Monday, August 26, 2013

Uringa Christmas Party 2013

Lock in the date for the Uringa Christmas Party which will take place on Saturday, 30 November @ Concord, starting from 3.30pm with the Presidents Cup !!
Details will follow at a later stage.

Jitka's orienteering success in Czech Republic

Jitka and Zuzu have been galavanting around Europe since I don't know when (probably around about May!) and I got this message from Zuzu:

At the Pekne Prazdniny 2 Day event in Czech Republic Jitka came 3rd in W65. The competition included 3 events covering middle distance, sprint and long distance events, and where held in Bohemia, northeast of Prague. The terrain was complicated sandstone area of Cesky Ray. (I have actually orienteered close to this area and can confirm that there are some huuuuuuuuuge rocks and stones there, which make for excellent orienteering).
Jitka's prize was a bottle of beer along with a beautiful glass! Congratulations Jitka, well done !! We hope to see you back at the Christmas Party

There ain't no mountain high enough!

2013 World Masters- Sestriere Italy

4 intrepid Uringans travelled to Italy for the 2013 World Masters. The venue, Sestriere, was the scene of the 2006 Winter Olympics and Gayle and I stayed in what was then the athletes’ accommodation. The 4 Uringans were Dick and Maureen and Gayle and I.

Now as the venue for the winter Olympics Sestriere is in the Italian Alps and at altitude. Wherever you went you were either going up or down! And the only time you were on the level was when you were in buildings. ( I exaggerate a little here). Torino was the centre for the World Masters and was full to overflowing with people with accreditation hanging around their necks and Masters Backpacks chocked full of goodies. Between us we ended up with 2 packs of risotto rice and coffee (wasted on me): Various supplies of tooth whitener and tanning spray. Some contained a huge pack of cotton wool (for egos perhaps), band aids and dressings. There were discount vouchers for a variety of shops etc but all in Torino 100kms away. Now the beauty of where we were was that it was in the mountains. Torino (Turin) was extremely hot and humid. The two days we spent there were mainly spent trying to coax more cold air out of our room air conditioner! We also both ended the stay with blisters mine proving to be more of a problem as the competition wore on.

Organisation for the event in Sestriere was very very good. The local town gym was the event centre and the town centre was used for ceremonies and the sprint final finish.

The events kicked off with a model sprint event held in the nearby town of Bardonecchia. Model events are always interesting events. For some it is so dead keen serious and others it is a time to get the head back into reading a map and catch up with fellow Ausies and friends from O/s. I leave you to speculate on Gayle’s and I approach. The highlight of the day was the fact we ended up in a queue to cross into France as we tried to navigate home. We later realised that wherever you saw a sign “Frejus” it meant France that way!

The next day we headed (away from the French border) to Pragelato for the Sprint Qualifications. The fields in each age group were large with in men’s classes 3 to 4 heats of 70 plus competitors and in women’s 2 to 3 heats. The village of Pragelato was small and compact and the main feature of the town was an enormous ski jump smack in the middle of town and we finished in the landing area. I understand why “Eddie the Eagle” did not quite fly too well.

So off we went in our first competition. The map was not that difficult however the need for speed ensured that human error was always going to be a factor. Competitors had to cope with the weekend town market ( there were controls in amongst the market stalls), two churches with congregations departing amidst it all and road crossings (the crossings were compulsory legs and you had a voided leg with a 1 minute time limit - punching a control and then crossing and punching the next control – controls 9 and 10 on my course.) Unfortunately both Dick and Maureen mis-punched cruelling their chances for the final. Gayle was 59th in her heat and I managed 56th in mine. After the run we visited the markets- local growers and bought some great cheese, bread and lashings of ham and prosciutto. Yumm.

The opening ceremony was held that night and we Aussies (31 in total) marched into the town square for what was a wonderfully short opening ceremony.

The sprint final was held in Sestriere and as we headed to the assembly area (town square) we walked past a large number of controls including 6 that were in our accommodation complex. My first control was at the NW end of our accommodation. Familiarity can help.

