Article by: Jess Fuller-Smith

Omar, Charlie and I have recently returned from the Australasian Rogaining Championships (10-11 October 2015), where we were fortunate to receive Nigel Aylott Memorial Sports Foundation funding to represent the University of Tasmania in the Intervarsity component of this event.

Jess Fuller-Smith, Omar Martin-Gonzales and Charles Hooley after competing in the Australian Intervarsity Championship

Jess Fuller-Smith, Omar Martin-Gonzales and Charles Hooley

after competing in the Australian Intervarsity Championship

Having not competed together in an event like this before, we headed off to a night orienteering event near Hobart for some training. This was great in confirming that we would be alright if lost together in the bush at night, as we never quite found the first control but had a really good time all the same.

Given our limited team experience with night navigation we decided to plan for off track routes during the day and track routes during the night. This worked out really well, as we could keep up a good pace through the night.

At some point in the early morning we decided to have a short nap under a space blanket, assuming that we’d soon get cold and uncomfortable and then be on our way. Surprisingly, we discovered we could nap relatively comfortably huddled up in a space blanket cocoon, so our short nap lasted a couple of hours longer than anticipated.

With less than hour to go we had one final decision – finish a bit early or continue straight through the Hash House to a control past it for an extra 30 points. As it turned out getting this control was the right decision, as we beat another intervarsity team by 20 points to place second out of nine teams in the intervarsity competition. Overall we placed 41 out of 143 teams in the Australasian Championships.