Now the freshly new website of raphaelmak.com is up and ready. Come have a look and don’t forget to stream/buy/order a few songs, pieces, albums and gigs!


Domain transfer


The domain http://www.raphaelmak.com is being transferred to another host, so strange things may occur to this website during this week, including that the domain is temporarily not usable. Please be patient.

Meanwhile, please access my website through the subdomain raphaelmak.onlinewebshop.net.

Website revamp

Music, Orienteering, Raphael Mak - myself, raphaelmak.com


I’m refocusing on music now and my website is being revamped in a similar way. Information on orienteering are relocated to either www.o-resa.asia (Swedish/English) or www.metoc.com.hk (Chinese/English). I will still be writing both music and orienteering stuff here until some point in the future when I might separate my music and orienteering blogs.

Meanwhile, check out my offer to write music here on Fiverr, and spread the word!

Proposal for a new orienteering interschool system (Hong Kong)


Everything written in this proposal are purely of my own personal opinion and not related to, or sanctioned by, any other club or organisation. Discussion is welcome and any coincidental or intended adoption of the proposal is even more welcome. In any case, this proposal is purely motivated by a desire to improve the state of school orienteering in Hong Kong, and above all, I do not deserve to gain the enmity of anyone because of this proposal.


Problems are observed with the current interschool competitions. Nowadays, these competitions are often poorly designed and organised, and congested with competitors, which affects the fairness and legitimacy of these competitions. Moreover, elite schools are able to field large teams, thus taking the bulk of the rank points and scooping up most of the prizes, while schools with a few high-performance orienteers have little chance to challenge a prize. The interschool system thus needs a overhaul to save it from being a mere showdown between a few schools, or worse, a farce. The system also needs to steer away from the focus on forest orienteering, and promote other formats and disciplines, in order to foster the development of holistic orienteers.


  1. To bring the system more in line with other interschool sports competed in Hong Kong, taking reference from the HKSSF system in Athletics (where a qualification from District events to Elite events is already in place)
  2. Emphasising quality over quantity, decentralising “power” from a few elite schools with large teams (so-called “people-sea strategy”), allowing more schools to compete for team prizes
  3. Fostering a culture of smaller, closely-knit school teams, preferred over today’s often large, loose teams
  4. Ensuring the fairness of events by reducing congestion in the competition area
  5. Making team results reflect performance, not team size
  6. Rewarding effort made by individual runners
  7. Placing attention on a more holistic set of formats; diversion from the forest-orienteering-only mindset of the past
  8. Promote Trail Orienteering in schools to breed potential new stars, and support the development of Trail-O in Hong Kong

Key points

  • Renaming the events: Interschool District and Interschool Elite (Objective 1)
  • Reducing the number of competitors in the Elite event (Final) (Objectives 2, 3, 4)
  • Reducing the rank points awarded: from today’s 40 ranks to 8 ranks (Objectives 1, 2, 3, 5)
  • Introducing standard points for all runners within 2x time of winner (Objectives 1, 6)
  • Removing the minimum requirement of started competitors for team ranking (Objective 2, 5)
  • New Sprint event (Objective 7)
  • New Relay events (Objective 3, 7)
  • New Trail-O interschool series (Objectives 7, 8)
  • Team results to be based on the sum of points earned in all formats within the same discipline (Objective 7)
  • Should Mountain Bike Orienteering gain traction in Hong Kong in the future, the system can be expanded to a new MTB-O series (Objective 7)

Interschool District (currently JSOC Heats)

Sprint Middle Sprint Relay Middle Relay Pre-O TempO Trail-O Relay Team results[1]
HKI Unlimited runners

10 to Elite event
4 prizes[2]

Unlimited runners

10 to Elite event
4 prizes

To be implemented once participation in the Elite events exceed 30 runners (individual)/15 teams (relay) for each format.

Once implemented, qualification to Elite event is first 10 runners (individual)/5 teams (relay) in each District.

