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maandag, december 30, 2013

Hendrickx and Ward win Sylvester 2013

Tomas Hendrickx of Belgium stormed to victory during sylvester 5-days by winning 4 stages. Christoph Brandt (GER) carried on a strong performance and took the 2nd place in his first Sylvester participation ever. In women's class Claire Ward (GBR) retained the leader bib after finishing 2nd in the last stage.

Yannick Michiels (coursesetter) prepared a course with some long legs and a lot of controls in the technical area full of trenches. He didn't expect anyone to run sub 5'00/km today. But Tomas Hendrickx succeeded to run faster than the expected winning time. Despite some tiredness (after 5 days orienteering) and a big mistake at the 3rd control (because of his tiredness), he won again. Belgian champion Hendrickx edged his opponent Christoph Brandt by just 1 minute to win todays 8.9km race. Obviously Brandt also took the 2nd spot in the overall ranking. 

Tomas Hendrickx in action during todays race in Leopoldsburg

Desmond Franssen recorded his first ever Sylvesterpodium result (in elite class) in third place, by also finishing in 3rd position today. Francois Joly made 2 big mistakes (at controls 1 and 17). This made him finish 6th today and 4th in the overall ranking. The Belgian hamok teammates Thomas van der Kleij and Benjamin Anciaux were 4th and 5th in Leopoldsburg.

Desmond Franssen crossing the open area during the first long leg (towards control 5)

Thomas van der Kleij punching control 21

In women's class Iliana Ilieva (Halden Sk) showed that her shape is improving, by winning the last stage. She was 45 seconds faster than Claire Ward (who secured her overall victory by this performance). Sophie Tritschler suffered from tiredness and the tough terrain during the last stage. She made too many mistakes today and finished in 3rd spot. In the overall ranking she became 2nd for the 2nd year in row. Maybe she'll come back for the victory in december 2014?

Simon Krekels next to Iliana Ilieva

Sophie Tritschler

To my opinion we could enjoy a nice sylvester 5-days event in 2013. The clubs offered quality maps and the organisation from the competitions was good every single day. The Gps tracking was a nice innovation and will hopefully be used more often in the future. Also in 2014 we can expect some demanding maps and terrains (calender 2014) at the Sylvester 5-days. The Flemish federation is even thinking about organising 2 WRE's in 2014. Hopefully we can expect a nice startfield again.

Sylvester 2013 podium: Christoph Brandt - Sophie Tritschler - Tomas Hendrickx - Claire Ward - Iliana Ilieva - Desmond Franssen

For those athletes who can't wait untill next year to enjoy the Belgian terrain again, there are some other opportunities. In 2014 Flanders will organise the Junior European Cup (JEC), including spectatorsraces. This event will take place in october on 3 of the best maps you can find here.
In august the Flanders 3-days will take place in Genk. This terrain is similar to the WRE in Vierveld, including a terril. The last (but first on the calender) opportunity is the 3-days of Belgium in the beginning of june. This event will take place in the south of Belgium and will be more hilly than you could experience the previous days.

Map (H21E - Desmond Franssen)
Overall ranking
Photos Sylvester 2013 stage 5

zondag, december 29, 2013

Sylvester stage 4: Claire Ward and Tomas Hendrickx

The last 2 days from the sylvester 5-days 2013 take place in the militar area from Leopoldsburg. Today Stalleykerheide was the place to be and borasca organised a nice competition. In men's class Hendrickx took his 3rd victory and in women's class Claire Ward took her 2nd victory. Both athletes are also leading the overall ranking.

Tomas Hendrickx focused this winter mainly on crosscountry races and did almost no orienteering before this 5-days event. Even without orienteeringtraining he succeeded to run without big misktakes today. He lost a bit time at the first control, but overtook everybody with his highest running speed. This victory makes him the overall winner from Sylvester 5-days 2013 (for the 2nd year in a row: article edition 2012). Wait and see if he'll run full speed again tomorrow (source).

Tomas Hendrickx next to his father and world champion Roger Hendrickx, both enjoying the sunny Belgian weather in Lommel

 For Christoph Brandt the beginning of the race was similar to yesterday. He again had some problems with the first 2 controls and afterwards he could match the speed from Hendrickx. He became 2nd, 1 minute down to the best time. Also Desmond Franssen could avoid mistakes today and finished into 3rd position, 50 seconds ahead of Francois Joly. Benjamin Anciaux had the 5th best time today, but was disqualified because of punching the wrong 4th control.

