Thursday, February 23, 2012


Unbeknown to most Tania Park flogsters last night, a late evening police operation near controls #2/29, had a miraculous outcome for our winning runner, Richard 'The Chain Gang' Green. King Dick's fantastic 570 point win, included taking just two seconds between the two affected controls! Well, we know Richard can get a hurry on when the summer series grass tickles his nostrils, but two seconds! Let me explain.

The King was a reasonably late starter. Enthusiastic Bennelong control collector Phil 'The Dill' Harding was an early starter. Sounds like a good story coming up.

As Porkie understands it, Phil had driven to checkpoint #5 in readiness to commence putting potty's thereabouts to bed at 7.30pm, when he was surrounded with cops staking out something nearby. Although it was before the notional pick up time of 7.30, they advised him to collect the pots and get away from the site asap, so PH did just that, hoping no one was down there. Unfortunately Richard was. Working an anti-clockwise circuit he had the Ferrari running freely and was enjoying the wind in the beard. He dropped through the gears to #25, worked a left/right combination, but couldn't find #2, ran on east, and then couldn't find #29. Shaping new curses and practicing strangling motions, he ripped on up the path to #5, where he came upon 'Hardyards' with controls and flags in hand. Ping, ping goes the Si Stick and the King bags the missing forty in two seconds!

An amazing story, and unique in SSS history. Apparently the Blue were most interested in Phil's map and what we were all up to. A new club perhaps. Blue-O.

So, after all this dramatic stuff, let's get back to the event itself and evaluate the work of Joel 'The Putter' Putnam as he worked a cruel magic on the Crater Cove colts and filly's - not to mention the older horses whose knees go click in the night.

Starting from Tania Park is always a buzz because of the great views on offer. One of our all time best O tourist spots, but one with a sting in the tail. This is because of the inevitable drop to the sea seeking thirty pointers and the accompanying pant and gasp back up the hill to the finish flag. And what hills they are, with about 90 metres to consider from forty baskets to the check out, the puff-O-metre would need to be rinsed and wiped and kept very handy. Joel likes the hum of the hamstring, and came up with a course that could see the legs being punished on not just one down and back climb, but two! Dubbing young Joel 'Mr puff-O-metre' would not be putting too finer point on it.

But let's start at the arrival platform. Busy shunting engines milled about, as card carrying seniors elbowed their way to the registration desk - and another sublime BNO graphics display. Control descriptions with coloured borders anyone? Yes please was the word as bottoms settled on rock and seat and the chew began.

The presentation appeared much like a summer dress, billowing around a small waist 1950's style. It looked tight, with the many track controls (and their slower speeds) suggesting low fives. All the more impressive then, to see Richard post 570, with Steve 'The Sandal' Ryan running the same total but copping minus ten for being three (!!) seconds over. Oh, cruel world.

So, a good spread in all directions was the offer. The dropseys were to the north around Forty Baskets, and to the south west to our crime scene at 29 and 2. Sadly for the runners in nappy's, most of the 30 pointers were scattered around the periphery, with only 23,30 and perhaps 21 being getable for our flat earth friends. As some compensation, there were a goodly scatter of twenty's in flatter territory to make some amends.

There were several exit points, almost to all points of the compass. 9,4,18 was a good start to the east and north, where 13 in-out and dropping to 'togs off' (27,19,24,28) made better sense than the long bus ride via #13 to #1. Going 15,26 (or 15,3,26) worked equally well for the southern stars. Others ran 12,30 to begin, while even the 12,9,4 start had takers. In the south the cop drop (5,29,2) probably only suited the Flash Harry's, with 5,7,25 making more sense, but another thirty being needed in compensation for the delicious but foregone 'between track bends'. Where to secure it was the question, with maybe a loop from 11 to 6,22,14,10,23,30 working. This looked a lot longer and may have sucked time. Especially if involving the trap of #10. A toughie on the brow of a ridge - much like a sun spot on an Roman nose. A few reported difficulties there - and all for a ten pointer. Never a good idea, as Driver Dan found to his regret.

