G'day Rogainers,

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“Will I or Wollemi?” Paddy Pallin Rogaine
Results & photos on the website!

The recent Paddy Pallin has been run and won, and thanks to the attendance by 500 participants and many more volunteers it was a great atmosphere. With a course almost identical to the 2004 Paddy Pallin, with a few twists, it brought back some old memories to long-time competitors. With a rather dreary morning, the weather dried up just before the start for a relatively mild winter’s day, however this didn’t stop many competitors from getting soaked bashing through the damp bushes and especially those that decided to get a more intimate look at the famed Colo River!

Unfortunately, a dodgy tag (mine!) prevented the scores from being correctly calculated on the day, so some trophies were given to the wrong teams. If you were one of the teams affected, please let me know so we can resolve it.

Congratulations to Gill and Jem Fowler who took out the overall win with 1600 points. Looking through the results I am reminded that even in an event that lasts many hours, it can still be a matter of 10 points, or simply a number of seconds, that splits up the top teams, with the teams in 2nd to 5th place scoring between 1520 and 1530 points!

Did you hear about the rogainers lost in the mist? They didn’t have the foggiest idea where they were.

Coordinator Ian Almond satisfyingly surveys the teams frantically running home.

There’s lots more photos on the website thanks to Kim and Nick Eales, which you can scroll through at your leisure. Thanks to all the volunteers for pulling together another memorable day for all involved!

There are three days to go before registrations close to the NSWRA inaugural Nyctophobia Buster night rogaine in Hornsby Heights, held on the evening of Saturday July 6th. The organisers (including myself) are just doing the final touches of vetting, scoring, and mapmaking, ready to have what we hope will be a unique and fun event. Please enter to show your support to this initiative so it is something we can repeat in subsequent years!

We would love to have some help with setup, packup, or flag collecting, so if you have any more free time that weekend please consider volunteering. None of these roles will prevent you from participating in the event.

A blast from the past – the map from the 1999 Hornsby Heights Socialgaine

The last time a rogaine was set in Hornsby Heights was in 1999 for the “Mullo’s Walks” Xmas Socialgaine. Thanks to long-time participant Julian Ledger, I managed to get my hands on the map, shown below, which is fascinating to compare with the one for today, and most fascinatingly, to see several controls in identical locations (there may be prizes for working out where these are!). Julian also kindly put me in contact with course setters Sue Clarke and Chippy Le Carpentier who gave me a better run down of the event:

“Back then Chippy lived in Hornsby Heights and while recovering from a broken rib during an orienteering fall he went exploring the local area with his dog Mullo, which is how the map came to be named.

From memory the course was a mixture of Q&A and control flags, so on all the bush controls it would have been flags. The reason the course was set involving such a large area was to give decent scope to competitors of all abilities. Competitors were allowed to catch trains.”

You can read about it in the archived newsletter here, and see some familiar names!

Navshield 2019 – A return to the Ice Age! - Results

The 2019 Kanangra Navshield Map with our winning team’s route. The event is distinguished as competitors must plot controls on the map themselves from a grid reference, and the lines show grid, rather than magnetic, north.

A number of brave rogainers were among the 500 participants who made the trip last weekend to Kanangra-Boyd National Park near Jenolan Cave to take part in the 31st annual Navshield, a rogaine organised by Bush Search and Rescue. It’s primarily aimed at emergency services such as the SES, RFS and Police. At -5°C, it was certainly a night not for the faint hearted, it even snowed for about 20 minutes on the Sunday!

One unique feature of the Navshield is that there are three 20-point radio checkpoints that competitors are required to visit - at least one checkpoint each day. But to add to the strategy, they reset at midnight meaning that teams can “double dip” on the points if they visit them on both days.

One unique feature of the Navshield is that there are three 20-point radio checkpoints that competitors are required to visit - at least one checkpoint each day. But to add to the strategy, they reset at midnight meaning that teams can “double dip” on the points if they visit them on both days.

[Warning: shameless self-promotion ahead!] My partner David Williams and I (team “Remote Control”) got the overall top score (2140) in the 2-day event by capitalising on the radio checkpoints, landing ourselves at CP Alpha in the far north end of the course just before midnight, and making substantial detours to the other two on the way back, clearing the course and returning to the Hash House at 10:20 – almost 4 hours to spare! Dave’s intimate knowledge of the area from setting the 2016 state champs at the same venue certainly came of assistance when working out where to cross many of the creeks on course!

