Sunday, December 16, 2012

Marrickville Event - UK review

Essex Orienteer David Lumby participated in our event at Marrickville.
The following is his report on the event.

Summer Series Down Under - David Lumby

Before setting off on a work related foray to Australia I googled "Sydney Orienteering" and discovered that there was a Summer Series of evening events running and I was in town for the events on Monday 29th and Wednesday 31 October. In fact there are 39 events in all in three separate series. I packed my shoes and Stragglers O-shirt.

Event 1, Marickville, Monday 29th October

I managed to get away from the office at 17.00, nipped back to the hotel to change and caught the train down to Tempe station near Markey Park in Marrickville which was the event base. The first navigational challenge was to find the start which I achieved by map memory from Google Maps. Out of the railway station, cross over the bridge and head toward the setting sun - that would be North-West!
I completed the registration card and was immediately lucky - they gave me the $3 discount for being a club member despite it being 11,000 miles away. Nancy, I promised them a reciprocal deal so look kindly on any reduced fees paid by visitors from Uringa Orienteers.
The event was a 45 minute score with ample time to study the map before the start. 30 controls were available with numbers 1-10 worth 10 points each, 11-20 worth 20 points each and 21-30 worth 30 points each for a maximum score of 600 points. 10 penalties for each minute or part over time. The course was either side of Cook's River with the North mostly urban and the South a mix of urban, grassland and "bush". Whilst not necessarily the most sensible route choice I decided to go South first as that meant I was sure to get a run through the bush.
I checked my watch and was off. The first control was easy - the bench near the park entrance that I had spotted on my way in. Unfortunately this gave a sense of over confidence and I ran off the edge of the map into the station car park, only realising my mistake when I spotted a fellow competitor the other side of the stream punching a control (SI boxes cable locked to immovable objects were in use). I was soon back on track and collected the next three controls with no difficulty before heading along a footpath into the bush - I suppose we would call it fight forest - where I promptly lost my way and wasted 3 minutes. I was now getting confused by not being able to find the major path which was indicated by the black line. Once I realised this was a linear rock face I was back on track but breathing heavily as it is surprisingly hilly in the Sydney suburbs.
After a few poor route choices I had to modify my plan a bit but still covered the majority of the controls I was aiming for. As I approached the finish I had two minutes to spare so detoured to pick up the extra 10 points from a control I had identified as an option on the way to the finish and punched in with 43m 56s on the clock and 380 points. Not bad I thought though running off the map, my issues in the bush and a couple of other slip ups should have allowed me to get over 400. At the post run discussion I saw another few controls I could have collected and reckoned 450 would have been on. Looking at the results board I was sure no-one would have got all 600. Correct - the leading score was 580. By the time the final results hit the website I saw the winning score was 600 in 44m 36s and I was 22nd out of 40 competitors. A clever bit of software calculates the shortest possible route connecting all points and gives this as 9894m plus 140m of ascent - pretty impressive in less than 45m.
All in all a fine evening out and I knew I would be less jet lagged by the second event on Wednesday night.

David's roundup of his down under visit can be read at:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Orienteering on an international level

Have you ever wondered what the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) does, what the long term goals of IOF are and what's involved at that level?? If you are interested on what's happening on the international level of orienteering, here are some websites:
(website of the IOF; includes structure, resources, athletes interviews etc)
(facebook page)
(subscribe to the IOF online journal "Inside Orienteering")
The latest issue includes an article on Christine Brown who is from Tasmania and is a senior IOF event adviser and many articles from the international stage......Very interesting to read how the IOF is very committed to have orienteering included in the Olympics hence there are a lot of spectator-friendly events on the World Cup agenda; ie middle distance and sprints - not always to the athlete's satisfaction !!
Headlines from orienteering sites all over the world, athlete's blog, events, maps etc

Sunday, November 18, 2012

President's Cup and Xmas Party Wrap Up

Once again Uringa put on a great Christmas Party!! Everyone seemed to have enjoyed the Pres Cup at Callan Park despite time consuming Orienteering questions at some of the control sites!

It was back to Penny's place (great venue, lovely location) for the traditional BBQ with a  salad buffet. Perhaps Uringa should put in tenders for catering at events - the salads were amazing and the BBQ staff did a fantastic job with the sausages, steaks and vegetarian skewers. 

This was followed by an appearance of Santa and kids were very excited about his arrival...then it was on to some official business with handing out some trophies, certificates and badges, and of course naming this years President's Cup winners: Ian Jones won the large mug while Jared took home the little mug. Congratulations to both of you !! Jared couldn't wipe the smile off his face as he was handed out the Waratah Certificate, Waratah trophy, a control description holder, the M12A NSW Orienteer of the Year badge (1st) and the little mug!! To top it off he also took home the "Club of the Year" trophy which Uringa won this year and which was on display for everyone to see.

