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NZ Elite Series

Show Profile  addison Posted: 4 January 2004, 2:42 PM  
Well maptalk has been very quiet lately. And I dont think there is a better time than now to talk about what im going to propose here. This proposal as it is now, or as it will be after some constructive criticism, will be taken to the NZOF AGM and be put forward to all clubs. It is a rather big idea of mine, and I have been thinking about it of late and as I move into a more admin role in orienteering, I look forward to the challenges of thinking up an idea and seeing it benefit NZ Orienteering.

If I am right, in 1996 New Zealand had an Elite Series. Once again if im right, it consisted of travelling throughout NZ running on our best maps with courses at Elite Level. What I propose, is to make a return to this type of competition. The proposal follows:

'NZ Elite Series'

- To lift the level of Elite Orienteering in NZ
- To bring to NZ some of the best Elites in the World
- To give NZOF a top class series of events, that can easily promote Orienteering in NZ as well as promoting NZ as a nice place to train in the Northern Hemispheres Winter.
- Possibility of raising money for NZOF, for the reasons of bolstering the National and Development Squad funds or something similiar.
- To give top class orienteering over a period of about 3 weeks.

The Series Format:
- 5 Rounds of 3 Day Rounds.
- Each Round to score points, to work out an overall winner.
- Each Round is in a certain area.
- After the whole Series, we want to have shown all our Orienteers almost every type of good terrain available in NZ.
note, round format is further down page.

Planning for 2006 but maybe 2007 if that much time is needed. The timing in the year is controversial, but we have a few options that shall follow:

- Jan. Probably the best time to have the competition. This is because of the fact the weather will probably be the best for the competition; most people would enjoy using there summer holiday for Orienteering; probably the easiest time of the year to entice overseas Orienteers. Other reasons also.
- Easter. Allows one of the 5 Rounds to be used as Nationals as well as a Round in the Series. Will go into this in more detail later; Possibility of bad weather.
- July. Not really an option as the Northern Hemisphere Orienteers would not really come down.

Round Format:
The Round formats follow. I will diverse later on why I believe going to certain areas is good and not going to other certain areas are also a good idea. But here is the proposed format...

·Three maps, all to be held in forest.
·Two days in Woodhill, maybe first day as Park Event to kick start series and allows for good promotion.

Central Districts
·Possible return to Mamaku, dependant on what state map and forestry replanting is. Also possible return to Kawhia. If neither of these maps are usable, another map will need to be found.
·Sprint race at Tui Ridge.
·Final day in Eucalyptus forests around either Rotorua or Taupo.

·Travel first down to New Plymouth and hold an elite Park Race at Pukekura Park. Possibly the NZ Park Champs?
·Two days racing in the Sand Dune forests of the Manawatu.

North of South Island
·Possibility of travelling to Nelson.
·PAPO to arrange these 3 days in conjunction with the Nelson club.

Dunedin / Southland
·Naseby to be used, possibly for two days.
·This round may be extended to 4 days.
·Depending on quality of maps of Central Otago, tour may need head down to Southland.

Double Uses of Rounds:
Depending on the timing of the competitions, we could use some of the 5 rounds in the Elite Series for other purposes. Since each round is 3 days, and will probably have no warm up day or anything, it will be top class orienteering throughout. This is what I thought could be done...
- if series is around Easter, a round could be Nationals.
- possibility of having a round double also as the Secondary School Champs of say the North Islands. This will promote Orienteering extremely well to the school kids.
- Having 'Super Series' rounds, say one in the North Island, and one in the South Island as I would presume almost every NZ Elite Orienteer would enter this competition.
- Possibility of having a NZ / Aus Test Match as a Round. This will ensure top class Australian entries.

I was thinking of the NZOF Offically inviting other countries Elite Orienteers. As well as this, perhaps invitations to say the Australian 'Junior National Squad', and they can possibly travel in a bus with the NZ Development squad. These sorts of things are what will rise the game of Orienteering in Oceania. I propose inviting the following...
- All IOF Member Nations, just for promotion really
- All NZ Orienteers
- All Australian Orienteers, but in particular there Junior and National Squads
- Possibility of inviting Australian School State teams for the Southern Cross Challenge.

