Despite the exodus of Bendigo orienteers to Bathurst for the Australian Championships over the next two weekends, it is business as usual in Bendigo with an event at Longlea, a 15 minute drive east via Strathfieldsaye towards Eppalock. In response to a call for a course setter, Mark Hennessy volunteered to course set at short notice. I went out on Tuesday and tagged some of his sites, and was pleased to email Mark as follows: “I think your courses are pretty good; they will be both challenging & enjoyable”.
Mark tells us the theme is “gentle relief” after the rigours of the Creswick gold diggings last weekend. The terrain is gently undulating, but with enough bends in the few contours to help you navigate. The ground is generally soft, without much rock underfoot. The bush is generally open and easy to move through, with some wattle blooms fading and others still bright yellow. There are no steep hills or erosion gullies (there is one, a metre deep, but no one has to cross it).
Mark has been offered assistance from Andrew Wallace, David Jones and Nigel McGuckian. Thanks to all. Look for O-signs to the right, immediately after Gleesons Road. Start time as usual is 12.30 to 2 pm, with courses closing at 3 pm. Offers to collect controls will be welcome.
Eventor entries close at midnight Thursday 3rd August.
Enter on the day is available, subject to map availability.
Assembly area: At the corner of Mohair Rd and Jacko Track, Lockwood.
Start between 10 am and 1 pm. All courses close at 3 pm.
Nine courses available, from 15.5 km to 2.0 km.
Lockwood Ranges is a newly mapped area on the south-west side of Bendigo. The south of the map is steep spur gully, and the north very gentle terrain, in parts almost flat with a Mallee-like forest. In the flatter areas controls are generally placed on scattered surface mining features, watercourses and clearings. Accurate compass work will be required. The longer courses head into the steeper hill country where orienteers will face a 2.5 km route choice leg.
For further details go to https://eventor.orienteering.asn.au/Events/Show/4770
It’s always a challenge to set orienteering courses in granite terrain and for this reason I teamed up with Darren Eenjes (or should I say the entire Eenjes family) to run our Korong Spur event. We also had the good fortune to have the permission of Ian Fraser (the owner of the property that adjoins our start location) to use his driveway for parking. This made it easier for us to get Parks Victoria approval for our event. It was a pleasure dealing with Ian, who is an avid environmentalist and a fan of our sport.
After running a successful event on this map in 2016 with Darren as course-setter I was keen to follow up with another set of memorable courses. I made an early decision to include a strong route-choice leg on Course 1 and this was well received by runners, who chose to attack the leg in various ways. The most popular route chosen was via the track to the West. Courses 2 and 3 were truncated versions of Course 1. Course 4 was a ‘hard’ moderate course, made easier by having all control sites in relatively close proximity to the Eastern perimeter road. As was the case in our 2016 Korong Spur event it was necessary to provide taped routes for more difficult legs on Course 5. For all courses my aim was to provide opportunities for orienteers to move quickly through mostly open terrain, with fair control sites and inspiring views. The moderately ‘friendly’ granite terrain on Korong Spur made my task relatively easy.
A couple of trips to Mt Korong were necessary to tape control sites and most controls were placed two days prior to the event. After an extremely cold beginning July 1 cleared to become a lovely sunny winter’s day. 49 runners started on the day with only 5 non-finishers. On Course 1 Matthew Schepisi made a return to local orienteering and won with an impressive rate of just over 7 minutes per kilometre. Ben and Richard Goonan were close behind him. Jimmy Cameron was a clear winner on Course 2, with other creditable performances from Michael Loughnan, Andrew Cameron and Tavish Eenjes. John ‘Wilko’ Wilkinson’s nagging injuries didn’t stop him winning Course 3, but Serryn Eenjes finished an impressive second despite a couple of navigational errors.
Winners in the moderate and easy courses were Ryan Davies (DROC) in Course 4 and Xavier Ough on Course 5.