The dessert buffet was another cracker with so many yummy and nice desserts. My favourites were Hannah's ice cream sandwich, Celine's carrot cake and Margaret's profiteroles. That's all I got to try and after that I was too full!!

Special thanks goes to: 
Penny and Susi for providing the venue
Jitka for the beautiful mugs
Gayle for co-ordinating all the food
...and everyone who brought a dish !!

PS: more photos will be posted on the Blog within the next couple of weeks..

NSW Orienteer of the Year Badge Winners

This follows on from my previous post regarding the ONSW Annual Presentation Dinner. Here are now the results for the NSW Orienteers of the Years (due to the cancellation of SL1/2, there were only 11 State League events held this year, therefore the 5 best scores counted towards badges):

M12A              Jared McKenna
M45A              Ian Jones
W10A              Sophie Jones
W14A              Georgia Jones

M35AS            David McKenna
M75A              Brian Cleland
W40A              Jane McKenna

M65A              Dave Lotty
W45A              Maggie Jones
W50A              Lisa Lampe
W65A              Angela Murray

Congratulations everyone, well done!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

South Sydney Summer Series #3 The Warren

Thanks to the ONSW publicity machine, we got some good publicity... Click on page 19.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

South Summer Series #4: Beachside Bash

The Uringa crew turned out in force yesterday for the club's latest contribution to the Southern Sydney Summer Series at windswept Maroubra. Assembly was in the Arthur Byrne Reserve, an extremely well-located grassy area with nearby parking and facilities.  The route along the beach and the cliffs was magical, with views up and down the coast. The interior hilly streets and reserves ... well, controls had to be put somewhere. Many thanks to mapper Maggie, course setter Georgia, Ian who always does whatever needs to be done, and the merry band of helpers at the event.

Monday, November 12, 2012

ONSW Annual Presentation Dinner

The ONSW awards night took place last Saturday night at Castle Hill and Uringa picked up some great  awards.

The Junior awards were awarded as followed (points are awarded for participation in Junior League and State League events):

Waratah Awards (100+ points)
Georgia Jones       335 pts
Jared McKenna    270 pts
Sophie Jones        250 pts   

Banksia Awards (75+ points)
Will Nolan             80 pts
Sam Boland           75 pts

Wattle Awards (50+ points)
Raphaella Robertson   70 pts
Benjamino Briganti     50 pts 

Congratulations to all juniors for your achievements this season - well done!!

(min participation at 3 events or at least participation in the final if only 1 or 2 runs)

Premiers: Division 4 / Uringa - Central Coast Kites 
Maggie Jones, Ron Garner, Angela Murray, Lisa Lampe, Michael Tomkins, Margaret Wilmott)

Congratulations Team - great results!! 

NSW Club of the Year 2012:    URINGA !!
(for high level of achievement in promotion, membership, event organisation and competition)

The main reasons for Uringa taking home this trophy were:

Maggie Jones's effort with implementing and organising training sessions & beginners course
Ron Pallas's Sportident work
Dave Lotty's co-ordination of the Southern Summer Series
Linda Sesta and Dave Lotty's involvement in setting up the Permanent course at Centennial Park
WFFG organisation
Increase of membership (~34%)

What a great team effort!! Thanks to everyone involved in above projects and to all the Uringa members working behind the scenes at events whether it is on the Uringa Board, with course setting, helping out at events, organising social events, hosting Christmas parties etc. Thank you....thank you...thank you !! :-) We can be proud of ourselves !

Presidents Award 2012: 

Maggie Jones: Awarded by the President to an orienteer making an outstanding contribution to the furtherance of NSW orienteering.

Congratulations Maggie!! You are so deserving of this award not only for your role as Communications Manager but also with all the work you are doing with the training sessions and the beginners course, and the organisation of the amazingly successful Spooks O, running the canteen at Stateleague events and everything else you do!! :-)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Orienteering map database

I found this link on the Garingal website and it's a good tool for finding copies of existing maps (where they are available). Here is the link:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Double header event #2 - Southern Summer Series Event #2

This was the Monday event held on Sunday. Got that? Normally the Southern Summer Series events are held on Monday afternoons, but the opportunity to use the Fire Fighters World Games Course was just too good to pass up. One course setting, one setup and clear up, for two events.

Penny demonstrates that some jobs at events are pretty relaxed.
Several people tried out orienteering including Jane,
whose more experienced family members were glad to explain how it all worked.

Unfortunately, there's always a little paperwork at an event.

Uriinga club members turned out to help out for all or part of the day. Somehow Dave M didn't get the message about wearing club shirts - he was the odd person out among a sea of yellow and green. It was a good opportunity to catch up with one another. 

