Kiwis navigate their way to Christmas event blitz

NEW Zealand navigators Matthew Ogden and Lizzie Ingham completed comfortable overall victories in the Goldseeker’s Orienteering Christmas 5 Day event which finished yesterday.

The Kiwis dominated the competition, easily winning the men’s and women’s A divisions.

The final day of competition saw Ogden complete a fifth win from as many starts, securing him an overall point score victory with a total of 5178.05.

Former Australian champion David Sheppard, from the ACT, started the day in second place and was looking to push Ogden for overall honours.

That was before he was forced to retire hurt after treading on a stake, which pierced his foot.

Sheppard’s retirement was a blessing in disguise for Norwegian Jim Oystein Nybraten (4949.01), who did enough on the final day to leapfrog Sheppard (4936.20) into second position overall.

Ingham (4958.95) lead the women’s A division from start to finish, finishing 190.31 points in front of fellow Kiwi Laura Robertson (4768.64) in second. 

The ACT’s Jo Allison slipped from second to third on the final day, finishing with 4663.79 points.

In the other men’s divisions, Steven Craig (5498.31), Robert Vincent (5271.75), Eoin Rothery (5184.86), Robert Allison (5000.95), Cameron Morrison (4605.34) and Ewan Shingler (4726.86) were the overall winners in the B, C, D, E, F and G categories respectively.

Of the women, the respective B, C, D, E and F overall winners were Jenny Bourne (5220.73), Sue Hancock (5015.27), Alison Radford (5908.52), Zoe Melhuish (4906.16) and Mikaela Gray (5444.82).

The overall points score is determined by a time margin system, which takes the average of the top three finishing times and allots that time into 1000 points. Each competitor is then awarded a reflective score depending on how much longer they take to finish, and each person’s best four scores of the competition are added together to reveal their overall score.

Macquarie Woods hosted the last course of the event, with competitors taking on dense bushland on the final day of competition.

Ogden completed a clinical victory, piloting the 6.4km course in 35.13 minutes, from second-placed Oystein Nybraten (36.42) and third-placed Brian Keely (37.57) from the Bendigo Orienteerers Club.

Ingham’s time of 37.50 was enough to secure her fourth victory of the competition, but she was pushed all the way by Allison (39.54) and Robertson (40.39).

Of the Orange Goldseekers, Peter Baldwin scored a win in men’s D division with a time of 34.03 and Bridget Bennett had a good run, clocking 51.00 to finish sixth in women’s B division.

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