Simona Aebersold & Kasper Fosser: MOC interview 2021

2 Apr 2021 - News, PWT Italia

Simona: “Happy to have won a Holiday to Egypt to Sharm el-Sheikh at  the Domina Coral Bay Hotel – the resort which will also host PWT Italia’s 5+5 days in the Autumn.”

Kasper: “My first MOC Camp was 2 years ago. So it’s really nice to come back here and get a good quality Sprint training Camp”.

In a sunny suburban park in Verona in Veneto Region, northern Italy, two face-masked athletes were relaxing between rounds of the MOC Camp 2021 Knock-Out Sprint. These two however are no ordinary ‘Johanna and Joe Jogger’ Orienteers. Both have already written themselves into the Orienteering History books for their fantastic and almost unbelievable results. Both have WOC Gold in their blood from their Father or Grandfather. They are both born at the end of the last century in 1998 and 1999. Their Orienteering reigns are just beginning and their futures are looking very bright.

Simona Aebersold SUI and Kasper Fosser NOR, why are you here!?  

SA: MOC and MOC Camp is a great opportunity to run some competitions again. There have not been many races in the world recently and for European Championship (EOC) preparation I think it is really good to be racing again. We don’t get to do Knock-Out sprints so often so today is invaluable.

KF: It is great to be here in Italy and finally be racing some international competitions, test my shape a bit and MOC & MOC Camp offer great technical challenges that we don’t really get in Norway and where I am living at the moment in Gothenburg, Sweden. So it is good to be here for my EOC preparation. And the weather is really great + fifteen degrees compared to 2 degrees in Gothenburg.

SA: There was snow last week in Switzerland so it is pretty nice to get some sun and T-shirt weather! Last year I spent a lot of time in Switzerland, but before that I was mostly abroad and travelling around, training for racing. I really missed this last year.  


What did you think about MOC? 

SA: Day 1 in Lonigo was really special. It has been a long time since I have run such a sprint. Quite different to a ‘normal’ sprint. Lots of compass work! More exact Orienteering and lots of route-choices as well, surprisingly many. It was very nice to run there at Villa San Fermo.

 It was definitely more challenging than I expected. With the forest being not too green and quite nice to run in, and with the hills and route-choices, it got quite tricky.

On Day 1 my legs were feeling really good actually but I was a bit stressed at the start and I never really got into a good flow with the map reading. I was quite good however until the end. I was second with 3 more minutes left of running. Then I made 3 mistakes at the 3 last controls, maybe 20 seconds each. I guess I just lost my head a bit. It wasn’t my day. But it was still a fun course and I noticed my shape was really good, especially on the up-hills.

SA: On Day 2 in Montecchio Maggiore my legs were already a bit tired from the day before so it was really tough to run such a physically fast course. There were some route-choices, but I took some wrong ones and lost some time there. But otherwise it was just running and running as fast as possible.

KF: Day 2 was tough physically for me too. I think I took the best route-choices, with one small 5 second mistake. Otherwise it was a very good technical performance. It was unusual to be back in a race and be pushing this hard again and I notice I need to practice again at my competition speed, for sure.  

You’ve just run the 1st Round of the Knock-Out Sprint. MOC 2 Day was good preparation then? 

SA: I think so. MOC day 2 was physical and the first race today was really physical. 

KF: Yes, for sure. I checked my watch after this Heat and I was running 3:09 pace. It’s not often you get that kind of pace in a Sprint! We will see what happens in the Semi-Finals and Finals but I am guessing it will get trickier.

Overall, Simona won the 16th MOC. 

SA: Yes, my first time at MOC and my first win.

KF: Fourth overall for me this time and this is my third MOC.

SA: And I won lots of nice Italian cheese, wine and cake. Great to take back to Switzerland. But best of all I won a Holiday to Egypt to Sharm el-Sheikh and the Domina Coral Bay Resort – the resort which will also host PWT Italia’s 5+5 in the Autumn. It’s a really nice prize. I don’t think I have ever won a holiday before!

KF: At JEC you won a trip to the Scottish 6 Days!?

SA: Ah yes but I could not go there. But hopefully I can get to Sharm el-Sheikh.


What other great prizes have you won in your career? 

SA: Hard to say. There are so many great prizes. This holiday to Egypt is definitely one of the best prizes I have won.  

KF: One of the most useful things I won was an SI card which I won at JWOC last year which I used today. Maybe not that special however.

SA: I won 3 watches at JWOC in Switzerland. Also quite a good present you can use every day. I also won a Garmin watch at JWOC in Norway but I gave it to my brother as I already had one, and he’s been using it for the last 5 years.


Why do you like Italy? What makes it special? 

SA: Ice-cream! The food is always nice in Italy and the weather too. It’s always like being on holiday! Especially when I see the palm trees and sun.

KF: For me it is nice to be back in Italy. We used to come here twice a year. Once on holiday with my family and the other time with my grandfather to the Italian 5 Days in the Autumn, for several years, so I have seen a lot of really nice places. The weather is always good and there are some really cool sprint Orienteering areas.

Interview by Nick Barrable for PWT Italy