All Night Sailing Events for Taupō Orienteering Club

March has been a busy month for the Taupō Orienteering Club so far. Photo / Provided

The weather played its part with a balmy night for this year’s Katoa Po (All Night) Orienteering Relay as well as a newly created event.

Katoa Po and The Explorer’s Night Sailing took place at a local farm and small forest area over the weekend of March 12-13. Attendance of around 90 people was down a bit from last year, probably due to the current Omicron situation.

A young team from Auckland won the five-man relay in a time of 3h 33m. In a fairly tight match, less than 40 minutes separate the first six teams.

The seven-person relay was won by a more experienced team from Taranaki. A number of teams had competitors as young as four years old in the first leg of the relay.

For the first time in many years, Taupō O had two five-person teams competing in the event. The stages of the relay for the more experienced orienteers ventured into a piece of forest that proved to be a challenge for even the best to find the checkpoints.

Competitors in action during an orienteering race.  Photo / Provided
Competitors in action during an orienteering race. Photo / Provided

The Explorer Sailing event is ideal for people who prefer to race as a team and has proven so popular, particularly with high school adventure racing teams after its first run last year, that it makes now an integral part of the annual Katoa Po weekend. .

The Explorer consists of a three-hour overnight rogaine followed by a 90-minute rogaine the next morning and offers plenty of challenges for adventure riders looking to improve their navigation skills.

The fastest two-man team and overall winner in the Explorer was Tauranga’s Better Late Than Never team (Tom Hambrook and Chris Morrissey), who scored 3020 out of a possible 3700 points.

Second was Hawke’s Bay’s Lost in the Dark, and a very creditable third was the Taupō-nui-a-Tia school team Taupō Green (Kaspar Lenoir and Fletcher Norris).

The winner of the three- or four-person teams was another Taupo-nui-a-Tia team, Taupō Red (Julia Leusink, Izaak Manders, and Ethan Staddon), who took home the top prize for a training session of a weekend that goes to the best mixed. School team. It wasn’t until the last Sunday morning rogaine that they overtook the family team Urgent Request (Fenella, Lilja and Luca Tinworth), who came second in this category.

The event center relay station.  Photo / Provided
The event center relay station. Photo / Provided

The past month has been a busy one for orienteering in the region with a series of three municipal events on Wednesday evenings, the last one taking place on March 16.

On February 26 and 27, there was a day and night orientation training session on the farm. There will be another training session on March 27 at Crown Park and Tauhara College. The next event will take place on April 3, on an agricultural map near Taupō, which will feature a number of courses suitable for all skill and fitness levels.

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Dino J. Dotson