Thursday, February 27, 2014


'Padre' Lotty and the Uringa faithful put up a right old pant last night that saw the 'Double Bay/double pay' adage given a physical and not monetary meaning. This is not to say there wasn't money about (there was the odd mansion noted, and even a street named Mansion!), it's just that most of the flogsters were too exhausted by the exceptional 'upsey' work to notice. Later in the evening, and over a quiet one at the Golden Sheaf, one word told the story…stairs! Series stars, wondering what went wrong, looked into their beers, and muttered…stairs….stairs…and became lost in thought. The cartographer had pulled on a classic.

But let's start at the beginning.

A brand new area many had never visited was lure enough for 145 summer series tragic's to ignore thunderstorm warnings and head for Bellevue Hill's Cooper Park. Here, in a valley between assets and even greater assets (purchased by the government, after some wrangling, from Sir William Cooper in 1913), the Uringa congregation made camp with tables, cables, flags, instructional posters - and a wondrous large scale map of the service too follow. Sir Ron was on hand, the 'Padre' was glowing, the dunnies were locked (to deter backpackers it seems), and buses did close shaves with parking cars. The 'Lough' playing fields, scene of Lloyds last rugby game some fifty years earlier, had a benign and friendly look. It was to be a flat beginning.

Despite the location, a tenner still enabled the map purchase - probably the cheapest item on sale hereabouts. The portrait A4 sheet was well filled in a beehive, Helen Shapiro, style hairdo dollop, with the teased 'hair' occupying more than three quarters of the area. From Rose Bay in the north, Dave's comb weaved in, about and down the (admittedly grey) hair (I guess Helen is in LW these days) in a masterful display of mapping detail and cartographic skill - to the mouthparts in Cooper Park, and the southern jawline along Edgecliff Road. Although many commented on the fine map detail on the blow up, conversation soon trailed off when they trained their Christine Cragie's on the A4, and the course became apparent. A sort of lock jaw developed amongst the faithful. "Geez, this looks a puzzle" was the unspoken thought as the string was abandoned and you peered closer, and then closer again.

The reason was, Dave had piled it on in Cooper Park and the southern quarter of the map, with a mere sprinkling of glitter upon the beehive. Fully eighteen controls were within the Cooper influence (with maybe #17 and 7 as also in this orbit), leaving ten of the well taped beeping posts across the huge remaining mid/northern area. You also noted the elevation, as any escape from Cooper meant crossing the 100 metre high Bellevue ridge. The points allocation was 210 north to 390 in the grip of Sir William's volcanic dyke. The map scale of 1:8000 did distort things somewhat, but intimidation in the north and conundrum in the south, was clearly on the ministers mind as he prepared his hymn sheet.

After an agony of indecision, most started south to 'do' Cooper first. Many never got much further, with the 'S' shaped bends and folds needed to loop in a mid to high three score taking up the tic tok. Flasher Harry's that managed to work the 'letter before T' in smart fashion, often exited from #6, and across to #28 before getting into real estate stride. A 28,18,8,27,17 curve then worked for the Supers, with the wider 18,29,19,27 loop finding favour with the Vets. Going north from #29 required real commitment, especially when the return from 20,30 up to 10,19 was upon you. You can bet the 'lonely pot' was #9, well off line for all except Glenn and Ian - who might have gone that way to catch a glimpse of Lady Sonia. Come to think of it, Lady McMahon might not be with us any longer. Mmmm.

The up, down and then up again looping in Cooper came in a huge variety of ways, and was very enjoyable orienteering. Hard to get an angle on a best option. I heard 21,12 (testingly high),2,1,11,5 (who found it hidden in the hedge?),25,15,4,23,3 and then a game with Rod Laver. I also heard 21,12,2,22 (lowish, so good from below),3,23 and then back to 11,5,25,15. Going 15-6 as out-back made one conscious of Gordy's rule "never go out of your way for a tenner", but, many did (PP included) and enjoyed another take on the variety of shelters Cooper Park had on show (#14 perhaps the best of them). If going reverse engines along the northern tracks, an option to work up to #16 through the light green worked if you timed the exit up to avoid the OOB and the high fence.

