Thursday, January 26, 2012


Summer? Summer? No sign of it yesterday as once again Sydney Summer Series fans packed the cossie and water wings to do battle with the flooding north coast river system - somehow transported to the streets and parks of Lane Cove. Wet for most of the day, there was the odd lull in the downpours to temp runners from the Tuza, before more unrestricted shower rose behavior from above caught them once again in a state we seem to be getting used to - completely soaked!

So a very wet one at the Green, and a slippery greasy one. We have had some of our biggest roll ups here, and all prior have been fine weather to my recollection, so I guess it is the roll of the dice. But rain? More like a flood for most of the arvo. Thank goodness for the canopy that the Bennelong crew made good use of, although the start tent down on the oval made for a lonely sight at times as Barry 'The Fireman' Cole patrolled the clear and check - and probably wishing he was in the cab throwing on a P Class fire with best Maitland instead.

Darren 'The Rabbit' Slattery was our setter and early arrivals were keen to see the BNO youngster's take on this old favourite. Would he pull something special out of the hat? Would he send us down a few holes? Would this be a flog to the bottom of the golf course for a quiet one at the 19th? Could we bank on a bit of Hi Fi retail at Len Wallis perhaps? Well, all of the above actually, including that special delight of a wet day hereabouts, getting sprayed by cars passing on the Pacific Highway inner lane on the way to checkpoint 19.

The high standard of graphic presentation established here by Michael 'A Space Odessy' Halmy (coloured clue sheets) was taken another step by The Slatts, with branded and colour co-ordinated clues/maps. I gather there is a printer in the family close by, hence the notice to which we have now been put. A good looking map, but what of the deployment of weaponry? First take reveals a tidy 70 in the western shops, the usual run along the Pacific, a high concentration in the creek line and in the golf course environs - with a couple of blank areas connecting the inner 200 points to plump fruits further south to annoy the walkers. There were also four stretch pots; 7 and 14 in the south west, and 12 and 25 in the south east. The former worked in with the golfers loop, but the southern fifty needed legs, and some of Ron's beans on board, to be successfully beeped in time. There were a couple of mandatory old favourites - #10 on the high fence (I think this has been on every PG course), #1 in the alley (ditto) and #21 up in the small park. I think #14 has copped a stare from passing motorists previously - in fact Pork Pie can remember carding a thirty here a couple of years back. Dazza (the meanie) only providing four & twenty blackbirds on this occasion.

It looked a big stretch in the dry, but the wet added another dimension altogether. I'm calling this the musical dimension, with Simon & Garfunkel "Slip Sliding Away' and James Taylor's "Mud Slide Slim" tracks coming to mind. I'd guess the wet robbed at least 20/30 from our stars, which even then would have only seen low fives. A mid at the outside. As it proved for the second week in a row, Glenn Horrocks ran the lot for another win. His excellent 510 total a tenner clear of King Richard and 'The Ink' who looked to be taking the lollies until the Yellow light appeared late in the evening.

Looking again at the course, the Pork Chop is bound to report a couple of difficult ones that had runners working up a bit of steam. Firstly, the western shoppers that ran the trolley down to the 'fence' at #11 couldn't find it - especially given the circle centre opposite the small stairs. It turns out to be further west and round the back, but we got it eventually. Number 9 was also fun, actually being 'in' the thicket (as described) and not on an edge as most assumed. I also gather there were murmurings about 16 and 26 with the latter perhaps a victim of the rain in causing some dangerous creek crossing work to secure it (Wendy up to her chin - and taking on/in water!). Slipping down banks, up to your neck in the creek, getting to #26/17 with five to go. Ah, the magic of the Sydney Summer (!) Series.

A tidy 220 walking involved out to 8 and the western 70 points, up the road to 21 and then 20, 19 before back to 2,13,22,1 and reaching across the large pond to #10 and a slosh home. Runners wanting to add to this needed to continue south from 19 or to play the five iron to 5,30 and the cunning stuff to 4/27 (home via 14?) or slide down from three tens to 15 and maybe 29 and a touch of bush. 16 also seemed to involve a bit of sliding, Ken 'Done' Jacobson using the rear of his trousers to good effect here in what turned out to be a muted oil in earthy tones. A buyer is still to be found for this interesting canvas.

