Friday, October 28, 2011


A cool evening, a map extension and a quiet grassy assembly setting were welcome ingredients in another classic Sydney Summer Series dining experience last Wednesday - this time at leafy western Annandale and with a different take on the Glebe focus of previous seasons. The 'Doughnuts' (young Duncan and dad Colin) are fast getting a reputation for excellence in course setting with much to commend this superb example of 'connect the circles' - chief amongst them being the two top 600 bag men, in at one and a half down for 580's. Brilliant. There also seemed many ways to skin a cat, with several similar scores being pinged with very different routes - also a mark of good setting.

So, let's have a look at this little bottler in more detail

Arriving at this quiet and shady spot, old hands would have noted the 'yellow' once more sagging proudly on the fence. Back in business folks, back in business! Also, as noted last week, clubs are now equipped with a multitude of flags signaling Start, Finish and Which way to the Pub. Mini tent cities have sprung up as we grapple with the new Sportident era and its attendant finish chute requirements, sales desks and electronica (big thanks to Garingal's Ross 'The' Duker in cowboy chaps on this occasion). Quiet a change in 21 years, and change for the better. It looked excellent - and so it proved.

Upon plonking down the Banjo, we immediately see 'Larry Plus', but not to worry because we are in cahoots tonight with the EOLG (the Elderly Orienteering Lobby Group) and have been given a nice and clear 1:7,500 map. Whooohoo. As well as filling in the upper creek wetlands detail missing from my original map, Dunk & Dad added the western block up to Catherine Street especially so all old Sydney tram fans could combine the esoteric pleasure of bagging control # 25 while waiting for the outbound Lillyfield toastrack. Many, many thanks to the 'Powders'.

So, having paid up it was then time to work the string in devising a route. It sort of looked 600 at a pinch for the fancies, with a well covered map and no holes. Clean connectivity needed to factor the tempting inners (17,24,5,27,4) with the outer circle stuff, and the almost mandatory visit to the new western material. One or two pots looked easy drops - #8 probably being the main one. There was also a bit of a contour factor (6 up, 4 down), although nothing like last week - and also a classic double play (20/19) that looked an easy bag from below until you actually had to run the zig zag path and discovered they were more like 300 meters apart! The 'Baron of Beecroft' knew about this one and approached from above - the smartypants.

Many runners took off south and west (7,25,18,9,2 - the tram option) before being suprised by the whereabouts of #23 and more fun to the east. Others, remembering the first Beatles album, hummed 'She was just 17' as they worked the legs east and up to that very pot, in a cunning central route that then took them via 24 to more familiar territory on Rozelle Bay before slipping the indicator onto a left turn and home via 21, 30 and a bit of Tooheys new. Mal 'Gore' Gledhill must have been on broccoli load up in working this route for an excellent 400 in the Legends category. The Porkster also noted Deborah 'The Potatoe' Noble flying off on this middle beginning to #17 and peelings further east.

One runner was overheard discussing her planned 4-6 route before the two twenties already mentioned, only to realise the thick black line on the map near #4 hides a steep no-go cliff. At least she was able to pop into our 'thin blue line' friends for a cuppa and a bit of mid course medicine ball fun at the adjacent PCY. Cliffs, yep, there is just something about these critters to spoil a girls fun.

Other aspects to catch the eye were some of the nice controls on offer, including the never been used dunny lane to #28 (fab, and only one barking dog), the Rozelle Bay classics (29/14) and some excellent stink pipes. One route that has been out of bounds before (from #11 up beside the old tram shed - tram, Rosscoe, are you mentioning trams again!) apparently had had the gate prized open, with several runners going the tummy tuck at the other end in saving several seconds - something PP wishes he had done after clocking a bread and dripping (alright, an 8 second over) penalty. Probably should have been hatched off on the map given the new Mirvac ownership, but, hey, wont this be great in a couple of years when the old harness racing stuff is opened up for us - and a couple of small houses apparently. The mapping mafia will be in their like Warwick into a banana, just as soon as it's open.

