G'day Rogainers,

NSW Rogaining eNewsletter, 10th Jun 2021

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Compiled by Tristan White

Covid Update

The covid-lockdown of Greater Sydney until at least 9th July obviously stopped us from running the Night Rogaine on 3rd July. But rest assured that the efforts of Martin Dearnley, Graham Field and the rest of the organising team will not go to waste, with alternate dates being considered in September.

Similarly, the Navshield planned for 26-27th June had to be cancelled, a pity given they had 500+ keen participants ready to rumble in Tarlo River National Park. There was so much interest in the event the organisers had to close registration a week early after hitting the entry quota.

We will provide updates as to which events will run, when, and how as we follow guidelines from the NSW Government. In the meantime:

  • Try out a virtual rogaine if there is one near your house - by downloading the MapRunF App to your phone. The App has past rogaines and orienteering maps loaded with the controls 'set' via GPS. Go to 'Events Near Me', choose a course that suits, find Start and you are on your way – the Loftus Nightrogaine from last August and Killara minigaine from this February will be uploaded shortly. More information on the link on the home page.
  • Compare your activities to other rogainers on our Strava group and see who can do the biggest (horizontal or vertical) distance!
  • Get your team ready for the Lake Macquarie 12/6-hour.

Will the Lake Macquarie 12/6-hour proceed on 31st July?

The answer is: We Don’t Know. With current regulations, it is possible to run it for regional residents (say, just for Novocastrians) but it would be much better to have Greater-Sydneysiders included, and they will be hanging out for such an outing after having several weeks of lockdown.

Rob Vincent (course setter) and Bob Gilbert (coordinator) are continuing to prepare the event, on the expectation that isolation rules will relax in time. However we are not opening online entries until there is clearer understanding of who can participate, and of any changes to terms and conditions that may impact us.

Meanwhile, you should book Saturday 31st in your diary, get or stay fit, and watch for updates on the event website and our Facebook group. If LMR does go ahead, one can expect a small window for you to enter (…but then we know most people enter rogaines in the last 48 hours.)

As the event website says, it: will be held near Heaton Lookout, only 2 hours north of Sydney, with spectacular views of Lake Macquarie. The Course traverses both Watagan National Park and Forests NSW areas. Entrants will experience fascinating rainforest, pristine creeks and friendly fauna, stunning spurs and gullies with gymea lilies, banksias in the drier flats, and amazing bangalow palm forests in some creeks.

In Brief…

Rogaining Crossword

Make sure you check out Chris Stevenson’s rogaine-style crossword on our website, which he compiled with this year’s Paddy Pallin in focus. There’s an occasional bug in the system … if the crossword doesn’t load fully at the start, try ”Shift-F5” to reload the page

Corrections from Last eNews

I must apologise for making several errors in the last instalment of the eNews:

  • Gill Fowler and Mike Keyte came 10th overall in the Aus Champs (it was Ivan Koudashev and Aurélien Penneman who were 6th) but my statement that Waratahs made up half the top six teams is still accurate.
  • Sam Hussein makes it clear that she hasn't completely headed UTSOAC, but certainly has led many of the expeditions. That said she hasn't shared just how much she volunteers in other groups so I think she deserves the credit.
  • The photo of John Havranek is actually with John Carroll, not Hamish Mackie. Apologies to John and Hamish and thanks to both for your efforts for PP.

Paddy Pallin 6hr Sunday 20th June – Just in Time!

About 400 lucky rogainers managed to make it out to Newnes just in the nick of time before NSW would once again become a ghost town. Thank you to John Havranek, Salome Hussein and the rest of their team (including new caterers NSW Scouts 1st North Sydney Unit, led by Stuart Warren) for pulling together such an enjoyable event. 1st North Sydney also had three Venturer teams participating, the only competitors in the junior category. Paddy Pallin representatives handed out random door prizes for some lucky entrants at the rego desk. A night of starlit camping, sunny navigating, and finishing with a warm meal by the camp-fires is a great memory to have fresh in our minds for the next coming weeks. More to come before you know it!

From left: Marco (novice), Josephine, Angelo, Dick(novice), and Cedric (a reluctant rock-climber they found at the top off a cliff somewhere), enjoying the views from control 102.

Very happy prize winners, Nuwan and Jane, with their loot from Paddy Pallin before the event start.

Congratulations to “Flag Chasers”, Andrew Brown and Sebastian Froude, who beat “Old Stingers” Jock Davis and Greg Barbour by a mere 20 points. A subsequent review revealed that one Finish Punch was slightly out of synch with the others, meaning Jock and Greg’s late-penalty is reduced by 10 points and they ended only 10 points behind the winners.)

We have tried out the new analytical tool, Rogaine Results, where you can analyse the following items:

  • Your hill climbing efficiency
  • See how you did on an individual leg vs others
  • Mouse over a leg to see a range of stats
  • See your score, distance and time progression over the event
  • A bunch of other things.

Thanks to Hamish Mackie and Greig Hamilton for making this happen.

The top four teams’ routes.

What Should I Have Done?

Dale Thompson’s wrap of the Paddy Pallin rogaine

When I finished the recent Paddy Pallin Rogaine at Newnes (with mixed Ultra Veteran teammates Martin Dearnley and Graham Field, I had cause to take stock of the event and my attitude towards it. I was a bit disappointed in the result, considering that we did not stop throughout the event, had some awesome navigation and only overshot one control. I was particularly disappointed in my failure to contribute to the choice of route. I feel that I would have been more invested in the event had I done so.

