A record 328 students turned out for the annual Sydney West schools champs at Fred Caterson Reserve in Castle Hill on Wednesday.
It was all hands on deck as our coaches, starters and marshals coped with more than double the usual number (the previous record attendance was 158 last year) - and a huge thanks must go to WHO club captain James Macquillan for putting out all 44 controls in the chilly early morning.
"The Graveyard" map has lots of runnable bush and an intricate track network that makes for an ideal introduction to orienteering for students.
Penrith High School was declared the champion school with wins in 4 age classes and a first place in the relays. Glenwood HS was close behind after being champions for the past 2 years.First-timers Hambledon PS were clear winners in both age races and relays with Kurrajong PS giving them some stiff competition.
Over 100 entry forms for the NSW Schools Champs (at Newcastle in mid-August) were taken by runners excited about the opportunity to take place in a sprint and bush event against other regions.
A huge thanks to organiser Lyn Malmgron and her volunteer helpers for another successful day. Events such as these can't take place without the wonderful help from volunteers from our orienteering community and the local clubs. 22 other volunteers arrived ready to help coach, operate computers and set out courses.
One teacher later commented: "This was a fantastic experience. Can we bring two busloads next year?"
Mountain Devils played host to yet another wet MTBO event on the NSW South Coast as the "Curse of Currambene" struck again.
Organiser Andy Halliday reports: "An exceptionally warm and dry autumn had firmed up the trails and single tracks of Curramabene SF (south Nowra) to their fast and flowing best. Finally a dry day in the Shoalhaven ... until the “curse” returned, with some showers in the preceding week and a heavy downpour soon after the start.
Undaunted by the wet stuff, 30+ riders rocked up and headed off in all different directions after the mass start for this 3-hour score event. They soon encountered mud, deep puddles and in places a particularly adhesive form of clay that has a strong affinity for MTB wheels (see pic, right)!
Despite the conditions most riders stayed out for the full 3 hours and enjoyed this challenging encounter with the elements. Top men's pair were Anthony Grant and Patrick Gunnarsson, who cleared the course 11 minutes early for 515 points. In the mixed class, Kerrie Hammond and Wulf Wilkins (361 pts) pipped Carolyn Haupt and Tim Jackson by one point.
In the individual category, Malcolm Roberts got the lot but was 8 minutes over time for 506 points, just 1 point better than Carolyn Matthews who was under time and missed only one control.
Down near the Victorian border, Waggaroos were establishing a handy lead in round 3 of their annual interclub battle with Albury Wodonga. John Oliver filed this report...
"The event was conducted literally from the main street in Walbundrie. Although relatively small, the area contains three low lying hills littered with rock features, earthen embankments, and intricate little gullies created by erosion and excavations.
Courses looped around the hills in such a way that participants had to switch navigation strategies from deciding between route choice alternatives to fine map reading to chart a course carefully through the features. The three hills regularly challenged participants with decisions on whether to run wide and avoid climb or take the hill on.
There were no Albury participants on the Easy course and no WaggaRoos participating on the Moderate Course so the competition was fought out on the 5.3km Hard and 3.5km Hard courses. Alex Davey had a solid win on the 5.3km course, and Deb Davey and John Oliver were 3rd and 4th.
Albury hit back on the 3.6 km course when Liz Wood blitzed the field to win comfortably by over 16 minutes, but Bob Moore, Wes Campbell and Pauline Moore finished in quick succession ahead of other Albury orienteers and put the result beyond doubt.
WaggaRoos won the day 25-17 and now commands a healthy 10-point lead after 3 events. Round 4 is on Sun Jun 29 in the Murraguldrie State Forest."
What a delightful setting Oatley Park made for round 3 of our Sydney inter-club comp - birds chirping, families picnicking, sparkling water views and plenty of shade to run in on another sensationally warm late autumn morning.
Our hosts IKO offered more climb than appeared likely and many opportunities to choose between cross country or minor track. Several competitors later remarked: "Oh, I didn't notice that track on the map; that would have helped."
A few technical rock features ensured it didn't all go the runners' way either.
Some of our top juniors were among the outstanding performers: Dan Hill ran a sensational 37.38 to be third in Divn 1, with Garingal team-mate Toby Wilson hot on his heels in fifth place. Also from the GO stable, Duncan Currie and Alex Kennedy placed 1 and 3 in Divn 2.
Big Foot's Alistair George was second in Divn 3, while Garingal's Lewis Redner bagged another fastest time in Divn 4 and looks set for the individual medal there. And Big Foot's Ewan Shingler, just into Year 7, filled in for Garingal in Division 5 and cleaned up by six and half minutes!
Courses were well set by Vicki Wilmott, with three of the winning times right on 35 minutes. The MetrO League page has updated results.
Here's a puzzler to leave you with: in Division 4, which way did you go / would you choose from #6 to #7?
Thanks to the IKO gang for a lovely morning.
Fresh from a fantastic inaugural NSW DuO champs, Mountain Devils are running a three-hour MTBO score event at Currambene State Forest in South Nowra on Sunday June 1.
This is race 4 in the annual Super Series. You can ride as an individual or team of two. This should be a great event with a mix of single track and forest trails. See Eventor for details.
