Interesting, thanks for sharing! I'll have to check out the source article and add it to my collection of "how we learn to navigate" studies. In children, landmark navigation is the first to develop; geometric spatial relationships develop later (around 12-14, on average, or about the time we start to expect kids to find controls off-trail). So I'm a bit confused about the study highlighting the young adults relying more on a landmark strategy. But the idea of older age also being related to how we process spatial relationships is interesting.
Terje, the only study I've come across in English about masters orienteers was looking at attentional focus, but I was also just reading about executive function, so I may have missed something else that was published on the topic.
Looking back at my notes, orienteers from 60-75 years old with at least 10 years of experience maintained the ability to shift focus between scales and to focus on local details under time constraints when compared to non-athletes in a spatial laboratory task, suggesting far-transfer of attentional focus and shifting from orienteering to other tasks.
The article's probably not publicly available, but you may be able to access it through a library if interested:
Pesce, C., Cereatti, L., Casella, R., Baldari, C., & Capranica, L. (2007). Preservation of Visual Attention in Older Expert Orienteers at Rest and under Physical Effort. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 29(1), 78–99. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.29.1.78