Glenny worked 9,28,11,8,10,22,13 before golf,4,7,14,27,15,29, an up down movement in the creek to exit at 17, coast in a medium gear to 25, before a high road return along the highway, finishing 21,1. Pot #3 looks the nuisance here, and may have gone lonely for those that like a touch of eucalypt with their golf - but not too much. 25 and 12 probably didn't figure in too many download print outs, although running the road to these babies often appeals on wet nappy days to those who are slowed in the bush tracks - especially as the gloom gathers as it must have for last night's late starters.

Numbers were down, perhaps understandably given the conditions, to 118 entries with only two groups fronting - probably our lowest group turn out. Another interesting feature of the evening were the late back times, some 'overs' being well past their normal bed times. Try David 'They Came By Water' Stitt back twenty two minutes late, Lee Coady (no doubt struggling in his wet jeans) doing a Glenn but 29 minutes over for 310, OW stayer Freya Hewitt collecting sixty but taking various weather readings for 30 minutes over to card a superb minus 240! - and Hugh & Lou working the Si card for a tidy 230 - but thirty one late for minus eighty, and an appointment with the principal. The 'sorry I missed the train darling's' (we know you were in the pub) continue to fascinate. Ernest was wide 13 minutes, Ross 'The Typographer' Emslie set up a beautiful 430 in Times Bold, only to be pinged 200 by Terry and his machine, and Johhny 'O'Keefe' Buhlman had the frogs shouting as he lingered in the creek for his 160 penalty.

Continuing the theme, I note 'The Freight Train' and 'LBW' falling across their stumps in MM with minus 70's, and a gaggle of mares and filly's (Rachel 'The Home Unit' Merton, Rochelle 'The Chocolates' Cox and Linda 'Not Steig' Larsen) taking a fourteen penalty. Up on the 'pode' at the other end we see excellent and timely work from 'The Oyster' (470), Adrian 'Dead Finger' White and Mark Schaefer (460's) and 'The Wrist Plate' (Steve Ryan, who still loves his bike) with 450. Young Duncan piled it on for 320 and a win in the JM's (and taking somewhat dangerous neck high water torture work at 26 as part of his boys own adventure) from Miles Patterson's 310 and Aidan on a modest 230. The junior women were well led to the weight check by a great run from Michele Dawson (300), well clear of leading junior Rachel Noble, back on the scene after rescuing the French economy, but jet lagged last night. Jim 'Jams' Merchant had the stripy flannels with loose tie cord well deployed in going big in the Legends (350), as Heiko dropped a shot, Ronald being worried too much about his zuccini's to focus, and 'The Trouser' not fronting.

Gill carded 420 in a fine display of OW wet weather racing, well clear of Lisa Grant's 350. Eoin raced clear of 'The Rear End' after Wazza had a fall in the creek at 26, finishing with his cylinders knocking and needing a premium unleaded top up (which The Longueville duly delivered). I heard Michael Burton had a fall and hurt his back, which is not a good thing to report. Hope 'The MB Tin' is ok. 26 again?? Finally, the Crackling Chomper can report a nice rails run from James 'Suzy Wong' Lithgow - working the skirt for 360 in SVM and denying reports that he is William Holden re-incarnated. And great to see Don Burnett out on the paddock (first time this year?) with a 140 initial offering to the scoring gods. The Don has been one of our great supporters since SSS inception and it was excellent to catch up. In the rain!!

Scores are already on the SSS web site, so you can all dig deeper there, as the Sussex Street Surgeon settles back with the programme - and shapes a few words of 'come-on' for our next event. No. 18 no less, and back up the Shore in the red rattlers to Gordon and a touch of the bat dropping. This is a reprise of the Flying Fox event last season (hills anyone?), but starting on the east side at Darnley Oval - and according to setter Alan 'The Tilley Lamp', giving an entirely different take on thingamejiggamies. You wouldn't want to miss this so pop a little reminder under the tongue - and breathe normally.

