President’s Report March 2024

President’s Report – SARA AGM  16 March 2024

Dear Fellow Rogainers,

I’d like to acknowledge that today we meet on the land of the Kaurna people, and pay my respects to Kaurna elders, past present and emerging. I acknowledge and respect their ongoing connection to country. I do this in the spirit of reconciliation.

A warm welcome to the start of the rogaine season for 2024.

Firstly, a big thank you to first time setter Meredith Norman, with the experienced Paul Hoopman and Des Norman for the Twilight event. What a great start to 2024. Thank you also to all volunteers making things run smoothly on the day, especially admin led by Ruth Ambrose.

Our main reason for existing is to run rogaine events, so here is a brief review from last year:

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The President’s warm welcome to 2024

Dear Rogaining Community, wishing you a warm welcome to the 2024 rogaining season. I hope you have enjoyed some time off over the summer. I, for one, have been glad the weather has been reasonably kind thus far. I hope you also have been able to enjoy the long evenings to get some outdoor time.

Vale Stephen Dose. To begin on a somber note, the SARA committee and rogaining community mourns the passing of former accomplished rogaine competitor and setter, Stephen Dose. Stephen died after a long illness on 5 February; his last rogaine was the 4-hour at Belair 3 years ago. Stephen competed in many rogaines at state, national and world level, the latter being the 7th World Rogaining Championships in the Warrrumbungles, NSW, Australia in 2006, where he placed second in the Mixed Veterans category. In addition, he set the 24-hour State Championships/SA -Vic challenge “Eura Carla” near Padthaway in 2002, and assisted Rob Tucker to set the 2004 Australian Championships at Holowiliena. We give our sincere condolences to his beloved family: wife Robyn, children Katherine, Wes, Tom, Riordan and families. His kind-hearted presence, as Rob Tucker aptly put it, will be sadly missed in both rogaining and orienteering circles.

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Introducing our new President, Kate Corner

Growing up in a home surrounded by bush in Bendigo, central Victoria, Kate was introduced to the joys of camping and hiking from a very young age and spent much of her youth exploring the Victorian high country and other national parks with her family.

Entering her first rogaine more than 23 years ago in Victoria (with her Mum!), she instantly fell in love with the strategy, adventure and opportunities to explore parts of the country you can only gain access via a rogaine. The desire to explore never really stopped and Kate has since rogained and hiked her way around various parts of Australia and the World.

Coming from an ex-Navy background, Kate brings to the position a strong leadership and problem-solving skill set. You will find Kate innovative and very enthusiastic. A great team player who is thoroughly enjoying passing on the love of the outdoors to the next generation with her son.

The committee was terribly sad to see our outgoing President, Mark Porter leave South Australia and the association after his nine years of service, however, we welcome the change and the opportunity to grow as an organisation under the guidance of Kate and the SA Rogaining team.

President’s Message, December 2017

On behalf of the SA Rogaining Committee I’d like to thank everyone who attended and contributed to our events this year. Competitors, volunteers, sponsors – you’re all part of the story of rogaining in South Australia for 2017.

And if the story were a book, it would be a real page turner. Events by the ocean, events in the bush, events on bikes – a new adventure at every turn. And, we have some new developments for next year – read on.

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President’s Report, April 2017

We’re thrilled with how well 2017 has started for SA Rogaining. The Twilight and Velogaine events were in great locations, with wonderful weather and had lots of you in attendance. And anyone who attended, whether as a competitor or volunteer, is now in the running to be Rogainer Of The Year. Could it be you? This prestigious new award will win you huge bragging rights, as well as some swag from our sponsors IO MerinoOrienteering Services of Australia and The Running Company.

Now we give you a couple of months to recover before our bush events begin. If you haven’t had a camping weekend away with a rogaine, then it’s definitely something to try. Anyone is able to come away for the weekend to enjoy Hash House food and a supported camping experience – with a little rogaining thrown in to keep it interesting! You have the opportunity to get away on 1-2 July and 9-10 September. Put that in your calendar now to avoid disappointment!

Something we love about rogaining in SA is its inclusiveness. At our events we see Australian champion rogainers rubbing shoulders with social, family and novice rogainers. Whether you’re super-competitive or super-chilled, we have a culture of respecting each other. In a practical sense, that means slower competitors may let faster teams past, and fast teams may wait a little to punch at busy checkpoints. No matter where you are on the rogaining spectrum, we ask that you help us keep our wonderful culture by respecting other competitors out on the course.

See you around the campfire in the Lower Flinders in July!

Mark Porter
President, SA Rogaining Association

President’s Report: The Festival of Rogaining Begins!

It’s festival season in Adelaide, and in one month the rogaining season begins – our own festival of rogaining!

There’s lots to be festive about this year. In SA, we’ll have our regular events: Twilight, 6hr, 12hr, State Champs and Minigaine. But in addition, this year we welcome the velogaine! This is a 2 or 4 hour dedicated cycling rogaine set around Kapunda. There are quiet back roads just waiting for you and your family & friends to spin around looking for orange and white. No rogaine is complete without some hearty food and banter afterwards, and in the velogaine this will be at a relaxed country pub. I can’t wait!