Please note entries close Mon May 26 and there is no Enter on Day.
The DuO points table has been updated on the DuO homepage.
Around 135 students had a glorious day out at Croom Regional Sporting Complex on Wednesday for the second annual South Coast primary schools orienteering gala day.
Word had obviously spread after last year's inaugural event generated a report in the Illawarra Mercury. WIN TV even brought their news crew out to capture the action this year.
Illawarra Kareelah president Kev Curby reports: "We were so pleased with the students' good behaviour, co-operation and desire to learn about orienteering. Also, they left the stadium and grounds so clean! They are a credit to the teachers and the six schools."
Next year's date has already been locked in: Wed May 20.
Thanks to IKO and all the helpers for helping make the day a great success.
The breathtaking rock of Sappa Bulga, ex-JWOC reps setting courses... better get your entries in by Tuesday night for the annual QB III carnival!
This year our June long weekend extravaganza returns to the Dubbo area, with each day a State League event.
Western Plains club will stage Day 1 at Brummagen Creek Reserve, an area new to most NSW orienteers, for a bush sprint event, with terrain consisting of scattered trees with some forest sections and a steep banked creek with some intricate erosion gullies.
On days 2 and 3 ONSW and the NSW Stingers will challenge orienteers on Sappa Bulga, an area regarded as among the best orienteering terrain in Australia. Setters are ex-JWOC representatives Josh Blatchford and Matt Parton.
The event is being staged with the support of finish timing guru Ron Pallas, while Days 2 and 3 will supported by the Stingers and the Bennelong club at the starts and in the arena.
The Saturday 17-20A and 21A races will double as the NSW Sprint Championships for those four classes (Men + Women).
Late entries close on Mon Jun 2. EOD will be available on each day.
Michele Dawson was the star of the big Easter carnival hosted by ONSW, taking out the junior women's elite section by a minute and three seconds.
Michele (Garingal) recorded two firsts and two seconds to pip Victorian Lanita Steer for the gold medal. Newcastle's Nicola Blatchford was third overall, just five minutes behind Michele, thanks to four consistent runs.
Nicola and Michele were later named in the Australian team for the junior world champs in Bulgaria in July. It will be Nicola's second JWOC and Michele's third.
Michele was 2m32s in front entering the Long Distance event on Sunday but dropped six minutes to seemingly surrender the title. But a brilliant run in very steep terrain on Monday - and two sizeable errors by Lanita - saw her emerge in first place as she tore across the final stretches of the cherry farm (pic, left).
In the open women'e elite our best performer was Bennelong's Marina Iskhakova in 13th place, just ahead of Big Foot's Tracy Marsh. Former world champ Hanny Allston won by 18 minutes to signal she is back to peak condition.
Newcastle's Rob Preston was sixth in the men's elite class, a fantastic second placing on the final day a reward for his efforts. Dave Meyer (SHOO), Alex Massey (NC) and Ian Meyer (SHOO) finished in the top dozen overall.
Angus Roberts (NC) was our best in the junior men's elite in seventh placing, closely followed by Aidan Dawson (GO, 9th) and Toby Wilson (GO, 12th). Daniel Hill (GO) may have ended up the highest placed NSW runner had he not recorded a DNF on the Long course on Sunday after taking ill.
The Dawsons (pictured) also took out the family relays on day 1.
Each of the 4 days was also a National League (NOL) event. As a result the NSW Stingers continue to lead the junior women's section, with Michele atop the individual standings and Nicola third.
More than 800 competitors were blessed with beautiful autumn weather at Rylstone Common and Clandulla State Forest. A huge thank you to the dozens of people who helped put the carnival together.
The board of Orienteering NSW has decided to restructure the roles of its paid officers, following the recent resignation of admin officer Anthony Darr.
As such, the board is seeking applications for the following three part-time positions:
* Executive Officer
* Administrative Officer
* Financial Officer
You may apply for one or more of these positions. Likewise, successful candidates may be employed in more than one role. Applications must reach new ONSW president Greg Barbour by April 30. Please click here for brief job descriptions.
Many of the board will be at Easter so please feel free to speak to them if you have any queries.
Start lists for both events are on Eventor. For those people who did not pre-enter but wish to have a run, Enter-on-Day on Friday is from 2.30-3.30pm and on Saturday from 10am.
After a fantastic weekend at Clandulla State Forest for the annual Australian 3-Days, we are excited at the prospect of another terrific weekend of orienteering.
The opener is the Sprint champs at Lithgow HS/TAFE on Anzac Day (Friday) afternoon, hosted by Uringa.
Saturday's Long champs unveil a new map at Gardens of Stone National Park about 25 minutes north of town.
Both events are also NOL rounds.
Organisers Garingal would like to offer a heartfelt "thank you" to NSW National Parks and Wildlife, Office of the Environment and Heritage for access to Gardens of Stone Park for this event within the Greater Blue Mountain World Heritage Area.
Garingal would also like to extend a huge thank you to John Holland Rail as the Managing Agent for the Country Regional Network, for access to the rail corridor for parking as well as the provision of a Protection Officer during the event.
Thanks also go to Endura for supplying post-race nutrition, and to the private land holders.