Sum of all points in Sprint + Middle in all grades
Kowloon Unlimited runners

10 to Elite event
4 prizes

Unlimited runners

10 to Elite event
4 prizes

Sum of all points in Sprint + Middle in all grades
NT Unlimited runners

10 to Elite event
4 prizes

Unlimited runners

10 to Elite event
4 prizes

Sum of all points in Sprint + Middle in all grades
Sample date Week 45 Saturday Week 45 Sunday (Week 43 Saturday) (Week 43 Sunday) (Week 41 Saturday AM) (Week 41 Saturday PM) (Week 41 Sunday)  


HKI Kowloon NT
Rank points Standard points Qualifies for Elite event Rank points Standard points Qualifies for Elite event Rank points Standard points Qualifies for Elite event
1st 9 1 Yes 9 1 Yes 9 1 Yes
2nd 7 1 Yes 7 1 Yes 7 1 Yes
3rd 6 1 Yes 6 1 Yes 6 1 Yes
4th 5 1 Yes 5 1 Yes 5 1 Yes
5th 4 1 Yes 4 1 Yes 4 1 Yes
6th 3 1 Yes 3 1 Yes 3 1 Yes
7th 2 1 Yes 2 1 Yes 2 1 Yes
8th 1 1 Yes 1 1 Yes 1 1 Yes
9th 1 1 1
10th 1 1 1
11th 1 1 1
1 1 1
Winner’s time x 2 1 1 1
(unlimited participation)

Interschool Elite (currently JSOC Final)

Sprint Middle Sprint Relay[3] Middle Relay Foot-O Team results Pre-O TempO Trail-O Relay[4] Trail-O Team results
30 qualified runners

4 prizes

30 qualified runners

4 prizes

4 in a team

1 team per school
4 prizes

3 in a team

1 team per school
4 prizes

Sum of all points in all 4 events in all grades Unlimited runners
4 prizes
Unlimited runners
4 prizes
3 in a team

1 team per school
4 prizes

Sum of all points in all 3 events in all grades
Sample date Week 5 Satuday Week 5 Sunday Week 6 Saturday Week 6 Sunday   Week 18 Saturday AM Week 18 Saturday PM Week 18 Sunday  


Individual events Relay events
Rank points Standard points Rank points Standard points
1st 9 1 18 1
2nd 7 1 14 1
3rd 6 1 12 1
4th 5 1 10 1
5th 4 1 8 1
6th 3 1 6 1
7th 2 1 4 1
8th 1 1 2 1
9th 1 1
10th 1 1
11th 1 1
1 1
Winner’s time x 2 1 1

Organisational arrangements

Due to the huge undertaking involved in the making of the new system, new organisational arrangements are needed. Three options are presented here:

Option 1: retaining the School Orienteering Group with expanded membership

In this option, the School Orienteering Group will be retained as today. However, the workload of the School Orienteering Group will increase greatly and it is doubtful whether the new work can be accomplished by the current group’s size.

A solution would be to expand membership to all school clubs affiliated/associated with OAHK, with one representative from each club sitting in the group. However, a constitutional (M&A) amendment will be required on the part of OAHK.

Option 2: devolving the School Orienteering Group to a new affiliated club

In this option, the School Orienteering Group will be devolved to a new affiliated club, with a name similar to the present Joint School Orienteering Association. The new club shall be tasked with (and only with) coordinating and organising all events in the new Interschool system. Each school club affiliated/associated with OAHK shall send in one student member and/or one teacher/coach member (i.e. one or two representatives) to the club board, failure of which the school shall not be allowed to join any interschool orienteering competitions. Members of the club board shall act as Persons-In-Charge (PICs) of the events.

The new club shall have a special status in that all OAHK-sanctioned interschool events will be, and only be, entrusted to this club. This is similar to a public organisation owned by the government but ran as a limited company.

As an affiliated club of OAHK, the new club may send one representative to sit in OAHK council meetings and participate in other committees of OAHK.

Each school wishing to join any events in the interschool system are required to send in at least one student, teacher or coach as helper(s) in those event(s). Failure to do so will lead to a ban from participation.