No festival would be complete without a headline act. This year it is the World Rogaining Championships, to be held just up the road outside Alice Springs. This will be in stunning terrain and should be one of the best World Championships ever held. In the true tradition of rogaining, anyone can enter this event – so you can be a novice and compete next to the absolute best competitors in the world! A small number of entries are still available.

The opening act of the festival is the Twilight 4 hour event. To be held in and around Belair National Park, this will be a great one to get your rogaining season rolling. It’s less than 4 weeks away, so enter now!

I look forward to catching you all at one of SARA’s fabulous events this year. Let the festival begin!

Mark Porter
President SA Rogaining Association

President’s Report – Feb 2015

Now that the festive season and the peak of summer have wound down, it’s time for the 2015 rogaining season to wind up!

We have our usual smorgasbord of events on offer this year with each of the following durations represented: 3, 4, 5, 6, 12 & 24 hours. And for those of you who use rogaining as an opportunity to see more of our state, you won’t be disappointed. We’ll journey from the water’s edge at Goolwa to the iconic Flinders Ranges, smell the pines in Kuitpo and explore the mid North around Peterborough. And who knows what surprises we’ll have for you in the minigaine… Frankly, I can’t wait to get started! (By the way, we get started on 21 March – book your spot now!).

The South Australian Rogaining Association is going through a great patch at the moment. We have a fantastically dedicated Committee, a healthy group of regular volunteers and a really engaged and growing membership. It’s really something wonderful to be part of, so please encourage your friends to come along to our events, and give some thought to how you might get more involved through volunteering – it’s actually quite rewarding.

We’re really pleased that our participation amongst the family and recreational rogainers is increasing. Another area we’d love to grow is at the competitive end of the spectrum. To encourage the elite amongst you, I can announce the SARA will offer a travel subsidy to the Australian Rogaining Championships to one of the teams that wins a category at our SA State Championships on 2 May 2015! That’s right – win your category at the State Champs, and we could pay for you to travel to NSW to mix it with the nation’s best. (Further details to be provided closer to May).

Financially, we’re still going well. With increasing participant numbers , we’re able to maintain our fees at reasonable levels. At the same time, we’ve invested back into the sport recently with some one off costs – who could miss the new paint job on our trailer last year that served to both maintain a piece of equipment while simultaneously being a wonderful mobile advertising billboard! You’ll get more of an overview of our dollars and cents from the Treasurer at the AGM in March.

On the topic of the AGM, if there’s anything that you’d like to raise then please give me a shout prior to the Twilight event.

I look forward to seeing you all out on course this year!

Mark Porter, President
South Australian Rogaining Association

President’s Report – Jan 2014

Happy New Year to everyone and welcome to rogaining for 2014. We had another successful year in 2013 and more great events to look forward to in the year ahead.

You may have noticed our social media presence go to a new level this year and confirm our spot as the most engaged online rogaining community anywhere. For a while we were tussling with QRA for facebook likes, but now we’ve pulled clear ahead (604 vs 557). And on a per-capita basis, we’re blowing them out of the water! A big thanks to Sally Caston who has been the driving force behind the new clothing and facebook presence.

We finished the year with an exclusive Thank You lunch and drinks event for our 2013 volunteers at Anderson’s Hill Winery in the Adelaide Hills. This was an initiative we introduced 3 years ago and is a fantastic way to acknowledge all the people who make our events possible each year. I would encourage everyone who’s done a few rogaines to have a go at volunteering for us – you’ll get a lot out of it!

And then there are our “uber-volunteers” – the SARA Committee. We were joined this year by Sally Caston, Kate Corner, Jo Powell & Richard Sprod who have all been wonderful additions. Looking ahead we say bon voyage to Anton Steketee who is having a year travelling. Anton has been a great asset to SARA with his fresh ideas and scouting connections. When’s that return flight booked for Anton? And finally, I need to give a special thanks to Craig Colwell (Vice President) and the Committee for taking on the extra load when Ella Robinson & I disappeared for the winter. They’re a committed bunch your SARA Committee.

And now for the year ahead. It promises to be a great one. The big news is that we plan to have two 24 hour events again in 2014! We had a few years where we struggled to find setters and only had modest attendance for our longer events, and our reaction was to reduce the number of 24 hour rogaines on the calendar. However, we’ve seen a steady increase in the size of our membership and seem to have our setting slots filled, so we’re back in business! The 24 hour event is the classic rogaine duration and I encourage everyone to give it a go. Remember, you don’t have to stay out all night. In fact, I think you’re mildly crazy if you do!

We continue our association with AsthmaSA this year, but with a slight twist. We’ll still benefit from the exposure and facilities they bring, but this year we’ll be holding back to back 6hrs: Saturday for Asthma and Sunday for SARA. It’s a great way to make the most of a course and allows us the rare opportunity to see how the SARA membership likes a shorter event on a Sunday.

And if you thought the 2013 minigaine was fun, just wait……..

