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woensdag, november 04, 2015

Welcome to Sylvester 5-days in Belgium

Interested in participating in the last world ranking event (WRE) in Europe in 2015? Then the north of Belgium will be the place to be at the end of december.

The Sylvester 5 days are held every year between Christmas and New Year in the northern part of Belgium. It is an organisation from several Flemish and 1 Dutch clubs. With the Scandinavians training in the snow, there will probably be no snow for this event. Some years we have had a little bit snow, but never enough to keep the runners out of the forest!

Ausrine Kutkaite (winner WRE Sylvester 2014) in action at WOC2015 and hopefully also at Sylvester 2015 later on

Fast terrain and high level:
You can’t expect very technically difficult maps in an area like Flanders, but the high running speed combined with a lot of paths and details will still be a challenge. Some of the maps will have tricky sand areas and detailed countourlines as well (specially stages 2 and 3 in 2015). On day 2 you can expect the most demanding stage on the map Ossendrecht. Day 3 will take place in Pijnven, the 2nd last world ranking event in 2015.

Map extract from Ossendrecht (stage 2). Used in the past for the Belgian middle champs in 2008.

It will be fast definitely, with the elites probably running under 5’/km some days, so it's definately good speed-training! Ofcourse most of the Belgian top elites will be racing there. The previous years always some strong international runners showed up in the elite classes. In class H21E Philippe Adamski (France), Hannu Airila (Finland), Yannick Michiels (Belgium) and Tristan Bloemen (Belgium) were the 4 last winners of the world ranking event. In women's class Amelie Chataing (France) and 2 times Miek Fabré (Belgium) took the victory in 2011-2013 at the Sylvester 5 days WRE. Last year the winner was the Lithuanian Ausrine Kutkaite.

Tristan Bloemen - winner Sylvester WRE 2014. Will he succeed to win again in 2015?

Edition 2015:
In 2015 only 4 best out of 5 races are counting for the overall ranking. So it's possible to skip one stage and still aim for the total victory. We already can announce some athletes from the Netherlands, Ukraine, Switserland and 2 athletes from Nydalens SK (Norway) with among them the German WOC athlete Bojan Blumenstein in the elite classes.

Map extract from Pijnven-noord

Besides the orienteering there is a lot to see and taste in our country:

A lot of tourists come to Belgium for our beautiful cities, and cities like Antwerp, Brussels (see picture), Gent, Leuven and of course Brughes are less then 2 hours by car or train and definitely worth a visit!


Belgium is of course famous for our great beers and chocolate. I haven’t been to many orienteering events in other countries where people are drinking strong beers like Leffe after their race :)

Belgium is pretty central in Europe and has very good transport possibilities. Ryanair has an airport in Charleroi and the airport in Eindhoven (the Netherlands) is even closer to the races. Trains and buses can bring you close to the competition areas from the airport within 2 hours. The national airport near Brussels (Zaventem), also offers quite cheap flights to Brussels.

The website of the event has some suggestions about accommodation.
Because Belgium is so tiny, most orienteers just drive from home every day, so there won’t be a camping site or sports hall or so where everybody stays.
Looking at the maps that they will use, staying near the city of Hasselt or Antwerpen probably is a good idea if you would like to have some entertainment as well. (shops, restaurants, cinema…)

If you can’t hire a car, staying near Leopoldsburg is probably your best option as a lot of orienteers live near that little town and you could try to arrange a lift beforehand. There is however not so much to do....

Entries have to be made before 1st of december. Entry fee is only 35 euro for 5 days of orienteering!! (late entry is more expensive)
Registration is possible on the orienteeringonline website.

Invitation Sylvester 5 days 2015

If you have any questions about this event, add a comment to this post or contact the organizers from the event’s website!

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