And for both the Cooper captured, and the escapees, there were always the steps and stairways - including what we now dub the longest set of steps in any SSS venue, the lane way northeast from 17. It is a feature of the area in a sense, providing interesting alternate access to what was originally called 'Vinegar Hill' in solidarity with the Irish uprising of the same named battle in 1798. Governor Macquarie didn't seem too keen on this however and is responsible for changing it to the current name - acknowledging the 'beautiful view'. I guess this is why we have the Packers, Fairfax's and other notables (including, apparently, the great gallery man of mixed sox) here.

So, how did the aforesaid 145 punting ponies perform?

For a start, early runners managed their loops in fine weather, and were thankful for it - especially as one spied later starting Dunk's soggy map 'ball'. The Flickster also reports a soaking in his 44.10 run for 370, but would have enjoyed some comfort on the course from his shady 'Greg Chappell'. To others, launching off in the rain to a darkening Cooper and fog upon the lens was a brave act indeed, and we applaud you from the comfort of our Camry's and Commodores.

I think I mentioned 'punished' in my title, and at a lone 530 point toppie (Andrew in OM), I think we can safely say it was a tough night with the reverend Lotty working the lash. Our top four runners were all OM's, with Tommy Joss' 520 to Mark and Andre's 510 keeping this class a fascinating one. Steve Ryan must have had too much in his 'last meal', running wide at 52.51 for a 470 post, and letting the 'Hills Ford' sneak a hundred on him. 'The Ink Bottle' and 'The Movies' were the other two 500 men, Gill just falling short in OW with 490 after a withering 550 run in fifty plus. There was good action in the fours, with 116 of the assembled posting 300's or greater. Our most popular final beep of coins into the offer bowl (can't think of the word) was 390 with ten supplicants so enrobed - amongst them Aidan Dawson (warming down after a sensational sprint weekend in Brisbane), Ian 'Cardiff Castle' Jones, Chris Arnison, Bennelong's Peter 'The Grass' Hopper, and a brace of Garingal's finest - messieurs Goddard, Bulman and Brayan.

Age classes saw some interesting action with a few upsets. Teddy Mulherin had an excellent run with 380 in 44.31 in IM to claim from Ken (350) and Brian 'The Skipper' Cleland (330), and well clear of Heiko who had one of those nights (58.30 upon the map for a uncharacteristic 300 post). Gwen Sewell (160) takes IW with no shows from Sue or Janet, Tristan White nicely up in JM - as was Georgia over Michele (360/180), but maybe Michele was warming down as well as brother Aidan - having blasted the field in Brisbane also. Well done 'The Helicopter'. In MW, Carolyn Haupt scored over leader Antoniya (410/330) and in VW Magaret Jones was ten on from club rival Linda Sesta (370/360) in taking the points. In WaW it is interesting to see Rachael Povah's win over Kathryn Cox as only a narrow one (290/270) where one might have expected a greater margin. Kathryn must have maximised her Cooper work and its sniff of orienteering think methinks. Good stuff.

Not too many odd timing stats to 'enjoy', although we do like to linger on the one second over runners - and note the following offenders: Michelle 'I'm' Hone (OW 44.01), Kenny 'Porta' Jacobson (IM 43.01), Peter 'The Butcher' Day (VM 42.01), and James 'The Mountains of the Malley" Lithgow (SVM) with an annoying one second over 49 - and a tale to tell of joining #19 to #27. Peter Annetts (VM) has another close call at the red flag with 44.46 for his 410 point post, with 'The Shunter' (SJW) coupling up the train in an even closer 44.58 and nearly earning the golden 'phew' award. Our point party poopers include Super Vet and Lake District linguist Prudhoe (44.00 for 350) and Andrew Graham (OM) carrying home the BNO tricolour in 47.00. And earning a goodly 410 for his efforts.

Numbers were down a bit, which was disappointing for a first time area. Still, Bryony was there, Nick Dent was there, Ernest was there, 'The Royal Family' was (!) there - as were Heather Voaden, Crystal and Emily, and next weeks setter, Neil 'The Organ Virtuoso' Lefevre. Most got away with dry to dampish runs, but all enjoyed the newie. It was a very worthy addition to the Sydney mapped area ranks - and stands out for Padre Lotty's extraordinary work on pavement, footpath and verge. He should be in the clothing business.

