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.

1 comment:

Fly on the Wall said...

I realise forums aren't the place for bad language, but how *&^%$# steep was that course?? Wish I was fast enough to take 5 seconds at each checkpoint to admire the view! Overoptimistic route planning did me in. I really thought I was going to score mid 400s, so I left 28-23-3-22 to the end but didn't get to any of them.
In hindsight I probably should have started that way, but I wanted to do the down-up sooner rather than later. So it was 6-29-26-9-14-20-17-27-2-24-30 (lost time and 200m extra by stupidly taking the lower road!)-12-19 (why am I still going uphill?)-15-8-1-16-7-11-5 for 380 in 43 minutes neat. said that was 124m of climb but it felt like so much more (will see what Chris Brown's solutions website says). Had no energy to try adding #28 for a net gain of 10 or 20 points. If not for the stuff-up at #30 it would have been 410 by adding #28. The alternative was to leave out 27-2-24 and add the flattish 100 points mentioned above, also for 410. It must be the slightly warmer weather but that's two weeks in a row I've gone 10 checkpoints in succession without a 30-pointer - very unlike me to choose the chips over the seafood.
Will make up for that on Saturday !

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