New Zealand – Oceania and World Masters

A number of club members have just returned from Auckland, where we competed in the Oceania Regional Championships, followed by the World Masters Games.  It was two weeks of highly intense competition in urban Auckland, Rotorua, and the incredibly complicated sand dune terrain of Woodhill Forest – check out the maps on the Oceania and WMOC websites and you’ll see what I mean – most notable were the Oceania Middle Distance, the World Masters Sprint Qualifier, and any of the 3 World Masters Long Distance races, where the contour detail has to be seen to be believed.

We had a wonderful time and some great performances, including podium finishes by Asha and Lanita Steer at Oceania. Asha was third in the Sprint, and part of the winning Junior Elite Womens relay team, cleaning up the highly fancied NZ team and sealing selection for JWOC.  Lanita claimed her first Senior medal with third place in the W21E Relays – a brilliant effort by both.

Simon Rouse also had a great week in M40 (we will forgive him for competing under the Kiwi banner) – 5th in the Oceania Sprint, 4th in the Oceania Long, 5th in the Oceania Middle, 10th in the WMOC Sprint, and 17th in the Long!  Peter Dalwood, competing in the huge M70 age class, also had a fantastic week. He was 15th in the Oceania Sprint and the Middle Earth Sprint, then claimed a place in the WMOC Sprint A final, where he finished 23rd of 78.  Peter Hobbs claimed 5th in the Oceania Long in M35; while I was very happy with a 4th, and first Australian, in W55AS at the Oceania Long.  Simply surviving 11 tough races was an achievement!

MelbushO at Lysterfield, Sunday March 26

It was a warm day for hill climbing, but the views were worth the effort.  We got close up to some large rocks, and saw kangaroos as well.  Young and old alike all enjoyed spending time in the beautiful forest, navigating their way around the courses set for us by Ian Davies.  The DROC crew were on hand to ensure everything went smoothly, and it was fantastic to see so many club members come along, including many of our juniors. We also sold lots of JWOC Jam!

Ian Dodd was 6th on course 1, one of a handful of runners to complete a tough physical course in under 50 minutes. Also well up the list was Andras Bogdanovits, our next MelbushO course setter.  Janine Steer and Graham Wallis were top 10 finishers on course 2, as was up and coming junior James Love.  Course 3 saw Martin Steer a comfortable winner, with a strong second from Eric Louw.  Our juniors did themselves proud on Course 4, with Daniel Kaman in second, Amber Louw in 5th, Luca, Heni and Arika all in the top half of the field, and Sammy Love also doing really well in only her second event.

Thanks to all who came along to help out, and to support the club.  Our next big event is the Sprint Double on Sunday May 21 at Yarra Valley Grammar School in Ringwood. Stay tuned!

Words from the Winners

What a great day it was. I’m so stoked with our win in course 1. In the grave yard, whilst waiting, there was some banter about which BG team was going to win, especially as BG2 had quite a lead at the final change. But Simon and Asha had really solid runs and, speaking to Leon later, he was not aware that he was behind me – and I wasn’t aware that I was in front of him because he was not in the grave yard at the time Asha came through. It was only at the third last control that we realised what was happening! I had a very solid run – other than a 30 second error at one control and I pretty much nailed the course and just had one of those days where I was in the zone. If only that could happen more often!   Peter Hobbs

Have a look at this video of the start, and check the Gallery for lots of photos!

Victorian Relay Winners!

Course 1 winners!

Course 1 winners!

The annual Relay Championships were held at Darebin Parklands, with tougher than expected courses (ie not just a run in the park).  We’re delighted to announce that the DROC team of Simon Rouse, Asha Steer and Peter Hobbs WON the Blue Ribbon Course 1!  Simon finished leg 1 in first place, just seconds ahead of the Bendigo no 2 team.  Asha held her own to keep the team in second, 3 minutes down on Bendigo 2, but more importantly, 4 minutes ahead of Bendigo 1. Pete then ran the second fastest leg of the day, overhauling BG2, and finishing only metres ahead of the fast finishing BG1, while the DROC contingent erupted.

Not to be outdone, our Mixed team of Pam King, Denise Pike and Sarah Davies also brought home first place! Pam kept in touch with the field to be a narrow 5th but only 40 seconds down. Again it was a Bendigo team out in front; Denise brought our team up to second, but with a 10 minute deficit to make up. Over to Sarah, who smashed it and crossed the line 5 minutes ahead of the second placed team.  Fantastic effort!

It was also fantastic to see how many team members, in only their first or second relays, stepped up beyond their level of experience and did a really great job.  Notable runs besides those already mentioned were Ian Dodd (3rd) and Nick Maddock (5th in his first Relay), as well as our juniors who all finished strongly.  Thanks also to Karen Strachan who stepped in at the very last minute to replace Andrew (who twisted an ankle) and ran a very creditable time.  Thanks also to team manager Ilze Yeates who kept us all on track as well as well fed!

Results are here.

More photos

The Rockhopper points for Best Club have been calculated with results as follows:

  • 1st – Bendigo, 182 points
  • 2nd – Dandenong Ranges, 122 points
  • 3rd – Melbourne Forest Racers, 98 points
  • 4th – Yarra Valley, 96 points

Full Rockhopper points here.

DROC Dominates Park and Street Championships

DROC turned in a dominant display in the Park and Street Championships at Bellbird Dell.  The courses were physically tough and long, the night was very warm, and the shortest routes were almost impossible to figure out.  The controls in the Dell required careful map reading and a cautious approach – all in all a real test of skills and stamina.

