Statewide orienteering season opener set for St Helens | The Examiner

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Variety, challenging terrain and local history will be the hallmarks of the three-day orienteering event in St Helens this weekend. With local events already underway, the statewide season opener continues a 30-year tradition of the March long weekend in St Helens, dating back to when 2,000 competitors from 21 countries played in the third veteran world cup in January 1992. A worldwide reputation for the pitch was established. and continues to provide challenges unmitigated by familiarity. The area offers eucalyptus forest dotted with boulders of granite, interspersed with complex navigation through ancient deep-eroded gullies of tin mines, energy-guzzling marshes, and varieties of dense vegetation and open forest. Reduced fuel consumption and extreme winds in September brought changes to one of the original maps on Argonaut Road. Saturday will feature short courses in terrain including deep ravines requiring quick route choices. Sunday’s longer courses will have added historical interest with the map showing evidence of 19th century water courses following the contours to deliver water 45 kilometers from St Colomba Falls to alluvial tin mining areas . Monday will offer another variant of challenges with courses with multiple controls and changes of direction. In September, Orienteering Tasmania will host the nine-day Australian Orienteering Championship carnival of events, rescheduled from 2020, with the same maps and challenges, with additional areas continuing to be mapped in the surroundings.

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Dino J. Dotson