The 57th Paddy Pallin Rogaine

57th Paddy Pallin Rogaine

For the last 57 years the Paddy Pallin organisation has combined with NSW Rogaining to put on a Rogaine. The Paddy Pallin rogaine is a special feature on the rogaining calendar since it is our most popular event and for the winners there are some good trophies to be won. For most of us who are unlikely to ever win a Paddy Pallin rogaine there are usually spot prizes given, courtesy of Paddy Pallin.

This year’s rogaining calendar was disrupted due to the impact of Covid 19 and it wasn’t until the 26th of September that groups of up to 500 people could participate in outdoor sporting events. The Paddy Pallin rogaine would be a different event to normal years because there was to be a staggered start (and finish), no food and no presentations. All participants would find out their score from the web site after the event and trophies would be presented to the winning teams by post in between events.

This year’s Paddy Pallin rogaine was also unusual because it was being held over a metropolitan course with the Hash House based at Club Willoughby and the event was being held in late November rather than its usual June – July time slot. The event location on the lower North Shore meant that this was going to be a fast event with little technical navigation but a lot of beautiful views, beautiful houses and beautiful people to be seen out on the course.

What hadn’t changed for this year’s event was that many good athletes signed up for the event and in the end the total number attending (plus volunteers) came close to the 500 Covid 19 imposed limit. Heat is always a risk in endurance events held late in the year, especially in a metropolitan course where there’s little bush canopy to give respite from the sun. Fortunately the weather gods smiled on us and the forecast maximum for the day was a perfect 23C. 

Having a staggered start for the event gave it a different vibe. We are used to the seeing up to 600 people disappear in all directions at a mass start with the good teams running off at high speed to get ahead of other competitors. This year you could start at any time during your allotted hour and teams drifted off when they were ready. The good teams looked just as focused as they normally do, but it was interesting to see them take off at a gentle jogging pace which they presumably increased once they got out side of the Club precinct.

Normally at the end of the event there is a mass finish and the pressure is then turned onto the administrators, to try and get accurate results published and presentations started within 30 mins of the event finish. In this event there was no mass finish and no presentations and greatly reduced stress for the administrators who were under no pressure to produce the results quickly.

CategoryWinnersScore
Overall, Men’s and Men’s VeteransGlenn Horrocks and Richard MountstephensCourse Cleared
2790 in 5:05:31 (45kms)
Mixed and Mixed Veteran’sRobert Hayen, Fiona Castle and Brian BranniganCourse Cleared
2790 in 6:00:00 (See below)
Under 23Xanda Kolesnikow and Ivan Koudashev2640
Women’sNicole Mealing, Rochelle Tregear2370
Men’s Super Veteran’sMichael Hotchkis, Andrew Duerden2210 (35kms)
Women’s VeteransMadonna Cavanagh and Kathryn Vaughan2100
FamilyJohn Havranek and Jack Havranek2080
NoviceTaras Mencinsky and  Mike Evans2070
Mixed Super Veteran’sDale Thompson and Mark White1960
Mixed Ultra Veteran’sKerry Emslie and Ross Emslie1800
Men’s Ultra Veteran’sJulian Ledger and John Anderson1780
Women’s Super Veteran’sMelissa Grant and Penny Field1250
Women’s Ultra Veteran’sDebbie Hotchkis and Sue Jackson740

There was little surprise that the overall winners were Glenn Horrocks and Richard Mountstephens. Glenn and Richard are well known in both the rogaining and orienteering communities as outstanding athletes and the metropolitan course allowed them to use their fast endurance running to their advantage. Glenn also does pretty well on a bush course and has had good form in the Paddy Pallin event in recent years:

YearGlenn Horrocks Results in the Paddy Pallin 6hr
20194th overall with Jonathan Worswick
20181st Overall with Jonathan Worswick
20172rd Overall with Keelan Birch (Beaten by 2020 partner Richard Mountstephens)
20163rd Overall with Keelan Birch ( Beaten by 2020 partner Richard Mountstephens 1st)
20152nd Overall with Greg Barbour
20142nd Overall with Andrew Brown (Beaten by 2020 partner Richard Mountstephens)
20132nd Overall with Patrick Gunnarsson (Beaten by 2020 partner Richard Mountstephens)
20121st Overall with Richard Mountstephens
20112nd Overall with Lisa Grant
20101st Overall with Andrew Black and  Joel Mackay
Richard Mountstephens and Glenn Horrocks – Winners of the 57th Paddy Pallin 6 hr rogaine.
Glenn Horrocks, Joel Mackay & Andrew Black, open winners of 47th Paddy Pallin rogaine.