Dave poses at the specatular CP 63 at the Box Creek Falls, while I survey the snowfall at 8am on Sunday morning

Other rogaine regulars, Toni Bachvarova, Andrew Smith, Vivien de Remy de Courcelles and Alex Allchin also cleared the course (albeit only doubling up on 1 radio CP) scoring 2100 points. They won the Bushwalkers division which means they carried sleeping bags and a shelter for the whole event, as they would do in a real Search and Rescue scenario, making their result that much more impressive.

Andrew, Vivien, Alex and Toni finished 3rd overall and won the Bushwalking competition

View the full results here for 1 and 2 day events, including leg splits.

Several rogaine regulars also did a stellar job helping keep the event running, including event coordinator Glenn Horrocks, course setters Jim Collier and Carley Finn, and John Havranek who looked after one of the radio CPs all night. Thank you all for your efforts!

World Rogaining Championships: Ready, Set...

It is now less than a month before the 2019 edition of the 16th World Rogaining Championships which will be run in La Molina, Spain on July 27th and 28th. As we have a number of NSW teams who are spending as much time flying over there as they will be competing, it is fitting that we send them off in style by asking a few questions to those making the trip.

NSWRA Vice President Gill Fowler (pictured below) is one of those people, but instead of competing, she has been helping out.

TW: What is your involvement of the organisation of WRC?

GF: I'm the Independent Event Advisor for the IRF. I have been out on the course in the early planning phase looking at the area, checking the mapping and providing advice – it’s been great to ponder the map both in the field and at home. You are in very capable hands with IbeRogaine Association and the event organising team!

TW: How many people have entered?

GF: At this point, there are over 800 entrants, from 31 countries, including 66 Australians and 30 New Zealanders

TW: What is the difference between the Spanish country that will make it a very different rogaining experience to NSW?

GF: It's the Pyrenees, so the mountains are a lot larger and you'll be rogaining at altitude (up to 2500m). There's no eucalyptus trees, emu eggs or kangaroos to spot. But there are plenty of panoramic views, historical ruins, green hills (not the always the rolling kind) friendly cows and people, open forest, and even a Refugio or two.

Now to two of our competitors, Richard Sage & David Williams:

TW: Who have you entered with and what category will you be competing in?

DW: None other than the legendary French rogainer, Monsieur Ronnie Taib, (pictured below) competing as team “Turtles” in the hotly contested Men’s Open!

RS: Nihal Danis and Dom Pitot. We are an occasional XSV team “RichardNihalDom”.

Ronnie & Dave at NSW Champs 2017

TW: What are you looking forward to most about the 2019 World Rogaining Championships?

DW: Rogaining somewhere really different and a great excuse for a holiday. It's really a 4 week event for us!

RS: A totally non-Australian rogaining experience.

TW: How have you been preparing?

DW: Not much really, a few rogaines, a bit of bushwalking, a bit of jogging, the usual.

RS: Doing events, some running, walking the dog.

TW: What else do you plan to do whilst you’re overseas?

DW: Hike the Pyrenees for a week or so with a few rogaining friends. Do some sight-seeing around southern France with one quarter of the family. Visit another quarter in the UK.

RS: Attend a wedding in Turkey, trekking in north Turkey, Paris for a few days (I’ve never been), TGV to the south of France and walk over the Pyrenees into Spain (think Sound of Music).

TW: What challenges are you expecting in Spain that you don’t experience in NSW?

DW: Real mountains! Strange vegetation. Disorientation from the sun suddenly appearing in the wrong half of the sky. Getting to grips with differences in map styles, course-setting standards, features, tech, etc. Being trampled by almost 1000 people at the mass start. Feeling woefully under-dressed by hordes of euros sporting serious outdoor chic and armed with trekking poles.

RS: Serious route planning challenges (don’t want to be the team that does more vertical metres than horizontal)!

Other NSWRA representatives include:

  • Nicole Mealing & Andrew Brown (XO - “A BrooTol mountain adventure”)
  • Graham Field & Neil Hawthorne (MSV - “Terrainium”)
  • Antoniya Bachvarova & Andrew Smith (XV - “Lost Control”)
  • Mike Hotchkis & Jonathan Worswick (MSV - “Ossifrages”)

We wish them well. You can check the results on the webpage shortly after the event concludes – approximately 21:00 on Sunday AEST. Without doubt there will be some great stories to share once they regain consciousness!

