Monday, April 15, 2024

State League 4 with some Forest Highlands Series tossed in

 The Southern Highlands played host to an unusual weekend with a State league on Sunday and a SHOO Highlands Forest Series (HFS) on Saturday. The planned State League for Saturday failed to eventuate so SHOO stepped up with their first HFS event of the season.

Anyone who travels the Hume Highway south would know the Sutton Forest Service Centre well just a smidge further south is Penrose State Forest. rest area which was the assembly for the HFS. Penrose SF is an extremely large area and is always the sight of logging and then planting. It is also home to some great rock features as you head down into the creeks.

It was only a small mob from Uringa present on a very comfortable sunny afternoon.  The courses were well set by Angus Shedden and patches of  bracken fern hid the lay of the land and the odd fallen branch from view.

Dave Lotty was the only Uringan to feature on the podium 3rd in Men Easy. However the fast improving Laurence Bruggerman was 4th in Women Moderate. Also 4th was Maggie McKay in Women Long Hard class. Linda Sesta  was a minute of two behind Maggie in 5th. Ant Nolan was 8th on Men Long Hard and so to was Gayle Shepherd in Women Short Hard. On the same course Melanie Christie was 11th. Similarly placed was Jonathan Nolan on Men Long Hard. Jim Mackay was 13th on the Long Hard course.

After an excellent afternoon's orienteering a few gathered at the Goulburn Workers Club for a beverage or two and an excellent dinner.

The morning saw similar weather greet the orienteers as they headed to Snows Hill which is south east from Tarago. The heavy rain that drenched NSW a few weeks back made its presence felt with a car bogged to the axles when it strayed a few centimetres from the straight and narrow. Orienteers are a resourceful lot with a two rope and some "serious grunt" courtesy of a 4WD extricating the car and the orienteers from their predicament.

Snows Hill has very very few tracks and the area we were in  had none. This makes setting courses for our Easy very easy hard. However Hamish Mackie, course setter from Big Foot, had provided streamers and signs - "You are going the right way YAY" or "No don't go this way" and pivotal moments on their courses- well done. I wish I had had a few of those.

Linda Sesta, W55A and Ron Pallas M65AS were 1st home and very gruntled in their classes. In 3rd in Women Open B was Laurence Bruggerman. This was a fantastic effort. Laurence commented that she had Jane Boland's advice echoing in her head the whole way around. Jane was heard to say she wished she also had listened to her own advice  coming in 6th in Women Open B. Jonathan Nolan was 3rd in M18A. Michael Warlters was 4th home in M55A. Jim Mackay had a great run to finish and excellent  5th in M60A. Ant Nolan had a quotable Barry Crocker (shocker) as he made a dogs breakfast. Dave Lotty was a mp on M65AS.

Check out Grace Crane's run in W21A. It is worth viewing as she navigated around and through the green which was tough going both from a physical and visibility point of view.

The two events on the weekend were part of the selection trials for the NSW Schools Team for the Australian Schools Championship to be held in Armidale this year. Jono and Maggie certainly didn't do their chances for selection any harm.

Spare a thought for Ant and Jane plus Ori who are coaches for the Junior training Camp at Belanglo for the week.  Organised by Helen O'Callaghan it looks like everyone has a very full week of training ahead. Check out the timetable:

The next month or so is very quiet with Uringa running a Metro League event at Sydney Park, Alexandria on May 5th. This unfortunately clashes with events at Broulee on the South Coast. Later in may there is a weekend or orienteering at Wee Jasper - east of Gundagai and west of Canberra  on the 18th and 19th. This is a great area and is well worth the longish drive in although you can camp in a beautiful camp ground.

Dinner at Goulburn Workers

Gayle arriving at the control (behind the tree with Stephanie




Map - Wee Jasper Karst Limestone super fast

Keep in mind the 2024 Australian Championships being held in the Armidale / Uralla area late September, early October- a total of 7 events  over a 9 day period.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

2024 Australian 3 Days Murray Bridge SA


2024 Australian 3 Days – South Australia.

Unbeknown to competitors when entering the 2024 3 days, it proved to be hot! Yes, the competition was hot but so to the weather. Fortunately, the Murray River was close by and many an orienteer cooled down in the waters of Australia’s longest river.

The prologue sprint was run in the grounds of a nearby high school. 

You can check out the run by winner Nea Shingler

It looks extremely complicated but remember it has a map flip part the way through the course which allows setters to send runners back into the complex building area.

Uringa had 2 runners competing in the NOL (National Orienteering Series) for elites. Serena Doyle in W21E and Maggie Mackay stepping up into W20E for the first time.  Serena unfortunately had a missed punch in her race whilst Maggie finished 23rd in W20E.

Also running in the public races was Jim Mackay on Course 2- 32nd and Michael Warlters 51st on Course 1.

The carnival then moved east to be based around Murray Bridge- the riverland area. Whilst there is irrigation cropping going on all over the place the competition aras had one thing in common dry and dusty.

