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This coming weekend (6 to 10th of June) all the top orienteers will be turning their attention to Salo, Finland, for the 2009 Nordic Orienteering Championships. This event takes place in a different Scandinavian country every year. It is a highly competitive event with technically challenging orienteering races. The event also has races that are open to the public. It has been organised by the NOC2009 Organizing Committee and Finnish orienteering club Angelniemen Ankkuri.

World Champion Orienteer Graham Gristwood will be representing the UK. In an interview with CheapTents.com in March this year, he told us that

In 2009 there will be 3 major championships, starting off with the Nordic Championships in June, which are being held in Finland. That will be a really tough competition taking on the scandinavians on on their own patch.

Salo is located on the coast of south west Finland, about 110 km west of Helsinki. The terrain around Salo is well known for its good for orienteering, comprising of forest land with bare rock, moderate slopes and some marshes. There will be long distance and middle distance races as well as relays.

There will also be an urban area 12 -15 minute sprint in the centre of the town Salo.

The distances for each of the long, medium and relay races varies according groupings of M21, W21, M20 and W20. The longest of the races, i.e. the M21 long distance race is 15.2 km with a climb of 520 m, it has 29 controls and will take approximately 85 minutes to complete. The middle distance races have a distance of between 3 and 6 km, depending upon the group, whereas the range for each leg of the relay is from about 4 to 6 km with total climbs from 95 to 140 m. Further details can be found on the official Nordic Orienteering Championships website, www.noc2009.fi

The main orienteering events are scheduled to take place as follows:

Friday 05.06.2009
– Model event, Long and Middle distance and Relay
Saturday 06.06.2009
– Long distance (NOC 2009) and public event day 1
Sunday 07.06.2009
– Relay (NOC 2009) and public event day 2
Monday 08.06.2009
– Model events: Middle distance and Sprint
Tuesday 09.06.2009
– Middle distance (NOC2009 & WCup Event 1)
Wednesday 10.06.2009
– Sprint, Qualification and Final (NOC2009 & WCup, Event 2)

General information about this exciting outdoor sport can be found in our introduction to orienteering.

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