Correspondent Porkie has been a serial disappointment this season with several no shows, or hopeless displays of walking wounded-ism, and is once again (!) off to NZ and will miss big Al's run. Not sure if I will be able to post, although various spies may well be found in forward mode after the event. If nothing, just re-read the old 140 odd messages in the strangely titled 'News' section. Hopefully there is a giggle in there somewhere. And where are our commenters? Fly on the Wall? We need you.

Monday Sprint is a corker at Callan Park. Another must event. Cheers.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


On a warm sunny evening, over 250 Summer Series tragics fronted the Banjo. Many were clutching pages of rhyming verse, others with dog eared drafts of intending first novels; only to be swooned by a public reading of Mulga Bill's Bycycle - or more likely unnerved by Graeme 'The Man From Ironbark' Dawson's compelling and challenging course. This novella being a single sided A4 sheet, colourful but silent, and allowing the reader to ponder - and then to chew the stub at the poetic lesson ahead.

And so dear reader, another big rollup to Rosscoe's incoherent mix of literature and health - otherwise known as the Sydney Summer Series! 222 actual entries is the count, with a large contingent of Groupies and an incredible 54 e-stick hires. Brisk and busy business at this classic SSS location ensued, and, with our Open stars Andy Hill and Steve Ryan both suffering recent running/biking accidents (hand injuries), Glenn 'The Horror Movie' Horrocks shot through to claim on an evening where route choice mattered less than sheer fitness and speed.

Great weather for the second week in a row, something to crow about as competitor numbers build and the age group competition starts getting serious. Let's have a look at what 'The Door' put up and how the punters fared.

First impressions are always illuminating, and Graeme had a suprise in store with a distinct westerly take on proceedings - and only minimal involvement with the NSW Department of Health. So, we got a stretch all the way to Morrisons Bay from the neglected pool, and a dose of in-out work to annoy the loopsters along the way (rather like catching the Central West Mail and doing a bit of pick up shunting at Bathurst and Tumulla sidings). This was a big hand print at 1:10 scale and looked a toughie. Probably too tough, with the two westerly potteroonies (14,28) and maybe even #22, being quickly eliminated from the majority of string twirling calculations. The top score of 520 gives this first reading currency.

Graeme and Aidan had set an impressive course from the eastern side of the hospital grounds a couple of season ago, so it's a natural to want to change the offer. Punters who have enjoyed the fine quality feed within the hospital walls will also get another go here when Jim Merchant 'Of Venice' produces a Shakespearan sprint course from this very spot in a couple of weeks time. Monday Sprints? also classsic fun in the sun, and not to be missed - but I digress.

So a big wallop to the west, but a tight 150 in the hospital that probably had to be factored. The exit routes looked easy enough, with the main two being well trod (21,20 etc in the east, with 10 added initially by some - and 6,15,24 in the west). There was the odd western route of '15 first' also noted. Interestingly, of the easterners (or Victorian racing nags), most worked a 21,20,8,23 collect before taking their leave via 13 - ignoring the recently cleared fence corner at 11. This latter twenty pointer probably didn't compute for those intent on building an impressive CV in the west, although Open Women super star Gill 'Manuel' Fowler, bagged the poolie in her healthy night on duty and 500 biggies.

There was a natural route on hospital exit up to the (about to be closed off) bottle-O #27, on to 4 and then a laundry bag of goodies in the 28,12,19 area. Many went 27,4,30 to get access to 25 and 29 and friends, before the return and nervous clock watching. The 'Larry's' mentioned (ie. 9,17,26 15) not helping the smooth transition of: intention, electric signal to muscles, deep breathing, and subsequent forward and back leg motions in the Dunlop Volleys. If getting caught short by diverting to 9 (never go off line for a Tenner says Gordy) or 17 was bad enough, think of that fatal glance at the Accelator when well committed to 22, and only two or three to go. Oh whoa is me!

