Friday, December 31, 2010


A warm evening and plenty of points around the grassy lagoon, meant runners could pile up reasonable scores without needing to shift into hill climb mode at Ian Jessup's Curl Curl outing. With a good 260 on offer on the curly loop, many competitors looked at the sun, thought about the beach, and said 'bugger it', let's ease the bridle a bit today - and go for a swim! The other popular thought was to go holiday mode, and go off in groups. In what must be a record for group entries (close to 80 individuals within the 33 group entries), we saw an incredible range of scores - from Rachel and Andy handing in 410 pencil marks, to the Murphy Clan carding 110. It was that sort of an evening, and that sort of course - touchy feely and very punter friendly.

The 'Chess Board' had thought 600 would go, and on first glance, it seemed like it might fall to the guns. Perhaps a lingering doubt as to the southern pair (19/21) counting against you, as well as the flog to bag #16 being worth it. Still it looked 'on', but proved not to be so, with the best score being Steve 'And Adam' Ryan running a brilliant circuit for 580 points and one minute over (570 on the books). Like many others, Stevo circled west first, and then left off #7 and #9 as he joined the dots. Excellent planning from the blue shoe.

Other toppies worth a nod, were the Masters dou Glenn and Richard, both with 550. The 'Yellow Tee' worked his usual full bag for five minutes over, while 'King Dick' clipped the card for 550 and home one and a half early. Not sure where Richard's missing 50 was - maybe the aforementioned southern duo? The Open's boasted a bunch of fives, with Mounty holding 540 (and might have lost a tenner or two in the scrub at #23 - like many of us I suspect), Mark 'Noah' Schaefer putting on 530 and Steve 'James Bond' Craig showing excellent form in the Swedish winter with 530 also. The best mare seems to be 'Windy Wellington' in the Vets with 480 - another great run, and well clear of any open fillies.

Let's look at the map. I had wondered if the 'Sauce Bottle' was going to flog us over to the Dee, or down to Freshie, but he must have been in Christmas mode - because neither were on offer. Perhaps there was a nod to the south, with only checkpoints 14 and 16 hinting at a nice night out at Stella Blue. There were lots of points around the pond, with enticing extensions to the headland (130 points) and a more spread out collection towards Harboard. It looked simple enough with easy collecting in loop style. As I said, many went initially west, and added the hill climb to 13 and 23 (aah, 23, how I love your seat with its interesting view). It was easy enough to add 28 and 10 on the east of the road, and maybe 17 and 28, before the return. Many were seen doing this. Smaller number worked east (6,27,15) before an assault on the headland. With hindsight, #16 was probably better as a 'leave' - especially when intending to work home via the west and finding Big Ben chiming the 45 at #12 as the local bowlers slipped down a second Reschs (could have been a third). Sixty points left on the table.

Those that got salty with a southern plan at least got some great views from 19 and 21 for their efforts. In the north, checkpoint #30 looked like it might go 'Canon', but didn't prove so - just a track end in the scrub, although it is always a nice run down from here to the surf club.

So in summary, clean simple course setting, with not too much need for the calculator or string. You just got out the legs and got on with it. I'll take my 'lonely pot' lead from Richard Green, and nominate #7 (9 had plenty of tap addicts). I think most others were well cuddled. There might have been a lonely route however, with 28-17 via the beach being way slower than via #10.

So, a great roll up (looked like over 200, and the huge group numbers already noted), despite many orienteers being away in Armidale for the 'Five Days', and some excellent scoring. Here is a smattering of nags that caught the eye of the man in the Pork Pie hat.

Great to see Juniors Will and James Kennedy (200/290) on the board, although they will need extra feed to hold off Duncan 'Vindaloo' Currie (350) and an amazing dash from Adam Halmy (400). Rachel Noble looks the points in JW with 380 over Adam's sister Bethany (200). The Open's were not quite so well appointed, with Catherine Murphy (410) holding the onions over Kelly Dohle (390) in the women, and James 'Blue Black' McQuillan and Brendan Hatton (480/450) looking the best of the sub fives in the men. Chris the 'Jackhammer' is also noted at 450, a nice ten pointer over Steve 'The Corset' Cossell's 440.