There was a small controversy over the Mixed and Mixed Veteran’s winners. The team of Robert Hayen, Fiona Castle and Brian Brannigan had actually stopped during the event to help an injured member of another team and were compensated for time lost, giving them a course clearing score. It is a rule in rogaining that team must abandon their course assist teams in distress (Rule 32). This is essential in a sport where competitors are often many kilometres from the Hash House and also often in very remote bush. In this case Robert, Fiona and Brian were assisting Daniel Tiyches from team 43 who fell and sustained a nasty compound fracture of his little finger. A member of the public gave Daniel a lift to Royal North Shore Hospital, where he spent the night waiting for an operation to put his finger back together. Daniel is a bus driver so it might be a while before he is back at work. Daniel takes with him best wishes from the Rogaining Community for a speedy recovery.

Daniel’s Little Finger

It was good to have the Hash House at Club Willoughby. While no food was served at the event competitors could finish the event and then stay on as a Club patron to get some food and drink. Given how hard the clubs have been hit by Covid 19 it was nice to see competitors spending some money at the Club after the event.

The other interesting thing that happened during the event was that the Bomb Squad was called to one of our controls. Control 55 was attached to a park bench in Beauchamp Park north of the Chatswood shopping precinct. A slightly overzealous member of the public reported the rogaining control as a suspicious object and the Bomb Squad was called. This happened despite the fact that all of our controls are accompanied by an orienteering flag and a sticker explaining what it is.  I am not sure how long it took the bomb squad to recognise that the object was an orienteering control not a bomb, but I suspect that it was not long. Fortunately all this happened after the last competitors had passed by and we were able to “spring” Control 55 from Chatswood Police Station the next day with only its security wire cut. With time served already and time off for good behaviour, we can expect to see Control 55 at our next event in February.

This is how the Controls looked at the event

Vivien de Remy de Courcelles did an excellent job with the course which took in some of the fabulous views that the area provided. Vivien had predicted that the top teams may clear the course. I suspect he may have been a bit surprised that this was achieved in a little over 5 hours.

Thanks also to the rest of the team for putting this event on:

Organiser, web site  and trailer towingChris Stevenson
Course SetterVivien de Remy de Courcelles
Flag HangingChris Stevenson, Vivien de Remy de Courcelles, Steve Ryan and Martin Cousins
On the Day helpersTrevor Gollan, Steve Ryan, John Clancy, John Bowles and Chris Stevenson
Photography and Map MakingAndrew Smith and Toni Bachvarova
First AidSteven Young
AdminAnita Bickle and Vivien de Remy de Courcelles
Flag CollectingJohn and Kath Anderson, Chris Stevenson, Vivien de Remy de Courcelles, Steve Ryan, Martin Cousins and John Clancy.

Overall the 57th Paddy Pallin 6hr rogaine was very warmly received by all competitors who appreciated the course with combination and street and park with stunning views over Middle Harbour and Sydney from many points on the course. It was really nice for NSW Rogaining to once again team up with Paddy Pallin to hold this important event in the rogaining calendar when so many other events have had to be cancelled due to Covid 19.

Never Too Young for Lawyer Vine

You are never too young to experience the joys of lawyer vine which, after all, is an Australian native (Smilax australis) pest rather than an introduced one. Sophie, my daughter’s first experience with lawyer vine was in the 2015 Lake Maquarie rogaine when she was 8 years old. Yesterday was her 3rd Lake Macquarie rogaine and now she considers struggling through lawyer vine and getting cut to shreds to be all part of the fun experience.

Yesterday I teamed up with daughter Sophie and novice friend Imi to enter the Lake Macquarie rogaine. With both the 6 and 12 hour events on offer the choice was easy, go for the 12 hour. This may not seem the obvious choice when rogaining with two 13 year old girls but very few family teams do the 12 hour events so there was a very good chance we would win the family category, which we did (yes, we were the only family team in the 12 hour event). I was also keen for the girls to do some night rogaining in order to get the full experience.