We can also “watch” the World Champs from the comforts of our homes. All teams will have a GPS device for safety reasons and also for WRC broadcasting. GPS tracking data and estimated progressive scores will be displayed on a big screen in a designated area at the event centre (participants are not allowed to enter) and also on the WRC web page, starting one hour after the start of the competition.(July 26th, 21:00 AEST). The results should be available shortly after the event concludes. Without doubt there will be some great stories to share once they “rogaine” consciousness!

Lastly, from President Trev

Why do we go rogaining? Mostly to keep fit and healthy and to explore new areas, and also to share the effort with like-minded aficionados.

Mid-term through 2019 and we’ve had a fine choice of events thus far. Looking back, Lisa introduced us to the Western Sydney Parklands in February, Tristan revealed new heights and depths at the Springwood Metrogaine in March. In May we journeyed higher on the Blue Mountains near Lithgow where Richard, Toni & Andrew provided a new, much improved map of the pagodas for our Autumngaine 12-hour, then earlier this month Ian, John and Mardi took us to Upper Colo for the Paddy Pallin 6-hr. Add in the ACT Champs near Tathra and the NavShield in Kanangra-Boyd NP and we’ve been spoiled with such delectable areas in New South Wales.

Looking forward, early next month we introduce the Nyctophobia Buster, where Toni, Smiffy, Tristan and Chris encourage you to embrace the darkness. In August, the Lake Macquarie 12/6-hour returns to the Sugarloaf Range, just west of Newcastle. The site for the NSW Championships in September has yet to be confirmed, but I expect adventurous bushland between the Hawkesbury and the Hunter. In November the Socialgaine will be in Sydney’s northern suburbs. Also consider the ACT Spring rogaine in October, a 12/6-hour which will be held near Bungonia. It’s almost as close to Sydney as it is to Canberra, and IMHO is one of the best rogaining areas in NSW

The Surprise Event will be something totally new for NSW Rogaining. I can announce that Margaret and Geoff Peel are preparing a 3-hour Paddlegaine on Lake Macquarie to be held on Sunday 3rd November. Pull out your kayaks, canoes and paddleboards, strengthen your tummy muscles, and let’s go explore another special area

We are also contemplating our 2020 calendar. What new locations and surprises will be on offer next year … into the desert perhaps?

Trevor Gollan and Ian Dempsey at the start of the recent Paddy Pallin Rogaine

Back to the recent Paddy Pallin 6-hour, a highly successful event, helped by the luxury of the St Joseph’s College Outdoor Education Centre, adventurous terrain, and the pleasure of scones and cookies on the course. It was unfortunate that a technology failure stymied the quick results that we’ve come to expect. I think the organisers – Ian, Anita and Vivien – were more stressed than the participants, and it did confuse the trophy presentations. We are looking at how to avoid any recurrence of such a problem.

The PPR is our most populous event. It’s rare to not have another team nearby, and navigation can often be aided by watching where other teams have emerged from the bush, however I heard a few stories of missed controls and misplaced rogainers. Which suggests it is possible to find quiet areas on the course … you just need to get lost! I worry about the impact of hundreds of rogainer-feet, more obvious on the out-and-back controls, but also in sensitive, soft areas such as the creek-bank between 100 and 70.

Another feature of such a large crowd is the rush to the first control. As a no-run rogainer (NRR) I tend to take my turn in the queues at the first couple of controls, which raises a question: how many minutes does one “lose” due to these good manners? This year I had the pleasure of teaming with Ian Dempsey, one of our original NSW rogainers. You’d think our collective rogaining experience - almost 80 years – should mean we’d avoid being 17 minutes late to the finish line. It may have had something to do with Ian’s choice to collect 51 near the end, or my no-run policy, or (most likely) our good manners at the start when we didn’t push past people to tap our navlights. One consolation for us was that Bert Van Netten and Ted Woodley were similarly late at the finish.

I have received reports of damage to the portaloos and misuse of the St Joey’s sporting equipment. We are of course obliged to pay costs and, more significantly, we all suffer when our sport and organisation’s reputation is damaged. I ask parents to manage and monitor their children, especially a larger issue when we have camping at an event and kids have more time to roam. Upper Colo was an excellent rogaine in 2004, again in 2019, and hopefully we will be welcomed back in 2034.

Trevor Gollan


Tristan White
Publicity Officer
NSW Rogaining Association

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