Jeroen Hoekx, Jeremy Genar and Winston Franssen are sick or not recovered from sickness yet. Hopefully their situation improves fast, so they can fight for a good result tomorrow. Yannick Michiels will be the coursesetter and promised a nice coursesetting on 'Zwarte weg' (map Olle Karner). Also the distances will be a little bit longer than the previous days.

In class D21E we expected an exciting duel between Sophie Tritschler and Claire Ward. Tritschler told us after her race that her performance from today was probably not good enough for the victory. She made 2 big mistakes (2 controls in a pit which she passed only by a few meters without seeing them) and lost too much time there. It's the 2nd year in row that her family spents their christmasholidays in Belgium. They like to combine the nice orienteering events with some city trips in the afternoon.  Last year Tritschler finished 2nd in the overall ranking (Miek Fabré won). If she wants to win this edition, she'll need a great performance tomorrow.

Claire Ward took her 2nd victory and is the current overall leader.

The current leader in women's class is Claire Ward. She took her 2nd victory today, 2min30 faster than Tritschler. Iliana Ilieva took the 3rd spot ahead of our Belgian athletes: Mira Scheir (4th), Saartje Sallaerts (5th) and Nancy Wenderickx (6th).

Today the organisation again offered live gps tracking. The youth runners (H16 and D14) were tracked during their race in Stalleykerheide. You can see it again here.

Map (H21E - Desmond Franssen)
Overall ranking
GPS tracking replay youth

zaterdag, december 28, 2013

Sylvester stage 3: Sophie Tritschler and Tomas Hendrickx

In 2012 the map Heeserbergen was used for the Belgian middle distance champs. Yannick Michiels and Aline Hermans were too strong for their opponents 1.5 year ago (results). Today Tomas Hendrickx and Sophie Tritschler showed that they were the best in Lommel during Sylvester 2013 stage 3.

Tomas Hendrickx next to Philippe Adamski on yesterdays podium

Tomas Hendrickx took his 2nd victory today and is leading the overall ranking in H21E. He was satisfied about his performance, because he completed his race without making any big mistakes (on 39 controls!). Benjamin Anciaux finished as 2nd. The previous days he complained about his bad shape, but today he performed strong again. The local athlete was only 1min30 slower than winner Hendrickx. Christoph Brandt didn't take a good start on the Heeserbergen map, but ran a good 2nd part of the race. Finally he finished 3rd and is 2nd in the general ranking. He has to beat Hendrickx the next 2 days if he still wants to take the Sylvester 5-days victory home to Germany.

Sophie Tritschler in action during the Swiss middle distance champs 2012

In class D21E the fight for the overall victory got exciting again after todays victory from Sophie Tritschler. If we take the 2 best results from the 3 previous stages, Tritschler and Ward have exactly the same score. Claire Ward became 3rd today after making a 3 minutes mistake in the middle of her race. Also Iliana Ilieva can fight for the overall victory if she performs like today. She took the 2nd spot, only 31 seconds slower than Tritschler.

Results Heeserbergen
Splits Heeserbergen
Map (H21E - Desmond Franssen)
Overall ranking Sylvester

vrijdag, december 27, 2013

Sylvester stage 2 WRE: Adamski and Chataing

The French couple Philippe Adamski and Amélie Chataing particpates only at stage 2, the world ranking event in Vierveld. Their presence was remarkable, because they both took the victory in elite class.

Philippe Adamski was part of the winning team at relay woc2011 (read about this race again on worldofo)

Today the participants of Sylvester 5-days could enjoy a nice competition. Omega offered a tricky map for Sylvester 2013 and all particpants enjoyed the terrain. The map was up to date, the coursesetting was interesting and the Gps tracking was a nice innovation. The competition in Vierveld included some fast legs, routechoices and technical controls on the hillsides. In the past the map was always printed in 1/7500, so today it was more challenging to read all the details in 1/10000 scale.

Also Adamski confirmed that he liked the terrain today. He was satisfied about his race, despite 2 mistakes on the same hillside (controls 5 and 6). At control 14 he caught up with Christoph Brandt and they stayed together untill the finishline. Brandt finally took the bronze medal in todays race. Yesterdays winner Tomas Hendrickx performed again strong today and took the 2nd spot. In the end he had some profit from Jeremy Genar and Jeroen Hoekx, but he ran most of the race alone. Despite his great result, he concluded that he still has to improve some skills to become even better (source). Sergey Fedatsenka wasn't happy nor unhappy about his race. You can read his feelings about his race in his trainingslog.

