G'day Rogainers,

NSW Rogaining eNewsletter, 21st Jan 2022

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Quick Thoughts - From Present Trev

When I asked at the Cherrybrook Minigaine, “How good is it to be rogaining again?” the resounding cheer confirmed that our eight-month hiatus has left a big itch that should best be assuaged by many more events in 2022. Many thanks to the Cherry Pye-gaine organisers, especially Chris Stevenson, Salomè Hussein & Hamish Mackie for the course, and 1st North Sydney Scouts for catering. There’s more about the event below, and you can read Chris’ review on the Forum here.

Our next outing is also north-side, very metro, based around North Sydney. See below for more about this year’s Metrogaine including a conversation with Ted Woodley.

Keep a watch for other upcoming events on our website. The ACT Champs will be in northern Kosciusko National Park on the Anzac Day weekend, and the first NSWRA bush event for this year will be our 12-hour Autumngaine in May, looks like it will be based at Turon Gates near Capertee.

Are you going, or thinking of going, to the World Rogaining Championships this August in the Czech Republic? The event organisers are trying to estimate the possible number of teams who will enter, and this is challenging given travel with Covid has been so difficult and the terrible situation with two of our keen rogaining countries – Ukraine & Russia. Julie Quinn (ACTRA, julie.quinn@bilbys.org) would like to hear from you, preferably in the next week.

After a call-out from Graham Field, our volunteer coordinator, we now have plenty of helpers for the Metrogaine, but we definitely need helpers for the Autumngaine and Paddy Pallin Rogaine. Please register your availability on our Volunteer website. Even better, enlist a bunch of your friends and create a fun, social activity that gives.

Ian Jessup from Orienteering NSW asks if we’d be interested in coming to State League weekends if they offered a score course, say a 2-hour on Saturday arvo and 3-hour on Sunday morning? If you think it’s a good idea, let Ian know at marketing@onsw.asn.au.

3-hour Minigaine "Cherry Pye-gaine", Results & Reviews

The 3-hour event has a different feel to other rogaines. For one, individual entry allows sprinters to push themselves hard, and this year there were many such competitors in their focus zone. Three hours is normal practice for marathoners, but it becomes even more challenging with map in hand and constant decisions and revisions due to route and terrain.

The other difference with the Minigaine is that three hours is more accessible for new-timers, and for families with kids. It was notable that we had 113 teams on the day, versus 86 solo entrants, confirming that team spirit is still a major element of our sport.

Due to previous torrents and the threat of more rain on the day, the organisers took the difficult decision to exclude 17 control points, turning it into a true sprint event. Chris Stevenson suggested beforehand that there was still enough to keep the top teams busy for the full three hours, but you could see in the eyes of the contenders that they were aiming for the lot.

And thus it eventuated, with two teams and 12 solo entrants scoring the full complement of 1,490 points, and the winners decided by fastest times. Here’s the top five in the teams competition, including finish times to differentiate the placings:

  1. Richard Mountstephens & Chris Turnbull (Open Men, 1490 points, 2:12:21 finish)
  2. Mitchell Isaacs & Chantal Bronkhorst (Open Mixed, 1490, 2:55:06)
  3. Kristen Horley & Heather Vrachliotis (Open Women, 1400, 3:00:59)
  4. Toni Bachvarova & Andrew Smith (Mixed Vets, 1390, 2:55:49)
  5. Chris Frain & John Bulman (Men Vets, 1390, 2:57:57)

A pleasing feature of the above list is that every team is in a different category, demonstrating the diversity of our participants. In the solo competition we should list all who scored 1490 points:

  1. Xanda Kolesnikow (M23, 2:25:00)
  2. Andrew Renwick (MV, 2:25:22)
  3. Aurelien Penneman (M, 2:31:07)
  4. Mat Collin (M, 2:42:12)
  5. Justin Stafford (MV, 2:42:24)
  6. Brenton Race (M, 2:44:33)
  7. Melissa Robertson (WV, 2:47:07)
  8. Michael Ridley-Smith (MV, 2:47:24)
  9. Sam Parkinson (M23, 2:48:24)
  10. Georgina Beech (W/Nov, 2:49:34)
  11. Tim Austin (MV, 2:55:38)
  12. Geoffrey Barnes (MSV, 2:59:21)

Congratulations to Xanda for his first outright win, just 22 seconds ahead of Andrew. Progressively improving in the last few Minigaines and still under-23, Xanda looks to have a long impact on our sport. (He was 4th in 2021, 7th in 2020, 18th in 2019.)

