DROC Juniors Shine at 2021 Secondary Schools Champs

The 2021 Secondary Schools Orienteering Championships were held at Hawkstowe Park, on a glorious autumn day. After a hiatus in 2020, the students were ready and raring to go as they vied for selection to the Victorian Schools Team, which will contest the Australian Schools Orienteering Championships in Tasmania later this year.

James Love, representing Oxley College, was third in Boys 17A, while Samantha Love, also from Oxley, was second in Girls 14A. Amber Louw, from Wesley College, placed second in Girls 17A.  Congratulations!


Meanwhile some of our younger Juniors are taking part in Orienteering Victoria’s 5-week Learn to Orienteer Program.  Taking place on Saturday afternoons during May, this program will cover:

  • Skills for navigating
  • Using a compass
  • Orienteering map symbols
  • Participating in fun navigation games

The focus is on learning and making friends, and each week will involve fun learning exercises followed by an orienteering course using small, scaled maps and electronic timing.

You can sign up for the full program, or week by week.  Find out more

Melbourne City Race Weekend Results

The second Melbourne City Race Weekend was held in perfect conditions.  We welcomed competitors from ACT, NSW, Qld, Tasmania, and WA, as well as a strong contingent of local orienteers and a huge number of newcomers who wanted to be part of the action.

The Saturday Prologue saw competitors taking to the streets of Cremorne in Melbourne’s inner East; nestled between the Yarra River and Swan Street.  Barkly Gardens made a very picturesque arena.  The course held some tricks and traps for the unwary, and definitely required focus on the fine detail; the dreaded steps from the river up to road level got the blood pumping!

James Robertson, Ricky Thackray, and Toby Cooper were the top three on the Long course, with just 6 seconds separating first and second.  Fastest women on this course were Jayne Sales and Helen Walpole, who were only 12 seconds apart.  It was a Tassie invasion on the Medium course, with Euan and Sussan Best taking first and second, and local Ian Dodd in third.  Junior Maya Bennette held off JWOC honours team member Arabella Phillips, as the girls took fourth and fifth respectively.  On the Short course, John Gavens held off junior Joel Crothers by a tiny margin of 13 seconds, with Judi Herkes claiming third.

Our thanks to Eureka’s Bill Borrie for planning the courses, and to Bayside Kangaroos for loaning the map and equipment.

Results     Splits     Maps

Then it was on to the Main Event! The Port Melbourne race began fittingly from the northern lighthouse in Beacon Cove, with the bay in clear view.  Competitors took in Beacon Cove, Station Pier and the bayside trail, the Light Rail, Gasworks park, and the streets of Port Melbourne.  In true Urban race style, winning times were 30-40 minutes.   Congratulations to category winners Callum White, Tim Hatley, Alan Kuffer, Ashley White, Joel Crothers, Heather O’Donnell, Sarah Love, Sussan Best, Sonoka Miyake, and Lydia Stott.  Winners were presented with free entry to upcoming events in May, and all placegetters received a commemorative certificate.

Course planner Stuart McWilliam certainly found some interesting places to position controls, and a great mixture of short sharp legs where detail was important, and long legs where you just had to tough it out.  Again, reading the detail and planning ahead was needed in order to pick the best route choices.  Peter Dalwood produced another beautiful and highly readable full colour map at 1:6000 scale. Note that if you print it to use yourself, it is A3 size for all courses.

Results     Splits     Maps

Huge thanks to the team from Dandenong Ranges Orienteering Club.  Planning is already underway for MCRW2022!

MapLink Initiative A Finalist in VicSport Awards

OV’s MapLink initiative, introduced in 2020 to provide a means for orienteers to continue with their sport during Covid lockdowns, has been announced as one of four Finalists in the VicSport Awards for 2020.  The category is Sport Initiative of the Year, sponsored by Sports Accounting Australia. Award winners will be announced at Marvel Stadium on June 3 2021

This award recognises the work of individuals, clubs, teams, groups or organisations who have succeeded in enabling more people to participate in sport activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new award for 2020 highlights the innovative work that sport has promoted to keep people active and connect with members.