The Masters always sees spirited action, with Richard Morris posting a sensational 510 to pip Kar-Soon and 'Pistol' Pete Annetts (both 470) and the 'Bedroom Cupboard' with 460. Fergus 'The Socceroos' Dixon held a ten over Davy Bray (440/430), as did Ian Clitheroe over Wayne Pepper (390/380). Tim 'Emma' Peel's 320 gets a nod, as it gives the Pieman a chance to moon over the Avengers star. Many of the older runners might share this sentiment. The MW's fell line astern behind a great run from Cath Chalmers (450), with rachel Merton's 400 being the best of the rest. Nic Sellin had the discount stall in full swing for 310 points in the same group.

In the WVets, it looks like 'gap' ran second (again), with Karin 'The Bride' Hefftner's 390 being the other score of prominence. Good to see Lee 'At Lowes' working the back straight for 210, and to see Su Lin Weller on the course for an enjoyable 190. The blokes looked to Eoin and Mal 'Content' Bradley's 480 for guidance - and saw they needed more bible study. Michael Halmy put up 430, Peter Marshall 410 and Jim 'Floss' McLean carded 400 to be the best of the rest. Lazzo's 380 was a nose clear from Dan Redfern (370), but also a nose behind Rod 'The Goon Show' Eckles with 390. Good to see Dr Matt Peters warming up the Christmas sox with a nice 360 in the same division.

The Supers had a bit of fun in the absence of Warwick 'The Singlet' Selby, with Steve Flick (410) holding sway over some high three scoring. The crowd liked Steve Dunlop posting a nice retread that left skid marks on Ian Cameron (380/360) and a few other division fancies. Ian's 360 was an uncharacteristically quiet outing from the silver medalist - maybe he became poetical at #23 and lost time. Teddy Woodley put on a 370, as did Julian 'The Lever Arch File' Ledger, to take the day from Ian Miller (350) and Stuart McWilliam 'S Wines' (340) and other SV's who should have known better than to run early in the summer sun without a hat. Judge Murphy's 310 dashed David's 300 and Dennis 'Captain Cook' Sparling's 290, while Mike Hooppell had the Tuza on the paddock for the first time tis series. Mike worked a modest 220 and was seen looking to throw the discus at #27 in a throwback to grand athletic days on the buffalo hereabouts.

Dale Thommo seemed at better stretch for 330 in the SVW's, heading Jai with 290, Carol 'Over Beethoven' Jacobson with 270 and Helen Murphy's 250. Interestingly, Bryony in the Legend Women would have taken the ton in the Supers, putting up a very tidy 340 to take the biscuit there. Ange was nowhere to be seen, leaving Cox B well clear of Sue Thomson and June 'The' Stanley 'Steamer - both enjoying the flat grass for 230's. It was also noted that Bryony put a tenner over Tim, as did great rival Ted Mulherrin (340/330). The Legends Men once again had to put up with young Ron 'I Was Just Having A Little Nap' Junghans taking the hundred points, with his excellent 400 too good for the field. Heiko ran a 360, and Mal Gledhill a 350, but they couldn't catch the pine tree. Chippy worked a southerly pattern and lost time at 23. His 320 is back from the normal speed of the 'Flying Paint Brush' and might drop in the full tallies, but hey Ron, there is always next week!

The Power Walkers round out our coverage, well sort of, as I've promised to mention a couple of groups (after a large and hard to resist bribe). So Ian 'The Achilles' McKenzie walked over time for 160, but saw the points go to Jim Merchant, whose 320 over Mel Cox's 300, gives the Amigo another hundred. The 'Boot' might be tempted to stay walking in the SSS stakes, especially as he seems to have the wood on the younger stallion, and his earlier string of Corporate Cup wins. And although Mel didn't biscuit in the WM's, Kathryn was well clear in the WW's, with a nice 260 points to well shade Julie 'Detector' Cossell and her 100 pointer. Gail Barr 'BQ' was a no-show at the Hair Curler, but be warned girls (no, not that Warned!), the GB has got the artificial knees oiled, and may re enter the fray in the second half.

Heaps of group entries as I mentioned, including The Ward Girls (not sure if that's the Ward 7 Girls) with 160, Russel & Sharon with 250, and how about young James Walter (7 years) and 'Mum' also going a 250, and claiming over Emelie & Dan, first timers with 140 points on the magnetic. Robyn & Viv (the Normanhurst Mafia) were also noted enjoying the course, although their score eluded the Pork Pie notepad for some reason. Go Normo was the cry.