Along with the actual Orienteering, what I was thinking was pretty much of having a 'roadtrip'. This Roadtrip would pretty much be everyone travelling together, making the competition even better than it would otherwise be. Just imagine how great it would be to have buses or something similar, touring NZ, and yeah would just be great.

I say buses, because they are probably the only things suitable for large numbers of people travelling together. And if invitations to state teams and Australian teams etc are accepted, it would probably be best for oganisation to have buses.

The next thing to encourage buses, would be for foreign European Orienteers. We could arrange everything, and take a cut from arranging there trip. This could be fundraising, but alongside that, by doing this it would be easier to promote to them to come.

The goal with this tour is to have everyone travel, stay and race together. Get a real touring spirit going. So to cater for all, options must be given to camp and to stay in motel type accommodation. So for the tour to do so, examples of such places are given:

·Stay at Parakai, using both camping facilities as well as motel facilities close by. A major positive is that the heated pools are right there.

Central Districts
·Travel down and maybe stay somewhere near Hamilton for the first days race. Maybe stay the first night of the CD Competition then travel to Tui Ridge and down to Taupo to stay.

·Stay one night in New Plymouth, being the night before the Park event. Travel to Flock House and stay here for remainder of Wellington leg.

North of South Island
·If Nelson holds events, stay at Tahuna. Depending on where in Canterbury PAPO holds its days, either stay at a campground in town or somewhere around Tekapo.

Dunedin / Southland
·Stay at Naseby campground and the local Pub. Perhaps Ranfurly is an option as well. Depending on if tour heads further south, may mean that accommodation will need to be found in Southland.

- Has to be started almost immediately, if it is NZOF's choice to follow through with this proposal and turn it into reality.
- Perhaps Carsten can help here, by encouraging top European Orienteers!
- Sending via ship to people that we know over in the UK or something pamphlet things promoting the Series.
- Getting the Series onto top Orienteering sites, with pictures, tour outlines, contact numbers etc.
- Contacting all papers about the series, before they get to there areas.

I have an idea about sponoship. It involves having an overall Sponsor which I have already been working on and will tell you further down, as well as having a main sponsor of each round.

Therefore we can then have smaller sponsors of each round, but possibly each round can have naming rights.

I got a visit at my work by the guy that is head of operations at CocaCola NZ. I work for Coke if you didnt know, at the Pump Plant in Putaruru. This talk went very well, and he suggested I liase through him for sponsorship as he was very keen to look at sponosoring me. I threw up this Idea to him, and if I can write a good letter im sure we can get Pump or Coca-Cola or Powerade or something to be our overall sponsor. So there we go.

Why not go to certain areas:

Hawkes Bay
- Too far out of the way for tour reasons
- I believe it does not have anything 'special' to show our overseas Orienteers

- As the tour is ending in the South Island, I would like to end it in Naseby as it is a rather special map.
- Would take an extra days travel.

Well thats the general idea of what I was proposing. If anyone has any comments, feel free to post here or email me. Some people may say I am just a dreamer with this idea, or that im just stirring some convo up, but im being fully serious with this idea.

Thanks, Simon Addison

Show Profile  fancy_michael Posted: 5 January 2004, 4:44 AM  
Is it just me -or does this sound just like the current Super Series in a slightly modified package?
Good on you for thinking big Simon -this weekend at Naseby demonstrated how good it is to have a decent sized international contingent at an NZ event!! It would be great if (as you say) NZ was a northern winter training ground for internationals (like Carsten)

Show Profile  Southernman Posted: 5 January 2004, 10:12 AM  
I like the idea Simon but this may be a bit to long for local elites to take time off work, I believe that this would attract elites from overseas and the NZOF should take a serious look at it

Show Profile  addison Posted: 5 January 2004, 2:29 PM  
Some things that need to be clarified at this current point in time:

- This is not like the Super Series, other than it has top class Elite Orienteering
- This Elite Series is not just for elites, it will have other grades as well that follow the same tour. But its main purpose is elites.
- It is 3 weeks of continued Orienteering, not a weekend here, and a weekend there.
- What I proposed about the rounds is just an idea, and that can change very easily
- Possibility of World Ranking points? Just an idea, because if we are going to be getting lots of foreigners, why not enhance the competition by applying for world ranking points to entice more to come
- My message about Hawkes Bay is one eyed, im sure they have great maps that I have not seen as of yet, but it is quite a way off the tours travelling route and that is the main reason.

