Monday, November 30, 2009

Pork Pie eats Humble Pie!

Just goes to show, it's never over till it's over. Last weeks great outing at Pottery Green not only produced our best crowd to date, it also caught out the old Porkster with the his 'early' race reporting. It seems the beautiful headline, 'Green goes Gold at the Green', was trumped late in the piece (when the old fella had gone home for a nap) by outstanding runs from two new stallions. Steve 'The Hangman' Ryan and Tim 'Make Mine a Murphys' McInerry both carded an incredible 510 points each - rewriting the leader board and sending the Clark of the Course off for a scotch. Great running from Steve and Tim to pinch 20 points from King Dick - let's hope we see them out of the barrier again this week at Longueville. Fireworks coming up!

I think I also left before Ron 'The Fried Egg' Junghans had finished in the Legends department. Heiko had the lollies on the board early, and maintained them - 350 to RJ's 330. A good win to the Shaver.

That's it for now. The old Pie Face is oiling the Holdens diff and will be course-side Wednesday. Should be a cracker.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Green cleans up at The Pottery

A beautiful Sydney evening, a puzzling, tough course and the worst parking of any SSS venue, all combined to deliver our biggest roll up this season so far! With around 225 ponies on the flog at this popular venue, Pork Pie was a happy camper counting the resultant lolly on his banana lounge. With Gordon 'Tit' Wilson creating what must rank as the most puzzling outing in many a moon, runners struggled to find a rewarding loop, working the string - and then the rosary beads in a quest for salvation. Although low point totals were the go for most (with no one over 500), Richard 'Broom' Green swept the field in another outstanding run. His 490 was all class last night in a tight competition at the top of the board.

On first sight, Gordy's course looked troubling, with a big stretch to the east (#30) and a maddening grouping of 'close in' points near the Green. Trying to get out of the Pottery into loop mode proved an exhausting challenge. Getting up to the highway meant working in #23 somehow. And then the middle 'golf option' needed adding. Up and then down again seemed to be the go. Then there was the west. The 50 points through the shops were almost a must do, although not everyone realised that the walls along Epping Road (#5,9) needed rapelling skills to negotiate. Still these pots helped begin a western loop if you could work in a way to secure 15 and 17. Much head scratching all round seemed to be the goss, with many runners planning something, and the changing their minds in the start queue!

Particular pots that required determination were 16 (a down and up flog), 27 (the same, with cliffs and dark green preventing a nice link to 28 - thanks Gord!) 30 and #1. The 'draw' factor from #7 up the brown lines to #1 and then on-loop to the 30 points at #30 before a long return bash, was expertly constructed, although few took the bait. Dave Bray's 7, 29, 26, 27, 6, 28 and then west was a neat take on the temptations in this part of the map.

Most runners seemed to like the 3, 20 beginning - coming home up the middle, and back past 3! One runner worked 3, 23, 17, 15 2, and the western loop before a few golf lessons and a Pacific Highway return. Not a bad way to fill in a Wednesday evening it seemed. There were a myriad other tales as maps were poured over - and as the apres-O beer was poured! Another great evening at The Pottery goes down in history.

Let's look at the scoring. With Richard across the line with 490, the members stand has the pencil chewed down fingering those who followed. One out, one back we see Mounty, in his opening run in the series, posting 480 points. Mounty has been distracted with 'adventure sport' racing, but will rattle the barrier here if he's in town for more SSS action. James 'The Red Engine' McQuillan also carded 480 in one of his best results so far. Outstanding stuff from these hot stallions.

On 470 points was Glenn 'The Glove' Horrocks. A fantastic result given 'The Cannister' sweeps the lot every week - and this would have seen lots of 'out and back' work. Behind Glenn, Callum 'Don't Hesitate' Thomson and Michael ' Hold On, I'm Coming' Free posted 460 - as did our winning woman, Mary 'It was Nothing' Fein. A fantastic run from Mary. Kar-Soon played 450 ahead of a great run by Mel Cox 'S Orange' (430), Lisa Grant (420), Rachael Best 'Buys' (410) and Pete 'Rotating Paddocks' Fallows (also 410). To get over 400 was a score - man, what a score. The old Pie Face is sweaty with admiration.

