Friday, December 27, 2013


In a rather late race review, Pork 'Sore Head' Pie, has gone straight to the bottom of the SSS champers bucket for inspiration - and finds 'Elevator & Co' with a fine minus thirty. An excellent inspiration to refocus from the turkey and pav, the chardy and Reschs, the sea and the snoring, and attend to matters of state, indeed national, significance - like the excellent event 13 at Woolwich Dock last Monday.

And what an excellent event it was. John 'Le Pantalooney' Anderson returned us to Clarks Point Reserve with a map presentation rather like an arthritic Italy without the boot. A knobbly knee finger of land, jutting, thrusting, weaving and meandering around its central focus - The Woolwich Pier Hotel! ….no, I mean Woolwich Dock, that 18th century engineering marvel sadly out of bounds on the night.

Let's take a closer look.

On arrival at the park (excellent parking), and stepping from the Pontiac fully expecting 35 degrees, 'The Pants' had flicked a switch and produced suddenly cool perfect running conditions. He even whistled up a little breeze to give his tent erection crew a little workout. An amazing change, and a welcome one. Interaction at the trading table left one poorer and richer at the same time. Gone was the tenner, but, to hand was the lower leg map - in full colour and of a landscape disposition. John had worked up the scale to that pensioner friendly 1:7500 offer, and scattered his circles about in a full width throw of the dice. It looked close to a six, with a couple of 'push-on' controls that might tempt and ruin a night, as we see in the best SSS offerings.

After digesting the offer, working the string line and listing the stations to be visited, most runners took an east or west beginning - rather like last week at Georges Heights. A common thread for both was doing all in the east, and working well into the middle pots before returning - perhaps using the 21,14,4,6 area as a turnbuckle, or pushing further to the lower claim of 18,22. These sort of loops led to scoring in the 350/450 area and was a decent reward for doing Wednesday on Monday. The 'stretch' points were generally conceded as the two westerly lumps (12,15,1,30) or, (2,5,16,13), although at least one pair of SSS possums went west instead of the easterly bag. An uncommon decision.

While avoiding the stretch to the two 'lumps' as being a bit too far, adding 27 and 12 to the main bag route already described was probably a good decision if you had the speed - as it was almost flat running. Pork Pie's 6,4 and across to 18,22 might have benefitted from this extra bravado when his back early hit the screen.

One of the potential 'problems' with this end of Hunters Hill/Woolwich is the out and back nature of having to run along the same road - always annoying, but here almost perfectly avoided by 'The Trousers' excellent setting. You could work west via Kelly's Bush, cross over to the Lane Cove view points and then run back the road (21,14,9) before dropping to 11 and the the east - finishing via 28 (we love you JA),7 and the final rip around Clark Park (or the whole thing in reverse of course). Perhaps the flog along to #17 reminded viewers of the old days, but runners with an eye for differentiation, went up one side and back the other! Inspirational stuff.

There was some discombobulation reported in the Kellys Bush tracks (see previous post), with some time poor runners working 6,26 and leaving out #8. Others found 26, but not the direct track junction to #24. One or two also found solace trying to rise or descend from #9 to the road - a difficult and somewhat religious experience. The controls were all well secured, and presented themselves in a sort of nervous innocence for impending thrusts of the dibber. Even old Si's found a friend.

Looking at the course, control #1 probably takes the lonely pot award - with the old Mobil Oil peninsular bag the least attractive loop. Number 30, bottom of hill, number 1, top of hill - you get the idea. There is something nice about the descent to #15 however. Speaking of nice, how about some of the views! The 'poppet crusher' (??) at 24, the seat at #20, #25, 21, 18, 19, and 28 of course - all rewarded the runner carrying a Box Brownie.

So, in summary, an excellent course in a great setting - and with our champion score on the night (Richard Green) being 590 - a picture perfect summer series outing. Let's have a look at a few more facts and figures to round out the report.