This option is advantageous in that it is the closest to the HKSSF’s system of convenors and committees for all of its sports. In addition, event organisation manpower can be trained among schools.

The fate of the original School Orienteering Group may be subject to one of the following sub-options:

  • Option 2A: The School Orienteering Group is retained as-is. The School Orienteering Group acts as the executive body of the new interschool club, and the two institutions shall communicate closely to materialise the events in the interschool system. No OAHK constitutional amendment is needed. A major disadvantage is possible clumsy decision making arising from communication problems.
  • Option 2B (preferred option): The School Orienteering Group is coterminous with the subset of the interschool club board containing all the latter’s members eligible to sit in the Group. Per current OAHK M&A, this means all full members of OAHK affiliated clubs (not of associated clubs, nor any student/associate member) on the interschool club board, plus the elected School Orienteering Secretary. The School Orienteering Club is thus the “executive council” of the interschool club, deciding major decisions of the club with practical considerations delegated to the larger club board. The School Orienteering Secretary is made the chairperson of the interschool club automatically, by constitutional arrangement of the club. No OAHK constitutional amendment is needed. This option is best in balancing efficiency and procedural justice.
  • Option 2C: The School Orienteering Group is adjourned sine die, thus no longer carrying out any actual function. The School Orienteering Secretary is made the chairperson of the interschool club automatically, by constitutional arrangement of the club. Two other full members of OAHK affiliated clubs (whether from the interschool club board or not) shall be appointed as nominal members to satisfy the OAHK constitutional requirement (i.e. three full members). No OAHK constitutional amendment is needed. This option is the most efficient but may also raise eyebrows.
  • Option 2D: The School Orienteering Group is dissolved. The School Orienteering Secretary is made the chairperson of the interschool club by its constitutional arrangement. OAHK constitutional amendment is needed to remove references to the School Orienteering Group.

Option 3: “Open market” option; clubs bid for competitions

Under this option, all affiliated and associated clubs of OAHK will be eligible to apply for co-organisation of any interschool event, subject to a programme and schedule decided by the School Orienteering Group. The School Orienteering Group is retained as-is, and shall be responsible for accepting co-organisation applications (“bids”) from clubs, for deciding the programme and schedule of the interschool events, and for codifying the rules and regulations of the interschool events to be implemented by the co-organising clubs. This option is the most laissez-faire and involves the least administrative hassle, yet contradicts the spirit of interschool sports as mutual decision making by participating schools, and while closer to the current OAHK system of event organisation, is too far removed from the HKSSF system.

Summary of organisational arrangements

Having considered the details of the options above, Option 2B (coterminous School Orienteering Group – interschool club board arrangement) is the most feasible while meeting the spirit of interschool sports and achieving the objectives of the new system.

University orienteering

An inter-university series for tertiary students may be arranged using the programme specified in the “Interschool Elite” section above, either together with the Interschool Elite events or separately, with unlimited participation in individual events and 1 team per school in relay events (standard mixed gender teams for Sprint Relay). The scoring and prize system is the same as the Interschool Elite events.


[1] Grade and overall team prizes will be awarded only at an all-events-sum basis, i.e. no separate Sprint/Middle team prizes. 4 team prizes for each grade and overall.

[2] 4 prizes are awarded in line with HKSSF practice: gold, silver, bronze, iron

[3] The Sprint Relay will be of a gender-separate nature with all men’s and all women’s teams, different to the IOF standard which is a mixed gender relay. Rationale: difficulties to unisex schools if mixed gender relay adopted.

[4] Trail-O Relay: one Pre-O course and one TempO course. Each of the 3 team members, in turns, completes exactly 1/3 (one third) of the Pre-O course in any order. Each of them will then complete one or two TempO stations each, with 4 tasks at each station.

Stockholm Indoor Cup, part 2


The second stage of the Stockholm Indoor Cup takes places in a school nearer to the city centre, Globala gymnasiet, just a few stations from the central station on the T-bana.

