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