One of the more adventurous routes was from 'The Trouser' (LM John Anderson), who worked the 12,9,4 beginning before taking the 'Yellow' Train down to the road end, going in/out 28, circling to 8,14,22,6, climbing back to 23,30,17, before dropping to 21,25 and climbing (again) home via 20,26,3 for ten over and a 350. Mr T likes to get his money's worth and is running in brutal style. The old Piglet didn't 'see' the yellow route mentioned here, but heard that young Duncan and Dan both caught an uphill cable car here, and found it slow and damp going. Sadly for 'Basketball', against the clock, and contributing to his timing into the early 50's (a period The Piester remembers well, and suddenly has found voice with a loud rendition of 'The Yellow Rose of Texas' startling the neighbours).

Lots worked around the 12,30,17,11,23 area, but had to add a pleat in the skirt somehow. Going to the lookouts at 15 and 4 were nice adds here, while the more demanding loop of 21,25,7,5,20,26 would have suited those wanting more Tabasco in their LLB than the more widespread eastern track adds. If we have to probe the lonely pot undergarments, I'd guess #1 might have gone home alone. The lower Reefs circuit would have been too tempting, with in/out to 13 being easy peasy here and rendering our solo digit the seat that few sat on.

One point I should make, was how clearly sited were the checkpoints. Nice to see the O flags deployed, and things being where they were meant to be (maybe #11 on the ground was the exception that proves the rule). Good fine scale cartography here as well. Seemingly more detail than we usually get on a 1:10,000.

So, a great evening, a great location, and a course that had many options. I think around 180 ponies fronted the barrier and took home a 570 or a 10, or something in between. No minus scores last night I notice. Mmmmm, where's the editorial fun in that!

We have mentioned our top dogeroonies from Garingal going high fives. Other goodies noted by the man in the silk tie, are; veteran Mike 'Rophone' Burton with 530 after copping a five, The 'Quill' also on 530, Timmy & Tommy going 520, Mal 'The Paddlepop' Bradley and Junior flyer, Matty Hill holding 510's, to a bunch of fives - including Wendy, the 'Dowle Joint', Kar-Soon 'When I Pay Off The Bus' Lim and Simon 'The Duke Of Gloucester' Williams.

Cath 'Port' Chalmers was our first MW home (420), ten up from younger Open class filly's Lisa 'The Napier Earthquake' Grant and 'Point' Claire Winnick. Graeme Hill and Gordon scored 100's with 400 apiece in SVM's, and no doubt enjoying the absence of 'Robert Falcon Scott' Selby and Eoin 'The Rothbury Estate'. Not sure why ER was AWOL. Hilary '& Tensing' piled on 320 to take the SVW prize (CJ in NZ I think), with Bryony still holding the LW trophy (a 270 post and home 7 under) despite being 'chesty'. I think we know what you mean Bryony. Sue Thomson might have gone into 'contour love' mode and regretted it, carding a relatively modest 160.

280 looks like our most popular score with 14 nags posting. We only had one score at the top, and also only one at the bottom (Peter & Isabella out for 57 and a ten point post). Graham 'Sandwich' Horrocks looks like he gets the night out with Jamie Oliver prize for being on the course the longest. Gray enjoyed nearly 63 minutes of innocent fun, pinging the beeping robot multiple times and still putting up 150 marks on the Lunch Specials board. I didn't get to see son Glenn's route, but his full sweep cost him 120, giving currency to my early fears. Many other great scores, good scores and plain old ordinary scores will be found when results are posted. But as they say, it's the thought that counts.

A great night. Thanks Joel and all in Hong Kong. And not to forget the Bennelong crew. We loved it.

Next Wednesday, sees us moving back to Gladesville and the area around Buffalo Creek. Karin 'Off Patent' Hefftner has us trying new medications, and beginning from a new park (Westminster - just near the houses of parliament), that should create a different take on the area. The bush areas below the Field of Mars Cemetery will add to the fun, as will Boronia Park if we get down that far. Karin & Larry's previous outing at Boronia long lives in the memory, so we are eager to see how they have turned the thumb screws this time. Don't miss this, and a very near-by post race dinner at the Hunters Hill Hotel. The Sydney Summer Series - we look after the 'whole' person, not just the athlete.

