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This weekend Dartmouth will host the North American Orienteering Championship 2016 (NAOC). Orienteering is a competition in which contestants hike and race from point to point, using a map and a compass. It is like competitive geocaching without the technology.
Dartmouth is a natural sponsor of the event because 75 years ago, the first orienteering competition in the United States pitted Dartmouth fraternities against each other in what they called a “Tiedust.”
This year’s championship will run Sept. 23, 24, and 25. Held every two years, alternating between Canada and the U.S., NAOC is North America’s largest orienteering event and is sanctioned by the International Orienteering Federation as a regional championship.
Some 529 contestants—including at least four Dartmouth alumni—will participate this weekend, though not everyone is competing every day. The person considered the best orienteer in the world, France’s Thierry Gueorgiou, is among those participating this weekend.
The program will consist of middle, long, and sprint courses, each of which are International Orienteering Federation World Ranking Events (WRE):
• Friday, September 23: Middle (WRE) at Storrs Pond/Oak Hill—474 registered.
• Saturday, September 24: Long (WRE) at Burnt Mountain—506 registered.
• Sunday, September 25: Sprint (WRE) Elite Sprint Relay on Dartmouth’s campus—Although most orienteering events are typically held in the woods, for this race, Dartmouth’s buildings and streets will serve as the primary navigational aids—466 registered.