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ACTRA Bulletin February 2024

ACTRA Bulletin February 2024

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2024 Twilight in the Park

Entries are open for the first event of the year, the Twilight in the Park 3 Hour! This year we are heading back to Stromlo Forest Park for an evening of open air and clean navigation (hopefully). The course takes in all corners of the Stromlo area and has something for everyone. So whether you're keen to just wander around for a few hours, or clear the course, sign up through the event page before Monday 12 February to avoid the late fee!


‍Rogaine Catering - We Need Help!

It is with a heavy heart that we farewell Hartley Lifecare as our ongoing caterers for ACTRA events. Deb and the team from Hartley have been integral members of the ACTRA team over many years, providing food and sustenance - from ice blocks and watermelon at twilight events, to hearty massaman curries at chilly 24 hour events. And we can't forget the toasties! 


From ACTRA, we say a big thank you to Deb and the team for all their efforts over the years. We will miss you!


What does this mean? It means we are urgent need to find alternative caterers for our future events. Due to our size, self-catering is not a permanent option. So we are seeking help from the broader ACTRA membership! We are looking for ideas on community groups and charities that might like to provide catering at our events to boost their fundraising. This might be for just a few events, or willing to take on all our events (including the annual 24 hour event and night/day event).


We are askign you all for ideas on possible leads. The Committee would follow up with the organisation/group with more information. The catereres need to be familiar with, and follow, food standards for safe catering. Preference is for groups who already have equipment, but that't not a deal breaker.


Please forward any ideas to  

Paddy Pallin 6 hr - 3 March‍


We are planning a slightly different Paddy Pallin 6 hr rogaine for 2024. The event will be at the Googong Foreshores area near Queanbeyan. One of Canberra's water supply dams where people are allowed to explore the catchment areas. It is open and grassy with patchy trees on the western side though to dry open eucalypt forest on the eastern shores. Very nice rogaining country, although you will be challenged with some steeper hills if you head to some parts of the course. If you want some hints, check out the photo gallery from our last multi-sport rogaine there in 2011.

There will be the usual 6 hr foot event and we will also have controls for people to visit on mountain bikes or kayaks (BYO). You will be in a separate category if you want to use a bike and/or kayak.

We are looking for a few on-day volunteers, including someone to tow the rogaining trailer from Kaleen to the event and back, and control collectors. Contact Julie before 13 Feb if you can help.

‍Rogaining Category Definition Change

‍From this year onwards, age categories are determined by year of birth rather than date of birth. For example, if you and all of your teammates have turned 55 (or older) by the end of 2024, you will qualify for Supervets for all of the events in 2024 even if you don't turn 55 until late in the year. There is also a change to the age requirement for the Veterans category - all team members must be 45 years old or older on 31st December of the year of the event rather than 40 as before. The full rules with the new category definitions can be found below.

2024 Australasian Rogaining Championship

WARA are hosting this year's 24hr championships, on 7-8 September, approx 4.5 hrs drive NE of Perth. "This is red dirt and blue sky country, with goldrush history and complex topography (250-500m)." Mark it in your calendar today! The ARC in WA in September is also the Australian Intervarsity Rogaining Championships, and the NAMSF will again be offering generous funding to cover the travel costs for one university team from each state and territory to enable them to compete. 

‍Australian Rogaining Discussion Group

A new discussion group for Australian rogaining news has been set up! You can request to join it hereUpdates on Australian and International rogaining developments will be posted here (approximately monthly) and you can add your opinions to the discussion. You are also invited to join these existing Australian-based discussion groups:

‍ACTRA Alamanac Vol 2: Catching Features, Attack Points and Handrails

‍We open up the fabled book of rogaining once again looking for more tips and tricks that may help you this year. Last time, we considered how to plan your route. This time, we'll take it a little further to get you thinking about how to approach controls. Very rarely, are you able to just follow a single feature or along a straight bearing from one control to another. Each leg normally requires multiple decisions to be made throughout to make sure you keep hitting controls. We are going to look at a couple of techniques you can use to keep you on track!


The first is the reference point or more commonly known as an attack point. Attack points are feature on the way to or near the control you are aiming for, that would be more obvious then the control point itself. They are normally always point features (knolls, junctions etc) rather than linear features (watercourses, spurs etc) because its easy to tell whether you are at the attack point or not. Consider the leg between 82 and 83 in the map extract below. Going from point to point would be pretty tough, but if you use an attack point such as the knoll indicated by the blue arrow, then you can know with certainty when you get to that point. From there, you can make the much easier leg to 83 (which is also a knoll in this case, but you get the idea). 


The second is the catching feature, which are features that indicate you've gone to far. These are normally linear features running roughly perpendicular to the direction of travel and wide enough that you are highly unlikely to miss them. If you were approaching 95 from 83 and you hit the watercourse indicated by the blue arrow, then you would know you have gone to far i.e. the watercourse is your catching feature. This can also be used to keep track of where you are on the map, such as by counting the number of watercourses you know you need to cross before the control. In this case, its two, so if you crossed a third, you've gone to far. 


Finally is the handrail. Handrails are linear features you can follow to get you to a particular point. They are meant to be obvious features that you wont to lose track of. If you were approaching 90 from 100, you could consider using the watercourse indicated by the blue arrow as the handrail. You might follow the watercourse on the north side down to the more major watercourse. From there you can then choose your next attack point towards control 90.


It takes time to be able to recognise good features, so don't stress if this sounds like alot. It's all about breaking down the problem into smaller easier problems. So next time you're planning your route, have a think about your approach to each control and look for attack points, catching features and handrails you can use to help you along the way!

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