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.

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