Show Profile  Liv Posted: 5 January 2004, 3:24 PM  
hey simon it sounds like a great idea!!
I'm from WA and I don't have much of an idea how your Orienteering Association runs or anything related but i think they should seriously consider this idea as it is a great way to promote Orienteering to everyone from all over the globe and bring an Elite event over to your corner of the globe.

Show Profile  ray_pratt Posted: 7 January 2004, 1:43 PM  
good ideas there Simon. I also wonder how you could get that length tour sold to our locals who are usually working hard to earn Euro and Pounds and Kronas. Ray Pratt

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 8 January 2004, 12:33 AM  
Hi Simon

A friendly suggestion.

Your proposal doesn't need to go to an NZOF AGM. What you do need to do is contact the clubs you are expecting to host these events and get their agreement and commitment. Without this, it won't fly.

Show Profile  Chris Forne Posted: 12 January 2004, 11:53 AM  
Hey Simon,

Sounds a great idea to me.

Someone should persuade the Aussies to organise a similar event. We could then have an annual Oceania elite summer series with events held in each country on alternate years. Having it as an annual event encompassing the two countries would increase the profile of the series, hopefully making it a major feature on the international calender. As you suggest, our summer is the best time for this, as along with better weather, it is the off season in Europe.


Show Profile  Dave Mcc Posted: 15 January 2004, 8:05 AM  
That alternating year thing sounds a bit like the good old anz. do you mean that test series we had with aussie but on a oceanic scale and a series?

Show Profile  addison Posted: 15 January 2004, 10:21 AM  
A few more things:

- This series is not intended to have any follow up after it. In other words, it is not proposed to be a annual thing between NZ / Aus or anything such as that. Your idea has some credit Chris, but I would not be pushing for it as this will require so much work that it is probably not viable when Orienteering is this size in this part of the World.

The other thing about the annual thing, is that the Series when it does happen (seems to be every 10 years if this goes ahead), will lose its importance to foreign Orienteers. By having it every 10 years, is long enough to almost ensure a high number of Europeans as they see this as there OE to NZ whilst Orienteering. Also this is proposed to be raced on our best maps, and if you had it every couple of years, the pulling factor of those maps will be nullified. But if someone else is willing to do it, feel free.

- I would love to have it in 2006, but if it is to be done properly and be given all the exposure to be a top-class event, it really needs to be in 2007.

Simon Addison

This message was edited by Simon Addison on 15 January 2004, 5:21 PM

Show Profile  bendover Posted: 15 January 2004, 3:30 PM  
simon, i am pleasantly surprised at how intelligent you are. i bet your exam answers were actually quite good.

good luck to you.


p.s i would come to the races.

Show Profile  Dave Barr Posted: 28 January 2004, 4:48 PM  
It is a bit of a concern that this will put all of our good maps in one basket, devaluing all of them in one foul swoop. This also means that we will not be able to run a high quality carnival for twenty years or so.

I think this is the Robert Muldoon version of the Roger Douglas idea that could be put in place. A simple week long event with centralised accomodation that can be run in early Jan and advertised with the Aussie five-day.

Also why would you call it an 'elite' series. More people mean more money and the elites would still come. Aiming broadly at all orienteers makes far better commercial sense. We can't provides elites with better competition than they get in europe, so why not market such an event as a high-quality orienteering holiday (i.e.the way New Zealander view O-Ringen).

However I am very much looking forward to this event and I am expecting it to rival Jamie Stewarts 2001 summer series.

