Thursday, November 21, 2013


Although two days early, the cunning allusion to that fateful day in 1963 at last nights Kakoda Killer, was  an excellent additional head scratch for those of us devoted to thinking and running at the same time - and especially appreciated by those of Super Vet, Legend or Immortal status - who remembered the events of November 1963 as happening 'just the other day'! And for our younger readers, we are referring to the day US President John F Kennedy was killed in Dallas Texas (22/11/63), and how last night's two finger flog at Yaralla acknowledged this with control 22 (Parkland - the hospital where JFK was taken to), control 11 (the grassy knoll, thought to be where a shot was fired), and control 63 (#14 renumbered) the school book depository building where Lee Harvey Oswald fired from).

Excellent work from Uringa's first lady Helen 'Jackie' Murphy and attending surgeon Dr Matt 'The Swab' Peters. Subtle, but hey, nice to have a light bulb moment as scores are analysed over that obligatory post race Reschs.

The Sydney Summer Series…the series that delivers on so many levels.

So, lets step back from Dealey Plaza and the open topped Cadillac convoy, as we arrive at event eight in the series that stops a nation. After a nearly ten year gap, the SSS caravan lurched north to the Kokoda Track memorial walk, and our assembly outside the cafe - a new high point in SSS appointments. A full UR encampment was on show, with Secret Service Director Pallas fully wired and tables a'scatter with literature and pencils (!). A more pleasant assembly spot you couldn't wish for.

The Banjo bought a reworked portrait sheet with additional olive street work by the Doc, and almost Sprint-O quality re mapping within The Repat (we believe that an extraction at 1:4,000 here might be 'on' sometime in 2014 - a mouth watering prospect). The whole had a certain visual 'sway' to it, and one imagined grass skirts and a pinacolada at sunset, as various bays beckoned and cool breezes wafted. The scale was 1:7,500 with two metre contours - and you can see the Sprint connection.

Ten years ago it was 'Caroline' (oops, Catherine) as course setter, with the horse paddocks out of bounds. Last night was the turn of the first lady and she put on a generous loop of pearls, including a tempting drape across the (now not OOB) aforementioned paddocks. Very generous in fact, so generous that eight 'Close Protection Detail' members went all stations well within the allotted. Lets have a decko at the offer the lady of Camelot.

The start is towards the north west corner of the area, perhaps compromising a wide spread of beginning routes, although a seventy points stretch further north gave pause to the string twirlers. The main part of the map is a sort of papal two finger salute contained in an olive green street vestment like 'glove'. The Hospital/Great Gadsby 'finger' was packed with points, as was the lower horsey finger, and demanded attention. The newly mapped street section only offered a fifty point link option (and considerable distance/pain for your trouble), not quite enough for the mid score purists that like a loop return over virgin ground, seeing them muttering as they became resigned to planning their out and back through the common pinch point at #4/25. The vast majority looked to have headed off clockwise, with only the connectivity of Rehab points being varied. Of interest is the differing routes taken by Andy Hill and Glenn here, with 'The Peaceful Glade' working 3,13,17,27 and then into the buildings, and 'The Ford Falcon Dealer' going 3,24,15,63,5,13,17 and then an edge sweep around Yaralla Bay. Amazingly, their splits at control #4 were almost exactly the same.

Probably most would have replicated Glenn's approach, enjoying the SprintO quality in the hospital, before contemplating their add-on time and scoring abilities further south. The high three and low four brigade knocked off the main horse stuff, but eschewed the Majors Bay collect (9,19,29,7), and returned via #3. Those with a more developed puff-o-metre worked home via the olive, and nudged into the high fours and the fives for their trouble - and wondering where Pop Eye was with the spinach. All the six hundreds also did this after contemplating baseball and cricket instruction nearer the southern green eagle - and adding the top seventy before beeping off near Lisa 'The Torch' Lampe - Uringa's luminous start/finish control guardian (at least when I puffed into view).

