Thursday, October 24, 2013


In a murderous assault on McMahons Point last night, around 220 punters worked their vehicles into a lather of forward gear, reverse gear, and then forward gear again - as they grappled with Kim 'Berly Clark' Welinski's great course at Lavender Bay and environs. This was a night of Masters & Johnson, of 'doing a Larry', of working the lever, and craning the neck, as Kim set a new record for 'in-out' control deployment as he threw the dice in one of the Sydney Summer Series favourite locations. And despite the warmish beginnings (early drivers were seen reaching for the Neverfail), most cars completed their circuits without boiling, and were rewarded with bottled water at the download and the promise of a 'little something' at the Commodore to follow. This was a fantastic evening of cunning running and Sydney on show. The Summer Series at it's best.

With flags aflutter at Watt Park, and shade aplenty, arriving drivers presented their credentials at the race desk and retired to Jacaranda or gum tree to consider their course. Many consulted rival pitt crews, whereas others preferred to ponder event tactics around the privacy of the non operating bubbler. The V8 drivers from Team Big Foot made use of the children's play area to cement their plans - sending their women drivers out first, as the blokes mixed 'quality' daddy time with cursory race planning. It was a scene to behold - and wonder at if you were a passing worker nursing a touch too much weight.

'The Tissue' had opted for a 1:7500 scale map that eliminated the North Sydney CBD in favour of a fast loop east (on firm bitumen and timber) and a madness of gear work on the McMahons peninsular itself. Compared with our last start here (seven years ago at 1:10,000), it looked a goer for the six cylinder models, and probably a nice earner for the lesser (British) vehicles. Further study however, failed to calm drivers and navigators alike. Arriving with full tanks and an itch to accelerate, Kim's masterstroke slowly filtered across the goggles. McMahons was going to frustrate. Blues Point was going to frustrate. This was going to be a race in the lower gears, where mothers with eyes in the back of their heads might have a distinct advantage.

Looking at the course, and observing early starters, cemented the McMahons view. Most liked the close knit circuit, the tight corners and the points available in this western half - and promptly worked uphill. Many followed their highlighters across a tortuous scrawl here - initially to 4/25, or to 5/15, or straight to 26, in a mad tussle with forward and reverse. Despite the gaggle of circles in the middle, it was hard to avoid climbing, with the more challenging of Kim's placements (28,29,19,20 etc) dragging drivers down and then up again. The puff-o-metre was engaged in this pursuit of points, as runners wistfully asked to be reincarnated as Norm Beechey in the Chev.

Many vehicles found themselves with time to spare after the western circuit, and flew past the pitt's to add 14/24. Some further to 12/22 before bailing in a series of sharp left handers. The east had it's fans however, especially amongst the faster models. The Luna leg had less need of gear work, as pedal to the metal thinking rose to the fore. Bob Jayne would have had the Jag at full throttle along the flog from 12 to 22, to 11 and on to 21 - as did many younger motorists. You now see the course with its two distinct halves. The tight circuit and gear work west and the speed in the east. But if the east looked obvious, Kim 'Not Beazley' provided a beautiful sucked in thirty with his placement of control #21. Runners ran on, and on here, mesmerised by the Opera House and the upsey downsey path, only to return to a lousy tenner under the Bradfield. And the east probably provided the 'lonely pot' in control #3 - well off circuit as drivers negotiated the 23/24 chicane.

There were many great sites, and some fun stuff in Wendy Whiteley's garden (#14) and the paths on and up to #24. Views galore, probably making this the stand out grand prix of the year. Who paused at 30, at 28, at 29, at 11, 21? - the list goes on. And getting back to our in-out theme - a good 8/9 controls needing reverse gear probably also makes this one of the great rally events of the calendar.

Sydney Summer Series - putting you in the drivers seat!    

Great stuff, and a course that did fall to the new breed in the Red Bull stable. It looks like we had a quartet of 600 pointers on the podium, with 'Graeme' Hill taking the Lotus across the line in first place in 42.37 - eighteen seconds from Richard 'British Racing' Green. Glenn and Jegor complete the line up, although Steve 'McQueen' Ryan (in the Mustang) should have joined them but for his navigator folding his map over #21, and seeing him cross the line in 40.52 - but going thirty short. Strong language was detected at the debrief!

