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More records at Sydney West schools champs

ONSW - Thu, 22/06/2017 - 18:28

Sydney West just keeps setting attendance records at our annual round of schools champs.

Last year 395 primary and secondary students were at Fred Caterson Reserve at Castle Hill, with its lovely mix of sportsfields and bush tracks. Numbers were so great that thi year separate primary and secondary days were scheduled.

And on Thursday a new record was set - 402 primary students on hand, with a further 200 having to be accommodated later this year as we were already at bursting point.

Another superb sunny winter's day had the kid going in all directions - and loving the venture across the BMX track in particular.

This time it was a small army of WHO organisers, SI gurus and coaches in charge - making it 700 students in two days.

Age race winners came from Carlingford West, Crestwood, Mt Riverview, Baulkham Hills, Rouse Hill and Sherwood Ridge.

Relays were won by Blackheath and Crestwood.

Tahmoor, Mawarra rule Sydney South West primary champs

ONSW - Wed, 21/06/2017 - 19:31

More than 300 excited students showed their skills at the annual Sydney South West schools championships on Wednesday.

Gorgeous weather and a relatively dry course meant the kids could speed around Camden Bicentennial Equestrian Park - as long as they read their maps carefully!

A small army of SHOO organisers, SI gurus and coaches ensured a seamless day capped off by the 3-person relay - always a hoot as 100+ students scarper off in different directions (see pic for a shot of the start).

Age race winners came from Tahmoor PS (2x), perennial champs Mawarra PS (2x), Holsworthy PS and Narellan Vale PS.

Mawarra then claimed a trifecta in the boys' relay and two of the three placings in the girls' relay.

Entries open for 2017 NSW Schools Champs

ONSW - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 16:31

This year our NSW schools champs are in Wollongong on August 19-20. The weekend is hosted by Illawarra Kareelah and staged in conjunction with State Leagues 10 and 11.

Entries are now open, with this reminder:

* all students entering the NSW schools champs must do so via Trybooking
* all non-students entering the State League events must do so via Eventor
* you may enter Saturday, or Sunday, or both days

Please note that Sunday consists of two sprints: at Uni of Wollongong and the nearby TAFE. Times will be added to calculate the winners in each class. Presentations will be held straight after.

Saturday's Middle Distance event is at Cataract Scout Park. Non-orienteers should refer to the information sheet for descriptions of courses; it contains links to map examples.

Parents of competing students again have the opportunity to go on a map walk with a coach, or try a free course and compare their route with their child.

Entries close August 10.

ONSW scholarship applications open

ONSW - Thu, 15/06/2017 - 13:48

Orienteering NSW is seeking applications for 1-2 visiting orienteering scholars this summer (September 2017 to March 2018).

Applicants should email Jim Mackay (development @ onsw.asn.au) ASAP, as should clubs willing to host. Hosting is for a minimum of 2 weeks duration and families will receive a small stipend to help cover costs.

Scholars can contribute greatly to local clubs through mapping, coaching and event organisation. Our inaugural scholar, Atte Lahtinen from Finland, has just left Australia after an extended stay.

More information about the scholarship program can be found here.

By George, a dam fine Sprint finish to the Aus 3-Days

ONSW - Tue, 13/06/2017 - 18:00

The Australian 3-days carnival finished on a spectacular note at CSU Wagga on Monday, with a Sprint event mixing rock with campus to throughly test brains and brawn for a third straight day.

And in the washup, it was Big Foot junior Alastair George with arguably the best NSW result of the long weekend - third overall in the junior men's elite class. Congratulations Al - we hope that JWOC selection lies in the near future.

Now, how could a seemingly urban sprint possibly have tricky rock? Easy - thanks to a new map extension on a steep hill to the west. After a short, sharp climb to the start (past a few curious kangaroos), runners were confronted with half a dozen controls in a small hilly area littered with boulders.

As usual, the race won't be won here but can certainly be lost. (Your tired scribe blew 4 minutes overshooting two controls on Course 5, but we digress!) From there it was a careful drop to the western edge of the built-up area.

Nothing about the campus section looks particularly difficult - until closer inspection reveals pedestrian overbridges, impassable building corners and a plethora of uncrossable garden beds.

Decision making at speed, and speedy decision making. An error of mere seconds can mean the difference between first place and merely second... or further down the results list.

The course climax provided a wonderful spectacle - runners converged from two or three directions on the last control (a sculpture, pictured top) in the corner of a large pond with two small bridges for access, then a 50m dash to the finish.