In one sense, it was a procession around the fingers following the relentless sweep of the tick tock with hardly a variation noted. A few went the other way (anticlockwise) by following #3 with 24,4,25 and the south, and 'doing' the hospital towards the end of their outings (Pork Pie amongst these contrarians). Finishing to the north west was too sensible a plan to ignore at Yaralla, as it allowed for the 11,12,21 tempters to be kept in the locker in case time was available. There is something tough about running past the finish like this however - especially as the clock seems to speed up as you pan towards the grassy knoll, gifting a company name to Andrew Denton, and realising that you have gained twenty but lost thirty!

All in all, another wonderful summer series night with another 200 plus crowd lining the route. Every class was represented with many close contests. Good scoring, with fewer late back penalties than on some recent outings - our longest on course being the inimitable Van Schalk's enjoying 64.42 minutes of Texas summer in reducing their well compiled 190 to zero! Strangely, Neil Hawthorne (SVM) seems to have also played his long game last night - looking for gunpowder traces for over sixty one minutes - and letting rivals sniff the hundreds that he has been regularly collecting. Not sure if 'The Moon' suffered an injury to account for this??

Another great aspect of last nights flog, was the firmly taped control units (well most of them anyway) that allowed such quick recording. Thanks UR, thanks Helen and Dr Matt, another race in the bag, and with many puzzled old people being given twenty more, departing Texans were noted with a spring in their step.

Perhaps a look at some of the action is in order.

As we said, another 200 plus night - with good scoring throughout the classes, and most runners close to time. Our 'unders' are led by SJM 'Neil' Finn MacKay at 30 minutes exactly and a 170 point post (maybe Finn was taking the 1993 thirty minute SSS option!), with our over leaders noted above. In the 'close shaves' department, Michael Kuzma 'Told Me' (OM) stepped from the Pontiac in 44.58 to take the award from 'Justice of the Peace' Jo Parr's (VW) 44.55. The 'Phew's' include the Kiwi pop star noted above and another seven students of american history - and the Swiss watch industry. Loud applause for 'The Venetian Blind' (OM 43.00), 'The Dive Bomber, (MM 46.00), 'Market Slavery' (VM 48.00), 'The Mallow Puff' (SVM 46.00), 'The Woodpecker' and 'The Padded Dashboard' (both LM and both 47.00!!) - and our stand out runner on the night, Stephen 'The Prawn' Vaughan tucking into the mixed seafood plate, after carding 45" exactly!

As the 'phews' retire to the back bar, spare a thought for those who copped the 'O Cruel World' award. A four pack last night, the same number of secret servicemen riding in the car behind Kennedy. Commiserations to the following '01's': Tom 'The' Brennan 'Gun' (MM 49.01), John 'I'm Praying' Brayan (VM 47.01), Ronan 'I'm Not In A' Hurrell (SJM 48.01) and 'The Rev' Bev Johnson (IW) going apple green with steam and 38.01. There were a few 02's, but let's not get too excited. Rather, lets have a look at some more general scoring.

In the Opens, Andy, Steve and Mark all went 600 point gold in OM, and showed a clean break to fourth place getter, Anthony Dowle with 550. Further down the two Ben's (Ben 'The Circus' Cirulis and Ben 'Hong' Kong) take the eye with 450's from Jeremy 'The Hammond Organ's' 430. Big Foot's Thut Ho takes home a 170 at the rear of the pack. The OW's saw Claire Winnick 'Post Chocolates' and Lisa share 530's behind Catherine (550) and Gill with ten more. Hannah 'The Shoe Shop' Watts dropped fifty in her 220 post, while Crystal 'Osso Bucco' Ossolinski sacrificed twenty, and then regained them - courtesy Ron of the computer.

A trio of 600's was also found in the Masters Men, although the MW's could only manage 510 after Antoniya came home in 53.52 and copped a ticket. AB was still well clear of Carolyn Haupt however, her 440 being the most common score on the night - and again a big break from the next runner - 'Gwen' Meredith Dodds with 350 episodes to go. Pork Pie is rather taken by this class, and notes the race names that would do well at Victoria's Oaks Day. Keryn, Kristy and Kristan take a bow. Back in the blokes, Porkie notes nothing below the half way mark (Shaun 'The Key' Locke), and all but four of the 28 on or over 400. So young, so brave! Richard Morris and Kar-Soon both had crackers (590's), with 'The Rail Motor's' score being accomplished in only 43.06. One can only regret that tenner left off somewhere along the way, as there looks like time in the bank. Laurent 'The Pillow' Billot seemed to be out the longest here with 57.05 on the Swatch - and copping 130 for his mid run nap.

