NSW Rogaining Association

"Your Guide to Rogaining in NSW"

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The Joadja Ghost – A Girls Course

It was with some trepidation that the organising team waited for the start of the Joadja Ghost 6 and 12 hour Rogaines. We realised the course had its challenges, and would likely lead to a high ratio of late teams – not as high as the 9.3 % of teams that returned to the finish more than 30 minutes late – perhaps a new record in NSW?

Rogaining is meant to be a sport where the entrant interprets the landscape from the map, and is rewarded for reading between the lines. The freedom to make decisions and learn from your mistakes are key elements. At Rogaine briefings, I don’t usually care much for giving warnings about the terrain and hazards – but this course was different. There were cliffs, canyons, slow creeks with boulders and scrub and limited route options. It was an unusual course with unusual limitations.

The question that some may ask is why? Why hold a Rogaine in such terrain? I hope that all those that entered the Rogaine can enter this question. The sport of Rogaining is as much about touring unknown beautiful locations with iconic hash houses as it is about well positioned checkpoints with many routes between them. This course had fantastic history, a unique array of mining ruins in the Australian bush combined with brilliant lookouts. It was a destination with a high quality of features waiting for the visitor.

In the week leading up to the Rogaine, I commented to Richard, one of the course setters that I thought it was a “Girls Course”. For two reasons, Alexa and Gill had entered the 12 hour event and would do well in the light scrubbed terrain, and, I thought that the female brain would have more control and be able to choose a wiser course that did not isolate them far from the hash house with little time left on the clock relative to the male brain. In stating this, I did not expect to see the current Australian Rogaine champion Damon and his renowned partner Fleur be beaten by Alison and Sue. I am not sure when the last Rogaine was in NSW that was won by all female teams, but it is a result that makes me grin from ear to ear.

A big thank you has to go to:

  •  Graham and Richard who spent many weekends locating land and setting checkpoints.
  •  Paul and Paddy vetted and adjusted the odd checkpoint, as well as hung flags.
  •  Scott, Vince, Pawel, Mary and Belinda for the awesome Hash House tucker.
  •  Graeme, Vicki and Lindsay for administration.
  • The 1st Mittagong Scouts for the café.
  •  Richard and Paddy who managed the site on the day and conducted safety patrols.
  •  Marc and David who owned large pieces of private land that were used to augment the Crown Reserve to make the course feasible.

The number of late teams has not gone unnoticed. The large number of late teams was probably due to teams having to return to the hash house by long routes that could not be easily shortened by dropping checkpoints.

We would like to thank the Rogaine entrants for their patience in tolerating the cumbersome administration system. We hope that you enjoyed the opportunity to experiance Joadja, wander through the Australian bush and have the opportunity to make a few decisions and be responsible for the outcomes, whether it was navigation, food or equipment.

Phil

Co-ordinator & Vettor


The winning Team 31 reports ...

When we first picked up our maps for this event we laughed to see the extent of the cliffs! Joadja Creek and its many impenetrable cliff lines was an impressive feature on the map, formidable even at first glance, dissecting the course and restricting teams to smaller loops on either side of the hash house, or providing the challenge for speedy teams to circumnavigate the course and get back in the 12 hours.

Our decision was to take the advice in the course setters’ notes and head out clockwise to negotiate the passes through the cliffs (thankfully marked on the map and with tape on the course) before it got dark. A minute before the start, Richard told us we would have to swim across the creek at 33, but luckily it was only ankle deep. After Gill recovered from a trip and face-plant at the first check-point, we were on our way, straight through the creek embracing wet feet from the start.

We strode through the bush, enjoying sparse vegetation compared with recent rogaines, with only a few thicker patches on creek lines. We enjoyed some great control locations in hidden creeks, at lookouts and on bare rocks. We moved slower than expected, but stuck to our plan and made it to the water drop in the far north (checkpoint 59) as dark fell. It was then time to start streamlining our course and make up some time, so we started jogging along the perimeter roads down towards the southeast. By this stage we were often bumping into the few other teams that had taken on the challenge of the outer loop, and at times it was quite sociable. There was one hiccup when we led 2 other teams astray up the wrong side of the creek near 83, but it was only a15 minute delay before we were back on track southwards.

We were back on track to finish on time, and picked up the two checkpoints in the not-so cleared farmland next to the dams easily, then headed towards the café, but getting there at 9 pm we missed out on what we were told were excellent mini cupcakes from the Mittagong Scout Group. We continued jogging along the roads with a few in and outs to close checkpoints.

With less than 50 minutes to spare we took a risk and headed off to checkpoint 45. Luckily lots of unmarked tracks made it fast going, so we were back to the road fairly quickly for the final two checkpoints - 70 at the lookout and 50 at the top of the railway incline - before the STEEP descent down to the hash house to finish. We were happy to have a few minutes up our sleeves to get down the steep descent, as running was not a safe option here. It was a great sight to see the hash house lights below, and our stomachs welcomed the great food from Scott and crew (Vince’s 15-ingredient stew deserves special mention!)

Little did we know that checkpoint 45 put us 20 points in front of Roland and Matt, to give us not only our Open Women’s category win, but also the overall win! - a new first for us.

Thanks to all the volunteers that helped organise the great ‘Joadja Ghost’!

Alexa McAuley & Gill Fowler

 

For general information about this event, contact  ...

Phil Whitten
email: [email protected]  
phone: 02 4203 2773

For entry or results related matters contact ...

Lindsay Young
phone:  02 9525 6403
email:   [email protected]

A very young rogainer

Navigating out there wasn't childsplay!

 

Night Patrol

Night Patrol