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.

1 comment:

Fly on the Wall said...

Now that I have 'cooled down' I must congratulate Darren on what in hindsight is a cracking course. And much like the Indian batsmen, on a dry deck I might have gone close to a PB. Alas, I was struck down by a hat-trick of blows: the curse of the illegible Bennelong bush tracks, the featureless control 16 (bare rock of which there was heaps but none actually indicated on the map) and the wet weather. Missing 16 meant not finding the easy route to 29. So a target of 390 was nett 290. GGrrrr. Flummoxing around the extremes of the golf course thus wasted heaps of time and points. Having made it to 26 with 220 points in the bag and roughly only half the time expired, all confidence was soon shattered when 16 was nowhere to be found. The track from there to 15 (another control site almost impossible to read) seemed to take 10 minutes. What was a track? What was a watercourse? 26 was scary and had to be approached from the SW side, I slid about 7-8 times at various points - and how come I was at 5 when I thought I was at 30? Fiendish in the rain and yes, in hindsight, perversely a great deal of fun.
And I hate to contradict Rosscoe but it seems many people did go to 12 and 25 as the roads were much quicker than the tracks. As it was my intended route was 1-21-20-19-6-25-12-25-17-26- 16-29 (both missed)-15-30-5-13-2-10. And with Mr Burton's unfortunate injury what might have been a 100 turned into an 83. Glass half full? Or half empty? More like runneth over!

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