While I'm also in promo mode, please put down that cold Guiness pie and make a note to come along to next Monday's Sprint event at Macquarie Hospital (North Ryde). This is a brand new map at 1:4,000 scale by the two Amigo's Rosscoe & Jim 'Norths Or Nobody' Merchant. My very own event, and one promising plenty of intricate fun amongst the building mix on this spread out medical campus. Great running, with plenty of cunning. Come and see how Pork Pie plays with the mind as you head north, south, east and west - often all at the same time! Close parking,and undercover shelter in the (rare!) event of inclemency. Make it a date.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


A perfect evening (for a change) saw around 180 dedicated map nags on the chew at Ian Cameron's brand new area at North Wahroonga last night. And what a great new area it proved to be, with over two thirds of the points in the bush, and a very different take on recent SSS proceedings. Many competitors had not seen the likes of it, turning the A4, first one way, then back, as they tried to get a handle on that elemental fact - the top of the map is north. This was almost a map where you could produce the Silva and not be laughed at.

And as every arriving ten bucker soon discovered, this was to be a tango of the black lines. Cliffs, cliffs and more cliffs, with a fire trail network containing them - much as a girdle might contain a large soprano. To render these multiple delights in an intelligible fashion, Ian invoked the eyebrow cliff symbol much loved by O types in the 70/80's to distinguish the vertical stuff from the trails and tracks - an excellent decision that went a long way to aiding a clear read of the terrain. This is apparently an area that emergency services use for cliff rescue training (near #28), so we are dealing with some serious material - but what fantastic material. Old SSS hands were almost weepy as they felt the Volley's wobble on the uneven ground, as they peered over 'the edge', as they held the gum branch as an aid to descent, as the scramble down was soon allied to the struggle up - reminding them of earlier programmes where the bushy stuff was a much bigger Summer Series factor.

Given we have been very urban park and road focussed recently, it is interesting to cogitate on the scoring of some of our flash Harry's with many speedsters losing time in the bush as track A suddenly went in the wrong direction, and track B didn't seem to be on the map. Wazza and Gordy for instance, low fours when their fans might have expected schooners instead of middy's. Eoin only posting 430 after getting 'stuck' at 29 is also a lower tab than normal. Heiko going a six pack over as the paths around #20 had him in a fog of discombobulation - and Larry 'Rain Man' Weiss, coming in 100 over for a very modest 280 after taking the bush option (??!!) from 20 to 25. The plays with the mind.

Most of the evenings scoring was sub five, with only a brace of stallions going over by ten bob - led for most of the print out iterations by veteran Greg Barbour. Greg's 'Instant Coffee' pinged 550 potteroonies at four over the clock, to share the leaders spoils with 'The Ink Bottle' and 'The Quill Pen' (James & Mark for those unfamiliar with Pork Pies nomenclature styling). These two old tech writing types are often nudging the top table and will be happy with the quality feed leaders get on the Tuza ride home. In perhaps unsurprising late mail, 'The Glennster' looks like he has gone ten better in his full sweep, with 600 falling to the blur of yellow in 52.29. A 520 point result, and a sensational run. Glenny is a nav man of course and knows a thing or two about sandstone and gum.

While I'm on results that might be lower than expected, several ponies took to the flog in fine style and carded above their weight. How about Steve 'The Spare Tyre' Dunlop working a brand new set of radials for 400 in SVM! Excellent running from the WHO stalwart. Nick 'Off' Dent went even better in the competitive SV's with a tidy 430 to make the trip down from Terrigal worthwhile. I think Neil 'Dipper' Hawthorne might also have gone 430 in a notable result - the Dipper beating the Doc, maybe for the first time.

OK, let's get back to the event and look inside the mind of course setter and mapper Ian 'The Camshaft' Cameron.

First take on the spread gave a distinct central/western bias with only one thirty pointer ('Roy Orbison' #30) in the east. Good loops looked possible directly north from the start and then by hanging ten as you worked the left hander to proceed much like a Blitz wagon on the fire trails. To 12,1,16,27 and up the paths to 24,20, a bit of urban to 25,7,26,23 all made sense, and then a dip into green to 22, or a reverse tuck in the pike position via the road to 2 and then 21. After all this fun, you could then work home via the handy forty points offered by #11 and 18. Variations on this proved popular, with perhaps the other take being a reverse order beginning - going 18,11,22,21,23 etc. I note here many wounded returnees losing time trying to find the track below #11 - in both ascending and descending modes. Terry Bluett missed the curve on the rise and worked below the cliffs before finding a tricky clamber. Michael Burton was a descender who couldn't find the track through the cliffs either - losing time with only twenty on board. Dan Redfern another. Not good tidings early in the run.

