2010 Australian Championships Wrap-up

Congratulations to all the winners and place-getters, and thanks to everyone competing and to all the helpers for making the event a success.Robbie Preston and Damon Goerke - overall winners

For David and Julie, setters and organisers on behalf of ACTRA, the 2010 Australian Rogaining Championships were an opportunity to bring people to the high country and show off some of our favourite country. Ideally we would have loved to have you there in December or January when the wildflowers are abundant and you were more likely to get bitten by march flies than be stung by wasps. We were lucky with perfect weather for the event weekend though.

Chris Thompson, Hugh Stoddart and Richard MountstephensWe hope you enjoyed the course. We believe we achieved our goal of making a navigationally challenging course – especially at night! There were plenty of opportunities to make mistakes. The variation in the routes that teams took also demonstrated our other goal that was to make the route planning very difficult and to scatter you across the whole map. The map was a tad large, but we really did want to include the beautiful country to the west of Four Mile Hill fire trail, especially with the gold mining history in the area. We know the vetters and collectors have found it interesting to poke around and hope that you took a moment or two to do so as well. 

A big thanks to Ay-Up Lighting Systems for donating two fantastic lightsets - our lucky winners were Stephen Honey from Victoria and Nihal Danis from NSW.Nihal Danis - happy winner of an Ay-Up light set
We would also like to take a moment to thank the many, many people from ACTRA who made the event happen with a number of setting/vetting/hanging weekends based at the McAuley’s holiday house at Anglers Reach, the behind the scenes equipment, catering, website, finances, trophy organising, the event weekend helpers setting up, packing up, and at the hash house, all night cafĂ© and the very important mountain bike safety patrols, and finally the control collection. These people were: Helen McAuley, Ian McAuley, Mark McDonald, Susie Sprague, Selina Stoute, David Foster, Alex Ramsey, Andrew Rowe, David Singleton, Judy Jenkinson, Ian Booth, Keith Conley, Glenn Bridgart, Claire Edwards, Grant Battersby, Michael Hutchinson, Michael Reed, Emily Stewart-Reed, David Poland, Luke Poland, Oliver Poland, Noah Poland, Toni Brown, Alyssa Rogan, Ron Simpson, Jeannie Douglass, Jonathan Miller, Pat Miethke, Kathy Saw, Anne Sawkins, Parissa Poulis, Sean McElhinney, Sue Janas, Silke Speier, Greg Terrill, John Barnes, Mardi Barnes.
Adaminaby P&C did a great job for us on Friday night and Saturday morning with catering and the Hartley Ability Lifecare team did a great job for the rogaine catering.Flags
Thanks also to AROCSport for loan of water cubes used at the HH and ANC, Triathlon ACT for traffic management equipment and generator, and to the ACT government for a complete set of state flags that helped made the site look so good.
Crossing Tabletop CreekA couple of apologies that we would like to make. Firstly after the finish we had a few errors in the navlight results, which were unfortunate and attending to these was compounded by having a missing team (turned up at 2 pm) that we were needing to plan a search for. For those teams that spent a long time searching for control #90 – we believe it was in the correct place but a watercourse south of the control wasn’t on the map - especially tricky for night time visits. Lots of the controls were quite tricky and it took a lot of vetting, but this slipped through. We are also aware that a number of people came down with a gastro bug on Sunday evening or Monday. We have not been able to pin-point the source of this (creek water or an infectious virus are most likely) and we are sorry for those that got crook.
A few highlights or funny stories from the rogaine we would like to share: 
·      Elaine mine. We wondered if we would find the mine while setting the course…until we got into the creek and found the massive tailings bank nearly damming the valley!
·      Timepiece failures. We had two teams turn up one hour late, both convinced they were on time. One had an analogue watch that had stopped for about an hour during the event and the other team had a mobile phone that had decided daylight savings had finished overnight and given them a “bonus” hour!
·      One rogainer’s highlights included seeing just how fast his team-mate could run when pursued by furious wasps! It sounds like the nest in the log on the horse track N of #23 claimed a few victims, including one of our control collectors.
·      The koala that Michael Reed and Emily Steward-Reed saw on the mountain bike patrol at midnight – none have been sighted in the region for 60 years or more.Belinda and Debbie head off with Ada travelling in style
·      The number of young people participating or at the rogaine was fantastic. We believe Ada Whitten was the youngest at 4 months. We hope Ada appreciated the large rock that was strapped into her in the pram while it was abandoned on the course courtesy of the course setters (not other competitors). We wondered what the rules say about interference by the setters… Ada’s mum Belinda was tipped off by the giggling MTB patrol on the road who’d heard the story back at the HH – she hadn’t even got back to the pram yet, so the surprise was lost.
·      Team 50 spotted by a MTB patrol at Nine Mile Diggings (far SW corner of the map) at 8AM, took a beeline for the HH picking up a few controls and made it back with 5 minutes to spare.
·      The circus tent – the marquee and flags really made a spectacular hash house. It was great to see it put to good use during course planning, but also great that it wasn’t pressed into service at other times by rain. All we needed were a few performing acrobats.
·      It was unfortunate that the punch at 98 malfunctioned but it allowed David and Julie to sneak out into a beautiful dawn onto the course for a quick replacement trip.
We welcome your feedback on things done well or where improvements can be made in the future.