Southern Orienteering Week 2016

27 January 2016
Aspiring Athletes Bella Fraser and Sam Coupland competed in the Southern Orienteering Week held 18 - 24 January in the Upper Clutha and Central Otago regions.

This was the first time official foot orienteering races have been held around Wanaka, with just a mountain bike orienteering event held in 2012. The races attracted 250 orienteers from all over New Zealand, including some Australians and foreigners from Wales, Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Austria.

On a brand new map of Sticky Forest long and challenging courses were set by Adventure Racing World Champion Chris Forne. Sam finished 7th in the Mens 16 and under A-grade, a creditable performance for his first ever orienteering competition.

In the afternoon a sprint race was held through the Wanaka Primary and Mount Aspiring College schools. In the Women's 16 and under A-grade Bella finished 4th while Sam finished 8th in the Men's.

The following day used another new map with racing amongst Kanuka trees on the banks of the Hawea River around the Butterfields Wetland with a prologue in the morning and a chasing start in the afternoon. With a smooth race Bella posted the second fastest time on her course in the chasing start. 

The final weekend of races included the Otago Champs where Bella finished off the week of races with her best performance – 3rd in the Middle Distance race around the intricate gold mining tailings of Bannockburn. 

Visit the Southern Orienteering Week website at

Results Summary

Sticky Forest
M16A - Sam Coupland 7th

Wanaka Schools Sprint
M16A - Sam Coupland 8th
W16A - Bella Fraser 4th

Hawea River Chasing Start
W16B - Bella Fraser 1st
M16A - Sam Coupland 6th

Otago Champs Long Distance
M16A - Sam Coupland 7th
W16A - Bella Fraser 4th

Otago Champs Middle Distance
W16A - Bella Fraser 3rd

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