Runners with more petrol belted east along the road via 5 and 10 to pick off 15 and 9 before rising like north shore damp to 18 and home. Thoughts of adding the two twenties hereabouts (13/19) soon faded as you understood the portent of the brown lines. The down to 19 and then up to catch the eastern sunrise via the rather friendly looking 17,8 and 30 must have been something. I'm thinking eighty five meters, and I suspect a very low gear selection.

Some great views along the way last night. The run out via 6 and 28 to 29 was simply sensational, with the sandstone cliff forms and bare rock areas of almost sculptural shaping - and the forest cover very runnable. Also good open stuff around 24. Many reported cross country routes, especially from 23 to 22, although 23 to 21 had fans (walking wiz kid, Andrew Wiz being one collecting spider webs hereabouts). Dan 'Proceed With Caution' Redfern thought he would get in on this cross country stuff with an interesting decision to rise directly from #12 to the road above!! Despite his best efforts, Danny got stuck on a cliff and had to retreat.

Looking at the course, the obvious lonely pot to me is #4 - well out of loop. Obviously Glenn added in the east (as did fellow 600 flogster Lee 'The Moustache' Coady in 69.40), so those potties got some action. Number 14 in the west was also out of loop, but did get the odd visit - Pork Pie being one of these. There were a few sites that caused problems, with some of the tracks in the 24/20 area bringing on a pause, and the pot well clear of the cliff at 26 also seeing the finger scratch the head. Strangely, Mike Burton had trouble at #15 running south and couldn't find it. Gail collected heading north, but maybe there were two junctions? Mostly though, all was in very good order, with pots and units in good reach and clearly marked.

Looking back at a few scores, I note Junior Matty Hill again flying with 490 points. The 'Door Matt' is much emboldened of late and running freely, this time going 60 over from his 550 collect. Tommy Joss also posted 490 with a great run in OM. Steve Ryan's 'Daughter' was before the camera for 480, Anthony 'Pet Sounds' Pettersen had 440 Beach Boys over for lunch and Jeremy Fowler had to make do with 420 new basins. I note Lisa Grant was there but not sure of her score. Chief rival, Gill Fowler whacked 430 and might go gold - again! Joanna Hill looked good in JW with 270, Margaret 'The Last Ball' Waugh might have pinched the LW toppie with 250 - Bryony with fluey cough and Janet Morris out for 62.18 and rather a large penalty to card 140.

Terry Bluett made the ton with 390 in LM, with John 'Angry' Anderson (350), Ronald (360) and Heiko (310) failing to threaten. Nicole & Scarlet had fun with 310, as did Tim Cox with 250. In the 'extraodinary' events department, Jan Seeho worked (the probably non clear and checked) e stick for 350, only to cop a penalty of 8490 points! Her minus 8140 might be a SSS record, and a very worthy one too. Veteran Jeremy Longworth was also a man on a mission, carding 370 but being back 400 over for another minus score. We need more of this 'navigation is fun' stuff!

So, all in all, a great night out at North Wahroonga. Fantastic to get back to some bush running, so thanks Ian and the Garingal crew. I gather there is more map to the east, so more opportunities await. We will be back!

Next week see us up at Tania Park with 'The Putter' in charge. This is another of Sydney's sensational places with great views and an excellent track network. Joel will no doubt send us down to forty baskets, or maybe along for a game of bowls. Whatever, it will be a cracker and not to be missed. Event 21 at Crater Cove. Yes maaam! I should also mention next Monday's sprint at UTS Lindfield, also not to be missed if you like a little dancing in your running.

Finally, I hear that Chris Crane (Western & Hills Orienteers) is unwell and would like to pass on best wishes from all Summer Series fans. Chris has been with us from the start and is a great supporter of the series. We hope to see your cheery face again soon Chris.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


An outstanding run by Junior champion Mathew Hill, was one of the highlights of last night's event at Castle Cove. Young Matty blitzed many Open & Master competitors, bagging 430 points in 42.41 in equal 8th placing, and giving new meaning to the family name. "I like 'em" says 'The Mattress' of the hilly nature of the location, as reporters gathered to question this unusual confluence of name and terrain. What a run, what a time (home over two minutes early!), what a legend.

