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.    

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