It's been quite a week. Last weekend saw the first race of the Grand Prix season here in Melbourne, and I was able to attend one of the earlier days in the runup to the race itself. It takes six weeks to transform leafy Albert Park in the heart of the city into a screaming petrolhead mecca. This year, the cars have lost their scream. It sounds more like a high-speed lawnmower race.
However, and more importantly, we were able to get out on Sunday and do a six-hour rogaine. This is a long distance navigation race, named after the three originators of the concept. The map was huge and was immediately folded into four, reducing our area of interest to A3 size. Pat and I walked (quickly) together and garnered 27 controls in 5+ hours. The rest of the time was taken up with hourly drink and snackette sessions, which kept us going. We were treated to cheese toasties and melon slices at the end, which were very welcome. The weather was perfect for such a long event, 20 degrees, cloudy and dry. We had some issues with the map, a colour copy of the Melway street guide failing to indicate a high, 1.5km fence bordering the partly-constructed Regional Rail Link. It was the same for everyone, I suppose. I left my gps watch at home, but a piece of string on the map afterwards measured 27km. We were delighted to discover that we had won the Extremely Old section, which will do doubt encourage us to enter another one.
Tuesday is my favourite day at the moment. We were treated to another of Geoff's splendid park/street events, with colour map, electronic punching and barbie. Some friendly controversy arose afterwards, where splits showed that some reprobates went through the 'uncrossable' fence between 10 and 16. I can claim to be squeaky clean in this respect. I did my usual anticlockwise trundle, starting 19,11,17 and finishing 12,4,15. You join the dots. I managed all controls in 48 minutes, my watch recording 7km. Pleased with that.
All bodes well for the upcoming weekend in Beechworth. Highly technical bush orienteering on both days at Rowdy Flat & Kangaroo Crossing. I suspect a reality check may be somewhat overdue. Anyway, it's good to return to 'proper' orienteering after a long, hot summer. I may not be saying that on Monday.