Big Dipper 10-Day Wave Orienteering Competition ends in YunNan,China

The first few days in the city of Kunming and surroundings in Yunnan province in China’s Southwest were fascinating.

There are few opportunities in the life of a university student to meet on one spot hundreds of people from places all across China and even Europe, while at the same time to enjoy the natural scenery and typical food of the hosts.

All these characters and chapters in our Kunming story have one thing in common: the challenging discipline of orienteering which combines the ability to run and the ability to navigate through an unknown territory with a map and a compass.

The annual 10-day orienteering gathering we are attending was founded in 2016 by mappers from Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangdong province.

With the aim to provide a platform for competing, training, and exchange of ideas, and with the mission to create a wave of interest for orienteering across China, its Chinese name was translated into “Big Dipper 10-Day Wave”.

Thanks to our extremely dedicated and loving organisers, we have had the privilege to run in a small village, on university campuses, in a shopping mall, in an pear orchard, a hill forest above a Taoist temple, and a lakeside golf course.

Each of the tracks came with its own challenges; the windy alleys and many corners of the village, or the impassable fences and rough terrain of the pear orchard demanded a lot of attention and precision.

Among the orienteering enthusiasts in our training there are parents and their children, as well as teachers and their students.

By sharing the passion for orienteering, we all are a colourful mosaic of individuals contributing to the diversity of our training.


For some orienteering may be just a competition, however in our 10-day training orienteering is a means to learn and be inspired by others, to reflect on our performance, and to strive for improvement.

Friendships created in our Kunming story resemble the fulfilling sensation of getting to know an orienteering map by running and analysing it.

The more we discuss together the map and the various routes each of us attempted after a competition, the clearer the contours and colours of our individual personalities and orienteering abilities become, and the more we learn from each other.


The most inspiring thing is to meet fellow orienteering enthusiasts from so many different places and backgrounds who are willing to share their experience.

I firmly believe that after the last run our passion for orienteering and our new friendships will not fade away. An unstoppable wave of orienteering enthusiasm lays ahead of us.

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Taiwan events now available on our calendar

We have now loaded 32 Taiwan events (plus one overseas training camp in Japan by Moxina Orienteering) on our Asian events calendar. However, the sources (CTOA and Moxina) are almost exclusively in Chinese which means that most events are in Chinese and it will take some time to translate them. Anyway, enjoy!

Most cities in Taiwan are reachable by 1-2 hours of direct flight from Hong Kong, with more international connections in Taipei and Kaohsiung.

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MetOC launches app with Asian calendar function

Metropolitan Orienteering Club of Hong Kong (MetOC) has launched an app that makes it possible to check events quickly and links to major entry channels such as IOF Eventor.

App menu
Although the app is mainly targeted at orienteering in Hong Kong (links to weather reports in Hong Kong are included), the app has an Asian calendar—although it’s still quite sporadic and more will be added!

Asian events

Find it useful for planning your next trip to Asia? Then you might want to download it from this Google Play page. (Apple users sorry, an iOS version will come soon!)

Download MetOC app

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First large-scale indoor orienteering race in China

On January 13, 2019, the inaugural congress of Orienteering Association of Foshan and the First Indoor Orienteering Invitational Competition of “MengXiang Cup”, with nearly 200 contestants, were successfully held in Guangdong, China.

In contrast to the outdoor orienteering race, the indoor view is very limited. If you think you’ll find more directional reference indoor, you’re dead wrong. After the start of the game you’ll find that the view is blocked by heavy walls and display boards. The structures of the buildings are very similar. The whole process is like running in a maze, searching for targets in the Chamber. The judgement of distance, direction, location and space is more difficult and challenging than that in the outdoor village orienteering race. In addition, breakthrough mission was added into the open group competition, which made the contestants very enjoyable.

“This is the first large-scale indoor orienteering race in China”, said Mo Jingxiong, a former national famous orienteer. Following the successful holding of the Orienteering World Ranking Event & Asian Orienteering Cup, Foshan successfully held the first large-scale indoor orienteering race in China.

