This year’s Junior World Orienteering Championship (JWOC) took an unexpected turn when the Portuguese government announced a total ban on forest access due to extreme risk of forest fire. This obviously had a huge impact on the event with the forest relay, middle and long discipline being postponed to a later date in November. The organisers did an incredible job to put on two additional events in urban areas (mixed sprint relay and sprint relay) to appease the 300 odd orienteers that had just arrived in Aguiar da Beira.
The first sprint individual race was around the intricate and technical village of Carapito – in the sweltering heat of 40C! This was my first international competition and unfortunately the nerves got the best of me making a mistake to the first control, which led to a disappointing result, however, lots of learning points for future competitions.
The mixed sprint relay comprised of 2 females and 2 males. I had a successful, fairly clean run coming back in 17th position in the mix with a few of the Scandinavian teams. The rest of the team had decent runs, resulting in a 16th place finish. This marked the end of the official JWOC races, which left us with a final urban sprint relay through the town of Dornelas (which we had trained on previously). The temperatures again were over 40C, which made the racing tough. I had an ok run having the 17th fastest time on leg 2, however, unfortunately one of my teammates mispunched so our team was disqualified. I was unable to compete in the second forest JWOC competition in November as I broke my scaphoid bone (wrist), falling off my bike in late September . Thank you to the Jack Bloor fund for the support, it is greatly appreciated.