Who is Who
Tiago Aires

Tiago Aires, WMOC mapper and planner

[Tiago Aires in Absolute National Championship, Gerês, May 2008. Photo by Joaquim Margarido.]

Mapper, coach, event and training camps organiser, at 26 years of age, Tiago Aires is one of the best athletes in the Portuguese squad. He was introduced to orienteering in January of 1998 and founded the Gafanhoeira club in March of 2007. He won 8 national titles (3 as a junior, 5 as a senior), 4 Iberian titles (1 as a junior, 3 as a senior) and a Latin Cup senior sprint title. He participated in 5 World Championships (1 JWOC and 4 WOC) and competed in a dozen European countries, including 3 O-Ringen events.

What maps and courses have you made for this WMOC?
I made the 3 Sprint maps (model event, qualifying race and final race) and planned the courses for the final race. The map for the qualifying race is typically urban, and the biggest challenge is the area of the castle. The final race has an area of pine forest and dunes and another, urban area that is very irregular in urbanistic terms.

When did you start mapping and what are your main works?
I started in 2000. In the beginning, I made many maps of gardens, parks and schools. In the last 3 years, I mapped about 70 km2 of very technically challenging areas, especially in Alentejo.

What do you like most: mapping or planning courses?
What fascinates me most is taking care of everything, from start to finish: choosing the terrain, making the map, planning the courses, producing information about the event, placing the controls, and in the end listening to the people's opinions.

You organised and ran, with Raquel Costa, since 2005, 9 youth training camps during the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. What project is that?
I was 22 years old when I started. What I should be doing at the time was to participate in training camps to develop as an athlete. But the departure of Alexander Shirinian from Portugal left us without conditions for training technical aspects. I decided to organise a 1st OriJovem in Barreiro, the town where I was born and where I had already made several ideal maps for initiation. It was a success. Then Évora, Vila Real, Mora, Sines, Vendas Novas, Nazaré, Nisa and Sesimbra followed. It was a total of 42 days of training camp, 144 types of training, for youngsters from 8 to 18 years of age, divided into 4 workgroups according to their age and technical skill (Oranges, Greens, Blues and Magentas). It takes a lot, a lot of work, but the relationship of friendship is also very gratifying, as it is to verify the evolution of many of the juniors and younger ranks that are now in the first positions. In all training camps we had 529 participants, with a record 93 in Sines. There are only 3 totalists of the 42 days of camp: Joana Costa, Vera Alvarez and Mariana Moreira.

Gafanhoeira is your current project of life...
It is indeed a project of life! I have always desired to be in a club with a local identity and where each one might pursue his or her own dream: either becoming a world champion or just practicing recreational sport and socializing with friends. During the 5 years that I lived and studied in the University of Évora, I kept organising orienteering activities for the municipalities, clubs and schools and, without noticing, I was establishing a network of contacts in the region. The great passion that Raquel and I share about orienteering and the Alentejo ended up in this project, which started on March 15, 2007, with 15 youngsters. Today, we have 88 federated members (56 with less than 18 years of age). We train all together, 6 days a week, changing the planning according to the age and experience of the athletes. Besides orienteering, we also run track and field races (cross-country and resistance), but students have a race cut for every negative grade that they have at school. If you enter our site www.srgafanhoeira.pt, you can know about the successes of our youngsters, with highlights on Manuel Horta, 18 years (he will represent Portugal in the EYOC, in October, in Switzerland), Ana Coradinho, 16 years (5th place in the Absolute National Championship) and Rita Rodrigues, 14 years (selected for the Young Olympics 2008). We organised until now 4 events and the youngsters take charge of all the tasks. It is not by chance that we have more than 20 youngsters as volunteers in the WMOC. One of our goals is to have a map in each of the seven parishes of the municipality of Arraiolos and to have permanent courses in our maps. We already have 10 km2 of maps near our houses for training and organising events.

Tiago loves relays. Is it true?
Relays are the most beautiful races in orienteering. The title that I enjoyed most winning was the National Relay Championship of last year in Vendas Novas with two great friends of mine (Miguel Morais and Alexandre Alvarez). We trained during one year thinking about that moment. It was fantastic to see the race that Miguel Morais ran in that day, proof of the spirit of union that our team had. This year, with a club in its beginning of life, I managed to join a relay team that surprised really everybody (2nd place in men's senior race, with a junior and a veteran), but we wanted and want more. I try to pass on this relay spirit in Gafanhoeira and I think that we will already be winning several classes in the coming years.

After the WMOC, Tiago and Raquel will go to Olomouc. What are your expectations for the WOC of the Czech Republic?
Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend due to problems in my Achilles tendon. Only I know what that costs me, but I will have to stop for at least 2 months. In what concerns Raquel Costa, I hope that she will be in a final race.