Despite having been a competitor in many rogaines over a long period of time, I seem to feel like a beginner each time I approach a new event. This may be as a result of in the past being teamed up with experienced and seasoned rogainers who took the reins and were happy to let me run alongside them. This was a very successful formula over time although I found that when I teamed up with novice friends I was thrown into the fire and had to survive. Losing my reading glasses in one event resulted in having to shadow another team back to the finish as no one else in our team could read the maps.

Following a total hip replacement in mid-March, I finished a very ordinary 6 hour event at Belanglo which was my first trial of the titanium. It held up well, so I entered the Paddy Pallin. I was very fortunate in teaming with two very experience competitors in Graham and Martin. They were so persuasive that, against my inclination, they encouraged me to camp out in the freezing cold the night before the event. As it turned out, there was a really good feeling around the campfires and the sleeping bag with hot water bottle made things quite toasty.

Again, in the face of such a wealth of experience, I felt that I could have contributed more to the route plan. Firmly stating that my progress on steep ascents and descents was slow, even though I am very quick on flatter country, trails and roads would probably have influenced our route choices to a more accessible path with lower control scores. Not contributing to the planning also makes it difficult to step up into sharing the navigation lead, particularly when there are time pressures.

That said, the event was through beautiful country including the swamps and the huge rock formations. I was also bowled over by watching expert navigators push through dense undergrowth distances of nearly 1k to end up exactly at the control. As in all Rogaining events I have experienced, the other competitors were cheerful and, at times, very helpful. The course was challenging but offered alternatives according to your experience and skill. Our good fortune out of the terrible fires was that we could see the formation of huge mountainous rocks, cross fertile swamps with a massive array of flora and witness the attempts at restoration of swamplands after motorcycle erosion. The weather remained cool but we missed the rain which hit Sydney all that day.

Hopefully, I have learned from this event that it is important as a team member to contribute at the planning stages. You do not have to plan the route but making sure your fellow teammates understand your level of fitness and questioning as decisions are made, leads to a more committed and worthwhile event.

Bring out your old maps!

By Julian Ledger

This post is a call to rogainers to climb into your attic and pull out your old maps and see if you have any that are missing on the rogaine archive. If you do, get them scanned and send into Webmaster Chris Stevenson.

The NSW Rogaining Association has a trove of information on its website. This includes a record of previous rogaines. The more recent rogaines can be found under Past Events while those reaching back into rogaine history can be found under Resources - Event Archives.

The information for each event includes the Map, Results, Photos, Final Instructions, Location and 'Other stuff'. For recent years it is comprehensive but gets more patchy the further back you go.

There is also an Index of Blogs for the past four years and under NSWRA – News past eNewsletters from 2011 to the present and prior to that, scans of printed newsletters 1983-2008.

Now whilst the prose and poems featured in the newsletter bring our sport to life and are rich in history, I reckon the essence of the archive is in the past maps. The maps showing all the controls with score values are the core and everything else derives from them. If Rogaining was a corporation the maps would be valued and placed on the balance sheet as intellectual property.

The good news is that I reckon the NSWRA website has the world's biggest rogaine map archive on its website (happy to be proved wrong on that one). There is also a nice feature on the website being a master map showing all the map locations NSWRA Events - Google My Maps.

I remember a committee meeting some years ago where we got it in our heads that we were running out of possible rogaine locations in NSW. To be fair it might have had to do with the time and patience required to gain access to private land along with the declaration of Wilderness areas in national parks as covered by the Wilderness Act. The latter not favouring any kind of competitive sporting activity although the policy talks about how 'recreational use of wilderness will provide opportunities for solitude and self-reliance'. Sounds like 24-hour rogaining to me!

Anyway, it turned out our concern about running out of locations was way premature. Course setters have continually been creative and either found new areas or reinterpreted ones previously used. For example, this year's very successful Paddy Pallin 6 hr rogaine on Newnes Plateau was at least the fourth visit to the popular and accessible area featuring everything from pine plantation to deep gullies and pagoda country. See the map comparison below created by course setter John Havranek which shows how maps have evolved from the off-the-shelf topographical map with hand drawn additions to ones specially created. This year was also the first for this area with 20 metre contours upgraded to 10 metres, to the navigational joy of rogainers – Woo Hoo!

Here is the same area at Newnes mapped through the ages – 10 metre contours in 2021!

According to the dictionary - A map is a representation of the features of an area of the earth showing them in their respective forms, sizes and relationships.

Last year when I had access to an A3 scanner and as a Covid activity I took advantage of a quiet office to scan 60 NSW maps that were missing and together with webmaster Chris Stevenson am this month adding these to the archive. The earliest map is the 1991 Paddy Pallin at Euroka Clearing in the lower Blue Mountains. There were some other events where I couldn't find my map and others where I remember it disintegrating into a soggy unsavable mess by the finish.

Early maps that are missing include:

  • 1987 Australian Championships at Tarlo River near Goulburn
  • 1988 Paddy Pallin - Putty Road?
  • 1988 12 Hour - Belanglo
  • 1989 Paddy Pallin - Wingello

plus many others especially pre-2005.

The Covid lockdown is a good time for you to dust off your maps, sort into date order, cross check against the website archive and then scan and send in any that you find not listed. Also welcome are the control list and final instructions. I've promised Chris that I will further help him with the uploading. Whilst in the attic check also for early Newsletters as a number are missing and are needed to complete the history. Where to send – webmaster@nswrogaining.org

Who is 'you'? Well, I'm thinking of such rogaining luminaries as Bert van Netten, Ian Dempsey, Trevor Gollan, Sue Clarke, Peter Wherry, Alan and Sonia Mansfield, Andrew and Nicole Haigh, Mike Hotchkis, Gill Fowler, John and Mardi Barnes, Ian Cameron plus many others.

Find us on Facebook and Strava here.

Tristan White
on behalf of the NSW Rogaining Committee