Australia Scrapes In by 59 Seconds

Unofficial First Australia-NZ MTB-Orienteering Challenge

New Zealand came within 59 seconds of a clean sweep in the Trans-Tasman orienteering competition, held this week in forests in the Manawatu. Having decisively won the individual and relay competitions in traditional orienteering, New Zealand made the first ever, albeit unofficial, challenge in the new discipline of MTB-orienteering.

On an 8-km course in Waitarere Forest today, New Zealand won the open womens class, while Australia won the mens after one rider from each side was disqualified for short-cutting between tracks. Phil Wood and Rebecca Smith (both Auckland) posted the fastest times of 32min49sec and 43min24sec.

It was left to the veterans to decide the contest, which Australia took by 59sec on a best two out of three basis. Peter Shephard (Australia) was the fastest rider with 48min51sec. Full results have been loaded.

Further international flavour was given by experienced veteran rider Toby Imhoff from Swtizerland, who completed the course in 38min42sec. The first World Championship in MTB-orienteering will be held in France in July this year, with the second in Australia in 2004.

This page was compiled by Michael Wood, and was installed on 17 Jan 02
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