(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2008 May 30th. Translation by Acácio Porta Nova.)

[2008-06-20] Carlos Monteiro, WMOC Event Director

[2008-06-20] Dieter Wolf, M55, SUI

[2008-06-19] Timo Teinila, WMOC speaker

[2008-06-19] Jorge Simões, WMOC Event Director assistant

[2008-06-18] Blair Trewin, M35, AUS

[2008-06-18] Mariett Matias, WMOC Media responsible

[2008-06-17] David May, WMOC Senior Event Advisor

[2008-06-16] Gottfried Tobler, M60, AUT

[2008-06-16] Tuulikki Salmenkylä, W45, FIN

[2008-06-16] Arvo Majoinen, M80, FIN

[2008-06-14] Fernando Costa, WMOC Marketing responsible

[2008-06-13] Sarah Dunn, W40, GBR

[2008-06-12] Santos Sousa, WMOC planner

[2008-06-11] Sigurd Daehli, M55, NOR

[2008-06-10] Alexandre Reis, WMOC mapper and planner

[2008-06-09] Nick Duca, M40, CAN

[2008-06-07] Tiago Aires, WMOC mapper and planner

[2008-06-06] Irina Stepanova, W55, RUS

[2008-06-05] Luís Sérgio, WMOC mapper

[2008-06-04] Ari Kattainen, M50, FIN

[2008-06-03] Rui Antunes, WMOC Mapping coordinator

[2008-06-02] Jon Musgrave, M45, GBR

[2008-05-31] Jacinto Eleutério, WMOC Course coordinator

[2008-05-30] Rune Carlsson, M70, SWE

[2008-05-29] Åke Jacobson, IOF President

[2008-05-29] Augusto Almeida, POF President

[2008-05-28] Jurate Uleviciene, W55, LIT

[2008-05-26] Vladimir Ioffe, M70, ISR

[2008-05-23] José Fernandes, M45, POR

[2008-05-21] Ezio Paris, M55, ITA

[2008-05-19] Gabriella Györffy, W40, HUN

[2008-05-16] Alberto Minguez, M40, ESP

[2008-05-14] Tomas Zdrahal, M55, CZE

[2008-05-12] Paulo Becker, M45, BRA

[2008-05-09] Ingrid Roll, W70, NOR

[2008-05-07] Jerzy Parzewski, M55, POL

[2008-05-05] Hugh Moore, M60, AUS

[2008-05-02] Martin Checkley, M55, GBR

[2008-04-30] Etienne Bousser, M60, FRA

[2008-04-28] Andreas Grote, M40, SUI

[2008-04-24] Liudmila Labutina, W65, RUS

[2008-04-22] Freddy Sillien, M60, BEL

[2008-04-17] Tomislav Kaniski, M35, CRO

[2008-04-14] Eero Tuuteri, M85, FIN

[2008-04-10] Lena Nordahl, W80, SWE

[2008-04-07] Albano João, M45, POR

[2008-04-03] Tom A. Karlsen, M55, NOR

[2008-03-31] Kayoko Sakai, W55, JPN

[2008-03-27] Finn Arildsen, M45, DEN

[2008-03-24] Anne Nurmi, W45, FIN

[2008-03-20] Peo Bengtsson, M75, SWE

[2008-03-17] Alida Abola, W50, LAT

[2008-03-13] Matti Railimo, M60, FIN

[2008-03-10] Cornelia Eckardt, W35, GER

[2008-03-06] Joaquim Sousa, M35, POR

[2008-03-03] Birgitta Olsson, W75, SWE

[2008-02-20] J. Salmenkylä, M75, FIN

[2008-02-18] Torid Kvaal, W65, NOR

[2008-02-15] Mykola Bozhko, M55, UKR

[2008-02-13] Pavlina Brautigam, W45, USA

[2008-02-11] Ferran Santoyo, M35, ESP

[2008-02-08] Sole Nieminen, W80, FIN

[2008-02-06] Stefano Galletti, M40, ITA

[2008-02-04] Gillian Ingham, W50, NZL

[2008-02-01] Jörgen Mårtensson, M45, SWE

[2008-01-30] Tom Hiltebrand, M50, SUI

[2008-01-28] Baiba Ozola, W40, LAT

[2008-01-25] Eddie Harwood, M55, GBR

[2008-01-23] Marje Viirmann, W45, EST

[2008-01-21] Alexander Afonyushkin, M40, RUS

[2008-01-18] Paulina Majova, W55, SVK

[2008-01-16] Björn Linnersjö, M65, SWE

[2008-01-15] Lillian Røss, W85, NOR

[2008-01-10] Tapio Peippo, M55, FIN

[2008-01-07] Elizabeth Brown, W90, GBR

[2008-01-04] Erkki Luntamo, M90, FIN

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