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!!!!

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