Yep, another excellent evening of cunning running, and for the Vets, another evening without Michael Burton! When, when is he back?? Thanks Ian and the GO helpers, as we move back to the harbour and David Gatwood's much anticipated stoush at Riverwood. This is a top venue with a variety of start points that alter how one approaches the map. This time we are back with the tennis rackets at 'Kooyong' and under the aquaduct. A great way to fill out a Wednesday evening, with the 'Longueville' being close by for a bit of apres O analysis (ok, and dinner). Join David and the Big Feet - and don't forget to bring you E Stick, as we go for our second Sportident 'dipper' scoring event (they can be hired on the night if you don't have one). Should be HUGE!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


A perfect evening, a huge roll up of the faithful, a great course, and some of the most magnificent scenery in Sydney - what a way to finish off the first half of the Summer Series. And now that runners are fit and in fighting form, time to get chomping and go a few rounds with the roast or the dreaded turkey, and enter the second half of the season back where we started! We will see just how bad things have got next week as bleary eyed punters give Ian Jessup's Curl Curl a road test. Could be some slow times methinks.

Now, back to Chowder Bay, and what a top event. Joel 'The Sand Wedge' Putnam varied our traditional Christmas flog at Balmoral with a nice variation on a theme - giving the Balmoral crowd something to chew on (that nice #25) and bringing into play the excellent material south at Clifton Gardens. As Ian 'The Lonely Planet' McKenzie opined, there was a fair dollop of bush work on offer here - more than in most SSS venues. Such was the obvious attraction of the gum tree and Hakea, that Ian managed a shade shy of 80 minutes on the gobble. A value for money player.

So, great new venue, with it's potential double upsey downsey for those of a mind - or those with no planning skills. There were also some nice loops up high for the more modest scorers, and these included perhaps the greatest SSS checkpoint of all time. Yes, it's the 'wedding' feature - #29 with fantastic views,and that was not just of the bridal party. What a city we live in, when you can gaze out at something like this. Fantastic. Also great views north on the way to #28 and along the track to #3 and 22. Top stuff all round from the Bennelong team.

The Pork is rather nervous of late, fearing he might be carved up for Christmas dinner, so PP and Mrs Pie enjoyed a walking evening rather than the usual run. The excuse is something to do with the flu, but you know these old farts. Never trust 'em. Anyway, it's instructive planning a 45 minute walk rather than a run, so I probably don't have the full mail on route options to report. Of interest is our route and that of winning walker Jim 'The Boot' Merchant, where we did the northern pots after a 5/28/11/16/1/7/18 start, finishing via 29 and 6, and Jimmy went counter but added 26, 8 and 4 for 310 minus ten (to our 260).

The salaried runners look like they gave 25 a miss but opened very wide for the south pots. Beginning via 5/28/11/16 etc and then circling west and down for the southern babies and a nice bit of Ventolin Inhaler stuff with the uphill push home. There were even wider initial postings, with a start via 5/22/3/23 and the 28 and as above, for those with a bit of spare cash in the lung department. Hooking in 21 and 30 in the south looked a nice challenge, with several reports of 'getting it wrong'. Running south from 30 to collect the 24/2/27 grouping needed stern resolve, or a lift back to the start from an obliging Mosman bowler. Great to see Joel (and wise counsel Terry 'John Snow' Bluett) using good bush controls - 27, what a hum dinger (for those that can't wait - John Snow on the fence after felling Terry Jenner was grabbed by a man in a TERRY toweling hat, leading to the famous pommy walk off!).

I heard Gordy missed 29 after turning west from 6 instead of east in a dying flog to the finish. Heat stress putting the boot in. No other reports of 'if only's', with most seeming in praise of a great night. It seems the till was humming with well over 200 handing over their reddies. It might be up around 230/240 or so when the abacus is finally laid to rest. A top turn up, and a rewarding night out for the stallions and mares - and the fillies, yes, don't forget the fillies (and the geldings in the VM category - lots of them on the nibble!).

Lets have a look at a few scores. And I preface this by not being there at the final call of the card, so there could be a few more crackers on the cake (Richard Green for instance, well respected and suited this distance, with no doubt a top run, wasn't in when the Porkmobile left for a steak and chips at the Buena. I have recorded several excellent zero's however - just by way of balance.

