10ERC 2013 La Llacuna Spain - Event Report by Lauri Leppik, Estonia

"10th European Rogaining Championships were successfully completed last week-end, 26-27 January 2013.

The event was held in Catalonia with an event center in a small town of La Llacuna, about 100 km from Barcelona. The terrain featured rugged ridges centered around Serra D'Ancosa, intercepted with valleys. With the highest peak of 945 m and lowest point on the terrain around 450 m, the relative heights of ridges reached 300 m, entailing thus quite some climb. Ridges were covered with Mediterrainian pine forest, while valleys had fields and vineyards. Spiky undergrowth of the forest made shortcuts often very slow and painful.

The course was very well designed, offering several strategic route plan choices and tactical route choices on legs. Moreover, it was of very appropriate length as the winners score was 98.6% of the maximum. On the other hand, the location of controls can be generally described as 'humane' with regard to objects, features and access. Overall, it was a tough course offering several challenges - some strenuous climb on slopes and fight with spiky bush. Add to this nearly 14 hours darkness compared to 10 hours sunlight. While daytime temperatures reached over 12 degrees C, nightime temperatures dropped to 0 C. However, all this was fully appropriate considering the championship level.

The map was of very high quality - accurate, reliable and consistent over the whole terrain, printed on a water and tear proof material and surviving the 24-hour event (including fight with the nasty bush) with very minor damages.

169 teams with 367 competitors from 18 countries participated in the ERC, while nearly 200 more took part in the concurrent 6-hour Wild Boar Rogaining. The largest groups at ERC were from Spain, followed by Russia, Ukraine, Latvia and Finland, while more than a dozen participants came also from Estonia, Poland and France.

The new European rogaining champions in Men's Open are Tommi Tölkkö (Finland) ja Aurelio Olivar (Spain) with 358 point from the maximum score of 363. On second place Frédéric Parzych and Stéphen Dumortier from France (349 p) and on third place Roberto Pascual, Eric Colon and Jorge Urquizu from Spain (333 p).
In Mixed Open, Valters Kaminskis and Anita Liepina from Latvia defended their title collecting 328 points, followed by Petri Forsman (member of the winning team at the first ever Adventure Race World Championship 2001) and Henrika Malmström from Finland (322 p), and another Latvian team Ilze Lapina and Aigars Actins (301 p).
In Women's Open category the Russian veteran team of Marina Galkina and Nina Mikheeva with 272 points defended their title from previous year, exceeding Olena Dotsenko and Olena Kostina from Ukraine (268 p) and Aiva Jakovela, Alda Brazune from Latvia (252 p).

Overall, the Championship was a major success. In particular, I would stress its role in broadening the geography of rogaining by attracting teams from Southern Europe to 24-hour rogaining. We shall hope that these teams have got the taste of challenge and will seek to enter also future European and World championships. In any case we shall encourage and invite them to do so.

A big-big thank you Felip Gili who was the man behind and in front of this ERC, as well as to all of his colleagues and supporters, including the Catalonian Orienteering Federation. This event will be remembered!

Visit the event website for full results, map, photos and route choices: http://thewildboar.org/

Lauri Leppik"

Editors note - Lauri and his wife Lea competed in the Mixed Veteran category scoring 232 points resulting in a 7th place in the Mixed Veteran class and 24th in Open Mixed category.