Monday, March 5, 2018

Sydney Sprint Series Event #7, Sir Joseph Banks Park, Botany

Sir Joseph Banks Park was the venue for the grand finale of the 2018 Sydney Sprint Series, hosted in style by Uringa Orienteers. The park is an oasis of calm in the midst of a maze of urban activity, and is home to numerous species of waterbirds and a charming array of animal statues - a legacy of the “pleasure gardens” established in the 1830s which housed Sydney’s first zoo. The park is also the home of Australia’s oldest running race, the Botany Bay Gift, which attracts top track athletes from around the world. There is no need to be a world class sprinter to take part in the Sydney Sprint Series, which caters for all standards of orienteers from the fleet-footed elite to social orienteers seeking an enjoyable stroll in the park. Sprint orienteering is ideal for beginners as the short courses are not too arduous and there is no need for advance planning, as with score courses. The series is also good preparation for the winter orienteering season which predominately features line courses.

52 orienteers from a range of clubs participated in yesterday’s event, including 14 Uringans. The course, laid out by Linda and Aldo Sesta, was blissfully traffic-free and offered plenty of route choice for a line course. It included 16 controls and took in a variety of terrain including hills, grass, trails and one slightly rickety river crossing which fortunately didn’t lead anyone into the realm of underwater orienteering! Fastest to complete the 2.9k course was Aidan Dawson from Garingal Orienteers, whose blistering time of 12.14 put him nearly a minute clear of his nearest rival. His sister Michele Dawson, also of Garingal, won the open women’s category in 16.04, giving her a clean sweep of all seven events in the series. Ewan Shingler of Big Foot Orienteering was fastest junior in an impressive 13.54, and his younger sister Nea Shingler topped the junior women’s category with a time of 17.45. There were some decent performances in the older categories too, with Uringa’s Shane Doyle finishing fastest of the veteran men in 15.54. Joel Putnum of Bennelong Northside Orienteers clocked 16.18 in the master men’s category, Big Foot’s Mark Shingler topped the super veteran men’s leader board in 17.30, and Ross Barr of Garingal led the legend men in 20.52. Uringan members dominated the adult women’s categories, with Melanie Christie fastest of the veteran women in 24.14, followed by Jane Boland in 26.08, and Helen Murphy and Adrienne Kirby finishing first and second in the legend women’s category in 23.48 and 29.47 respectively. Barbara Dawson of Garingal was fastest super vet woman in 26.42.

Full results are available on the Eventor site.


Jim Mackay said...

Well said ! And some nice photos too.

Mary Jane said...

Terrific report.