• Dryandra Village, near Narrogin

Saturday 1st - Monday 3rd July

This year's Winter Classic was held at Dryandra Woodland on the June Long Weekend. The WA Winter Classic is a standard bush event on two consequtive days, where times from both days are added to find the winner of each course. To add to the fun, the weekend began with a novelty training event on Saturday, and on Sunday included a celebration of OWA's 50th birthday this year.

Many competitors stayed in and around Dryandra for the long weekend - the Woodland Village accommodation included dorms and camping spaces, while others opted for B&B's and motels in nearby Narrogin.

Training at Foxes Lair - Migrating Foxes

3pm Saturday of the WA Classic weekend saw an event never before held in WA - SMIK (Score with Migrating Controls) organised by our Coaches in Residence Jiri Vales and Veronika Kubinova at Foxes Lair on the edge of Narrogin.

The map showed 58 controls, each with three positions A, B and C, with random point values 1, 2 or 3 but each number could only be punched once. The complication was that each of those 174 sites was only ‘live’ for a limited time, anything from 0 to 50 minutes, some time between the start or near the end, as listed on the back of the map.

Five minutes before the mass start were allowed to work out a route, but much longer would not have been enough for many of us, even with a computer. Then “migration” of controls was done by Veronika and Jiri frantically shifting the SI stations between each number’s A, B and C, which they did on an amazingly accurate schedule prepared over the previous three days.

The outcome was definitely “not a holiday for the brain” (Nick Dale) with some 30 of us running hither and yon, between varying pauses to work out where to go next to reach a control while it was ‘live’.

Although the running time limit was 45 minutes, with penalties for each minute late back added on to each other, no-one had negative scores and the winner was as expected, Craig Dufty, but the youngest, Quinn Lommers also had a credibly high score.

Livelox shows the outcome for those who were humble enough to post their routes.

Overall it was a most entertaining event.

WA classic Day 1 - Bush 4

After a stormy night, fortunately the worst of the rain was over by the time the event started. Most orienteers seemed to enjoy their courses, though the hard level competitors reported finding the courses challenging with many legs through flat, vague terrain and lots of fallen timber. As a bonus, after the event everyone moved on to the 50th Anniversary celebrations in the Hall and enjoyed the displays, company and the food (especially the cake!).

Winners in the Mens’ classes included: Jiri Vales (H1), Nigel Wade (H2), Rob West (H3), Ian Dalton (H4), Ruben Claessens (M), Fraser Brownlie (E), and Cedar Curo-Hobby (VE). Winners in the Womens’ classes included: Kellie Whitfield (H1), Ceri Pass (H2), Eleanor Sansom (H3), Carol Brownlie (H4), Carolyn Read (M), Ruth Toomey (E) and Melaleuca Sharp (VE). Nine intrepid orienteers then took on the E Challenge, despite the rain, and Ricky Thackray took out the honours.

Many thanks are due to setter Rachel West, assisted by Craig Dufty. Thank you also to control collectors Rob West, Rob Beattie, Nigel Wade, and Jack and Sue Dowling, plus Rachel and Craig. Thanks also to Sue Dowling and Nick Dale for helping with instruction and Jack Dowling for manning the easy and moderate course start.

Results are in Eventor, and routes in Livelox.

WA classic Day 2 - Bush 5

To add a fun component to the Day 2 event, two things were initiated. First, we decided to have a REVERSE chasing start, going on order only, not time intervals. This meant that runners would start in the reverse order from what they’d finished on Day 1, meaning the fastest, last starter on each course would be chasing down the earlier starters. It wasn’t compulsory but most people elected to join in the fun and there was even some serious sledging going on amongst the H1 males!

A side benefit of using this method on the final day was that most people had finished before 11am and presentations were over by 11.30 and everyone could then make an early return to Perth, Bunbury and Albany after cleaning the dorms, mess hut (who forgot about this??) and packing up their tents.

