G'day Rogainers,

NSW Rogaining eNewsletter, 15th February 2020

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Compiled by Tristan White

The “Head to Head Minigaine” Entries Close Monday

Setting and vetting for the Minigaine is now done and dusted, the maps are about to be printed and flags ready to be hung, so make sure you don’t miss out on the first NSW rogaine of the year.

Based in the Northern Beaches suburb of Narrabeen with a range of water and bushland views, it is set to be an event for all to enjoy and be challenged by. Remember that the AGM will be held for about 10 minutes following the conclusion of the Minigaine so if you would like to nominate yourself or others for the committee and other positions, this is your chance to let us know!

I can speak first hand that following the event all will be able to enjoy a refreshing light lunch as well, as the catering will be conducted by myself! For me, this is a significant milestone, I will then be able to say I have volunteered at rogaines in every possible capacity*! Are you interested in learning the skills so you can also tick this off? Read on!

*Aside from the very important task of a trailer tower...

Training up the next Generation of Rogaine Volunteers

Thank you to all who expressed interest and feedback in a potential rogaine organising/setting workshop via Facebook group, forum posts, and a short survey. At our last committee meeting, we decided a large workshop on every component on organising a Rogaine was unlikely to be the best method, so instead we are proposing:

  • An additional afternoon mapping workshop, following the recent one’s success;
  • An elective session at the Navigation Workshop in May on course setting techniques;
  • First time event coordinators (and setters) will have the option of a "buddy" in the form of an experienced organiser who can guide them through the process, or you can team up as an “assistant” organiser or setter;
  • A series of newsletter/forum articles where some of our most prolific and experienced volunteers share their stories and tips from past event events;
  • Informal Q&A sessions on other components following an event, if there are requests/ demand.

The inaugural map training workshop teaching a lucky 20 or so volunteers the basics of creating a rogaining map from the nswtopo software. Thanks to Graham Field for running it and Chris Stevenson for offering up his living room.

A Tale of The Deceptive Lands - The Story Behind the
The Story Behind the Australasian Rogaining Champs 2020, May 9-10

“30 Years Ago; The Story Begins…” writes SA Rogaining Association’s “Chief Conspirator” Jenny Casanova, “On a dark rainy windswept night in 1989, the young girl trudged up the road in the glow of torchlight after 14 hours in the wilderness, lagging behind her companion who turned back to her, map in hand, and they conferred about whether to head towards the hash house and a warm bed in a dry* tent, or else to venture further into the Deceptive Lands…”

*it turned out that the tent had leaked, anyway!

I have asked Jenny, the not-so-young-any-more girl, to expand upon what to expect at the Deceptive Lands 2020 Australasian Rogaining Championships:

Tristan White: Introduce us to the organising team.
Jenny Casanova: After the magnificent and extremely well-organised 2012 ARC at Angorichina in the Northern Flinders Ranges I started thinking about who I could get to help me showcase my favourite rogaining terrain to the rest of Australia. So, I asked my favourite past-and-present South Aussie team mates: Zara Soden (L) Mark Corbett, and Steve Cooper, to be part of the setting team. The extended Corbett clan has also been giving us assistance and advice.

The setting team: Zara, Steve, Jenny, Mark

We are also very lucky to have Craig Colwell as the event coordinator; he focuses on all the logistics and we primarily need only concern ourselves with preparing a 24-hour which we wish we ourselves could compete in.

TW: Where are the Deceptive Lands?
JC: Only half as far from Adelaide as the Northern Flinders (about 240km). A about a 3hr drive (there will also be a chartered bus).

TW: Why did the setters choose this area for the Australasian Championships?
JC: I’ve always loved the mallee country east of the Barrier Highway, and we’ve been coming here for 30 years now, orienteering in little pockets of it, and have built up a good relationship with a number of the farmers in the region. With my parents and Zara, I set the 2013 God’s Country; Beyond Hell’s Gates 12 hour in this vicinity and we enjoyed every minute of doing so.

There is nothing quite like the view to the north and east from a high hill, with wedge-tailed eagles soaring overhead. When I am out there, I never want to go back to the city!

