Praise for course setter in Ski Orienteering World Cup

Posted on | February 5, 2012 | Category: News

Mixed Relay start. Photo: Markku Vauhkonen

The Ski Orienteering World Cup 2012 in Lake Tahoe, California, ended with Mixed Sprint Relay in Tahoe City. 22 teams were fighting for the World Cup points. The course setter Greg Walker provided a true surprise to the competitors by designing a relay course that got almost all the competitors out of balance and making big mistakes.

Sweden, which had dominated the whole week of races, was also the quickest to accommodate to the challenging courses in the mixed sprint relay. The Swedes took a double win: team one with Peter Arnesson and Tove Alexandersson was fastest, and team two, with Erik Rost and Josefine Engström took the silver. Finland’s team one, Staffan Tunis and Milka Leppäsalmi, took the third place 2.30 minutes behind the winners.

“Our coach Håkan Holmberg had told us to take it easy in the beginning and make sure that we got fluent with our orienteering before increasing pace. It seemed to be the right tactics for today’s race”, stated Peter Arnesson after the race.

Many of the favourites, among them Russia and Norway, fell flat already on their way to the first control and lost more than five minutes in single mistake. Greg Walker had planned a dense track network into a fairly open forest with many controls close to each other. This truly surprised all the competitors. Many of them took short cuts towards their controls, but lost their position on the map, and then could not get back on the map losing a lot of time. “I got the message from Peter at the exchange that I should stay on tracks instead of going for short cuts, and that worked for our team today”, accompanied Tove Alexandersson her team mate Arnesson. “We did not expect this difficult orienteering today. I was a very good rehearsal for the European Championships in Ukraine in couple of week’s time”, said Arnesson.

Håkan Holmberg was extremely satisfied after the first Ski Orienteering World Cup round in 2012.
Photo: Markku Vauhkonen

Sweden had a fabulously successful week in California. “My goal was that we could take a couple of victories on this tour to the United States. Now we managed to get six victories. This is a fantastic result, which gives our team a terrific inspiration for this winter’s races and for our main goal European Championships in Ukraine”, said the leader of the Swedish team, Håkan Holmberg after the concluding relay race.

Although the World Cup ended, the Sierra Ski Orienteering Week continues with two additional World Ranking Events in the warm and sunny California on Saturday and Sunday. The World Cup continues with the European Championships on February 20-26, in Sumy, Ukraine.

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