a great effort. Peter had a late start and it fell to the first starter of the Australian team to chorus the “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” to bring home the men. Again, it was only the second time Peter had competed at an international Foxor. It was a creditable performance finding all but one of the transmitters and well within the time limit. All those Parkruns have paid off Peter.

Photo – Peter in the finish corridor

On a rough count over the 6 days of activities we each covered a daunting 40+ km, plus the lengthy walks to the starts and around the city of Liberec. Exhausting, but certainly worth the experience. The camaraderie amongst the competitors, the enthusiasm of finish corridor spectators and the support and encouragement from the organisers and referees made the championships a wonderful experience. Thank you to the Czech Radio Club for a world class event. It certainly challenged us.

Finally, to my fellow team members a big thank you for the technical support, encouragement, and good humour. Together we made it through the week.

Maps of the competition

Hygienic measures against African swine fever virus:
Every competitor is obliged to go through disinfection corridor after reaching the finish line and disinfect his shoes!

We all had to mark the out of bounds Rifle Range when sorting the map out in the map tent.It’s the red areanear the Finish circle! Most people had to run around it to get to the Finish.