Innovative course planning by SHOO's Melbourne-based NSW Stinger Dave Meyer and a great venue for the presentations, for which we had the pleasure of the company of Wagga Deputy Mayor Dallas Tout

Our list of thank yous is extensive: organising clubs Waggaroos, Southern Highlands, Illawarra Kareelah, Uringa; carnival organiser Ron Pallas; all our course setters and controllers; and the generous landowners.

The Oceania and World Masters champs in New Zealand in April forced OA to move this carnival from its usual Easter date, so we are grateful to the 550+ participants who made the effort to enjoy three quality maps in glorious winter sunshine.

You can find all the results on Eventor, splits on Winsplits and Attackpoint, and courses on Routegadget.

Sunday's hit song is "Burngoogee, burn"

ONSW - Sun, 11/06/2017 - 17:40

Burngoogee is one of the many jewels in Waggaroos' treasure chest of maps - and first-timers found out just why at the Australian 3-Days on Sunday.

Top-ranked Australian Julian Dent set a demanding test for the traditional Long day, held in beautiful golden winter sunshine.

Courses generally started out through the steep, rocky section in the northwest corner of the map then swept east through some flatter open forest before some more rock and a final climb. 

Contouring or up-and-down was a constant dilemma for many, and most courses seemed steeper than Saturday's opener at Connorton. That didn't prevent some very fast times being recorded, especially on Course 9 where Ella Cuthbert from the ACT sped around the 4.5km course in 38:22.

The best NSW result among the elites was Alastair George (Big Foot) coming third in the junior men.

Click on the blue links for the photo album on our Facebook page; and for Day 2 results, Winsplits and Routegadget.

Another big thanks to Waggaroos and their helper clubs SHOO, Uringa and IKO. And a massive shout out to the Billetts who have worked tirelessly in the Junior Squad catering van on both days. Funds raised help offset the cost of sending the NSW All Schools Team to the annual Australian championships. 

Rock stars shine at Aus 3-Days opener

ONSW - Sat, 10/06/2017 - 22:30

Waggaroos promised "We will rock you" - and setter Briohny Seaman delivered as the Australian 3-Days made a brilliant start at Connorton on Saturday.

There were many fast times despite the tricky terrain; the NSW highlight being Uringan Georgia Jones (pictured smiling left) placing third in W20E. The other excellent NOL result among the NSW Stingers was Alastair George (Big Foot) coming fourth in M20E.

Almost 540 participants were on course in superb weather, and our close neighbours from the ACT won 17 of the age classes.

The parking area offered sweeping views over the surrounding farmland, and the start took people through some open area before delving into the rock. For those unfamiliar with granite terrain, it was like someone took the lid off the salt and pepper shakers and turned them upside down on the map.

It was all tremendous fun and a couple of startled Bennelongers even saw some wild goats on course - along with the obligatory kangaroos and wallabies. The uphill sprint to the finish had lungs burning once more.

Thanks Waggaroos and the other helper clubs. 

Click on the blue links for photos by Ian and Clare Jessup on Facebook, results, Winsplits and Routegadget.

Glorious weather for NOSH

ONSW - Mon, 05/06/2017 - 17:30

The 43rd annual Great NOSH Footrace was conducted in beautiful, crisp, sunny conditions on Sunday.

Twelve months on from the massive storm that forced the postponement of the 2016 race, the contrast could not have been starker: finishers remarking on how hot they felt as they emerged from the Bantry Bay bushland onto a dry Seaforth Oval after 16.5km of trail running and some serious climbs.

Richard Mountstephens, from our Big Foot club, was first across the line in 75 minutes and 4 seconds. Danielle Donahue (left, with Richard) was the first female in 86:38, taking 22nd place overall.

Alastair George, another Big Foot member, took out fastest junior in 81:59 (13th overall), with Olivia Piazza (99m33s) the quickest female junior.

There were 304 entries, including 26 in the walking category. Spealing of which, Alex Green scooted around in 104m34s - a phemonenal result for walking.

Results are here, and Tony Hill has compiled an album from all the volunteer photographers here.

A big thank you to Bennelong Northside, Bold Horizons, Online Timing, Seaforth Soccer Club, Northern Beaches Council, National Parks, and all the volunteer helpers from orienteering clubs.


Ski-O champs on again at Perisher

ONSW - Tue, 30/05/2017 - 19:23

What better way to usher in winter than to announce the 4th annual NSW Ski Orienteering championships?

Co-sanctioned with OACT, the event will again be held at Perisher Valley on Sunday August 13; organised by Red Roos, Big Foot and Perisher X Country. This event forms part of XC Ski week, with the start in front of the beautiful, warm and special Nordic Shelter at Perisher.