The world ranking is already updated and here you can see todays points. The points are important for the national team ahtletes. They need to score 3500 points in total to be able to participate at EOC 2014 in Portugal.

Amelie Chataing enjoying the nice Belgian weather ;-)

In womens class the level was really high today. Best Belgian orienteer Miek Fabré only finished 3rd at todays WRE. The French national team runner, Amelie Chataing, overtook Fabre at the 12th control and was victorious in the end. Claire Ward was in a close fight for the victory most of the race, but had some problems in the 2nd half of the race. Anastasia Denisova had the highest running speed today, but 3 big mistakes made her finish in 4th spot. Also Tritschler (5th), Hermans (6th), Ilieva (7th) and Pitirimova (8th) performed at high level today.

Nederlandstalig verslag wre Vierveld
GPS replay men
GPS replay women

LIVE @ 10:30 - Gps tracking Sylvester day 2 (WRE)

Philippe Adamski, Christoph Brandt and Thomas van der Kleij are the 3 best ranked athletes at the startline in mens class. Will they fight for the victory at Sylvester 2013 stage 2 or will Tomas Hendrickx (again) and Sergey Fedatsenka challenge them? Also the best Belgian junior runners Tristan Bloemen and Evert Leeuws are motivated to show their talent. The terrain in Vierveld will include a steep climb and the course will measure 6.5km. You can follow it live from 10:30 in the morning:

LIVE GPS tracking MEN
Startlist H21E

Also in womens class some top runners are present. Amelie Chataing, Miek Fabre and Claire Ward are the highest ranked runners. But Sophie Tritschler showed yesterday and last year that she can handle the Flemish terrain. Also Iliana Ilieva, Anastasia Denisova (jwoc medal winner) and Aline Hermans have the capacity to win this race. At 11:30 the show starts live:

Startlist D21E

donderdag, december 26, 2013

Sylvester stage 1: Tomas Hendrickx and Claire Ward

In class H21E we saw an easy victory for Tomas Hendrickx (Bel) ahead of Christoph Brandt (Ger) and Desmond Franssen (Bel). In womens class the top-3 included only foreign runners: Claire Ward (Gbr) ahead of Sophie Tritschler (Sui) and Iliana Ilieva (Bul).

Today the sylvester 5-days took off in Weelde (north of Belgium) with stage 1. The map wasn't the most technical/demanding,  so it was important to have the highest running speed. In mens class Tomas Hendrickx took an easy victory. He made a few small mistakes, but he ran much faster than his opponents. Tomorrow at the WRE 40 instead of 17 participants will be present. We are curious if Hendrickx will be victorious again in the slower, hilly and more technical terrain in Vierveld.

Claire Ward won stage 1 (Photo: worldofo)

In womens class Sophie Tritschler was almost as fast as Claire Ward (in the end of the race even faster). But in the end the difference between both runners was only 1'17 and Claire Ward took the victory. Also in class D21E the startfield will be stronger tomorrow. Amelie Chataing, Miek Fabré, Aline Hermans and Anastasia Denisova will challenge Claire Ward.

Map (H21E - Desmond Franssen)

Tomorrow GPS tracking will be organised for the 2nd time ever in Belgium (Flanders). Below you can see the links to follow both races:
- WRE race Sylvester 2013 MEN (starting from 10:40)
- WRE race Sylvester 2013 WOMEN (starting from 11:20)

woensdag, december 11, 2013

Belgian course of the year 2013

Last week worldofo organised the election for the international course of the year. No Belgian courses or maps were selected. Eventhough we had some interesting and challenging competitions in 2013. Below Delaatstepost-team made a selection from some races which were really demanding and which are worth some attention:

1. Oostelbeersche Heide (26/05/2013)
This map is located close to Eindhoven in the Netherlands (so not in Belgium). But many Belgian athletes participated in the Brabant 3-days and also the coursesetter was Belgian. Jeremy Genar made the courses for the last stage of the Brabant 3-days and got a lot of compliments afterwards. Wiet Laenen described this course as the best of the year: some interesting long legs and many technical short legs, it included everything what an orienteering event needs.
Sergey Fedatsenka (Belarus) and Miek Fabré (Belgium) were the winners in men and women elite. Fedatsenka was almost 8 minutes faster than Frank Buytaert. Also the Hendrickx' brothers didn't succeed in beating Fedatsenka in this technical terrain.

