Melbourne City Race Weekend

Wow – what an amazing weekend of urban racing we’ve just had!  The Melbourne City Race Weekend kicked off with our first Friday “Sunset Sprint”, at Edgewater.  Locals lined up with interstaters and internationals; world champions raced against newcomers.  A fantastic terrain mix of campus, park and street, kept everyone well and truly on their toes.  In City Race style, courses were longer than usual, with winning times at 20-25 minutes.

Asha Steer was an outstanding 2nd place in a red hot field of top female sprinters, on Mo Women; while Peter Hobbs also had a fantastic result with 9th on Mo Men, in another very strong lineup.  Ian Dodd, Damian Spencer and James Love were all in the top 10 on Sally Men, while Helen Walpole was 7th on Sally Women.

We’ve been itching to sprint at Kensington for ages, and now was finally our chance; not surprisingly there was a record turnout. This urban maze lived up to its reputation, with many coming unstuck in the cluster of controls in the stockyards. The hill climb leg was not just a test of leg strength; route choice was also important.  And the final legs kept us thinking as hard as we were running. Simon Rouse was 15th on Mo men, while DROC filled four of the top 10 spots on Sally Men with Ian Davies, Ian Dodd, Damian Spencer and James Love. Hel;en Walpole and Amber Louw were 7th and 8th on Sally Women. Joel Crothers was 10th on the Usain course.

Then it was finally time to race at Docklands, on Peter Dalwood’s brand new map.  The course, planned by Jayne Sales, featured multiple levels as we took in the sights of Victoria Harbour, Waterfront, and Southbank.  It was a true City Race with a European flavour as we mingled with the crowds around Polly Woodside.  Podium placegetters were James Love, Joel Crothers and Sarah Davies (all 2nd), with top 10 results from Peter Hobbs, Simon Rouse, Ian Dodd, Sarah Love, Sally Barlow and Asha Steer.

Click here for results, splits and maps.

Success at Vic and Aus Champs

A big contingent of DROC members competed at the Victorian and Australian Championships.  The Victorian Long Distance Champs were held at Linton, near Ballarat, on September 22.  Our podium finishers were:

  • First place: Joel Crothers, Damian Spencer, Sarah Davies, Ryan Davies
  • Second place: Amber Louw, Janine Steer
  • Third place: Wayne Love, Peter Hobbs

Then it was off to Wagga Wagga and Beechworth for the Oceania and Australian Championships week, starting on September 28.  Simon Rouse had the standout performance of the week with no less than four podiums in the highly competitive M40.  But he wasn’t the only one.  Our winners and placegetters were:

  • Oceania Sprint Distance – 3rd place Simon Rouse
  • Australian Long Distance – 2nd place Peter Hobbs, 3rd place Simon Rouse
  • Oceania Relays – 1st place Simon Rouse (M35 team)
  • Oceania Long Distance – 3rd place Sarah Love
  • Australian Middle Distance – 2nd place Simon Rouse

By all accounts it was a tough week – hot weather, and physically and technically challenging courses. Everyone who took part had their highs and lows, and will bring home plenty of stories.  Congratulations to all who took part, and survived!

Check out the Photo Gallery for lots of pictures, and read a full report in the latest issue of Punchline.

Melbourne City Race Weekend

The Melbourne City Race Weekend kicks off another fantastic season of Sprints!  On Friday Oct 11, experience Melbourne’s coolest suburb, Footscray (as named by Time Out magazine). For Sprint Into Spring Race 1, the updated and extended Edgewater map takes in the VU campus, Footscray Park, the river’s edge, and the urban streets.  On Saturday afternoon Oct 12, SIS Race 2 heads to Kensington, an area that’s been crying out to be sprinted on!  It’s a brand new map featuring all that this amazing venue has to offer.  Then on Sunday morning Oct 13, don’t miss the chance to race on our shiny new Docklands map, in the first ever Melbourne City Race!  You’ll see the city in a whole new way, as you race from Docklands Park.

