2012 Australian Rogaining Championships was held on the 5th and 6th May 2012 at Angorichina/Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges.
The OZ Champs Rogaine attracted 350 competitors in 160 teams. The weather was perfect for the event being calm with a clear sky for most of the time, and of course under a full moon.The course was set with 49 controls, and an expected approximate 100 kilometres distance to visit all of the controls over an area of 165 square kilometres.It was anticipated that some of the top teams would consider going for all of the controls, which requires a different strategy than if a more modest course is selected. This is a criterion that many course setters choose to ensure keen competition, and avoid teams completing the course in less than the designated 24 hours.
At the start it was pleasing to see teams taking off in different directions , indicating that there was no obvious route to take. During and after the event competitors reported that the terrain was harder than expected, and so progress was slower than planned. It was commented that the controls were generally challenging for navigational skills and that there was a good choice of routes between controls.This is an aspect that the course setters wish to achieve in a national event.
In all around 40 SARA volunteers were involved in organising the event in various roles, all dedicated to ensuring that the event went off in a well organised and professional manner, and justifying the faith of rogainers in travelling the distance to compete.
Perhaps the best way to describe how the event went is to let the competitors comments speak for themselves and some of these are provided as follows:
- a quick thanks to you and the team for a great rogaine. It is such a big effort to organise a 24 hour event – and it was fantastic – and such a joy to be in the Flinders ranges.
- Thanks for a great event on the weekend – it was a lovely area and the weather was perfect.
- Thanks to all involved with thhis year’s Australian Champs. It was a very professionally and well run event. The map was brilliant and (I may be bias) the course very very well set. There was plenty of scope for route choice between controls and around the map (eg control 82 low enough and far enough west to consider a road run, we came from 41 but had considered 41-32-62-63-71-82(and back) just after midnight when the lot looked doable). Controls were all located well and the setters very nice in allowing rogainers to avoid some of the larger climbs and more dangerous areas of the map.
- Information prior to the event was concise and everything at the hash seemed to run very smoothly with lots of cheerful people involved in the organisation.
- Having competed I think the winners must be made of steel to cover so much ground in that brutal terrain.
- Just want to say thanks for a great event. It was a lot of fun and we found it challenging physically and navigationally. We thought your team did a great job organising the event in the back of beyond. The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming. The food was great and there was plenty of it. What else could we ask for?.
- It was a great course and we had a great time out there. Our plan was to be out for more than 12hrs otherwise we may as well be in the 12hr event. We did 12hr and 50mins so that worked out perfectly.
Everything was very organised and went off very successfully, which I know does not happen by accident. Every control was in the right spot. The food was great. The washing up water was always hot and clean! And every little detail was covered.
15 years ago at the 1997 Nationals at Arkaba (Flinders), Ron and I became addicted to rogaining sometime between 8pm and midnight while we were navigating along Moralana Creek in the dark. At about 9pm at your event, Philippa told me she thought we were on the best part of the course and that the light was magical. We were in the creek between controls 56 and 22. It was wonderful to share that moon, the tall gums and the beautiful open creek in the dark with our girls. Only a rogainer knows that feeling you get out in the bush under a full moon on your way back to the hash house for dinner.
- You sure had a top team and my hope is that we can live up to the standards that you set.
- Thanks for setting such a good championship event. The map was of fantastic quality with good control placements giving alternative sensible routes between adjacent controls as well as numerous options between controls. It was also safely set given some off the hazards (cliffs
etc) and kind (avoided the need to do insane amounts of climbing or scrambling). It was faster and more open than we expected and although possible to clear the course was just out of reach for most competitive rogainers (even if everything did go right). Everything else about the event was clean and smooth with clear instructions and a fantastic volunteer network.
- First few glances at the course map gave a clear indication — this wasn’t going to be easy. Our route selection took into account the maze of gullies, mountains and cliffs as we tried to knock off the most confusing controls during the first 30km stint. As night fell, we were treated with amazing views of the ranges under a full moon and the long 13hrs of darkness that accompanied it. As our pace slowed into the evening, we began to appreciate the immense size of the terrain, climbing a number of (what felt like) near-vertical ascents and the never-ending gullies that are typical of the Ranges.
Sarah & I would like to thank the Nigel Aylott Memorial Sports Foundation (NAMSF) for their continued support of the University category and to the South Australian Rogaining Association for an incredibly well-organised event.
2012 OZ Champs Coordinator