Day 1 Pymton

When you look at the map it is dominated by orange and yes the courses spent a lot of time in the green and white areas. The green was mainly some super spiky plant that’s only purpose in life was to scratch the exposed surfaces of orienteers resulting in bloodied arms, legs and maps!  And yes it was hot, way over 30 for those who started after midday.

That said it was an enjoyable course

Result wise

Jan Sargood W70A 4th

Sarah Garnet W65A 6th

Michael Warlters M55A 11th

Jim Mackay M60A 12th

Shane Doyle M55A 13th

Rick Steele M70A mp

Ron Pallas M65AS mp  ( punch first at drinks control then punch)

Serena Doyle W21E 21st

Maggie Mackay W20E 14th

Former Uringans

Thea Richardson W21S 5th

Charlie Richardson M35A 3rd

Margaret Wilmott W65A 10th

Nick Wilmott M70A  9th

Day 2 Ngaralta Country.

Another map dominated by orange open. The courses today was not much more than moderate- it was difficult to make them hard due to the nature of the map. On my course as I left 2 I looked towards 3 and could see the rock I was running to and could see competitors ducking in behind it to punch. But it is what it is.  Today was extremely hot heading into the high 30s and the temperature was compounded by the setting style for the day which was LONG..


Jan Sargood W70A 10th

Sarah Garnet W65A dnf

Michael Warlters M55A 9th

Jim Mackay M60A 18th

Shane Doyle M55A 7th

Rick Steele M70A 16th

Ron Pallas M65AS dq

Serena Doyle W21E 19th

Maggie Mackay W20E 15th

Former Uringans

Thea Richardson W21S 3rd

Charlie Richardson M35A mp

Margaret Wilmott W65A 11th

Nick Wilmott M70A 14th


A word on my dq- I went through the panel that had this strange green colour not used on bush maps which apparently was supposed to be Olive Green which is used on sprint maps for out of bounds. I realised half way across that it was meant to be OOB. On a bush map the nearest green 410.00 is “difficult to run” on a sprint map 411.000 is uncrossable. Oh well my mistake and I dq myself – a number of people who did the same but didn’t dq..

Day 3  Narrinyeri Hills

Fortunately, the sun was dialed down by almost 10 degrees but the dustbowl remained. Today’s map had lots more green on it along with spotty yellow. However the area around 5,6,7, on my course was ultra green with vegetation touching making visibility and progress difficult.

This was the bush that populated the area around 5,6,7 - note there is little space between bushes

Jan Sargood W70A 9th

Sarah Garnet W65A mp

Michael Warlters M55A 6th best run of the carnival

Jim Mackay M60A 8th best run of the carnival

Shane Doyle M55A dns

Rick Steele M70A 21st

Ron Pallas M65AS mp 

Serena Doyle W21E dnf – blistered feet after her marathon effort on Day 2

Maggie Mackay W20E 13th best run of the carnival

Former Uringans

Thea Richardson W21S 4th

Charlie Richardson M35A 3rd

Margaret Wilmott W65A 12th

Nick Wilmott M70A  25th

Maggie in a race to the finish




 The Wash Up

At the presentation awards were presented for overall position after 3 days. A number of Uringans unfortunately didn’t feature due to mp etc. However,

Jan Sargood W70A was 4th

Michael Warlters M55A 7th

Jim Mackay M60A 9th

Maggie Mackay W20E 13th

Margaret Wilmott W65A 11th

Nick Wilmott M70A 14th

Thea Richardson W21 Sport 3rd

 I must congratulate Maggie on her efforts in W20E- this is a huge step up in distance and competition than her courses from the previous year.  She did very well in this her first competition in W20E.

Questions were asked of the organisers as to why the first start times were 10am and it was so $^%^&&*&% hot.

There is a simple explanation. The sun was rising at around 7.30  so all the set including turning on units and setting up computers etc. had to be done in a very narrow time band. This is what happens when Easter is early and daylight saving is still in play.

I know what it is like to organise and run a carnival- little sleep and long hours in the bush. OSA did a fantastic job.

Easter 2025 is in Victoria  and the Aussie Champs in Queensland 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

NSW Seniors Festival 2024: Orienteering in Camperdown


Uringa Orienteers joined forces with Garingal Orienteers and the Inner West Council to offer an introductory orienteering experience as part of the 2024 NSW Seniors Festival.

Uringa has been holding a ‘Get to know orienteering’ event for the NSW Seniors Festival in cooperation with the Inner West Council since 2020 (Callan Park), showcasing orienteering on Inner West maps at Mort Bay, Balmain (2021), Callan Park (2022), Balmain again (2023), and this year Camperdown-Newtown.

The event was initiated after an approach by the Inner West Council's inaugural Sporting Partnerships Coordinator Carla Stacey. This year's event was supported by her recent successor at the Council, Daniel Denford.

