Friday, February 26, 2016

Two or three things I know about it...

1. The young Egyptian Orienteering Federation organized its first International competition. Precious by their history, places like the Kings Island, the Kings Valley or the Karnak Temple witnessed the performances of 174 competitors from 17 different countries for three challenging stages. The opening stage, a Middle-Short Distance really demanding by the fast map reading and the temperatures over 30ºC, had in Oscar Anrango (Orienta Ecuador) and Tatiana Kalenderoglu (Istambul Orienteering) the winners in the M21E and W21E classes, respectively. Scoring for the IOF World Ranking, the Middle Distance on second stage brought again an extra-challenge due to the high temperature. Tatiana Kalenderoglu repeated the first position, while the winner in the M21E class was Abdulaziz Mohammd Ali Sal (UAE National Team). Abdulaziz Mohammd Ali Sal won the Sprint stage on the last day, along with Ayako Watanabe (NPO orienteering) in the W21E class. Overall, Abdulaziz Mohammd Ali Sal and Tatiana Kalenderoglu were the first winners of the Egypt International Orienteering Championships. The next edition, in February 2017, will take place in the beautiful scenery of Sharm El Sheikh, by the Red Sea. To know more about the event, please visit the Egyptian Orienteering Federation's webpage, at

2. 'Sedated by software': No one knows how to read maps anymore, experts say. This way, Tim Chester alerts, in the global media company “Mashable” [HERE], to the Royal Institute of Navigation's concerns about the nation's cartographical know-how. Quoting Roger McKinlay, the President of the Royal Institute of Navigation, “it is concerning that children are no longer routinely learning at home or school how to do anything more than press ‘search’ buttons on a device to get anywhere", warning for the risks of “becoming sedated by software in the process.” The institute say they want schools to teach basic navigation “as a way to develop character, independence and an appreciation of maths and science.” They point out that phones can lose their signal and sat navs can lead you up the garden path, and the human brain is better at taking in all data such as weather and terrain. However, they insist that something more fundamental is at stake as we forget skills that have guided people for centuries. The article doesn't mention Orienteering as a resource, a fundamental key in the “rehabilitation” process, but the main idea is that reliance on computers presents no conceptual challenges: “The human brain is left largely inert and untaxed while calculations are made electronically, by a software ‘brain’ without the elasticity to make connections and judgements”, they say.

3. For a second time this SkiO World Cup season, the snow has arrived at the last minute. The organisers of the ESOC, JWSOC, EYSOC and SkiO WCup Round 3 confirmed that they finally have enough snow for the events to take place. It was only last 15th February that Event Director Hans Georg Gratzer and his team could confirm that enough snow had arrived to be able to hold fair SkiO competitions. This winter has been characterised by difficult snow conditions, which has been a struggle for all snow sports. The most recent news, from France, talk about the avoidance of French SkiO Championships in the Middle Distance and Relay, due to the lack of snow. So, it is great news that these races will be able to take place, especially considering their role in inspiring the younger generations of ski orienteers. Head over to the SKIO2016 website – -, to follow closely the event. Now we can all set our sights on an exciting week of SkiO in Obertilliach 28 February – 5 March 2016!

4. Still meeting its first year of life, Prismagazine has just seen published its nº. 6, February 2016. Again, a varied and well illustrated issue, developed and edited by Jeremias Queiroga, with a wide set of contributors. In this issue, the focus is on the presence in Portugal of 16 brazilian orienteers, competing at LIOM, POM and NAOM. The courses of Thierry Gueorgiou and Helena Jansson on POM's Long Distance WRE are dissected by themselves in two articles from the Portuguese Orienteering Blog, along with a nice bunch of pictures. There's also a great Interview with the Brazilian Champion 2015 in Women Elite, Tânia Maria Jesus de Carvalho (ADAAN). Finally, we can read the words of Luiz Sérgio Mendes, the President of Brazilian Orienteering Confederation, about the financial situation of the Institution and goals for the future, including the leading project of Orienteering's development in South America. Prismagazine is written in Portuguese but worth a try reading it, even if the automatic translation fails sometimes. Everything to read at

[Photo: José Ángel Nieto Poblete /]

Joaquim Margarido

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