Julie and I had been looking forward to returning to Tassie since we'd ridden from Launceston via Bay of Fires down the east coast in January 2018, passing through some of the forest in the coastal hinterland thinking what a great area it would be for rogaining. Add to that the opportunity to bring our MTBs and do a bit more riding after the event, it was a no-brainer.
Overall Winners David Baldwin & Julie Quinn
The drive up the Fingal valley on Friday saw snow on the hill tops. At least we weren't going to overheat. After the ARA AGM we headed to Binalong Bay to the house we were sharing with Jeannie Douglass and Ron Simpson and enjoyed a roast dinner they'd whipped up - perfect! Julie made some strawberry pancakes to eat during the event and we were all set for the rogaine.
It sounds like a cliché but organising the course for 2019 Australasian Championships was a team effort. In May 2017 we were looking at the Buckland/Nugent area just east of Hobart but from April 2018 onwards we were focussed on the St Helens area. St Helens offered greater navigational challenges with varying terrain: beach and coastal, granite terrain, former tin-mining areas and some marshland.
In the early stages the main issue was creating the base map. Although the event area is undeniably scenic, a successful event required an accurate map to be fair on the entrants. Bernard spent untold weeks working on the map, pulling together data from TheList (Tas Govt), aerial photographs and processing LiDAR data to produce the contours, streams and the patches of dense vegetation. Bernard and Sara Brain made several trips to the proposed area to test the map and to carry out map corrections.
By Paul Liggins
The moral of the story: if you've just finished a hard run, gasping for breath and not thinking straight, and Gary Carroll approaches, walk away as fast as you possibly can.
When Gary asked if I was interested in helping with a rogaine, my oxygen-depleted brain thought (a) I've done about a dozen rogaines so (b) its about time I did my bit and (c) its a long way off so there's plenty of time and anyway (d) how hard can it be? Thus, somewhat rashly I said yes, immediately recognising my error when I saw the look of surprise in Gary's eyes.
Gary applied his skills of the dark arts and magically came up with a base map. I applied my special skill, procrastinating, leaving it to Easter to do map refinement and corrections. Then two days before Easter I hurt my back and spent all my allotted mapping and course setting time lying on the floor watching Fox Sports.
By Allan Hood
Tom, Mick and myself teamed up for the recent 6 hour rogaine, held in perfect - even warm ? - autumn weather.
We had initially planned a clockwise loop going to Fern Tree first, but the lure of big points in Sandy Bay as well as faster terrain, prompted us to start with Mount Nelson and continue in a large anti-clockwise loop, giving lots of zig zag options back through the Waterworks and Ridgeway.
Our first hour netted a good 8 controls for 330 points, and just on 10km covered (downhill assisted!) as we made our way back onto Churchill Avenue.
The nostalgia I had felt about returning to Bangor after events in ‘98 and ‘03 had nearly entirely evaporated as I stepped on or near my tenth snake for the day with no water left, and another five checkpoints to hang. The beauty of the northern farmland and the beaches a distant memory as I pushed on through the scrub in the south. Looking at the map on the kitchen table it all seemed so straight forward…