I think the immediate west and the mid west worked very well, with large numbers posting similar scores. The small differentiators so desperately sought, proved just too out of reach, with #1, #7 and #3 well qualifying for our lonely pot awards. I'd probably go #1 as the winner, because those on premium fuel could work a 30,3,25 loop if time was easy and the hard jubes were tasty. But then again, what about #7? Jeez, this is a lonely bugger if ever there was one. Splits will reveal all of course, but all these babies had at least one 'ping' - The Glenny passing in a blurr of yellow (why am I thinking Donovan all of a sudden!).

Runners familiar with the hospital grounds will have noted a bit of clearing - especially approaching #8 from the north, and the aforementioned pool. The ruins at #20 are also much more open now than in the past, but still quite evocative, as are all the walls and history here. History lessons on the run. That's the Summer Series!

Enough of the course, how about the punters. As many will already know, results and splits are airborne already, so all can be revealed by a little screen time. As mentioned, our 'all stations' runner Glenn Horrocks ran the 600 in 52.55 to win outright from a couple of strong 500's (Gill 'Bo' Fowler in OW, 'On Your' Mark Schaefer in OM and Mal Bradley 'Harvey Oswald' in VM). Mal pips the mighty Burton M here (a 470 claim after carding an unusually high plus six), Michael running early in the heat and leaving the scene of the crime for a 'strategy session'. Mmmm.

Some good high fours to note. Lisa Grant losing forty from her 510, Pete 'Of London' Annetts holding 470 hair dryers, as did the fast finishing MW mare, Barbara Hill (a westerly circuit for 480 and a 19 second penalty). One 480 to note is that of Lorenzo 'Olive' Calabro, one of Australia's great young orienteers down from Queensland and working an 11 free easterly start. Good to see the 'Oil Man' doing a bit of time at the site of an old oil factory (Meggits Ltd, for those interested, had their edible oil factory on this site, sheds, wharfs etc. Hard to believe now). Patrik 'Russian Iron' Gunnerson and Jeremy 'Vitreous Enamel' Fowler also are noted with 480's - matt and glossy results respectively!

In the junior ages, I note exceptional 460's from Dan Hill and Adam Halmy. I noticed Daniel chasing mum Barbara during the event, Danny taking a ten less though so as not to cause family tensions. Adam's equally speedy sister Bethany, looked 340 in the JW eye and may have gone gold. I noted Sophie 'The Grocer' Jones on a tidy 280 with Rachael Noble, our early leader, unsighted this outing (sister Deb played 'four of a kind' in OW though - a nice reward from one of our greatest). Going back to significant leg hair and body eruption territory, some good super vet and legend scoring. Wazza pulled off a win over 'The Bren Gun' (450/440) with the old dude home three early and Eoin over by 24 seconds. An upset to be sure - as they licked their pints. Terry 'The Sanitorium' Bluett, Jimmy and Ken 'Done' Jacobson pencilled (more likely, colour penciled) 380's, while Ronny went ten better after pondering 'bean' theory and the strange feeling of early arrival. The big news in the Legend Men however, is John 'Stobie Pole' Anderson's sensation 420 point win in this competitive class. John has speed to burn of course, with legs well concealed in secret weapon trousers rather like a James Bond accessory from 'M'. His route mirrored Warwick's (21,20,8,23, to the west, and home via 28,19,9,17,24,15,6) except The Pole ran right passed 28! His mind was on this South Australian state feature no doubt, hence the 30 point lapse - but an exceptional run from JA despite this. He grabs 100 and stirs the pot. The Pork is still injured (and walking like some sort of retired dance instructor) and Heiko saving himself for a late flog - this is a wide open run. Great stuff amongst the pensioners indeed.

Bry Nylon looks to have posted 100 over Sue in LW, with Janet Morris piloting grandchild (Richard's?) for a modest post in the same revered category. I also note Carol Jacobson taking more silk with a 340 ticker in SVW. CJ seems to have this one almost won, and should podium. Last weeks (excellent) course setter, Matt 'St' Peters, seems to be off leash lately with a sensational and very handy 460 in VM. 'The Railway Station' has definitely picked up pace and could medal at his rate. Go Matty.