World Fire Fighter Games Orienteering Event

Yesterday Uringa ran a 45 minute score orienteering event in Centennial Park for the World Fire Fighters Games. This was the first event of a double header Sunday.

Ron  assisted by Matt briefs the assembled firefighters and their associates on  just what they were about to do.
Ron (the other Ron) and Brian manage the results. 
ONSW President Paul Prudhoe was on hand to award the prizes (see here with course setter Ian).
Club President Linda and the many medals awarded at the presentation.

Awards presentation time was also photo op time!  Some of  our juniors  found themselves in demand.
And finally the last competitor returns, having found all save one control  and taken a couple of hours to do so. (We think there may have been a language problem at the briefing.)

 More on the event at

'Snow' Hills non-event

It must have been an (unwanted) first in State League History. Schedule as the first two 2013 State League Events, and then postponed, to be the last two, Snow Hills (organised by Big Foot) was finally cancelled altogether earlier this month.

Preparing for and running bush orienteering events is no small task. Cancelling an event is a hard decision to make... but clearly the right one. In spite of appearances in the second photo below, there was a lot of standing water.

We were some of the Uringans who had organised and committed ourselves to a weekend in the southern highlands (again).

What the weather and the landscape looked like on Friday on the way to Canberra, about when we got the message that the Snow Hills events had been cancelled.

What the weather and the landscape looked like on Saturday afternoon heading back to Sydney from Braidwood.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My goodness but we are a good looking bunch at Uringa!  Thanks to Mary Jane and Helen Murphy who came to show off our best side, and to Brian who was a great help to the photographer - we shall have to start calling him 'Flashman' from now on:)  The photos that were taken are for the Southern Courier's promotional coverage of the Sydney Summer Series and what better place to take the pictures than at beautiful Maroubra Beach.  And yes, the Rubiks cube is on the map, though you will have to wait and see if planner Georgia chooses it as a control site....

Monday, October 1, 2012

Competition heats up in Tasmania

The last 9 days saw the orienteering community venture to the shores of Tasmania for the most important competitions of the year, these being the Australian Sprint, Middle, Long and Relay Championships as well as the Australian School Championships.
A small contingent of club members made their way to the East coast of Tasmania for the competitions in various terrain. Events were held around St Helens in open eucalypt forest with granite, in Bicheno featuring parklands, urban scrub and a foreshore with granite slabs and boulders for the sprint, and undulating spur/gully in Royal George.

Australian School Championships (Royal George)
Georgia and Lawrence Jones represented NSW in the School Championships, and the team placed equal second with Queensland! The School Championships consist of an individual event and a relay in  the categories Junior Girls and Boys as well as Senior Girls and Boys. Georgia competed in the Junior Girls class and came 9th (top NSW junior girl!);  the class was completely dominated by the New Zealand girls which placed 1,2,3,4. In the Senior Boys Lawrence placed 13th which made him top NSW Senior Boy!
The Junior Girls relay was dominated once again by the the New Zealanders with NSW (Georgia, Melissa Annetts, Rebecca George) coming 4th. Looks like the Senior Boys relay was also dominated by New Zealand, and unfortunately the NSW team had a mispunch. Lawrence still had a good race placing 8th on the first leg.
Well done to Georgia and Lawrence for your great contributions to the NSW Schools team!!
Congratulations to Georgia who was named on the honor roll for NSW School team. Well done!! :-))

Podium placings at the Australian Championships

Sprint Championships (Bicheno)
W10A         1st         Sophie Jones
W75A         1st         Maureen Ogilvie

Middle distance Championships (St Helens)
W75A         1st         Maureen Ogilvie
W10A         2nd        Sophie Jones

Long distance Championships (St Helens)
W14A         1st         Georgia Jones
W10A         2nd       Sophie Jones
W75A         2nd       Maureen Ogilvie

An overall great performance by the Jones Family, with Maggie and Ian both just missing out on a podium placing, coming 4th in W45A resp M45A !!

Relay (St Helens)
M/W12        2nd       NSW (incl Sophie Jones)
W65A         2nd        NSW (with Maureen Ogilvie)

Although Georgia was 1st out of the forest on leg 1, the team unfortunately didn't manage a podium placing in W14A.

GREAT NEWS: Due to her great results in the Long Distance and Relay events Georgia was also named in the Australian Schools Team for the match again NZ in early January 2013, which is being held in New Zealand. Congratulations Georgia and well done!! What a great achievement.

Tour Of Tasmania (Brrr too)

Dave in full flight
 A small and enthusiastic group from Uringa boarded planes and ferries to head to the deep south for a week of orienteering in Tasmania. Yes folks it was cold for the entire week mind you there were a few moments when the sun made an appearance. The events were based around the scenic St Helens on Tassie's east coast. this is the 4th time that big events have been held in this area and for some of us it is like coming home.
The series of events included the Tassie Long Champs, Australian Sprint , Middle and Long Championships plus the Australian Relay Champs  with the Australian Schools Champs lodged in the middle supported by a couple of public events.

