Bendigo Orienteers would like to acknowledge and pay respects to the traditional owners, the Dja Dja Wurrung people, whose country we are on and extend our respect to their Elders, both past and present.
Despite the exodus of Bendigo orienteers to Bathurst for the Australian Championships over the next two weekends, it is business as usual in Bendigo with an event at Longlea, a 15 minute drive east via Strathfieldsaye towards Eppalock. In response to a call for a course setter, Mark Hennessy volunteered to course set at short notice. I went out on Tuesday and tagged some of his sites, and was pleased to email Mark as follows: “I think your courses are pretty good; they will be both challenging & enjoyable”.
Mark tells us the theme is “gentle relief” after the rigours of the Creswick gold diggings last weekend. The terrain is gently undulating, but with enough bends in the few contours to help you navigate. The ground is generally soft, without much rock underfoot. The bush is generally open and easy to move through, with some wattle blooms fading and others still bright yellow. There are no steep hills or erosion gullies (there is one, a metre deep, but no one has to cross it).
Mark has been offered assistance from Andrew Wallace, David Jones and Nigel McGuckian. Thanks to all. Look for O-signs to the right, immediately after Gleesons Road. Start time as usual is 12.30 to 2 pm, with courses closing at 3 pm. Offers to collect controls will be welcome.
Eventor entries close at midnight Thursday 3rd August.
Enter on the day is available, subject to map availability.
Assembly area: At the corner of Mohair Rd and Jacko Track, Lockwood.
Start between 10 am and 1 pm. All courses close at 3 pm.
Nine courses available, from 15.5 km to 2.0 km.
Lockwood Ranges is a newly mapped area on the south-west side of Bendigo. The south of the map is steep spur gully, and the north very gentle terrain, in parts almost flat with a Mallee-like forest. In the flatter areas controls are generally placed on scattered surface mining features, watercourses and clearings. Accurate compass work will be required. The longer courses head into the steeper hill country where orienteers will face a 2.5 km route choice leg.
For further details go to https://eventor.orienteering.asn.au/Events/Show/4770
It’s always a challenge to set orienteering courses in granite terrain and for this reason I teamed up with Darren Eenjes (or should I say the entire Eenjes family) to run our Korong Spur event. We also had the good fortune to have the permission of Ian Fraser (the owner of the property that adjoins our start location) to use his driveway for parking. This made it easier for us to get Parks Victoria approval for our event. It was a pleasure dealing with Ian, who is an avid environmentalist and a fan of our sport.
After running a successful event on this map in 2016 with Darren as course-setter I was keen to follow up with another set of memorable courses. I made an early decision to include a strong route-choice leg on Course 1 and this was well received by runners, who chose to attack the leg in various ways. The most popular route chosen was via the track to the West. Courses 2 and 3 were truncated versions of Course 1. Course 4 was a ‘hard’ moderate course, made easier by having all control sites in relatively close proximity to the Eastern perimeter road. As was the case in our 2016 Korong Spur event it was necessary to provide taped routes for more difficult legs on Course 5. For all courses my aim was to provide opportunities for orienteers to move quickly through mostly open terrain, with fair control sites and inspiring views. The moderately ‘friendly’ granite terrain on Korong Spur made my task relatively easy.
A couple of trips to Mt Korong were necessary to tape control sites and most controls were placed two days prior to the event. After an extremely cold beginning July 1 cleared to become a lovely sunny winter’s day. 49 runners started on the day with only 5 non-finishers. On Course 1 Matthew Schepisi made a return to local orienteering and won with an impressive rate of just over 7 minutes per kilometre. Ben and Richard Goonan were close behind him. Jimmy Cameron was a clear winner on Course 2, with other creditable performances from Michael Loughnan, Andrew Cameron and Tavish Eenjes. John ‘Wilko’ Wilkinson’s nagging injuries didn’t stop him winning Course 3, but Serryn Eenjes finished an impressive second despite a couple of navigational errors.
Winners in the moderate and easy courses were Ryan Davies (DROC) in Course 4 and Xavier Ough on Course 5.
Post-race discussion centred around route choices on Course 1 and the difficulties experienced by many competitors in finding the first control (common to courses 1 to 4). When choosing this control site (located only 150 metres from the start triangle and accurately placed) the course-setter believed it was possibly too obvious. Obviously not.