With Dick and Maureen out of the running the pressure was off however Maureen was determined to show the world and was the 3rd placed runner home but due to her earlier mp she was non-competitive. Dick took things a little easier and was saving his legs for the long event. Gayle was in the W55B final finishing 53rd and I finished 54th in M60C final.

The rest day was welcomed and we all trooped off for a look at the model event for the long which was close by in that we walked there from our accommodation. We also managed to do some gelato sampling and quickly identified the best quality/price shop in town and we were on 1st name terms when we left!

When you read that the walk to the start was going to have 210 metres of climb in a 1km walk you get the picture and then toss in 275m of climb on the course you realise quickly that the area was far from flat. So that is 485 metres of climb from the finish and that also means 485metres of descent on the course. Hang on to those contour lines folks this is going to be steep.

The typical alpine terrain was experienced. Pine trees and light ground cover, lots of tracks , open ski corridors and chair lift poles were the order of the day and contour detail! Maureen was back in the hunt with a very solid 6th placing and Dick, struggling with a cold finished 56th in his heat. Gayle had a cleaner run yet was still in 67th position whilst I managed to hobble in in 61st place ( not last) in my heat.

Long Qual 2 was held in the same arena with the start in the same place so 210 metres back up the hill we trudged. Fortunately the walk to the start had many scenic viewing stops along the way (well that is what we told each other when we got our breath back. The terrain was a little different for this run being less in the contour detail and some rock thrown in. Almost all courses encountered the bob sled run (Cool Runnings!) Talk about steep and those banked turns. Maureen again came home in 6th and Dick 50th. Gayle improved with a 63rd placing whilst I dropped one spot to 62nd.
The rest day that followed was well received and allowed bodies to recover and a little more sightseeing to be done. We headed up the gondola ride which went right passed our balcony up to a local peak where we could look straight into the Long Qual areas- it looked rather flat from where we were standing!

The day of the final was spectacular with clear deep blue skies. A feature of the event was the transport to the assembly area- two chair lifts. Up and up we went. The organisers were at great pains to point out that we would be competing at altitude whilst 2500 metres does not appear much it does make a difference.

Long Final
The assembly area was spectacularly located with great mountain and views and Sestriere could be seen not too far away. The final is always a day of tension. For our mob Maureen was in the A final and it all comes down to your run on this day. Maureen finished in 7th place rather breathless with her fist control approximately 75m straight up bringing her undone. She never recovered from the physicality of this leg. That said she did us proud indeed. Dick in the M65C final came home 52nd in what was a pretty clean run. Gayle was 25th home in the W55C final and she was ruing one bad control. For me, Mr Blister had expanded from the size of a 10 cent piece to about a $2 note and with two more weeks of sightseeing to come- I wimped out! (Photos are available of the offending blister- I posted it on Facebook (footbook) to turn a few people off breakfast)

Maureen powers to the Finish
In retrospect WMOC was most enjoyable. The Italians did a great job presenting the events and little was lacking in their organisation. The Brazilians  were there busily promoting the 2014 Champs – with the event to be held in November they are going to have a tough sell.


Whilst we were away besides “roasting in Roma” and playing “sardines in Venice” we stayed in Grindelwald, Switzerland and Innsbruck, Austria taking in the best of the Alpine Region. The word WOW was not enough to describe the vista.  Both these places are worth a visit! So now back to normality.





Sunday, August 25, 2013

Uringa events Summer 2013/2014

Thought you might like to know the events which Uringa is organising for the 2013/2014 summer season. The biggest change for Uringa is, that the Southern Summer Series events have now moved to the weekends in the hope that more club members are available to help out, and also give all those orienteers who can't make it to the Summer Series during the week a chance to have an run!! Anyway, it's orienteering galore with the 2 or 3 summer series and sprint events being held between October and March.