Post-race discussion centred around route choices on Course 1 and the difficulties experienced by many competitors in finding the first control (common to courses 1 to 4). When choosing this control site (located only 150 metres from the start triangle and accurately placed) the course-setter believed it was possibly too obvious. Obviously not.
click to download as PDF
On the 18th June, Bendigo Orienteers held its first wheel cactus eradication day at Mt Kooyoora. The wheel cactus plants growing on the northern side of Mt Kooyoora were first noticed by Julie Flynn and Neil Barr when they were setting their Bermuda Triangle event early in May. Wheel cactus is a noxious weed that spreads very easily and is covered with very sharp spines. The proposal to tackle the wheel cactus plants at Mt Kooyoora was raised at the committee meeting and the eradication day was subsequently organised.
Nine orienteers meet up with members from the Friends of Kooyoora, and Loddon Plains Landcare Network Facilitator James Nelsson and his wife Trudy. James supplied all the equipment including stabbers for injecting the wheel cactus plants with herbicide, hoes for pulling up the young plants, and gloves. Before setting off to the mountain everyone was required to don a high visibility vest, which was quite a novelty for the orienteers. The team armed themselves with hoes, stabbers, and pink spray paint for marking the plants that had been stabbed. James demonstrated how to administer the herbicide and pull out the younger wheel cactus plants.
After a hike to Mt Kooyoora the team ascended the steep slope and began to attack the wheel cactus. Many large patches of the plant were discovered. James was very impressed by the fitness and enthusiasm of the orienteers. After a few hours of work everyone decided to head back for lunch. From a high point about a hundred metres away from the mountain we were able to survey the huge number of wheel cactus plants that had been sprayed with pink paint. We were all quietly pleased with our efforts.
After a pleasant lunch we all vowed to be back in 2018, as the battle against wheel cactus is one that requires persistence and team work. We also hope that other members of the orienteering community will join the fight.
A big thanks to volunteers and supporters Daryl Fleay, Neil Barr, David and Heather Jones, Nigel and Deb McGuckian, Tony and Alison Radford and Julie Flynn.
Sunday 18 June from 9.45am
The Wheel Cactus is considered a Weed of National Significance in Australia as it spreads rapidly and is difficult to destroy. The plants produce fruit containing numerous seeds. Birds and foxes consume the fruit, then spread the seeds far and wide. Wheel cactus grows particularly well in shallow granite soils. The plants are covered with fine sharp spines, up to 5 cm long, that can easily pierce a person’s skin.
Wheel cactus plants have been spreading in the northern part of the Kooyoora State Park. If this is allowed to continue it will make this area much less favourable for orienteering events. Furthermore, the natural beauty of this area will be significantly degraded.
We are seeking volunteers to poison or pull out the wheel cactus plants. This activity is being conducted in cooperation with Parks Victoria, Friends of Kooyoora and the Loddon Plains Landcare Network. Volunteers will receive equipment, training and supervision.
If you are interested in being involved please contact Julie Flynn on 0429 496 422 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Take the Calder Hwy through Inglewood and continue 7km to Kurting. Turn left onto the Brenanah-Kurting Rd (just past the abandoned Kurting Hall). Follow for 9.7km to a T junction. Turn left onto the Kingower-Wedderburn Rd and travel 1.5km to the assembly area. Please park on the edge of the road, not in the bush.
Wednesday 7 June 6pm – 8pm
You are invited to attend an information and networking night at Rays Outdoors store at 93 High street, Bendigo.
Rays Outdoors is wanting to meet people who are into adventure sports around Bendigo. The manager of the store is keen to build positive links with local clubs help meet our ‘gear’ needs and help promote our activities. This evening is the first step towards that.
There will be short presentations from bush walkers, runners, orienteers and scouts as well as the store manager. Food and drink will be available.
It would be great to have a few members there to support Bendigo Orienteers’ presentation, and meet some others who may be interested in coming to an event we are running.