Scoring seems to have followed in descending dollops of tenners, with a duo of 590's and another quartet of 570's (including Gill) split by an excellent 580 pointer by 'The Ink Bottle'. While most teams had their drivers well into double figures (some going three, going four, going five for the first time), we also record our solo two figure finisher, Beverly 'The All Blacks' Johnson, taking the chequered flag and fifty bottles of Krug as she touched down near the corner post in 42.56. And talking 'solo', we record a solo SJW (Ellen Currie) with 250pts for her work with the Spice Girls, and a solo JM (Aidan Dawson) putting up 520 in only 38 minutes! Contracts are being inked as we (& Bernie) speak.

Most other classes were well contested with many new faces noted by the press box. Unusually, the vintage model sports car category saw a three way tie, with 'Side Valve' Ron, Lloyd and 'Maserati' Malcolm all in for tyres and fuel and a 370 point reward. The Dunk collected 470 to win JM, Neil Hawthorne took gold in SVM with 500, Jimmy held thirty over Mathew 'The Bushranger' Morgan in WaM, and Cheryl Bluett shared 160 points with (the delightfully named Tasmanian star) Tasminka daku Jovicluc! Other classy stars that deserve a nod from Pork Pie include Carol Jacobson in LW (back from Italy and already looking to swap the Camry for a Vespa), Lisa & Claire holding ten over Catherine in OW, and Paula Shingler piling 100 on Sharon 'The Lamb Roast' Lambert (520/420) in Veteran Women.

Great work from a very big field, with all points posted and available for intimate viewing in the 'Mount Panorama' Bar. And excellent to see Sophie Didou from France, and Melissa Thomas from Range Runners in Queensland enjoying the racing in Sydney. Back in town? Great to see Chris Brown back from Cork for a few days, and hopefully able to work up one of his much loved (and missed) optimal routes from last night.

So, at 204 entries (more like 220+ drivers on the circuit when you add the group navigators and side car passengers), this was a top night and a big night for the Sydney Summer Series. It almost seems the more difficult the parking trackside, the bigger the crowd. Long may it continue! And continue it will, with next weeks flog moving back from the strongly bitumen course at Luna/Lavender, to an area with a whiff of gum and a touch of bush track might favour the ribbed tyre over the racing slick. Yes punters and addicts who can't get enough - the SSS rolls on to event five at Pidding Park in Ryde next Wednesday with Graeme Dawson and his star family working their magic in this super and contrasting area. Bush, tracks, ovals, streets, creek lines and the mausoleums of many Italian families in the adjacent cemetery, make for a heady mix. Join 'The Door' and the superb Garingal team as they back up for two in a row. It will be a cracker!  

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Seems there is nothing like a gory murder to bring out the Summer Series fans - with over 200 on the lawn last night, awaiting the tumbril and the gallows. In front of, and in full view of our largest roll up to date, Judge Murphy took 44.33 minutes to pass sentence on one Terence Byrne (who had dispatched his wife Ann hereabouts), a sentence requiring a stout rope and a strong stomach. But dispatched he was, giving this pretty part of Sydney town its early and gruesome name.

And despatched all 200+ of us were last evening - after careful study of the court lists and penalty positions of course. This was all courtesy of court officer Darr and his pink robed attendants, who had set up under the gallows like shadow of the aqueduct for good measure. A scene of calm expectation, with the steep drive down to Kooyong furrowing the brow with thoughts of upsey work to come. This might be a trial in more ways than one!

And so, with the sun out, and the tide out, the crowd threw down the tenner. This time in another Big Feet tweak of procedure that had elderly attendees muttering into their browning moustaches. The orders of court paper was a two sided affair, directions in colour on one side, and then, helpfully (ha!) on the obverse, a boxed listing of points. We can only presume Andy has too much time on his hands.

After our previous outing here (01/11) that focused on the school and points east, last night's landscape presentation reintroduced the western flog in all its proboscis like droop, with the school and bushy north contributing the balance of points in a goiter like central bulge. You can almost read neck and noose in the west, where punters, beeping at #18,15 and 22 and sensing something, lowered their heads and said a few words. The east of the map, in contrast, was as silent as the public gallery was when the judge reached for the black linen.

