Spring and 12 hour event entries now open
The Spring 6 and 12 hour event entries are now open. The events will be held on Saturday, 12 November. Mike and Marg Harrap have set the events in the Yanununbeyan National Park, northwest of Captains Flat and just under an hour's drive from Queanbeyan. The terrain is mostly lightly wooded, with the usual forest litter underfoot and some open grassy areas, making for relatively easy progress. Of course, it wouldn't be a proper course without the obligatory steeper sections; these lead to the higher areas (elevation ranges from 800 to 1200 metres) with magnificent views of the surrounding hills and farmlands. There are also some well-defined fire trails running through the course. Hartley will be providing their usual superb catering. Twelve hour teams, in particular, are encouraged to camp overnight. It is the last event for some months, so don't miss out. Enter thorugh the ACTRA website by Monday 7 November.
2017 tentative calendar
Are you wondering when rogaines are going to be held next year? Here are some ACT, NSW and other events for your diaries.
Twilight 3 hr Saturday 4 February
Paddy Pallin 6 hr Sunday 5 March
Australian Champs Sat-Sun 6-7 May
Navigation Workshop Sat-Sun 24-25 June
Winter 4 hr Sunday 2 July
Metrogaine 6 hr Sunday 13 August
Night/Day (cycle?) 6/5 hr Sat-Sun 2-3 September
ACT Champs 12 hr Saturday 4 November
Metrogaine 6 hr Saturday 25 February
Minigaine 3 hr Sunday 9 April
Autumngaine 6/12 hr Saturday 20 May
Paddy Pallin 6 hr Sunday 18 June
Lake Macquarie 6/12 hr Saturday 5 August
NSW Champs 8/24 hr Sat-Sun 7-8 October
Socialgaine 6 hr Sunday 26 November
Australasian Champs Sat-Sun 11-12 February Southland, New Zealand.
We will be looking for setters, vetters and other helpers for the ACTRA events next year so if you are keen for a role, please let us know now. First in, first dibs!
Night and day events
The night and day rogaines delivered bags of fun for lots of people. Tales of fast runs in the pines and being slowed down by lawyer vine strong enough to rip off navlight tags provided lots of entertainment for all. The organisers were pleased to see so many enthusiastic ANU students, as well as our regular rogainers, turn out.
In the five-hour night event, Kieran Macdonell and Craig Cowan tied with Thomas Etheridge and William Tribe on 600 points, but took out first place by finishing 2 minutes earlier. Martin Dent and Brad Hetharia had a strong win in the six-hour day event, accumulating an impressive 1040 of a possible 1500 points. Kieran Macdonnell backed up impressively after his win in the night event, partnering with Dane Roberts to finish second.
Many thanks to setter Paul Cuthbert and vetters Andrew Rowe, Alex Tyson and Stephen Goggs; Stephen Goggs for coordinating and help also from Claire Edwards, Glenn Bridgart, Tom Brazier, Kathy Saw, Anne Sawkins and Jackson Bursill.
NSW Rogaining Championships (by Barkley)
I jumped at the chance of joining the “presidential” team of Susie and Julie for the NSW Rogaining Champs in the Kanangra area. With promises of open plateaux, tough hills with spectacular views and the possibility of meeting a quoll, it was an exciting prospect. The whole event was within a national park, so a truly bush event. 3.5 hrs of planning gave Susie and Julie plenty of time to make lots of different plans for where we would go, but they finally settled on a course heading for the hills and both ends of the course before finishing in the flatter, tricky plateau country. Sounded good to me as I tucked into the back of Susie’s pack, from where I could shout advice. I was pretty impressed with their rogaining skills. While they might not have been as fast as some of the male teams, they made up for it in clean navigation doing some super long, long bearings through the flat country and some eagle-eyed control spotting, including one control flag that had fallen on the ground.
