Somehow The Fornicator was omitted from the list of finalists unfortunately.
Monday, 30 November 2009
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Monday, 16 November 2009
So a week ago, the Wellington o-gang ventured up to Hawkes Bay for a weekend of adventure, sun-tanning, training, and in general to make the hb crew jealous of our awesome little training group and amazing skills. Todd Oates, Michael Wood and Jamie Stewart set up some exercises for a fun filled day of training on Smedley on the Saturday. (well, Todd and Jamie set their's on the day, but we'll forgive them so long as they bring amazing food to the next potluck). First up was Jamie's exercise, aiming at reading all the detail on the map, but keeping moving the entire time. After half an hour practically canyoning we got to Jamie's start (we could have taken the road around the gorge but where's the fun in that?) Every control in the exercise was a distinctive tree...on a hill side covered in literally 100's of mapped distinctive trees, and a fair few unmapped! Personally i found the exercis good, although i did hear a few grumbles about the multitude of trees. But reading the contours and other non-arboreal features it was possible to determine when you were at the right tree!
Once everyone had regrouped we progressed onto Todd's exercise, with the aim of being 'smooth'. Having found our way back across the gorge to Todd's start, the exercise then took us in a loop across a spur, and then through a series of controls back across the gorge again! The final leg of the exercise was a meaty route choice, although having been through the gorge a fair few times already, it was apparent that biting the bullet and taking the climb rather than the gorge option was optimal. Undeterred by this, i took up Rita's challenge of trying out the different route choices. This resulted in her beating me to the finish by 10 minutes whilst i tried to bush bash and rock climb my way out of the gorge!
After lunch we moved on to Michael's exercise. going in pairs, the leader would navigate a leg by memory, whilst their partner ran along behind with the map, memorising the next leg. As Michael intended, it was apparent from this just how much faster you can run when you have your route memorised and arent constantly checking the map! A real valuable exercise i thought, even if my legs were shot by the time we did it!
On the Sunday we ran the HBOC OY event on 'the Slump'. A few of us were a little apprehensive of the stroppy cows on this map, given previous experiences, however we all managed to escape unscathed. Despite all feeling rather tired from the full days training the day before, it's fair to say the wellington o-gang dominated the red-long and medium courses. Jamie Stewart and Penny Kane took out the Red Long wins whilst Nick Hann and Laura Robertson showed up the locals, winning Red-Medium.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, hope there are more to come, and bring on wellington champs next weekend!
(I'll attach a map of the training when i find it...)
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Friday night, myself, Matt and Lara took the afternoon off work and flew up to Auckland to arrive in time to the Mini-multi-sprint event. Three intense short races in quick succession. First race was trickier than it looked and you were forced to orienteer straight from the word go. No easing our way into it, just blam, control, control control, finish. Next race was Mt Albert itself. Steep, short and a big(?) scale...which caught a few out. The third was probably a more traditional type of sprint race, lots of buildings fast running and quick decisions with a little longer to sort yourself out. Darren dominated winning by 20 seconds over three races, I was second and local boy Gene Beveridge showing out in 3rd place. The women's grade was cleaned up by three speedy juniors, Angela Simpson, Laura Robertson and Kate Morrison in that order.
Then after buying some over priced Albany apples it was off to Woodhill for day two. Middle distance race with no tracks on the map...not sure what the planner was up to here but it wasnt too hard to switch of the tracks in my mind as well as the map. Jamie showed that he still had it in him and finished in second (Smithson was unofficial due to doing the 1st 3 controls of course two before starting...) Darren dominated again and James Bradshaw jumped into the mix. Lara Prince with lots of orienteering under her belt in the previous few weeks showed the North Islanders how to navigate in their there own forest. Lizzie Ingham was second and Rebecca Smith third.
The evening was preceded by a meal at a Muriwai Golf course with some rather stressed and under prepared kitchen staff running around pulling their hair out...what was there tasted good anyway... Then the big race the Halloween special night event. I believe Duncan Morrison was victorious beating Greg Flynn who decided half way through to start taking it seriously...Batman had all the light in the world but lots of trouble seeing through his mask...
Finally the weekend was wrapped up with the Long Distance race in and around the infamous Maze area at Woodhill. A varied course with some interesting sand dune features and some mysterious areas was once again dominated by Darren, Second was James with Myself making up the "best of the rest" in third. The W21E grade was just a complete reverse of the top three from the day before!
Some nice orienteering in a nice area...think I'm starting to get a hang of these sand dunes....or else I'm just beginning to get like everyone in Auckland and Im starting to get to know the area quite well....Stand out performer in the weekend was Gene Beveridge, keeping the current crop of elites on their toes!
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Saturday Afternoon, Otago University/Polytechnic. Fast, Intense urban sprint. Carsten blasted around the course to win the M21E grade, only to be beaten unofficially by the mapper (yours truly....) by 3 seconds. 4th Place getter from JWOC 2008, Anna Forsberg from Sweden took out the women's grade.
After a feast of a few slices of pizza on Saturday night it was off down to Gabriels Gully in the small town of Lawrence. Carsten had finished this map just in time for this event, and the map didnt disappoint. It was a really cool little area except for the massive ammounts of green shit. There was just about every type of green prickly stuff you could think of excluding matagouri, cutty grass and Spaniards. I ran first and got very frustrated blazing a trail through the sticky prickly bush and ended up at the head of the pack a few seconds in front of Matt Scott. Mark Lawson was just a few seconds behind that. Anna again took out the womens grade just ahead of Lara Prince. It was the kind of map that Chris Forne would just eat for breakfast! Very frustrating but very fun...especially when you win!
The end of the good weather came on Monday at Cuttance Block, opposite the airport in Dunedin. The map has recently had an extension and the addition has just made this awesome map ten times better. Carsten was dominant in the wet and steep conditions, with Matt finishing close behind. Anna completed a clean sweep of the weekend beating everyone on course two including the M20 winner by 20 seconds.
Overall an excellent weekend of Orienteering down in the South. Would have been better had there been a good number of elites turn up but obviously it was bad timing with exams for most of the juniors falling in and around the same time of the year....but such is life!