DROC Turns 40!

Dandenong Ranges Orienteering Club was formed in December 1978, and held its first event in January 1979. This will be a year of celebration for the club, kicking off with a party and a Really Big Birthday Cake on Monday January 28, at our park-street orienteering event in Koolunga, Ferntree Gully.  We invite all members, old and new, to come along and mark the occasion.  Please wear your oldest DROC outfit, or something from the era, to make a fashion statement!

2019 will be not just a year to look back on, but a year to look forward to.  It will be a year of firsts – the club’s first Middle Distance Championship, to be held on the Queens Birthday weekend at Creswick; Australia’s first Indoor Sprint at Monash University on June 30, and Australia’s first City Race, in Melbourne on October 13, are just part of our plans for the year.

We will continue to focus on Park Street orienteering, and we’re looking forward to seeing DROC on the Park Street Champs podium once again, after the Final on February 28.  We’ll also continue to support our juniors, as they train and race hard, and vie for selection to State teams.  We’ll be out there at bush events and sprint events, flying the DROC flag.  We’ll be cheering each other on at the Relays.  So why not get yourself out there – life’s more fun with a map!


Sprint Champions and Jersey Winners Galore!

The Ballarat Sprint Weekend saw the final Sprint Into Spring races run and won, with the Jerseys presented to each category winner. DROC was the dominant club, taking out no less than 6 jerseys!  Congratulations to Helen Walpole (Mo Women Polkadot Jersey); Wayne Love (Sally Men Green Jersey); James Love (Sally Men Polkadot Jersey); Amber Louw (Sally Women Green Jersey); Sarah Love (Sally Women Polkadot Jersey); and Samantha Love (Usain Women Green Jersey).

The Victorian Sprint Championships were held on the new, world class map of the School of Mines, which certainly lived up to the hype! Map and courses were universally hailed as a true reflection of Sprint orienteering at its best.  Most DROC members present were again on the podium:

1st place: Amber Louw, Sarah Davies, Sarah Love

2nd place: Helen Walpole, Pam King

3rd place: Sammy Love, James Love, Debbie Dodd, Peter Dalwood, Ilze Yeates, Ian Davies, Damian Spencer

Visit our Gallery for some top action photos!

Strong Performances at Sprint Into Spring

DROC members have certainly been enjoying themselves at this year’s Sprint Into Spring series! After four races, several club members are in line to win the highly prized Jerseys. Helen has been flying up the hills on the Mo Women course, and holds the Polkadot Jersey. Wayne and Sarah are keeping it in the family as they also hold Polkadot Jerseys, as best hill climbers on the Sally Men and Sally Women course.  Amber has captured the Green Jersey as the best female sprinter on Sally Women, and Sammy also has her hands on a Green Jersey, for Usain Women.

Other noteworthy performances have come from Prez Pete with a dazzling 5th place in Race 4 on Mo Men, among the toughest of opposition. Helen has also been showing the pack a clean pair of heels with a second and third place on the Green Jersey legs, and is in the running for a podium finish at the end of the series. Ian scored a win and a third in the Sally Men, while Sarah L claimed a second place in Race 3 on Sally Women, and is in contention for an overall place in both Yellow and Green Jersey competitions. Amber had a breakthrough win in Race 3, while Sarah D placed in Races 1 and 4 (after planning courses for Race 2). Wayne, James and Eric have both featured in the top three on the Green Jersey leg and on the Polkadot Jersey leg on Sally Men, proving themselves versatile all rounders.  Sammy is poised to claim third overall on Usain Women.

There are three more races, with the Jerseys to be determined in Ballarat over two races on November 24.  This will be followed by the Victorian Sprint Champs on Sunday November 25, where we are sure DROC will achieve even more glory!

See our GALLERY for some great photos of DROC in action at Sprint Into Spring.



Stuart Takes Out Second MEFTY Award with 180 Events

The indefatigable Stuart McWillam has won his second MEFTY award (Most Events for the Year) and will hold the coveted trophy for another 12 months.  We thought Stuart set the bar high last year – this time around, he completed an incredible 180 out of 186 events!  Even more remarkably, Stuart travels from Werribee, and has clocked up thousands of kms in his quest.  Recently he switched to train and bike travel, and shows no signs of stopping!

Stuart mefty (2)

Sprinting Into Spring

Yes it’s our favourite time of year – Sprint Into Spring!  Saturday October 20 sees the debut of Cornish College in Bangholme, for Race 2.  Although classed as a campus map, this school has much more to offer than just buildings.  It has a small central campus with lots of ramps and stairs; lakes, bridges and an island; a golf course; lots of trees and open ground; lots of fences; and lots of animals!  Be prepared to meet alpacas, chickens, and other assorted farmyard friends as you navigate through your course.  Click here for all the details.

Race 1 at Caulfield Grammar rewarded the competitors who slowed down a little and avoided errors.  28 DROC members turned out, and had some great results.  Asha Steer and Sarah Love have green jerseys for the winners of the Sprint leg on the Mo and Sally courses.  Asha was third on the Mo Womens course, while Peter Hobbs and Simon Rouse were in the top 15 on the huge Mo Mens course; Nick Maddock, Martin Steer and Ian Davies were all in the top half of a very competitive bunch.  James Love was 5th on Sally, while first time sprinter Andrew Perkins was 8th.  “That was the best fun I’ve ever had!” he said later.  Sarah Davies buried herself to take second on Sally, while Sarah Love was 6th, Amber Louw was 10th, and Debbie Dodd was 12th.  Sammy Love was 4th on the Usain course.


Click here for a bunch of great photos!

AusChamps Week in SA

Another AusChamps has come and gone.  The carnival was held in Renmark and the Adelaide Hills, providing a very mixed bag of highly detailed erosion features, classic campus sprinting, pine forest, traditional spur/gully, and very technical rocks on the last day.  Some terrains and formats worked better than others, but all in all, it was a fun week that saw DROC produce some great results.

Prez Pete was “our man on the ground” and he has put together a great set of photos, covering our Victorian junior and senior reps (who looked very sharp indeed in their new tops, definitely winners in “fashions on the field”).  Our age-groupers also turned in some strong performances, with a Championship for Simon Rouse, and some personal bests.

Player Profiles:

  • Simon Rouse – 1st SA Middle, 2nd Aus Middle, 4th Aus Long
  • Martin Steer – 3rd Aus Middle, 4th Aus Sprint
  • Pam King – 9th Aus Middle, 13th Aus Sprint
  • Asha Steer – 4th Aus Middle, fastest leg in Aus Relays, 2nd Aus Sprint
  • Lanita Steer – 1st Aus Relays, 5th Aus Long
  • Peter Hobbs – 9th Aus Long
  • Amber Louw – 1st Aus Relays, 10th Aus Long
  • Peter Dalwood – 5th Aus Sprint
  • James Love – 8th SA Middle
  • Sammy Love – 2nd midweek race 3, 6th Aus Long
  • Sarah Love – 1st Aus Sprint
  • Peter Yeates – 13th SA Middle

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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