G'day Rogainers,

NSW Rogaining eNewsletter, 30th Jan 2023

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The 2023 Rogaining season has kicked off strongly with a cracker of an event at La Perouse. Big thanks to new Course Setter Jordan Barta for a great course that attracted a record number of enthusiastic rogainers.

You may have noticed that this is not Trev writing – after 5+ years of service to NSWRA, he’s passed on the keys to the bus to a relative novice in the game. Big shoes to fill, but fortunately he’s left it in great shape, with a strong committee and a great model to work by.

He’s also not escaped entirely, (thankfully) taking on the role of Vice President. I’d like to once again acknowledge his significant contribution to NSWRA and the sport over the past years and thank him in advance for what’s to come.

The other change that’s coming is with my old job of Volunteer Coordinator. I’m happy to say that Robin Cameron and Katherine Cameron have stepped up to take this on, so we look forward to working with them in the future. The rest of the Committee looks pretty much the same but there’s always space for a few more enthusiastic members who’d like to contribute and keep it on its toes.

Get set for a great Rogaining year ahead and please feel free to get onto me any time to let me know what you think about any aspect of the sport and how we’re looking after it.

Graham Field president@nswrogaining.org


6-hour The Bantry Bay-gaine, Killarney Heights, Sunday 2nd April, More Info & Entry Here

Steve Ryan has created several rogaines around Sydney metro, notably the Killara (2021) and Cronulla (2017) minigaines. Here Tristan White has checked in with Steve, the course setter and coordinator for the upcoming Metrogaine.

Tristan: Why did you choose the Bantry Bay/Manly Dam location?

Steve: Many reasons...

I have fond memories of participating in the first Minigaine (Manly Dam, 2010) and a nearby Socialgaine (Davidson, 2011). It’s been a while since then and I thought that combining elements from these two events (with a new start location) would make an interesting 6-hr course. Extra inspiration was provided by many enjoyable summer series orienteering courses around Killarney Heights, Forestville, Allambie Heights & Manly Dam.

Recently I’ve also been helping mark the annual NOSH trail race course (Davidson to Seaforth). Taking in the stunning views and noticing many side trails along the way has reaffirmed the idea to set a rogaine here.

The Hash House will be at Killarney Heights High which is a new area for rogaining (according to past event archives). This start & finish location allows for many route options - spreading teams quickly in multiple directions to the surrounding streets, then into Garigal National Park and beyond.

It’s also very convenient for me - not far from home and I was able to explore the area extensively during covid lockdowns.

Steve Ryan at the first Minigaine (Manly Dam, 2010)

Tristan: How are you making the event enjoyable?

Steve: My aim is to make the event for everyone. Keeping in line with recent Metro's (& NPWS/council restrictions) the course will be on-track making the level of navigation easy-to-moderate.

For competitive teams, challenges will come in route planning, adjusting on the run and overall distance versus time judgements based on the varying terrain. The track grades vary from flat open fire trails to steep rocky tracks, so calculated decisions on whether to stay on main tracks or climb/descend for extra checkpoints will be pivotal. The course will be physically demanding for teams aspiring to top scores.

For those taking a more relaxed approach, there are flatter route options and many scenic & secluded places to stop for rests, a picnic or a cool down swim. There are also shops, cafes and pubs for those who prefer a long lunch. These are highlighted in the course notes and novice route suggestions.

For everyone's safety, busy roads/crossings are avoided (mapped out of bounds) with the placement of checkpoints on pedestrian footbridges.

Waitara Scouts will again be providing food and refreshments for competitors at the finish which is always a treat.

Tristan: What are some notable features that will be incorporated on the course?

Steve: Without giving too much away, the course includes sweeping views of Bantry Bay, Middle Harbour & Manly Dam. There will be some hidden gems that even the locals may not know about - waterfalls, bluffs, lookouts, pools, pipelines, sandstone outcrops, man-made & natural bridges. Bantry Bay has a unique natural and cultural heritage which is worthwhile reading about here

Tristan: What have you enjoyed about setting this course?

Steve: Many things...

  1. Discovering and exploring new trails close to home,
  2. The feeling of remote wilderness & seclusion yet never being too far from suburbia,
  3. Learning about the history of the area,
  4. The variety of flora and fauna - echidnas, kookaburras, wallabies and large eels!
  5. The map layout and extensive track networks gives many options and has made course setting very enjoyable,
  6. Working with course vetter Dicky Green to finalise the course has been a pleasure. His local knowledge and suggestions have improved the course from my original plans, and
  7. Mapping and course setting has improved my map reading, eye for detail, compass use and overall navigation skills.

Tristan: Thanks Steve, for this preview, and for your efforts.

Maps will be available from 8am, with the event starting at 10am. We still need a few helpers for this event: Flag Hangers, a First Aider, and three On-the-day helpers.