Choose your own course and start time at all three events; and bring your SIAC stick, as SI Air will be enabled (don’t have a SIAC yet? Contact Ian Dodd while he has them in stock –

Announcing some great PRIZES!  The winners of each class will receive a free entry to one Sprint Into Spring 2019 race of their choice.  We have a fantastic award for the best junior newcomers (male and female) to be eligible you must be 16 or under, and in your first year of orienteering – these awards are sponsored by YARRA VALLEY VANS, and we thank the Love family for their encouragement of junior orienteers.  We’ll also have some fabulous, fun and frivolous random draw prizes for anyone who pre-enters online by October 8 – but you must be there to claim.

Don’t miss out on your chance!  Online entry closes on TUESDAY OCTOBER 8 – just ONE WEEK from now.  We strongly recommend that you enter one, two or all three races online via Eventor – why?

  • Save money – the discounted entry fee for all three races only applies to online entries
  • Save time – no messing around with payment at Registration
  • Win big – be in the random prize draw on Sunday!

You can enter on the day at each race, but maps may not be available for every course.  So head to Eventor now and get your entry in!

Summer Series Orienteering

Finally some warm weather has arrived in Melbourne, and to celebrate, Summer Series kicks off on October 7.  You can orienteer up to four nights a week, right through the daylight savings period!  Check out the calendar on the Orienteering Victoria website, and also on Eventor; or pick up a printed fixture at an event.

Season tickets will be on sale in the first few weeks to Orienteering Victoria members. Save up to $40 per series – that’s more than the price of a club membership!  Click here for Summer Series prices.

Haven’t joined yet?  It’s the perfect time – if you sign up as a new member after September 30, you get 15 months membership at the 2019 rate – AND you can buy a Park Street season ticket!  Find out more about clubs, and how to become a member. It’s quick, easy, and saves you money!

Overseas Success for Club Members

Two of our veteran members have tasted success in Europe!  Peter and Ilze Yeates completed a two month orienteering extravaganza, taking in events in Latvia, Scotland, and Iceland during their travels.  Pete placed third overall  in the Icelandic Fire and Ice 3 days, in Reykjavik, after three consistent, error free performances in the lava fields.

Meanwhile, Ian and Debbie Dodd took part in events in Switzerland and Germany.  Ian came second in the sprint race in Brugg, losing by a mere 2 seconds!  He backed up the following weekend with a third place in the double header Sprint in Darmstadt, part of the German Park Tour.

One of the great things about orienteering is that you can easily compete overseas, and even plan your holiday around it. It’s a great way to make new friends and see places you may otherwise never visit.  Go for it!

Pete Day 1 IMGP9934_small

MelBushO at Yellow Gum, Sunday July 14

We’re heading back to the original MelBushO venue – the always popular Yellow Gum Park in Yan Yean, on the northern and eastern side of Plenty Gorge.  To get there, turn west off Yan Yean Road at Memorial Drive. Turn south at Goldsworthy Lane, then follow Orienteering signs to parking. We have a new arena this year, so please park as directed, and allow a bit longer to walk down to the toilets.

Once out on the course, you’ll enjoy a bit of everything – open or sparsely treed slopes, forest terrain with numerous tracks and some steeper hills; and some erosion features.  All nestled in next to the Plenty River. Yellow Gum Park is a great place for a picnic and for kangaroo spotting.

Course lengths are as follows:

Course 1 (Long Hard) – 6.7 km

Course 2 (Medium Hard) – 4.2 km

Course 3 (Short Hard) – 3.4 km

Course 4 (Moderate) – 3.8 km

Course 5 (Easy) – 2.1 km

Choose any of these courses, and start any time between 10am and 12 noon. Pay on the day at Registration – $12 for adults and $6 for juniors (u-21).  We’ll have coaches on hand for newcomers, and will lend you Sportident timing sticks and compasses if needed.  A great way to spend your day!  Find out more at

Monash Indoor Outdoor Sprint – Highlight of the Year!

“Wish I’d done a longer course!”; “Can I have another go?”; “How soon can we come back and do this again?” – these comments were heard repeatedly after Sunday’s amazing Indoor-Outdoor Sprint at Monash Uni. As the first starters bent over their maps, the spectators dashed inside to see the mayhem unfold, and soon we were treated to competitors heading every which way – up, down, and around – as they came to grips with navigating four levels of the incredible building. It was quickly obvious that speed was not the solution – it was all about knowing exactly where you needed to be, before beginning the next leg.  Dashing in and out of classrooms, dodging bemused students, popping out onto a courtyard four storeys in the air, avoiding the “paddle pop” marshals who stopped us going the wrong way – all part of the fun. It was over way too quickly. Luckily we had an outdoor sprint to follow, which was almost as complex, and equally as enjoyable.  We’ll do our best to make it happen again soon.