Lastly, the Zero award; to Linda & Madelynne Chan this week, for an unselfish 90 points and nine minutes late! I also celebrate Sandra 'The Tank Engine' Thomas, once again our longest in the field contestant, with her 69.21 minute outing shrinking a tidy 280 by 250. Sometimes, the Sydney Summer Series has this effect - a mystery rather like 'night starvation' - something the children of the 50's will never forget.

So, in wrapping event 16, another grand roll up and some good scoring. The spread was probably a little wide but we'll take 520 and the Chicken & Chips at The Hunters Hill ($12.50) any day. Thanks Graeme and the Dawsons, and particularly Ross Duker for working the scoring lappie. The download desk was a busy affair (with lots of new records to enter) and there is always pressure here. The Door and The Duke did a great job. And if you like 'fry's with that', how about the last parking spot across the road from Banjo's Cottage, being taken by Rodney Parkin! Sydney Summer Series? Horoscopes on the run are just the beginning!

Next week sees us back at another favourite - Pottery Green in Lane Cove. This has been the venue of some very large turnouts in the past, and some excellent setting. The 'Slatts' is putting aside the willow and commentary duties, and will work the flannels and pots in winning manner. We get highway running, shopping centre malingering, a few rounds with the 7 iron, and some nice cool bush/creek material. Parking here is always at a premium, especially with the busy adjacent pool use, so take a bus, or be prepared for a little on the pins prior. Also don't forget the Loungeville Hotel (also adjacent) for a post race download and dinner. Sounds like a plan to me.

Robin Hood asked me to also mention the Metrogaine coming up shortly. This is always great stuff and worth the long restorative bath afterwards. Details from the Rogaining NSW web site. And finally, the Monday Sprints, now well underway - and classy racing stuff that is a nice contrast to the SSS - and the Western Summer Series events each Sunday. More 45 minute floggeroonies out west with many new maps. Why wouldn't you?

Many other excellent scores across the board

Thursday, January 12, 2012


On a perfect Sydney summer evening, and at a perfect harbourside park location, cunning running fans from all points of the compass went the ten bob tango in large numbers, very large numbers. However, without any current data, Pork Pie is nosing the trough for leads, but will probably have to move into porcine fiction mode in compiling this report.

But let's begin by saying it was a great evening with a very big roll up - possibly a record. Dr Matt and the Uringa crew pitched camp in the delightful Mort Bay Park, where one Lotty, D was soon dispensing maps with both hands - such was the pressure from intending SSS addicts. Early arrivals grabbed the parking with those later on the scene having to circle, and circle again - the Tedster being one of those working the Subaru into ever dizzying orbits. The early arrivers however, were thwarted in their plans for a quick despatch of the pots and subsequent delivery into the hands of Dr Resch, by the late arrival of the clue sheets, and final setting up of the beeping bunny rabbits.

The Doc soon appeared though, and by five we were in business. So much so, that an hour later the 220 pre printed maps had all sold! This must be some sort of record in speedy selling, although The Lottery Ticket reported a large number of group entries that bought multiple maps, hence the quick depletion and need for the later 'used map' registration queue. I'm sure we would have had at least 250 nags on the paddock, the place was swarming with non smokers eager to do their bit of inserting for the sake of the nations health. Given the weather and this attractive destination, it's probably not a suprise that we have gone big, after all, what else on the Sydney Festival programme can compete with this. Cunning running in historic Balmain - what a blast.

Many of you might have noticed your correspondent in unusual guise and of hobbling gate. Running full pelt into a metal fence at Monday's Sprint Series event rendered the Porkface a mere bystander yesterday, although he managed to accompany Gail and grandson Toby into a nice 190 point circle - so has some flavour of the event to report. And a map of course, recycled via Neil 'The Mountain' Hawthorne. So, as mentioned, not much on the results front to analyse, with no print outs that I saw. No matter, let's look at the 'MP's' course and what confronted the many ponies at MBP.