Mo Jingxiong, a former world champion in orienteering and senior adviser to the Association, said, the 2019 Orienteering World Cup final will be held in October in Xiqiao, Nanhai, Foshan, the first time the World Cup makes its way into Asia. By then, there will be nearly 300 top players from 30 countries and regions present. He believes that, by hosting city races and introducing high-level races, more people will feel the charm of orienteering and become the city’s wonderful explorer.

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3 Major Asian Orienteering Events in 2019

Now with 2019 in full speed—despite me writing 2018 by mistake a couple of times—it’s time to look forward to newer events, better results, and more fun! In the coming years we can see that the focus of orienteering shifts eastward from Europe towards Asia, with many major competitions receiving wider attention from the orienteering world.

Here are three major orienteering events in Asia that will take place in 2019, that you definitively cannot miss:

1. Asian Junior and Youth Orienteering Championships, Hokuto (Japan)

The Asian federations of IOF decided to launch the Asian Junior and Youth Orienteering Championships (AsJYOC) at the 2014 conference in Kazakhstan, with the first edition in 2015 in Hong Kong, and the second edition in 2017 in China. The age groups of M/W 20, 18 and 16 are included, to give young Asian orienteers more chances to compete on an international level. This year, the third edition will be held in Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture near Tokyo, in the cool late summer of Japan.

Website screenshot: it looks pretty cool, even when compared to European events like O-Ringen!
Website screenshot: it looks pretty cool, even when compared to European events like O-Ringen! (Copyright organisers)

Japan is known for many high mountains that offer mountaineering opportunities, but the forests in the foothills offer another kind of experience: fun, challenging orienteering in highly runnable forests.

The championships will run from 27 August to 1 September. If you are 20 or under with citizenship of an eligible Asian nation (as defined by the IOF, as listed in the bulletin here), you should pay attention to the national team selections. If you represent other nations, you can still join and run but cannot get a prize.

Over 20? The organisers say they will hold spectator events, so stay tuned!


2. Asian Trail Orienteering Championships, Hong Kong

I decided to give the spotlight to Trail Orienteering here as, well, it’s good for training patience and orienteering technique. But the big thing is that two major Trail-O events will take place in Hong Kong: the Asian Trail-O Championships in 2019 and the World Trail-O Championships in 2020!

The Asian Trail Orienteering Championships will be held from 29 November to 2 December. So far the Orienteering Association of Hong Kong has not released any info yet but do keep watch.

If you prefer foot orienteering, the Christmas WRE-series will be back to Hong Kong on 22-26 December this year. Time to plan your sunshine trip to Asia maybe?

Hong Kong is becoming a major orienteering hub as the sport becomes trendier in Asia.
Hong Kong is becoming a major orienteering hub as the sport becomes trendier in Asia.

3. Orienteering World Cup Final, Guangzhou (China)

If you’re an active orienteer, chances are that this doesn’t need any introduction to you—the award of organising rights of the the Orienteering World Cup Final to China has been well advertised. For starters, however, the Orienteering World Cup is a series of events (which includes also the World Orienteering Championships) competed among national teams, with scores awarded according to the World Cup rules. World Cup events attract a lot of spectators who come to cheer for their teams (think a huge crowd cheering for Tove?) Last year (2018) the World Cup Final was held in Prague, Czech Republic with races in the vicinity of the famous Prague Castle.

China offers a very different kind of orienteering experience than Europe—while the vegetation might not be a friend to the forest-loving orienteering geeks, China does offer a very unique sprint orienteering experience—thanks to the tightly knit walled villages of Southern China (圍村/weicun/waichuen) that turn the heads of orienteers around!

Sprint competitions that were held late last year (Historical Road Championships in Guangdong, Asian Championships in Hong Kong) have already shown to the world the thrilling possibilities of orienteering. This year’s World Cup Final, scheduled for 26-29 October, will surely be a great hit—why not reserve a week on your calendar and see for yourself? It’s not known yet if there will be spectator races, but better still if there are!

Villages in Southern China provide thrilling orienteering challenges, like this one near Guangzhou
Villages in Southern China provide thrilling orienteering challenges, like this one near Guangzhou

Want more events? You can check out more on our Event Calendar!

Note: There was a mistake in the first version. The World Cup Final is in October not December. (Corrected 11 January 2019)

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