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!