This stage of the event stands out in having the competition take place not only in the main building but also in two separate buildings, linked by passages marked with carpets on-site and blue areas on the map. While it was a few minus degrees outdoors, the indoor environment then becomes hot and humid by comparison which affected thinking due to insufficient oxygen.

For both stages, description sheets are available separately and not printed on the map. Start time band, at one hour intervals, is chosen during online event entry and start draw is done within each start time band.

A key to rapid route planning is to realise the loops that the one-way passages form (e.g. between staircases A and B on 2/F and 3/F). Compared to yesterday, however, there are not as many instances of a corridor divided into two sides with different linkages. One feature of today is the labyrinth set within the gymnastics hall (controls 14 to 18).


The only control marker on-site is the start marker as in the photo below. Note that the marker is of a special rainbow design by SOFT (Svenska Orienteringsförbundet), probably in support of LGBT rights and if I remember correctly, debuted around the time of Stockholm Pride either this year or last year. The left lane is the start passage and the right lane is the competition area; they are NOT mutually passable at the location of the marker.


And all the other controls have no markers, which makes them a lot harder to see:


The start area (appears to be the art room):


The outdoor passage: one must only run on the green carpets to ensure the shoes do not touch the snow and make the indoor areas wet; the rule to have separate indoor shoes for the competition has a similar intention.


A one way lane has arrows, complete with enkelriktat (one way) and the no-entry sign you see on roads:


The finish (mål). Note that there’s a live broadcast of the gymnastics hall (a separate one downstairs of the one with the labyrinth).


People mountain people sea (for those who don’t understand, it’s a calque from Chinese). The balcony is part of the competition area; there’s actually a control to the side of the pipe organ’s manual (very impressive for a high school to have a pipe organ).


The canteen seems to be part of the competition area, so the organisers are selling food and drinks themselves:




The model of all indoor orienteering: Stockholm Indoor Cup


From time to time, the captioned competition turns up in orienteering websites and discussions. Yes, this is the Stockholm Indoor Cup, which has inspired orienteers around the world to organise similar events.

The competition usually takes place in a school: (note that in many Germanic languages the term gymnasium refers to a high school)


A few rules need to be observed:

  • All staircases are marked with orange plus a letter to identify them across all floors, e.g. the staircase K in the above map will bring you to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor.
  • The violet lines, which block the corridors in the map, must not be crossed, and they are taped exactly as it is (so no chance of accidental disqualification). (The hatched and solid violet areas, of course, are also out of bounds.) This makes the entire school a maze, and has the effect of lengthening the course plus throwing in a lot of fun.
  • Unidirectional arrows in orange are one way (2/F, near staircase G) are one-way, with one-way signs and “do-not-enter” sign posted onsite.
  • The green rectangles and squares are tables.
  • That the library shelves (2/F, the room that control 20 is in) are marked in grey, DOESN’T mean you can cross them like canopies in sprint maps.

Note that this school has the main entrance on 2/F. (1/F being the “basement” that is level with the ground outside)

The following is an illustration of how controls 3 to 4 can be tackled, using staircases L->K->E->G. (I lost upwards of 5 minutes on this leg, taking two full loops to get out of the error)

sthlm inomhus ilustration

A few more photos:

To be continued tomorrow (day 2).



Two Sprint WREs: Finland and Norway


Note (7 Oct 2017): title corrected (Sweden -> Norway)

As I start my composition study at the University of Gothenburg, I joined two sprint World Ranking Events within a week.

The first one (17 September 2017) was near Helsinki in a neighbourhood called Kannelmäki (Gamlas), with the qualifications in the morning and the finals in the afternoon. (On a minor note, they didn’t print the course description on the map)

20170917am Finnish SM-Sprint Piian Puisto route.jpg

I was still recovering from having caught a cold earlier but my running-shape was still great. Still, I was obviously not fast enough and had to compete in the B2 final.

