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Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Lots of Height, Lots of Winter

A weekend back on the 4th of July was the Annual Heights of Winter Rogaine. This year it was held out on Banks Peninsula in the cold and wet of winter. Lara Prince who along with Matt Scott took out 3rd place summed up the day best by recording "Heights of Winter. Lots of height and winter" in her Attackpoint log.

The event started at Orton Bradley park which to PAPO Orienteers is familiar terrain for OY's. World Junior Rogaining Champ Tim Farrant planned an interesting course, one that was much to difficult to plan for simple point to point orienteers like myself! Riki and I headed out to the high pointers and what turned out to be fantastic weather....compared to everyone else. We we quite annoyed we were required to have full leg coverings to go out and got rid of them at the first control!

We spent 5 hours out the back in patchy cloud, scoring little points, dropping in on Port levy before walking forever up a stupid road. "This is why I hate rogaining!" I told myself after half an hour of slogging away up the road. Here we met some people where they told us how horrible up on the tops it was...where we were heading. I didn't think much of it and assumed they were just whinging and had similar weather to us. Well I was wrong, they were quite right. It was shit, absolute shit weather. Howling wind, 20m visibility and rain, it was blowing so hard at one point that I thought: "I'm going to go through this fence instead of over cause if I climb over that I might just get blown away!"

In the horrible weather we clocked up the points so it made it quite bearable....but glad we hadn't spent all day in it as the light disappeared and night set in. After a really basic error by me on an easy control we were now touch and go on our plan for the last three controls, but I reckoned we could make it. Turns out the Navigation was a little more difficult and due to Riki's light going flat I lost him in some thick vegetation that was not on the map. After ten min's of farting around we were cutting it fine but still just enough time to get the 80 pointer. But we didn't account for the 10m cliff and the shit load of bracken at the base of it and ended up bailing then stumbling upon the control anyway. Unfortunately we made it back quite late and lost basically the 80 points we had just gained.

Once back in the hash house we dug into some Hangi and found out most people had the most horrible day in the rain, fog and cold. So although we hadn't scored many points we had the best weather of everyone and felt pretty smug about that....little disappointed we didn't do better in the points stakes but glad we were not freezing to bits either.

Phil Wood and Bruce McLeod were the winners on the day, cleaning up as they should. Greig Hamilton and Tim Sikma took out their usual placing of 2nd with Matt and Lara coming 3rd but finishing 45min early.

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