In the younger classes, Michele and brother Aidan both put on 380, closing the 'door' on the Annetts platoon (Melissa with 150 and Chris with 280) and looking good in the GO silks. Adam Halmy 'Oh My' got 250 carded to also register on the juniorOmeter. Great to see the Craig's back in Sydney - and Martina putting on 320 in OW and Steve going one or two better with 470 in MM. The OW's look like falling line astern behind a terrific run from Gill Fowler with 480, and Sue Davis's 420. I have Sharon 'Mutton' Lambert with 350, shading Clare Murphy (340) and Claire Winnick (320), but having to pay for drinks as Marina Iskhakova popped open the vodka in posting 370. Alice 'Remembering Primary School' Prudhoe was a length further back with 250 - beaten again (Alice, please!) by her parents - Paul, a smooth as silk 400, and Julia with 330, and holding the onions over Jai 'The Tomato's' tidy 300.

The open men had fun, with Steve Ryan leading the board with a strong 560 - shading Dave Hegarty's 520 and Tommy 'The Musical' Joss's 480. Matt Bell 'Tea' did 310 and might have gone better with Tetley's. Glenn (in MM) was still out when I left, but word was the lot for 47/48 minutes. A sensational outing from the yellow squiggle. Other Masters to feature, were Davy Bray and Richard Morris (490), Kar-Soon with 480, and Pete Annetts and Anto Petterson with 470's. The MW's promoted Cath Chalmers - looking good in lycra with 420, and Rachel Merton, working the vacuum cleaner hard for 350. Debbie Byers popped up on the bush track with 270 in VW, but well below a sensational run from Wendy 'Patricks' Stevenson with 510. Incredible running from the vet star. Paula Shingler was strong in the vets with 410, and looks like taking the silver after Stevo. The guys were in 400 territory also, with Malcolm 'From Malaysia' not quite Wendy-ing with 490, but probably taking the ton there. Graeme Dawson worked the angles well for a top 420, well clear of Rod 'Standard Gauge' Eckles (200) and 'Saint' James Stuart and 330.

The oldies pushed the boat out, with Wazza on fire with 470 and home a minute early. The Supers get one week free of the serial ton man next week as Warwick goes horizontal at the Colloundra Stakes. Looks like an opportunity! Other SV's to note are Ian Miller, holding the world wide future of IBM in his hand with 360 (good run Ian), Ian Cameron working into top form with 420, but just shaded by the aforementioned Gordy with 430. Terry Murphy reached for the black hankerchief in handing down 300 years, whereas John Anderson was seen as a 360 degree man. John has been known to travel!

Robyn 'Dunny' Dunlop looked good with 160 in the SVW's, although Adrienne 'Knock &' Kirby had her hand in the bargain bin for 230 and maybe the win here. Cheryl moved as if in a dream for a tidy 80 - as did the interestingly titled 'Karen Kool'. In the Legends, Pork Pie noted Bryony not happy with 270, although she still puts on the 100 with Sue (our Quiz Champ!) back a bit with 230. In a perfect world, we would all score zero - and that's what several SSS punters put on display. Hats off to the Burnetts, the McGregor gang, and Tom & Finlay for these selfless performances.

In the old blokes, it looks like Heiko went AWOL, leaving Sir Ronald and Ted (both with 380) in the bubble bath. Ron ran 410 for three over (not sure of Teddy's timing) to shade a great run from Tim Cox (360), who, nevertheless, had plenty of summer petrol in the tank to keep Malcolm out wide on the turn (Mal had a 300). Also very, very nice to see Lloyd back from 'procedure' land and back giving his brother a bit of stick. Go the G's. I always like to mention another couple of favourite LM's, so a round of applause for Barry 'The Coalminers Daughter' Cole with a tidy 180 - and John Giles furling grandma's umbrella for 270. Well run lads.

Finally, a couple of walkers - and how cool to see Gail put up 260 in the WW's. Could this be the start of something here? Julie 'The Cossie' Cossell (180) is also noted in the power walkers. Going well too. Mel pipped Uncle Rosscoe with 270, but surrendered his normal 100 to Jim. Maybe he will run next outing to make amends. As I always say, there were many more great performances, with lots of happy competitors out on the track. And what a great way to go. Thanks Joel and Terry.

Next week some of the regular O crowd will be away in Armidale for the Christmas Five Days, so nows your chance to put on a blinder. Ian 'The Sauce Bottle' Jessup has me guessing as to the spread at the sexy Curl Curl venue. You can bet there will be a bit of beach and a bit of grassy stuff, but, will he go Dee Why? Will he go Freshie? Will he test Larry and go both! Find out next week, in what will be a perfect way to run off the Christmas pud.