On the mapfragment you can see the detailed microrelief at the Oostelbeersche Heide
Map (better quality)

2. Zwarte Bergen (19/05/2013)
Also this map isn't located in Belgium, but it's stituated in Luycksgestel (also in the Netherlands). The map 'Zwarte Bergen' was the 2nd stage of the Belgian 3-days, so it also can be part of 'Belgian course of the year 2013'. This race was a middle distance world ranking event and had an international coursesetter: Henrik Lisby. Yannick Michiels (Belgium) and Anna Serrallonga (Spain) were victorious in men and women elite class. The Belgian toporienteer Michiels had chosen this map as the best course of year in Belgium (he spent half of the year in Sweden and didn't run many competitions here). Also the Belgian relay champs (Sonnis) and the Belgian sprint champs (Konijnenberg) were interesting races, he continued. But if he had to pick one, Zwarte Bergen was his favourit.

In the middle of the WRE race the runners had to pass a technical open area

3. Gp Melis Galbergen (10/11/2013)
Individual mass start races don't often take place in Belgium. Thanks to the concept this race got nominated for course of the year in Belgium. The map Galbergen isn't the most demanding which you can find in Flanders, but the qualification race was a positive surprise for all participants. All athletes who were present at this event, agreed that they have enjoyed the head-to-head fight during this race.
The qualification race was won by Benjamin Anciaux (Bel), ahead of Ivar Lundanes (Nor) and Jiri Bouchal (Cze). Evert Leeuws won the finals in the afternoon.
When we asked Winston Franssen about the 'course of the year', he answered immediately that Gp Melis was for sure the best event of the year. We need more organisations like this. It was a good example from how creating a great event with a low quality map. Also the Belgian relay champs were among his favourit races in 2013.

An interesting routechoice between control 1 and 2. Some runners opted to take the path in the south and other runners went straight avoiding the private areas.

4. Athus (27/04/2013)
This map was used for both jwoc as woc middle distance selection race for the Belgian national team. When the juniors were running here in early spring the visibility was still good and the terrain was fast. When the woc selection race took place, the map was changed into a technical area with many vegetationdetails.
Originally the woc selectionraces would take place in Finland, but they got cancelled because of the snow. Now it took place in less relevant terrain close to Arlon with Jean-Noel Debehogne as coursesetter. Tomas Hendrickx was in his best shape of the year at that moment and won the middle selection race in Athus. Fabien Pasquasy became 2nd and Johan Goubau 3rd.

Athus was a new map in 2013 and hopefully it will be used for another competiton in the future.

5. Gruitroderbos (08/09/2013)
The map Gruitrode is famous for the Jwoc 1997 long distance race. Also in 2013 it was used for a long distance national race with a coursesetting from Jozef Den Trooster. This map got selected by Toon Melis. He didn't run the elite course, but H21A (this class was easily won by the revelation of 2013: Michael Van Baelen). Also the current bronze medal from the world university champs (Anna Serrallonga) described the terrain as very demanding. It was her worst race in Belgium up to now, but still she enjoyed. Actually in general she's positive about the terrain in Flanders, perfect for improving her skills in microrelief and keeping direction with the compass. About the quality and accuracy of the Gruitroderbosmap itself she was a bit more critical. She had difficulties to always understand it (map D21E). Actually she was not the only runner who prefered the map to be more uptodate (with vegetations).
In H21E Sergey Fedatsenka won the race ahead of Tomas Hendrickx and Jeroen Hoekx. Miek Fabré won the D21E race with more than 10 minutes ahead of Greet Oeyen.

After the mapchange the H21E athletes entered the technical zones with detailed microrelief.
Map (H21E part1)
Map (H21E part 2)

Maps which almost made it to our top5 selection: 
- Raid-o-lux Chiny (map) with a great performance from Michel Bastin,
- Belgian sprint champs Konijneberg with a nice dune on the map,
- Belgian relay champs in Sonnis (this race got some compliments but also some critics. 2 controls, seperated by only 20m, with the same controldescription caused some disqualifications),
- a test race in Ossendrecht noord (a lot of positive comments about this race, but 3 out of 5 maps from the Netherlands would have been too much),
- the 5th stage of the Sylvester 5-days in Oirschot (but this was the last race from 2012).