The next consideration was a team name, Sophie and I have competed in our two previous Lake Macquarie events as the “Zombie Unicorns” so yesterday team name was “Zombie Unicorns Ride Again”. We collaborated to create a team logo using Photoshop and some purloined images.

Our team logo

A good team name deserves some good team nicknames so we went with ‘Pegs’, ‘Problem’ and ‘Phather’. Sophie went with ‘Pegs’ which became her nickname after a recent camping trip with Imi’s family where there was an incident with some tent pegs. I was ‘Phather’ wihich was a spelling of ‘father’ starting with P to be consistent with my team mates and Imi was ‘Problem’ which was apparently some self-evident truth.

It was really good to catch up with some old rogainers who I have not seen for a while due to COVID 19 impacting our rogaining schedule. I miss the fatigue and the trash talk, I miss having good teams fly past me and I miss grabbing controls and sneaking away while other competitors wander around scratching their heads. Yesterday, I taught my team mates an important lesson on what not to say when you see a control and also how to bag a control in complete silence and disappear into the bush without the other teams noticing.

Problem and Pegs doing some route planning.

Yesterday my team mates and I went about three hours without seeing any other competitors. Usually when you don’t see any other teams for a long time it is because you are lost, moving too slowly or chasing “sucker” controls. Yesterday we bagged 72, 36, 46, 37, 73 and got almost all the way to 103 before we saw another team. While I love not seeing other teams on the course, after 90+ rogaines it still gives me the feeling that I might be totally lost.

I think Imi (Problem) really enjoyed yesterday’s rogaine. She seemed to be especially enjoying the lawyer vine because everytime we turned around she was lying face down in the scrub having appreciated yet another piece of lawyer vine.

A couple of interesting things happened during the event yesterday. After about 5 hours of rogaining the girls interest turned towards the tea and damper control over getting more high point controls so we made a long side trip to the tea and damper control. I forgot to warn the girls that the Tea and Damper spot would probably have neither tea nor damper, but the disappointment was quickly overcome by mouthfuls of muffins and various pieces of fruit which were consumed without drawing breath.

The second interesting thing that happened yesterday was that we came across an acoustic recorder in the bush near control 46. The owner of the recorder will be puzzling for some time over the noise made by “Problem” falling over, yet again, near the recorder.

The third interesting thing that happened is that our team was cursed by Andrew Duerden. We had arrived back to the hash house to have a quick rest and some dinner. While we were there I was chatting with Andrew who was telling me that some good teams were struggling to find low points controls close to the hash house. I wasn’t worried because, up until that time, we had been finding controls pretty easily and hadn’t missed any all day. Sure enough Andrew’s words were a portent of doom because we failed to find 21, 22 and 32 all within a few minutes walk of the Hash House.

In conclusion, I must thank Pegs and Problem for their fabulous efforts yesterday and for putting up with my continual pushing for just one more control, despite the fact that we had already won the family category (unless we got disqualified). Thanks also to the organisers and vounteers including Bert van Netten, Anita Bickle, the Montgomery clan, Bob Gilbert and others for putting on another memorable event. I have competed in the Lake Macquarie event regularly since 1995, I still enjoy them greatly and I am looking forward to more lawyer vine in 2021.

Them’s the Rules

Posted on 12/12/2016 by Chris

At the most recent meeting of the NSW Rogaining Association Committee the issue of mis-punching electronic controls was discussed.

By default the event software we use “RogaineScore” records the lowest score recorded by a team member so any mis-punches lower the entire team’s score.

In the past we have been fairly generous in adjusting scores in the case of one team member not “punching” correctly but this approach has two problems, firstly this approach causes problems post event  and secondly does not align with the rules.

Our previous generous approach to mis-punching has been causing problems after the event. Our target is to get all the scores up and the presentations started 30 minutes after the event finishes and while sometimes we do not make this deadline we are usually pretty close.  At the presentation we want to be giving the right teams the right prizes and this is difficult if we have teams who add up their scores some time after the event, realise they have a mis-punch and  then want a score adjustment. The discussion at the Committee was prompted by one instance of this.

At the NSW Championship, one of the 24Hr category winners changed on the recognition of a mis-punch. It was this event that provoked the discussion at the Committee meeting in November.

Our rules are not silent on the subject and actually say: “Rule 18. Where more than one electronic recording device is provided to a team, all devices must record a visit to a checkpoint to gain points for that checkpoint.” That seems pretty straight forward and there is little room for misinterpretation.