There will be (a) 3 line courses: Short (about 2.5km), Middle (about 5km) and Long (about 7.5km), with up to 10 controls; (b) a two-hour Snogaine for teams of 2-3 people, and (c) a family treasure hunt for parents and kids.

Everyone who loves or dreams of trying skiing or orienteering will be able to combine both skills. This is the only Ski-O event in Australia (and among just a handful in the Southern Hemisphere, as far as we know).

See the flyer for full details.

Cub Day Out tests our resources

ONSW - Mon, 29/05/2017 - 14:24

Emulating a Cecil B de Mille production, on Sunday we hosted 350 cubs, about 60 leaders and dozens of parents at Gough Whitlam Park in Earlwood for their annual Metro South Cub Day Out.

The logistics were huge: 30 groups of 10-12 cubs plus a leader or two, five stations of OK-GO activities, four star relays, a loops course and finally an 18-control score course in pairs using SI.

It was non-stop from 8.30am to 3pm and thankfully the weather was lovely, as was the feedback from young and old.

Many leaders inquired about incorporating further orienteering into their programs and badge schemes, and we can see the potential to map more campsites to mutual benefit.  

A big thank you to organisers Ian Jessup and Jim Mackay; coaches Lyn Malmgron, Neville Fathers, Georgia Jones, Maggie Jones and Robert Newman; helpers Ian Jones and Dave Lotty; and SI guru Ron Pallas.

And thank you to Jan from Metro South for the invitation to host this much anticipated annual outing for the cubs.

FYI, the fastest pair did the score course in 16:44 - very mpressive given they were all aged 8-11.

City, country combine for World Orienteering Day

ONSW - Thu, 25/05/2017 - 08:17

City and country; bush and big end of town. You'd be hard pressed to find two more contrasting locations for World Orienteering Day than sleepy Dorrigo and beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

An initiative of the International Orienteering federation, WOD aims to promote our sport worldwide. So, with 2,000+ events in 53 countries on all 7 continents (yes - even Antarctica!), and more than 77,000 participants - that goal appears to have been well and truly reached on Wednesday.

In NSW the first event was at Mt John's Primary School (lower pic) at tiny Dorrigo, 30km west of Coffs Habrour, with 49 students doing Space Racing. In the afternoon a further 12 entrants were at the local showground, the first public orienteering event held in Dorrigo, on a new map prepared by Maurice Anker from the Northern Tablelands club to offer Very Easy, Easy and Scatter courses. A big thank you to Jenny Hawkins (NTOC) for putting this on.

The official population of the Dorrigo Plateau is only 2311, so 61 orienteers represented almost 3% of the town! 

Back in the big smoke by Milsons Point station, we doubt WOD had a better location than Bradfield Park.

Ninety participants, including 20-odd scouts, took in the Sydney Harbour foreshore, Luna Park, the PM's residence and other North Sydney landmarks under torchlight. The top photo was taken at 4.30pm as organisers were setting up. WOW!

We had guests from Israel, Ireland, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Hungary among others. Course setting thanks to Ross Duker and seamless organisation by Garingal. A great way to cap off a 23C day.

Wianamatta map debuts in MetrO League

ONSW - Mon, 22/05/2017 - 09:25

WHO unveiled a terrific new Sydney bush map of Wianamatta Reghional Park for round 2 of our MetrO League on Sunday.

Opened just two years ago after more than 50 years off limits, the park is one of the last remnants of Cumberland Plain forest. The site has a history of farming, timber cutting and from the outbreak of WWII to the late 1980s housed an explosives and munitions filing factory.

It was flat terrain with a few earthbanks and former roads in a grid assisting navigation. When the white was white it was right for smooth running; when the white was green it was a bit mean. The plethora of small termite mounds (<1m high) required caution to locate among the scrub.

As such many of the times were a little longer than expected, but we'll put that down to first-time trial. At the top end of the competition the big guns certainly proved the course lengths to be correct.

Uringa's Ondrej Pavlu (31.35) helped the hybrid WHO Evers to a comfortable win over a severely depleted Big Foot n Division 1, while Garingal had a close victory over SHOO-IKO.

Garingal had a good day out, winning 7 of 11 contests. Their Dragons and Frill Necks won in Division 2, while Uringa's Ian Jones (32.04) was the only runner under 35 minutes. 

KNOX's Thomas Gordon (34.45) and Bennelong's Alitia Dougall (39.47) were the only runners under 45 miniutes in Divn 3, with most clustered between 47-53 minutes. Winning times in Divns 4 and 5 were just above 40 minutes.