Although Les Porks seems to be failing to record many nags so far this season (given the quick Si postings), I note that Andy 'The Pharmacist' Hill and Glenn 'The 35 Class' Horrocks were the two 580's that I saw. Of interest is The Glennsters route given he goes the lot no matter what the course - beginning to 8-21 and back to #30 (!!) before circling the west, running 21,5,27,4,15 and the double, the bay, and then home via 1,24,16 and 17. A real wiggle that would be interesting to compare with Andrew (route gadget maybe).

Looking for our elusive lonely control is a toughie. 14 was an outlier, and despite its sublime position, probably went home without too many touch ups. Number 12 might have missed its calling also. Maybe #5, maybe #8. Last weeks stats (thanks BNO) did ratify the Pork Chops guess of the low eastern one (was it #4? - can't remember) as the LP, will we be similarly indulged by GO this time? Watch this space.

So, all in all, a great event, excellent turn up (I gather well over the double ton - maybe 230 odd) with many new faces. President Paul was doing a roaring trade in E sticks and I gather club memberships are on the rise. Good stuff, and a great endorsement of the series. Great work Duncan (and dad Colin, and all the Garingal helpers). You are setting a high standard.

Moving along to next week, we see the crowd licking its collective lips to once again be exposed, yes, exposed, to the wily thinking of chief Uringa eagle - Dave 'The Indian Wedding' McKenna and a bit of fun with royalty at Concord. Dave knows how to fry up the SSS crowd, and what better way to celebrate the visit of HM, than to egg up the SSS burger with some newly mapped grassy stuff at QE Park. This runners paradise should see exhaustion and elation, often in beguiling combination. Make sure you don't miss event five in the series of a lifetime, as we dips our lid to maam, and conquer the McKenna Monster (unfortunately The Pie Face has been whisked off to Toowoomba on grand-daddy duty and will miss the event, but hope to post a 'sight unseen' report from his many spies).

One thing I have been meaning to mention - and now seems the perfect time - is the devotion department, and its recording of a new 'high'. Yes customers, I am honour bound to record prior addict guru Mel 'Ted Cheese' Cox (80 events up to December'07 without a break, and I know I've used the nick before), has gone into medical wonderland pushing the aging knees to 90 (!) events in the subsequent unbroken stream - up until his recent African mountain madness resets his counter to zero once again. All appears well with 'The Cheese', as he was back on the track Wednesday - this time in power walking mode. Well done oh great and faithful servant of the series.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


In fine but cool conditions, Summer Series event #3 chief flag man, Terry 'The Judith Street Jockey' Bluett, presented a circular track last night that had the nags wondering whether to run Melbourne (anti-clockwise) or Sydney (clockwise). Both options meant the puff-o-meter would be fully engaged sometime on their run as the 'Tezza' fully deployed the 100 metre drop in his cunning control deployment. You started high, but.... down and back up could not be avoided if you wanted more than the Friar Tuck haircut.

Terry also pulled out a few old favourites as he worked the spread sheet - 11,23,29,14,28,5 and 18 all being familiar locations to those who survived the January 2010 outing here. Nothing wrong with that of course, especially when joined with the tempting eastern descent and the attractive 90 points to the north west. A wide spread, outside the 'Larry Hand', and looking a real toughie. Mid fives looked podium material, and I think that's what we got. Let's have a closer look.

Arriving behind Terry's old house (and where an early SSS event began out the back gate!), the Bennelong crew were in full flag deployment, almost signaling for the ambulance before a Nike had released the handbrake. There were hushed tones, there was incomprehension, there was that old sinking feeling as you contemplated a loop with a big dose of 'Long Drop Lodge'. At least the loop aspect was easily grasped. You had a fairly basic circle to work without too many interior incursions needing to be factored in (#3 the exception). There were also two add ons - the 90/100 points close in on the NW, and the 90 down on the eastern border (the New Zealand controls).