Big thanks to all from the Uringa eagle for a great evening on the puff, on the scratch, and on the sniff for points. It was great to have a map scale and course that defied too much pre planning - for a change! And for another change, how about Chatswood High in your uniforms for next weeks flogerooney! Not started here before, so it will give this interesting area with its mix of creek lines, bush tracks and street running, a new slant. Neil is one of the better MM runners and knows a thing or two about SSS antics, so expect fun and fireworks from the keyboard man as we fly full steam ahead to SSS event 23.

And let's bring along a few aunties and uncles so we get the numbers up. This should be a ripper.


Thursday, February 20, 2014


Probably our first really wet evening, with rain, showers, more rain, more showers, and a damp gloom upon last night's proceedings - leading one to recall Tim Winton's early book 'The Riders' and its enigmatic line "even the damp was damp". Damp it certainly was, but not a deterrent to the over 100 water board employees, swimming instructors, and anorak testing teams - who turned up in showy silks, and in a variety of headware and eyeshades for the uphill swim.

Show a Summer Series pony a paddock with wet grass and stand back. The 'rusted-ons' are on the chew! It was a night for the addicts, and those with an eye on the badge. Six events to go and several contests going down to the last flog, meant rain was of no consequence - as a sense of desperation gripped the field and moisture moistened the map bag.

Arriving at the old western abutment of the original low level Roseville Bridge, one encountered a sign pointing left, but went right instead, down to Mike Burton's encampment at contour level one. Here the Feet were settled and connected, Andy fiddling and Michael dry - and with a hat on. This very spot was the one first encountered by unsuspecting SSS runners seven years ago when Lummo revealed his "Explosives Reserve" landscape painting and course thereupon. Many remembered the original stretch across the 297 dimension, which, despite it's width, still failed to reach any explosives. Some also remembered the severity of work needed to gain altitude. Michael had them in mind again last night.

The Banjo was surrendered in a complex manoeuvre of Si stick inserting and keyboard verification - that eventually produced another landscape rendering and tri-sectored clue sheet entitled "Echo Point". No explosives to be seen. Instead, the control spotted coloured slash from north west to south east across the page resembled a figure in repose - something that misrepresented the intention of a course that was going to ask similar questions to 2007.

Like '07 there was a bag north of Roseville Bridge, and also like '07 there was a claim south east of the country club (albeit not with quite 'The South Island Town of' Lumsden's stretch). The main game was still the middle connective material to either of these two extremities - with only the guns entertaining both ends. Most seemed to like the 120 point northern circle as a beginning, with a middle mix and a downhill run home to the final collect in Echo Point Park. My guess would be two thirds to three quarters of the water rats went this way, and it seemed probably the best of the two exit options (running down the road quicker than running down the bush track steps). This 'Nosh' route began with ten points seemingly in Middle Harbour (not), before working up to the Two Creeks Track and it's cleavages - twenty points in the first below the fall, and nothing in the second. Taking the steps to 21 and on to the knoll at #23 (seemed further round to many) caused students of lung capacity to make furious notes - as heavy breathers had different intentions and runners were reduced to a crawl. 18 contours had been given the boot, with 'only' another 8/9 to go. Water torture!

Crossing the Expressway led to a 'Larry' at 13 (the enigmatic 'lost' control stand), a thirty up the obscure path, and a spread of ten's and twenty's to get you to the shops and schools - and a chance to refill the water bottle. Number 24 was a must have hereabouts, and also #18 - where the decision of returning or burning needed to be made. Running on south east past 18 committed you to a wide flog (20,7,22 - plus 27,19,29) and some significant contour work, before the relief of the 'other magnificent view' (#30) and the downhill screamer bought thoughts of the water bed closer. More would have bailed at the school for a direct route to the bare rock (#25) and an encounter with the high fence protecting #16 before their own descent (#26 calling on a touch of upsey in this mix). The difficult ones in the middle were #5 and #15, although #15 worked for those having done the north, and travelling by water taxi, 13,23 (in-out),4,15,28 and not going to school.

