2002 Whroo & Bendigo, VIC

2002 Australian MTBO Championships – Sprint & Classic Distance

Date:  16 & 17 November 2002
Course Planner:  Keith O’Brien (Sprint), Derek Morris (Classic)
Clubs:  Bendigo (Sprint), Nillumbik Emus (Classic)
Weather:  30C both days

Sprint Event – Kangaroo Flat, Bendigo
This event was the inaugural Australian Mountain Bike Orienteering Sprint Championship. Although it was called a Sprint, the distances and race times suggest the event was more like our current Middle Distance events.
The race was held on the outskirts of Kangaroo Flat (Bendigo) in fine spring conditions. Three riders suffered flats tyres due to the sharp rocky sections on some tracks.
Discussion after the event included “a good area with complex track network”. A number of riders found the combination of technical riding and technical navigation a real challenge.
The map, Break O’Day is on the fringe of urban Kangaroo Flat and has an extensive track network on undulating gully spur / goldmining terrain. It is drawn to a scale of 1:20 000 with 5m contours and latest ISOM specifications. It was printed from OCAD with courses pre-printed. The original map is adapted from a new map by Alex Tarr with track grading and redrawing by Keith O’Brien.

Sprint Results


Classic (Long) race – “Whroo State Forest”
From the organiser Rob Edmonds:
I hope you all got something out of the weekend. Thank you for your support. I have had a number of favourable comments about Sunday’s event. I was amazed at the stamina and determination shown by the riders in difficult conditions.
Some of the track gradings need revision and I’m sure we will continue to work hard on making improvements in mapping standards. Derek and I covered every track in mapping over several days since we began the field checking in June, but grading consistency and ensuring tracks were mapped to the standard specified by the field checking was something we occasionally did not get right.
I would like to thank everyone who helped out, a big thank you in appreciation of your support.
There were club members who didn’t ride, Marion and Bill Johnson and Sue Healy on rego and start.
Kathy Liley who is always ready to lend a hand and was certainly came to the fore at the finish tent after an exhausting ride. Bruce Paterson managed to make sure SportIdent worked. We were very close to not having them switch on, but that’s another story. The good thing was that they were all collected at the finish. Costing $140 each to replace you hope no one takes them.
Ron Frederick, our club president was a tireless worker and kept things ticking over smoothly, while managing to get in a ride and collect controls.

Tim Dent, Ian Stirling, Kevin Maloney, Joyce Rowlands and Helen Edmonds helped set up and pack up. Thank you also to Catherine Wallace for helping with Sportident – a very quick learner. Thank you also to the caterers led by Doris King at the Miners Retreat. Thank you to Blake Gordon for his continuing support throughout the year and on preparing the trophies.
And then there’s Derek, Derek Morris put in a heap of work to set up the courses and place controls. I think we can all give Derek a thank you of appreciation.

Race report
Competitiors arrived at the Miners Retreat picnic area in Whroo SF wondering what would be in store for them over the longer-than-normal courses in the dry and dusty tracks… Immediately after starting I realised that this was not your normal “glance-at-the-map-and-ride” type of area. The tracks were more indistinct than usual, and more attention had to paid to the contours to aid in navigation.
Did this fact sink in for me? No…… But it did for some – Jim Russell realised that he needed to be very careful in this area and mentioned that he stopped and LOOKED at the map more often than usual.
With this approach, Jim grabbed 2nd place in Open Men – only a few minutes behind the unstoppable Alex Randall. David Searle was happy to bag third after a flat in the last third of the course. The next few competitors in Open Men were close together but all had “mixed” rides punctuated by many small errors on the smaller tracks.
Grant rode around and around… Tom rode off the map… Adrian tied to ride off the map and then thought a puncture might be more fun… Hayden just rode… Dari felt strong but was very untidy… Phil got confused and just left 5 out….

Emily Viner slipped up at number one – allowing Belinda Allison to catch her 4 minutes. Emily had to ride hard to regain this lost time, and ended up 6 minutes ahead at the finish. Carolyn Jackson came in third after losing a lot of time with map troubles.

Paul Liggins came 1st in M35 after the first two riders DQed themselves due to off track riding – probably more to do with not realising rather than a disregard for the rules… Lee Merchant came over from SA and pipped Tim Hately for 3rd.

Most riders from a navigational point of veiw would have been frustrated with their rides – at a guess I would say everyone would have lost more time than usual. The map was tricky and some tracks were quite “indistinct”. Derek did a great job to tape some of the minor tracks but was never going to be able to do them all. The new mapping standards are a learning process and this was just one step along the way towards better maps in the future.

The use of the Sport Ident units added an extra degree of complexity to the organisation but was well received by competitiors – MTBO route choices are often only seperated by seconds rather than minutes – and time lost to errors are very easy to see.

Thanks to Rob, Derek and Nillumbik club for a great day in the bush.

Classic Results