Sun, 27 Oct                Southern Summer Series
Michael Weiner

Sun, 10 Nov Southern Summer Series

Brian Cleland

Wed, 20 Nov Northern (Main) Summer Series

                  Concord North
Helen Murphy (Matt Peters)

Sat, 7 Dec                 Southern Summer Series

Dave Lotty

Sat, 21 Dec               Southern Summer Series

         Sth Maroubra
Jones Family

Mo, 20 Jan                 Sprint Series

Linda Sesta

Wed, 29 Jan Northern (Main) Summer Series

Brian Cleland (Ron Pallas)

Sun, 16 Feb               Sprint Series

Matt Peters

Wed, 26 Feb Northern (Main) Summer Series

                 Double Bay
Dave Lotty

A big thank you to everyone who has put down their name to set courses and organise the event. The club really appreciates it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Was the honeymoon the State League 9-10 weekend in Orange?

Mary Jane Mahony and Brian Cleland would like to share with all Uringans the news that we were married on August 10.

Why that date? It was our only free weekend for a couple of months! We were already booked to orienteer in Orange on August 17-18, so we can't really claim the trip as a honeymoon; however, it was a wonderful opportunity to share our news and happiness with fellow Uringans at the events and with friends who live in Orange.

Thank you to everyone for the many good wishes we've received.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Uringans Eat Orange Event

A strong contingent of Uringans showed them how it was done over the two days in Orange. Well at least the Jones' did.

And after, there were serious discussions as to whether it could have been done any better.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Croatia 5 Day

This year Aldo and I decided to head to Southern Europe for some challgening orienteering in karst terrain in Croatia - it was well worth the trip! The organisation was amazing (incl small warm up maps which showed you the way to the starts for every stage), even more so as they really only worked with a core group of 20 volunteers, courses were great - never too long - winning time in W45A was between 30 - 40 mins excluding the sprint of course, and the weather was outstanding, about 30 deg in the sun, but surprisingly 'cool' in the forests! Brilliant, as you only had to pack the shorts and singlet every morning for change of clothes, and of course the swim suit for the post-event dip in the local lake. Another huge plus where the short drives to the events, max 25 mins from the event centre in Delnice which is located in the Kvarner region, in Croatia's northwest, close to the Slovenian border.

I have to say that being part of my Swiss club's (OLC Kapreolo) club trip was great too, there was a great club atmosphere at the events with the Kapreolo flag being the most prominent one at about 6m height. The daily dinner buffets back at our hotel were also a great way to socialise and complete  post mortums on the day's event.

From a result point of view, I started off quite ok on Day 1 & 2, but all went downhill from Day 3 where my compass decided to give up the ghost before getting to the first control. I can't tell you how hard it is to orienteer in continental kart terrain and flat area with lots of depressions without a compass - I have no idea how the Finnish Elite orienteer Pasi Ikonen does it, seriously he must have a compass in his brain or something!! A quick stop at the Hungarian O shop at the event, and with renewed  motivation for a good result I started on Day 4, but it wasn't to be. I  messed up 1 control badly....the competition here in Europe is unbelievable and it dosn't allow for any mistakes at all and they are also quite fast. The last day was in extreme karst terrain, it was OMG terrain and one of the most spectacular terrains I have run on. Unfortunately (a first for me), I missed out a control and only realised it at the finish. There was so much black on the map that I never saw the red circle at control 4!! I was a bit disappointed with my performance but the terrain definitely made up for it and I still had heaps of fun.
Aldo was on the same course as me (Open Long was supposed to be an orange standard!!!) and he completed 3 days and enjoyed himself finding his way around the sinkholes, karst etc.

I can definitely recommend this event, and it's on again in 2014.

Day 1 - sinkhole terrain - the main aim was to find your way around all the sinkholes which are pretty steep and deep!


Day 2 - sprint in Krk. The finish was located at a very busy beach and all the tourists couldn't believe the invasion by orienteers.

Day 3 & 4 - continental karst terrain and flat areas with lots of depressions. Not recommended to orienteer without a compass!!  

Day 5 - Extreme Karst - OMG terrain with cliffs near the finish about 30m high. AMAZING stuff!!