Also, in case you didn't notice, Sue 'The Toastrack Tram' Thomson won the 20 question SSS quiz with 18 out of 30 answers - a hairs breath from second placed quiz guru, Dennis 'The Calligrapher' Sparling (17.5) and Mel 'Ted Cheese' Coz with 16 correct. Note that, although there were 20 questions, several needed multiple answers, so that's how we get to 30 total. Sorry it was a bit too hard, with several thousand entries missing the cut. But thanks to all those that entered. The full answer sheet will be posted on the SSS web site shortly. A history lesson for all Summer Series fans.

Finally, on behalf of all Sydney Summer Series course setters and club helpers, very best wishes for Christmas 2010. The second half (and all the new maps) are just round the corner! Cheers all.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Last night's outing at Blackman Park had over 200 horses on the nose bag, wrestling with course setter extraordinaire Ian 'The Diagnosis Is Not Good' Cameron's excellent event. Actually this is all supposition, because your correspondent (to his eternal shame) failed at the starting gate. No, he failed to even get to the gate! After a week in NZ, preparing the natives for the imminent invasion of last weeks SSS hero's Debbie and Andrew, the friggin plane was late. Aaaaah, a rare miss that has Porkus Pieface out of the running for the addicts prize (what, not heard of the addicts prize?? It's called the Summer Series Cup. A gold plated addition to any mantlepiece and much sort after).

Anyway, I gather it was a great night - as it normally is in this nice neck of the woods. I asked James 'I Love Art' Lithgow if Ian had located a pot on the road roller (top NE corner of the map - and a terrible time consuming flog when it's on), but apparently no, there was no cruel conning in the north east. Good stuff above and below I gather, with lots of runners putting up scores in the 400's. I'm not sure who did what, although I gather Warwick 'Tolstoy' Selby had the wood (and maybe Helen Mirren) on the other SVM's with a high four. We will just have to wait and see the results as they are posted.

So, sorry about the lack of commentary folks, the jet-setting Pork Pie will make amends with a Christmas rant after next weeks first half closer at Chowder Bay. Actually its starting at Mosman on top of the hill, before (and I'm guessing again here), Joel and Terry have us in an almighty plunge to the Bay and a nice little dinner at Ripples. There could also be the bungy effect, with having got to Chowder and downed a nice bit of 'chow', then having to bounce up hill again to the big points on the coast track to the Zoo. Mmmmmm, sounds like the brown lines might be a factor.

As with all our pre Christmas events, this is a great time to stay behind for a SSS celebration. Maybe shark and taty on Balmoral Beach with a cheeky chardy, maybe a nice roast at the Harlequin Pub - with a Coopers (I think the JS is off tap), maybe a picnic at the Oval with the Bennelong gang. Whatever it is, our last event before Santa is not to be missed. Pack you runners and pack your pressies, as we go for gold at this fantastic Summer Series location. With some of the best Sydney park, bush and harbour views on offer this year, it should be a cracker. It WILL be a cracker. Don't miss it!

Another small point before I slip into the dressing gown, the 20th Anniversary Quiz. Entries have flooded in, requiring the large judging team to block off the weekend to effect the analysis and final awarding of the prize. Expect an announcement next Wednesday as to who the lucky runner will be. It could be a surprise, it could be a power walker! Watch this space for a full list of answers following the enthronement of our SSS archival hero next week.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Course setter Debbie 'In Other Words' Byers and the Big Foot crew gave us a hint of things to come tonight with the Summer Series going 'electric' at Paddy Pallin. The Sportident scoring system gives the organising team a big advantage in eliminating all the adding up and card checking, with results going live as they are achieved - quite a contrast to the normal table full of helpers trying to remember their one plus one equals... The vibe seemed to be very positive from the large roll up, so subject to a positive review from the 'feet' and maybe a couple more trial events, this looks like the way to go in the future. Season 2011/2012 - The Year of the E Stick.

The Porkster is online early with only a brief review, as the old goat is off to inspect dead tracks in New Zealand first up in the morning. As a result, the indelible hardly got a lick, and has now been packed with the spare smalls and raincoat. Despite his hasty retreat from the new style results board (how good was this!), a couple of observations might be in order.