Martin Dearnley (Socialgaine Organiser) demonstrating his punching form

We applied Rule 18 more strictly at the Socialgaine with interesting consequences.  One of the consequences was that our President, Gill Fowler, got “hoisted on her own petard”.  Gill and her team mate Jess Baker would have placed first overall except one of them mis-punched control 38. My heart also went out to a family team who had 4 out of 5 team members punch an 80 pointer but it seems one of the team mis-punched that control and lost the family some places.

Part of me says that it’s cruel to deny Gill and Jess their win and also to deny the family team their 80 pointer when rogaining should be about bush navigation, guile and endurance and not punching technique. On the other hand they are the rules and who says that the winning team of Martin Dent and Rowan Walker didn’t lose time because they were more diligent with their punches and perhaps could have got another 30 points if they didn’t lose a few seconds at each control making sure of their punch.  I am not as fast as Gill and Jess or Martin and Rowan so I always make sure that I see the second flash of the Navlight punch before moving on.

Sometimes the punches, not the human using them, fail and this happens occasionally during an event. In these cases though, it is usually obvious to the event administrator because many teams have the same problem and bulk adjustments are made to the scores.  Given the fact that the Navlight punches sit quietly in the bush, often for a couple of weeks before the event (and a couple of weeks after) it is amazing how robust and reliable these units are.

I can’t finish this blog post without commenting on the metal covers we use in events where the controls are more likely to be found by members of the public. Put simply, I hate them.  I am not a patient person during a rogaine, as my team mates will attest (Sorry guys) and my patience is pushed to the limit because it is very hard to see a flash from the end of the metal cover. The result is precious time lost trying to contort my wrist and the navlight into a position where I can see the second flash under the metal cover.

Also note that you can lodge a protest after an event if something happens that is not aligned to the rules and I cannot anticipate what a protest Committee may decide, but given our rules, it is unlikely that they would facilitate a score adjustment after a mis-punch.Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

My Wrap of the 2018 Paddy Pallin

Posted on 17/06/2018 by Chris

I really enjoyed the 2018 Paddy Pallin event at Kitchener. I had not rogained in the area before, but I look forward to competing there again if the opportunity arises.
The course was interesting because it was large and very well mapped. The map included detail from three Newcastle Orienteering Clubs’ maps and it showed. There was a lot of detail built into the 1:25000 scale. In many respects it was a orienteerer’s course because you needed to constantly check the fine detail on the map to score well.

My team mates and I had a pretty good rogaine. We really only made two errors that cost us more than a minute or so. The first mistake was mine and it was a bit embarrassing. We were looking for control 76 “The Bridge – East side of tunnel”. Because we were looking for a bridge I switched off mentally, because how could anyone walk over a bridge and not notice. Team mate Julian suggested we had just crossed “the bridge” and I ignored him, but I had to eat humble pie about a minute later when I saw a side trail which told me that Julian was right (again). In fairness it wasn’t much of a bridge, it was just a pipe with dirt over it, but this was one of those courses where you just cannot afford to switch off.

The landscape was interesting. There had been mining in the area up until the 60’s and there were many remnants of mining works. There were also many tracks, most of them seemed to be kept open by trail bikes. The course also resembled a bit of a used car cemetery as there were many very old abandoned cars on the course. There were also a lot of controls on the course and they were not so far apart which kept us constantly scanning the map.

The vegetation was almost perfect for rogaining. Much of it was open forest and the thick stuff was marked with the accuracy of an orienteering map. The ground was easy underfoot and notably neither my team mates or I fell over during the event, which is a bit unusual. The weather was also perfect for rogaining it was a cool 15C which is perfect going hard and avoiding heat stress.

Team mate Julian camped at the Kitchener public school on Saturday night while John Clancy and I spent a very civilised night in a motel in Aberdare. I do not mind camping, but with 4C forecasted and lots of motels near by, it was an easy decision. We also got to watch France down Australia in the World Cup in our motel room. We even let Julian watch since his 30+ year old tent did not include a television. In fact the arrangement was perfect, Julian picked up the maps first thing in the morning, and then drove to our motel room to pick us up. We then spent a pleasant hour course planning in McDonalds at Cessnock. My theory is that Julian likes camping just so he can show off his very old tent with dual chimneys. To be fair it is the only tent I know that has dual chimneys, it is also Australian made (Wilderness Equipment), but takes about two days to erect and it’s time he bought himself a new one, without the bloody chimneys.