Of 13 Championship classes contested, DROC members won 6, and claimed almost half the medallions! Congratulations to Lanita Steer, who is now the Open Womens Champion, after a head to head sprint with sister Asha for the narrowest of victories.  Our Champions are:

  • Lanita Steer – Womens Open
  • Janine Steer – Womens Vet
  • Ian Davies – Mens Senior
  • Tony Bird – Mens Supervet
  • Peter Grover – Mens Supervet PW
  • Helen Kerley – Womens Supervet PW

Runners up were Colin Pearce, Asha Steer, Denise Pike, Lyn Greenwood, Ros King.  Third places went to Peter Hobbs and Debbie Dodd.

Medallions will be presented at the Summer Series Awards Night on Wednesday March 15.



DROC in 2017

The new year is still, well, new, but DROC has been kept busy with the Park and Street orienteering summer series.

Our program of Winter Sunday events in 2017 includes:

  • MelBushO 1, Sunday March 26, Lysterfield
  • Sprint Double, Sunday May 21, venue tba
  • MelbushO 5, Sunday July 23, Plenty Gorge Park South
  • EndurO 2, Sunday August 12, Loughnans Link (Ringwood North)
  • Victorian Sprint Championships, Sunday November 26, Monash Clayton

Head to our Coming Events page for details.

Many of our members are enjoying summer Park and Street orienteering on weeknights, and are training hard for the upcoming Park and Street Championships on Wednesday March 1.

DROC is welcoming new and returning members for 2017.  Join or renew now!  Visit our Membership page for details.

Sprint Champions

Congratulations to our club members who are now Victorian Sprint Champions!  After a fantastic weekend of Sprint racing in Bendigo, we were once again one of the most successful clubs with 5 Champions and 5 Runners Up.  The Champs were held in the heart of Bendigo city, in a unique area that included a Chinese temple and garden, a former prison, and a fern maze.  We “tuned up” at the final 2 Sprint Into Spring races the day before, on two very contrasting terrain types – first a classic college campus, then a heavily eroded area of gold mining terrain.

Sprint Champions:  Sarah Davies, Lanita Steer, Carola Ray, Denise Pike, Ian Dodd

Runners Up:  Asha Steer, Debbie Dodd, Pam King, Simon Rouse, Peter Dalwood

Congratulations also to Daniel Kaman who won a Sprint Into Spring green jersey and was second overall, and to Luca Bogdanovits, who was third overall.  Great job by our juniors!

Check out the photos on our GALLERY page.

Sprint Into Spring Race 3 and 4

IMGP3085 (724x800)Race 3 of Sprint Into Spring was at Ruffey Lake Park, and it proved a contrast to previous races.  The wide open spaces meant you needed to stay accurate; the hills tested fitness; and the playground required sharp wits.  A great all around challenge!

DROC was out in force to enjoy the race, in a venue familiar to most park-street orienteers.  Simon had a smashing run to finish 3rd on the tough Mo Farah course. Juniors Daniel, Arika and Luca all had top 10 finishes on the Usain Bolt course, as did Andras and Jenny on the Sally Pearson.

Race 4 was at Deakin Uni Campus in Burwood.  Simon’s courses took full advantage of the complexity of the campus map with its multiple levels, and infinite nooks and crannies.  It was a great test of technical sprint orienteering.  The DROC crew did their usual superb job of organising the event.  Pete had a sizzling run for 5th on the Mo Farah course.  Our other top 10 finishers were Jenny, Carola, Daniel, Luca and Arika.

Visit our GALLERY page to see heaps of great photos like this one.

DROC Juniors at Eastern Zone Primary Schools Champs

Our juniors took to Westerfolds Park for the Eastern Zone Primary Schools Orienteering Champs.  We had four competitors, all in year 6 – Amber and Luca in Girls 6A, and Angus and James in Boys 6A.  Amber won her class and Luca came 4th in a tight finish.  James was 2nd, while Angus mispunched but was happy with his run.  Well done to all of you, and we hope to see you next year at the Secondary Schools Champs.

It’s Spring … Get Sprinting! Sprint Into Spring Race 1 and 2

DROC members turned out in droves to the first race of Sprint Into Spring for 2016.  We returned to Eltham College, which is a fantastic venue for sprint orienteering. Not only is it super complicated, and a lot of fun to race on, but the school welcomes us with open arms, and we always have a great day.

Race 2 was on a new map, Keilor Downs Schools.  Two small but complex campuses, joined by a park, made for great courses with plenty to catch you out.  The wettest Sprint Into Spring race on record!  The rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of DROC members as you can see from the photos in our Gallery.

After 2 races, Prez Pete has two top 10 finishes on the Mo Farah course, which is contested by the best sprint racers in the state.  He is 5th in the overall standings.  Lanita Steer sits 2nd in the Hill Climb (polkadot) jersey competition on the same course.  Carola Ray has had two strong performances on the Sally Pearson course and is 3rd overall, while Sarah Davies’ second place in race 1 has her in 5th overall. Our junior girls, Arika and Luca, have done very well on the Usain Bolt course. Arika is the current yellow jersey holder, while Luca is second, only one point behind.

The next Sprint Into Spring race is at Ruffey Lake in Doncaster, on Saturday November 5.  Be there!