Pork Pie has a spring in the typing finger noting such excellence, which must be understood in the context of the evening's other scores - and how tough course setter Sue 'Stir Over A Low Heat' Davis had set things up. Lets have a decko at how 'The Sooze' played her cards and how the large turn out of sun starved punters (over 200 on the paddock) enjoyed the gray but thankfully rain free evening.

The Explosives Reserve map title is at once confusing and amusing. Confusing because the explosive magazine buildings (WW2 period I think) that gives the area its name are out of sight on the eastern tip of the map down on Middle Harbour, and well out of reach of last nights pot seekers; and amusing because the light hand of 'Alberto' Contour made most performances anything but explosive (another confusion between a banned cyclist and an alluring hair product is not helping here Mr Rosscoe). And contours there were, especially to the north and to the south east, giving all but those with an aversion to upsey/downsey, something to think about.

This is our second outing from Holly Street, with Sue at least not replicating the torture of Lummo's initial flog up (and up again) from the first use assembly at last night's checkpoint #8. The Holly is sort of a mid way point in the leg of mutton shaped map and provides options in all directions - including vertiginous ones on the recently evolved dirt bike course. Plonking down the 'blue' didn't result in Banjo singing however, rather a quiet pause as the head turned left, and then right (like those swiveling fair ground faces/mouths that you placed balls in to score a tiny teddie) as you took in the width of Sue's intent. Oh dear, this looks a four, maybe a high four, but certainly not a six.

The 'mutton chop' was an act in two distinct halves. North to the bottom and back west linked into a good loop with only a couple of in/out's but involved much hill work (88 meters from #8 to #16!); while the eastern alternative seemed to need more running, but perhaps not quite the climbing - it's lowest pot (#28) being 32 meters above the waterline. There was also a good collect across the relatively flat top for those on the stopping service who were content to appear on page three. This top loop didn't occupy enough of the allotted for most runners however, meaning the escalator needed to be factored. The slight distraction of the outstanding view at #30 also figured, as the thinkers froze in string twirling indecision rather like a Rodin sculpture.

So, what to do?

Many inserted the doovis, and left for a 10,15,12 descent, breathing normally - almost too normally. Sue would have something to say to these happy flogsters, as once 21,8 and 22 were booked, constant firing with best Maitland coal was then required to enable the high ground to be regained from these rapidly slowing locomotives. 14,23,9,24 seemed the order of the day here with #7 ignored as the heavy breathers pushed on to a lovely trap around the shops and school. The temptation here was to drop again into cruise and take a breather again in bagging 5 and 25, before the decision on to #17 or the pull up to 18,13 and home via the cliff. Contours again a factor, not something the infirm were happy with after their 'Lyndon Johnson' from the other side. I particularly liked this aspect of the course though as it toyed with point temptation and potential time damage.

So much for the northerners. Others, maybe hankering for a bit of bush-o, leapt at the chance to climb a cliff and ran off to #20, shirt tales flapping, hair flopping (ah, I've got lost again, that was David Arlott describing Dennis Lilley bowling at Lords!). Most then descended again to gingerly negotiate the wet patch before a public burst of speed across the oval on the way to the track up to the 30,2,1 loop - and presumably points further east. The big downhill working on east from #19 adds sobriety, although the even more committing descent to the bush track at #4 and the superb temptations to 27 and on to 28, are what the east is all about. The opposite (29,28,27,4,17) circle is delicious stuff, with my guessing the damp/wet bush track was slow, and nagged at the mind.

Both broad options needed a bit of each other for the Flash Harry's to podium. The easterners, once back up from 26,18 and 5, had good running up high and the tempting loop to 16,24,9,25 and 15 to complete their assignments, and didn't really need any more low gear engagement. The best add-on for the northern descendants looked that circuit I mentioned (around 5,26 and 18), and probably home via 13 and 20. Hard to know which delivered the better lolly, although Glenny worked a clockwise course if that is of interest (beginning 20,13,1,30,2,19...and home via 12,15,10).

Interest during the evening was aroused by some of the control descriptions, #25 "road bend, east side" (in a tree), and #6 "NE side of road" (on light pole) were ones I saw, although I note several other 'road bends'. These descriptions had older runners going all misty eyed, as they recalled the very first orienteering event held in Australia (Upper Beaconsfield in outer Melbourne) where control's (red buckets) were placed on "the side of the hill" and "in the orchard" !!! I'm also told more than one competitor came across an orienteering stand on the route from 14 to 23, and paused to recall if this was a sportident or punch event!