P.S. I think you should probably stop smoking 'P' (or pure methamphetamine) Simon.

I didn't mean for this post to get increasingly negative, it just somehow happened that way.

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 7 February 2004, 4:19 AM  
For a while now, I've independently had the same sort of conceptual idea as Chris and (shock horror) DB, and a few other people who I've mentioned the idea to and have replied "yeah I've thought that too". That is an annual week long summer event (week long but I'd probably still go for 5 races of mixed length, so that if we get a summer like this we won't have too many people overheating and dying) based around one centre (a different centre each year) and elite focussed as far as the promotion side of things goes. The one crucial factor to make this fly, and if you're going ahead Simon you might want to take this into account as well, is I think it would have to be run by its own organisation that is independent of "host clubs" (so that it is not an unwanted burden for clubs, and for example could go to places that have quality maps but are short of quality controllers) and at least to a degree independent of the NZOF.

So the questions are, what's more ambitious and what's more useful to us? A smallish annual event, or a big one-off or irregular event? Both ideas have their pros and cons. I'll try to list all those I can think of (could take a while) and try my best to not be biased, others can offer others.

Overseas elites:
The tour concept should in theory attract a big quality field once. The annual 5-day would get a smaller field, but if properly promoted would get a few high quality entries each year.

NZ elites:
The tour expects everyone to be available for a long period one year. Currently 2 of the best NZ residents are ecologists (many ecologists can only depend on work this time of year), and if they wanted to eat, pay rent etc that summer would be likely to only come to one or two legs.

The 5-day expects everyone to be available for a week every year. Won't always happen so the field could be quite inconsistent from year to year.

Use of areas:
Going to one place each year means that "outposts" like Hawkes Bay and Southland all eventually have their turn, rather than missing out because they don't fit into a tour. If successful over the long term, and if independent of clubs, the 5 day could start going into "virgin" areas (the Far North? East Coast?) (yeah, dream on Nic). On the down side some venues might have 3 really good maps but scratch to find 5, and as the terrain changes from year to year (there would be some years of predominately yello spur gully maps) either the attractiveness would change from year to year, or some years people would go home disapointed.

The tour on the other hand has not just been put together on the basis of nice places to go, but obviously Simon has thought hard about what the best current MAPS are, so it's attractive all the way through. But Dave has a point about using all the good areas at once. Not neccesarily a problem if it is only a one off?

Can someone with more dealings with the sport media answer this question: what would make a bigger impact: a big once in a lifetime carnival or a small regular event?

Relationships with over events:
An annual event could link with the Australian summer multi day (there is one isn't there? I know there used to be) as a nice "tour package" -like going to Oringen and the Fin5 but of course on a much smaler scale! And I think we need something every year linking the spring peak with the autumn peak. But the annual 5 day could conflict with Oceania, APOC and WM-type things that when NZ hosts them are midsummer. Or it could be co-ordinated to make a 3 series package those years? That conflict can be ignored for a one-off/irregular tour.

Reading back I think I am a bit biased, but I don't mean to discourage anyone. I look forward to a well argued intelligent rebuttal Simon! And if it goes ahead, then I'd be trying my hardest to make it to a leg or 3 because it does look primo!

Show Profile  Wayne Aspin Posted: 18 February 2004, 2:44 PM  
Back in May School Holidays 1986, the dark ages before Simon was born,I was the instigator and chairman of the sucessful and popular NZ 7 Day event.Each of the most Northern clubs held a day with the best 5 counting.Elite winners were Rob G & Alison Stewart and ofcourse the event was open to all grades.The work load was spread around,with each club producing a new map. We had a great event co-ordinator in Unni Lewis and Ken H.was the event overall controller. This event was advertized overseas and attracted many O'teers to visit and compete on our wonderfully varied terrain.They also had plenty of time to be tourists as well.The 7 Day event was a straight out multi day with no championship events thrown in and any one working in the N.I could miss 2 days and still be competitive.
I had done my dash, but no other o'teer was prepared to take it up again and run with it in the following years.Perhaps NZ Orienteering is waiting for a Simon to carry an idea through.




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