Orienteering: World's best to be on show in the Bay

Orienteers from 20 countries will be in Hawke's Bay for the final two races in the World Cup Series next month.

New Zealand is hosting the World Cup for the first time since 1994 and the event has attracted 115 entries. An Oceania series will run in conjunction with the World Cup and this will swell the total number of competitors to more than 1000.

The final two World Cup events will be held on farmland near Puketapu on January 13, with a middle-distance prologue in the morning and a chasing start race in the afternoon. The Oceania series' event six will be at Smedley Station on January 12 and event seven at Puketapu on January 13.

When New Zealand last hosted a World Cup race in 1994, the men's title was won by a New Zealander, series director Graham Teahan said.

"We have high hopes of a Kiwi featuring in the placings in 2013 following the recent win by New Zealander Mathew Ogden in the middle-distance junior world championships in Slovakia. New Zealander Tim Robertson won the 2012 Australian men's elite long-distance title," Teahan said.

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said hosting the series would be exciting for the code in New Zealand.

"I am sure that the variety of terrain which has been chosen for this event will test the skill and fitness of this quality international field.

"The two events combined will will be a great boost for tourism facilities throughout the region. Having such a large number of visitors in the region should also be a massive boost for accommodation providers and retailers," he said.

The World Cup series, which will involve, 25 Kiwis, begins in Horowhenua with a middle-distance race in the sand dunes at Waikawa Beach. The sprint final will be in Wellington, before the competitors head to Hawke's Bay.

The Oceania Series, which will involve 926 competitors, will consist of seven events and begins in a sand dune forest near Bulls. It ends in gully-spur country near Puketapu.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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