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.

Following the success of the 6 hour bush and Cyclogaine event at Para Wirra, where we had a record number of entries, last June, the Committee quickly moved into action for the 24 hour AUMC event at Palmer. The Palmer event was the brain child of our rogaining stalwart Michael Round, who set a similar event over this terrain 40 years previously. Whilst the terrain may have been similar, the number of landowners had more than quadrupled causing Mike a lot of time consuming effort to try and track them all down to gain access permission. Mike was also expecting his son Hugh to be able to assist with the setting but unfortunately he moved overseas this year. Fortunately Paul Hoopmann was able to assist with the setting and map preparation work. Together with a considerable number of volunteers helping with control hanging, administration and control collection, a very enjoyable event was had by all.

A lasting memory I will have of this event was the spectacular sun-rise in the east on Sunday morning (as we were lost hunting for Control 68) with a beautiful rainbow in the west. With the sunrise we were able to relocate and find our control and shortly thereafter could see that one end of the rainbow was landing on top of our next control. Maybe not a pot of gold, but very rewarding never the less.

The good work which Mike and Paul did on this event with setting and coordinating resulted in a very happy relationship with the local community with newsletter articles (before and after the event) and getting the local community groups to run the Hash House. Those who ventured to the local Palmer hotel the night before the event had a very enjoyable and relaxing meal in front of a roaring fire listening to the numerous antics which the course setters (mainly Mike Round) had been up to. At this event we again held a 12 hour “Roving” concurrent event which attracted great support. With the roving concept you have a maximum allowable time on the ‘course map’ of 12 hours. Whether you do this in one stretch or break it up into smaller time slots is up to you.

Immediately following this event a small group of Rogainers lead by Rob Tucker headed to the Flinders Ranges to set the 2012 Australian Championships event which will be held next May. At the moment there is a small sub-committee organising this event. If you think you can assist in any way please contact a committee member or Rob Tucker direct. Unfortunately with Rob Tucker taking the SARA computer with his team to assist with their mapping work, the Palmer AUMC results were delayed in posting on the web site. Apologies to all frustrated Rogainers for this oversight (in failing to download a copy of the results onto a memory stick) and to avoid this occurring in the future, the Rogaining Association has purchased another computer for future setters to use with the Ocad mapping software and as a backup for the electronic scoring system, Navlight.

From discussions I have had with numerous people about this sport called Rogaining it is obvious that most newcomers or prospective novices are daunted by the concept of competing in a 24 hour event as they believe that they must compete for the full 24 hour period come hell or high water. While this may be true for a few highly dedicated or ‘endurance type’ people most teams generally come back to the Hash House to eat, rest and sleep during the night. At the recent Palmer AUMC event only one team stayed out for the entire 24 hours. A number of people seem daunted by the thought of Rogaining during the night, but I would encourage everyone to give it a go as it is very satisfying to find a control in the dark as well as an awesome experience to traverse the moon-lit plains and hills during the night time.

Also under way was preparation for the Gilbert Valley 12 hour Gambol being organised by Richard & Judy Sprod, John Nitschke, Freya Sadka with lots of help from Peter and Annie Fisher. With my better half, Evelyn, being the Event Coordinator I was able to see this event evolve first hand, and join in on their many meetings and pub dinners. Richard and Judy certainly had an excellent team to work with and they put on a great event in a very pleasant area which has not been used before. One of the highlights of this event was the fantastic Hash House, set up from scratch by the Rhynie CFS volunteers. Personally being an Electrical Contractor I was very impressed with their very quiet generators and light towers, while the gas heated HWS unit was to die for.

At this event we trialled the electronic Navlight scoring system for the second time this year. From a competitor’s point of view it is a great system for recording your scores and split times between controls, highlighting in some cases how much time can be lost when searching for that elusive control or how much slower it takes between controls during the night time. The main reason however for using this system this year is to gain experience of the software, as we will be using this system next May at the Australian Championship event in the Flinders Ranges, as well as familiarize you the competitors in how to use it at events.

The final event for the year was the Scout’s 3 hour minigaine which was held from the Hazelwood Park next to the Burnside Swimming Pool on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The map gave all participants the option of a meander through the Eastern suburbs or a climb up into the hills for great views over the city. The event was topped off with a pizza dinner.

So another year’s rogaining has come and gone and what a great range of events there were ranging from the 24 hour State Champs as an “End of the World” experience at Melrose to the local 3hour Scout event at Hazelwood Park. Next year’s events are already locked in (see the website Events Calendar for dates) with our first event being the 4 hour Twilight rogaine. Following this is our major event of the year, the 24 hour Australian Rogaining Championship being held in the Flinders Ranges. This one you should not miss and hopefully there will be a large South Australian contingent entered.

As we head into the festive season, I’ll take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones good health and best wishes.

May you soar on wings like eagles; may you run and not grow weary; or walk and not be faint.

Craig Colwell
Vice President, SARA