And so, how to go about your work with such history extant? Simple. Ignore the lot and focus on the Reschs (oops, I mean the course), which turned out to be a perfect SSS set with a toppie at 590 exciting the people that write the rules. So good, and with good scoring from the all stations stallions right down the line to Stephanie's twenty after a most enjoyable 72 minute walk. It was a night of points, and a night where the law took its course.

Casting the bloodshot, three areas demanded consideration. The 100 points in the 'proboscis', the 140 along the creek (the 'gizzard' perhaps), and the 100 in the school grounds. Adding to this were a further 70 to the east of the school and a delicious confection in the middle. This middle group (30,19,14,29) were court one material, with 14/29 being a good link to the northern case (stolen goods perhaps). How to begin? Well, many saw the folly of the proboscis, where the lure of the hundred had to be balanced by the empty return - much like the empty mortuary train from Rookwood needs it's returning full load from Central. Those ignoring the snozz, opted to go up the creek (1,16,24,23) before a clockwise circuit with plenty of bail out options either before or into the school. Others liked an early heart starter and flew to 21,13 and as above, or being bolder (Sir Ronald of Tomatoe) looped in 17,8 before 21. Few it seems worked 20/7 as a beginning - perhaps put off by the drive in as mentioned - with the reverse costing time for 'Big Pharma' when the small track down below #7 failed to reveal itself. Not happy Jan was the cry!

Lots of options and routes, with the Pork Chop's late claim of 5,11,19 (and then out of time to get #14) a mistake, with time lost searching for the tiny pass-through below #5, dropping to #11 and then having to regain altitude to 19 with no time left for #14. In the comfort of the judges chambers, warming a single malt, the almost flat link from 5 to 19/14, yielding the same points, seems suddenly obvious! Running without thinking - that's the summer, no, 'with' thinking please!

Some very nice sites, the ruin for instance - and it's great stone stairway upwards. This was easy peasy from below, but apparently harder to find from the top - as several prisoners legs revealed. I think that was the only puzzle on the course, although 'The Darrleck's' idea of being 'grounded' in his control chaining, had one runner flying uphill past #12 and not seeing the potty until well past it. Grrrr. And in contrast to all the yoga bending to beep, how about number 25 hanging from the tree. 'Big Feet' - you just can't put your foot on 'em!

Perhaps a few scores to consider while the jury retires.

Steve takes the onions with 600 minus 10. Glenn and Andy also put on six, but copped thirty's, Michael one back with 560, held off a trio on 550, a duo on 540 and Gill in court alone on 530 (looking recovered from an ankle (?) at Forrestville). And so it went, with several more solo appearances. 'The Harley' on 520, 'Rossini' on 510, 'The Side Valve' on 500, and 'The Sausage' on 490. All excellent scores from past masters of the summer series.

Good to see Wazza back from Killimanjaro, working the singlet into a lather, but failing to claim from 'The Hawk' who also penciled a tidy 440. James fronted for his first, Charles Blaxland spent 42 minutes searching for Lawson, Mal 'In The Middle' Gledhill took the coin from 'The Broad Bean', and David Bowerman appeared in a Garingal top. Team Berko is noted back in action (yippeee), Chloe & Charlie beeped 170, Adrian White went Group Think, Lumo went slowly, and 'Mohammed & Sultan' claimed the 177th seat in the public gallery! Excellent stuff.

Sydney Summer Series? Conducting it's trials in the open air!

So, a top event at one of our favourite locations. Good work Anthony and fellow Feet. Much appreciated - as was the schnitzel and salad at the Longee afterwards. You can feel the numbers and momentum building, with many more names (no, not Lloyds of London) making their scoring debut as they chase the lick of gold, the sniff of silver and the whisper of bronze - not to mention the lure of the NSW justice system.

All this, and more will become apparent next week - as we return to the harbour and go all funny on the Luna Park rides and harbour boardwalks. Kim Willinski and the Garingal crew, under the powerful influence of lavender, will be setting up their flower stall in Watt Park - almost adjacent to the advertised Quiberie. As always down here, the parking is tough, but, despite that, it is sure to repeat previous biggies hereabouts, and be a MONSTER! Come by train, come by bus, come by ferry! But make sure you come for a run in this most spectacular location. Sydney is on show and big Kimmy is promising a floggerooney to remember. Plenty of apres O cafe's and restaurants in the area for those that like to dissect their course over pie and peas. And then there is always The Kirribilli...mmmmm.  