I look forward to seeing you all at our Twilight kick-off event on 15 March at Morialta.

Mark Porter, SARA President

2012 – A big year in rogaining for SA

Did Father Christmas bring you a compass and some new trail running shoes for Christmas? I hope so, because we’ve got some great events this year to help you make the most of them.

If bigger is better, then this will be our best year yet. We have the massive Australian Rogaining Championships being held in our iconic Flinders Ranges in May. A huge team of SA rogainers have been working on the Aus Champs for months, and it is bound to be an event to remember. Set in the Parachilna Gorge/Blinman area, we’re showcasing some fantastic country to our elite interstate competitors – why not come and see it, and them, for yourself? Many people are put off by the Aus Champs (or even State Champs for that matter) – let me assure you that you do not have to be elite to compete. In fact, we want to see as many South Aussies up in the Flinders as we can.

We’re hoping to break more records again with our Take A Breather event in June. Last year’s Asthma fundraiser had the most competitors we’ve ever hosted, so June 2012 should be off the charts.

The season kicks off with a Twilight event, based around Colonel Light Gardens and the hills face. So often, such events are won by the teams that stay on the flat. The setters have noticed this and are likely to make a hills ascent worthwhile…. The views alone should justify the effort. Once again this event features our unique geogaine option (still the only one in the world I believe) where you can use your GPS to get about the course.

With so much on, our AUMC, State Champs and Spring 12hr have merged into a 12/24 event at in the Mid North. We’ll be heading deep into the Wirrabara Forest: who will emerge victorious?

Then we’ll finish off with our popular 3hr Minigaine. This event has been put on by the Scout Bushwalking team for about 7 years in a row, and they’ve decided it’s now about time for a well earned break. I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank them for all their effort over the years. I’ve really appreciated the fact that the Scout team was able to just run with the event and make it a success every time.

Helping to make these events can be a really rewarding experience. How many times in your life do you get to be part of something that so many people enjoy and remember for years to come? (People still talk to me about the first event I helped set 8 years ago). Whether it’s in a specific role at an event or on the Committee, consider if you want to be part of something special and drop us an email!

See you at a 90 pointer!

Mark Porter
SARA President

Vice President’s 2011 Recap

During the second half of the year our esteemed President (Mark Porter) was on another extended snow-skiing working holiday (perhaps learning how to set a snow rogaine), and a brief summary of what’s been happening in his absence seems appropriate.

Mark’s last event prior to leaving was the 6 hour event that I set with Steve Cooper at Para Wirra. One comment I heard at the rogaine, which stuck in my mind, was how completely different it was from the previous year’s 6 hour event at Bundaleer Forest. The terrain was more challenging (and prickly) and the number of controls was far greater than could be reasonable expected to be reached in the given time frame. This is one of the great aspects of Rogaining; every event has its own challenges and variations. With new locations and different course setters, different ideas are tried which makes every event unique. In some events the setter will give enough controls to be all reached, just within the time limit, by the best competitors, others will set their event lots of controls to make selecting a winning route very difficult as there are many options. Others will opt for scenic routes for the benefit of the more social type of entrant.

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President’s Report – May 2011

Next year we should try to not schedule events that clash with the end of the world. If you missed it, the apocalypse was supposed to happen on Saturday 21st May 2011, the date of our State Championships. This was potentially anyone’s last chance to become rogaining champion of South Australia (and yet we had no women’s team in the 24hr, leaving the feminine fence-post-trophy in purgatory!).

Anyone who attended the event will agree that Bartagunyah provided a tempest of biblical proportions. The wind was incessant and the clouds always ominous. Fortunately the heavens didn’t open until the wee hours of the morning when only 6 foolhardy teams were still out on the course. Everyone else was ensconced in their flimsy tents – flapping against the opening salvo of the apocalypse. And the location of the Hash House on top of a scenic ridge meant we could all savour the full fury of the tempest’s wind!

But the event was, in fact, extremely enjoyable. The views from the Hash House ridge on Saturday morning were fantastic as the sun rose over the vines of Bartagunyah and Mt Remarkable beckoned just up the valley. Well done to Randell Taylor and his setting team for a challenging course in a really beautiful area. This was the second event Randell has set in as many years and I really appreciate his enthusiasm for our sport. Special thanks go to Ruth Carmody for taking on the job of running the Hash House after only being involved in rogaining for a short time. The Admin team, comprising all first-time volunteers, also ran like a dream. It just goes to show that you don’t have to be a super-experienced rogainer to help – and with the effort it takes us to put on an event, we need you too!

You might remember us promoting marshmallows around the campfire for the this event. We’re trying to support the social and casual aspect of the sport. It’s absolutely fine to come to a 24-hour event and only spend a few hours on the course if you want to. As it turns out, the wind was too strong for a campfire, so you’ll all have to come and help us with the two kilograms of marshmallows at our next event.

The world did not end during the State Champs. The news now reports that the calculations were wrong – out by five months apparently. That means the world will finish on the 21st October 2011: the day before our minigaine!

Mark Porter,
President of South Australian Rogaining Association