G'day Rogainers,

NSW Rogaining eNewsletter, 1st February 2020

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Compiled by Tristan White

A New Year Greeting & Bushfire Update

I want to wish all Rogainers a very happy new year and a great 2020. With 9 rogaines, the volunteers’ picnic, and at least two training events, we can for the first time boast that we will average an event every month. And having had one or two people put their hand up for almost every event this year we can have confidence that, despite Trev’s dire warning at the end of the Socialgaine, it seems likely that all will go ahead as planned.

But on this occasion, the potential for bush rogaines to happen this year has been endangered not only due to finding volunteers, but in finding suitable areas that have not been ravaged by the atrocious bushfires that have occurred across the state. So many locations that have had iconic rogaines held in them are now covered in ash and it will be some time before they grow back.

Some memorial shots of recent highlight rogaine locations that will not be the same for some years – Wingello, Cullen Bullen, Colo & Yengo

But the good news is there are (at least for the moment) a range of other areas that remain intact, and we acknowledge the pragmatic event organisers who are working hard to secure these for rogaines throughout the year, continuing our mission of showing people parts of the State they never knew existed. Therefore, we expect all NSWRA events to proceed as planned. Sadly, the same cannot be said for ACTRA, who have called off the event in the Snowy Mountains due to fire damage on March 21-22.

Again, I want to thank rogainers who have volunteered in our emergency services for their commitment to protecting our beautiful State, and hope their contributions can be acknowledged by the wider community.

I hope you will join us for another great year of rogaining in NSW.

The “Head to Head Minigaine” – Sunday February 23rd, 2020

The organising team for the first event of the year, headed by Martin Dearnley (setter) and Graham Field (mapper), has been working hard to secure a location and prepare a great course for the first event of the year. The 3-hour “Head to Head Minigaine”, with a mass start at 9am, is unique as the only event that allows both solo and team entries, as a chance for the gung-ho rogainers to rise and fall on their own abilities without a teammate to call them out on navigation blunders.

Graham and Martin at last year’s NSW Rogaining Champs, Yengo

Martin and Graham have both had a long history with rogaining, having been regular team mates since 2011, have set two previous events (Umina SG 2012, Wiseman’s Ferry Autumngaine, 2015); Graham is well known for his work as the Volunteer Co-ordinator and his expert mapping of events.

Martin explains to me that the choice of location in the Northern Beaches reflected the desire to avoid the bushfire risk, and the coastal setting also was likely to be somewhat cooler. “Based on the tree-lined shores of Narrabeen Lakes,” he describes, “the Minigaine will feature a mix of ocean edge scenery, hinterland hills, regenerated wetlands, and streets with stylish contemporary homes fit for Grand Designs.”

They are working hard to ensure an enjoyable course for all levels. Martin says there will be a wide range of route choices that showcase local lookouts and landmarks for moderately paced teams. And the vetters to ensure that the course presents a few route planning dilemmas for the top athletes so they are rewarded for more than running the longest distances!

Catering at the conclusion of the event is also being carefully planned, with refreshing cold food and drink to cool down likely to be on hand as you compare course experiences with other entrants. And why not go for a dip at one of the many nearby beaches, some of which you may have run or walked along earlier in the day?

Notice of the 2020 Annual General Meeting

The NSWRA AGM will take place at 1pm on February 23rd (which happens to be just after the Minigaine). It is a critical part of keeping our organisation official in the eyes of the NSW government, but also a chance to formally elect this year’s committee. If you would like to nominate yourself for a specific position or general member of the committee, please contact our secretary John Clancy at secretary@nswrogaining.org to discuss, or just express your interest on the day.

The AGM will only go about 10-15 minutes (we’re rogainers, we pride ourselves on efficiency!) so all the more reason to attend!

Volunteers’ Update

About 50 rogainers and their family members attended the Volunteers’ Thank You Picnic last weekend, many of whom also took part in the informal (but nonetheless quite competitive!) “Crosslands Extravaganza” 2hr rogaine, set by myself. The event truly lived up to its name, with teams able to split up if they wished, and allowing kayaks, bikes and even cars (scandal!).