Julian about two hours into his tent erection, with his chimneys on proud display.

The day was also notable because the event included many competitors who are legends of our sport. At the end of the event, Peter Tuft, one of the founders of rogaining in NSW spoke about the 2019 Australian Champs which he is organising in Tasmania (book your holiday now).  Another one of the founders of our sport, Bert van Netten, competed and he and his partner, Ted Woodley, beat my team. Not only did they score 190 points more than we did, they also walked about 2 kms less. We will get them next time. Another founder of our sport, Ian Dempsey, vetted the course.

Historically rogaine maps were off the shelf maps (the Navshield event still is) with red circles drawn on freehand. The 2018 PP rogaine has set a new standard in terms of mapping detail and accuracy for a 1:25000 map. Is this the natural evolution of our sport or are we in danger of going overboard? Certainly this event set a mapping standard that can only be maintained with the aid of orienteering base maps. Having said that, the fine detail was appreciated when trying to find controls in a complex jigsaw of eroded gulleys.

Chris Relaxing

Overall, we had a really enjoyable event and we hope everyone else did as well. Sam Howe did a great job with the course. There was a heap of route choice and teams spread out nicely across the course. Bob Gilbert did a great job coordinating the event and acting as MC at the presentation. Bob and the Newcastle team are very active supporters of rogaining and their work is greatly appreciated.  Also a big thank you to the Paddy Pallin organisation for their ongoing support of our sport.

The only thing that could have made the day better would have been beating Ted and Bert, but we will have to wait to the next event to do that.

Ultraveterans

What a great event was the Woronora Pipe Dreams Rogaine. Excellent map, fine conditions and some refined control placement. Today, comparing the 1:20,000 map with the 1:25,000 Socialgaine map of the same area from 2013 shows a huge amount of additional detail to help the night-time navigator. Congratulations and thanks to course setters Nicole and Brooner, vetter Mike, administrator Anita and organiser, President Trev. Especially for the opportunity to get off track and search out tricky controls with hazards for the unwary. The organising team’s work was rewarded by big numbers and a friendly atmosphere. This weekend was to have been the world championships at Lake Tahoe, California now postponed to 2021. I was happy to settle for pipe dreams instead.

Having just reached the milestone of becoming an Ultravet and having stepped down from the inconvenience of work I thought I was a good prospect to join an Ultravet rogaining team. Ted ‘the technician’ Woodley and John ‘no mistakes’ Anderson were welcoming but it turned out that team membership required participation in training and a series of tests in July.

The first was a march around the local government area of Willoughby. This is a ‘thing’ supported by the Council and is broken down into eight walks. We did it all in one go – about 32 km in just under nine hours and 750 metres of ascent and descent. Highlights included Stringybark Creek, the inlets of Middle Harbour, mangroves, historical interludes and no shortage of fancy houses.

The second was a rerun of the Lane Cove Rivergaine from 2015 set by Ted and taking in a quest to find the source of the Lane Cove River, the headwater creeks of the valley, a little known dam on Avondale Creek and even a volcanic diatreme. We started at 6.30am, walked 35km, climbed over 1000 metres and ‘recorded’ 2200 points.

Sometime during June Chris Stevenson had the idea that we should try a walk down into the Kedumba Valley below Leura Falls returning via Kings Tableland. It was a long day returning after dark with over 30km walked and 1400 metres of ascent. Having survived that we tackled the relatively new Great West Walk, a track which runs from Parramatta to Penrith. We took a break at Rooty Hill and used the train to return. It was two 30km plus days of relatively flat walking and took in some bushland new to us. When we reached the Nepean River I imagined I was Watkin Tench (Governor Phillip’s lieutenant) who, having hiked across the Cumberland Plain, then tried to work out if the river he had reached was the same river as the Hawkesbury.

Surviving this training was combined with pace counting tests. I do it if I really have to but tend to be lazy and, later, regret not being more careful. This team was more committed. Question was how many double paces to 100 metres. Was it 60, 65 or 70. What about gradient, thickness of bush, tiredness. It all depends and I need to practice. Ted with Suunto watch on one wrist and new Apple watch on the other was finding during our training that Apple claimed more distance overall than Suunto, and my Garmin was closer to Apple.