During the presentations we didn’t acknowledge Georgina’s effort as a novice, although there is no surprise she did well, given her current results in the Sydney Summer Series. Each SSS course is effectively a 45-minute microgaine – does that mean she’s not truly a novice rogainer?

Commiserations to Andrew Brown, who scored 1440 points, finishing at 2:19:08 with the expectation of clearing the course. He mis-punched #54 (perhaps distracted by somebody scrubbing the nearby concrete path?) and missed winning the solo comp. We determined in 2019 that correct check-in at a flag is the competitor’s responsibility, and credit is only given when there is a systematic fault with the navlight. That is, when multiple people are affected. Brooner was fairly relaxed about it, “Frustrating, but there we go!”

Finally, if you didn’t know, the creek to the west of the course is called Pyes Creek, which explains the spelling of Cherry Pye.

6-hour Metrogaine, “LaneCoveRivergaine IV”, Sunday 3rd Apr 2022, Entries are Open

Entries are now open for the Metrogaine based in North Sydney. There isn’t much better scenery than Sydney Harbour, so you ought to bring your overseas visitors as well, showcase our city, and maybe rest your legs at a café. You’ll be sure to find somewhere new and interesting.

A Conversation with Ted Woodley

Coordinator and course setter for the Metrogaine, Ted has been a stalwart of NSW Rogaining over the last decade, so I thought it appropriate to find out what makes him tick and maybe learn more about the next event.

Trev: What’s your background with bush activities and sports?

Ted: I have always been an active sportsperson – soccer, tennis, squash, cricket, croquet – and will give any sport a go. For all my life I have enjoyed being in the bush, but it’s really only been during the past 20 years that I have become heavily involved in bush activities.

Though I must add that, with my competitive spirit and preference for doing more than one thing at a time, I much prefer rogaining/orienteering than simply walking in the bush.

Trev: Have you done much overseas or beyond NSW?

Ted: Surprisingly, my ardent involvement in bush activities started in Hong Kong of all places, when I was living there in 2000-2002. (I was employed by China Light and Power, running the electricity system). Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, but it also has some natural areas (and steep mountains). Seeing that CLP was a sponsor of the Oxfam 100km Trailwalker I entered a company team and immediately became hooked on outdoor endurance activities. I have since completed ten Trailwalkers. I also participated in CLP’s orienteering group.

When I returned to Australia I took up orienteering, then discovered rogaining in 2010. It soon became my favourite outdoor sport. I wish I had found it 60 years ago.

Trev: What have been your rogaining highlights? Who are some of your noteworthy team-mates, their strengths and quirks?

Ted: Every rogaine has been enjoyable – the anticipation, route planning, mass start, nailing difficult controls, trying to also look lost after punching a control when you encounter other teams wandering around earnestly studying their maps, returning exhausted but satisfied just before the finish siren, and then socialising with other competitors and being amazed at the exploits of the winners.

My most enjoyable rogaine was the 2016 World Championships at Ross River (NT) with it’s international buzz and a magic location.

I have had the pleasure of competing with a number of team-mates. My current team is John Anderson and Julian Ledger, both of whom have been rogaining for centuries. I think it best I not disclose their quirks in this interview as it might strain our relationships and I don’t have many other MUV team-mate options – the field is thinning!

Seriously though, we get on extremely well and provide invaluable support to each other. As they say, a good team is far better than the sum of its members.

Trev:Are you retired? What is your education, occupation and home-life?

Ted: I prefer not to use the word ‘retired’. But to answer your question, I ‘work’ 40+ hours a week on many NPA, charity and church activities, but no longer earn an income.

My paid career encompassed senior management roles in energy, water, transport, grain handling and community care. I have also volunteered in a number of indigenous communities and in south-east Asia and the Pacific Islands. This year marks 50 years of blissful marriage to Ruth. We have identical twin sons, who are happily married. I haven’t been successful in attracting my sons or daughters-in-law to rogaining but am working on our five grandchildren.

