Israel - Orienteering Country

Robert (Brko) Zdrahal
Here you have my remark from Israel journey 2011....
Israel- orienteering country !!!
I have been to Israel many times – at least last four years I visited this beautiful country with group of my orienteering friends. Orienteering is main purpose of our visit, but anyway, we also travel all over the country, we admire a scenery, ancient places and Israel´s people as well.
I can say , that Israel´s orienteering grove up. Every year we can see some progress. The maps are better and better, also organizing is more professional than before. And what about 2011 Dessert Championship and Israel Orienteering Championship ??
The first day of Dessert Champs has been hold on beautiful place – near the lake in Park Golda. Also competition was well organized, courses and map was on good level. Maybe one part of the map (the flat parts on the other side of the road) could be better, some controls was difficult to find according map. But generally – nice competition.
The second day – surprising Shifta National Park – it was something unique !!! Perfect map, challenging terrain and interesting courses – this competition had really International standard !!! Maybe organizer should add a little more dessert to this area and that is why one competition would be enough for second day.
But we also done third competition in Nitzana – afternoon. Together with Labyrinth and special sprint it was interesting competition again. Beautiful finish area, swimming pool and comfortable accommodation – this is main advantage of Nitzana village .
Finally , I could see only one disadvantage of Dessert Champs. It was “old fashion style” of punching. It is clear, that electronic punching is absolutely necessary for each competition – no mention, that Israel Dessert Champs hosted more than 200 competitors. In such condition is very difficult to calculate results and almost impossible to check all paper cards.....I am ready to help Israel´s organizers to find the right way, how to bring electronic system to their country .
The Israel´s Orienteering Championship was held close to Jerusalem in Beith Jamal (Friday) and Serigim (Saturday). Both competition were excellent – friendly atmosphere, good and new (Saturday) maps, created with Czech map makers help :-), challenging terrain, difficult courses and fast results. I could hardly find any mistake there. Maybe – again- the manual punching for some classes (children, beginners). Also this classes need result and it burden organizers a lot. The terrain was different from European style – very tricky and competitors had to concentrate to maps very much. Maybe in order to explore all details on the map, in such terrains organizer should use different scales for veterans and children (for example 1:7500 ).
I have spent beautiful time in Israel again. I love atmosphere at competition – this is something, what disappear from Czech competition a few years ago. All Czech orienteer’s are always in hurry in nowadays. Many people will come to competition just on time (they already know start time from competition´s web page) only few people waiting for price giving ceremony.... Another reason, why I like Israel´s competition so much!!!!
I can promise, that next year, I will come again.
I am looking forward to meet some of you in Czech republic during Easter time and at Silva O´camp as well !!!
Robert (Brko) Zdrahal
Hana Orienteering Company, Czech Republic