For navigation and route choice I learnt that the teamrule was ‘if in doubt, slow down, discuss and all agree’.

The third training was doing all 30 controls at the Terry’s Creek Moonlight Madness event plus walking there from home. Thanks to Bennelong Orienteers for being patient with my late return about three times the usual 45-minute time limit. The lateness wiped out the whole of my score. We were going to walk home but wisdom took over and we combined walking with train. In total 38 kms over ten hours! Highlights: the amount of water around after recent downpours, the middle reaches of the Lane Cove valley, and pizza on the hoof.

So it was that we arrived at the Pipe Dream battle-hardened and with a little recent night-time navigation under our belts. John and I gently suggested that the absence of other UltraVeteran teams meant we could take it easy. However, Ted ‘victory or doom’ Woodley was having none of it. Overall route choice was not too hard although inevitably our flight-plan proved ambitious and return route missed 150 points, enticingly close but out of reach. All agreeing on every navigational choice proved tricky and a democratic process evolved whereby two votes out of three usually won the day. We were cautious and knew where we were the whole time; lost a few minutes on a few occasions but nothing too serious. Overall result very satisfying. Especially when that old adage is taken into account: ‘it doesn’t matter if you are second last as long as you beat the Webmaster Chris Stevenson’. By the way great Blog post, Chris.

Now the ultra veteran team is entering the NSW Championships at Gundabooka National Park near Bourke, first weekend of September – an adventure in some very different country.

My wrap of the “Woronora Pipe Dream” event.

I greatly enjoyed last night’s rogaine and thanks to everyone involved in making it happen. I have done over 90 NSW rogaines and this one certainly rates in my top 5. A number of factors contributed to this enjoyment:

The course was really good, there were a lot of bush controls. It certainly was a “navigator’s rogaine”. A lot of the controls were set on subtle features and the small flags were used, mostly hung against the trees. This meant that if you were off your game you could easily walk past a control. Additionally, in some parts of the course there were tracks everywhere so you could not just rely on the tracks for navigation.

The bush was good for rogaining. You could get off track and still move through the bush pretty quickly. Often in rogaines close to Sydney you are confined to tracks by National Parks policy  or if you are not encumbered by these rules then you have to contend with a lot of fight scrub. The only difficult scrub we found last night was upstream of 71. I tried to bag this control by “aiming off”. I intended to join the creek slightly below the control and then walk up the creek. What actually happened was that despite careful navigation and pace counting, we started upstream of the control and kept moving upstream through some pretty thick stuff. We ventured upstream for 9 minutes before retreating to the nearby fire trail to re-think and then bagged it 3 minutes later.

The weather last night was perfect for rogaining. It was nice and cool but not so cold that you thought you were going to die of exposure if you stopped moving. I often find my performance in rogaines hampered by varying degrees of heat stress and last night’s temperature was perfect to get the best out of me.

The hills were hard but not so big that you regretted your own existence half way up. Often in Blue Mountains’ rogaines you plan your rogaine around how many times you can physically manage to climb from the creeks to the hill tops. Last night was certainly hilly but most were under 80m and you could plan your course without being scared of inserting too many climbs.

I really, really enjoy bagging a difficult control in the dark with my headlight off and, once bagged, melting into the bush while others stumble around in circles. A good example last night was control 70 which was a ‘broad gully” with no  easy “handrail” to help you get there. Team mate John Clancy and I walked straight onto the control having done a pace count from the creek to the west of the control. There were a few other teams in the vicinity looking for the control at the time but I don’t think any of them saw us punch the control in complete darkness and move quickly on.

Despite my enjoyment of the course, the great weather and open bash last night my team mate, John Clancy, and I did not do very well. We were badly let down by our route choice. We had planned an unrealistically big route and, once we realised we were not going to achieve that route, we made a “Plan B” route which was rubbish. I hate stopping mid rogaine, but in hindsight a few minutes spent doing a proper replan would have been a good investment.

The other thing I didn’t enjoy last night was being beaten by ex-team mate Julian Ledger. Julian is now an ultra-veteran and sought the company of other ultra veterans last night in the form of Ted Woodley and John Anderson. Not only did Julian, Ted and John beat us soundly by 110 points, they also won the Men’s Ultra Veterans’ category. They also won my category, the Men’s Super Veterans. Julian, Ted and John also came a creditable 2nd in the Men’s Veterans. I hate to say it but, “Nice job guys!” My revenge at being jilted will have to wait until the NSW Championships.