Zoe Melling did the hard work in coordinating with the Council and Garingal Orienteers to ensure the event was appropriately staffed and organised. Volunteer coaches from Big Foot and Illawarra-Kareelah also contributed.

Part of the Council's support was providing packed lunches for all participants.

Garingal provided the technlogy and other equipment this year.

And thanks to Eventor, two Norwegian orienteers visiting Sydney discovered the event.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Uringa Orienteers Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Lunch at the Palace Hotel, Mortlake, on Sunday, March 3rd, saw many long term Uringans together with some newer members celebrate the club’s anniversary.

Uringa Orienteers was formed in May 1974 to share the load of supporting orienteering in southern Sydney with Kareelah Orienteering Club.  (Kareelah was founded to serve the southern Sydney suburbs in 1972 as NSW’s second orienteering club, while Bennelong Occasional Orienteers, founded in 1971, served the northern suburbs).   

Dave Lotty was elected inaugural president and continued in that role to 1986 (today he continues serving the club as Treasurer). 

Subsequent club presidents were Dick Ogilvie (1987-1990), Rollin Burford (1991-1992), Keith Richardson (1993-1994), Terry Murphy (1995-1998), Lisa Lampe (2000-2002), Matt Peters (2003-2007), Ron Pallas (2008-2010), Linda Sesta (2011-2016), Jim Mackay (2017-2018), Anthony Nolan (2019-present). [Five former club presidents and the current president were present. Many of the others present are listed for one or more club officer/director/committee roles, and for a few years.]

Uringa has many family stories. Three generations of orienteers from one family were present.

And no Uringa social event is complete without Gayle Shepherd's contests, with winners always receiving interesting prizes.

What’s happened since 1974 (apart from organising countless local and state events)?

1975: first club constitution

1980: first club t-shirt

1981: first club Life Member: Dave Lotty

1986: Margaret Wilmott agrees to make the club’s first O-suits

1988: first President’s Cup

1989: Uringa, Kareelah and Illawarra Orienteers organise and run the Australian 3-Days.

1990: New O Suits made by Terry and Cheryl Bluett of Bennelong

1991: ‘Rolly Burford and David McKenna have launched a new concept in orienteering – The Sydney Summer Series. Single courses will be set on 5 maps on Saturday’s [sic] in November and early December.’ (source: Uringa Orienteers The Fourth Newsletter for 1991)

1991: Dick Ogilvie awarded Life Membership

1995: New club constitution

1995: Uringa celebrates 21st birthday

1996: John and Marie Wilmott awarded Life Membership

1996: the Uringa tracksuit

1999: Uringa stages Australian Championships

2001: New club constitution

2001: Club decides to invest in Sport Ident (SI)

2002: Club agrees to support investigations towards holding a Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) in Dubbo Region

2003: Club flag made by Gayle Shepherd. Gayle was also making Uringa O-suits by this time.

2007: JWOC in Dubbo. Uringa in charge of starts (very early in the morning in the middle of winter).

2009: Club agrees to a standing annual donation to the ONSW School Team.

2010: Start, Finish and Uringa banners purchased

2012: New club shirts (Coolmax)

2012: Arthur Durham awarded Life Membership

2014: Club celebrates 40th anniversary

2014: Ron Pallas and Maureen Ogilvie awarded Life Membership

2018: New club shirts (Bryzos, current shirt)

2019: Club incorporates. New constitution.

If you have something to add to the list above, or disagree with an item, please email

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Christmas and the President's Cup

Uringa Orienteers tradition is to end the year with a Christmas celebration and social, including The President's Cup, more wonderful food than anyone can eat, and a visit from Santa Claus.

The President's Cup

Set by the Club President or his representative, the Cup offers some physical exertion in preparation for a wonderful meal and some mental exertion which is usually more than just navigation. This year's course set by Matt Peters was a challenge with a little extra.

Named 'Remembering Dick O' in memory of  Dick Ogilvie,, it was a black-and-white map...that's what the maps were like when Dick (and Matt) started orienteering.  (Dick and Maureen's presence was missed.)

Then, the course. Score format with a question to answer. for each had to be there.

How the results are determined is up to the course setter and never straightforward. Traditionally,a large, a medium and a small mug are presented; due to technical difficulties the Uringa mugs were not available.

Winner of the large cup: Sherry Zhou. (No photo as Sherry had to leave before the presentations.)

Winner of the medium cup: Karen Shaw (No photo because she was so excited the photos were blurry.)

Winner of the small cup: Linda Sesta

Thanks to Helen and Matt Peters

Over the past 20 years or so most of Uringa's end of year/Christmas festivities have been held at the Peters' home. They  offer a home complete with marqee, barbecue and other necessities, including a warm welcome. Helen's cheerful greetings and quiet organisation calm the noisy chaos of multiple generations of orienteers, partners, children and granchildren. Access to the grounds of St. Joseph's College for swimming is also appreciated.

Santa Claus Always Comes

And There's Plenty More to Enjoy