The very eastern end was the least visited, somewhat a pity in a way, with the seat at #29 promising a 'magnificent view'. This tight area of excellent course setting defied easy looping and took real speed to go 'cover girl' there. The long climb back up to the newly mapped #8 (or to #30), past the club members enjoying a dry martini, represented the longest non ping sector last night, and would have been deeply felt - at least by the four 'all stations' stallions who passed this way. Possibly #8 is the lonely pot here, with the extra climb needed for ten bucks not an easy outlay if the lungs are screaming.

As I mentioned, most seemed to work an anti-clockwise loop, with the few clockies (inc Pork Pie) almost instantly regretting their plans as the puff uphill to 10,6 and 26 saw lots of low gear work and early thoughts of time penalties. Cheery 'Go Rosscoe' greetings from a speeding downhill water skier (D Lotty esquire) didn't help!

Looking at the scoring reveals the tough ask, but also the magnificent work of water baby Horrocks. Glenn is our weekly bellwether all checkpoints runner, who last night ran the lot in 51" exactly for a very commendable 540pt claim. The first six runners were all over time in fact, with the top four (Glenn plus Andy, Steve and James McQ) our only 500 plus water paint specialists. Our most popular score was a strong 350pt pencil with eight artists in water wings taking home this print out - including the winning VW run from Paula Shingler and an equally good one from Will Neal (who obviously did).

I mentioned four runners going 600, with Glenn and Ian McKenzie (a superb 102.24 minute outing in rain shade and stocking) expected, but note Ross 'Not STB' Morrison and Lee 'The Grassy Knoll' Coady (both MM) also enjoying natures natural bath - Lee enjoying ten minutes more in the tub than Rosscoe, but to his detriment it seems. Well over half the field clocked 300 plus, and nobody ended with a negative - although Rob & Rosie pushed it with a final positive ten after sixty one minutes chewing water cress.

Good results for our winners, with no shows from a few regulars (Gill, Aidan, Duncan, Carol, Ellen) meaning some new class winners last night. Let's here it for a trio of golds in VM (Andy Smith, Pete Annetts and Tim Rogers), a brace in OW (Malin Welen and Claire Winnick), with Alastair George taking the Sub Junior gong (an excellent 400 in 46.59 - almost a 'phew' award), Ruariridh 'Fries' McDonald in JM, and Sue Thomson sharing IW honours with Gwen Sewell. John Anderson runs up another win in LM (Teddy a half head in arrears), as does Heiko, Michele, Karin, Antoniya, Wazza, Rachael and Anthony 'The Knee' (and also 'The Chest'!). The battle in OM doesn't get any easier, with Andrew 'In Crayon' Hill and Steve Ryan both posting 580 point gross totals - but the Western Hills artist sketching things in a bit quicker, 49.48 to Steve's 51.11. This is one of the great contests of the 13/14 series, and will probably not be settled till the Macquarie final.

Although Pistol Pete gets a mention above, his 44.59 run is this weeks class act in the water logged stakes, and bears mention. A couple of other .59's (young King George in 46.59 and VM Andrew McDonald in 41.59) are noted, as is the cruel blow to Andy 'The River' Povah, with 45.01 on the water clock killing his potential tenner over 'The Mug of Skim Cap'.

Only three groups out last night, with 'Three Degrees' noted on Pork Pie's naming 'fame' radar, working a 170 point claim in 45.22, and not appearing to have given in to this 'third degree' treatment by the Feet. Good work 3D's. Lucas Manson Family take the Group prize with ten more than the Degrees.

There are many more good posts last night, among the rusted on and the water biscuit madies. Lotty (230 after going ten minutes over), Eric 'Not Any Longer' Young (MM and out over 51), Paul 'President For Life' Prudhoe (SVM and back early), Michael Free (a great 360 in VM), Garingal's Johnny 'JB" Brayan with 380 in the water closet - and mate Bob 'The Bushranger' Morgan (SVM 300) well accounted for, all come to mind - as Rosscoe (standing at the bar) takes in a little something water soluble.