Thursday, October 10, 2013


Bennelong's Chris Cunning(running)ham proved true to his name with a great outing last night at Forrestville Oval - home of the Forrestville Ferrets Rugby League Club. The hymn sheet, at A4 in dimension and designed for handling in the upright direction, was an almost completely new map - being much 'newer' than I had alluded to in my pre season come on. Older orienteers might recall chunks of 'Bantry Bay' in the southern section, where Railway Commissioner Bluett had deployed the green tones, but north of the oval was all new, and besides, the old 'What's New In The Bantry' had never featured in a SSS programme before. What a treat!

The Tezza had opted for 1:7500, and the NPWS opted for a controlled burn - thus rendering the much anticipated and dreaded 'Natural Bridge' plunge out of bounds. So much for map titles. For those that are curious, the 'bridge' was over the creek on the bush track below #3. It was an invitation Contour Kate would have been proud of. So, no bridge to link #11 and the wedding lookout at #29 (Netty & Mike Billinghurst, and in a 'Feet' tradition some time later, Tracy & Sticks), although this apparently didn't stop a couple of our stallions from going cross country. Reports of 'The Professor' and 'The Cannon' going 22,11,13 to 12/24 via the mid green are coming in via wireless and twitter feed. Brave lads.

Those runners recently returned from a week of bush orienteering in the ACT, would have looked at their A4's, and immediately opted for a southern flog to 'The Alter' at #29 and back. The dry crackle of leaf under boot reinforcing the joys of bush orienteering. Trouble was, this doesn't seem to have been the optimum route. Darn it! It looks like the bushies will have to retune, and come to grips with volley on macadam rather than going the eucalypt nostril and sandstone cling.

Even though most runners headed off south to #24, the majority then broke wind as they turned to port and worked up to #30 and points north. This led to a full basin cut across the top of the map and some interpretive reading of the A4 on the way home (singing 'Westering Home' in a Scottish brogue). In many ways this anticlockwise circle was fairly flat, something not apparent to those clutching podium memories and transfixed with the Natural Bridge. Look how nice 25,26,20,10,21,18,1,14 works before selecting the path home - all the while hoping there is petrol left for a 22 'Larry' and a fiver prior to beeping under the blue and green.

Ah well, as Bing sang, 'memories are made of this'!

A further few brief observations (Pork Pie is on short reporting rations, being in a dizz with this Sunday's NSW Sprint O Champs at Pyrmont - which you have all hopefully entered, or are coming to).  The lower loop led to a wonderful tempter in the east, with 27&16 looking a bag full. Easy peasy until you began the scribbly track, and realised minutes had turned into hours. An excellent sucked in section. Number seventeen also fanned the flames of runner madness, as the stringmen struggled to make it fit. Perhaps a pity 'Connie's Track' didn't lead all the way up there, as this would have added more scratching to the already flea bitten runner scalps. Number 18 also had that non loopy sniff about it, a couple of tens needed commitment (6,9,10), #11 looked too far, and a classic control in #13 that had the O-Suit crowd weeping into their Reschs. The Sydney bush has that effect, and master Cunningham miked it big time.

So, in summary, an excellent and well set course that proved tougher than the 1:7500 scale suggested. 'Sherlock Forest' looks like he took the lollies with 550 points, well clear of a squad car of Open fancies (Andy, Steve, Tommy and The Gunner) on 520. Aidan Dawson followed up his excellent Championship form in the ACT with a tidy JM win (500 in 44.20). 'The Pencil' (390) also had a goodie, and will no doubt be inspired by his fellow Blue. No time to analyse much further, other than to note 'Miss Sprint The Bay' put the foot down to win OW with a nifty 480, Heiko began modestly, Mike Free enjoyed a good run (with amazing iPhone attachment), and Sir Ronald of Lower Broad Bean pipped 'The Principal' in his first immortal outing. Jimmy worked the Culoul Creek T Shirt into a sop walking to an equal win with 'The Paving Stone', while Mel was noted running into the fours. Great to see The Gledhill's, great to see Brian and his bride, Bev in the All Blacks outfit and The Murphy's. What a team. What a sport. What an evening!