Around 185 or so nags on the nibble (169 entries with 11 groups), not bad given the looming festivities. We saw 19 runners post 500 or above, seventeen of them blokes, and two fillies (Gill with 510 and Catherine on 500 - Lisa just ten shy @490). We also had eight competitors going the full 600 sweep, with 'The King' mentioned as the best of them and only 10 seconds over. Another exceptional run from Richard.

Of the age category results, most winners continued recent form, although some by tighter margins (Mark Shingler 20 off 'Burton On Trent', Catherine to Gill mentioned). Steve Flick posted his first entry/win in Legends Men, Andy Povah pipped Anthony 'The Knee' Petterson in WaM, and we saw a couple of interesting winning ties (Wazza Selby and Mel Cox in SVM - 460 pts and Heiko and Ken in IM - 370 pts). I also note the tied score for second (behind 'The Claymore') in SJM of Reece 'The Towbar' Gledhill and Sam Rogers both carding 370's. Duncan and Steve's 430 winning score was also the most popular score with nine runners. A bigger spread of point totals than in recent outings, probably indicating a good spread of control options.

No 45.01's this week, although MM's Vivien De Remy De Coucelles posted 45.02 and probably wished he hadn't stopped for a shandy at the pub half way round. Ian was out for over eighty, Bev for just twenty eight, and Steve Holloway 'Prison' just gets out of jail with a finely timed 44.57. All good servants of the game. I also should note Michelle and Peter Chen here from Dandenong Ranges O club in Melbourne - posting a 280 pt bag, and hopefully enjoying our Sydney style of summer series event.

I began by celebrating 'Otis, Dad and Grandpa', who's 64.34 outing for -30 is right up there. OD&G is one of the great group names that we hope to see more of (as one grandpa says to another) and keeps up a long tradition of enjoying the scenery and not the clock. Some of our groups take things quietly like this, but increasingly, we are seeing good scoring here - Alex and Tristan taking the Group lolly this event with 380 points in a mere 39 minutes. We look forward to more by 'Watt & White' in weeks to come.

Perhaps a couple more names to chew over, this time at the foot of their categories. Barb Junghans (WaW 160) goes 30 under Julie Cossell, Barry 'The Coalminers Daughter' Cole (IM 230) does thirty less than Andy Vesey-Wells, Ross 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' Catteral takes twenty less in SVM from his namesake (and leading Hollywood star) Ross 'The Duke' Duker (280/300), and Scarlett Gill flames forty less than Deb 'The Potato' Noble in Open Women (290/330). Not to be denied, we continue with David 'Sonny Terry' McGhee posting 310 and ceding 60 to Greg Ockenden in MM, Denny Sparling holding out Ernest 'Of Vipers' Windschuttel (230/310) in LM, and Robert Martin giving eighty to Gavin 'Lefty' Wright in the Mens Vets (190/270). Unusually, we also have two ties at the foot of a table, with Liz Bulman and Stacey Bryce both carding 260's in VW, and Ruth Jacka and Adrienne doing the same score in SVW. In tune and on fire - that's the Sydney Summer Series!

Given we are all on the couch (or enviably up at the Christmas 5 Days orienteering in Orange), that's a wrap this week. Not a week of inspired prose or allusion I'm afraid (Christmas has take its toll), but a report none the less. A most enjoyable evening, rounded out for many by the rather deliciously proximal Woolwich Pier Hotel for dinner. The tradition continues! Thanks John and the Garingal crew, youse done good.

Next Wednesday (New Years Day), sees the overindulged rocking and tottering forth to Lindfield and more fun at Fiddens Wharf - with Bennelong's Mark Savery in charge. This is always a good flog, combining the great Lane Cove river, bush track stuff with the odd engagement of puff-o-metre and leafy suburban perve. Marcus Aurelias is sure to have worked a miracle of cunning as we take our new year medicine, and it will be nice to sniff the gum and scrape the sandstone as we begin our second half. Make it a date folks, and dress in shiny lycra. As Leunig said 'I like a lycra life...'


1 comment:

the unknown runner said...

I agree with PP I think the course setter did a good job with a very limited map. 1:7500 was a good idea to as Kellys Bush was eaiser to workout

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