A shame about the weather last night, but a memorable evening nonetheless. Big thanks to Michael and his fellow Feet for a chance to test the hammy and dampen the trouser. And to the SSS rusted on's who showed up, bless the lot of you! Next week see the only completely new map in this years series, with Dave Lotty and the Uringa crew bringing us the chance to jog with our jewellery on at Double Bay/ Bellevue Hill. The map includes Cooper Park and a priceless chance to check out the small fibro shacks and unkempt gardens of this inner city location. It is always great to go somewhere new, so I'm expecting a huge roll up. And Uncle Dave at the controls? Well, he is Mr Orienteering after all - so expect the best, and join us as the Sydney Summer Series rolls into this great new area. It should be a fantastic evening of cunning running.            


Thursday, February 13, 2014


Brown contour lines that is! Those wiggles and Jackson Pollock like meanderings, often a measured distance apart (as one is when taking tea with the aunties), but last night close and personal, as Stanley Steep and Contour Kate worked a sobriety of puff amongst the throng.

And a throng it was, with close to 190 drivers upon the hills of Brush Farm - and maybe a record roll-up for this western venue. Innocently they came, expecting the friendly attentions of 'The Truck Tyre', but actually getting both barrels from Lee 'Enfield' Coady instead (Pork Pie mistakenly mentioning Steve as the course setter in the preview posts, when he turns out to be the organiser). So, the 'Rifle' it was - and he set a cracker.

As alluded to, the 'Farm' is not quite a before bed caress with a soft hair brush, more a serious hill climb in the Torana XU1 - and needing hard work across the gear range, including a fair bit in first. Working across the course from Darvall Park was always going to mean 'puff' of course - and meant a sleepless Tuesday night for those that remembered their last exhaustive outing here ten years ago. Brown lines close together has that effect, and Lee worked them again with enthusiasm.

Let's slip out of the mustard coloured 180B and pull on the shorts.

The WHO encampment was aflutter with banner and branded bunting, including a blow up settee for the elderly to contemplate the punishment to come. Officials, marshals and coin takers were resplendent in light blue, and produced a landscape rally map for the obligatory tenner. Wisely, 'The Rifle' was hidden at the start flag, and missed the spread of drivers upon the assembly point grass in prolonged agony and indecision - as they worked, and then reworked the string, hoping for a lead, hoping to glean a morsel of info from the Blue team, from any early finishers, hoping it would 'click', but knowing that in the end (as Bob Dylan sang) "even the President of the United States must have to stand naked". It was such a good bit of SSS setting that you were indeed all alone. No obvious route or loop, no blank hole, no bald spots, and no getting away from the contours. Runners were to be put to the rack in all directions and combinations, and it is fascinating to see such route variety in the splits.

Let's look more closely at the course.

The 100 points in the eastern strip seemed a must do, with many beginning in some fashion/combination here. There were also big claims in the far west, out of reach for most (although James 'Alan Moffatt' Lithgow worked the GTHO there), and a goodly bunch in the middle. It was almost impossible to construct a low climb course if you were after a 300 plus claim, and so, the 'Pollock's' beckoned. You had to work high, many off the 19/17 beginning and then up to 18 - or back and up via #1 - the delightful Robinson Pathway in Outlook Park. Others went low first (7,13,25,15 etc) and then put in on the western hill slopes to the classic combo at 27,22,5 (Lynn Park) - the V8's having earlier worked 20,28,14 - and wisely ignoring #11 (maybe our lonely pot in its tight clutch of brown). What also bedevilled many were the two thirty's (#24/26) quite close to the start that resisted all looping - and had to be taken 'in-out'. Both classic conundrums. So valuable, so close….but so hard!

A couple of routes illustrate the many options adopted. 'The Morris Minor', 'The Ink Bottle', Gill, Patrik and Greg 'The Gas Well' Barbour all began 12,2,23 and the north to west swing - and home via #3. Glenn also did this, but added #3 between 2 and 23 - curious. Andy, 'The Joss Stick' and Aidan all began south to west (3,7,13,25), with Mark Schaefer tackling one of the tough twenties early, beginning 3,26,4. The combinations were many and varied across all age classes, including an excellent route from 'The Pants' going 2,12,7,13, west to 9,28 (Bell Park),14 (Lambert Park), then 27,22,5 (phew!), 16,18 and finishing with the triple whammy - 21,24,23! I like that last bit, and didn't 'see it' at all during over a hour of indecisive string twirling.

