Lots of history was being made last week, at the first-ever World Cup in ski orienteering to be held on North American soil. Firstly, this was the first time North America has ever held a ski orienteering race of this calibre, and it's been 20 years since the US held any orienteering race at this level. But even more exciting, the U.S. Ski Orienteering Team had some outstanding results from two of their women, with Alison Crocker now ranked 6th in the world, and Alexandra Jospe now ranked 13th. These excellent placings are by far the best results American orienteers have ever produced, and followed a week of stellar racing for these two ladies. On the men's side, Adrian Owens had a standout race in the sprint.
These races doubled as the North American and U.S. Championships, and drew a crowd of nearly 80 American skiers, and 85 World Cup competitors. The Bay Area Orienteering Club (BAOC) and their volunteers did an excellent job running a very professional event.
Alison Crocker on the podium.
The next round of World Cup ski orienteering races are in Kazahkstan, followed by the final round in Sweden.
Preliminary results from the 2012 NEOC ski-o at Weston Ski Track:
1. Eric Benson (30:24)
2. Kelly Guarino (36:59) <-- on classic skis!
3. Andy Hall (37:34)
4. Lori Huberman (47:41)
5. Jeffrey Saeger (48:27)
6. Gabe Bronk (53:07)
"With map" course:
1. Pia Webb (25:23)
2. Andrew Vakhutinsky (32:58)
3. Joel Grodstein (35:45)
4. Bridget Hall and Kristen (47:52)
5. Dmitry Lavov (51:31)
6. Ethan Hall (51:59)
7. Michael Tollefson (52:11)
8. Jim Ellis (53:49)
9. Judy Kapinski (58:07)
10. Michael Volk (66:46)
11. Martin Kessel (71:38)
12. Diana Serebryanik (71:58)
13. Jim Crawford (79:18)
Conditions were beautiful - packed snow right around freezing, with the entire 15km groomed. So of course, we used less than half a square km to race - if only the snow had fallen a few days earlier! The map was occasionally sketchy, but given the massive expanses of open golf course, nobody complained too much. Serious thanks go out to the Hall family, Ian Smith, Pete Lane, Jim Paschetto, and Dean Sturtevant, all of whom were crucial in getting things to run smoothly.
The competitors had to choose between two classes - one where you could race with a map, and the other where you had to memorize the map. Each competitor got to look at the map (on the clock), and then went out and skied the course from memory. For each mispunched control, the competitor skied a short penalty loop before heading out on the next map. There were four maps total. For competitors with a map, the format was the same, they just carried the map the whole time.
On the whole, it seemed to be a successful way to run a ski-o in a small area. Thanks, all, for coming!
The Bay Area Orienteering Club (BAOC) has been getting ready for the World cups happening this January, and has now published bulletin 2. The current schedule includes four World Cups, three days of North American Championships, three days of US Championships, and two WRE races! They are expecting skiers from Russia, Ukraine, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, and Canada.
Check out the bulletin, and make your reservations!
Site of round 1 of the 2012 World Cups, the 2012 US championships, and the 2012 North American championships, Lake Tahoe already has skiable snow on the ground. This photo was taken on October 8th, by Greg Walker, of Donatas in his backyard, practicing some early ski-O!