We thank WHO for this great new adventure in western Sydney. Scores are on the ML web page. A reminder that Round 3 is on a new map at Glengarry Girl Guides Camp in North Turramurra on June 25. This event is being run by the NSW Junior Squad.

South Coast gala day thrills eager kids

ONSW - Sat, 20/05/2017 - 10:15

Our fifth annual South Coast primary schools gala day was another successful promotion.

IKO organiser Kev Curby reports: "Four primary schools from the South Coast District supported the event with 75 students from years 5 and 6 and some teachers.

Few of the students had read maps before, so it was quite a new experience for them. After a short break, the individual competition was held, courses going through bush and open areas of the Croom Sports Complex near Albion Park. The students had acquired their new skill very well, running the courses in quick times. The day finished with a relay event consisting of 25 teams of three. From the mass start until the last runner finished, excitement levels were high.

The Croom Sports Complex offers excellent conditions for beginners with a natural, lightly wooded bush area with a track network and plenty of open area that is used for training and competition for a variety of sports.

Nowra Public made a return attendance this year while Flinders Public, St Georges Basin Public and Aurora Steiner School attended for the first time.

Placegetters received a personal invitation to the NSW Schools Championships to be held on August 19-20 in the Illawarra.

Lyn Malmgron did a great job again, guiding the students through the day, Keith Jay set the courses, Ron Pallas provided his annual IT coaching session for me, and Salme Fuller, Rob Spry and Garry Stewart provided invaluable assistance on the day."

Long, long legs - and emus

ONSW - Sun, 14/05/2017 - 19:48

Our clubs are rightly proud to unveil new bush maps - but there's nothing quite like opening the vault, dusting off an an old classic and giving it another airing.

So it was at Canyonleigh in the Southern Highlands on Sunday when Uringa called up the Arthursleigh map out of retirement for the NSW Long Championships.

Setter Nick Wilmott - giving up a weekend of his beloved hockey - tested everyone with long legs to pretty much every control on every hard course.

"Hey Nick, did you forget to pack all the controls?," quipped one wag. No, simply a case of doing more with less. The men's Hard 4 course, for example, was 5.6km and just 4 legs, plus a short hop to the 5th control and finish.

It was faster to contour around than to red-line, but the vagueness of the terrain (very little besides termite mounds and contour lines) also posed its own problems. You could really stretch the legs out (our M21A winner covered the 15.3km in 85 minutes!), but at the same time map contact was paramount.

As Australians we are used to seeing kangaroos on course, maybe even a snake, but today we were treated to emus! What a hoot! With the forecast rain staying away until mid-afternoon, it was a perfect day for orienteering. Hrad to think of more ideal conditions for a bush run.

Massive thank yous also to organiser Margaret Jones, SI guru Ron Pallas and the entire Uringa team. Happy Mothers Day everyone.

Clare Jessup's terrific photo album is on Facebook, and results are on Eventor. Please fill out the very brief course setter surveys for both days.

Our next State League weekend is the Australian 3-Days carnival in Wagga from June 10-12. Entries close Monday May 22.

Tough courses for NSW Middle Champs at Appin

ONSW - Sat, 13/05/2017 - 18:48

Challenging courses were the feature of the NSW Middle Distance championships at Appin on Saturday.

Setter Stephan Wagner interspersed contouring around gentle hillsides with intricate areas of rock in light green that required you to be right on top of the control to find it.

In brilliant autumn sunshine, Newcastle dominated with 14 titles, no doubt benefiting from two outstanding events in the past month on hoime turf for practice.

An indicator of the difficulty was the fact that only four hard courses had winning times under 50 minutes.

A huge thank you to SHOO for a great start to the weekend, especially after permission for the original venue was withdrawn just two months out.

Results are here.

Glorious weather for Riverina champs

ONSW - Wed, 10/05/2017 - 10:27

Our annual round of regional schools champions started in gorgeous autumn weather in Wagga on Monday.

Eighty students were at the Botanic Gardens and Music Bowl for the Riverina champs.

The courses took participants through the adjacent bushland looking for specific earth walls, rock faces, depressions and distinctive trees. The numerous tracks and paths in the area sometimes were a blessing to help navigation and sometimes added to the confusion.

The wonderful weather assisted some excellent performances. Considering many had not been orienteering previously all did very well indeed.

The 3 x 900m relay (pictured) provided a lot of interest with 27 teams on deck. Henty PS (Joel Zweck, Jonathan Coe and Konnar Betts) won the Primary Schools Relay and  TRAC (Will Cronk, Angus Roche and Lachlan Billett) won the Secondary Schools Relay.

We hope to see many of these students at the Australian 3-Days carnival over the June long weekend.

