Relay - 02 Apr 2018

Temu Road South

Date Monday 02 April 2018
Map Temu Road South
Scale 1:10000, 1:7500
Contour interval 2.5m
Planner Jonty Oram
Controller Kieran Woods / Jeff Greenwood
First Start 9:30am

New Relay Format (Trial for 2018)

In various forums throughout the New Zealand orienteering community, issues with attendance and satisfaction with the courses and competition at the NZ Relay Championships have been raised.  Because of this, the organising committee of the 2018 New Zealand Orienteering Championships believe the format of the relay should be updated, with the 2018 championship being a trial to test a possible new format.

The motivating factors behind this change are as follows:

  • Attendance in the relay is significantly lower than other events in the NZOC.  In 2017 there were 289 entrants in the relay compared to an average of 420 entrants in the other three events, which is only 69% attendance.  This is a pattern that has also been seen in previous years’ championships.
  • A common opinion that has been expressed is that, with the current format of the relay, only a very small number of runners have a chance of being in a competitive team, while most have little competition.
  • Another common opinion is that the legs currently offered are not suited to the range of abilities of runners.
  • As mentioned by the High Performance Coordinator, elite orienteers are not getting exposure to the level of relay racing that they will experience overseas at WOC and JWOC.

The proposed structure of the relay is to change from two competitions, Mixed Short and Mixed Long, to four competitions, by adding Mixed Masters and Mixed Veterans classes. An overview of the proposed structure can be seen in the table below.

Relay Classes

Class Leg Allowed Classes Est. Win
Leg Difficulty
Mixed Short 1 Up to MW16, All B & C Classes 25 Orange
  2 Up to MW12, MW12B 15 White
  3 Up to MW14, MW12B-14B, All C Classes 20 Yellow
Mixed Open 1 Open 30 Red
  2 Open 30 Red
  3 Open 30 Red
Mixed Masters 1 MW40+ 25 Red
  2 MW40+ 25 Red
  3 MW40+ 25 Red
Mixed Veterans 1 MW60+ 20 Red
  2 MW60+ 20 Red
  3 MW60+ 20 Red


  • All relay teams must include at least one female who may run any one of the legs.
  • The length of leg 2 for red courses will be shorter than leg 1 and 3, because it will be planned based on the fastest woman's expected time.
  • Small clubs with 30 or less members may combine with another club from the same region to form a composite team. The combined team will be an official entry in the New Zealand relay.
  • While the MW16 red level runners are not specifically catered for by this format, they still have the option of running in the open grade.
  • It's important to note that unofficial entries are welcome in any grade where teams don't meet the eligibility requirements - the aim being to get as many participants as possible. For example, an M16/W40/M55 combination may compete in the Mixed Masters as an unofficial entry.

The criteria used to determine eligibility for relay legs are as follows:

  • The eligible age grade for a competitor is their actual age grade. Eg; a 43 year old who runs M21E in the Long will be eligible to run as an M40A in the Relay.
  • The eligible race class (E, A, AS, B or C) for a competitor is the race class that the competitor entered for the Long.
  • A competitor who runs an A or AS class in the Long will not be eligible to run as a B class runner in the Relay.

We hope you stick around on Monday and give the new format a try.  We will be welcoming any and all feedback.

Course Details

With the new relay format including Red difficulty courses for the first time, the courses are technically challenging at all levels, with areas of detailed contours and lower visibility.  To succeed runners must keep their heads while running full speed head-to-head against their competition, making sure they navigate smoothly through the whole course.  The finish chute will add an extra element of excitement to the competition, and some great spectating and photo opportunities.

Terrain Description

The relay is set on classic Woodhill terrain: lightning fast open pine forest on rolling sand-dune terrain, with good to excellent runnability. The coastal strip contains a more intricate dune system with variable vegetation, including some rough open areas and some areas of windblown sand. There is a network of widely spaced forestry roads and some 4WD tracks.

Previous Maps

Temu Rd Lower snip

 Click image to download PDF version of the map