by Nic Pittman

The 2017 Australian Championship Rogaine was held in early May at Chakola, near Bredbo, south of Canberra. I left the comforts of beautiful Hobart on the Friday afternoon and flew to my hometown of Sydney. After some typical Jetstar delays, my rogaining buddy Ciara picked me up from Sydney Domestic airport, beginning the 4-hour drive towards Cooma, NSW… and to think I had forgotten about Sydney traffic!

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Ideally a rogaine course should be designed so that the best teams think they can get all the checkpoints, but they actually can’t. We did that. But we didn’t expect a team of elite European orienteers to enter. And to be honest, even when they did, we thought ‘Ah, orienteering whiz kids – won’t have the stamina for a 12 hour event. Just show-ponies when it comes to rogaining’. How wrong we were.

planning

The World Rogaine Championships returned to Australia for the fourth time on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th July 2016. The venue included some of the area used for the 2007 Australian Championships - the spectacularly scenic East MacDonnell and Fergusson Ranges 80kms east of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

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Sunset scenery - with a touch of spinifex. Photo by Bill Butler.

Article by: Julie Quinn.

Julie Quinn and David Baldwin were the winners of the Ross Rummage Tasmanian State Champs

We decided to come to the Ross Rummage Rogaine because David had been to the 2003 Australian Championships here many years ago and enjoyed the area.  We were joined by the ACT Rogaining mascot, Barkley the Koala, who is by now a very experienced rogainer and photo bomber. We managed to get cheap flights to Launceston and were kindly put up by Christine and Paul for Friday and Sunday nights and also driven to and from the event. Fantastic hosts!

Barkley explains route

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.