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    Post added 2020

    Animated Compass

    Are you a serious rogainer?

    Are You a Serious Rogainer

    Are you a Serious Rogainer?

    Well here is your opportunity to find out by answering twenty simple  questions.

    All questions are multiple choice, just choose the single answer that best fits you.


    Nobel Nyctophobia

    Julian Ledger – 6 July 2019

    So swiftly the sun sets in the sky

    You rise up and say goodbye to no one

    Fools rush in where angels fear to tread

    Jokerman

    Dance to the nightingale tune

    Bird fly high by the light of the moon

    Jokerman

    Sometimes my burden is more than I can
    bear

    It’s not dark yet but it’s gettin there

    Not dark yet

    How many roads must a man walk down

    Before you call him a man?

    The answer, my friend is blowin’ in the
    wind

    The answer is blowin in the wind

    Blowin’ in the wind

    Shadows are falling and I have been here
    all day

    It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting
    there

    Well my sense of humanity is going down
    the drain

    Behind every beautiful thing, there’s
    been some kind of pain

    Let the wind blow low, let the wind blow
    high

    Under the red sky full

    I know it looks like I’m movin’ but I’m
    standin’ still

    Every nerve in my body is so naked and
    dumb

    Not dark yet

    Went into the land of the midnight sun

    Searchin high, searchin low

    Searchin everywhere I know

    Chilly wind sharp as a razor blade

    So many roads, so much at stake

    So many dead ends, I’m at the edge of
    the lake

    Sometimes I wonder what it’s gonna take

    To find dignity

    Dignity

    It’s getting dark too dark to see

    Hello darkness my old friend

    Darkness at the break of noon

    How does it feel

    How does it feel

    To be on your own

    With no direction home

    Like a complete unknown

    Like a rolling stone

    Like a rolling stone

    Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
    Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
    I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
    I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways
    I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
    I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
    I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
    And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
    And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

    ”Twas in another lifetime

    One of toil and blood

    When blackness was a virtue

    The road was full of mud

    I came in from the wilderness

    A creature void of form

    Come in she said I’ll give ya

    Shelter from the storm

    Shelter from the storm

    Midnight awaits the 24 Hour rogainer

    The bridge at midnight trembles

    The wind howls like a hammer

    The night blows cold and rainy

    Love minus zero, no limit

    I’m searching for phrases

    To sing your praises

    I need to tell someone

    It’s soon after midnight

    And my day has just begun

    Bob Dylan

    Nobel prize for literature

    Bob Dylan receiving his Nobel Award for Literature

    My Wrap of the 2019 Paddlegaine and being on the right side of the Ledger

    I was really looking forward to the Paddlegaine and I am very happy I competed and I will remember the event for the rest of my life.

    I am a semi regular kayaker and have access to a number of different kayaks. Unfortunately, none of the kayaks are racing kayaks, but I had a choice of:

    • 4m flat water fibreglass sit-in (I have two of these)
    • 5.1m sea capable fibreglass touring kayak sit-in
    • 2.5m plastic kayak sit-on

    The immediate temptation was to go for the longest kayak available since speed on the water, all other things being equal, is a product of water line length. We had already been told that there would be some controls that require you to get out of the kayak and there is nothing quick or easy about getting out of a sit in kayak. Also, the longer the kayak the less capable they will be in tight manoeuvres. In the end I decided to go for the 4m flat water fibreglass sit-in since this should have yielded the best combination of water line speed versus manoeuvrability. The other consideration was that I had bought it 2nd hand for $80 so I was no too worried if it got banged about jumping in and out.

    As it turned out this was probably the wrong choice. The wind and waves were quite strong at several stages of the event and it was a real fight to keep the rudderless flat water kayak above the water and on course against a maelstrom of wind, chop and tide. Having looked at my GPS track I was quite pleased with how straight my lines were given this challenge.

    Me in my chosen kayak for the event. On this occasion I had my own navigator on board.

    My other pre-event consideration was do I lend my spare kayak to my usual team mate Julian Ledger. Julian is only 2 points behind me in the 2019 Series Point Score I would never forgive myself if he beat me in the series point score using my own kayak (we are teaming up for the Socialgaine). In any case, in a moment of weakness or insanity, I decided to loan Julian my 2nd, 4m flat water kayak for the event. The race was on.