On the 18th June, Bendigo Orienteers held its first wheel cactus eradication day at Mt Kooyoora. The wheel cactus plants growing on the northern side of Mt Kooyoora were first noticed by Julie Flynn and Neil Barr when they were setting their Bermuda Triangle event early in May. Wheel cactus is a noxious weed that spreads very easily and is covered with very sharp spines. The proposal to tackle the wheel cactus plants at Mt Kooyoora was raised at the committee meeting and the eradication day was subsequently organised.
Nine orienteers meet up with members from the Friends of Kooyoora, and Loddon Plains Landcare Network Facilitator James Nelsson and his wife Trudy. James supplied all the equipment including stabbers for injecting the wheel cactus plants with herbicide, hoes for pulling up the young plants, and gloves. Before setting off to the mountain everyone was required to don a high visibility vest, which was quite a novelty for the orienteers. The team armed themselves with hoes, stabbers, and pink spray paint for marking the plants that had been stabbed. James demonstrated how to administer the herbicide and pull out the younger wheel cactus plants.
After a hike to Mt Kooyoora the team ascended the steep slope and began to attack the wheel cactus. Many large patches of the plant were discovered. James was very impressed by the fitness and enthusiasm of the orienteers. After a few hours of work everyone decided to head back for lunch. From a high point about a hundred metres away from the mountain we were able to survey the huge number of wheel cactus plants that had been sprayed with pink paint. We were all quietly pleased with our efforts.
After a pleasant lunch we all vowed to be back in 2018, as the battle against wheel cactus is one that requires persistence and team work. We also hope that other members of the orienteering community will join the fight.
A big thanks to volunteers and supporters Daryl Fleay, Neil Barr, David and Heather Jones, Nigel and Deb McGuckian, Tony and Alison Radford and Julie Flynn.
Sunday 18 June from 9.45am
The Wheel Cactus is considered a Weed of National Significance in Australia as it spreads rapidly and is difficult to destroy. The plants produce fruit containing numerous seeds. Birds and foxes consume the fruit, then spread the seeds far and wide. Wheel cactus grows particularly well in shallow granite soils. The plants are covered with fine sharp spines, up to 5 cm long, that can easily pierce a person’s skin.
Wheel cactus plants have been spreading in the northern part of the Kooyoora State Park. If this is allowed to continue it will make this area much less favourable for orienteering events. Furthermore, the natural beauty of this area will be significantly degraded.
We are seeking volunteers to poison or pull out the wheel cactus plants. This activity is being conducted in cooperation with Parks Victoria, Friends of Kooyoora and the Loddon Plains Landcare Network. Volunteers will receive equipment, training and supervision.
If you are interested in being involved please contact Julie Flynn on 0429 496 422 or email email@example.com
Take the Calder Hwy through Inglewood and continue 7km to Kurting. Turn left onto the Brenanah-Kurting Rd (just past the abandoned Kurting Hall). Follow for 9.7km to a T junction. Turn left onto the Kingower-Wedderburn Rd and travel 1.5km to the assembly area. Please park on the edge of the road, not in the bush.
40th Anniversary Event – Wildflower Drive, 27 May 2017
Bendigo Orienteers was formed in January 1977 as Bendigo Bushwalking and Orienteering Club.
All orienteers are welcome to join us on the Wildflower Drive map as we celebrate and reminisce on club and personal achievements from the past 40 years. Please stay after your run – at 2.00pm our President Julie Flynn will cut the commemorative cake and a sumptuous afternoon tea will begin.
Bring a Friend or Bring a Plate – or Both!
As a special incentive, anyone who brings a friend to come-and-try orienteering will receive free entry on the day. If you don’t have any friends please bring a plate of goodies for afternoon tea. If anyone still has an old club tee-shirt or other retro gear, please wear them – if they still fit!
Our 40th Anniversary Event will celebrate some aspects of 20th Century orienteering. There will be no SI sticks or other electronic devices in use. Instead, we will return to the glories of punchcards and the joys of analogue timing. A friendly official will allocate your start time at the start triangle and another will determine your finish time as you cross the finish line. Competitors are responsible for punching the card in the appropriate square at each control as they navigate their course. Don’t forget to hand your punch card in to the finish officials who will then check the card and determine the time taken.
The usual five Bendigo Bush Classic courses will be available
Directions: From Bendigo take the McIvor Highway (B280) towards Heathcote. After 6.0km turn right (O-sign) into St Vincents Rd. After a further 600m turn right (O-sign) into Cassinia Drive. Parking is along Cassinia Drive, please respect residents by not restricting driveways.
