Rogaining Tasmania Inc.

If you’d prefer not to read about how a ‘social event with an emphasis on fun’ was treated by Ryder Jamson and I as though winning was a matter of life and death - then I’d suggest you skip reading this report! The event provided a great strategic challenge, perhaps more so than an ordinary foot-only rogaine, with many added variables and tactical possibilities. We both had some kayaking experience, so we were confident we could plan and execute a competitive route.

During our pre-event planning it was clear to us that a double kayak would be the best watercraft option because they are quicker than 2 singles and would allow us to maintain movement even when 1 person stopped paddling to navigate, have a break or eat food. A family member's old Pittarak double was dragged out from under the house, a bit of fibreglass patched up, a bilge pump replaced and the rudder pedals fixed – good to go!

Our chosen route would take us on an anti-clockwise circumnavigation of the central lake islands, picking up most of the big pointers on the way, and leaving a few options in the northern section of the map for the final hour, depending on how we were travelling. In hindsight, more time spent calculating the points per paddle-kilometre value of some controls would have been time well spent, rather than wasting 30 minutes debating whether or not to leg-it straight to the summit control of 101 at the start.

Scrambling to the summit controls was heaps of fun on fresh legs and less scrubby than expected. Efficiency during transitions from foot to boat and vice versa was maximised with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Naturally, navigation on the water was as simple as point and shoot. It was enjoyable bumping into teams along the way and seeing how different strategies were being executed. The journey south on the western side of Brazendale Island was mostly pleasant and calm. We had hoped the islands would provide some protection from the forecast westerlies on the way back north, but a strong southerly current and waves slowed our pace significantly.

As the clock ticked away, we made an ambitious attempt to collect 3 north-eastern controls by foot, but had to abort after collecting only 1, including missing a 40-pointer only 250m off course. The dash to the Hash House with tiring arms saw us 2 minutes late and the ensuring 30-point penalty landed us just shy of a tidy tonne. In retrospect, perhaps playing to our strength and incorporating more on-foot controls could have resulted in more points, but we were pleased with our effort regardless. Congratulations to the organisers for facilitating an event with the perfect balance of strategy, suffering and fun!

-- by Oskar Bucirde Winners-route