G'day Rogainers,

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From Our President: The Year in Review

2018 has been another adventurous year for NSW rogaining. We can again claim an interesting and diverse bunch of events.

MonthEventLocationCoordinationCourse Setting
FebMetrogaineCoogeeGill Fowler & Stephen RyanStephen Ryan
AprMinigaineScheyvilleDave Williams & Ronnie TaibDave Williams & Ronnie Taib
AprNav.WorkshopRydalGill FowlerGill Fowler
MayAutumngaineWingelloMike HotchkisMike Hotchkis, Chris Waring, Dave Griffith & Ian Almond
JunPaddy PallinKitchenerBob Gilbert,Samantha Howe & Ian DempseySamantha Howe
AugLake MacquarieWatagansBob Gilbert & Carolyn RigbyBert van Netten, Bob & Pam Montgomery
SepNSW ChampsAbercrombieMichael WattsMichael Watts, Trent Oliver & Carl Mistler
NovSocialgaineBerowraTristan WhiteTristan White

We also were helpers at one of the Sydney Summer Series orienteering events, held at Roseville in November, with Gill again heavily involved in the creation of the 45-minute rogaine-style event.

I’ve highlighted our event organisers because (you know) our sport is run by, and dependent upon, volunteers to step up and organise. It’s a rewarding, challenging activity, and I’m pleased to see some new faces get involved in our 2019 calendar of events.

There’s one person you don’t see in the credits but he’s involved in every event. Mark von Huben, our equipment officer, reviews, repairs, replenishes and retires the many items we need to support each rogaine. We acknowledge and appreciate Mark’s ongoing efforts by presenting him the Warwick Marsden Award for 2018, and thanks also to Amy and Carl who often have to support their partner/father’s efforts.

I would like to congratulate David Williams and Ronnie Taib, the winning team at our 2018 Championships, and also congratulate the entire NSW team who won the Interstate Challenge at the Australasian Champs in Queensland. From memory, I think that’s the first time NSW has won the Interstate when it wasn’t run in/by NSW.

The Pointscore Competition was something we re-introduced this year, in big part to encourage people to do more than one rogaine per year.

In 2013 we ran a similar comp which was based on a person’s top five results. It was called “Rogainer of the Year” and was won by Nicole & Andrew Haigh who just happened to end with the same score. The results from RotY 2013 show many names in common with the 2018 season.

This year we tweaked the rules quite a bit, adding age sections, using your best three scores, and rating against the median rather than winning score. Next year we will further refine the rules, rewarding people who choose longer events. Thanks to Chris Stevenson for reinstating the system and maintaining the mass of numbers. We have yet to finalise scores, including allowances for people who volunteered at events, but I’m confident enough to list the winners of each category and congratulate them as the best of class for 2018:

CategoryWinnerScore
Women Under23Jemma Duerden442
Men Under23Keelan Birch678
WomenGill Fowler674
MenThomas Brazier694
Women VetToni Bachvarova583
Men VetGlenn Horrocks672
Women SuperVetRobin Cameron432
Men SuperVetMike Hotchkis635
Women UltraVetKath Anderson291
Men UltraVetWarwick Selby490

How did you go? You can check all results on the Point Score website.

And did we encourage people to do more than one event in 2018? Well, no, we didn’t! there were still 75% of our attendees who only did one rogaine. It’s interesting to note that, looking at the last ten years, 50% of attendees did only one event. Is rogaining too hard, or are people (you know) too soft?

This year Mike Hotchkis initiated a regular get-together in a Surry Hills pub an evening in the week after each rogaine, the purpose being to share experiences, wisdom and anecdotes from the last weekend. Most people wouldn’t understand but devoted rogainers love to review their travels and travails. I suspect the only attendees on the first night were Mike and his dog, but by end of year we had a dozen people show up.

One outcome of our Strategic Plan at start of 2018 was for more, shorter rogaines. Consequently we are adding an extra event in 2019, at this stage called the Surprise Rogaine. It will be 2-4 hours in duration and, if all goes according to plan, be somewhere near Lake Macquarie.

Finally, I want to thank Brett Davis for initiating the discussion about solo rogaining. It’s raised interesting conversations and opinions this year, including review at the last two committee meetings, where we decided:-

Not to have solo entry if the rogaine is longer than three hours.

Our logic? The Team is an essential part of this sport, for social and safety purposes. It differentiates rogaining from other similar activities, such as orienteering & ultra-marathons. Yes, some people will be excluded if they can’t find a compatible team, or they may have negative experiences in a team that deters them from returning, and the safety components can be overcome.

We feel that the spirit of our sport involves team dynamics, and we leave those alternate, equally viable, distance-bush sports where the loners/individuals can push themselves.

There is one simple variation on our sport that you can do solo; setting, vetting, flag hanging & collection are great ways to get out in the bush. Some of my most memorable rogaines have been in the weeks before or after the event … on my own.

If you don’t like our decision (or perhaps if you do) why don’t you consider joining the committee? We need dedicated rogainers with diverse skills and opinions, representative of our community. Contact me at [email protected] if you’re interested in the committee, and/or add your name to help create an event on the Volunteers website.

