Wednesday, 22 April 2009
By Mark Shingler
(Results of this event can be found here)
One of the attractions for me in course setting at Belanglo for this event was to be able use the newly mapped single track in the pine. However there was a rude shock on my first visit down there to check the courses I had sketched out, our friends in Forestry had decided to fence off a number of the tracks, with the number increasing for each of my two subsequent visits. This resulted in a bit of rework to the courses (and some serious map corrections) to leave any controls in the pine being transitions between the more interesting track network in the Eucalypt. I was very conscious of the need to offer a good option of route choices which sometimes, due to nature of Belanglo, can be elusive. In the end I was pleased with the Long & Medium but had a few doubts on the short, mainly due to the distance limitation meaning a lot of the decent track network was too far away when starting at the hut.
The day itself dawned overcast with occasional drizzle. However the start was decidedly fresh being on the edge of the forest and exposed to the Sou Easter, I'm sure a few riders cooled down a fair bit waiting for their start! First indications of the things not happening quite as planned on the long course occurred when Darvo arrived back a tad after 90mins, only to find that he had punched 67 rather than 73 which was 200m further on. All in all 12 riders made this mistake including 3 Australian reps! In retrospect I should have placed 73 a bit further to the north to lure riders into the leg-sapping gully route choice, at least a few were brave enough to give it a go! Dave Simpf took the honours in the men's long by over 9 mins from Josh Roberts, with Stu Adams and Jiri close behind. In the women's long, Mel Thomas and Alison Curtin were less than 40 secs apart with Mel coming out on top. Not surprising Rob P won the men's medium by over 10mins from Simon George (I think we need to start a campaign to get Rob to ride long to give the others a chance)! A fair number of Big Foot juniors made up the numbers in both short courses but winners were Keith Brama in the men's and Michelle Dawson in the women's. Well done to all.
Last but not least, a big thank you to all those who helped Paula and me put on the event; Rik for taking control of Sportident (a big weight off our shoulders), Graeme Garlick for registration, Andrew, Debbie and Jock for helping to bring some order to the start (was it a mass start or not?) and Darvo, Graeme McLeod, Jiri, Chris Bayliss and Kate Chown for collecting controls meaning Paula and I were on the road by 3pm.
Thanks for entering and hope you all enjoyed the courses, despite the controversy!