First impression is a much better 'scatter' than last year. This is the second outing here, and Matty worked in the southern areas of Balmain this time, presumably keeping the classic Ballast Point Park material for the Sprint event here in a couple of weeks. The distribution was fully across the area, and would have been a toughie except for one thing - the map was 1:7500 scale. This made things much more do-able, and I am thinking it might have gone 600 for the flash types. Or very close to it.

Darling Street almost cut the map, and the points, in half - with 220 on offer north of the Govenor and good collections to the east and to the south. The western circuit had a nice arc of thirty's, but was more spread and probably didn't get the visitation the east and south did. Apart from the inner trio of 5,6 and 26, there was a ring of no scoring residential that had to be worked through. Admiring the many classic old houses helped pass the time while on your way through this dead zone, although many late running returnees seemed to be in overdrive hereabouts and probably didn't see a thing. Funny that!

Discussions in the Dry Dock later on revealed almost a universal clockwise flog, with the starting line up (9,10,15,16) being as rote inspired as the two times table. Mid four scorers went the full monty to Darling Street wharf, turned west at 30, wondered about the chimney at 18, ripped past the Water Police bagging 28, paused to admire the about-to-be-demolished large white shed on the way to 'The Copse' (love that word) and the graffiti enclosure at 27, pushed on south (much as Robert Falcon Scott had done) to the old container depot, now apartments, at 13, bagging 24 and 3 before catching the return tram. Some good variations worked here, with high threes pulling up at 27 and climbing home via 25 and a nice flat white at The Little Marionette.

I note a trio of Supers, arriving on the 433 - and leaving with 460. Wazza, Gordy and Eoin are our SV's in question, and I think all ran the same eastern loop. Warwick discarded #5 as he pushed home via 12,4,25,26 and 6 in 44.39, whereas,' The Beecroft Bandit' pencilled #5 but ran three over to be twenty back from his peers. Jim 'Jim Falls' Merchant might have taken another ton with 420 in the Legends (to Ron's 370 and four minutes early??!!), and might have been one of the few to work the west. The 'Jumbo' began 26,6,5, pushed out the old right turn bus indicator (with a clank), worked the Leyland up to 23, 2 and 21 (somehow missing #1 in the process), popped in for tea at young Duncan's before taking the level route to 11 and 25, dropping to 12,3,24, reversing the trolley pole and (in notch one) coaxing the R1 class tram to a loop home via 27, 28 and the old Colgate factory. An excellent circle.

I don't have many scores, although Wendy put up 500. She ran all except #22, but was caught wide on the turn by a Hong Kong mare and took the photo seven minutes late. The confused location/description of #11 not helping our bus conductor (along with many others I gather). Malcolm Bradley did a Glenn, working the full thirty pots in fifty two for a 530 claim. Not sure of his route though. With 'The Shopping' Mal on 530, I would have thought Andy or the king might have gone close to a full card, but maybe just short - in which case, what superb setting! All will no doubt be revealed when chief Uringa 'pooter guru, Ronny 'Buckingham' Pallas, moves the results from A to B by royal coach. Watch this space.

Not sure how I might suggest a lonely pot. 22 needed commitment and might qualify, as just about all other worked in a series of loops and probably had multiple visitations (rather like Ron in the vegie patch, when he heard a mysterious calling..."come unto me my bean"). Yep, lets give the nod to number 22, with maybe #1 as the other outlier.

So, despite not feeling the personal bite of the road and lane, the snarl of the traffic, the envy of the sandstone or the sensational views on offer, I think it looked a cracker. Good scatter, good looping, plenty to see - and best of all, The "Dry Dock Hotel" adjacent to #6 with Reschs on tap. Very, very acceptable said the patron ordering a weak shandie.

A big thank you to Matt and the UR crew, who will soon be reprising things with the Monday Sprint hereabouts. One not to miss.