Trev: And NPA, how & why did you get into that?

Ted: I have always had an affinity with and love for nature and the environment. And in recent years I have become distraught with the unrelenting damage we humans are inflicting on our planet. I am mortified at how much of the bush has been damaged or destroyed just in my lifetime.

NSW Rogaining Ultraveteran Champions 2016-18, John Anderson and Ted Woodley

NSWRA Annual General Meeting 27-Feb-22

President’s Report

Obviously Covid and social limitations had a major impact in 2021, with events rescheduled and postponed. As lockdowns continued after the Paddy Pallin event in June we determined it wasn’t worth the effort or disappointment of trying to organise any more events, resulting in an eight month layoff. Since we don’t have recurring costs, NSWRA didn’t suffer financial impact due to the shutdown.

On the positive side, we did conduct four successful events in 2021:

  • Minigaine, at Killara organised by Steve Ryan.
  • Metrogaine, at Wollongong organised by Trevor Gollan & Ian Almond.
  • Autumngaine, at Belanglo SF organised by Rick Cavicchioli, Tassia Kolesnikow & Mike Hotchkis.
  • Paddy Pallin, on the Newnes Plateau organised by John Havranek & Salomè Hussein.

Other highlights included an article about rogaining in the Sydney Morning Herald and subsequent Studio 10 live-cross to a rogaining flag in Lane Cove NP – with thanks to Tristan White, Julian Ledger and their pop-up friends for making it happen.

Mark Von Huben, our equipment manager, has purchased 50 new flags to replace the tired and tattered ones, and has ordered a new trailer to replace the catering trailer. The catering trailer has always been a challenge due to its weight, but is now beyond repair, and registration renewal. Our preference is for a smaller, lighter solution for catering. We have also bought a generator for admin, rather than having to hire (expensive) or borrow (Bert’s).

Julian Ledger and Chris Stevenson have spent significant time updating our map archives. There’s only one or two maps needed to complete our NSW history. If you have the map from 1988 NSW Champs at Hampton/Jenolan or the 1988 Wingen 12/6 hour map please get in touch with Chris at webmaster@nswrogaining.org.

At the national level, Australian Rogaining Association (ARA) have included volunteers within our insurance policy. This is to support our helpers “whilst on voluntary work for and on behalf of the insured including direct travel.”

As to the future, NSW is to host the Australian Rogaining Championships next year, starting 30th September 2023. We are considering sites in the Bathurst-Cowra region, with David Williams and Ronnie Taib as the course setters.

Setting a calendar is increasingly difficult if we wish to avoid clashes, especially with orienteering, but there seems to be always some outdoor/fitness activity for our members to choose (City-to-Surf, ACT Rogaining, ultramarathons, etc.) This year the Navshield date has been scheduled for the same weekend as the Nightgaine in July, and we have decided not to move our date. It’s good for our members to have choice. This situation was exacerbated last year when competing sports shuffled events due to lockdown restrictions.

I look forward to increased scout/venturer involvement, inspired by the enthusiasm of Stuart Warren and the 1st North Sydney Scouts.

The committee for this year has minor changes; Kim Eales has departed after a few years with us. Robin Cameron and Pam (& Bob) Montgomery have volunteered to join the committee. I thank all members of the committee for their efforts and (various levels of) enthusiasm through the last 12 months. We still need someone to look after publicity and production of our eNewsletter, and it would help if our average age was reducing rather than increasing. Anyone who has a passion for our sport is welcome to join the committee.

On behalf of the committee I also thank all volunteers who have helped create our events, and look forward to another successful, safe year of rogaining adventure.

Series Point Score

Don't forget that each year we run a series point score. Everyone is entered and your "best" four events count towards your series score. You can read the rules and look at last year's results here.

2021 Series Point Score Results

Your "Best" events are defined as your team's score expressed as a % of the overall median score for that course (ignoring category). Read all the rules on the Series Point Score page. The Series Point Score results from the minigaine will be on the web site in a day or two.

The Series Point Score is an unashamed attempt to get more rogainers entering more events each year, and there is nothing quite like a bit of rivalry to motivate most rogainers

Find us on Facebook and Strava here.

Trevor Gollan
on behalf of the NSW Rogaining Committee