Gil kept the OW comp in gear with 390, as did local Ian 'Nose & Throat' McKenzie (no doubt working the back gate route!) Eoin Rothery, in his third series show, carded the same in another top run. Others of note were Carolyn 'T Remover' Haupt (370), veteran Karin Hefftner's 360 shading Robin 'The Bank' Cameron's 320, Vicki Stitt cruising for 340 just behind fellow open runner Amy 'Mr' Bennett (360). In the senior stakes, Sue Thomson posted 270, well ahead of still recovering Dale 'It's Not' Thompson's 230. Also great to see Anne Stewart boosting the Legends with a tidy 200 points, a tad behind Legends leader Janet Morris 'Minor' (220). Hieko worked the singlet for 350, ahead of Lloyd 'George' (310) in the LM race - although Ronny was a late finisher and may have crashed through. Mal was not 'on song' last night apparently, and Kenny 'The Portable' Jacobson was caught on the rails for his 310. The SVM fell in behind Graeme and Warwick (400 perhaps) once again, with Gordon taking the setters 100 to keep up his average.

Again, lots of new faces, including James Landon Smith, running in the Commonwealth Bank colours, and a tidy first up total of 310. Also good to see the number of younger runners, and groups out last night - often with mum going the wrong way, only to be corrected by the youngies. Excellent stuff!

Next week sees us again close to The Longueville pub - with another harbourside outing just down the road at Butchers Block Point. Wendy 'Top Gear' Stevenson will be on the other side of the table this time and no doubt will be using her skills to engineer a great outing at the Block. This map has some great harbour parks and views, and also yummy and tempting creek tracks and mangrove fun. It's an area not many have visited, making it all the more exciting for new series runners. Join us as we give Windy Wendy's course a right flogging - before an exhausted repair to 'The Longueville' once again. Top venue, top running - another Wednesday to savour. Be there!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Flying at Federation!

A cool evening, a user friendly course, and one of our favourite venues, saw the field fire up as runners filled their shopping baskets with points last night. Course setter Dave McKenna, gave us a nice outing on the two halves with the stretch on the west being nicely contrasted with the puzzling loop work to the east side. The event saw the early return from injury (much to the disappointment of his rivals!) of series star, Glenn 'The Fall of the House of Usher' Horrocks, who had the hooves flying for a full compliment in a tidy 41 minutes. The 'G' was not alone in the 600 club though, with Richard 'The Kangaroo' Green home in 42 and stargazer Michael Burton 'With The Show' a minute back in another tidy display from the Coogee veteran.

Numbers seemed to be in the 170/80 area - a little below expectations perhaps, given the nice weather - but with many new faces fronting once again, including some of the no shows mentioned in Porky's initial Form Guide. Good to see both Bryony Cox (in the dark green hoops, and at full gallop again) and Angela 'The Pedal' back on the paddock. Also noted were Mike 'Tyson' Weller in a bit of relaxed pencil work, and long time WHO pony, Owen 'It Won't Hurt a Bit' Sharpe, getting back to some map fun after not being sighted for many seasons. Great to see both in action again.

Looking at the course now in more detail. With 430 points around Callan Park, everyone had to put away the Federation Houses Guide Book in an initial wrestle with the eastern pots. Dave created an excellent array in the middle of this part of the map, with many variations being noted as patrons collected the 150 points here. Most seemed to opt for the 'water route' on the outward journey, bagging #22 and 14 on the sweep from 28 through to 23. The northern pots then fell in line astern before a bit more fun south from 29 to 11. Of the 'uphill first' brigade (of which The Pork was one), many ran 16, 11, 22, 4, 5, 25, 1, 14, 13, and on to 25. There were variations however, as some connected 22 and 14 to their return leg. The Pie Face lost time with an absurd 22-14-13-1-4-5-25 excursion, contouring the course like a small rack railway steam engine, and no doubt a factor in giving Gordon 'The Blue Engine' Wilson his excellent 510 point rails run.

The speedsters all had to do more than Callan of course (especially after the 'Ghost', Dave Lotty, was home early with the loud announcement that you needed 500!). Crikey thought the yet to start nags that had pencilled in a rough 450! So off west they went, with #26 an obvious bag of feed to try. A nice loop was the 7-17 and home via 24, and many loosed rein to do just that. 30, 20 and 10 seemed a long way down for the older stallions and mares, with #20 possibly being last nights 'lonely pot'. Number 19 might have needed a hot cocoa as well, but probably got a cuddle from Michael 'The Fur Coat' Free in going 26-19-7 etc.