With SSS event 15 behind us, we now move back to the northside and another favourite for the view and history buffs. The delightful Banjo Patterson Park is a bonza spot to work the string line as we eye off the multiple delights of Gladesville Hospital and its old sandstone walls and buildings. No doubt Aidan and Graeme Dawson (our setters) will pull on an east/west stretch in addition to the hospital work, to allow jockeys to deploy a bit of whip work on the slower ponies. Plenty for all speeds of course, including our elusive club of negative scorers. Who was it this week? Who will it be next week? Head on over to the Banjo on Wednesday the 18th to find out. Another 'must see' venue of course - this time with lots of parking!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


As Captain Clarke celebrated his double SCG ton yesterday, a large turnout of SSS punters lined up to do likewise (or a bit more) on a well grassed pitch at Carlingford. And despite the mercury being well into the high 30's, close to 200 nags on a mission pulled on the flannels and daubed on the 15plus, as they took their turn at the crease with their A4 'willows' in hand. You can hear the crowd roaring at this wonderful display of mixed metaphors from The Porkster, but read on - in the hope that things improve!

Chief course curator, Michael 'Front Stalls' Roylance, deployed a full kit of face paint, mood lighting, costumery (and protectors) in leading his troops onto the Kings (dene) stage, or more correctly, the field, as event 14 went hot, then very hot, with competitive hundreds and masterful performances all round. No actor more celebrated by this discerning audience, than Andrew 'Tangara' Hill, who nearly went 'all stations' in his winning 580, delivering His Royal Highness a perfect course setting verdict.

(Rosscoe, steady lad, steady...)

Let's go back a step or two, and reflect on matters Sydney Summer Series #14.

Firstly, it was a stinker. Probably our first really hot summers day this season, and it naturally delivered lots of that tardy starting syndrome, with many fussing at the clear and check, fidgeting with their string lines, or making repeated visits to the car just to double check if it was locked. Later runners did get some benefit from the later cooling, and not having to face the locked gate run around (all affected should contact the stage manager). You know when it's time to start when Ron 'Derris Dust' Junghans emerges from the Prius with a bag of beans and the beige washer at the ready.

Secondly, we were back at Kingsdene with another A4 in portrait format. It has been three years since Lummo went claret in the creek here, so definitely time for a re-run. With its central dividing creek/bush/track section, and many attending parks and loopy streets, it is also a venue many were looking forward too, and classic SSS territory in many ways.

Thirdly, we featured in 'The Planner' section in the Sydney Morning Herald - with an attendant upsurge in web site visits, and hopefully future attendance. Good to see Orienteering in the popular press.

Fourthly, it looked - and proved - a cracker. Lets have a closer look at the theatrical arrangements.

First glance revealed that the pots seemed well spread, with several sites being reprised, or closely reprised (10,21,27 etc) from prior outings. The creek-line featured heavily, with outliers to the north (13,24), to the east (28), and to the west (7,29), but nothing south. Straight away, outer loops formed that could be taken in either direction, with the wider of these probably meaning several inner 'pots that beep' might need to be foregone. There were also nice close to the creek loopings that left off everything north of the 3,9,8 Maginot Line. Closer inspection revealed a cunning option for those that had filled up on premium fuel - a sort of up/down, up/down "W" course that maximised points without the need to go to the outer edges. This route went out via 10,4,11,21,15,7,29 crossed to 19,22 before returning in a swooping motion to the creeks embracing 26,17,30 and 8 before rising on wafting contours to 23 and 18 before another fall to 12,16,25,27 and matters Homeward Bound (as Simon & Garfunkel might have sung). 'The Blue Engine' was a fan of this cunning typography, and posted a tidy 450 for his troubles.

Departures were mostly through gate A (10,4,11), although gate B (1,14,2) had many fans. One to twenty was a good way to ease tardy thighs into action, with its gentle downhill beginning, and may also have had takers. The steady stream of stuffed finishers 'flying' home across the paddock (or is that the 'stage'?) from #1 seemed to give currency to the out-via-the-western route being the more popular beginning.

