G'day Rogainers,

Click here to view this email in your browser.

Lake Macquarie Paddle & Promenade Rogaine; Don’t miss the boat!...

Entries to the inaugural Paddlegaine will close on Monday night, for which organisers Margaret and Geoff Peel are doing the final round of work. It will undoubtedly be a memorable day to explore the nooks and crannies of Lake Macquarie and test your upper body for a change. Lake Mac Kayak & Bike Hire can rent you a kayak and associated gear for a very reasonable price and they’ll drop it off at the event for you! They've already taken bookings from a few rogainers and they are very friendly to deal with so call Jennifer direct on 0418 854 685 and advise you are doing the Paddlegaine.

If you have a spare kayak you can loan, there is a section on the event page to indicate this.

There are no teams, just single and double kayaks, but you can accompany anyone you wish. The age categories are simply “Open <50yo” and “Masters >50yo.”. Your result will also count towards your 2019 annual point score.

Don’t forget to register; otherwise Monday will come and you’ll be “up a creek”!

“Garigal Gasper” 6hr Socialgaine, Sunday 24th November – Entries opening soon!

The final event for the year will be head-quartered at Belrose Public School and the course will be situated around the stunning Garigal NP on the Northern Beaches. To get a better picture about what to expect, I have asked course setter Robin a few questions about the event

Tristan White: Why did you chose this area for the event?
Robin Cameron: The area to the east of Forest Way has not been used for a rogaine that I am aware of. Plus there are lots of creeks, bush and views to enjoy. Plus there is are lots of parks in the surrounding suburbs.

TW: How have you made the event accessible to young and inexperienced participants?
RC: The event has lots of street navigation to start with, there are some easily accessed bush areas and all of the controls are on or next to tracks so the navigation is not difficult for the most part. There are lots of options to choose an easier course and to add extra if needed.

TW: What if I consider myself a fairly "competitive rogainer? Is a "social"gaine the wrong event for me?
RC: This event should challenge everyone. Despite there being no off-track navigation, the tracks wind around a lot, there are many unmarked tracks and the furthest controls will test the competitive rogainers.

TW: What special things can you tell me about the course that makes it particularly worthwhile?
RC: The beautiful clear creeks, the bush, the hills, the fact that it is close by for many people and a chance to explore an area that is not much used by walkers. Also fun to see what the crazy MTB riders do! There are some creeks with large rock slabs and the potential for a refreshing paddle.

TW: Are there any additional prizes in addition to the top scores in each category?
RC: Prizes may be awarded to the most clever team names, and a few other bonus challenges may be described in the course setter’s notes to reward not just the most elite athletes!

TW: What have you really enjoyed about setting a course and what have been some of the challenges you've encountered?

RC:I loved exploring the area, finding the trails, discovering a lot of incorrect tracks on the topo map. The flowers and birds in the area have been beautiful. Lots of black cockatoos, and so far no snakes. The views have been spectacular.

TW: Thank you Robin! Looking forward to it!

Aus Champs “Binalong Day and Night”, Tasmania

Just a quick note to wish well all 47 NSWRA members (including myself) who are crossing Bass Strait to take part in the 24hr Australiasian Rogaining Championships. Like all Aus Champs, it is a chance to meet like-minded people all across the country, find out the joys and trials that other state’s rogaining courses boast, and have a great excuse for a holiday – I know many, including myself, will spend some more time in the vicinity to hike, cycle, or drive around arguably Australia’s most beautiful state!

Late entries cease on Sunday, if you’ve suddenly had an urge for a memorable interstate trip get your entry in now!

Calendar for 2020 & Call for Volunteers!

Our calendar for events in the new year is now on the website, with 10 events planned for the year (the same as this year, plus a Navigation Workshop. We hope to have a magnet ready to collect at the Socialgaine to ensure these states are stuck to your mind (and your fridge!).

But… aside from the Surprise event we don’t have any volunteers! And without any volunteers events don’t happen!

We have been excited to see many newcomers to rogaining in the past few years who have now become regular entrants. We would like to in particular invite them to consider being part of an organising team for one of the next year’s event. In order to give a better picture of what it involves and reassure you that is possible, I have asked some recent course-setters, Samantha Howe (setter of 2015 and 2017 Socialgaines and 2018 Paddy Pallin) about her experiences of volunteering whilst still new to the sport..

