A quick wrap up from ROC legend Nicholas Mulder on the recent Kaapsehoop O-Ringen held from the 22nd to the 24th of March. Enjoy!
A small but dedicated field of orienteers made the journey down to Kaapsehoop over the long weekend in March to take part in ROC’s Mpumalanga O-Ringen. The weekend of events started off with a Friday night event on the very technical map in the Kaapsehoop Rockery. Alex Pope and Brian Gardner organized 3 challenging but fair short courses here. The intense rock detail left some competitors staring at their maps in bewilderment and wishing they had stronger headlamps. To add some spice to the event, there was even some mist drifting in from the escarpment and affecting navigation on the higher parts of the map. In the end everyone made it home safe and no search parties were needed!
On Saturday morning a long distance event took place at Nooitgedacht Towers. Distances were slightly reduced to account for the steep forested terrain around the watch tower, with the longest Brown course only covering 7.2km, but utilizing the maximum of 5% gradient in doing so. Planning good routes was tricky for Stephanie and Nicholas Mulder, but the steep climbs were alleviated by ensuring that the event start was at a much higher level than the finish. Many of the participants felt the legs burning on some of the steeper legs but it was the steep downhills that proved to be most problematic for some of the older competitors.
The final day of competition was again held at high altitude (2000m), this time on the Elandshoogte map. This map hasn’t been used since Big 5 in 2013 but Ian Bratt and Eugene Botha ensured that all map changes were up to date for the event. The courses were thoroughly enjoyed as the competitors got to run in stunning forests on a much flatter gradient. Eugene managed to plan some interesting route choices on the longer courses, ensuring that finishers were soon comparing split times and routes to determine which ones were best.
The two forest events were used to determine the winners of the O-Ringen and congratulations must go to the following course winners: Alex Pope on Brown, Kirsten Chambers on Blue, Cameron Morrison on Green, Pat De Klerk on Light Green and Gemma Green on Orange.
Well done ROC!