First up impressions looked positive, with a good spread of pots (and control units), including a loop for the guns at UTS. This impression was confirmed by several finishers, who considered this the best outing here so far. Especially welcome was the easy elimination (for most runners) of the dreaded 'big dipper' (the contour instruction class between 2-10), as loops presented above and below this asthma inducing puff mountain.

The bush track was mandatory, with the majority seeming to begin this way - south to #17 and into it. The northern start tempter was #23 and it offered various ways of being 'taken' - out to 5,22 and 6 for some (leave off #1), while another route saw the 2,24,1 link in play. Many went straight to 24 in a public demonstration of exit speed over beautiful green and grassy Primula. Flash Harry's the lot of them!

The outer big scores bought on a bit of hill climbing with 15-3-28-19 (or visa versa) getting competitors in the money, and leading to the temptations at UTS. This was a great bit of setting, where the tenner at 9 made you go deeper (yes, the Summer Series is meditation and analysis itself - and all for ten bucks!) in a desparate attempt to bag fifty. Luckily, these points were on relatively level terrain and worked if you had the Pontiac in top gear. The same can't be said of the 4,14,30 siren grouping - beckoning you to time clock doom.

I noted an excellent early score from Ian 'Christmas At' Meyer (560 points) - apparently achieved with a loop that left out 8, 10 and 12. Not quite sure how Ian worked the numbers after he seemed to fly off directly to #24, and places unknown, but it's a terrific score and may go close to the lolly (Andy Hill was noted on the flog as the Pie Face aimed the Volvo up, up and away).
Other early results in a variety of classes that had the Clerk of the Course taking swabs, were junior Matty Hill with a tidy 450, Tim 'Baseball' Rogers (MM) with 490, Malin Andersson (OW) posting 440 to pip Catherine 'Not Anne Of Cleeves' Murphy's 430. In the older gee gees, Eoin (VM) went pram free for 470, Robin Cameron's 'Corner' had the Toyota in overdrive for 420, Steve Flick pipped Doctor Waz (440/430) in the super vets and Teddy was an early leader in the Legends with 330 over the 'Wood Chip' (310). Legends leader, Sir Ronald 'Of Pines,' was out there in the Garingal colours, and may have run into a placing. I also noted Janet Morris had carded 220 in the legends to outpoint Sue 'Of Sydney', although Bryony and Ange were still on the course as PP put down the pencil.

Not many scores compared to recent musings, but then, this is all apparently now live, so all results should be 'up'! Amazing and exciting stuff. Hard to pick a lonely pot, but I'll go for #30 for its remoteness, or maybe #8 (I can see the 15-10-12-19-26 link working well). Be interesting to see how many visited UTS, and if it resulted in any time overs - certainly Ian 'The Medicine Man' McKenzie was there, walking the lot for a modest posting. Also good to see Terry 'The Newtown Jets' Bluett stretching out in his first real SSS run this season. Tezza is getting the knees oiled up for a bit of Christmas in Armidale action and a big year of 'O' in '11. The steeper the hill, the less you feel knee pain - as I'm told!

So, a top evening and a top course. Next week Ian Cameron has Blackman Park drawn and quartered, so we are expecting another beauty. Some nice bush, and the mangrove boardwalks add to the appeal of this top SSS area. Join us as we get out the watercolour brush and listen to the whisperings of Lloyd Rees.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


It's rare for a Summer Series event to be rained on from go to whoa, but that's what happened last night at James Lithgow's superb and exhilarating run at Artarmon. Nobody was spared, despite the early arrivals hoping a clearing was coming. So it was out of the car, into the rain and into the action - and quite pleasant action it was for the 160 or so nags that, like Van Der Hum, revel in a wet track.

This was the first time we have started at this location, and James (and understudy Nicole 'In One' Sellin) made good use of the area - rather in the shape of an east west sausage with a hernia bulge to the south. The 'Gore' divided proceedings, leading to much head scratching before the clock went beep. The big points were well spread across the course, with perhaps an easterly bias, whereas the tens, or the 'tenners' in Porkies title, were set up in a fierce internal contest of lonely potmanship. Many runners returned with bags of 20's and 30's, but apart from Glenn, I don't think anyone got more than a few 10's. They just wept quietly in the rain, hoping for a turn on the dance floor, a turn to show they could hold their feet in that 'Jacaranda Flowers' shuffle, but mostly their night went unloved - none more so than #2 (whose hope of a 'loop' was dashed when interloper #22 spoiled the party). Maybe #3 might have also 'failed to pencil' as it seemed to be on the hilly route from 12 to 24, and why would you? Ten also looked lonely, maybe only appealing to the train buffs.

