Ski-orienteering season 2020/21 started in several countries with official or unofficial races. The main hotspot for ski-orienteering in December was undoubtedly Gornozavodsk in Russia, which hosted three multi-day competition weeks with the Russian ski-o elite:
- Ural Patterns (link to the results and race review)
- Russian Cup (link to the results)
- Russia Championships (link to the results)
Also, Russia hosted several smaller ski-o competitions.
On December 12th-13th, Japan opened the 2020/21 ski-orienteering season on Hokkaido, the second largest island of Japan. The competition program consisted of two sprint races and a sprint relay. Both sprints were won by Yuki Ishihara – a Japanese ski-orienteer who has reached 28th place at World championships in 2019 as his best international result so far. Yuki Ishihara and Shotaro Yamamoto were the winners of the sprint relay. Link to the results: sprint 1, sprint 2, sprint relay.
With these races, the ski-orienteering season in Japan just got started. Another three race weekends are scheduled to take place in Japan this winter.
Another country to host official ski-orienteering races was Sweden. From 19th to 20th December, Swedish championships in pursuit took place, won by Markus Lundholm and Evelina Wickbom. Link to the results: prologue and pursuit.
In addition, several ski-orienteering national teams organized the first test races of the season:
Finnish ski-o team, joined by Estonian ski-o team and two Swiss athletes, competed at the beginning of the month in Äkäslompolo, Finland. Tuomas Kotro and Salla Koskela were the winners of chasing start as well as sprint relay. A live broadcast from the first legs of the sprint relay can be found here.
Norwegian ski-o team got together for a training camp and first training races in Sjusjoen.
Swiss ski-o team got together twice in December to take part in the selection races organized for the athletes aiming to take part in championships in Estonia.
- Competition in Melchsee-Frutt with sprint and middle distance, followed by re-runs of the same races. Link to the competition review and results.
- Sprint and middle distance in Goms, which were attended by elite athletes from 5 different nations. Nicola Müller and Daisy Kudre were the winners of the sprint, Gion Schnyder and Lisa Larsen the winners of the middle distance. In addition, night chasing start and sprint relay were organized as part of the training camp. Link to the results.