New England Orienteering Championships
Orienteering USA Two-Day National Ranking Event
Photo: N. Duprey
Preliminary Information and Invitation
The New England Orienteering Club (NEOC) invites you to compete October 2nd and 3rd, 2021 at the New England Orienteering Championships (NE Champs) on an all-new orienteering map of Willard Brook State Forest.
We intend to host this national ranking event in as “normal” a fashion as we can, but we are going to remain flexible and take reasonable and prudent measures to safeguard public health and the health and safety of meet staff and participants. We will remain compliant with all relevant public health guidelines (federal, state, local) and Orienteering USA guidance. And, we recognize this may change until the last minute.
Organizer & Key Personnel
The New England Orienteering Club is hosting NE Champs, “with a little help from our friends.” Sing along...
Classic format national ranking event, with two-day combined time championships. Serious bragging rights for residents or primary club members of New England orienteering clubs (UNO, NEOC, CSU, NG, WCOC, GMOC). Sorry, New York, our geography teachers all insisted that you just don’t make the cut for New England, but you are certainly welcome to come race and enjoy a new map.
We will offer OUSA standard courses and age classes. Winning time estimates: Blue (70-80min), Red (60-75min), Green (45-55min), Brown (40-50min), Orange (35-50min), Yellow (25-40min), White (20-30min). The maximum time allowed on course is 3 hours.
General map of the region
The competition will be held at Willard Brook State Forest and Pearl Hill State Park, Townsend & Ashby, Massachusetts, located 60 miles (90 minutes) NW of Boston.
The entirety of Willard Brook State Forest and Pearl Hill State Park have been embargoed to competitors since March 2020. Those that camp at either park and stay within the bounds of the established campgrounds are not in violation of this embargo. Any violations of the embargo (deliberate or inadvertent) should be brought to the Event Directors’ attention for adjudication.
Unique COVID-19 adaptations
Based on current public health directives and OUSA COVID recommendations, we are prepared to adopt the following changes from “traditional” national ranking events:
- Lengthy start window and lower competitor load. We may have limits on how many people or how many cars can be at the event site at one time. You may end up with a parking reservation as well as a start time as we manage family units / carloads.
- No carpooling or shuttles to start.
- No water on courses or post-race refreshments. Competitors will be expected to carry their own water on courses and provide their own post-race snacks and drinks.
- No event dinner or social.
- No packet pickup. We are foregoing race numbers. Event information will be available via PDF and the website. Control descriptions (“cluesheets”) will be printed on the maps and distributed via PDF for your own production prior to the event (by printing or copying).
- No childcare services offered. We will provide those with small children or special needs appropriate start time flexibility.
- No beginner instruction offered. Although we welcome national event newcomers and will offer recreational White and Yellow courses, this will look more like a short-staffed local event.
- No results displays. Expect a local WiFi where you can get real-time results from your phone. You are likely to get an email with your splits, rather than a print-out.
What will you get? Fair courses on challenging terrain with a new map—the “heart” of orienteering without much of the trappings.
Pre-registration will be by EventReg. Day-of-event registration will also be by EventReg—your data entry on a smartphone, online payment, online waiver, etc. Late registration (with increased fees) from September 26 through September 28.
There are numerous lodging options in the region. The campground within the park (Pearl Hill State Park, which is with the larger Willard Brook State Forest) is now available through our competition weekend.
The park is typical glaciated New England terrain consisting of two major ridges and the valley between them, but rock features are concentrated in certain bands with other areas featuring complicated areas of small hills and depressions. Overall, the forest is 40% light green, 40% medium green, and 15% white woods.
The map has 5m contours derived from public LiDAR. Courses printed at the following scales:
|Green, Red & Blue||1:10,000|
|Brown and Orange||1:7,500|
|White and Yellow||1:5,000|
Willard Brook State Forest is similar to nearby Townsend State Forest (5 miles away as the crow flies), used for previous national ranking events. Previous courses at Townsend SF are available for review on NEOC's Routegadget.
Future event information to publish:
• Additional mapper notes and course setter notes (8/1/21)
• Model event map (9/20/21)
• Consolidated PDF available of all event info (9/25/21). This replaces packet pick-up.
• Start list & names/clubs of jury members (9/29/21)