For more information go to https://vicsport.com.au/2020-victorian-sport-award-finalists

This nomination is a fantastic recognition of the many orienteers who contributed maps and courses, designed scoring programs, set everything up in MapRun, and took part in MapLink over many months. There is no doubt that the rapid and successful return of Park Street orienteering events last summer was greatly assisted by MapLink; and we are delighted that a number of MapLink course setters will have their efforts recognised as we use their courses during the current Winter season.

While MapLink is hibernating for now, we’ve continued to publish all new Park Street maps for anytime use, as part of our extensive library of DIY maps.  MapLink remains ready for use any time there is a lockdown in Victoria which prevents orienteering events from going ahead. Find out more

Our Bio:

MapLink (DIY Orienteering) – Orienteering Victoria
At the commencement of lockdown, Debbie Dodd put out a call to the Orienteering Victoria community who produced a total of 138 new courses accessible in urban areas under a DIY initiative called MapLink. Available via MapRun (an app that allows users to upload, save and share their completed courses for virtual competitions), Facebook and Google Docs were also utilised to track a virtual scoring system. Between April and September 2020, 2,140 participants were recorded completing a course and the online activity enabled Debbie to ensure enthusiasm, fitness and entertainment levels remained high through lockdown while the use of technology has opened new avenues for the orienteering community.

Police Paddocks MelBushO Maps for Anytime Use

Police Paddocks Reserve was used for a MelBushO event for the first time last Sunday.  Despite the rain, competitors enjoyed a variety of terrain, from a complex network of tiny tracks, to open grassed slopes and lightly timbered spur/gully, and some more vegetated patches.  Tracks were generally faster than bush, but we were all in need of off-track practice after a year’s break!  Thanks to course planner Carl Stemp, and Dandenong Ranges Orienteering Club, who introduced many newcomers to the joys of bush orienteering.

Results   Splits

If you missed out, we have good news!  The courses have all been set up in MapRun, for you to try any time.  You can download and print your own map.  Simply head out on foot or on your bike; take your phone or watch with MapRun loaded, go to the start as shown on the map, and look for one of the five courses in “Events Near Me”.  You can also try the “All Controls” map as a Score course, and see how long it takes to get the lot!

Police Paddocks Course 1

Police Paddocks Course 2

Police Paddocks Course 3

Police Paddocks Course 4

Police Paddocks Course 5

Police Paddocks All Controls

MelBushO is Back in March

MelBushO makes its long awaited and very welcome return, with a series of Sunday morning events in bush terrain near Melbourne. The series kicks off in March with three events:

In 2021, we require pre-entry via Eventor for MelBushO events, to follow our Covid Safe Plan. This means we can minimise queuing, remove the need for touch screens, and use pre-payment to avoid handling cash.  Controls will be in SI Air mode for contactless punching, and other covid safe measures will be followed.

Online entry and payment, using PayPal or POLI, is quick and easy. It means minimal queuing on arrival, a guaranteed map, and no need to worry about the wallet.  Entries close on the Thursday evening prior to the event.  Not used Eventor? Here’s how to create an account, and register for an event.

More about MelbushO in 2021.

2021 Park Street Champions

Congratulations to DROC’s newest Park Street Champions and Gold Medallists Helen Walpole (Womens Open); Ian Dodd (Mens Supervet) and Ian Greenwood (Mens Supervet PW); Silver Medallists Peter Hobbs (Mens Open), Sarah Love (Womens Open), Denise Pike (Womens Supervet) and Rosalind King (Womens Supervet PW); and Bronze Medallist Ian Davies (Mens Senior). Also contesting the Final were Andrew Hester, Damian Spencer, Andrew Perkins, Debbie Dodd, Mark Besley, and Peter Grover.