Going over the hill between 22 and 27 was an agony (better low around the street), as was anyone climbing 22,5. A good flow return (if you had worked north earlier) was the run down from 4 through West Denistone Park to 6,25 and across to a 13,7,3 finish. Getting #26 into this mix proved a tough ask. But then, it was a tough evening. Many found deeper reserves than they thought they had, including 'Sir Ronald', who flew home across the foot as described above into a share of the lead in IM with Teddy. And for a steep course, there weren't as many late penalties as you might expect - Alice 'In Wonderland' Clayton taking out the honours here with an enjoyable 81.35 run, surrendering 370 of her 490 point post in OW as a result. And while I'm on a 'late' tack, how about the 100 point penalty cars, Ross Morrison (54.02), Pete Annetts (54.52), Chris Cotteral (54.26) and, perfection itself, Christophe Capel in 55.00! Kaj also gave things a belt (JM 65.09), as did IW's Bev (61.30) and Ian 'The Banker' McKenzie (77.29 and our only other all stops runner - after Glenn).

Looks like only one 'Phew' award - to Tania Kennedy (VW), home in 44.59, and winning her age group with 360 points. An excellent run from 'The Knockout'. On the 'Cruel World' stakes, only two to report, with Matty Dowle regretting stopping for a tyre change at 48.01, and the Beard Group (Rod & Helen) feeling things more keenly at 45.01 in an otherwise excellent post of 370. It seems our most popular score was the rather excellent 370 with 12 racing cars into pitt straight with that post. 350/360's weren't far behind, helping two thirds of the field go 'over half way'. The 370 cars included Tezza, Ted and the Beards already mentioned, but also included a great run from 'The Forbes Post Office' (SVM), more exciting cornering from Vet mobiles, Fergus Duion (Dixon?), Tim 'Thrust &' Perry, Johnny 'Be Good' Buhlman and James 'Smiths Corner' Stuart (whoohoo James, good one), and heavy fuel usage from Masters teamsters Wayne 'The Plunge' Pepper and Sandy 'O' Smith. Crystal Ossolinski our sole female in this block, working her 'Handling Options' Falcon home in 44.44 - and delighting the timing team.

Recent class winners have been in form again, with only a few changes last night. No 'King' so Glenn takes the lollies in MM, twenty clear of Richard Morris (570/550). James McQuillan takes a great OM win from Andrew Hill and Tommy Joss (550/540/530), and Neil Hawthorne returns to the podium in SVM with a strong 420 from Wazza and Larry ten back (410's). Terry Bluett and Ted Woodley worked very different routes but both ended up joint LM winners over John Anderson and Rosscoe (370/360), the Dawson's both won, Carol again, Karin, Gill, Andy and Rachael - and good to see Sue Thommo home under and winning with 250. Another tie in SJW, with Tshinta and Ellen sharing 290's, as well as the reported IM battle. Great to see Gerry Wong on the go, Mel Cox walking (but not winning), Chris Crane (helping and walking), and Mike Hotchkiss mini-rogaining to a 410 point post. There also seemed to be a few first timers taking instruction (Wing Ming Yeong takes the eye), and many passers by wondering... 'I though Bathurst was in October'.

As you can see, race twenty was a biggie, a beauty, a toughie - an all round ripper that was probably our best ever outing on this map. Perfect setting, and perfect results across the scoring spectrum as we tangled with the brown lines - and realised it wasn't P&O Lines. Big thanks to Lee and Steve and the WHO team for another superb showing in light blue. You guys are a class act. I heard many complimentary comments from the finished and exhausted, and also from team managers, who cautioned that the odd engine and gear box oil change might be needed before next week.

Speaking of next week!

