Podium Fever: Victorian Long Distance Championships

A strong contingent of 16 DROC members headed to Chewton for the Victorian Long Distance Championships today and upon arrival were greeted with what could be described as a boutique arena, located on a small rural property, with just enough open grassed area to accommodate 200 people, club tents, registration and vehicle parking. A sign at registration directed competitors precisely 123m to the start area, and the finish was located beside the arena. All things considered, a very well planned arena. The terrain was steep-ish spur gully with a number of tracks and areas of rock. Care was needed on some areas of the map with fallen timber and difficult-to-spot rocks underfoot, although the terrain was relatively fast.

DROC had some great performances resulting in many podium appearances. First place getters were Ryan Davies (EOD11), Sarah Love (Short Open B) and Sarah Davies (W17-20A); second place getters were Wayne Love (M45AS), Martin Steer (M50A), Simon Rouse (M40A) and Janine Steer (W50A); and Asha Steer finished in 3rd place in a highly credentialed W21E class. Well done everyone!

Eventor results

Winsplits results

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Asha Dominates in Queensland

Asha Steer was one of the few Victorians, and only DROC member, who took the trip up to sunny Queensland for the National Orienteering League NOL weekend on 8-9 September. Saturday’s event was the Queensland Middle Distance Championship and Asha had a clear win by four minutes to take out the W20E (Women’s 17-20yo Elite) class. Asha backed this up strongly on Sunday in the year’s one and only Ultralong event (length approx. 50% longer than standard long distance) with a hard fought 90 second win over several circling Queensland competitors. Well done Asha!

DROC Shines at Tarilta Creek

If it was raining and hailing in Melbourne on Sunday morning, one could only imagine what diabolical weather would be in store for the 16 DROC members who headed to Tarilta Creek (near Daylesford) to compete in event 2 of the Victorian Spring Series. Some drivers reported encountering thick snow during their drive to the event! However, once 10am came around it was rather cold – yes – but there was some sunshine and virtually no rain for the remainder of the day. Making things even better was the brilliant terrain. The forest was very runnable with many of the treed areas also covered by soft green grass. The terrain was still complex enough to provide a good navigational challenge with many gullies, hilltops and some rock features close together, making parallel gully errors and “rock confusion” very easy. At a 1:10,000 scale, feedback was that the map was very clear and legible and that the course setter (Patrick Jaffe) set some great courses.

There were some excellent DROC performances with juniors Amber Louw (2nd in course W5), James Love (6th course M4), Sammy Love (going out by herself – 4th in a hotly contested course W8) and Sarah Davies (7th course W4) all doing well and gaining some valuable practice ahead of the Australian Championships next month. Simon Rouse had a solid run to take out course M2, whilst other stalwarts Peter Dalwood (3rd course M4), Janine Steer (3rd course W3) finished near the top of their classes. Well done to all.

Eventor results

Lanita Flies at World Uni Champs

Lanita and Asha Steer were selected as part of the Australian team for the World University Orienteering Champs in Finland. It was a big program, with a Sprint, Sprint Relay, Middle, Long, and Relay.  This was a one-off for Lanita, as she is no longer eligible.  She made the most of it with a red-hot run in the Middle Distance, finishing 31st in a field of 90 of the world’s fastest female orienteers! Lanita worked her way up from 50th over the first few legs, improving her position with every leg.

Both girls have had a great time in Europe, but are happy to be back home, and gearing up for the Aus Champs in SA.

Peter and Pam Master the Sprint at WMOC

Peter and Pam headed to Denmark to compete in the World Masters Orienteering Champs.  Peter’s category, M70, “only” had 400 competitors(!), while Pam “only” had to contend with 240 in W65!

Peter  was unlucky to miss a place in the A Final, after finishing 30th in his qualifying heat, of 78 competitors.  Peter finished well inside the top half, overall, which was good enough to earn him a spot in the B final.  Pam also qualified in the B final.

The Finals were held around Christiansborg Palace in the centre of Denmark. After a sizzling run, he remained in first place  until the 41st finisher crossed the line. He ended up 11th out of 80, just 56 seconds behind the winner – a great effort in amongst all those Scandinavians, and ranking him in the top 25% in the world!  Pam also had a great Final, improving her placing significantly, and finishing mid field overall.

Asha at JWOC

Asha commenced her campaign with a fantastic second place in the Hungarian Middle Distance Champs!  After a week in training camp, JWOC got underway, starting with the longest Long Distance ever raced at JWOC – 11 kms for the girls!  The terrain was sand dunes – generally flat, but needing accuracy to do well.  Asha had a very steady run and was a little hampered by a lingering cold, finishing 86th, very tired but reasonably happy.