Anyway, much chewing and string work was on display before runners started their windscreen wipers and dashed off. Many ran south to #6 to begin their fun, others had in mind a quick 30 with pot #21, and ran off into the bush. Still others liked the sniff of the 12/11 beginning before working back to 21 and west or the Gore Hill underpass and points south. Those that chose #21 to begin, found our tag line (navigation-on-the-run) to have been well thought about by young James, as it seemed, upon arrival, not an obvious collect. The 'Sauce Bottle' probably lost half an hour there and went for a post race inspection, and a bit of mental remapping. A tricky one that had many dropping minutes (probably only seconds in reality), and creating route choice doubt. The Pie Face still doesn't remember the feature, although he found the pot.

The western loop seemed worth it (drop #2, and maybe #14), with 120 odd on board at sixteen before a bit of puff work to rejoin the field at 20/30. There was a nice grouping in the bulge that tempted runners south - 19/29 to 9,28,17, or 19/29 and withdraw to 17 and the east. All good, especially #28, where road counting needed to be accurate to make sure you didn't select the wrong street. This is a nice feature of this part of the map - well engineered by our course setting team.

Other competitors eschewed the west, working the south bulge and a full bag of eastern pots. The 6,20,8,19 beginning had the graphite humming and got you well into things without any lost distance. The east then flowed well with 27,18,26 (drop #7 - another lonely bride) and either a flog home via 5,24 and the freeway, or balloon under Flat Rock Drive to pick 25 before returning west. A few runners lost time at #26, where the cliff below the road end was perhaps a little unclear on the map. Like most things, all was revealed when one read the clue and saw the word 'eastern' and the modest height. Ahhhh!! Anyway, whether clean or slow here, there were plenty of points in this loop, and plenty of fans of this option.

Of the speed boats, Glenn found plenty of 'in-out' on offer for the lot in 15.25 over (440). Richard 'The Broom' Green had an eye on the Masters ton (which he duly secured with 520), and left off #1,3 and 12 for four over while Andy Hill, back from an ankle at the Big Foot Sprints, put up 540 after dropping a few tenners (1,2,3,7) and going 46.50. A great run from Andrew, although the ankle might not have enjoyed it, and may need further nursing. Speaking of injuries, we are all missing Michael 'You Light Up My Life' Free - apparently out for some time with undercarriage issues. The Series is not the same without this favourite of the Ladies Stand.

So, a damp evening, but a great start area and a top course. Lots of options, and especially the puzzling/tempting spread of 10 pointers (Gordy's sage advice - don't go out of your way for a ten pointer!), led to a wide range of running routes and scoring. Given the weather, it was not a night to be a late starter, although I noted The 'Marquis' on the carrot and munch with a headlamp. Good thinking in the gathering gloom.

Now, let's turn to the ponies. How did the rain sodden fancies end up on the magnetic?

I see a few zero's. Ian McKenzie (I suspect walking the lot) and Hazel Bluett led the field on the western board, with Tiia (JW) putting up 120 and starting her long run to WOC 2030. There were a few uncharacteristic lowies (best of luck tonight Frank), where maybe the rain had a slowing effect. I'm thinking Jeremy 'The Cistern' Fowler with only 190, Lisa Lampe and her 25 plus nicknames with a modest 110 and Masters speedster Pete Day, a hundred further back than Jeremy with only 90. Could be the maths are wrong, or they could have been pushing a pram! There was definitely a pram on the chomp in the southern pots - going very fast indeed.

Given I missed reporting the Juniors last week, I need to lead with them - and the girls provided an upset, with Michele (290) going down to a strong run by Rachel 'X 100 Motor Oil' Noble (380). These two competitors are providing plenty of great copy for race reporters, with the 'Helicopter' and future JWOC star often putting up ten more - but not last night. Deb's sister is flying! Also noted is young Ellen 'Dive' Currie, who went here and there, probably with dad assisting, for 140 salad servers. The Curries are providing much to admire - with young Dunk out in front of the JM's. Speaking of which, a strong run by Huon Wilson last night for 410 could mean fireworks are coming in this class. Dan Dawson and young Matty Hill are also in there, and both running at speed. Watch this space.

