Rogaining Tasmania Inc.

54-GC-1A view from the setting team by Peter Tuft.

I had the pleasure of helping set the course but without organiser responsibilities, just a helper. I was impressed - with the location, map and organisation. The setting team got to know the area rather better than we really wanted or needed to, having done all the work to set, vet and place markers in 2022, and then another couple of long trips to retrieve them after the cancellation due to flooding and replace them for 2023. But there could be a lot worse places to spend your time wandering around the countryside.

Fieldwork involved a range of conditions - some perfect days, a bit of snowfall(!), and some serious flooding. One week before the original 2022 date the creek a few hundred metres before the hash house was unsafe to drive across in a Subaru (did you even notice that creek?). And a week later (date of the cancelled event) there were still creeks unsafe to cross on foot which meant some detours as we retrieved checkpoint markers.

It was a pleasure working with a competent and conscientious setting and organising team. Particularly Bass Burgess (lead setter, land owner liaison, plus other things) and Gary Carroll (mapping and overall coordination). I'm not going to name everyone who contributed but will also mention Nicolë Carpenter who took responsibility for on-the-day admin and Navlight for the first time and handled that admirably, and Nick Bowden who organised all the hash house equipment and logistics in a huge behind-the-scenes effort.

Part of the secret to a good event is a good map, and the method used by Gary to generate highly precise topographic and vegetation detail from LIDAR data continues to produce excellent maps. I made it a game for myself while setting/vetting to navigate entirely without my compass. The detail on the map made that possible for all but a couple of legs, and that was on a cloudy day when I couldn't use the sun for a general sense of direction in vague topography. You can't do that sort of thing on a poor map. (But I might add that while this was fun there were times when a compass bearing would have saved me time and distance.)

The other people to whom we owe huge thanks are the landowners of the four properties we used.  Rogaining is only possible with the cooperation of whoever owns or manages the land we use and all four of our landowners were very supportive.

We think we got the navigational standard about right and I'm not aware of any real issues with checkpoint placement. The course could perhaps have been a little shorter, saving us some work, but it's always better to err towards too many rather than too few checkpoints which can result in a team getting all the checkpoints before the 24 hours is up (or worse, more than one team).

It was interesting to see where teams went.  Those that had the distance in their legs minimised time in the lumpy terrain in the centre of the course and headed for the flatter country in the west. And very few teams went to the northeast corner, only 3 or 4. See the Rogaine Results website which displays the "point to point" routes taken by teams. You can also upload your GPS track to see exactly where you went and to reveal all your mistakes to the world.

In a post-event review the organising team came up with a long list of lessons learned for future improvement but they were at the nit-picking level, just fine-tuning to make the next bush event even better.

Being part of the setting team is something I thoroughly enjoy, even more than competing. You get all the navigational challenge (even more when first picking a checkpoint location) and a good workout without the time pressure (well, not as much as in a competition). Let the committee know if you think you might enjoy it too.

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