Michael Burton and 'The Feet' are scheduled for a 4pm departure on 19 February. I think they might be on platform 21 at Roseville Chase station. This is another tester and brown line beauty, with the start and assembly at the bottom of the hill! Put it this way, it will be a blast on the return. Expect to work the hammy, but also to enjoy the views in this area - several of which across Middle Harbour are sensational. I'm expecting great setting from the stargazer, and maybe the cornflake box starter. It's always a great night when the big feet and all their little feet are on show, so please, bring your Banjo - and maybe some soft toys.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Just back from a magnificent three day/six race 'Sprint the Bay' in NZ (where it rained the whole time) - to find SSS event 19 at Penno over and done, and what looks like to have been a tough outing in the gumboots. The SSS spy network has kept Pork Pie abreast of Bob's Brutal Bash, with a late deck-o at the 'portrait' sending a shiver up the spine. No wonder the scores were low!

Probably too late in the piece for a full evaluation, although I can report enthusiastic support and horrendous negatives from a variety of Summer Series funsters. It looks a very wide spread, with the Lane Cover River pair (#18/30) being as testy a test as fans can remember - one can imagine little traffic thereabouts. The southern points were of a similar nature to last years 'Plunge', and probably attracted the most votes, with care being needed in the small track network around 27/17 etc. The north was less generous, with a reprise of the Plunge (22/20) that apparently attracted 19 punters (10 up and 9 down), and some stiff work needed to loop the high triple (28/8/13) into calculations. The other points also looked to play with your mind if you began 14/6/24 and then saw 16/26 beckoning (+20?) only to realise Contour Kate at work. To go 24 (reports of misplacement) 16 and return didn't look worth it - but then going on down to 26 (20?) left one with a distinct case of the 'Roy Orbison's'.

I can see why the southern loops (beginning west and returning 29/19/23 or for the guns 29/19/10/17/27/3/forget 7/23) found favour, and rather like Bob's setting around 21/11 and 25/5. Mmmm, nice about turning needed, and reminiscent of Captain Cleland the week before at Balmain.

As I mentioned, there have been a wide variety of opinions, with the more experienced orienteers finding in favour - as you might expect. I think we like to see a balance of bush work and street, and the different challenges each asks of the competitor. Looking at the course, I think I might have worked the south, after a 14/6/24 beginning, and look to make the return exit decision at #19. Number 22 looked a goodie to keep till the final flog home - providing you were comfortable which side of the fence it was on! All academic for me of course.

Seems like there was around the 175 mark on the nibble, with Jeremy 'In The Bentley' Fowler taking top honours with 460 in OM. Greg (VM) and Patrik (MM) were ten back, in a field that posted lower than usual points - for obvious reasons. I'll leave the individual results and class commentary till next time, but must note Mel 'The Scout Master' Cox back from holidays and belting a top SVM winner - no doubt with his 9 iron, and adding 'fun' to SVM proceedings as the field turns into the home straight.

Tomorrow (!) we return to Brush Farm at Denistone, with 'The Retread' in charge. The assembly point is on the eastern edge of this map, so all will face a western flog with a fair sausage of the upsey stuff to get to the actual 'farm' (bush grove perhaps) itself - that's if you can tear yourself away from the delights of train watching on the adjacent northern line! Steve is not normally a cruel man, but I think there could be a sting here, especially if he goes Victoria Road to the top and back down again. The nice strip parks and excellent views are compensation of course, but bring (and insert) the energy bar. You might need it.

Getting towards the season's pointy end with points counting more and more, as the gaspers out-run the golfers, and the swinging arm of rugby league fame makes its annual SSS appearance! Don't miss this for quids, and remember, the 'West Ryde' for dinner is just down the road! Yum.    

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


It could even be something of a botany lesson, given the bushy nature of Pennant Hill Park, and course -setter Bob's love of the sound of eucalyptus crunching under the Nike. Or maybe a multi sport court surface and facility comparison? Somewhat sadly though, it won't be a normal Thursday evening Pork Pie report, as your irreverent race caller is off this arvo to New Zealand for 'Sprint the Bays' in Napier. Nevertheless, and given the old gent is still standing after the six races in three days at STB, the Jim Maxwell of the SSS will be back behind the microphone next Tuesday and might manage a late analysis. The spy network has been activated, and PP looks forward to reports of another great SSS event at Penno - somewhat a reprise of Wayne's famous 'Plunge' no doubt, and bound to be yet another fantastic event.


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