Hawke's Bay Orienteer Ross Morrison has stamped his authority on the Waitangi Summer Carnival wining his third race in a row by taking out yesterday's loop race at Kairangi.
Morrison's time of 55 minutes and 54 seconds was too much for Australia's Simon Uppill and Glenn Meyer who finished in 56 minutes and 6 seconds and 56 minutes and 36 seconds on a course which demanded high levels of endurance in scorching sun and strong winds.
Estonia's Liis Johanson stepped up from second place yesterday to lead the women's race from start to finish relegating New Zealand's Piret Klade and Australia's Jo Allison to second and third.
Johanson looked at home on the Waikato hills as she completed the four laps in 59 minutes and 54 seconds while Klade was only just off the lead in 1 hour and 10 seconds with Allison more than a minute back in 1 hour 1 minute and 17 seconds.
The loop race saw the athletes begin the race together which made tight head-to-head racing and tested nerves as the leaders ran with their rivals breathing down their necks.
The Waitangi Summer Carnival heads to Taranaki tomorrow for the Central Districts Champs where New Zealand will attempt to claw back points from Australia in the second of the four test match series.
Results from today's Loop Race:-
1. Ross Morrison (New Zealand) 0:55:47
2. Simon Uppill (Australia) 0:56:06
3. Glenn Meyer (Australia) 0:56:36
4. David Shepherd (Australia) 0:57:55
5. Mark Lawson (New Zealand) 0:58:03
1. Liis Johanson (Estonia) 0:59:54
2. Piret Klade (New Zealand) 1:00:10
3. Jo Allison (Australia) 1:01:17
4. Rachel Smith (New Zealand) 1:03:07
5. Laurina Neumann (Australia) 1:07:55
Waitangi Summer Orienteering Carnival
2-10 February 2008
Official website: www.madeventz.co.nz/waitangi