G'day Rogainers,

NSW Rogaining eNewsletter, 1st March 2020

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Compiled by Tristan White

Minigaine 23rd Feb Results on Website

There was a terrific turnout of 402 competitors at Narrabeen for the first event of the year, the “Head to Head” 3-hour Minigaine. At the tail end of a summer of intense heat, severe storms and flooding rain, a clear day in the mid-20s was much appreciated by all. The course challenged the best with a bit of everything in the mix of terrain combining spectacular views, bushland, urban and of course hills.

The top 5 routes

Thank you to Martin Dearnley, Graham Field and all the other volunteers for making it such an exceptional day and a great start to the season.

The catering scene at the end.

Can’t you see the punch?!.

2020 NSWRA Committee Confirmed

With the AGM held following the Minigaine, we can announce the following as members of the 2020 NSWRA Committee:

  • Trevor Gollan – President
  • Mike Hotchkis – Treasurer
  • John Clancy – Secretary
  • Chris Stevenson – Webmaster
  • Graham Field – Volunteer Coordinator
  • Tristan White – Publicity Officer
  • Michael Watts – Safety Officer
  • Gill Fowler – Australian Rogaining Association Representative
  • Mark von Huben – Equipment Officer
  • Andrew Duerden – Public Officer
  • Richard Sage – General Member
  • Kim Eales – General Member
  • Pierre Francois – General Member

We thank the committee for their continued service to the association and wish them well as they do the behind the scenes work and plan for the future of our sport.

Some faces of the committee at the Minigaine – John, Chris, Trev & Mike

We would also like to congratulate Chris Stevenson as the recipient of the Warwick Marsden Award, an annual award that highlights outstanding volunteers in our sport. His painstaking efforts to manage the website, to update it before and after every event, and notably to restore it after the hosting service lost all our data last year, are much appreciated, as have been his many social media, blog articles and Facebook posts. He has also been organising and participating in events for over 25 years. Thanks Chris for your efforts and passion.

Metrogaine 29th March - Entries Now Open

Course setter Vivien de Remy de Courcelles and coordinator Chris Stevenson are working hard to prepare an exciting 6-hour rogaine around the Lower North Shore suburbs of Willoughby, Cammeray, Northbridge and Castlecrag. Our first Metrogaine was in 1993 (based around the new Sydney Olympic Park precinct at Homebush Bay), and 30 years later it remains a very popular fixture in the calendar. It is the epitome of the spirit of a Metrogaine – a rogaine in an urban area that is genuinely interesting and accessible to all abilities. I have asked Vivien, pictured below at NSW Champs 2019, about the event and why you should come along:

Tristan White: You set the NSW champs 6 months ago, (followed by an SSS shortly after). Why are you setting yet another rogaine?
Vivien dRdC: I’d like to do an extended event in my backyard, and fought hard against the many contenders to have the honour of setting this course (...actually, there we no other takers this early in the season and it’s a good opportunity to check out some great views and other people’s backyards.)

TW: When was the area last used in a rogaine?
VdRdC: This area was used for the 2010 Metrogaine set by Richard Green with a HH at Castle Cove Public School. I participated in this event and I am trying to avoid using the same control locations which is not as easy as it might seem. Since then I have moved to the area and have done many orienteering events locally which made me discover many new tracks.

An excerpt of the 2010 Metrogaine

TW: What makes the area special and famous?
VdRdC: The area borders Middle Harbour and offers many great lookouts over the water. There are also many bush reserves crisscrossed by several little-known tracks. The suburb of Castlecrag was designed by Walter Burley Griffin (better known for his planning of Canberra), described on Wikipedia as “a model residential suburb that was sympathetic to the Australian natural environment.” We’ll be in the electorate of Gladys Berejiklian so you can drop by her office to let her know of any pressing issues (more funding for rogaines?). There are at least three coffee roasters that I know of on the map, one brewery, one climbing gym, the Northbridge Baths for a swim, a major shopping centre, plenty of playgrounds, another swimming pool, many cafés… there should be something for everyone if you get bored of rogaining!

TW: How are you making it accessible and enjoyable for rogainers of all levels and abilities?
VdRdC: I like to have a good spread of points and controls in interesting locations so you can expect one near the Northbridge Baths and several at locations with good views or headlands. I’ll take my 7-year-old daughter course-setting to make sure it’s family friendly.