As anyone who ran on the World Masters warm up event here on the 1:5000 scale map will agree, it is just great fun to be in orienteering 'Sprint O' mode around the buildings and gardens of the Callan Park area - and so much more tricky at 1:10,000. Quick decisions and small boo-boos in this area can quickly change placings. For instance, the small alley way through the buildings between 11 and 22 shaved the seconds from the more obvious 'around the road' route. Excellent stuff indeed.

Looking at the leading scores, nobody seemed to card a 590, but we had a dollop of likely lads on 580. Mike Free, Mark Schaefer, Pete Annetts and young Mr Doule all were attracted to the 58 class goods engine. Peter 'The Undertaker' Fallows and Neil 'Pitch' Lefevre both pulled an excellent 570 as did our female star last night, Lisa '1500' Grant. Eoin Rothery was a neck away with 560 (great to have Eoin over from 'LOST' in WA and enjoying the Sydney fun), a blinker clear of Jo 'It's Not A' Sinclair's 550. Graeme 'Look At' McLeod and 'Tiny' Tim Austin also carded this impressive total, ahead of Peter 'In' Hibberd's 540 and Sue 'Hairnet' Login's tidy 530.

Mel Cox was in running mode for his 490, cuddling up to Steve Flick and Davy 'The Vacant' Lot on the same total. Larry and Rosscoe pinched a bit to go one better on 500, as did the 'Sellby' - no doubt still feeling his Sunday six hour rogaine. Another notable in this area, was the first run this preparation from Alison 'Don't Be' Curtin a place getter last series, and great to see her back on the nibble (I have your badge Alison!!). Clare 'The Carrot' Murphy played with 460, a shade behind Vicki 'Ointment' Stitt (470) and Junior star Michele 'From The Flight Deck' Dawson in an impressive flog for 480.

In the Legends, Mal Gledhill didn't need a climbing rope for 430 points - Ronny running later for something hopefully in the high fours. Bev placed 200 in the WL intray and may have collected a ton as Janet was not sighted. Also didn't see Carol Jacobson in SVW, so Sue 'In The Key of G' Thomson's 310 might go gold. As always, there were many other excellent scores and contests within contests. All will be revealed when results are posted.

I managed to get the first issue of the Form Guide out last night, and many will have collected their copy. We will post it to the web site shortly, so all can enjoy the increasingly eccentric race calling. Apart from the fun side, take note of the 'fair play' comments in helping us in continuing to conduct a great and fair-for-all series with no 'neighbour' problems.

Next week sees us back on the north shore at Pottery Green. This has often been a record attendance venue and always provides a good stretch. Gordy is on the pots and will create something big, maybe very big! Coffee at St Leonards Gord? As well as the intricate street work, the 'Pottery' features a golf course, with many routes needing the putter working to card a good total. Enjoy the fun on the course as we pull out the wood in returning to Lane Cove, and the promise of a tidy Stella and dinner at the Longueville Hotel afterwards. Summer Series nirvana, with the assembly area and watering hole a mere toddle apart. See you there!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Anything but 'Weary' at Meadowbank

Course setter, Steve Dunlop, had the nags at full throttle last night as the Summer Series herd grappled with yet another excellent Meadowbank extravaganza. Despite numerous outings on this track, this is a difficult one to pocket and a good spread of pots here instills fear in the best prepared stallions - and so it proved again with only three guns cracking over 500 points on this tester.

Steve has graduated to 'Master Potsman' in presenting his puzzling array. The initial lick drew one east where 22, 2, 23, 13 and 24 made for a nice beginning, then up to 25 before thinking 'train time'. The cunningly sited 22 sucked them up the ramp on the way out (again!!), and #12 had a few ponies under the bridge staring upwards on the way back, although old hands knew the ropes here. Also bringing a smirk to the dial was #26 - initially looking west of the railway, and then revealing itself to be a classic out-and-back on the east side. Once back over the line (who was the runner seen waiting for the lift??!!), most opted for a flog to #27 and points west (#7 didn't cut the mustard for the loopy brigade here). The western half is where 'Weary' delivered his tricks. How to work in the 15, 30, 16, 19 spine with the outer basket of 10, 28 17 etc. There was also the 'marine' tempters in 9 and 29 that managed to stretch a few quads in the burst home - with mangrove essence tweeking the nostrils.

