Monday, March 31, 2008

Sob!!, another series is over.

Pork Pie is barely consolable, but wait, there's more! Yes, the addicts don't have to hang up the pencil just yet with the Autumn Evenings kicking off on Wednesday - still in the daylight to boot. So, more fun to come.

Back to our final. Peter Annetts had the reins at Woolwich on a beautiful Sydney evening, and a rather glorious and spectacular start/finish setting opposite the pub. The course looked daunting at first glance, with a good spread east and west, and a delicious tempter south in #24. Because of extensive landscape works, much of Clark's Point Park was fenced off, although Peter managed a loop around the old dock and the rather extravagantly luxurious four master (fascinating stuff) to take in a couple of thirty pointers in the bits remaining open.

Many of the 220 or so competitors (a great roll up, I think our biggest final ever) worked east first, despite the long return run for little change. Beginning to 30 and the aforesaid loop also had it's fans. Probably the hard ones were in the west, with #6 being our lonely pot candidate. It is an area with lots of dropping and re-climbing, so the puff meter was well and truly in evidence. The little known bush tracks to #23 had a few fooled, although the low route from #13 to 23 made sense if you had confidence. There were some great pot sites (20, 30, 21, 13, 24 etc) and the running was excellent here. A great venue, topped off with quite a bit of 'Pie Special' traffic to the pub after the presentation.

Big thanks to everyone for staying back to reward our stars, I think everyone appreciated the applause of their peers (and the enjoyable sight of late starter and chief results guru Dave McKenna, streaking home in front of the crowd! The final results should be up today, recording a couple of great last event contests (how about Tim Cox winning on the night, and jumping Malcolm Gledhill for third in the Legends, after Heiko forgot to write down 50 points!).

It has been a great year in so many ways. Michael Free a deserved winner of the overall points trophy, Michael Burton not missing a ton, the regular Wednesday threatening weather, Three new maps including the urban fun of Glebe, Pork Pie managing three scandalous issues! Ah, all part of the fun of the Sydney Summer Series.

We will return with a 25 event programme in early October, and should have details posted to the site by August. Meanwhile, enjoy the Autumn Evening programme, and the full calendar of bush orienteering events to come. I will probably publish reviews of the AE events, although there is no point score recording. Wednesday's opener should be a spectacular run, much like the fun of Ronnie's SSS event #1, with course setter Rod Eckles intent on showing off the city views as runners re engage the headlight on the Luna Park boardwalk. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Great orienteering over Easter in Dubbo has kept correspondent 'Pork Pie' away from the Summer Series news desk, BUT, he's back!! - and eager to report on a top race last week, and our upcoming finale tomorrow at Woolwich. Read on.

Big Foot's Sue Davis was our course setter last week, and engineered an excellent outing - probably the best setting on this map. It looked like a 'clean sweep' spread that Andrew Hill might just have got in time, and probably confirmed by Glenn doing the thirty with only a two minute penalty (for an impressive 580). Other good scores were, Rob Mason on 570, Michael Burton with 550 and a great trio of fives in Masters Men - Peter A 530, a half head in front of Tim P (520), in turn just edging out Michael 'Frank Sinatra' Free with 500. Also of note was the great score from Jessica in Junior Women (440), and spanking 460 from Paula Shingler - back racing in Veteran Women in fine style. Scores in general were a touch up on the norm - good stuff.

Checkpoints 25 and 28 invoked lots of pondering, with many being tempted to begin there, and perhaps regretting the decision with the steep climb back up from 28. Others went southeast via 3,7,11 and 23 before a sweep to 13 that included the very picturesque #30. Many old hands avoided 8 and 26 for the same reason as 28 got the flick, instead heading for the bush and trying to work the western points. Eighteen was hard to include in the creek dash, although a bit of 'out and back' work was noticed. A loop 21, 15, 29, 20, 27 to 18 and then a touch of the swampy feet was a goer, going home the way many began, and a more sure right of way back to the road (which a few runners only saw as private property).

Good course, good running and good fun in this excellent location. We will keep it on the list for next season, perhaps starting at the end of Tambourine Bay Road.

Tomorrow brings the 07/08 season to a conclusion at Woolwich, starting in the small park opposite the pub. Peter Annetts has an excellent outing on the boil, with a stretch both east and west for the runners, and a little more fun on the south side than we have seen before. Sadly, much of Clark's Point Reserve is blocked off with landscaping works, reducing this nice bit and it's harbour views. A pity, and something we didn't foresee at programme commencement. Be good next time though. Our last event should still be a classic and a great way to finish - and there are still a couple of close contests that will not be finalised till tomorrow - Karin and Robin in Veteran Women are only separated by 4 points. What a final!

A room in the pub has been booked for the presentations, and everyone is urged to stay around to acknowledge our champions - and maybe have dinner (the pie and mash is always great). The sunny badges and various chocolate temptations will once again be a part of the fun, and extra copies of the final 'Pork Pie' Form Guide will also be available for those that missed one at the Butcher (how could you!).

And without missing a beat, we slide into the Autumn Evenings. The first one WILL be open earlier than advertised - expect around the 4.45/5pm mark for those that don't want to 'do it in the dark'. Lavender Bay with it's magnificent harbour backdrop, will provide an excellent opener. Be there!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pottery Green, what a ripper!