I wish all of you a safe, happy new year. Please stay fit, get into the bush, and stretch yourselves in 2019. A big thankyou to the people who created and assisted in our 2018 rogaines, and to our committee: Mike Hotchkis, Graham Field, Gill Fowler, Tristan White, Mark von Huben, Michael Watts, John Clancy, Chris Stevenson, Richard Sage and Andrew Duerden.

See you out there, Trevor Gollan.


“Berowra Bewilderness” Socialgaine, 25th November – Results Now Online

We were delighted to have a whopping 430 entries (including almost 100 novices) to our recent 8/4-hour Socialgaine, held in the stunning northern Sydney suburb of Berowra, which really seemed to have something for everyone. We had easy scenic loops for “social” entrants, but no shortage of hills & challenges for the competitive teams, who were rewarded for their efforts with great lookouts, rainforest and natural rock formations.

It will long be remembered by many competitors with a control on the other side of the Berowra Waters Ferry, ability to catch trains, and a control that was over waist deep water at high tide.

The event coordinator’s report, with anecdotes and photos from many teams can be accessed here.

Event photos, mostly taken at the HH, CPs 80, 90, 45, 46 and 100 can be viewed (courtesy of Guy Micklethwait & Lisa Gyecsek) here.

It was also great to see the number of teams who got into the photo & caption challenge – you can check them out here, having credited as many teams as I can work out, however some Instagram names were hard to match. Please email me if you would like to have your name acknowledged for a photo. The top shots are shown below:


Glenn DiSalvia (Team 76): “First CP [91], easy to find, then realising why it was worth high points when we got there.”


Beauties and the Bush (Team 35): “Climbing up to CP90 was some feat!”


Diarmait Surmon (Team 159): “It helps to find a seat and check the map when you get lost.”


Meela Davis (Team 117): “They say rogainers walk on water.”

At the 4hr presentations, I made the terrible mistake of forgetting to list the top family teams, and I therefore list them below:

  • 1st Stephen & Alvin Craig (820 points)
  • 2nd John, Michael & Alison Dalton (510 points), just ahead of
  • 3rd David, Naomi & Rachel Massa (500 points)

  • The winning 8hr team, Brian Brannigan and Ivan Koudashev, teamed up on the Partner Finding Service and scored a hard-earned 1660 points.


    48 hours of rogaining! An interview with Toni and Andrew on their experiences at the NZ and Tas Rogaining Championships

    While many people, including regular “shorter duration” rogainers, believe that doing a 24 hour rogaine and staying out all night is crazy, longtime NSWRA competitors Antoniya Bachvarova and Andrew Smith decided it wasn’t enough and had to enter 24h events on two consecutive weekends. I asked them a bunch of questions about their experiences in the recent New Zealand Rogaining Championships (24th and 25th November) and the Tasmanian Rogaining Championships (1st and 2nd December).

    Their fascinating responses can been seen on the forum here.


    First Event of 2019 - “Cowpasture Prospecting” 3hr Minigaine, Sunday 24th February

    While many rogainers take a much needed hiatus over the warmer summer months to prepare for the year ahead, Minigaine organiser Lisa Gyecsek is working hard to design a course in the Western Sydney Parklands near Fairfield. With family friendly walkways and views all the way to the Harbour Bridge it will be enjoyed by everyone from elite athletes, casual bushwalkers to families with young children or dogs.*

    Note that we have swapped this with the Metrogaine to now be the first event of the year. Unlike our other events, the Minigaine allows solo entries, in addition to teams of 2-5 so it is a great chance to test how good your navigation really is without having someone else to catch you if you make an error!

    Course setting is well underway, but we would love people to help with flag hanging and collection as well as marshalling and setup on the day.


    *Really. Dogs are allowed at the HH and in the bush, provided they are kept on a leash. I’m sure there will be some great “tails” told from the event!


    World Rogaining Championships in Spain, 27-28th July, 2019

    The World Rogaining Championships will be on again in 2019, held in La Molina, Catalunya Pyrenees, Spain. You can be assured of spectacular scenery and big hills, with altitude ranging from 1300m up to the highest peak, La Tossa, at 2536m. We would love to have some members representing Australia. Why not wrap a Spanish holiday around some mountainous exercise.

    The WRC website says that “Catalunya will allow you to enjoy both the rogaining and local attractions, will be an unforgettable experience as well, while visiting beautiful towns like Vic, Besalú, Girona, Barcelona, small villages in La Cerdanya, la Garrotxa, el Ripollès o el Berguedà, natural areas in alpine mountains with several National Parks and breathtaking beaches in the Costa Brava.”


    104 people volunteered for events in 2018 – that’s a great commitment from members and we’d like give a hearty thanks to all those that have stepped up this year

    Our 2019 calendar is starting to populate and events in the first half of the year already have locations and course setters in place. Suggestion for events in the second half of the year are coming forward but we really need all the support roles for these events filled to make them happen.

    Keep an eye on the Volunteers Register for the blank spaces and please get onto Graham Field our Volunteer Coordinator if you’d like to have a go … volunteering at a rogaine is a great way to meet new people and pick up some new skills.

    Our sport relies on your contributions to keep the great events coming.


    Calendar of Events

    The updated list of 2019 events can be found here... Tristan White Publicity Officer NSW Rogaining Association [email protected]

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