G'day Rogainers,

NSW Rogaining eNewsletter, 19th April 2022

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12 & 6 hour Autumngaine, Garland Valley, Saturday 7th May, Entries are Open

There isn’t much time to get your team organised and charge your batteries for the first real bush event this year (and your first opportunity for night navigation since Belanglo 12 months ago.)

Garland Valley was the site of the 2013 NSW Championships. It’s classic rogaining country – some farm clearings, relatively open bush and no big climbs.

Where’s Garland Valley? It’s on the Putty Road, 100km north of Windsor and 140km from Newcastle.

Both 12 and 6-hour contests will start at midday on Saturday. You are welcome to camp on Friday night and encouraged to camp Saturday night, with the Waitara Scouts supplying satisfying meals Saturday night and Sunday breakfast.

6-hour Metrogaine 3-Apr-22, Results & Pictures here

[Ted Woodley (below), coordinator and course setter of the Metrogaine, reviews another great event.]

Nearly 400 participants, in 150 teams, participated in LaneCoveRivergaine IV on Sunday 3rd April. This was the fourth rogaine in our ‘journey’ down the Lane Cove River, starting in 2015 from the river’s source at Pennant Hills. Whilst this rogaine had the least bush of the four events, it had the most spectacular vistas, including Sydney harbour, bridge and skyline. (Ed. Graham Field claims it was the “world’s best location for a metro event.” A big claim but hard to argue against.)

Fortunately it was a perfect, sunny day, after months of rain. The Hash House at the North Sydney Community Centre was ideal, with a large outdoor area and 200-space (free) carpark next door.

Despite my best efforts to set a course that was unable to be cleared, seven teams completed the course in under six hours. Are the top teams getting faster or the map area getting smaller? (Ed. Perhaps the 1:15,000 scale was a factor.)

The introduction of three bonus-point elements added interest and some hard thinking, with a few surprising results:

  • The 100 extra points for punching all seven 100-pointers, positioned at lookouts along the harbour foreshore, was simple enough. And it did encourage teams to visit the most scenic areas.
  • The ‘pop-up’ 120-point control at Waverton Station for two one-hour periods (12-1pm & 2-3pm) caused some head-scratching and routing adjustments to avoid arriving too early or too late. The winning team on time (“OZONS”, Maris and Artis Jansons) had to cool their heels for some time waiting for the control to pop up. This makes their time of 5:12:30 hours even more impressive.
  • But it was the hour of double points (1pm to 2pm) that was the most interesting and influential in determining the winners. The first two teams back to the Hash House (“OZONS” and “I’m happy with anything”, Etienne Gautier and Sam Parkinson) ended up coming seventh and fifth on points, respectively.

Overall winners, “The Beach Boys” (Chris Turnbull and Richard Mountstephens) were third back in 5:20:25 hours yet scored 3,680 points, 490 points more than “OZONS”. Clearly, Chris and Richard did a great job in planning their route to score maximum double-points during the magic hour.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the event and the bonus point innovations. It was good to see the 2022 Warwick Marsden medallist, Keith Fone, rogaining for the first time with President Trevor Gollan in Team “Campfire Comrades”. It was also great to see Team “Hop-along”, with Wendy Hopper (aged 88) and son Peter scoring 840 points in 5:11:25 hours.

I should make special mention of the twenty volunteers who helped create the event, and particularly Hamish Mackie for his crystal-clear map and assistance in setting. Also, thanks to 1st North Sydney Scouts for providing scrumptious food.

This was to be the final LaneCoveRivergaine, but there is a rumour that the series may be extended for another year, continuing further ‘down-river’ towards the Heads. If there is a LCR V, I can assure everyone that the map area will be larger, to try to stop the fastest teams from clearing the course again.

The Beach Boys - Richard Mountstephens (above left) and Chris Turnbull teamed to win overall. Here’s Richard’s thoughts about the double-points conundrum:
It was an interesting puzzle change-up that made planning more complex. We worked out fairly quickly where the bang for buck was, but estimating how to position yourself at the right place for 1pm was tricky.

We certainly enjoyed the novelty - I do note however the overall result is heavily dependent on how well that hour goes. If the rest of the course is clearable under-time then the pace at which you cover the other 5 hrs is not so important. For the last couple of hours we were able to take our time knowing it wouldn't affect the result (which was quite fun :-)). It would be less of an issue if the course wasn't clearable.

We covered about 47km, including an extra few km in there returning to #120 after the 'hour of power' compared to a shortest possible loop.

Georgina Beech (above right) and Tim Austin teamed to be third overall. Here’s Georgina’s summary of the day:

I was initially resigned to the fact that I wouldn’t race at all in the Metrogaine, having been too slow to arrange a team. But I got lucky finding myself an entry at the last-minute subbing in for Dave of team ‘Dave and Tim’, and it was a lucky coincidence that Tim and I turn out to be pretty evenly matched runners.

We headed out in an anticlockwise loop, positioning ourselves next to the first of the 100 pointers just before the clock ticked over for the double-pointer hour of power. We got to Waverton station soon after the hour was over, from then, with tired legs it was a bit more of a shuffle than a run, to complete the rest of course.