The NW 'haircut' had many fans with the 90/100 in the bag within ten minutes, and the motor just warming up. The question then was do we plunge via 23 and work the creek line (doing a Melbourne) before pulling back up and some late bush work - or getting the (often slow) bush beeps in the bag while the puff-o was still in idle mode. Many, like Pork Pie, took this latter option and quickly worked up the scoreboard bagging 21,12,2,and 29 before facing the haka and/or the creek. Note the tempter on the low track (#13) being ignored. A case of 'contourus ignorus' - for the old goats anyway. Going the other way needed the exhausted body and brain to retain a modicum of clarity if the bush was to yield anything on the dash (should I say stagger!) home. Going clockwise looked the better plan.

Many other runners appeared to blast off straight away down via #23 and a bit of Burnt work. Discipline was then needed in deciding when to pull out of the dive. 26 to 5 to 14 was the sensible route (with maybe the nice bare rock excursion to #28), although several threw caution to the wind in going for 27/19 before the old LBJ 'escaladio' to #6 and 28. Hard to get this nicely, as #18 had to fit the plan, but couldn't be collected without a bit of contour contretemps.

Looking for our lonely pot (hey, this was now the lonely flag), you would have to say #4 in the east was easy to flick, as was #3 in the middle. I'd say it was a toss up. Thankfully they were only tenners - as many of our 'only the lonely's' are. Numbers 13 and 6 also went home without a partner, and will hope to be up and dancing at Whites Creek next week. Bring it on young Dunk!

So, in conclusion, another top night with the nose bag on. A wide range of scoring was in evidence, with many late back penalties bringing some fancies up short. Big thanks to Terry and the BNO crew - and the yummy new flags. It looks like over 200 fronted the starter with many new faces and Si signings. Excellent stuff.

Next week sees the caravan heading to the inner west, where Duncan & Colin Currie will work us along Whites Creek (one of the world's great rivers) and out to the bay. Expect to see the missing corner cop a few points, as well as some nice running out to Glebe and the gigantic figs. Trams, viaducts, grassy stuff and history will have us in a thrall as we run this little ripper, and maybe head up to the North Annandale for dinner afterwards. Mmmm, sounds like a plan.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


The WHO master of the dungeon, James 'Big Mac' McQuillan, produced a 'with fries' corker last night at Cumberland Hospital. In this great area for summer series fun, 160 plus punters strapped on the nose bag as they fronted the till in a very busy assembly location. And what did they discover? An awesome course proposal from James that even he thought would be beyond us - and so it proved, with an inverted V offering that mirrored the course of Toongabbie Creek itself (reminding many of idyllic holidays on Lake Como), and forced decisions of 'south' or 'west' but not much hope of both. There was even a northern collect that added to the puzzle.

So, let's look more closely at this toughie from the 'King of Scotland'.

An initial route south looked tempting, although there was quite a street run with nothing to show for it before a tenner slipped into the trouser. Proceeding further, you soon became aware of the very tricky, and time consuming, siting of #27 and its attendant out-of-bounds hatching, before a sweep west ended with the 8 or 9 decision on the way back north. 28 pulled you back unless you had cunningly done a Larry with this pot.

Taking the 'doing time' route also looked an early tempter. This appealed to all with relatives inside, as you could call over the wall to incarcerated loved ones as you flew by to #21 - and then worked a bit of creek stuff as you pulled on the afterburner and cruised west along the 'Toon'. The question with those runners wearing the stripes, was do we go up to that beautiful and lonely forty points (22 & 4), or do we just flog on along the creek and hope the second crossing is closer than it looks.