The pot positions were all good and clear, and the track running superb stuff in this area. The northern section required a bit of contour work and a bit of planning. 19,22,6,13,24,18,12 was a good collect. 23 was a toughie to figure (except in the W route), 9 might have gone lonely, but 28 probably took that honour - needing a good head of steam to bag this little bitty fence thingy. Runners who went west found a good connection to #7, something perhaps not quite so apparent on the map. Yet others ran a direct connection from 29 down to the creek and back up through the bush to hook in #19. Smart work if you know your White.

One very interesting early take on the creek points is from Neil 'Chesty' Lefevre, who worked the keyboard from 11 to 20, to 26 (without bagging 17??!), up to 21, along to 17 (!!), and then back to 26 for a second insertion!! Mmmmm, Neil, I think some Reschs therapy is called for here - and note that chief therapist, Dan 'The Man' Redfern instigated an initial session at the West Ryde on the night in question. Neil's 390 is probably 30/40 shy of recent floggings, but not a baddie given the meanderings.

Other scoring news worth relating, is all competition groupings had winners above the halfway mark - except Legends Women and Walking Women. The walkers on this occasion holding thirty over Bryony and Sue - 290 to 260. A suprise indeed. There were 10 home in the five hundreds (eight stallions and two mares) and 42 home in the four hundreds. Plenty of runners in the threes, two's and even the ones - with our award at the tail going to Nicholas Ip, home with a 230 point penalty and minus eighty! Excellent stuff from the Junior, who pips some good work in the 66 minute range (and a subsequent minus 220 points) from 'The Tilley Lamp' and Stephanie 'The Ankle' Allen - a cool 30 and 20 point return respectively.

I've mentioned Andy taking the lolly in OM with 580. He went all pots except #5, and copped 40 seconds from the machine - almost a doing a Glenn, who is presumably on holidays and missed the race. OM's McQuillan, Ryan and Schaefer filled the minor placings, with 'The Ink' and 'Pentridge' both taking silver with 550, and Mark ten back with 540 and the bronze. Steve's score is interesting because he was home in 41", suggesting his plan was perhaps not ambitious enough.

Other categories saw many favourites taking curtain calls. How about young Adam Halmy and Luke Petterson posting 420's in JM, Bethany going gold with 330 in JW, Kar-Soon taking the points in MM with 530 (in front of Jeremy 'The Musical' Cox's 510) and Mary Fein (480) well clear in MW from Carolyn Haupt (400) and Alison 'The Red Drape' Curtin (360). The Super Vet Men saw The Flickster holding 100 with a smart 460 (ten over Gordy and Eoin). Wazza was a no-show. The Vets have been rehearsing, with Michael 'The Spencer Pub' Burton and Wendy Stevo both well home in bed after yet another stunning performance, that left them well clear of their nearest rivals - in this case, Braddles (480 to MB's 530) and Paula 'No Leaks' Shingler's 430 to The Bendy Buses 510. Gill 'Fell' Fowler timed things to perfection in OW, home with 500 points and one (!!) second to spare on the clock. Maybe her clock, because the official score shows 45 exactly. Anyway 'The Rimutaka Incline' held thirty over Lisa Grant, in turn ten over a strong run from Catherine Murphy (460).

Lots of other excellent scores of course, and all posted live on the night! The wonder of it all.

So, a top night despite the early heat, and a top course from young Michael - ably helped by the Big Foot crew. We will go the chew here again I'm sure, but for now, let's look forward to event 15 and a chance to run amongst the history, houses and harbour views of Balmain. This will be the second outing here for Summer Series tragics, and setter Matt 'Doc' Peters promises to enthrall and entertain at this sensational venue. Post run coffee, dinner or pub? We will be spoiled for choice. So, get your paisley T shirts ironed and think of a little beadwork around the neck to set off the designer stubble. Balmain, what a way to go!

I should also mention Sprint event #2 is on next Monday at West Pymble. A new area and map, so should be fun. The Tracing Paper is in charge, as The Feet do two in one week. Strike me handsome! Pork Chop also notes that the new West summer series begins this Sunday morning at Crestwood, with John 'The Old' Bailey working the gavel. More going on than you can poke a stick at, and an exciting time for our sport. Be there!

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