Simona Aebersold has impressed the orienteering world with her strong performances this season! The first year in the senior class the young Swiss took silver and bronze at the individual races at the World Orienteering Championships in Østfold, Norway – and impressed overall throughout the season. Read on to look back at Aebersold’s favourite courses in 2019.
This interview is part of the “Course of the Year 2019? contest organized by World of O. In the introduction article you can suggest YOUR favourite course for “Course of the Year 2019? – there are prizes to be won worth more than 6000 Euro.
Interview Simona Aebersold
Q: What was the best forest course you run in 2019- and why?
W21E Swiss Long Distance Test Race in “Les Plans d’Hotonnes” France (5.5.2019): really interesting terrain with many controls in the beginning, where you could never relax your brain.
After those very difficult controls, the course setter managed to give the actually expected really long route choice as a surprise after the map flip.
And after the long leg, where the main goal after the decision was to run fast, you had to manage to slow down again in the difficult and short controls.
Q: What was the best sprint course you run in 2019 – and why?
Finnish Sprint Champs Final in Fossa; very interesting course with many artificial fences. You always had to be one step ahead, otherwise you were risking a mistake. You had to concentrate until the very end.
Q: What was the most interesting orienteering terrain you run in in 2019 – and why?
Les Plans d’Hotonnes, France. It’s one of the most difficult terrains I’ve ever been to. [Editors comment: This is the terrain from the Swiss selection race long, with the course introduced above.]
It’s one of the most difficult terrains I’ve ever been to.
Q: What is the most interesting course you ran (or saw) in your own home country in 2019?
Swiss Night O Champs in Hürnberg (W21E-Course). It was a massstart with forking. The forking worked so well, that you were sometimes completely alone in the dark forest and you only got to know your exact position in the very end.
Q: What is the most interesting routechoice leg you remember from 2019? Did you take the right choice?
WOC Long Distance 4-5: I invested quite a lot of time to plan it but in the end didn’t take the right one.
I invested quite a lot of time to plan it but in the end didn’t take the right one.
I wasn’t really prepared to such a “swiss-like” route choice as I only expected some very long route choices where you had the possibility to run straight and read the map all the time or take the longer route on a path around
Q: Did you set any courses in 2019? If so, is it possible to share the best (in your opinion) with World of O’s readers?
This year I only set courses for a couple of trainings. But my favourite is maybe the one in my hometown Brügg which I set together with my brother Fabian.
Q: What is the race you look most forward to in 2020?
EOC Long Distance but for sure also Napapiiri Jukola!
Q: What are your goals for next year – and do you plan to change your training and/or focus in order to reach your goals in 2020?
Diploma at Sprint World Champs and medal at Forest EOC. I switch the focus a bit more to Sprint Orienteering as I’ve never done a lot of Sprint orienteering until now. Otherwise, the training will, except for some little changes, stay about the same for 2020.
Q: Have you got any comments about the development of international orienteering?
It’s the most important thing in our sport that everyone is respecting the rules no matter how big the competition is. I really like new experiences in new countries but it can’t be at the cost of fairplay, because then, our sport loses it’s attraction and credibility!
Q: Thanks a lot for your answers – and good luck in the winter training!
Prizes from our Sponsors
Prizes from our Sponsors always makes it more fun! There will be a prize for the first one suggesting the course which ends up becoming “The course of the Year 2019?, and prizes drawn among the ones suggesting and voting. All prizes are transferable to other persons (you don’t have to travel yourself).
Event sponsor: Five Days of Italy 2020 – June 28th – July 3rd (Italy)
- Prize offered: BIG competition and hotel package for two persons, consisting of competition fee and hotel accommodation for 7 nights, half board. Value 1.520 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
- You are welcome in the Dolomites to 5 days Italy 2020 in Paganella Mountain, Fai della Paganella and beautiful “Dolomiti di Brenta”, amazing Trentino landscape. Read more at www.5daysitaly.it
Event sponsor: 53rd Kainuu Orienteering Week Finland (KOW), June 28th – July 3rd 2020 (Finland)
- Prize offered: 4 packages, each consisting of 2 free participations for the whole week in any class (competition classes or open courses) at Kainuu Orienteering Week 2020. Total value up to 800 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
- Kainuu O-Week is the biggest Finnish orienteering week, and it has been held annually since 1966 in Kainuu, Finland. The 2020 event will gather 5000-6000 participants from all around the world. The 2020 competition terrain is very suitable for all categories and perfect for running and orienteering – the orienteers will be running in the fast and beautiful pine forest terrain of Haverinen, consisting almost exclusively of pine forest of varying ages, in certain areas the contours are with small features. The visibility is mostly excellent, in some seedling areas slightly poorer. The ground is solid and clean; it is not stony. One river (Varisjoki), a few mires and ponds bring their own contribution to the orienteering tasks and landscape. For more information see www.rastiviikko.fi.
Event sponsor: Andalucia O Meeting – February 8th – 9th (Spain)
- Prize offered: Competition and Training Package with accommodation for 4 persons. The package includes entry to AndaluciaOMeeting 2020 for 4 persons, 3 nights accommodation in 4p Apartment Leo Deluxe and Training Package if you want to stay longer. Total value 650 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
- Fun organized (Sportident) trainings and competitions in surprising Huelva! More info at https://sun-o.com/en/event/
andalucia-o-meeting-2020/ & ht tps://sun-o.com/en/camp/ huelva-organized-camp/
Event Sponsor: EGK Swiss 5 Days 2020, May 20 – 24, 2019 (Neuchâtel, Switzerland)
- Prize offered: 2 packages, each for 2 free entries for the entire Swiss 5 Days Orienteering 2020 and spectator access to the 3 World Cup races. Total value 600 EUR, transferable to other persons.