The Final was conducted on the Cavills Corner map on February 24. Pamela King was the course planner; Peter Dalwood was the event advisor, and Mark Besley was the scorer.  DROC were host club for the 2021 Champs.  Well done to all participants, and to the organising team!

Click here to see all the Results and the Competition Map

Victorian Sprint Champs at Kensington

It was like a reunion in the car park of the only Championship event to be held in Victoria in 2020, as we caught up with friends who we hadn’t seen since the Melbourne Sprint Weekend way back in March.  Thanks to Melbourne Forest Racers for their determination to make the event happen – a great way to wind up the year.  Skills were rusty as we tried to remember which finger our SIAC sticks went on, how to use our compasses, and what all those symbols on the map meant. But once on the course it all came back, and we had tons of fun navigating the complex streets, lanes, and stockyards of historic Kensington.

Congratulations go to winners Helen Walpole and Peter Grover; runners-up Sally Barlow, Amber Louw, Simon Rouse and Ilze Yeates; and third placegetters Peter Dalwood, Ian Davies, Asha Steer and Janine Steer.  Each will receive free or discounted entry to the MFR Summer Sprints in early 2021.


Summer Series In Full Swing

Melbourne Summer Series is up and away, operating under Orienteering Victoria’s Covid Safe Plan.  Choose from any of the four weeknight series.  With multiple groups of 100 now allowed, we have room for everyone, with no pre-entry requirements.

Guidelines for participants, organisers, course planners and scorers are now available here, including:

  • What to expect at events
  • QR code checkin
  • Season and Multi pass arrangements

Missed an event? Get the maps for Anytime use here

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SUMMER SERIES:   www.vicorienteering.asn.au/summer

Free Weekend Bush Training – Police Paddocks, Sunday November 8

To give Melbourne orienteers some much-missed bush orienteering, we’re offering four free training sessions during November.

Pre-entry via Eventor is required for these four training sessions.  Entry for Police Paddocks will open on Sunday November 1, and close on Friday November 6, or when the maximum of 60 entries is reached.  Entry to the other three sessions will open one week ahead of each session.

These sessions will operate under the OV Covid-Safe Return to Sport Plan. Entry conditions apply – details on Eventor. Please read the OV Participant Guidelines before entering.

Each event will have two Line courses (5 km and 3 km), and a Score course. Police Paddocks will have an additional 7 km (Long Hard) course.

The events are divided into two separate timeslots – 10.30-11.15am, and 11.30am-12.15pm.  When entering, you must choose one of these two timeslots at the same time as you select your course.  You must arrive, check in, and start your course, within your timeslot. Only 10 people will be allowed at Registration at any one time.

Control locations will be marked with hanging tapes, or permanent course markers at Brimbank Park.  These events are self-timed and there are no published results.  There are no toilets at the venues.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Melbourne City Race Moves to April 2021

The next Melbourne City Race will be on Sunday April 18 2021 – rescheduled from November 2020, so that we can deliver all we promised, hopefully without too many restrictions in place.

The 2021 Melbourne City Race heads to the seaside!  You’ll explore the best that Port Melbourne has to offer, including Beacon Cove, Station Pier, Bay Street and the famous South Melbourne Market.  There’s a maze of irregular narrow streets and lanes, perfect for navigating!  You’ll also enjoy an amazing array of architecture from quaint cottages and historic stone pubs, to multi million dollar apartments on palm tree lined boulevards. There are beautiful parks and gardens, and of course the foreshore, where you’ll taste the salty tang of fresh sea air.

You’ll have a chance to warm up on Saturday April 17, with a Park Prologue.  This will be a park map in the inner east, with location and format to be announced. It will feature a network of narrow streets and lanes, small parks, and riverside trails.

Pre-entry will be required, and entries will be open on Eventor in March 2021.  Discover Port Melbourne from a new point of view!   www.melbournecityrace.com.au