Can you identify these people! (click to enlarge)
The Victorian State relays are on Sunday 5th March (just under 4 weeks away) at Darebin Parklands. This is our chance to start the process of returning the Rockhopper Trophy to its rightful home. The more people who enter, the more points we can muster. A fun and social day that our club pays for. Your first step is to ensure you are a club member (a quick trip to Eventor will sort this) and then leave a comment or email Andrew Cameron at Andrew@n8health.com.au so he can enter teams. Teams can be serious or social. Deadline is by February 20th.
Ian Johnson is the oldest member of the Bendigo Orienteering Club. His 88th birthday comes up in August 2016 and the club will celebrate the occasion at his micro-sprint event at Black Jack Gully near Castlemaine on August 13th. Ian still competes in events although he is now slowing down a bit, but he still enjoys the bush and finding hidden controls. I wonder how many people reading this will still be able to navigate their way around the Bendigo bush when they are 88 years old.
Ian retired from primary teaching in 1986, and came to live near Castlemaine, so it could be said that in 1986 the Ballarat orienteering world lost an asset and Bendigo gained one. At 88 he is still heavily involved in the sport; orienteering is a sport for all ages but the balance is still very much weighted in favour of the younger and fitter, and to see an 88 year old navigating his way around the rough forest areas week after week is still a bit off putting for many people. He has competed in almost every event organised by the Bendigo club since his arrival here but now, though still active competitively he is easing out of the organisational activities.
Ian first ventured into orienteering on a novice course at an event in 1971 at St George’s Lake in the Creswick Forest. Ian said he walked or scrambled it, as he went across country where he could, but did not use a compass. He can remember that the controls were buckets hanging by a rope with pens of different colours to mark the spaces on the map. He mapped the forest behind his newly built home in Ballarat and when some local runners were thinking about starting an orienteering club, he became an original member, taking on the position of Treasurer with a strict spending oversight. Tom Norwood and Ian both agreed low spending was essential to start with, and they gathered the profits carefully. The first event Ian organised was on June 1st 1975 on a map he helped to field work and draw. The longest course was 3.75 km with 13 controls. The cost of entry was only 20 cents, and compass hire the same.
With the experience of these initial ventures into orienteering behind him, Ian decided to make a better coloured map with more accurate fieldwork, using his usual three point triangulation, which is labour intensive but very accurate. Another map of Canadian Forest followed, it was bigger and more complicated, but still accurate. His map making procedure is, even now, still firmly rooted in basic, original methods with little time for new technology. Ian managed to make some more maps from some free photogrammetry he got from an International Three Day event. Today he still makes his own maps using free hand, pacing and drawings – then passes them on to others to digitally prepare the final map. During his time at Bendigo he has never missed course setting at least one — until recently two events every year and still continues to compete every week.
He is an avid environmentalist and his knowledge of indigenous plants is second to none; he has written numerous volumes on his observations of micro climate and vegetation changes and is also the author of many, many articles on navigational techniques as used in orienteering; his property at Harcourt is not connected to electricity and he lives a Spartan and totally carbon neutral lifestyle.
Ian Johnson is an amazing person, he is iconic to our sport– a “living legend” of the Bendigo Orienteering Club and an individual the like of whom we will probably never see again.
Peter Creely, based on observations by John Wilkinson and Colin Walker.
We will celebrate Ian’s birthday at the event that he will course set at Black Dog Gully in Harcourt on 13 August this year. The occasion will be much more social this year with a BBQ and food supplied by the club. As in past years Jenny Ball will make Ian’s birthday cake and all are invited to stay and celebrate Ian’s birthday in the company of other club members.
This coming Saturday we have a special event in the evening, for you to come and enjoy orienteering in twilight or night conditions. People who attended last year’s inaugural night champs event loved it and raved about how well organised it was and how much fun they had.
This is a brilliant opportunity to come and navigate in the twilight or in the dark, knowing there are other people nearby doing the same thing. It will help improve your navigation skills and is great for development. Course 1 and 2 are a mass start event at 5:35 and pre entry is required. Course 3-5 are run as normal with starts between 4:45 to 5:30 so you get to pick how dark you want it to be. Pre entry for these courses is still preferable.
The sunset is due to happen at 5:31pm and there will be a fire to keep everyone nice and warm as well. More details and pre-entry on Eventor. The deadline for pre-enty has been moved to midday on Friday. If you have a spare headlamp with strong light that you don’t mind lending to someone else, please bring it along. Christpher Naunton (our organser) has had some requests.
There is $50 for the winning male and female on course 1 for the night event Saturday night.