I mentioned earlier that I thought this looked a toughie, and we might not see a five. The early thinking looked correct when Adrian 'Two Coats' White's 430 points held the top spot till quite late in proceedings. Few seemed to be even holding fours, with lots in the two's and mid three's. Indeed 260 points was the score posted by the largest number of horses - 18 in a mix of filly's, colts and mares, making this an item of interest to Pork Pie (who obviously needs to get out more!). However, the reliable trio from GO, and other later runners, put a better slant on the outing with about half the field ultimately going 300 or above.

At the top we see the majestic Richard 'My Dad Wore Brown In The 70's' Green working 510 in 54.30, Glenn 'The Letter Haitch' 600 in 54.46 and Steve 'Nicks' Ryan's 540 in 48.22 all waving to the crowd with perfect 500's. Excellent running from these GOers. Mark Schaefer is back three with 470, but clear of Richard 'Yards' Morris (450) and an excellent flog from veteran Greg 'Mombassa' Barbour - painting the same score. Patrik is alone on 440, James McQuillan joins 'The Paint Tube' on 430, and so on, and so forth via 'The Joss Stick' and first woman home, Gill 'Fawlty Towers' Fowler, with 420's to MW champ Mary 'Iron Ore' Fein ten back after being boxed in on the turn.

With the scores all being instantly posted last night, there is not much point doing too much here, other than to pick up the odd highlight. I've mentioned Matty Hill great run in JM, but should also note Michele Dawson working the Bell Jetranger in JW to 330 points, but suprisingly home in 40.29. No sign of Rachel last night. Dr Wazza used a special dental feature to allow extra air into the motor in winning SVM with 390, with Eoin calling in sick and Gordy twenty off after working the bruises rather too vigerously.

In the Legends Men, newcomer Andrew 'The Contract Is Out' Newsome, piled on an amazing 350 to head the walking frames. Andy is running like a much younger stallion, and was well clear of good runs from Terry Bluett (320) and 'The Trouser' on 310. Jimmy must have been distracted studying the Billabong share price and only pencilled 290, to cede ten to rivals Tim 'Now Available In Dark Chocolate' Cox and Uncle Ronald in what is close to an 'upset'!! Excellent competitive behavior amongst this group of deep wallets and strangely emergent bodily lumps.

'I'm Not Taking The' Chris Brown looks to have held ten over Wiz in the walking blokes (270/260), with Dale Thommo a similar margin over WAW rival Michelle 'The Policeman' Povah (240/230). Dale was working the elbows in a sort of flapping style, reminiscent of man's early attempts to fly, although with a better outcome. 'Haul On The' Pauline Evans and Helen Murphy look to have carded equal 100's in SVW with good runs in the Peequad. No sign of Carol this week it seems - below decks in the big sea. Also no sighting of Michael Burton. Mike did manage the Monday sprint, but might have seen a recurrence of the back problem from his fall at The Pottery. Hope this is not the case though.

Good to see Sue 'Behind The' Froude up from Cronulla running SVW with a 210 (but not by 297) for her troubles. Ian piled on a tidy 340 in SVM to remind The Sooze he's still got it. Another Illawarra orienteer noted is Sharon 'Mint Sauce' Lambert in VW - posting an excellent 330, complete with peas and mash, and in second place behind 'Chicago'. 'In' Bev Johnson worked a very neat 110 bottles of Hoogaarden in eleven over for a perfect zero, with the "Silver Foxes' nearly stealing Bev's thunder with plus twenty. Plenty of competition at this pointy end, with Kathryn Cox working an apparently broken scull for minus 310! Can this be right KC???

So folks, loads of interest up and down the scoring sheet, as we swallow event 19 and pay due homage to setter Sue (standing in for Davy 'Gravy' Gatwood) and the Big Foot crew. Thanks for another cracker, as we look forward to our next race. This will see the Tuza and Kara Kar's moving further up the Shore to a new map at North Wahroonga. Ian 'I'm Not From' Cameron's Corner has been treading the sand dunes ad spinifex, working the coloured pencils and pooter, and has been known to put up a biggie. This new area promises a touch of fire trail and maybe even a dalliance with the odd gum, in addition to a bit of real estate gawking. I like the sound of the assembly area (Cliff Reserve), maybe this is a hint. Be there.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


In case my 'remote' event report below implied that Gordon 'The Blue Engine' Wilson piloted the pacific class loco into an out-of-bounds area last Wednesday, let me correct the record and state that Gordy never went into any private property to receive his fence wire 'kiss' to the thighs. Sorry GW for my incorrect take on this aspect - Porkies faithful 2B must need sharpening.