A beautiful evening, a very well set course and the threats of baseball bat beatings gave event 22 competitors something to remember. Michael Halmy has been mooning over the PG map since his last outing (event #20 in the 06/07 year) and moved his chess men a bit here and a bit there to create probably the best outing at this popular venue. Unfortunately, the neighbour at #19 didn't share our interest in cunning running, threatening many runners. The small 'reserve' at this location is apparently private property although it is completely fenced open to the street and not to the houses adjacent. But, as we have no interest in running over private property, we will remap this nodule and keep well away from him in future. Runners from last season may remember the same man disputing a marker nearby on a public fence. Weird stuff in Sydney town.

We also had trouble at #21 with a gaggle of young blokes bestride the control seat knocking off, first the pot, and then seeing many runners checking out the tape, that too! Still, this has been one of the few 'missing' this season, for which we remain grateful.

Anyway, back to the fun last Wednesday. It looks like we had around 220 odd entries - certainly the place was abuzz. The stand out run on the night was Richard Green 'Green Grass of Home' with a blistering 570. Given he was not an early runner (helps in seeing the Gore Cove bush checkpoints), and the puzzling in/out, up/down running required to master Michael's course (not to mention the posse at #19), this was a top result. One out and one back was Mr 'Clear the All' Glenn Horrocks with 540. Not sure how Glenn made #7 to #27/10 work, but one runner (Alan Garde) reported battling the worlds spider population in this area. Fun eh! Alan was also in the front line with the #19 'confrontasi'.

Other notable scoring was Tracy and Gill dead heating on an impressive 490 (same as GW the train station), and Heiko and Tearaway Ted cuddling on 380 together. Great running from the old goats. Kar-Soon and Michael F sharp major both ran over 500 in the dash of the damp T shirt tango.

Looking at the map, I'm tempted to award the 'lonely pot' award to #2, although #9 might not have had too many aboard - especially when you realise it was down in a dip. Lots of good loops on the night with a touch of highway 'air' to #28/19 before the plunge down to the bush and home via 12/21 and 11. The stronger runners managed to pocket #30 and 29. Lots of different directions, and as we say, always the sign of a good course.

This Wednesday we return to the end of Longueville Road to the Butchers Block map. More excellent Sydney Harbour views are in store with some impressive real estate to charge past. The mangroves and bush track sections are also great fun and add to this unique venue. Bush running with foreshore 'stuff' in abundance. Our second to last for the daylight ones, so hitch on the waterbottle and be there. It will be another beauty.

Finally, a reminder that we have hired a room in the pub for the final event presentations on the 26th. Why not plan to stay on and dine at the 'Pier' after your run and celebrate our stars. It's an excellent venue with the Pie Special highly recommended. Following this, we drag out the headlamps for another round of Autumn Evenings. Five events kicking off (actually still before DS ends, and maybe with early starts) at Lavender Bay. More SSS style action for those that have not experienced a Wednesday home early since September 2007! Go the tragics!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Where is the news man?? Your trusty SSS correspondent has changed working hours and is now more likely to get the event review/preview's up on Monday rather than Thursdays. More in line with the results posting makes sense (as long as I can remember what happened!).

Last weeks race at East Killara saw the crowd take to an entirely new area. Alan Tilley and Tearaway Ted had pulled this one on, and interestingly, had mapped each house! In addition to this, another new feature confronted competitors - the 'forbidden route'! Very cool stuff, although I'm not sure why anyone would have tried #21 to #7 when the main ridge was streamered.

This interesting addition to SSS map stocks offered a bit more Sydney sandstone and bush track work than we have had lately - something appreciated by 'Mr Orienteering' Dave Lotty who took off for the tracks without a moments planning hesitation. Most other runners had to play a little on the old bush track flute, after getting an exit/entry proposal worked out. A goodly bunch took off via #9, #24 and the eastern track - their challenge being how to loop in 19, 27 and 22 on their way west to Koola Park. I presume #1 didn't make many friends on the night. The other group took off via a rather obscure #30 and looped around #25, #13 to Koola and the bush descent. The track route 28,15 and 29 probably better than the mad bugger who climbed back from 28 to get #6! Most agreed, it was good to be doing a bit of bush track running.

Some good scores from the evening, including an excellent 400 from Junior Jessica Campbell. The big boys managed 510 (Mark 'Close' Schaefer) and 500 (Michael Free), with other top scoring in the high fours (Mike 'Rophone' Burton 480, and the great open women battle - Joe 'Lake' Sinclair with 470 a shade in front of Gill Fowler's 460). Jim 'Beam' Merchant pulled on the turbo charger with an excellent run (410) to equal our leading super veteran hero Waz Selby's score. We know Warwick likes the bush and are now conspiring to have more gum tree treats just for him!

This Wednesday sees us return to another favourite, Pottery Green at Lane Cove. Michael Halmy is our pot man at this popular venue and will no doubt give us a puzzling dose of real estate running and golf action, with the excellent bush glade a delight to be savoured. Note that parking here is often difficult, so try both Phoenix and Little Streets and their babies. Don't miss it as we fly towards the finals - and the exciting evening series in April for those that just can't say no.

Previous News