Tuesday, July 28, 2009


To keep faith with the many millions of summer series fans - desperate for the '09/10 programme to commence - I thought a sneak preview might help.

Firstly, many will understand that the World Masters Games are on in Sydney just after our opener on October 7. This has led the Summer Series commissars to bring event two forward (to Monday 12/10, to avoid the WMG orienteering event at Lithgow on Wednesday 14) and offer a double whammy of Sydney Harbour delights to open the programme. With over 1,000 orienteers from overseas in town, we hope these two showcase events (at Balls Head/McMahons Point, and Luna Park Kirribill)i will not only get us underway in spectacular style, but offer our guests a fantastic introduction to Sydney and its sensational harbour. Cunning running in sight of the Opera House! Sounds good to me.

Top quality setters are on board - and already planning their courses. Should be a top start to our season.

Secondly, the restive SSS throng is always on the sniff for a touch of the old and the new.

In the 'bringing out of retirement stakes', runners will enjoy a revival of Pembroke Park at Eastwood (event 3), with Michael Halmy 'NRMA' preparing suprises for the unwary in Terrys Creek. Pulling on the scout uniform at Beecroft also is something to look forward to (event 15), and Larry 'The Possum' Weiss promises February fun in the mangroves at Boronia.

In the 'new' department, we have several augmentations (Georges Heights gun emplacements, Manly Dam bush and sandstone cliffs) as well as new map of Drummoyne and Manly. We are also hopeful of a return to Macquarie and better digs for the finals. Many other old favourites are back for more action, with start point and setter variation adding to the fun. For instance, Ian and Ted's North Parramatta is kicking off up at the lake - giving a completely different 'take' on the area.

So, as you can see, things are coming together nicely, and we should have a programme up on the site by mid August. It's going to be another cracker with top quality course setters sharpening their pencils in a drool of planning excitement. Emails from 'first timers' have already been hitting Pork Pie's inbox. Whoo Hoo.

Meanwhile, 45 minute addicts will have enjoyed the Moonlight Madness event at Epping, and be looking forward to next weeks newie at Manly. Don't miss the chance to go potty by torchlight at this one , and at Dan 'Platform Three' Redfern's outing at Glebe in September. And of course, the bush O. Plenty going on, so check out the OANSW site for event details.

Two months to go. And it's getting lighter.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Moonlight at Whale Rock

A good showing of Sydney Summer Series competitors fronted for the first 'Moonlight Madness' run last night at North Epping. Early runners got to actually see the moon, something of a rarity for the headlamp crowd recently. Late starters missed the silver orb and copped a bucketing for their troubles. Fun, fun.

Dave Stitt was in charge of proceedings and had deployed his pots in two distinctive areas - the bush and the streets. The bush track loop had 200 points on offer with the downhill/uphill penalty and the thrill of lonely track running in the dark. Many opted for the plunge. Others, with white legs trembling, opted for the street and bush edge groupings that promised a good 300 plus points and no spiders or Loch Ness monsters. All controls were well located and easily picked up in the lamp beams, with not too many puzzles in joining up a loop. There was plenty of takers for the #23,9,22,17 start, and a perfect maths lesson for the bush brigade who began their night with 1,2,3 (I always thought there was something of the teacher in Dave).

No real 'lonely pots', with most runners getting further than they initially thought. Might have been to do with Dave's cunning 1:8,000 map scale. #21 required concentration, but all else pretty smooth going. Funny to feel the temperature drop when going from bush tracks or roads to running across open grass parks- a feature of the moonlight runs.

I didn't take any race times, although a few should have scooped the pool, or been only a little over.

The next 'moonlight' event is on Wednesday 5th August at Fairlight and should be a bit of fun. This is a new area that we will again feature in the 09/10 summer series programme. Treat this as a preview outing, although you don't have to pack your cossie and block out. Don't miss it (details from OANSW and the Garingal web site (www.garingal.com.au).

Bush orienteering continues apace with the new Sydney Series attracting plenty of attention. The 09/10 Sydney Summer Series programme is nearly complete and will feature a couple of new areas, revived areas and old favourites with different starts to add interest. If your after harbourside, look no further than our opening double whammy at Kirribilli/McMahons. If your after bush, Terry Bluett promises more of the Manly Dam map bush to play in. If its apres O pubs, watch this space, and the temptation to label the upcoming series "The Pub Tour" (Pork Pie off on a tangent again!).

More soon.

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