20170917pm Finnish SM-Sprint Kannelmaki route.jpg

The event was fun with a number of route choice traps. Also, it seemed like a journey back in time using EMIT cards (Hong Kong having switched to SPORTident a few years ago). If there was one thing to complain, however, it would be that the units owned by Helsingin Suunnistajat had no indicator lights at all (except the clear unit)!


The second race (22 September 2017) was in Orkanger near Trondheim. This became the first time I went to Trondheim, as well as the first time I competed in Norway. Also, this was the first time I used the EMIT-tag touch-free technology (the other major touch-free system being SI-AIR+).

Orkanger 20170922 route.jpg

Too much hesitation on route choices!


Despite the cloud cover, it still feels pretty warm in the late afternoon.

Being the only Asian guy in both events was, needless to say, interesting!

Midland Strategy, The Container Terminal, and Land Supply

Urban planning

The CBD3 (Third Central Business District) plan of the government, which proposes a huge artificial island at Kau Yi Chau approximately halfway between Hong Kong Island and Lantau, is probably rooted deep in the public consciousness by now. While it enjoys the strategic location in between Central, Kowloon and the airport and has the potential to spawn new infrastructure (as the proposed “Strategic Studies on Railways and Major Roads beyond 2030” may show), it might not be the best place to construct a new CBD after all.

Being of considerable distance from most major population centres (let alone major labour sources), the potential for the proposed artificial island to develop and prosper is in doubt. The City of Victoria took over a century under the tutelage of the colonial bureaucrats and taipans to come into prominence as one of the world’s major financial centres, and the East Kowloon CBD has all the industrial buildings and infrastructure for it to make a considerable jumpstart (not to mention being in the district with the densest population in all of Hong Kong), but CBD3 has none of these qualities. What’s more, all the transport infrastructure has to be developed anew, and we’re talking about transporting hundreds of thousands of passengers in an hour.

Now consider the Tsuen Wan area, which consists of Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing Districts. There’s already many people and businesses there—it’s a city of 800,000. So, why not move the Container Terminal to the sea and build the CBD3 there?

Let’s call the area Midland. In fact, I like to use Midland to describe all of the Tsuen Wan area from Tai Mo Shan to Lai Chi Kok Bay, from Tsing Lung Tau to Shing Mun (again, that’s Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing Districts combined—did anyone forget that the latter is a “breakaway” district of the former?) It’s really the geographic centre of Hong Kong.

midland CBD location.png

With the majority of the population in the New Territories, the Midland Strategy will save commuting times for a lot of people.

midland CBD spatial concept.png

We already have four railway stations which we can put into good use. Plus, we will get the opportunity to develop a whole new CBD on principles of sustainable development in the footsteps of Kai Tak.

(I actually submitted the plan right before the deadline of the HK2030+ consultation—not sure if they received it?)

Perhaps I’m not alone in proposing to move the Container Terminal. Our HK Foundation proposed that as well, without going into the planning details. (Article in Chinese)

Or build a podium over the Container Terminal directly like this article proposes? (Article also in Chinese) Either way, the Midland CBD is way sounder than a CBD on some artificial island at the middle of the sea.

Probably the orienteering event with the smallest area in the world 可能係世界上範圍最細嘅定向活動

MetOC, Orienteering, Sport

With the World Orienteering Day coming on 24 May this year, the Metropolitan Orienteering Club (MetOC) is going to organise (or more accurately re-enact) what is probably the orienteering event with the smallest area in the world in Kowloon Park.

How small is it? Well, to illustrate, I shall only have to use an excerpt from my SI Piece (that is, a music piece for SPORTident units) and a video of the premiere:

都會定向會將於世界定向日 (係五月廿四號、五月廿四號、五月廿四號呀,好重要所以要講三次) 喺九龍公園舉辦「可能係全世界範圍最細嘅定向活動」! 咁,究竟有幾細? 請睇以下小弟為定向打卡器而作嘅樂曲「譜」同埋首演錄影嘞:

SI Piece 1.png

Besides this, there is also a “slightly more normal” orienteering course — learn more at MetOC’s Facebook Page!