- More information to these exciting races under: www.swiss5days2020.ch. Neuchâtel, the place to discover!
Event sponsor: Hungaria Cup – August 19th – 23rd 2020 (Hungary)
- Prize offered: 3 entry + accommodation packages, each for 2 persons. Each package consists of 2 free entries for all 5 days in any class at Hungaria Cup 2020 + accommodation. Total value up to 500 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
- More information: Hungaria Cup is Hungary’s biggest orienteering competition, held annually since the year 1967. This year we set camp at lake Velence close to Budapest. Terrains will include tricky open areas, mixed forests and a botanical garden. Those interested in more special orienteering challenges can try Paddle-O, Biathlon-O, Mobile-O and Beer-O. Come to enjoy orienteering and all kinds of leisure activities. Did we mention that we also have great wines? For more information see http://hungariakupa.tajfutas.hu/en
Event sponsor: Bergen Sprint Camp 2020 – March 20th-22nd (Norway)
- Prize offered: 2 full packages, each for 2 people. A package consists of 3 high quality sprint races, 2 sprint trainings and 1 dinner + presentation for 2 persons. Total value around 375 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
- The BSC organizing team warmly welcomes you to the 9th edition of Bergen Sprint Camp. This time as a World Ranking Event, as well as opening of the Norwegian Sprintliga 2020. Friday is the training day, followed by races in the weekend. All race maps will be updated to the new international sprint map standard. We always try our best to make maps, courses and the overall event as good and interesting as possible for every runner, from beginners to elite. All info at bergensprintcamp.com.
Software sponsor: OCAD Orienteering 3-year license
- Prize offered: One 3-year licence for the software “OCAD Orienteering?. Value about 350 EUR. Transferable to other person (before activation).
- More information: OCAD 2019 Orienteering – Perfect to Produce Orienteering Maps. This edition is dedicated for orienteering map making with a step-by-step wizard for analyzing of LiDAR data, mobile geodata capturing, smart editing and drawing tools, generalization tools, desktop publishing, course setting and much more. Read more at ocad.com.
Event sponsor: OOCup 2020 – July 28th-August 1st (France)
- Prize offered: 2 packages – each for 2 people – consisting of: Entry for the complete 5 days OOCup competition plus OOCup 2020 T-shirt for each competitor. Total value around 325 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
- In 2020 OOcup goes back to France again – repeating the great success from 2018 in new and interesting terrains! There is good reason for that: Tricky terrain like what we found in the South Jura Mountains (AIN) in France is what OOcup always tries to deliver; ultimate orienteering challenge in beautiful natural surroundings. More at oocup.com.
Event sponsor: WOC 2020 spectator races – July 6th – 11th (Denmark)
- Prize offered: A spectator & race package for two persons for entry for the complete WOC 2020 Tour – including 3 forest races and 3 sprint races. Add to that a free WOC running top for each. Value about 260 EUR. Transferable to another person.
Description: Use this unique opportunity to watch the World’s best orienteers in the first ever sprint World Orienteering Championships while enjoying orienteering in great terrains – both forest and urban. For the three sprint races, the WOC2020 arenas will be within walking distance or shared with the spectator race arenas. The forest races will be staged in varied terrain ranging from open heathland, inland dunes and coniferous forest to hilly beech forest. All maps are drawn by the WOC2020 mapper. More information at woc2020.dk/woc-tour/.
Event sponsor: Kapa 3-days 2020 – June 26th-28th (Latvia)
- Prize offered: Two family entry packages including camping & parking. Each family entry package includes an entry for two adults and two children, space for a tent at the event camping and a car parking voucher. Value 250 EUR. Transferable to another person.
Kapa 3-days is the largest orienteering event in Baltics with 2000 participants from around 20 countries. It’s a special o-weekend Friday to Sunday 26th to 28th of June 2020 in Latvia. The terrains of 2020 have not been used for orienteering ever and are mainly pine forests with different runnability and a lot of special relief forms. As always – a great atmosphere and even live music in the evening at the main Baltic orienteering festival!
Event sponsor: Wawel Cup – July 8th – 12th 2020 (Poland)
- Prize offered: Entry + accommodation package for 2 people. The package consists of entry to full Wawel Cup 39th edition (competition + additional indoor race + training maps) + accommodation on camping/hard-floor + Wawel Cup O-shirt. Value about 250 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
- Wawel Cup 2020 is about the return to Jura Krakowsko- -Czestochowska; to the place which is unambiguously associated with Orienteering. We will start the competition with the mass start on Bledów Desert and for the next four days we will face interesting and diverse terrains with lots of rocks. Loads of attractions, additional contests, handicap, emotions, medieval castles, rocks and foremost… good fun – this mixture will let every competitor remember Wawel Cup for long!
Event sponsor: Portugal O-meeting 2020 – February 22th – 25th (Portugal)
- Prize offered: 2 packages – each for 2 persons – consisting of full entry fee for Portugal O-meeting 2020 (2 model events, 4 forest stages, 2 sprint races and Trail-O). Value about 250 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
- Portugal O’ Meeting is already a well-known established international event, perfect for a season start. It’s common to see POM Super Elite winners on the podium of the following international events. The 2020 Edition will be held in Santiago do Cacém and Sines, the southwest coast of Portugal. Terrains are typical Mediterranean forests on all stages. More info at www.pom.pt.