The Vets see our biggest class, with 34 nags on course, a couple of 600's and book ended by Reverend Father Chris Higgins (120 points noted in the margin of his battered King James). No 440's here but many other pairings, including John, Rod and Bob on 410, and 'The Sauce', 'Cathy' and 'The Californian Govenor' on 400. Tight work from our vet men not replicated by our VW's - who could only manage one pairing, Stacey and Megan on 270's. A spread of other scores from Robin taking gold with 420 to CT 'Scan's' forty two minute 160 pointer. The SV's see Wazza coming back to form (480, but still thirty adrift of 'The Cox Plate'), James at pace (460), and an excellent run from Nick Dent (430). 'The Station Master' was off his oats and well behind the advertised (330), but still a rare claim from The Hawk for Dan. More three's here than should be methinks.

The SVW's also only had one double - Debbie and Julia with 360. Connie had a toppie in the bag, but lost direction leaving 24 and ended up heading towards 23 instead of #3 in a moment of Sprint O discombobulation. The 'Queen of Spencer' will exact revenge next week! What else? The Legends might need a tickle, with Margaret and Carol podium'ing' together with 300's, to shade 'The Bride''s 280. Rosscoe made a boo boo with his 'anti-clockwise' route, working 28-27-17-5 towards the end instead of the planned 28-5-27-17-13 cleaner option. His minus five seconds finish is in there somewhere - but he still had ten over Ted with Terry a further ten back, 'The Pantaloony' another tenner in arrears. Jimmy walked to victory, again, as did Cheryl 'Ray & Dave' Davies in WaW, but hats off to young Duncan in SJM with his sensational 520 in forty four minutes! Great racing from the Balmain Bandit and a cool ninety points clear of 'The Toby Jug'. An amazing result. Cho Eunchae looks like winning SJW with 230 from an IKO combo (190) that might need relocating to the Group lists. Pork Pie is working from a very preliminary listing here - one noting Nerise McQuillan (the real power behind 'The Ink Bottle') with 190 in OM. mmmmm.

Ken took IM from Ted with Sir Ronald no where to be seen. Great to see Barry 'The Coalminer' Cole thinking his way to 250 shovel fulls, a score he shared with fellow Bennelong clubman, Bruce 'Go Swans' Dawkins. In IW, June took ten from Sue in another enthralling contest - Janet a further thirty back (300,280,250). I've forgotten our (3) juniors it seems! Kaj gets JM with his solo class 380, while Karla and Michele shared 440 equal wins in JW after putting in a bit more than 'The Bowling Ball'. Aidan not on scene it seems.

Aaah, enough, enough cry the two fingers (the right one doing twice the work of the left one), let's take the oath of office and move forward with President Johnson - and Lady Bird! Actually, I should move on from this myself, and mention our next event! Yes indeed, we have had eight rippers, and now look forward to revisiting Epping Oval and SSS event nine - 'The M2 Tunnel'. Carol 'Jacob's Creek' Jacobson will be on the bottle here and is known how to extract a confession from the most sober of runners. She is advising a touch of hillock, and possibly a touch of paddock as we get to grips with middle Australia up here on the main north line. One might get a touch of Terrys Creek, some bush track stuff, and even a stretch to Whale Rock - with shady streets along the way. It's been a while since we began here, and well worth another look see. Make it a date.        



1 comment:

Fly on the Wall said...

This was as lovely an assembly area as I can recall in SSS history. If only I had the legs to run more of this terrific location. And great setting, too, while noting the restrictions Ross mentioned re out and back. I love courses that maximise the off-road areas. The hospital would indeed make a great sprint area.

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