South Australian Mountain bike  Orienteering Results

Sunday 24 November 2002

The State Champs were held in Wirrabara Forest, 2.5 hours north of Adelaide, as part of an action packed weekend.  This area had initially been used for the 1981 Easter Three Days for foot O, and then throughout the eighties and finishing in 1991 or so.  Thus the area would truly provide a fair competition area, with little pre-knowledge.

The Saturday provided heat wave conditions of 37 degrees or so, but this didn’t stop the likes of George Reeves and John Lyon from coming up to race around the Ken Thompson re-map of the very popular Walnut Gate area.  Several short, but challenging courses were set by Reuben Smith.
The Adelaide Test cricket match was on at the same time, and Helen Smith obviously was in cricket mode, as she temporarily “retired” from her course for a leisurely lunch, before re-starting!
Much amusement was had by watching some Marryatville and Glenunga High juniors working out finish times by drawing a clock and then filling in the big and little hands!   It’s inconvenient that there isn’t 100 seconds to a minute evidentally.

Heather Browett and myself had marked out a 4 km mt bike xc course in an adjacent area with numerous arrows outlining the course.  This had some riding through the pine forest trying to miss all the pine cones, a tricky creek crossing, and a ride up and down a dam wall.  Given the heat, the planned races didn’t occur, but quite a few took the opportunity to improve their bike skills over 2, 3 or 4 laps.    Most then adjoined to the Wirrabara pub for a good feed, and then retired to the Hostel or various local B & B establishments.

Sunday had a scheduled 9 am start, which was opportune given the weather, even though the temperatures weren’t quite so hot as the day before.    Starting in the main picnic ground gave convenient access to toilets and shelter, and the friendly ranger rushed over early on with his chain saw to remove a tree that had fallen down.   A 1:20,000 Amber Tomas map covering the three previous O maps, plus some extra land, awaited the starters.

Off everyone went and Heather Smith sat anxiously awaiting their return.  The entrants on the 2 shorter course duly obliged, and those now well experienced READii kids were well represented on the leader board.    About 10 local scouts had been organised to compete in pairs, including the ranger’s son, but they tended to have trouble relating the map to the ground.  One group ended up on the main Laura to Wirrabara road!  Not to be deterred, they returned to the start and were guided around half their course (and taught some map reading skills), by 13 year old Tom Diment, aided by Vanessa and Heather.  This trio also worked on the start and finish too!  Those scouts have some endurance, as they played park cricket for several hours afterwards.   It was great to have them join in, and we hope to help run other events up there for them.

Heather was quite lonely for a goodly while.  Thankfully she had John Sennett and Annette who  co-ordinated things marvellously at the start / finish area, and kept Heather sane.  A few tired DNF’s came in, some with multiple punctures, and others with stories of  “just 1 or 2 many hills for me.”  Have I mentioned that those average looking hills were mapped using 10 metre contours, thus they were deceptively hillier than one anticipated!   Having to lift one’s bike over quite a few fences was another energy sapping exercise.

I had instructed Heather not to make the elite courses too short – I was to regret that.  The no 2 course (M35 and Women’s open) actually had considerably more climb than the open men’s course, and was a similar length I think!  Hampered a bit by recent injury to a rib and wrist; and being a late starter, I was struggling along knowing that everyone would be waiting for me to produce the prizes from the depths of my car.  Meanwhile Heather and others had been adjudicating about a few honest souls who had confessed to having ridden over a white area on the map, on a route choice that had made this very tempting.  A time penalty was imposed and this cost a few places.

I returned and it was straight on with the prize giving.  These were the  much sought after traditional mug and bike shop vouchers from our generous sponsors: Bicycle Express, International Cycles, Cyclerider, Norwood Parade Cycles and Lifecycle.   Everyone agreed that the area and the map were first class, with the longer courses on the marathon side.  Good value for money though.
The highlight of the prizegiving was undoubtable the appearance of Gerry Velatis at the last control (20 metres away) just as we were to award the prizes in his M35 class.  Some speedy calculations by John Sennett and Gerry  was duly anointed as the winner!

Perhaps I can reveal what Gerry later said in an email, which summed it up nicely.
“I enjoyed the event and also the unexpected win.  There are a number of times that I have made it to the finish during the awards ceremony and usually it is not something to be proud of.  But to be awarded the trophy while still astride my bike  !!    Truly something to remember.”
Perhaps we should have commemorative T’shirts printed with: “Survivor - Wirrabara MBO!”

The fields were a little small this year, due to the heat and distance from Adelaide no doubt, as well as new babies in the previous  week for regular MBO’ers Scott Bradley, Martin and Penny Fidge..  Both were over 10 lbs!   The event did have a multi-nation flavour with Sander, from Estonia and 2 visiting British orienteers.   Although Tintookies had the biggest number of participants, all metropolitan clubs were represented in the prizegiving.

Many thanks to Heather who did an almighty solo job of course setting and organising, due to a number of factors.  Thanks also especially to Steven Scott’s family, who not only collected controls but took most of the Tintookie gear back to Adelaide, and to Helen Smith who collected heaps of controls too.

What does 2003 hold?  Put May 10-11 th in your diary right now.  This will be the inaugural Paddy Pallin Bike Adventure.   This is 2 day score event at Mt Crawford, with 4 hours and then 3 hours of competition with a team mate.  The state champs will return to Kuitpo, but on a new map incorporating several maps and new area.  If you want to keep racing, then Adelaide Mt Bike club has some short summer xc races happening – just give me a call on 83370523 for details.
Kay Haarsma

Course 1 – 29 km - Men’s Elite
1 Reuben Smith  TT 117.16
2 Sander Vaher EST 122.50
3 Steve Sullivan YA 131.50
4 James Logue BRIT 145.33
5 Bruce Greenhalgh MT 156.38
Dan Crosby   182.02
  Lee Merchant TJ dnf
  Roger Greenhalgh   dnf
  Craig Colwell   dnf

Course 2 - 27 km - Women’s Elite
1 Amber Tomas WA 147.21
2 Kay Haarsma TT 171.42
M 35
Gerry Velaitis YA 172.29
2 Scott Keneally   198.05

Course 3 - 21 km - M50 
1 Bob Smith TT 123.37
2 David Tilbrook OH 147.20
3 Phil Stoeckel WA 148.52
4 Peter Mayer YA 154.22
5 Peter Haarsma   154.49
6 Heinz Leuenberger OH 165.05
7 David Poole TT 170.24
  Chris Brown TJ dnf
  Tim Lebbon OH dnf

1 Robyn Brown TJ 135.15
1 Troy Merchant TJ 93.14
2 Lachlan Hallett YA 110.17
3 Miquel Clark WA 112.33
4 Tyson Hillyard TJ 140.33

Course 4 - 18 km - W50
1 Helen Smith TT 165.47
Zoe Radford TT 119.25
  Esther Roberts BRIT dnf
  Kate Radford TT dnf

Course 5 – 10 km - W14
1 Vanessa Round TT 72.58
2 Heather Browett TJ 114.14
1 Andrew Slattery TT 51.21
2 Duncan Greenhalgh   77.19
3 Max Sankauskas OH 87.20
4 Kris Colwell OH 103.10
5 Guy & Matt Curtis   119.30
6 Trisha, Melissa & John   180.01
  Trevor N & Liam F   dnf
  Daniel Curtis & Joe Brown   dnf

Course 6 - 6 km - M13
Steven Scott   45.42
Tom Diment TJ 57.40
Open B
1 Margrit Leuenberger OH 76.55