The Event Coordinator,
Michael Watts, reports
With 784 participants in 298 teams starting (and,
thankfully, safely finishing), the 43rd Paddy Pallin rogaine
held at Wingello State Forest has some pretensions to being
the largest rogaining event ever held.
With the south-west of Sydney location, entries were
noticeably stronger from the southern suburbs, Illawarra and
Canberra. As usual for the Paddy Pallin, family entries were
high and it was very pleasing to see the large number of
novice entrants and, particularly, junior and novice teams.
The weather was very kind to us this year. The week prior
was dry and the Sunday dawned clear and calm but cold. As
the sun rose, it quickly warmed to the days high of 19.
With blue sky and some scattered clouds to the southwest, it
really was terrific rogaining weather.
Congratulations to the category winners and placegetters
and also to each of you for your interest and efforts.
Hopefully your experience has improved your bush navigation
skills and encouraged you to continue with rogaining that
sometimes black art of matching wits with the course
setters, the accuracy and completeness (or otherwise) of the
map and interpretations of it, and the joy of finding those
pesky orange and white triangles. 66 teams scored over 690
and 255 teams more than 85% - scored over 345; showing the
vast majority of teams had quite a few successes on the day.
Robert Preston and Andrew Simpson scored a convincing win
with 1380 points out of a possible 2160, 240 clear of second
overall, veteran team Ian Cameron and David Lyle with 1140
and the mixed team of Mark Driscoll, Jenny Scott and Greig
Scott third with 1070. This was Andy and Robs second win in
a row you can see their chosen route on the NSWRA website.
The area designated for car-parking filled quickly
thank you for the efforts people made to car-pool and by
8:00 we had to direct cars onto the lower road for overflow
parking. In total there were approximately 400 vehicles on
site for an instant village of nearly 900 people.
For those camping overnight on Saturday, everyone fitted
into the available space, if a bit more snugly than usual.
It did seem that there were quite a few people meeting old
and new friends at a number of communal fires.
1st Waitara Scouts did their usual terrific job of
catering, both for dinner and the end-of-event sausages,
soup and salad. My daughter not a keen fan of vegetables
had seconds of the vegetable soup and said it was the best
shed tasted, as well as devouring the roast! Having a water
tanker stay on site was very useful, and thanks to Cross
Roads Group from Moss Vale for making this possible by
letting us keep their truck over the weekend at a very
By 6:45am the administration team was in full flow with
overnight campers and early day-trippers lining up for
registration and maps.
Course setters Nicole Sellin and Nigel McDonald set an
excellent novice and extension course in a compact area.
They had a philosophy that a 10 to 100 point range could not
be reflected in the relative difficulty of controls, setting
lower point limit than has been the case for previous Paddy
Pallins. Most controls were placed at prominent locations,
eg 14, 21, 12 and 23. To keep things interesting there was a
sprinkling of harder controls and associated route choices
physically and navigationally. Some controls were located on
more subtle features such as 48, 55, 41, 58 and 43; others
required some effort to get to but were repaid by
spectacular locations as well as the points the Nyes Creek
controls 70 and 71; some required careful map reading and
attention to terrain 58, 53, 74. Control 35, with a number
of unmarked tracks around it, gave some teams issues. The
control was on the second bench down from the gully head.
There was another cross track, not shown, through the first
bench between the S of Spotted Gum Road and just to the N of
the 6 on the 600m contour, but was 40 metres shallower and
was missing the prominent gully from the NNE.
At the start, they were both relieved and pleased to see
teams scattering pretty evenly to each of the four closer
controls. From there teams spread out rapidly to the rest of
the control as they were faced with plenty of route choices
and, past the first half hour or so, congestion at controls
wasnt a problem.
As the finish time approached, teams started returning in
an increasing rush. In the last 20 minutes, 75% of teams
finished. The admin team coped tremendously, dealing with
the huge task of checking for missing teams, entering
control cards and getting out individual team and overall
Robert Pallin and Mike Hotchkiss did a fine job
entertaining the crowd while the results were compiled and
checked. They were helped by the Paddy Pallin stores having
generously donated a desirable prize pool. As is traditional
with the event, each year a donation is made to an
organisation that Paddy Pallin, the man, supported in his
lifetime. The National Parks Assocation of NSW received a
$500 donation, to continue their work of protecting natural
areas, ensuring there is bush to walk in.
Thanks also to everyone for a good clean-up job at the
hash house site. There was very little junk left to pick up
on the Monday, and we got a good report from the State
Forests ranger on how the area was left. This is quite
important, both in having State Forests happy to host us
again as well as positive feedback for hosts at other
prospective rogaine sites.
The St John Ambulance crew of Rhonda and Stuart Scott
provided wonderful peace of mind. Fortunately they had only
two customers a gashed arm and a sprained ankle.
Finally, thanks from the organising group. Your
participation allows us, too, to have a good time organising
the event well, with only the occasional hissy fit and
May the compass be with you! See you at the next event
Robert and Nancy Pallin out on the course near the
the canyon of Morton National Park at 72
Control cards of 300 teams at the world's biggest rogaine
Course setter Nicole Sellin and organiser Michael Watts
at the start
Peter Cox on the course
Andrew Pope and Andy Mein near 72
Enjoying the navigation
Enjoying lunch at the viewpoint of 72