So where to start- Australian Middle Champs. These were held just west of St Helens in an area of spur gully with some granite of large and small denominations tossed in for interest.
Maureen W75 and Sophie W10 were the only two to make it to the podium 1st and 2nd respectively. Mind you Dave and Dick had a great battle in M65 with only 2 seconds separating them after there 3.6km course.
Melissa, georgia and rebecca - Schools Relays

It was a return to the same area  for the Tasmanaian Long Champs. Oh dear there was just a bit of green around creeks which caught me good and proper ( Zuzu too) 37 minutes to the 1st control and I would still be there but for the arrival of the equally perplexed Zuzu who just happened to need a control that I had just found. This area featured ultra long water races which were used by the tin miners. They were better than tracks most of the time.

Maureen and Sophie manitained their podium status with this time both our girls achieveing 1st placings.

Ian - concentration mode
So then it was off to Royal George some 80 kms west of St Helens. This was the location for the Australian Schools Champs in which Lawrence and Georgia Jones were competing.
Lawrence had a great schools carnival with an excellent 13th place in Senior Boys ( his 1st year in this class) Georgia was equally impressive with 9th in Junior Girls. Georgia's Junior Girls team came home 4th overall (3rd Australian team) Georgia was 3rd fastest on her leg. Due to an injury Larence's team did not finish but not before lawrence had a very solid run to came in 8th Fastest on his 3rd leg.
Geoprgia was awarded a place in the Australian Schools Honour Team - Junior Girls.

Gayle and Ron at MONA in Hobart

A rest day in a carnival is always welcome and saw orienteers heading to all points. Gayle and I headed to Hobart to visit the world renowned MONA ( Museum of Old and New Art.). This is well worth a visit and this is coming from someone who is not a true art gallery fan. The building is multi-levelled and with much of the museum below ground. You can see the very quirky entrance in the accompanying photo.Your guide is an ipod which has gps tracking so that it tells you what your looking at before you can say "Iwish  had this in the bush"
Ex Uringan Anita - on the rocks at Bicheno

And so it was off to Bicheno for the Australian Sprint Championships. Cold and grey and for some rain when they started ( this brown duck started in the rain.) The map was basically a headland with the surrounding rocks and ocean mapped. It was great fun. the rocks were not what we were used to and so many were caught by the scale. 
Once again Maureen and Sophie reigned supreme. I was one of many who mis-punched. 21 controls in a small space - well that was my excuse.

Sophie with her fellow M/12 runners 2nd place!

The Australian Champs were held on the very flat a tin mining area a few kilometres west of St Helen's. Those who have been here know just how unforgiving this area is. It was made all the more difficult by a lot of recent rain which turn the claypans into very wet and muddy wastelands that only helped you grow taller as your shoes gained another layer or two of mud. The erosion gullies which were actually drives dug by miners as they chased the tin ore were oft times quite narrow and multi faceted. The major gullies were more often than not extremely deep and hard to cross. It was an area that was perhaps the hardest navigationally that I have run on.

Georgia joined Maureen and Sophie on the podium with a fine 1st place in W14A Maureen 2nd in W75A and Sophie scored a 2nd in W19A. Ian and Maggie Jones both had a peak at the podium finishing 4th in M45A and W45A respectively. Joining us at this event were Margaret and Ingrid Wilmott. They were in Tasmania to support Nick
who was playing hockey in a Veteran's tournament.
The final day saw perhaps the best of the weekend weather where Linda would have been down to a short sleeve thermal. The map Littlechild Creek was the venue for the Australian Relays. This map has a reputation for fierce vegetation along creek lines. The organisers put in a number of creek crossings ( I think they used napalm) The programmed suggested trying to cross anywhere else without the help of a chain saw would lead to loss of life or limb.
Perhaps the saddest part of this day was that the courses were very very difficult. The creek crossing compounded the problems. The courses were best served up as a middle event. The mass start for second leg runners was delays to enable more than a handful of 1st leg runners to get back. The third leg runners mass start had over 40 runners involved. It was not an area suitable for this event. That said it was on for young and old. Lots of mis-punches and many old heads fell for the get a drink and forget to punch at a water control!
Ian Jones in a M35 team streaked home in 1st place, Sophie Jones in M/W12 kept up her appointments with the podium with a 2nd place. Maureen was not to be outdone with a fine 2nd place in W65.
From here it was off to the planes and ferries heading home to the warmth of Sydney.

washing done- blog done now what's next Xmas 5 Days in beautiful Beechworth!