TW: Are there any ways that others can help?
VdRdC: We could do with a course vetter or two – basically you do the rogaine in your own time checking that the map and control locations are correct. One or two flag hangers could help. I intend to hang flags the Saturday afternoon just before the event, and flag collectors after the event on Sunday or on the following day. Finally, a few helpers to hand over tags and maps and direct rogainers on the day would make the job of the organising team much easier.

TW: Thanks Vivien, see you then! Looking forward to a great day of “Cammeraderie”!

2020 World Rogaining Championships, California

The World Rogaining Championships will return this year on August 1-2, near Lake Tahoe in Sierra Nevada region of California, and organised by Orienteering USA. The event will be held in conjunction with the world orienteering festival that will have been running for 10 days prior to the WRC.

After last year’s impressive representation of NSW teams, we hope to see a comparable number venture off to the US this August. The organisers describe the event, based at the Northstar California Resort, as follows:

“The World Rogaining Championships competition area is about 200 km2 in size located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range north of Lake Tahoe, in California. The average altitude in the area is around 2300m, the highest point is 2700m, and the lowest point is about 1900m. Slopes are mostly hilly with some steep areas and deep ravines. Snow covers the area for 7-8 months of the year which contributes to the forest being very open and runnable with just small patches of thick vegetation. The forest ranges from open grassy areas to mainly pine forest and some rocky outcrops. Streams in the area will be mostly low during the summer.”

International and interstate rogaines are a great chance to experience different challenges to what is seen in NSW, the differences in the organisation of events and to meet like-minded people from other locations, and of course compete for a trophy or podium in your category!

The Training Regimes of “Elite” Rogainers

Rogaining is a most paradoxical sport. On the one hand, it is the sport that people can do if they are too young, old or otherwise unable to do more mainstream sports such as rugby, tennis or running. But on the other hand, championship rogaines can be viewed as one of the craziest and physically & mentally demanding activities on the planet. This of course is a key ingredient to making the sport unique.

Anecdotal feedback from rogainers everywhere on the competitiveness spectrum indicates they would like to know the sort of preparation it takes to achieve highly in the sport. I have had the privilege of having the 2019 WRC Runner-Up Tim Farrant answer a range of questions to help encapsulate what it takes to become a great rogainer.

You can check it out here.

“Spoilt for Choice” – 12/6hr Autumngaine, Saturday 25th April

Our Autumngaine is set in the Belanglo State Forest, less than 2 hours drive from the Sydney CBD or Canberra. The area is one of the few unaffected by the recent fires, and plant and animal life is rejuvenating after the heavy rains – the Wingecarribee River is flowing, butterflies are numerous, and gang gang cockatoos are boisterous.

We’ve had rogaines at Belanglo before but the course-setters, Rick Cavicchioli and Tassia Kolesnikow, will stretch the boundaries into areas that haven’t been visited before. ‘Spoilt for Choice’ means just that – come expecting great opportunities to leisurely chart your way to one of the many great outlooks, or go bananas trying to ‘navlight’ them all – a bottle of very good local wine is on offer to any team that clears the course!

A true fair dinkum Australian Outback NSW Championships!

With all relevant permissions now confirmed, we are excited to announce that the 2020 NSW 24-hour Rogaining Championships will be in Gundabooka National Park on 5-6th September, organised and set by long-time rogainer Michael Watts. In the words of our prime minister (Scott Morrison) you might ask, “Where the bloody hell is Gundabooka?” It is 70km south of the regional town of Bourke, and 820km NW of Sydney.

Michael has been determined to organise an outback event for many years, and with the spectacular scenery it boasts, he insists that it will be well worth the effort, particularly if you organise to stay for a few days in local towns such as Bourke or Cobar. Whilst we always encourage rogainers to consider interstate and international events in part to experience contrasting terrain, here is an event fully within our borders that could not be further from what we see in most of our events. As Michael expounds, NSWRA does not stand for “Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong Rogaining Association!”

Stay tuned for further updates, including transport options, costs, and more information about the area. It’s a good time to plan a NSW outback holiday too, so flag the date in your diary!

Tristan White
on behalf of the NSW Rogaining Committee