The best bits of the event for me was a big waterfall, where I was so surprised I fell out of Susie’s pack; seeing Julie fall in a creek while trying to cross (ha, ha); the waterfalls on both sides of Surprise ridge; finding a yabbie in the middle of the night in a tiny creek; and tiptoeing across a huge tree over a ferny gully. We didn’t manage to see any quolls – we will have to ask the NSWRA to put on another event for us there. (Editor: Barkley has humbly neglected to mention that he accompanied Julie and Susie to outright victory in the NSW championship - congratulations to all three.)
Barkley's WA escapades - the 2016 Australasian Championships
I hadn't done a rogaine in a little while, because people kept forgetting to take me to events. So when Jean took me west in the big aeroplane, I was quite excited. I decided to jump in the back of Julie's pack, because I thought she would take us on a good adventure with David.
At first I was a bit concerned about all the contour lines on the map until Julie pointed out that it was actually a 1:50,000 map with 5 metre contours. That's pretty flat, even if the WA people were trying to claim it was hilly. David decided that we should plan a route that linked all the controls because measuring around the course it was not too far, if it wasn't too hard. I wasn't so confident but, then again, my legs are a bit shorter than theirs. Good thing I was hitching a lift, not doing the running.
Jean and Ron were cursing that they left their bikes in Pert,h because there were heaps of tracks and it looked great for a cycle rogaine. But I've yet to learn to ride a bike, so I was secretly relieved this wasn't the time to learn.
The map had a mix of pine forest, plantation, farmland and bush, but the WA people had left us to guess where most of this was, except for some of the pines. The town of Nannup was on the map but Julie and David had no plans of stopping, so I guessed I would just have to take a kip when they didn't notice, rather than tucking into a nice warm bed for a while.
We planned a route to the south of the Hash Hous,e because the points were good and we could swing back through the Hash House and collect extra food and clothes early in the evening. After we set off, it appeared like all of David and Julie's rogaining friends had the same idea, as there were lots of people to say hello to.
After less than half an hour, we scattered a flock of emus. They all ran off in two directions, except for one that started booming and pacing back and forth. David said "did you see the chicks over there?" That reminded me of a story Susie had told me about being chased by emu at a rogaine. Fortunately, this emu didn't chase and we went on happily.
Julie and David seemed to get a little confused in one of the pine areas when there were extra big tracks ,and the big tracks marks on the map were actually little ones. I pointed out we were looking for the track under the power lines and that sorted them out. Good thing I was helping.
Once we hit the paddocks Julie kept finding wet and muddy bits. Thanks to my cunning plan, I stayed dry in the back of the pack, although I did fret that Julie might fall over onto her back and cover me in mud. I contemplated jumping ship when we met Jean and Ron, so I checked out the comfort level of Jean's pocket but there were just too many peacocks on the shirt, making me nervous.
There was one control that I thought the WA people had been a little mean in setting, as theymade us climb the electric fence to reach the punch and back. David confirmed the fence was electified when the shock hit him. Ow!
I had several more opportunities to join Jean and Ron over the next few hours as we kept meeting them. I don't know what Julie and David were doing, because they were running and Jean and Ron were only walking. I guess we might have been getting more controls?
We finally got back to the Hash House about 9 pm but Julie wouldn't even let me out of the pack. We grabbed cheese toasties stuffed with vege patties and headed off into the dark.
The next few hours seemed to have a lot of cursing (I carefully wrapped the fluff around my ears so my delicate soul was unaffected) about the scrubby bush and vague knolls. Julie and David seemed to be taking a long time about some of these checkpoints. I tried to help but it was rather dark and hard to tell what was up and down.
It was a great relief to finally leave the bush and get back into the pine forest. There were lots of teams around here too that I could say hello to, including Jackson from the ANU.
We went down a big hill (well, WA 'big') and found a soup kitchen and warm fire. Hurrah! Again, though, Julie was a meanie and wouldn't let me out of the pack. She was even nagging David to hurry up. I think next time I might find a team that enjoys a little stop by the fire.
Not long to dawn and we headed across the river and up another hill in the pines. There was a lot of tracks in this event.