Many others liked to do a bit of fishing on their course, and so trundled off to #30 on the wharf before throwing in a line and cogitating on further potty progress - or waiting for a Murry River cod to surface. The nearby direct westerly bridge route adjacent to #30 then opened some good pencil work in either clockwise (13,29) or anti clockwise (5,17,28) directions, before runners were then flung into direction decision and distance estimations - difficult without the Graeme Hill patented abacus in hand. One route that had many on the puff linked the 5,17,28 start with a grassy beat to 18 before checking into Westmead for a knee X ray and some nice, almost sprint O, work amongst the buildings (try 16,25,6,hole in fence,24,15 - before the return leg - and nailing the checkpoint of the night, number 23 on the old railway line/bridge abutment. Where did this line go, wondered the legions of orienteers that are also big train buffs (aren't we all?). A beautiful feature of Toongabbie, and well selected by The Macster. Another ripper that had the mile a minute brigade temporarily stalled, was the elevated #29 that was 'up there' and not where many assumed. One of those classic Sprint O locations that worked nicely on the 1:4,000, but bought on thinkers nappy rash at 1:10,000.

The event spread was a wide one indeed, and without knowing final scoring (the Pork had to dash off early without committing the 2B to paper), he doubts if anyone managed to complete both of the creek legs - and also scratch the groin in a northern round up. We will no doubt see as scores are posted. I might be very suprised!

Looking at the course with a Pimms in hand, the lonely pot might well to be #8 (26-9 working much better), although the northern double (22/4) might also be up for it given most seemed to be staying close to the hospital side of the creek. I also recall losing time in the creek/bare rock areas around #3 and #2 on previous occasions and was wary of including them in my plan. I did look across the creek from #13, and thought, soberly, mmmm, no, I don't think this is a goer Rosscoe!

So, in the absence of any score reports, we will just have to wait and see how everyone went. Two interesting changes to age categories, are Eoin Rothery owning (I know, I know James) up to turning 55 this year and so lining up in the SVM category - and giving The Wazza a bit of post operative curry. Also, we note from last week, that 'Freedom Furniture' has moved on well oiled rails to the Vets category and took the points over Michael 'Things Stuck in Sheep Wool' Burton at Balls. Go Mr Free, and welcome back to the series. Pork Pie has also 'suffered' the indignity of a certain birthday, and crawls on all fours into the Legends category. We will wait and see if he can keep up prior form amongst this group of angry and insane pensioners.

Lots of action at assembly as I mentioned, with Presi Paul selling Si sticks and gathering the casual forms. The new entry charges are becoming understood, with several commitments to joining clubs noted on the night - very worthwhile when you add up the extra costs costs over the season, and the Si stick having long, long term benefits. Especially as it looks like most of the rest of the series will be Si based - as next weeks definitely will. Speaking of which.....

Event three, a mere six days away, should be a beauty - with Terry 'Grandpa' Bluett leaving the slippers beside the heater as he plans a flog to remember. Previous courses here have put a toe into the bush, before drawing runners down, down and further down the hill before the inevitable upsey return. Testing stuff on the streets, but imagine The Tezza promising more bushy material this time - including the angophora embrace and the cliff line tango! Whooo, hooo, sound yum - and sounds exactly the sort of event we dream about. Streets, parks, creeks, bush tracks, cliff lines and discombobulating areas of bare rock (not an in joke I assure you). What more can the dedicated SSS addict want. Be there!

Finally, before I blog out, another reminder of the new SSS fee structure. Orienteering club members continue to pay $10/$8 for senior/junior entries, where casual, non-club runners pay an extra $3 ($13/$11). Also note that the now (almost) mandatory Si scoring system requires the use of an Si stick which can be bought at a discount this month at all events ($40), but will continue to available for casual hire for $4. Best buy one if you intend to run lots of SSS and any of the other fab series coming up.

That's it sports fans, the Porkie retires to the blue corner where a light soup is being served (naturally, with appropriate bib-ware). See you at the Dam.


