New Rocky Hill map

Post date: Apr 9, 2019 10:56:03 AM

Stuart Young and Sean Sunley had excellent wins in the Waggaroos orienteering event on the new Rocky Hill in Kooringal last Sunday.

It was the first time this area had been used for orienteering in almost 20 years and the new map was literally dotted with rock features. The only tracks in the area are the perimeter road and the trail over the main hill which meant participants on the harder navigational courses really had to focus on the contour detail and use flat rocks and thickets as the main navigational aids. The power poles on the lower slopes became valuable features for checking ones position.

The map scale is 1:5000, unusual for a "bush" map so courses were somewhat shorter than a traditional forest event. However, the steep slopes were as difficult to come down as they were to go up and challenged participants with decisions on whether to go straight and face a difficult ascent or descent or to try and contour around the hill and alleviate the pain.

The hard navigation courses comprised some longer legs across the hillside, a few physically demanding legs over the ridge followed by some short sharp legs involving various directional changes.

On the 3.4 km hard course the battle for placings was quite tight with final placings largely being decided by accuracy of navigation rather than running speed. Stuart Young prevailed holding off veteran John Oliver by just over 3 minutes with NSW representative Briohny Seaman well in the mix a further minute behind. These three were well ahead of the rest of the field. By contrast Sean Sunley won the 2.7 km hard course comfortably from Wes Campbell and Shani Rajasekera.

The 2.5 km moderate navigational course had fewer serious hill climbs but the scarcity of tracks made it somewhat of a challenge. Iona and Brendan Judd triumphed over the Hatherly family by just over 10 minutes.

The 1.4 km easy navigation course did utilise the few tracks in the area and comprised a slow climb to the top of the hill and a quick descent thereafter picking up various boulder features along the way. Rob and Joannah McDougall ripped around the course in a very quick 12:38 to finish in almost half the time of their parents and second placegetters Deb and Ian McDougall. The fast pace also helped Joannah win handicap honours for the day. Julie Gooding and son Jarrah finished in third place just ahead of the group of Mel and Baxter Pike, Tim Rudd and Logan Seaman.

The next event will be held in the Murraguldrie State Forest on Sunday 28 April. From Wagga drive south towards Tumbarumba. About 6 km after crossing over the Hume Highway turn right at the main Murraguldrie State Forest sign and follow the orienteering signs to the start. This will be the second event of the Interclub Challenge against Albury and will commence at 10 am.

Rocky Hill results: