The rain held off for a cool, but challenging event at Maiden Gully’s Whites Ruins. The fast open country with patches of green, and lack of catching features, may have prompted some to slow down and not overshoot the controls. There were many interesting features on the Whites Ruins area mapped by Neil Barr some years ago – some orienteers even had to ask what they were. These included native Cherry trees and Boundary stone piles, mixed with shallow gullies and tracks that were overgrown or newly formed by mountain bikes.
We even had the added challenge of the lack of North- South grid lines on the maps, for those who love to really spice it up. That’s the course-setter’s excuse anyway!!
More than 50 competitors tackled four courses, and 15 keen young Space Racers took part in a 30-minute Space Racing event.
On the shorter courses, ten starters completed the 3.6km moderate course 4, with the ever-improving Karina Cherry (Bendigo) leading the field home from Amos Walz (Bendigo) and Sarah Davies (Dandenong Ranges).Gemma Candy blitzed course 3, covering the 4km of hard navigation in 29.13 minutes, followed closely by Rueben Cameron and Jacqui Knee, both from Bendigo.
Course 2 had 17 starters and is becoming an extremely competitive weekly event, with any number of athletes capable of taking out top spot. With his father away for the event, young Jimmy Cameron (Bendigo) kept the family name at the top of the list with masterful display of orienteering over 6km in a time of 35.12 minutes. Fellow Bendigo young guns Lachlan Cherry and Michael Loughnan were not too far behind to fill 2nd and 3rd and gain valuable experience ahead of the national schools championships later in the year.
The long and hard navigation course 1 covered 7.2km and was run by 11 competitors. Ben Goonan from Bendigo was lightning fast to finish at the top of the leader’s board in 35 minutes, with his twin Richard coming home in third. The brothers were split by another Victorian schools representative, quiet achiever Louis Cameron, who finished 2.23 minutes behind Ben.
Whether competing seriously or just for relaxation and fun, well done to all on Saturday, and I hope you benefit from the health and fitness that Orienteering provides.
NEXT WEEK: Norfolk Hero.
Darren Eenjes (Course setter and Controller, Whites Ruins 2015).