Results     Photos

DROC Hosts Successful 3 Days of Pure Gold

DROC partnered with fellow Victorian orienteering club, Melbourne Forest Racers, to deliver a superb winter long weekend of top class orienteering in gold mining terrain at Creswick.  Saturday featured the final in the Victorian Autumn Series, and the courses by Dion Keech mixed up some physical spur gully with tricky erosion features.  DROC members turned out in force with 23 competitors – a record for a non-Melbourne event!  We had the most podium finishers, with wins to Sally Barlow, Ian Dodd and Annie Gruby; second places to Sarah and Sammy Love; and thirds to Simon Rouse, Karen Strachan,  Debbie Dodd and Annie Gruby.  Other strong performers were Damian Spencer, Sarah Davies, and James Love.

Sunday was the Victorian Middle Distance Champs, the first time in many years that DROC has organised an individual forest Championship event.  It went off without a hitch!   Courses were set by Vic Sedunary, and they certainly tested everyone’s technical navigation skills as he took us into the hardest sections of the map.  More great results, with wins to Martin Steer, Janine Steer, Sarah Love, Sammy Love and Debbie Dodd; second places to Damian Spencer, Helen Walpole, Amber Louw and Sarah Davies, and third places to Ian Davies, Pam King, Joel Crothers and Wayne Love.

We rounded out the weekend with the Bah Humbug Sprint, which saw us back in the same gold mining, but at a larger scale of 1:5000, on courses set by Roch Prendergast. A win on course 2 capped off a great weekend for Ian Dodd, while James Love was a very fast 4th on the same course.

Our thanks to the three course planners, along with event advisor Warwick Williams, who all did an anazing job; and to the dedicated teams from both clubs who worked tirelessly and cheerfully for 3 days to put on what we think was the best weekend in Victoria!

Click here for more about the weekend, and photos from the Middle Distance Champs presentations.

Monash Indoor-Outdoor Sprint Double – Australian First!

The first-ever Indoor-Outdoor Sprint orienteering race to be held in Australia, will take place at Monash University’s Clayton Campus, on Sunday June 30 2019. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!

Online entries via Eventor are now open!  Two incredible sprints for the low price of just $12. Entries close June 28. Note: entry numbers may need to be capped so we recommend entering asap to secure your place.

In the morning, you’ll tackle a dizzying course covering all four levels of the Learning and Teaching Building. After lunch, you’ll compete in a second race using the outdoor areas of the campus.  Times from both races are added to determine the overall winners.

Sprint orienteering is all about making rapid decisions while reading a detailed map of a complex environment. Your brain has to work faster than your legs!  Winning times are usually 15-20 minutes. Different courses are available for all ages and abilities. You don’t have to be a champion athlete, but it helps to be a quick thinker.

Choose any of the five courses – Long Hard, Medium Hard, Short Hard, Moderate, or Easy.

Indoor Sprint – Learning and Teaching Building, starts between 10am-11am. Mapper and course planner: Peter Dalwood

A multi level map featuring stairs, one way corridors, voids, rooms, scattered furniture .. and more stairs! This will probably be the most complex map you’ve ever run on.  The map will look something like this (click to enlarge) –

map teaser

Bonus Outdoor Sprint – Monash Clayton, starts from early afternoon. Mapper: Peter Dalwood. Course planners: Stuart McWilliam and Asha Steer

Monash Clayton is always evolving. The map will be freshly updated for the event. The big question is – will your brain and legs be up to a double challenge???


Terrain photos:

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Chirnside Park – DROC Rises to the Challenge

Great event on our new Chirnside Park map, which we christened with an EndurO. Mapper and course planner Peter G presented quite the challenge, thanks to the hilly terrain, the complicated network of small streets, and a well thought out course. Peter placed several 40-point controls close to the start, which drew competitors out in all directions, only to be faced with a myriad of decisions.

DROC took out both 120 minute categories, with Alicia winning the 120 min Run and gaining a perfect score of 1000; Ian won the 120 min Walk with 780 points. Fantastic effort by both!

Head here for a full event report, results, and maps.