    When I arrived at the event the first thing to notice was the range of kayaks on offer. I was looking very jealously at some of the sit on and sit in racing kayaks knowing that my only chance of beating them would be if some very tight turning was required. I also looked across to the hire kayaks which were very functional and practical but short plastic kayaks and slow and there was no way that I should be beaten by one of these.

    Another consideration was the promenade rogaine. I had assumed that this would be a 5-10 minute frolic along some grassy foreshores. Instead it turned out to be, for me anyway, over an hour of slogging it out through bush and hills. In fact having picked up my map the promenade rogaine looked very like a Sydney Summer Series orienteering event.

    The event started and Julian I had both decided to avoid any possible traffic at the early controls and go straight across the bay to do the promenade rogaine. Paddling across the bay was quite slow and difficult in the wind, chop and tide. I arrived at the other side about 10 seconds ahead of Julian and took off for my promenade rogaine. I went anti-clockwise around the course while Julian went clockwise so my next indication about how I was travelling was going to be at the half-way point of the run. On the way I missed control number 12. I saw a sign but no control and I was not going to waste time over a 10 pointer. As it turned out the control was just a little bit further up the hill. I also made a really stupid mistake leaving control 73. I went up the hill to the north and got to the top before I realised I should have been heading west (Doh). Julian and I passed each other at control 10, which I figured was pretty much half way, but I knew that Julian would not miss control 12 so even if we arrived back at the kayaks at the same time he would be 10 points ahead of me. My next indication of progress was going to be when I got back to my kayak. Would Julian’s kayak still be there?

    When I eventually got back to my kayak I was a bit panicked to find that Julian’s kayak was no longer there. As I grabbed my kayak and headed back to the water I quickly scanned the horizon and I could not see him. Bugger! He was now at least 10 points and several minutes ahead of me. I jumped in my kayak and started paddling furiously towards control 101. By the time I was about 1/3 of the way there I realised I could see Julian’s (my) kayak in the distance and I figured that he was now 10 points and possibly 4-6 minutes ahead of me.

    There is nothing quite as motivating as trying to beat a good mate, so I paddled as hard as I could and I realised that I was slowly gaining on Julian. To be fair I have done much more kayaking than Julian in recent years and I had gone to the effort to have a few training runs before the event. By the time we got to 101 Julian was only 76 seconds ahead of me. I passed Julian on the traverse from 101 to 62 and that was the last time I saw him for an hour. It is very hard to look directly behind you on a kayak without dropping pace so I just focussed on doing my own thing and paddling as fast as I could.

    After 62, I went and did 20, 64 and 22. I then decided to do 36 and 90. Pre-event I had decided that the out and back from 36 to 90 was not going to be worthwhile, but having experienced the swell, chop and wind in the middle of the bay, I realised that this would be quick, flat water kayaking which was ideally suited to me and my kayak. As it turned out this leg was probably the difference between Julian’s and my course. Julian picked up 61 but in a similar time I had picked up 36 and 90.

    After 90 and 36 I went to 74, 28 and 52. At 52 I had a very difficult decision to make. I had 28 minutes left and I felt like I could get to the hash house in that time, but did I have time to get 41, 27 or 40 on the way back? Having been late back on a number of rogaines I know it is not much fun, so I headed straight back to the hash house. By this stage I could see Julian and he could see me and I was confident that if I turned for the hash house he would do so as well.

    As it turned out the run back to the hash house was much quicker then expected and I arrived there 15 minutes early, kicking myself that I had made a bad decision and forgone at least 40 points.

    After the event finished and the points were tallied I found my self 50 points ahead of my friend and rival Julian and I finished a creditable 17th place out of the 58 competitors in the singles event.

    The other thing to note about the Paddlegaine is that the basemap was credited to Russell Rigby who passed away recently. Russell was a fine map maker and orienteer and was of great assistance to me when I was trying to configure RouteGadget. Russell’s widow, Carolyn, was at the event helping out on the weekend. Thanks Russell and condolences to Carolyn from the Rogaining community.

    Many thanks to Geoff and Margaret Peel for putting on a great event. The event was very well organised and the course well set. There were lots of volunteers on hand for every task and I had a great time. I feel a bit sorry for everyone who did not come along as they missed out on a really memorable occasion.