The other thing was to have a little competition for the fastest runners from the final control to the finish on all courses apart from VE. This was an age group competition though – for fastest male and female aged under 21: 21 – <35: 35 - <60: and 60+. Once again, there was some serious competitiveness happening with many sprinting at warp speed to the finish. Some took advantage of the easier route along the rope we had out for the E competitors and others found their own more direct but perhaps more cluttered route.

Winners of a packet of Smarties for their final leg sprint were <21 – Liam Dufty and Kate Braid: 21 – 35 – Nigel Wade and Ellie Sansom: 35 – 60 – Cliff Phillips and John Taylor, who drew, and Kellie Whitfield: <60 – Carol Brownlie and John Taylor. WA Classic winners – VE – Ruth Toomey and Matthew Dalton: E – Rosie Drury and Fraser Brownlie: M – Carolyn Read and Ruben Claessens: H4 – Carol Brownlie and Ian Dalton: H3 – Sarah Richards and Max Fagerlind: H2 – Ceri Pass and Nigel Wade: H1 – Kellie Whitfield and Jiri Vales.

The Dryandra map needs an update, specifically vegetation and minor track changes. It is a very enjoyable area on which to set and compete. It was very fitting that this map was used for our 50th Anniversary celebrations and the WA Classic weekend as it one of our oldest maps still in use, the original one dating back to the 70’s.

From a setter’s point of view, it was great to have the finish so close to the start and to be able to see competitors chatting animatedly there while waiting to see others finish. Thanks to the many who took the time to thank us for the courses and the little innovations we made.

Thanks to control collectors Carol and Ken, Dave and Rosalie, Tom, Vicki, Archie and Fraser, David, Janine and John (from LOST but wanted the practice) and Nigel Wade (BO).

Results are in Eventor, and routes in Livelox.

50th Anniversary Celebrations60 2024 Dryandra 50th cake about to cut HB

Over eighty people came along to the Dryandra hall to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beginnings of Orienteering WA. The hall had been decked out with a range of memorabilia from the earliest days of the sport in WA and there was also a sumptuous afternoon tea. Items included a range of ‘O’ clothing from clubs, National events in WA and also from international events. Also on display were newsletters from the first publication in 1976 through to the most recent yearbook, old styles of controls, punch cards and a range of maps, from an original black and white one onwards. Accompanying these was a running display of photos on the big screen, which included some great shots of orienteers from the 1970’s onwards, in action at events and social occasions. Some of the hair styles and clothing were stunning!

After a short speech by President Anna Napier, one of the fabulous celebration cakes made by Nicole Davis was cut by the longest serving member present, Tony Simpkins.

To add to the fun, there was an old-style short course around the Dryanda village. This was set by Craig Dufty and was provided to show younger people and some new members what things used to be like – with participants having to mark up their own maps and produce punched cards for the critical inspection of the course co-ordinators. Some were disqualified for not getting their punch marks fully inside the appropriate boxes!

Many thanks to Jan Fletcher and Carol Brownlie for organising much of the event and the display items and for Tony Simpkins for providing many of the maps and newsletters. Also to Robert Boekelaar for his articles on the early days of orienteering which have been provided in Enews and for many of the photos in the digital display.


Overall the weekend was very enoyable and a great success. Many thanks to everyone who was involved in planning and organising the events, accommodation, cakes and displays, or helped with transport, set up, clean up and running everything smoothly. Too many people to list here, but you know who you are!

Finally, thanks to the Lion’s Village caretakers, Les and Julie, for being so helpful and supportive of orienteering as an activity in their forest.

Photos by Sue Dowling, Liisa Hirvonen & Helen Bailey.

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Acknowledgement of country

Noongar country logo 2023 150pxNgalak kaaditj nidja Noongar Boodjar. Koora-Yeyi-Kalyakool.

Orienteering WA acknowledges the Noongar people, the Traditional and continuing Custodians of the land on which we gather to enjoy our sport, and pay our respects to Elders past and present.