Monday, October 10, 2011


Getting the Sydney Summer Series off to a flying start, Dan 'Platform One' Redfern played the 'Balls' card in, what I gather to be, a great opening event. Although the 'Porkster' was AWOL (unforgivable, I know), there have been many reports, and some very interesting initial scoring. The 220 odd punters on the paddock (196 entries - a great start Sydney) seem to have been confronted with a Balls Head extravaganza - where the only post Balls decision seemed to be, have I got the legs to become a 'Timbergetter' or a tenant in Harry's Blues Point Tower. Many obviously had the form, including Open rivals Andy Hill's Hoist' and Richard 'The Preacher' Mountstephens, both carding an impressive 570 points, and a ton each, to open their accounts.

The cuddles brigade at the top of their fields (and in the pike position with a double tuck) also extended to a couple of other classes - with Masters Richard Green 'With Envy' and Tim Rogers 'Over & Out' both posting 550's (super scoring boys), Eoin 'Royal Mail' Rothery and Michael 'He's No' Burton eased into their work in the Vets with 500's, and Alison 'Bex Powder' Pearce sharing the Walking Women honours with Lesley 'The Olympic Eight' Cox - and 220 points apiece. In the caring and sharing stakes (a feature of the family friendly SSS), there were lots of other equal scores high up the ladder, including four SVM's taking a liking to 360 points and equal second placings ( Ian 'The Baker' Miller, Ross 'The Pope' Catterall, Steve Dunlop 'Illow' and Ted 'Don Juan' Woodley take a bow), and the brace of SVW's holding hands for equal third with 240's. Connie, Helen, Kerry and MJ - the race is on and the punters are fiddling for a folding stuff flutter.

Other interesting scoring to note: 'The Chip Heater' off to a flyer in the Mens Legends with a tidy 410, Gill 'Not Richard' Fowler conducting things with aplomb to sneak a tenner from Lisa 'White Goods' Grant (450/440), and Michael Free 'At Last' back with us in 3rd with 530 in MM - and shading 'The Lending Library' by twenty. Warwick 'The Glove' Selby didn't disappoint in the Mens Super Vets (with 440), but gives his rivals a chance this season by dint of lots of travel - including some heavy breathing to Everest Base Camp coming up shortly. SVM's, now is your chance! I also note Sue Thomson taking the first 100 in LW and a great bit of tennis from Sue Davis 'Cup' to open her account in Masters Women with 490 points and claim from Big Foot star, and Owen Gun fancier, Cath Chalmers (420). The Juniors have engaged drive, and with their L plates on show, are out to win the chocs. Huon Wilson and Rachael Noble taking the initial races in modest fields that should grow as we approach the end of year holidays.

Many of our previous stars are obviously out on the turf again and itching for Summer Series action. It looks like there will be ding dong battles aplenty, especially when some of the orienteering 'hotties' return from burning up the bush in the Oceania Carnival just concluded. Which is a nice segue to event two.

And, indeed, there is an event two - a classic level flog at Cumberland Hospital in North Parramatta, and another pot and pencil event. James 'The Halfback' McQuillan is packing down for the WHO team in bringing us another toppie in this great area. Expect fast and furious as James works us around the buildings and over the river (or should that be creek?). Lots of grassy running to ease the knee soreness, and a close by jail if you are found to have bribed the scorers. I have heard a whisper that parking might be confined to the streets (Fleet), rather than in the grounds as per previous outings, so be prepared. It will no doubt be another SSS cracker that your correspondent is looking forward to. Out comes the yellow banner, out comes the binoculars and that chewed stub of a 2B - and of course the race reports and that make the Summer Series the envy of the racing world. OK, OK, it seems old Porky has gone all red in the face - flushed with excitement as it were - and may have exceeded his brief. Probably time for a quiet Reschs.

Note that we are hoping to run most of the rest of the programme as Sportident electronic punch score events, and that you will need to buy (much more preferable) or hire an 'e-stick' to compete. These will be available at all events, as will membership forms for joining one of Sydney's six orienteering clubs (and helping defray the extra 'casual member' fee that comes into effect this season). Hook up, saddle up and join up as we launch off into the cunning running stratosphere - and SSS season 21. Cake anyone?


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