In what looked like second place, Dave Hegarty put up a fantastic 530 in Open Men to claim from the White Paint Tube (510) and Mark Schaefer (450). The Masters also saw some good scoring, although none over five. Tim 'This Is London Calling' Rogers (490), Pete Annetts (480), Davy Bray and Peter Fallows (460's) and Anto Petterson (450) being the best of them. Richard 'The Laird' lauder and Kar-Soon only coughed up ten and twenty (ie 440 and 430) and were in there as well, although Shane must have felt another parliamentary review coming on, and only posted 250. Modest by the Treasury Secretaries standards.

In the mares and fillies, Catherine 'Stone Cowboy' Murphy's superb 440 seemed to be the one, with Mary Fein (MW) ten back, as was Sue 'Gelatine' Davis (OW). Barbara 'Goola' Hill made a rare appearance for 420, Carolyn crayoned 380, Mel Selby posted 350 and Rachel 'On Wheels' Merton flamed out for 290. Angela 'Monet' Haynes painted 260, to shade fellow masters competitor Linda 'Vauxhall' Sesta's 250. The Vets were line astern from Julia 'Lennon' (270), leaving many white spaces on the control card. Barb Dawson's 150 and 'The Lampost' (110) as previously mentioned.

In the older stallions, Eoin left them for dead, galloping home with an excellent 470 to be well clear of the Noble Dave (410) and Ian 'Frank Ifield' Jessup (singing sweetly for 390). Three nags crossed the line neck and neck for 370 in the V's (Wiz, John Bulman and Danny 'Silver Not' Redfern), whereas in the older stock we see a repeat with nackery bound Gordy, Warwick and Rosscoe carding 410 apiece to hold back Ian 'Nose & Throat' Cameron (390) from the podium. Stu McWilliam looked good with 360 o have bragging rites over fellow GOers Dave 'A Bridge Too far' Bowerman (300) and Jimmy Forbes 'Hotel' - shouting 290 blokes a Reshes. Rob 'On The Map' Spry posted 280 and Neil Hawthorne put up 340. Different blokes, different scores. The intrigue of the Summer Series!

In the Legends, Bryony didn't have a goodie, but managed 270 to shade Sue 'Australia Needs A fast Bowler' Thomson (220). I didn't note Heiko's score, but Ron posted what might be the lead with 360 to Ted and Dave Stiit's 330 points. Malcolm was handy with 310, well clear of 'WS' Cox with 200, while Graham Horrocks was somewhere in between - with 240. In case you think I've missed the SVW's, it was great to see Sue 'The Editor' Clarke on a second outing here from sunny (!) Queensland with a damp and Caeser free run for 210 - but well beaten by Dale (320) and Deb (310). Dale & Deb, mmmm could be something here. Poetry, the title of a novel, a hair salon, something about candles and meditation perhaps?

A couple of final notes. Power Walkers Alison Pearce (200) looks like she pipped Lesley 'Warragamba Dam' Cox (170), with no note of Kathryn - maybe she was a no show. No walking blokes noted - except Ian, although Pork Pie records with great pleasure the group entry 'Knight Riders' making off into the dark and stormy night with 170 points. There was also a mystical entry (Trod) with 70 points but a lost card. Maybe they remembered the letter codes??

Big thanks to James, Nicole and the Garingal crew for a great night, and one that segued so easily into a series of racing lectures at the nearby 'Bridge View'. Very enjoyable. Given the weather, it was a great roll up, and surpasses our previous wet tallies of around the 140/150 mark. Build it and they will come seems to be the word, as the nags on the flog look to every advantage they can get over fellow horses. Long may it continue!

Next week sees a return to Lindfield, where the Big Foot brigade will once again have us into a bit of bush track work and a bit of steep roady stuff in this very pleasant and lush suburban location. A big difference with event 10, is the experimental use of Sportident electronic scoring instead of the normal pencil and card. The pots will still be deployed at the control sites (along with the scoring unit), and the maps will be exactly the same. The big advantage will be in the quick and accurate results processing, without the need to have legions of 'adder uppers'. We look forward to see how it all goes in the field. E Sticks can be hired on the night, although most orienteers will already have their own.

Join us as we get a handle on an E version of the Summer Series - and say farewell to Andrew and Debbie (our setters in lieu of Wendy) who are heading off to Cafe L'ffarre in Wellington for a year - for a nice coffee, and to also rescue the NZ economy. I'm sure the stalwart 'Feet' will set us a cracker, so don't miss it and the chance to flash the silks in the race of the century.

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