This selection from maps and courses is ofcourse not complete. So feel free to comment about an interesting orienteering competition which you've run in Belgium in 2013. It would be nice if you can add a link to the map and write down some (positive) comments why you've liked that specific course/map/race.

zondag, december 08, 2013

The downfall of orienteering

I totally agree with this video

donderdag, december 05, 2013

Sylvester 5-days 2013: strong field

Both in men and women elite class the Belgian athletes will be in good company during the sylvester 5-days in the end of december. Last year Hannu Airila (Fin) was the toprunner at the startline and he took the victory at the world ranking event. This edition the French couple Philippe Adamski and Amelie Chataing will be the stars of the Sylvester 5-days.

In class H21E we always expect the strongest Flemish (north of Belgium) runners among the participants. This edition Yannick Michiels is still missing on the startlist, but he'll be for sure present at the 5th stage as coursesetter. His teammate Tomas Hendrickx will be one of the candidates to win the overall ranking.
Also omega will sent out some strong elite runners this year: Evert Leeuws, Joost Talloen, Jan Oeyen and Tommy Janssens will be present. Ken Peeters (back from Sweden), Jeremy Genar, Desmond Franssen and Winston Franssen will represent the Trol colours during the 5-days. Hamok is more mysterious about their elite runners. But we expect to see Jeroen Hoekx, Thomas van der Kleij, Benjamin Anciaux and Toon Melis at the startline.

Francois van der Ouderaa will be one of the few athletes from the south of Belgium taking part at this event. Also Fabien Pasquasy was thinking about joining the most interesting stage.

For sure it will not be easy for the Belgian runners to win the most important wintercompetition. Some strong opponents are ready to make it difficult for them:

Philippe Adamski ready for Sylvester 2013 (Photo:

- Philippe Adamski: got his big international breakthrough with his silver medal at the long distance in the European Champs in Bulgaria in 2010. Important part of the strong French relay team - and took a silver medal at the European Champs relay in 2010. Strong long distance runner. At Woc2013 his best result was a 12th spot (again in long distance).
- Lacho Iliev: is a Bulgarian toporienteer. He was already in the finals in Woc2003 in Switserland. He's member of the Norwegian club Halden SK as athlete and coach. In 2012 he still represented Bulgaria at Eoc in Sweden.
- Christoph Brandt: is the current German champion and member of the German national team at Woc (from 2010 untill now). He also wanted to participate at the sylvester 5-days last year, but got sick.
- Sergey Fedatsenka: the athlete from Belarus is famous in the Flemish region, since he's living in the Netherlands. Last year he showed that he's in good shape by winning the wre at Drenthe 3-days.
- Alexander Lubina: also this fast German runner is famous in Belgium. He already participated in the sylvester 5-days many times and recently he showed up at the Gp Melis. In Woc2013 he performed strong in the sprint distance.
- Francois Joly: this young French runner is one of the talents from Tad (part of the winning team at cne). He represented France at Jwoc 2010.

Also Amelie Chataing will travel to Flanders (Photo:

Also in womens class some strong foreign runners are ready for a fight with the Belgian girls:
- Amelie Chataing: Strong sprinter, but also good in middle distance. She had her best result in Woc this year in the technical middle distance. She finished into 7th position. She won the World University Championships sprint in Sweden in 2010.
- Sophie Tritschler: was 2nd in the sylvester 5-days in 2012 (results). Her best result ever is Jwoc gold in relay in 2009.
- Claire Ward: one of the strongest Brittish women. Her best result at Woc was a 7th spot in 2012 in sprint distance. This year she got 28th in the technical middle distance.
- Anastasia Denisova: got a bronze medal at Jwoc 2013 in sprint. She also represented Belarus at Eoc 2012 in Sweden. Thanks to her connection with Sergey Fedatsenka, she'll be very well prepared for the competitions in Flanders.
- Iliana Ilieva: moved to Norway March 2009, representing Halden since the start of 2009-season. Took a big step towards Top 10 with her 14th place in the World Championships Sprint in Chambery, France in 2011. Very strong WOC results as a first year senior in Japan in 2005, with 20th place on the sprint and 22nd place on the middle. 
- Laurine Loterie: also often competes in Flanders, since she's living in the north of France. This year she was part of the French junior team at Jec in France.

Laurine Loterie in action at Eyoc.

Website Sylvester 5-days 2013