It was great to see so many sights of Sydney that I’d never been to before, the Coal Loader, Wendy Whiteley’s Garden and Berry Island, to name a few. I’m looking forward to going back to visit them, hopefully next time at a more leisurely pace. Thanks for organising such a great event, I can’t wait til next time!

Trevor Gollan at the Commodore Hotel, McMahons Point, between 1 & 2pm: Double-points? I thought it said “double-pints”!

Warwick Marsden Award 2022, and Catering for the Paddy Pallin Rogaine

[by Julian Ledger]

Warwick Marsden was a pivotal person during NSW Rogaining’s developing years in the 1980’s, and whose life ended prematurely in 1995. He was a special, social person who welcomed and encouraged others, and he played a big part in bringing people into this sport. The Warwick Marsden Award honours his memory and acknowledges current, exceptional volunteers who are essential to our sport.

NSW Rogaining took over the long-standing Paddy Pallin event on its 25th anniversary in 1988 (Putty Road) as a six-hour rogaine held in the middle of the year. After successful beginnings at Wingello (1989) and Tianjara (1990) numbers built up through Warwick Marsden's efforts, the team around him, and the promotional support through the Paddy Pallin shops and newsletter. At Euroka Clearing (1991) the number of participants exceeded 400 for the first time and the Paddy Pallin Rogaine (PPR) went on from strength to strength as a consistent crowd pleaser, introducing many to rogaining, rain or shine, and as one of the flagship events of the NSWRA calendar. The event's popularity and profitability built up NSWRA's finances, enabled it to buy equipment including trailers, and gave the organisation the capacity to cross subsidise other events where necessary.

The growing numbers created a particular challenge of how to feed the crowd. NSWRA had taken a leaf out of VRA and WARA's book recognising the fundamentally social nature of rogaining. Everyone was able to participate at their own level and then share war stories, trials and tribulations over a meal at the end. At the same time applauding winners and being in the running for a lucky dip prize. At the midwinter PPR hot food was all the more important. Where was the organisation to find volunteer rogainers who had the skills, work ethic and circle of contacts to take on a task and responsibility this large?

In 1992 the PPR was at Mangrove Mountain and one of the course setters, Eric Metzke, was also a scout leader at 1st Waitara Scouts. For the first time the catering was outsourced to this scout group. It was a win-win … the rogainers got to eat well (with a choice of three soups that first year) and the scouts enjoyed setting a high standard with their pool of volunteers and making money to support their other activities.

In 1993 at Cataract Park, 2nd Seven Hills Scouts catered for the dinner (and bush dance) held for the first time on Saturday night and 1st Waitara were back catering for the main event on Sunday. It is significant that coordinator for the Mangrove Mountain and Cataract PPR’s was one, Warwick Marsden.

From 1992 to 2019 1st Waitara Scouts catered for 28 consecutive years for the Paddy Pallin Rogaine with the tradition only being broken by the Covid-affected 2020 event. The NSWRA Committee has valued the long-standing relationship. As a PPR administrator and later coordinator I worked with different 1st Waitara Scout leaders who were by then catering for both the evening dinner (up to 200 rogainers) and the Sunday meal for around 600. My thought was that to be sustainable the 1st Waitara leadership baton would need to be passed on every few years as leader's kids outgrew scouts and before volunteer burn out. This indeed occurred until Keith Fone took over. Keith had been a valued assistant at the event and then in 2006 at Wingello took full responsibility. 1st Waitara also catered in 2006 for the World Championships in the Warrumbungles, but that story deserves an epic Netflix series in itself.

Keith Fone showed himself to be a leader and people person with boundless energy and good humour. Catering for two meals for the Paddy Pallin rogaine involved a lot of procurement and organisation and as many as ten scouting parents towing trailers, setting up some years in locations with difficult access and no power or running water, always in mid-winter and at altitudes up to 1000 metres. Keith involved everybody in sharing the load and as an involvement exercise for the scouting parents, not forgetting the scouts themselves who did the lion’s share of the food serving. He rose to challenges as they were presented including ensuring safety, all kinds of weather and meeting increasingly onerous food handling regulations. Keith, always with the objective to raising money for scouts, also increasingly volunteered 1st Waitara to cater for a number of other rogaines.

In 2019 at the Upper Colo we thought that, after so many years in charge, Keith had finally been able to hand over the baton to a new coordinator. On the day, due to particular circumstances, Keith again had to step into the breach and lead the catering effort for the fourteenth consecutive year.

Keith Fone, as a leader of the 1st Waitara Scouts over many years, has been the driving force and organiser of volunteer catering services provided to the NSW Rogaining Association. Many volunteers have taken on catering for rogaines but Keith's commitment and contribution has been quite remarkable, and he is a worthy candidate for the Warwick Marsden Award.

Keith Fone at the recent Metrogaine, North Sydney

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Trevor Gollan
on behalf of the NSW Rogaining Committee