A good roll up, with momentum building. Great to see all the SSS addicts on show - some sporting new socks and beards! Also good to welcome Netty & Mike Billinghurst back to Sydney - on hols from the UK, and hopefully remembering how it was. The Billo's were early supporters when they lived here, maybe even before SSS was called that.

Top work Chris and Terry, and the BN help desk. A nice new addition to the SSS area stocks, and one we will no doubt return to. The horrifying plunge to the bridge is already inking a place in next seasons programme. You can almost here the penitents whisper 'We need to suffer'!

Next week, week three if you will, sees us at an unknown location. Well, an unknown name at least. This is another well loved spot, where runners can enjoy cool bush tracks, and momentary lapses in their task - dreamily thinking they are at the tennis in Melbourne twenty years ago before realising it's just a street name. Cunning running mixed in with Big Feet baby sitting - what could be better!. Pester Andy about the 'murder', but make sure your there. It promises to be HUGE.

AND, under threat of Pork Pie excommunication, please make it to Pyrmont on Sunday morning for a unique confection of sprint-O and coffee. Or was that sprint-O and Reschs? Or maybe sprint-O with an apres-O lunch at The Zebra Lounge or Sugaroom. All possible in one of Sydney's most unique and hidden gems. Be there to watch, be there to run. No excuses!  


Thursday, October 3, 2013


Courtesy of the SSS spy network, Porkitude (resting quietly in Canberra) has glimpsed Damen Haupt's initial Summer Series flogerooney at Blackman Park, and is breathing a sigh of relief that the old chalkies were not required to 'put on a show'. It looks like a tough start to the season with our best and fairest only managing half a kilo - and many going the beep around the halfway mark.

Despite the meagre scoring from the fancies, it looks like the 150 odd ponies on the sniff would have enjoyed their first 'hit up' (note the deference to the League here by PP - a normally rusted on Swannies man) at Blackman Park. Glenn emerged to continue where he left off, running the lot, this time in just over 61 minutes - annoyingly for The Glennie, beeping at 61.01 and setting the scene for all those 'just overs' to follow in the coming weeks. Beautiful work from 'The Horror Movie'.

Carolyn's deployment looked wide, as though she had gone 'Four Corners' without realising this wasn't TV - this was real life! There was a very tough claim along Epping Road, where potty #6 surely didn't get a dribble. Our opening 'lonely pot'. Going north looked way hard, with not much reward from the normally engaging mangrove sniff, and lots of running (huh??) without compositional completeness. Bailing up and across needed ethanol fuel in the tank, with #10 a right nark if ever there was one. Those whose non magnetic strings curled, snake like, around the southern bushy points, looked to have had more fun - and would have enjoyed the comfy certainty of the tracks, the waft of gum tree and the cling of damp cliff. The delicious tempters (#26,1,21) down to the map's tail probably proved too much for many - who surrendered before realising their fate was nicely sealed by CH. 'The Lassoo' apparently avoided this drop south, and was one of the few who managed to pick up a few from the northern torture chamber.

'The Joss Stick' seems to have carried the day with 550 in the boiler, but five over. Andy and Steve set out to battle Tommy, but carded 480/470 respectively as they fell away on the turn. Jeremy and Patrik carded 450's with Mark and Glenn pulling 430's. Michael 'Douglas' Burton began his campaign with a 420, and an offer of further roles (for the older actor), whereas 'The Pants' picked up his prior speed, and walked away with a nice opening ton in the LM stakes. Many other excellent scores, and many names now flicking up in SSS lights, and who will soon be the subject of the searching, and sometimes searing, pencil work of Pork Pie. Great to see TKF Cox moving with purpose (and with his sand wedge at the ready) and Mel Cox opening with a classy walk.

This is but a short post, worked in somewhat of a rush as Ron's broccoli works towards it's gaseous exit. But good to be back in the commentary position once again, and great to see us once again back in action in the series of the century! Thanks Carolyn for handling the opening salvo in Navy Week - and to all the Garingal crew helping out as we go 'one-up'. I note several 'non club' entries, and hope these freshies enjoyed their afternoon/evening, and will be soon grappling with their membership forms.

Many O carnival types will be back for event two, where 'The Tezza' enthuses about the area and Chris's course. The 'Natural Bridge' has an allure and an intrigue

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