Thanks to everyone for coming out to support this year’s Illawarra Map Running series. We attracted a great range of competitors from experienced orienteers to keen runners and family groups.
The weather was a mixed bag – we battled the heat at Gwyneville, just about got blown away at Lake Illawarra but finished with some lovely sunny days at Shellharbour and Minnamurra.
Attendance levels rose as the series gained momentum with 25-30 competitors for the first two events and 39-40 for the last two events. Steve takes the prize for the most competitors with his event at Shellharbour, with this event also attracting the most non-club members (13 individuals or groups).
Special mention to our neighbors at Southern Highlands Orienteers who made the effort to come down, seemingly to dominate the long course. Angus from SHOO won the long course in all 3 events he attended, with Doug also taking a win and ranking 2nd or 3rd for the rest of the events. The Shedden boys are doing well to get around the medium and long courses on their own now. Euan won the Medium course at Lake Illawarra and placed 2nd at Minnamurra. Meanwhile brother Rory is taking on the big boys in the long course placing 8th of 19 competitors at Lake Illawarra.
It was great to see lots of new faces at the events, especially family groups. All up we had 18 non-club members compete in the series, with most coming to multiple events. We even had a few lapsed club members signing up again during the course of the series! Shout out to newcomer Austin who won the medium course at Shellharbour in a blistering time of 24 minutes, while enthusiastic newcomer Maggie won the medium course at Minnamurra in 34 minutes.
Newcomers who competed in three events will be offered a complementary membership for 2022. Sue will be in touch with eligible people soon.
Our SummerGong events are off to a flying start with one more event to go. Both events have hosted more than 30 competitors/teams, and its great to see new faces and local families coming along to test themselves and have some fun. Also good to see families coming back to step up to the next level and complete the medium course with a smile on their face! Below is a few photos from the first two events thanks to Vicki.
We’ve had fog at Thirroul and brilliant sunshine at Fairy Meadow, fingers crossed for our final event which starts from Stuart Park in Wollongong. For club members, a reminder that the Annual General Meeting will be held after the SummerGong 3 event at Wollongong (venue to be advised).
If you’ve enjoyed the SummerGong events and are keen for more we are currently finalising our 2020 event calendar. We will continue our usual mix of events between Southern Sydney and the Illawarra.
Sunday was the fourth (and final) event for the Bay Orienteering Series. Stormy skies threatened to disrupt proceedings but thankfully the weather held off allowing 46 people/teams to experience the delights of the San Souci foreshore and parks.
Unfortunately a planned fifth event (for November 10) had to be cancelled due to concerns by the Council.
A BIG THANK YOU to our organisers and course setters, James, Kev, Margaret and Sue for organising these four events. The NSW Stingers also provided invaluable help in putting out and collecting in controls, manning the registration desk and welcoming new orienteers. Ron Pallas provided his usual IT expertise for which we are always grateful.
The events attracted a good range of both experienced orienteers and newcomers, including family groups and three groups of girl guides who turned up to our last event at San Souci. Thanks to Barbara Dawson and Ewan Shingler for providing some tips to the girls before they set off on their courses. The first three events all attracted 60-70 entrants (including some teams) while the threat of storms is likely to have contributed to the smaller number of competitors for the final event on Sunday (46 competitors).
The River Orienteering Series which showcases the Cooks River starts on Sunday 17th November at Ashbury hosted by Uringa. Check Eventor for details.
230 very hardy school kids and orienteers braved cyclonic winds on the weekend (Sep 7-8) to participate in the 2019 NSW Schools Championships in the Southern Highlands. Steady winds of 60-70 km/hr and gusts of up to 100 km/hr challenged organisers, competitors and spectators at Saturday’s events at Oxley College and Tudor House. Flags in danger of being ripped out of the ground had to be packed away, control flags blew off their stands, and result slats had to be laid out on the ground because they kept blowing away! And while the top temperature at Moss Vale was just 9 degrees, the windchill kept the temperatures almost Arctic!
By all accounts Sunday’s event at Welby was not much easier with continued high winds and cool temperatures.
Congratulations to Mowbray Public School and Knox Grammar School for taking out the overall championship over two days of competition.
A huge round of applause needs to go to the brave and determined crew from IKO and SHOO who put on a successful event under extremely challenging circumstances. The months of preparation (and endless emails that clogged our inbox) all paid off and I don’t think there were any complaints or incidents over the weekend.
Well done to the organisers and planners – Lyn, Ruth, Peter, Stephen and Robert (SHOO) and David, Vicki, Kevin and Keith (IKO). Many thanks also to the IKO and SHOO start crews who had no respite from the wind, to Ron Pallas for his computer skills, and everybody else that pitched in to help out over the weekend.
Some photos of the sprint at Tudor House are below.
Congratulations to our club members who were successful in taking home a lovely wooden medallion / coaster from the NSW Championships. Sue came first in W55AS in the Middle Distance Championships at Wyangala on Day 1, while on Day 2 Vicki came second in W55AS and Helen 3rd in W45AS in the Long Distance Championships.
Both days had their challenges. On Day 1 the challenge was not to get too distracted from your map while taking in the stupendous views over Wyangala Dam, as well as mustering the stamina for several ascents and descents of the steep hills on the course. On Day 2 the intricate map detail combined with some long legs caused grief for some (OK, mostly me!) but was clearly not a challenge for others.
The weather was fantastic and the events well organised – thanks to Western and Hills Orienteers for hosting a great weekend. A club dinner at the Royal Hotel at Carcoar rounded out the social activities for 11 club members.
See the club Facebook page for a full gallery of photos.