Thursday, March 19, 2009

On the gallop at James Ruse

A beautiful evening, a great new map and an excellent perfectly set course made round 24 a bottler last night at North Parramatta. Chief WHO man last night, Ian Miller scored on both map and course, providing plenty of fun for the summer series sailors - desperate to notch a few final points on the tote.

After last weeks record 'late-back' tally, James Ruse's Driveway was almost the opposite, with many runners back early. The more gentle contours were a contributing factor, with plenty of good points in close - a contrast to Ron's Cemetery, which everyone wanted to check out, only to realise the late flog back from it could be costly.

Ian set up some intriguing puzzles that had the string and loop brigade scratching their noggins to get an optimal outcome. The big scorers needed to go west, with a northern and middle circle on offer before the multi cemetery return had the team in overdrive. Glenn painted a Pollock-like route, dropping via 4 and 3, before working north again via 19, 7 etc and then the big circle west returning along the bottom and east. Weird to be homeward bound at #26, so close to the early #3 pot - but then, The Glennster likes a swervy course. Another inner loop that worked was #14, 13, 27, 7, 9, 15, 24 and then the west. Generally, you had to do something in the centre to get a bag full. Great fun, and excellent course setting.

An amusing moment last night. Michael Free encountered a man lying down at checkpoint #10, using the pot as a pillow!! - and had to be politely asked to move so 'The Furniture' could record the code. Beautiful stuff. Also of note, was setter Ian's birthday last night (along with fellow club member Janet Morris). Good to see the champers getting a work over.

And now to some of the scoring. Top score looked to be recorded by Rob 'Berry Under Arms' Mason with 570 points. Rob has reappeared recently and is in top form - good to see this prior SSS star back on the nibble. Kar-Soon carded 530 and Richard Green would have been up there (not sure of the G man's score). Glenn ran the lot in 48.09 for 560, the nine seconds a cruel end to his great run, although he was well clear of other masters men rivals (Tim Petterson with 460 and Michael Free with 500). Pete Annetts has been in trouble with the handicapper, and only managed 400 last night. The stewards will be taking a swab me thinks!

In the Open Women, Lisa Grant 'Nest' pulled 460, while 'Masters' Sue 'Chainsaw' Login and Allison Lilley 'Pond' both grabbed 480 - a sensational run from both these great mares. In the juniors Ben 'The Tummy' was in early for an excellent 490, with Huon back in the gloom (but score not recorded). A great battle going on here. Vet Robin Cameron wrote 440 on the board, with Super Vet Dale taking care of 400 big ones - both excellent runs. Carol J didn't appear to be trackside, although Sue 'Cate Blanchett' Thomson was noted with 300, a touch behind Helen Murphy's 310.

In the Super Vet Men, Warwick had too much once again and sprinted in for an outstanding 490, ahead of rival Steve Flick's 460 and Ian 'Car Boot Sale' Camerons 470. Gordy and yours truly were more subdued with 430/420, but enjoyed the fun just the same (and the James Squire at the West Ryde later on!). In the Veterans, Michael Burton pencilled a stunning 540 after running all but #3 and #4 and pulling in two minutes down on the advertised. Another speedy performance by Michael, and probably his last this series - although we may see him at the Woolwich Pier post prese in two weeks to collect another one!

The old dudes continued to intrigue, with Ron 'The Pumpkin' and Ken Jacobson scratching 380 each to shade Ted's 370. Mal couldn't repeat his blitz from last week, carding an honest 360. Tim Cox didn't appear to be there, and may have to surrender to Mal now.

All in all, a great night. Plenty of grassy bits, not too steep, and beautiful and puzzling course setting. Thanks Ian.

Next week we go north again for our second to last outing. The Killarney Heights map has more bush and more contours, so expect some puff of the non Cuban variety here. A great area though, as all that fronted last year for it's revival will testify. Peter Thomason has his hand on the throttle here and won't disappoint. Make it a date punters, there are only two to go!

Lastly, many will have grabbed the long overdue issue #2 of Pork Pies Form Guide - a four pager to make up for lost time. I'll get it posted to the site and bring more hard copies next week for those that would like a read - and like the challenge of working Porkies obscure nick names! Enjoy.

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