I did hear that an area that looked open was actually private land and came with an owner directing traffic. Sounds like many were caught there, but not sure of time/score implications.

Another grey day looms for event 19, but at least not raining at the moment. Perhaps a brolly with your joggers?

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Your remote and tardy correspondent is back to briefly report (via the SSS spy network) another damp and slippery Sydney Summer Series event - this time Alan 'The Hangman' Tilley's Gordon Gecko Gourmet Gasper. Looks like around 180 hardy souls gathered at the new start venue, and agreed in nervous chatter over the pre race Bonox that it was a probably a better one than previously. Where in 2011 we began high (Alan is an old Haight Asbury man after all) and descended (on ropes and pulleys) before the ambulance ride return, this time Mr & Mrs Contour played with the mind - sending you first up, then down, then up, then down again...get the picture.

Despite the hilly nature of things, some good loops beckoned with only a fearsome (or rather, fearless) flog in the north to make the fancy colts earn them a rewarding nose tickle from Lady Potter in gloved hand. I liked how young Al posed a fifty on bush tracks to the east. A sort of starting loop for the unwary perhaps, where the 3,23,10 circle looked close, but time might have ticked, much as a bomb, if the tracks were slow. Anyway, depending on this potential start sequence, you looked likely to then add a decent western circuit that suited those that like a little highway flash, and those that like a leech. Going 12,11,7,9,1,18,4,17, highway, with map waving to passing motorists as mandatory,21,15,13,14 (forget 5),24,19,27,8,6 and home for a hot toddy. Quite a bit of the Mozart 'Uppity Downity' Sonata, but a reasonable loop if the wheelchair has a slight right hand bias.

On the above loop, checkpoint 28 is the decision point - with more ambitious flogsters needing to check the level of single malt in the hip flask before engaging overdrive in tackling this northern add-on. Things suddenly look steeper. Up and down to 16, up to 29 etc, etc. Just as well the contours are nice clear lines painted on the ground so you can tick them off as you stagger past. Unless you could bear the ignominy of returning from 16/29 back to 28, you were committed as far as I can tell. The nightmare had begun!

Anyway, looks like we had some good scoring with two sweepers taking a fifty over in clearing the table. Steve 'Davis' Ryan managing to sink the final black four seconds (!!) in front of the Horrocks Express - 49.41 to 49.45. Pretty close stuff, and very exciting racing for these two Garingal stallions. I heard of the early excitement in the Veterans enclosure that Mike Burton was a no-show (last weeks injury?) and several ponies toyed with their silks, and almost felt the touch of the podium - only to see Greg 'Sweeny Todd' Barbour fly home with a 530 and claim from 'Oh' Brad with 500. It's just not fair!

Michele looks to have another win over Rachel, and Eoin has once again 'done the doc' in SVM. Local junior Matty Hill pulled 520 to Luke's 440 in the colts - and Natalie 'King Kong' Fey scored 1,660!!! I believe this interesting score is because The Nat forgot to punch at the start, but I like her style and am now resolved to go 'no-punch' myself at the next outing. Pork Pie like to think big. Beware of the wounded pig. Speaking of wounds, I understand that Gordon 'The Blue Engine' Wilson missed his footing in a private property area and tangled with the wire - drawing the royal result and earning a rebuke from the fat controller. Hope it wasn't too serious Gords.

So, amazingly, yet another less than summery day behind us in what is shaping as the dampest series ever. Let's hope the Big Feet tribe can consult the weather man and turn on a stinker at Castle Cove. This, as you might have guessed, is our next event. Number 19 no less, and another area that has known the kiss of the contour. Listed torturer David Gatwood is on assignment, and The Feet will be thrusting forward another from their bosom to set. Could it be The Royal once again? Turn up in tights to find out, as we race towards the pointy end of another great balmy season on the nibble and enjoy a superb evening at The Castle.

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