THE DARK IS GONNA GET YOU !
The sun sets, darkness creeps in across the fairways, even the hadedas give in to the stillness of the air.....the rain that threatened has evaporated. In the Clubhouse...a buzz of excitement....7 o'clock draws near and the anticipation is palpable when competitors crowd around the start official, waiting for the call to take to the darkness, each with headlamps ablaze and all going off in different directions at one minute intervals. Then confusion sets in....."ag, liefie, which way did he say North was ?"
These were some of the scenes at Randpark Golf Course, the final event in the hugely popular 2015 Golf Estate Night Series.
The Roger Blane map and courses challenged even the most hardy of Orienteers in an area not abundant of reference features or easily visible landmarks.....and it was VERY DARK out there !
Everyone had a great time - but some fared better than others. RACO's Twins, Keagan and Jordan van Huyssteen showing the rest of the competitors how it should be done - finishing first and second on the Novice course respectively.
Mike Crone and Michele Botha were the big winners in the Men's and Ladies races. There were some close challenges however - Bradley Lund finished a mere 7 seconds off Mikes time of 20:46 for the 4,4km, while Zoe Brentano and Christie Courtnage - both RACO stars - ran in a tie third place behind Sarah Pope for the Ladies 4,0km.
The full details of all finishing placings is available in RESULTS Now.
OWL EYED IMPALA LEGGED MIKE !
Showing a keen eye in the dark to match his fleet-footedness, Mike Crone just ran away from his rivals at Saturday night's race at the Houghton Golf Estate ! The only competitor to dip under the 20 minute barrier in the men's event. Michele Botha continued her winning form - not phased one bit by the dark and fast ground conditions - to claim yet another Women's course win for the Urban Series. Connor Morrison and Keagan van Huyssteen continued their battle for the Novice title - with Connor taking it by a mere 36 seconds on Saturday.
A large entry saw little of the scenery, but all kitted with a lamp of sorts, managed to find their way around the Brian Courtnage designed courses. Here Evan Howell speeds into a control......
To see how you fared, go to RESULTS for all the details.
Great to see the popularity of these night challenges - with the next one taking place next weekend at Randpark Golf Course - with everyone, including many newcomers coming out to have some real fun !
FAIRIES IN EAGLE CANYON !
One could be forgiven for thinking that the fairies had arrived in Eagle Canyon – masses of moving lights wandering about in semi-organised fashion all over the golf course ! The occasion ?.... the Canyon’s first ever Orienteering event in the dark.
With a record entry of over 200 participants (although a few did not make it to the start) bolstered by the support of no less than thirty two groups of residents - the night race can go down as a record for the Urban Series in Gauteng !. The pleasant surroundings, ambience of the Event Centre at the clubhouse, the sponsored wors rolls and other refreshments coupled with a stunning sunset....what more could one ask for ?. Oh, and there were some tough courses !!!
While there were a few retirements - notably some experienced Orienteers (no names, no pack-drill !) and some runners who got their money's worth.....the elite lot came very close to the predicted winning times. Perhaps the dark conditions adding a few seconds per leg !
Bradley Lund took the Mens race in a time of 24:06, with his nearest rival - showing prowess in the dim light - Nicholas Mulder, over 2 minutes behind. Third spot went to Michael Crone. Michele Botha simply trounced her opposition, finishing nearly 4 minutes in front of Jessica Lund and Sarah Pope. Cameron Morrison blasted around the 2,9km Novice course in 29 minutes. ALL THE DETAILS AND FINISHING TIMES CAN BE FOUND IN RESULTS.
A big thank you to Eagle Canyon Estate and their Home Owners Association for allowing us Orienteers into their 'space' ; special thanks to the HOA PR Karen van Huyssteen and appreciative thanks to Tim Crawford of Rawson Properties for the very welcome after-race 'dinner' for all competitors !
As always we acknowledge all the RACO club members who assisted on the evening. See you all at the next night race at Houghton Golf Course on 11 April !
GAUTENG ORIENTEERING CHAMPIONSHIPS - BULLETIN 1 NOW AVAILABLE
The first announcement for the Gauteng Orienteering Championships to be held at Hilton College (KZN) on 4/5 July is available. Go to EVENT NOTICES for the details and entry form. Remember, ANYONE can enter - its not only open to the so-called 'hot-shots' !
NIGHT SERIES ENDS ON A HIGH !
The highly popular RACO Night Series - events run on local Golf Courses - has been a huge success ! The three events over a period of three weeks has drawn record entries (a total of around 500 people participated over the three evenings). The Pre-Entry system has helped hugely in the smooth organisation on the night and we thank everyone for co-operating in this regard. Be sure to watch out for more night races in 2016.
