Jan Kjellstrom was a young Swedish orienteer who helped establish the sport in Britain, son of Alvar Kjellstrom, one of the founders of the Silva compass company. He was killed in a car accident in early 1967 and the JK was established that year in his memory.
Interest has been heightened this year since the announcement that the 2015 World Championships will be in Scotland so many orienteers from around the world are taking the opportunity to race and train in the area. Both the Irish Senior and Junior Squads are staying on after the events for some Scottish terrain training.
|Craig a Barns|
Interest will centre on the Elites: Darren Burke, Gerard Butler, Hugh Cashell, Colm Hill, Seamus O'Boyle, Marcus Pinker and Ruairi Short in M21E and Ros Hussey, Susan Lambe, Ciara Largey and Niamh O'Boyle in W21E in the classic races, and those running for JWOC and EYOC selection are M18E's Eoin McCullough, Jack Millar and Laurence Quinn, M20E's Cillín Corbett, Colm Moran, Josh O'Sullivan-Hourihan and Conor Short, W18E's Niamh Corbett and Clíona McCullough, and W20E Áine McCann.
JK2012 is one of two selection races for the Junior World Championships (JWOC) in Slovakia in July and for the European Youth O-Champs in France in June/July, so interest in the juniors' performance will be keen.
Also on the JK agenda is Trail-O and the LVO triumvirate of Alan Gartside, Wilbert Hollinger and Declan McGrellis will be flying the flag there. As the World Trail-O Championships are also in Scotland in June, this will be a useful outing for them. Declan was 3rd and Alan 5th in the Open class in the British Trail-O Champs on Anglesea on St. Patrick's weekend.
The JK Trophy itself is awarded for the Relay and again, several Irish teams will be running: CNOC, LVO, Ajax, Cork and 3ROC are expected to field strong teams, though they are unlikely to dislodge the top British and international teams.
The forecast for Easter is for cold wintry conditions (10 cm of snow in parts of Scotland) and the added uncertainty of a possible fuel tanker strike should all add extra challenges.
If you like to plan ahead, JK2013 will start on 29th March in the Chiltern Hills, west of London.
The areas, sand dunes at Castlegregory, Inch and the Maharees on the Dingle Peninsula, will provide very intricate contour-orienteering in very scenic surroundings and I hope that, while the initial negative response to the event caused by the high entry fees may reduce the numbers, it won't diminish the status of the event.
The IOA Annual General Meeting will also be on the IOC weekend. Details of IOC are here.
|6||Livingston||Perthshire||Jan Kjellström Festival of Orienteering 2012 / Sprint (Pre-entry)||SOA|
|7||Dunalastair||Perthshire||Jan Kjellström Festival of Orienteering 2012 / Individual Day 1 (Pre-entry)||SOA|
|8||Craig a Barns||Perthshire||Jan Kjellström Festival of Orienteering 2012 / Individual Day 2 (Pre-entry)||SOA|
|9||Newtyle||Perthshire||Jan Kjellström Festival of Orienteering 2012 / Relays (Pre-entry)||SOA|
|9||Barleycove Sand Hills||Cork||Cork Spring League / Family Day / No. 4||Bishopstown|
|15||Woodstock||Kilkenny||Southeast League / No. 10||Waterford|
|15||Ross Castle||Kerry||Kingdom League / No. 6||Kerry|
|15||Three Rock Wood||Dublin||Leinster Spring Cup / No. 6||Three Rock|
|15||Hazelwood||Sligo||Non-league / 'Come-and-try-it' Event /||SligO|
|21||Rosskerrig||Cork||'Off The Paths' Training Event / (Closed - CorkO)||Cork|
|22||Rosskerrig||Cork||Munster League / No. 5||Cork|
|26||Farran Forest Park||Cork||Cork Mid-Week League / 'Come-and-try-it' Event / No. 6||Bishopstown|
|26||Farran Forest Park||Cork||Business Houses League / Family Evening / No. 1||Bishopstown|
|29||Inchydoney Sand Hills||Cork||Cork Spring League / Family Day / No. 5||Bishopstown|
|29||Mullaghmeen||Westmeath||Leinster Spring Cup / No. 7||Setanta|
With the current popularity of adventure races, there is a new generation of people out there who enjoy this kind of stuff, although maybe it has to be dressed up in flashy clothes and charge a large entry fee for an adventure race.
Navigation is a key part of these races and there's an opportunity there for orienteering to grab some of these keen people. The CNOC events with an "adventure course"; the NIOA running navigation training for adventure racers; the British Orienteering colour event specifications including things like long orange courses for those who want a run but whose navigation isn't up to a very technical course: we should cater more for these and gradually reel them in to the best sport of all!
Course Planning Course
Course planners from around the country attended the IOA Course Planning meeting in Dublin on Saturday 31st March. Graham Nilsen, controller of one of the days of the JK last year, and IOA Technical Officer Harold White gave the presentations and there was a practical session on the Ajax map of the Bull Island, used for a Leinster league event the previous Sunday.
Graham focused on the technical difficulty standards for different courses and ensuring that the participants at events got a course that was right for them: easy for beginners and progressing to more difficult. He also looked at planning for different types of courses (sprint, middle distance and long) and illustrated his talks with examples from his long career as a planner and competitor.
Harold gave a preview of what is being considered for a revision of the IOA Rules relating to Championship events - have we got the winning times in the rules right or should we change them? To what extent to planners abide by the existing guidelines anyway, and how do you cope with changes in conditions (faster or slower running underfoot) between planning the courses and running the event?
We all went away with food for thought and a greater appreciation of what course planning can achieve.
Graham, incidentally, is the author of the British course planning book (read it here) which, though the courses don't exactly coincide with ours, is very relevant and worth reading. Here is a section on planning the technically difficult courses, for example. Here is Appendix B from the British rules dealing with course planning. Graham reckoned that TD3 (technical difficulty 3) courses like Orange and TD4 (Light Green) can be the most difficult to plan, so here is the section referring to Orange and Light Green courses.
This course was due to be held in Dublin in December 2010 but was snowed off.