It got light a little bit before the Mundi bindi track which was running along an old bit of railway. We followed it into Nannup in gently falling rain, which was a bit quiet because it was still quite early on Sunday morning. I got a bit of a fright as we ran past the park in Nannup. There was an enormous red-backed spider! I ducked down into the pack but David said it was ok - it was a pretend one. He even took a photo for the ANU Burton and Garren Hall students who have the red-backed spider as their totem.
The long grass in the paddocks made David and Julie's feet even wetter and making the skin look like prunes, so their feet was starting to hurt. I felt for them, but no point me trying to help, as they were still running as much as they could. I would have only slowed them down. There was lots of discussion about what controls they could get in the time left. I suggested they were actually going pretty well and the hill up to control 63 wasn't as big as the many contours hinted that it could be. I reminded them the hill was only 100 metres high. Not even a Black Mountain's worth. So they wisely took that advice and headed off there before getting another three controls before the finish.
All in all a good outing for my first Western Australian rogaine. I think I'll have to come back another time and have a bit more of a look for suitable places for koalas over here!
As we approach the final event of the year ('looming', I might say as the event organiser!), I'd like to take a moment to say 'thank yo'u to a few of the volunteers we have had at recent events. The ANU students join us each year for a bit of navigation and bush training before their Inward Bound competition. Previously theyhave joined us in March, but this year they participated in the midwinter 4 hour and the night events. While it is fantastic to have them participate, it can be a bit daunting for the committee to cope with this many people. This year the Inward Bound organiser, Jackson Bursill, did a fantastic job of arranging the ANU student participation prior to the events, but he also turned up to the event with a team of helpers, making everything run smoothly. High praise was forthcoming from Glenn Bridgart following the Winter 4hr event. Thank you Jackson.
The second person I'd like to single out is Glenn Bridgart. You would have heard a bit about Glenn's dedication to rogaining if you came to the AGM when he was awarded life membership. Once again, Glenn has been a key helper at a number of events this year, from vetter to trailer tower and general help. I would say that Glenn has stepped in on a number of occasions where we have been short on volunteers and made the events run smoothly. Thank you, Glenn.
The third person is Stephen Goggs. Stephen joined the committee this year and has well and truly jumped in at the deep end. He has been really engaged with committee discussions and was the event coordinator for the night/day events. He is one of those wonderful people who just make things work. Thank you Stephen.
Finally, the last person is the hidden face behind the newsletters, Facebook page and website posts, fridge magnets and many other publicity things for rogaining. Jonathan Miller also represents us on forums such as the ACT Government Recreational Stakeholders Group. Doing these publicity items can feel like a thankless task but it is incredibly important so that you all know what is happening. Thank you Jonathan.
Of course I could go on, but instead I would just like to say thank you to everyone who has volunteered this year. Be it from coordinating an event, keeping the finances in order or helping pull the marquee down at the end of an event. (Editor: and a big thank you to you, Julie. All of us on the committee know how much effort you put in to the sport, and the excellent leadership you provide ACTRA).
Inward Bound 2016The annual ANU Inward Bound competition took place on Friday night 14 October, with teams finishing the next day. The event is a race to the finish from an unknown starting point, with teams of 4 from each of the student residences blindfolded and driven for hours from the ANU before being dropped in the bush. There are 7 divisions of difficulty with increasing distance and navigational challenge from 30km to over 90km. This year's event was directed by Jackson Bursill who was in the winning men's youth team at the 2016 World Championships; the course was set by Tom Banks, who also set this year's twilight rogaine. The finish was at Dalmeny beach near Narooma, with division 1 teams starting near Tuross Falls in Badja State Forest.
We have enjoyed the company of around 200 ANU students at each of the Winter 4 hour and the Night 5 hour events, where they trained hard for this unique event. The training showed, with every team finishing the event, possibly for the first time ever.
See the website for courses, team tracking and lots of photos.The ACTRA newsletter: everything fit to print, for those fit to rogaine.
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ACTRA website: http://act.rogaine.asn.au
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