Now that you newcomers have enjoyed the Night Series so much - you need to try it in the sunlight....guaranteed you'll see a lot more of the terrain ! After the next two Urban events, we head back into the Bush Series.....a real treat in some wonderful countryside. Navigation is a bit more challenging, but we'll show you how to do it all. See you at the next events.
URBAN SERIES PERFORMANCE LOG NOW AVAILABLE
As the 2015 Urban Series draws towards the sharp end - with only two events left !......go check out your position in the overall points Log, now available in RESULTS. There are tussles all the way down the field - so, no matter you didn't win any races....you may just be in for an Age Category prize !!!
PLEASE VOLUNTEER TO HELP AT EVENTS !
We know not all of you Members are willing to take on the Planning of an event - but there are many other little tasks on the day that need your input ! While we gratefully thank those that have stepped forward this year so far, the general organisation on the day (Registration, Starts etc) has been left to a small dedicated band of people....but let's face it they also need a break !!!!!! With RACO's showpiece events (the GOC and SA Championships) coming up later, please offer to give your assistance. YOUR CLUB NEEDS YOU !
WEEKEND TRAINING – EVERYONE WELCOME
Contact Tania at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are keen to partake in the Free Training Sessions.
NEXT TRAINING :
10 May - Urban Series #9 - The Campus (Sandton)
24 May - Urban Series #10 (FINAL) - Westcliff
BIG FIVE YEAR !
The First Bulletin for the 2015 Big Five Series of events - starting 27 December - is now available in EVENT NOTICES. The five events take place over five competition days, around the Nelspruit area and usually attract many overseas competitors as well as SA runners. Go take a look at what's on offer !
RACO EVENT MANUAL PUBLISHED
The RACO EVENT MANUAL is now available in GUIDELINES. This Manual sets out all the necessary steps and Procedures to stage a successful Orienteering Event. It is an aid for Planners, Controllers and Organisers and also contains Checklists and Templates.
Good idea for Orienteers to read over the document ....so you know what it all entails and in future forgive organisers - who are all volunteers doing it for the love of the sport - who do not get it spot on on race day !!!
ONLINE EVENT ENTRY
All SA Orienteering events are listed on the On-Line Entry Service at:
Procedure: Register on the site. Click on Country and Event (by date) follow the instructions to enter any event.
ALL RESULTS NOW AVAILABLE
Go to the RESULTS Section to see all the results of this year's races and the latest Colour Coded Performance Log. Acknowledgements to Richard Lund, for his never-ending hard work in this department !
NEW START PROCEDURE - FOR DUMMIES !
The newly adopted "Sarah Pope" Start Method works fantastically well - for organisers and competitors alike - provided everyone is tuned in ! It's really quite simple - but amazing how some people can't understand the concept. So here it is - New Start Procedure Made Simple:
1. Choose a Start time for your course from the Chart supplied at the Start area
2. Write your name in a blank block on the chart
3. Write that time on your Start Stub
4. Remember that time !!!
5. Be available at Start at least 5 minutes before your official race start time
6. The Control Clock is set 2 minutes ahead of the Race Clock
7. When the Control Clock indicates your Start Time - proceed to starting pens
8. Hand your Start Stub to Official
9. Start Official will instruct you to move forward at T-1, then count down to your Race Start
10. QED !!!
In future there may not be an Official at the Control Clock and chart.....so, keep focused whilst in the start area. You miss your start time - you get dumped back in the queue to the next available time slot ! Period. [Internationally, a competitor missing a start time would be penalised- ED].
Oh, and one other issue....no, madame, we do not generally sync our clocks to a satellite !!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAT IS ORIENTEERING ?
Orienteering is an outdoor adventure activity, which involves finding your way through unfamiliar terrain using a specially prepared map and your own common sense. It can be compared to a treasure hunt. In Orienteering, you learn to read the map, measure distances, use a compass and find your way in cross-country surroundings and at the same time have fun.
Participants leave the starting point at regular intervals and must find their way to several checkpoints, set-out at various features in the area and return to the finish, after visiting each checkpoint. The competitor with the shortest elapsed time on each course, is declared the winner.
The activity can be enjoyed by adults and children - old and young - fit or unfit. As you set your own pace walking or running - it is ideal recreation for individuals or groups. Families are welcome to try Orienteering, going round the course together.
The length of an Orienteering course varies from 1,5 km with six to ten controls for beginners, up to about 10 km for the more adventurous. The challenge is yours !.