3-hour “Escape to the City” Minigaine, Little Bay, Sunday 26th February, Results & Photos Here

The use of a new area … scenic, exciting and close to the Sydney CBD, drew an unexpected large number of participants to the Minigaine. This meant that we were never far from other teams, but the spectacular coastline from Maroubra down to Cape Banks and Botany Bay kept everyone entertained.

Richard and Ben topped the team competition despite losing 70 points for their late finish. The top five teams were:

  1. Richard Green, Ben Streckeisen (Men’s Vet 1,520 points)
  2. Brian Brannigan, Fiona Castle (Mixed Supervet 1,440)
  3. Hamish Mackie, Jason Fryar (Mixed Vets 1,300)
  4. Melissa Robertson, Jinni Kruger (Women 1,240)
  5. Nathan Wrigley, Joseph Schmitzer (U/23 Men 1,220)

  6. Fiona Castle and Brian Brannigan confirm that age is not a barrier in rogaining, coming second overall with 1,440 points. Inevitably, they won the Mixed Supervets, Mixed Vets and Mixed Open categories.

    There were a couple of faulty navlight sensors which unfortunately impacted the results. Notably, Anthony Ricci was acknowledged solo winner on the day, only to be pipped later by Xanda Kolesnikow after his missing points increased his score. The top five individuals were:

  • Xanda Kolesnikow (Men 1,610 points)
  • Anthony Ricci (Men 1,570 finish at 2:43)
  • Sam Parkinson (U/23 Men 1,570 finish at 3:04)
  • Mat Collin (Men 1,530)
  • Geoffrey Barnes (Men Supervet 1,480)
  • Many thanks to the minigaine organisers, notably Jordan Barta for initiating the new location, for coordination, course setting, mapping, flag hanging and more. Matt Jenkins was also essential in the creation of the course. A full list of helpers is shown on the Volunteers page.

    At least two rogainers were snapped here, mid-event, cooling down in the water at Congwong Beach. That’s Kurnell and Bare Island at left on the skyline.


    Our 2023 calendar has ten events run by NSWRA, eight events by ACTRA, plus the BSAR Navshield ... that’s 19 rogaines in (or within 20km of) NSW. As Julian Ledger observes, “there is nowhere else on the planet with this choice of rogaines.” Consider these upcoming options:-

    One. 12/6-hour Autumngaine near Stroud, Sun. 6-May

    Mat Collin is taking us to a brand new rogaining area beyond the Hunter River. As Mat notes, “We're leaving the boring, old-fashioned, triassic rocks of the Sydney Sandstone basin and heading into the modern, carboniferous rocks around Stroud.” Consider that the last rogaine north of Newcastle was the ANZAC event in April 2005.

    With the tentative title “Every Stroud has a Silver Lining”, Mat reports finding pristine creeks, massive goannas, lyrebirds, snakes, eucalypts, lantana, huts, lamingtons and cannons.

    Keep a watch on our website for updates. We need someone or a group to look after the catering and a First Aider that ideally has a 4×4. On the day helpers are also needed.

    Two. Look at the ACT

    There’s plenty of options if you head south towards Canberra.

    • 24-hr ACT Champs near Kiandra, Kosciuszko National Park, 15-16 April.
    • ACTRA run a virtual rogaine using MapRun. You and your smartphone can do the event anytime between 27-May and 12-June, as a team or individual, and you can do it multiple times if you want to share with different teammates or improve on your previous efforts.

    Three. World Rogaining Champs, Lake Tahoe Ca, 29-30 Jul.

    The grande finale of the two-week California Orienteering Festival will be the world rogaining champs in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, featuring altitude from 1900 to 2300 metres, alpine forest and meadows, and Lake Tahoe as a backdrop.

    Four. “The Edge” Australian Champs, Goobang NP, Parkes, 30-Sep & 1-Oct.

    Start your planning for the major NSW event his year. Like the Stroud Autumngaine, the 2023 AusChamps are in an area that has never previously been used for rogaining*, an exciting new location at the edge of the western plains.

    David Williams and Ronnie Taib are the course setters. They are the best long-distance rogainers in NSW, having finished in the top ten at every AusChamps since 2014 (apart from West Australia 2016 which they didn’t attend.) David and Ronnie’s last course creation was the memorable NSW Champs at Kanangra in 2016.

    You can get a feel for the Goobang area from the many pictures here, and expect entries to open in June.

    (*) Before the pedants out there complain that the 2006 NSW Champs were also in Goobang NP, yes that’s true, but the pending event is in a different section of the Park.

    “They walked because not to do so would be to throw away the joy of this waning day.”
    Donna Leon, By its Cover, 2014

    Find us on Facebook and Strava here.

    Trevor Gollan
    on behalf of the NSW Rogaining Committee