Sam, right, with teammate Cath in the Berowra Socialgaine

Tristan White: What prompted you to set/coordinate several recent rogaines, and how did you choose the locations?
Sam Howe: I had set orienteering events and figured setting a rogaine would be even more fun. There are some nice trails around the lake where I live so my first rogaine was around Wangi Wangi (2015) so I could send people to all of my favourite spots. The others have mostly been the result of a conversation with other rogainers about a particular area being a possible good rogaine then the next thing I know, I have looked up the area and started planning.

TW: How long in advance did you start the organising and can you provide a summary of steps in involved in the organising process?
SH: I started planning my first rogaine a year and a half before the event, though recently I have set a rogaine within 6 months. You need to work out who to get permission from for each of the reserves, bush areas and suburbs you are using. Luckily I usually have Bob Gilbert to help organise permissions, gear, catering, other volunteers, camping for the event if needed, etc. We look at start areas and weigh up costs for each potential spot (eg. a sports centre with all facilities but high entry fees versus a park where we donate to council but have to hire extra toilets, tents, etc). I take a while to map and set as I try to put on more detail than I need and probably too many points. Vetters check the map and course which helps a lot - especially for the first rogaine. Closer to the time, the map printing needs to be organised plus recruiting volunteers to help with flags and on the day.

TW: What were some of the biggest challenges you had in the organising process (think land permissions, map accuracy, etc)
SH: In my first rogaine, we got permission for National Park reserves and other areas but also needed Aboriginal Land Council permission for one area. We dealt with them for a long time, but they couldn't give us permission in time so I had to cut off a section of my map just before printing. It affected the distribution of points, but there was still enough area for the rogaine.

Trying to show relevant and accurate detail on the map is hard – you can't put all detail on or it's not readable, but you still need enough detail so that competitors don't get horribly lost or accidentally go where they shouldn't. Checking all route choices is a long process, but competitors will enjoy the rogaine more if they aren't suddenly faced with impassable vegetation or cliffs when they thought they could go through.

Another consideration is making sure you are safe in the bush if you area out mapping/setting on your own (especially being a girl) - carrying first aid, adequate water and food, an epirb if going out of mobile range and having friends know your plans and return time.

TW: You have organised several events whilst raising young children. How on earth have you managed this!?

SH: I get less sleep! I worked part-time from home when my first son was born and took him out in a baby carrier or toddler backpack to do some setting when I could. Then I did the same thing with my second son when my first son was at preschool or sometimes my mother-in-law would babysit the kids so I could have a day of setting. Setting a rogaine does impact the family so I am lucky to have a relatively supportive partner plus a huge reservoir of knowledgeable friends to help me.

TW: What things have you learned from your time organising a rogaine?
SH: How important and worthwhile it is to spend time out in the bush enjoying nature and helping others explore and learn to love it too. It's good to challenge myself even when it seems a daunting task as it's great to see people enjoy the rogaine (and see their route choices). It's rewarding to be a part of a team who are all volunteers and there is a massive amount to learn from experienced people. My navigation and route planning have benefited too.

TW: Why would you recommend being on an event organising team to other rogainers, including new rogainers?
SH: It's fun, you learn lots, you get to be an integral part of the rogaining community, people are thankful for your efforts, your skills improve and you can earn a free entry to another rogaine.

It takes a lot of people to make a rogaine happen, but many hands make light work. The more volunteers that we have then the more rogaines we can all enjoy!

TW: Thanks for all your efforts in the past, Sam and hope you can continue to help out in the years to come!

Volunteers’ Barbecue

As 2019 comes to a close, we wish to thank everyone who has volunteered at our events over the year (and thank in advance those who will be in our final two events). Like the previous few years, to properly thank these volunteers, we will be hosting a barbecue to give them the thank you they really deserve.

It will be on the afternoon/evening of Saturday 18th January, 2020, with an optional campout that night, in the northern side of Sydney. If you have volunteered in any way during the year, you will receive a personal email from Volunteer Coordinator Graham Field in the coming weeks advising additional details, but for the moment, mark the date in your diary!


Tristan White
Publicity Officer
NSW Rogaining Association

Click Here to Unsubscribe