All in all, lots of options on the western sector (compared to a more regular loop in the east) that needed accurate timing to benefit from. And slightly odd that scores weren't higher. The spread looked very reasonable for the Flash Harry's, but results said otherwise. Maybe the stretch to #10 and 28 was the killer, or maybe the wester duo of 29 and 9. Looking for a lonely pot reveals a couple of possibles. I'd punt #3, although 4 and the aforementioned #10 probably had to wait for the last dance to find a partner.

Anyway, it was a great night, beautiful running weather (especially late when The Pork turned up) and pulled in our biggest crowd to date. It looks like 210 or so laced up the Nikes with, again, many new faces presenting at the barrier - and a few stalwarts out on the paddock in a welcome return to the series (Andrew and Debbie especially welcome back). Turning to the leader board, we see Richard 'left' Green on top with a fantastic 540 points, a length clear of James 'The Inkpot' McQuillan on 520, and Michael 'Life's a' Burton with 510 (Both Richard and James are in great form and are being heavily backed by the members wives). Then followed a veritable bevvy of silks, all clutching 480 points as they chased the bunny. Stallions Mark 'Ing Pen' Schaefer, Luke 'A Boy Named' Su, Adrian White 'Paint', Kar Soon, 'It's A' Shane, Anthony P, Malcolm 'X' and Steve 'Don't' Ryan 'It On' thought they had the 480 fun all to themselves, but Windy Wendy crashed the party taking home the same prize money in another speedy display for the veteran.

Also noted by sweaty correspondent 'Pork Pie' were great runs by Larry 'Adler' Weiss and fellow GO-er Peter Annetts with 470. On the rails a neck away was Tracy Marsh with a tidy 460 ahead of Jo 'Sin' Sinclair, carding 450, and Mary 'Take No Prisoners' Fein's 430. Great to see champion runner/orienteer Mary running the series again (She grabbed the ton last week at the Pipe). 410 Points also caught the attention of your correspondent, with Matt 'Doc' Peters, Gil Fowler 'Ware' and Graeme Hill all posting this tidy total - Graeme taking the Super Vets title last night with this score.

In the Legends, Mal 'Content' Gledhill was in top form with 340. Carol Jacobson reversed last weeks result with a 60 point gap to Sue 'T Bone' Thomson in the Super Veteran Women, Vicki Stitt bagged 400, Airdrie collected 300 and Michele looked the goods with a sweet 310 in JW. The list goes on, but I must mention Owen Rothery. The Big O is a champion orienteer from WA, in town in work related mode and last night giving the yellow OAWA shirt a right flogging. I think Owen had a good score but it was not up when I was wielding the pencil. Great to see him in Sydney!

As I said, another good 'un at the Meadow. Thanks Steve and the Western Hills crew.

Next week sees the action get a little closer to the city with the much loved Hawthorn Canal on show. Our results guru, Dave 'Barby &' McKenna (a tidy 420 last night), is the course setter and we should be in for a treat. Many will remember the long strip of Hawthorn Parade/Canal and begin wondering if the Dave will catch us with a few southern tempters, or even a loop across the railway and the mad pipe bridge. We can only ruminate on what's to come, as The Gondolier draws, and redraws the fun of 'Federation'. Join the joggers, join the bike riders and the elderly Bay Run walkers as we all get into event #7 - and the apres event nosh up. Bar Italia could be tempting!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pork Pie in Preview mode

Your chubby Summer Series correspondent is wizzing off to NZ early tomorrow, so may not be able to write up tonight's damp O as expected. Apologies to all those looking for their regular Thursday afternoon dose of race reporting with yet more impossible race naming. However, I will be back, maybe with edition 1 of the Form Guide close behind.

Looking forward to tonight's stretch out - with Jimmy the M back in charge. Might be a bit on the damp side, but will be a nice temperature (unlike last night!). Should be good to work a second go at this venue, maybe skewed a bit more to the west if I'm not mistaken. We will soon see what the maestro has in store - the delicious moment when you hand over the coin, and you get your map. And start thinking 'why is number 30 so far away?' Yes, yes, yes. let's go Jimbo!

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