WaggaRoos appreciated the assistance received from Lyn Malmgron, Sandra Stewart, Neville Fathers and Robert Spry in making the day the success it was.

NOSH entries are open

ONSW - Mon, 01/05/2017 - 12:00

Entries are now open for the 2017 Great NOSH Footrace on Sunday June 4.

This 16.4km trail run from Lindfield to Seaforth is an iconic Sydney event celebrating its 43rd year. It's mostly on bush tracks and fire trails, with some steep sections. There's 570m climb throughout the course.

Partner organisation Bold Horizons is assisting Bennelong Northside and ONSW with event management. This year there is the option to pay for a bus from Seaforth to Lindfield (before or after the event). Pre-entry is $35 via Trybooking. Enter on the day is $45 but places will be limited.

Another World Masters bronze to Jenny Enderby

ONSW - Sun, 30/04/2017 - 12:39

Newcastle's Jenny Enderby has finished a superb fortnight in New Zealand with bronze in the W45 Long Distance final at the World Masters Orienteering in Auckland.

Jenny also picked up third place in the Sprint on Monday, adding to her Sprint gold and two silvers at the Oceania champs over Easter in the same terrain.

On Saturday's 5.3km final in the dunes and pines of Woodhill Forest, she was four minutes off the winning time of 43.04 set by Victorian Natasha Key.

After dominating the Sprint finals, the large Australian contingent got a lesson from the Europeans, and the Scandinavians in particular, in the Long final.

Other top ten place-getters from NSW in the A finals were: Andrew Hill (WHO, pictured) sixth in M35, Tracy Bluett (Big Foot) seventh in W40, Maureen Ogilvie (Uringa) eighth in W80 and Lynn Dabbs (WHO) ninth in W65.

In the B finals, Alex Davey (Waggaroos) won M60, Kevin Williams (WHO) tied for first in M75 and Salme Fuller (IKO) was third in W50.

Results and all the course maps can be found here.

Thank you to the NZ organisers for a massive two weeks of orienteering.

Jenny Enderby claims bronze in World Masters Sprint

ONSW - Mon, 24/04/2017 - 13:06

Newcastle's Jenny Enderby has continued her great Oceania Easter form with a third placing in the W45 age class at the World Masters Orienteering Sprint Champs in Auckland.

Jenny (pictured), covered the 3.2km course in the W45A final in 17m2s to complete an Australian clean sweep of the medals. Victorian Natasha Key won by an astonishing three minutes as Australia claimed 12 of the 23 gold medals on offer on Monday.

Former Bennelonger Grant Bluett, now living in the ACT, won M45. ONSW's next best performers were Debbie Davey (Waggaroos) who was fourth in W60A and Maureen Ogilvie (Uringa) fourth in W80.

Other top ten place-getters in the A finals were: Andrew Hill (WHO) seventh in M35, ex-Big Footer Patrik Gunnarsson eighth in M40, Eric Morris (BN) ninth in M45, Chipply le Carpentier (SHOO) ninth in M75, Tracy Bluett (Big Foot) seventh and Anna Fitzgerald (Goldseekers) ninth in W40, and Phoebe Dent (Central Coast) ninth in W35.

In the B finals, John Hodsdon (SHOO) was second in M75 and Salme Fuller (IKO) third in W50.

Long Distance qualifications are on Wednesday and Thursday, with the finals on Saturday.

Toby, Georgia selected in JWOC team

ONSW - Sun, 23/04/2017 - 22:32

Garingal's Tony Wilson has been named in the Australian team for the junior world championships in Finland, and Uringa's Georgia Jones has been picked as a reserve.

Toby has been on the fringe of "JWOC" selection for more than 12 months now and his impressive results in the National League - including a breakthrough win on the notoriously difficult Pittwater Dunes in Hobart last month and solid performances in New Zealand at Easter - sealed his place.

"I'm excited for this opportunity to get overseas experience," he said.

"I took this semester off Uni partly to concentrate on JWOC and I was pretty confident after the first few NOL races, but it's still a relief to see your name on the list."

Georgia has consistently placed in the top 7 or 8 in junior NOL races this year and will no doubt push strongly for full selection next year.

"It was a really strong field competing for places on the team, and I've gotten where I am because of all the work my coach Paula Shingler has put in," she said.

"Although I'm disappointed to not get on the travelling team, it was good to be picked as reserve. I had a solid set of races in New Zealand which is a good preparation for the racing I'll be doing in Europe later this year and my nomination for the 2018 JWOC team."

The Orienteering NSW community congratulates these two fine ambassadors for our sport, and their Australian team-mates.

The championships in Finland run from July 9-16 and the event website is here.


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