Event report: SOL weekend
Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th June
NavDash 5 - Araluen (SOL)
Saturday 17th June, Roleystone
The beautiful and historic Araluen Botanic Park in the hills of the Canning River valley was the venue for this event. Heavy rain in the weeks leading up had left the park lush, with the streams full and flowing, and recent very cold days had enticed the earliest bulbs out - small white lillies and yellow daffodils. But on the day the sun came out and it was a wonderful day for a run.
About 80 people, more than a quarter of them juniors, participated. We also welcomed Hugo Flordal, visiting from Sweden, and Adum Al-Soeady to their first ever event. Adum was visiting the park with his family and couldn't resist the urge to join in when he saw the fun we were having!
The brand new map offered a complex web of tracks and stairs connecting clearings and quiet park roads, all running between streams, ponds and a multitude of gardens. All four courses included substantial climb. One of the major navigational decisions for all courses was how to negotiate the ten terraces of the Grove of the Unforgotten. Some preferred the direct route up the steep, irregular, stone steps, while others opted for the significantly longer, but smooth, evenly sloped and very runnable paths winding around the sides. A number of entrants came back for second (or even third) course. The youngest juniors enjoyed exploring the tracks and finding the big frog and the little train before exploring the gully and the stream.
Congratulations to the male and female winners in each of the classes: Liam Dufty and Kate Braid in the Long, Arvin Nair and Susan Coleman in the Medium, Ian Fletcher and Neve Lommers in the Short, and Quinn Lommers and Sarah Iles in the Easy. Note that 6 of these 8 winners were juniors who were faster than their parents.
Thanks go to mapper and setter Nick Dale; organiser Sue Dowling; map checker Richard Matthews; set-up Jack Dowling and Zali Dale; instructor Rob West; control collection and pack-up Michael, Patrick and Penny Dufty, Rob Beattie, Simon Windsor, Riley and Sharon McFarlane, and Andrea Eves; and to Simon again for taking all the equipment back to the shed. Thanks also to Olivia, Maia, Singh, Renee and the rest of the Araluen staff who were very helpful and welcoming.
Bush 5 - Little Frazzle (SOL)
Sunday 18th June - near Beverley
It was a very cold start to the day, but this didn’t deter just over 100 competitors, including a group of Scouts, at Little Frazzle on Sunday morning. The map hadn’t been used for some time and would have been new to many. Sten Claessens set challenging courses and although the terrain was tough and rocky underfoot it appears that everyone enjoyed them. This was the first time that SI Air mode was used at a foot orienteering event in WA, and it proved to be very successful.
Thanks go to Sten for setting and for updating the map, to Russell Candy for controlling the event, to Wendy and Dave for towing the caravan, to Ceri for towing the toilet, and to Matt, Susan, Joseph, Ceri, Kate, Rohan, Ruben, Jan, Russell, Heike, John, Jenny, Veronika, and Rob for collecting controls.