Two young orienteers reach their first checkpoint near Shipyards Park during a Yukon Orienteering Association sprint race May 5. (John Tonin/Yukon News)

Two young orienteers reach their first checkpoint near Shipyards Park during a Yukon Orienteering Association sprint race May 5. (John Tonin/Yukon News)

Orienteers were back in action for the season’s first race

The Yukon Orienteering Association began its 2021 season with a sprint race beginning at Shipyards.

The territory’s orienteers picked up their maps and headed back to the controls for a Yukon Orienteering Association (YOA) sprint race beginning at Shipyards Park on May 5.

It was an exciting event, said race organizer Erik Blake — especially since last year, the association was unable to host in-person races.

“A lot of thought went into the format so we could meet the COVID-19 rules,” said Blake. “Last year we did a self-serve format so people could go out at their leisure and not come into contact with other people.”

Blake said for the 2021 orienteering season the YOA is going to do a mix of in-person and self-serve events. As well, courses that are set up for a Wednesday race, may remain up longer for members.

Overall, Blake said everyone was respectful of the new rules and adhered to safe six.

The controls orienteers check into were back in action. Blake said the YOA is following Orienteering Canada’s plan for controls. All rental units were washed before and after the event.

An urban sprint race, Blake said, is not as technically challenging as forest orienteering, but they test speed and endurance.

Because of the record-setting snowfall this year, Blake said it will likely be a few more weeks before a race can be held in the woods.

The sprint format, he said, is good for easing back into the sport, get running again, and handling the map.

“It’s a good way to get out and shake off the cobwebs,” said Blake. “We are fortunate here that we are orienteering again.”

Sixty-one people, over several hours, took on the sprint race.

The trio of Lucas Rodgers, Oliver Kralisch-Seguin and Anett Kralisch won the 1.1 kilometre Novice race.

The Intermediate, 1.6 km winners were Anneke Aasman and Malcolm Murchison.

Newcomers Rachel Moser and Jeremy Johnson beat out the veterans on the Advanced, 2.6 km course.

Emma Waddington, the junior orienteering coach for 2021, and Forest Pearson earned the top spots in the 3.6 km Expert race.

The second YOA event of the season will be another sprint race on May 12. The location of the race is still to be decided.

Contact John Tonin at john.tonin@yukon-news.com

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