The sprint was held in the old town of Kesckemet, full of 400 year old buildings, flower beds, alleyways and ice cream shops which were popular with the spectators!  Asha had a good start, coming through early radio controls in the top 30, but fading over the last controls to finish respectably midfield.

On to the technical Middle Distance, on unique terrain known as “The Labyrinth”.  The map was described thus: “It’s like someone with bad green and yellow chicken pox has invaded the map”.  It consisted of sand dunes with open pine, interspersed with thick, prickly juniper.  Asha managed to push her way through the qualification and into the B Final, which she described as one of her least enjoyable runs of all time. She described scrambling around in the Juniper as something she will not be rushing back to do again, and was looking forward to more open areas for the relay – her final JWOC competition.

Saving the best for last – the Relay map was fast and open, and Asha’s leg was over 6 kms long.  She ran the anchor leg for Australia 1, and it was a  fitting finale.  The girls lifted from 31st at the end of Leg 1, to 24th after leg 2, to a fantastic 17th, with Asha lifting them 7 places.  A truly memorable way to conclude her time at JWOC.

Glenhuntly Gallop EndurO, Saturday July 7

The second EndurO for the year was held at Glenhuntly Gallop in blustery but dry conditions, testing the staying power of the competitors. An excellent course set by Ilze and Tina had us really thinking hard over 120 or 90 minutes – a great workout for brains and legs. There were 40 controls on offer, with points varying from 10 to 40, and harsh penalties for lateness.Congratulations to 120 min Run winner Andrew Hester, who scored the maximum 1000 points.  Steven O’Connell was second with 940 points, after dropping just 3 controls. Peter Mallen and Martin Kozma each got 900, just 5 points clear of Andrew Johnston.  There were just 25 points separating 3rd place from 8th, so it was a tight contest.

The 90 min Run was won by Ian Dodd with 710 points. Victoria Greenhan was second on 660, followed by Andrew Perkins on 570.  The closeness of the scores for 4th-10th place showed again that smart decisions had a big impact on final results.

Vic Sedunary was the winner on the 120 min Power Walk with 720 points, ahead of Andrew Hunter on 660, and Robert Hudson on 590. Once more, positions in the middle of the pack was determined by very small margins.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, there were TWO slides at no 31 – one blue and one not blue (we checked on Street View), and TWO signs at no 41.  No-one was penalised for incorrect answers.

Individual Results

Overall results will be incorporated into the regular Saturday Series results.

Crowds at Candlebark Park

A chilly morning gave way to a glorious winter day – perfect for orienteering at Candlebark Park in Eltham.  A couple of hundred eager navigators agreed with us!  The Hard courses were treated to a loop of Eltham Lower Park with its miniature railway nestled beside the river. Then it was south across the bridge, and a climb up into the hillier terrain, where the complicated track network gave lots of route choices.  We had a lovely downhill across the open grassland before a final control in some erosion detail.  The easier courses had similar loops but did not venture over the bridge.

Results   Splits   Photos

Thanks to course planners Ian and Sarah, and to the DROC crew of helpers who ensured the event ran smoothly as always.

Relay Winners; Victorian Schools Team Announced

It was a picture perfect weekend of orienteering at Glenluce over the June long weekend.  Day 1, hosted by DROC, offered middle distance courses set on classic spur-gully terrain on the Kookaburra Rises map.  The usual courses were augmented by an Extra Long 15 km option, which proved popular for those in serious training for the upcoming European season, or those who just wanted more miles under their belt.  Day 2 was the annual Club Relays, and while DROC stocks were depleted through travel and injury, the Newbury Navigators did themselves proud by completing all three legs of the D course, to take home first prize.  For the rest, well there were no mispunches, and some promising individual performances to give respectable results.

The highlight of the weekend was the announcement of the team selected to represent Victoria at the Schools Champs in September.  Heading to South Australia will be Sarah Davies (senior girls), Amber Louw (Junior Girls) and James Love (Junior Boys reserve).  All three have worked very hard and produced excellent results across the selection races, and are all very excited to be part of the team. Congratulations!

Sarah, Ian win OV Awards

Sarah Davies was announced as the 2017 Course Setter of the Year, for Race 1 of the Sprint Double at Yarra Valley Grammar School – not bad for a first go at course setting!  Sarah’s course made excellent use of the intricacies of the small but complex campus, and she set up a number of traps, creating an exciting race for competitors and spectators alike.  The event was also one of four finalists in the Event of the Year category.  Look out for Sarah’s next course at Candlebark Park, Eltham, in July.

Ian Dodd became the first person to receive Orienteering Victoria’s Services Award, which he held jointly with Debbie in 2013. This year he was the sole winner, in recognition of his tireless technical support of all clubs at Sprint Into Spring and Melbusho over the past few years; his enormous contribution year-round as Wednesday Park Street coordinator, and his financial work with the Board and Treasurer.