Thank you to our volunteers at 2019 Events!

Toni Bachvarova and Andrew Smith got the winning score of 640, with John and Mardi Barnes in second place on 600, though they also deserve recognition for taking some rafts to leave on the bank of the creek so others didn't have to swim! And if we take the absolute values of the score, Vivien, Emmanuelle and Justine far surpass any of these results with minus 1540 points, owing to a heavy 30 point penalty per minute late!

We used the “old-school” control cards for the Crosslands rogaine. Manually adding up scores for a mere 21 teams was a great reminder of how great the Navlight system is!

This contingent of attendants made up less than half of the people who volunteered at a rogaine last year, and with many of them helping out at multiple events, is a stark reminder of how much work goes into every rogaine. We therefore ask you if you will consider helping out at an event or two this year to keep delivering great rogaines.

Brett Sewell & Martin Cousins make their way across Berowra Creek to CP30. “30 points and zero climb is worth it,” Brett explained.

Are you keen to volunteer at an event, but afraid that you don’t have the skills? In that case, read on...

A Proposal for a Rogaine Organisation Workshop

A few weeks ago, Trevor Gollan put up a post on the Facebook page asking rogainers if they would be interested in some form of rogaine organising workshop. Within three days, we got almost 30 expressions of interest, which gives us great confidence of people’s desire to keep contributing to the sport.

I can advise that as a trial, the first such workshop will be an afternoon mapping software workshop in early February, run by Graham Field for course setters for this year’s events (owing to the limited space of the venue). A massive thanks to Graham for sharing his wealth of knowledge to a new generation.

Assuming the success of this workshop we would like to re-run it, but expand on the content covered in it to include the equally important aspects such as setting, vetting, land access and on-the-day running. If you are interested, we ask you to respond to this survey to answer a few quick questions on what you would like to see and how. These responses will directly impact when and how such workshop is held.

Respond to the Survey Here!

The “Get into Gear” Newsletter Series!

Whether it is the clothes you wear, the food you eat or the torch you carry, knowing the best gear to take with you on a rogaine is absolutely fundamental. But it has been a long time since any NSW Publication has discussed the best gear to carry on a rogaine, so this year, I have decided to change that, with each newsletter having a “Gear of the Month” column that details a particular component of a rogainer’s kit, a couple of suggestions of models from longtime rogainers, and ways they can be used.

To kick off the series, I have asked some of Australasia’s most experienced rogainers, including the self-described world’s greatest rogaining tragic, about what they would carry in a rogaine and why. You can read the article on our forum here.

David Williams’ kit for a 24hr rogaine… have a read of how he uses each piece of it.

In addition to the gear series, I have planned a whole host of fascinating articles about other aspects of the sport that will be included or linked in subsequent newsletters where I get expert input from rogainers all over Australia and even internationally! Do you have a topic you would like to see discussed in a rogaining newsletter this year? Let me know at the below address!

Calendar of Events, 2020

You can view the latest event calendar, here. Thanks to all who have put up their hands to help out. If you have not yet please consider how you can get involved – as you can see there are no shortage of ways to do so!

Our friends at ACTRA have provided the updated list of their 2020 events, regarding the recent bushfires.

1 MarchPaddy Pallin 6 hr (to be a metro)
24 MayBack to the Bay 6 hr event (northern Bateman's Bay, Murramurang NP)
20 JuneWinter Night 3 hr (Canberra)
12 JulyWinter 4 hr (South Googong)
16 AugustMetrogaine 6 hr (possibly Queanbeyan)
12 SepNight 5 hr, Day 6 hr (possibly Blue Range)
31 Oct – 1 NovACT Champs and 8 hr Yanununbeyan (instead of Spring 12 hr)

Tristan White
on behalf of the NSW Rogaining Committee