TW: Tell us what the terrain is like?
JC: Rolling hills, deeply-incised dry creek networks more numerous than can possibly all be shown on the map, some enormous channels which have actually been flowing when the tail end of a summer cyclone comes through, very little undergrowth in the mallee scrub, some fast open flood plains, and absolutely no spinifex.

TW: Why is the rogaine titled “Deceptive Lands”?
JC: We toyed initially with something on the Goyder Council theme; Goyder having been the surveyor who in the 1860s undertook a detailed study of South Australia’s vegetation, and identified that crops would not be viable north of a virtual boundary which he drew on maps. In this region, Goyder’s line is almost visibly painted on the ground in a drought year.

The name “Deceptive Lands” came about because it’s the title of a book written in the 1960s about the history of the Terowie region, referencing the fact that in a good rainfall year this can seem like excellent cropping & grazing country, but appearances can be deceptive…as they can also be when following up a watercourse amongst the mallee, looking for a side gully at two in the morning.

TW: How has recent extreme weather in SA affected this area?
JC: In the midst of the mallee, nothing appears to change, although local farmers had been carting water and feed for their stock for over a year now, so it’s an absolute blessing that there have been recent summer rains. There are some permanent springs & soaks in the area, as the original Ngadjuri people would have been well aware; these must have been a lifeline for them in dry years.

TW: How can we get to the 2020 ARC?
JC: By standing on the side of main North Road and thumbing a lift as fellow rogainers go past!
Although the HH is not so very far from an airstrip, you would need to bring your own light aircraft, and the trains eventually stopped running to Terowie over 40 years after General MacArthur stood on the platform and famously declared “I came out of Bataan and I shall return”.

Seriously though, buses will be organised for competitors who require transport to/from the airport, and info on booking the bus can be found on the ARC website plus there are plenty of car hire options.

TW: Why should we come to the Deceptive Lands?
JC: Because it will be such a fun event, with great catering at the centrally-located hash house, unlimited space for free camping Fri-Sun nights, and 80 controls to choose from, plus there’s an 8 hour option for those who don’t feel inclined to do an entire 24 hours. And you can check out the antiques in Burra, or the wineries of the Clare Valley, on your way to & from the Deceptive Lands. And don’t forget to purchase a commemorative Deceptive Lands shirt.

Thanks Jenny! Hope to see you in May!

“Get into Gear” Part 2
A Hot Topic: Hydration and Dealing With the Heat

We continue on with our series on various pieces rogaining gear and how it is used. As we approach what is traditionally the warmest event on the calendar after a summer of extraordinary weather, it seems more than appropriate that an article is written about dealing with the upper end of the mercury.

Representatives from the Sunshine State, Richard Robinson (whom you may remember from last month’s instalment) and Paul Guard, are both long time rogainers who have been able to enlighten me about the challenges they’ve had with the heat, and how they have managed to remain alert and hydrated in extreme weather. As someone with admittedly a low threshold to heat and certainly has observed the effects of it both for me and others, I have found them very insightful.

Check it out here!

6hr Metrogaine - Sunday 29th March 2020 - Read more here

This year’s Metrogaine will start at 9:30am on Sunday 29th March and the Hash House will be located around Northbridge.

The course will take in most of the surrounding suburbs, so you will get a chance to admire the location and take in:

  • Grand ocean vistas
  • Beautiful bushland tacks
  • Beautful houses
  • Beautiful people

All of this and close to home for most people, so put this event in your diary.

Also this event is,as yet, unnamed so if you have a great suggestion for a name for this event get onto Facebook now and offer your suggestion.

Series Point Score 2020

What better way to expand on the existing rogaine scoring system than to add yet another scoring system. To avoid coming across as gauche and reminding everyone I topped the SPS last year, I hand over to our tireless webmaster Chris Stevenson who explains how it works this year:

"The 2020 Series Point Score will work the same way as 2019 with only one change. This year your best 4 events count towards your point score. If you are not familiar with the rest of the rules they are here:

We have changed the rule to count your 4 best events counting because we are running more events and we want you to come to more events.

Tristan White
on behalf of the NSW Rogaining Committee