A pair from the NZ Army won the Autumn Mist 12-hour rogaine in the Wairarapa on Saturday. They were Carl Dickens and Jason Markham, who has considerable orienteering and rogaining experience, but more in Australia than New Zealand. They scored 1890 points of a possible 2500.
The event was run on farmland south of the winegrowing area of Martinborough, from river flats a few metres above sea level to 400m. Conditions were ideal with a crisp clear day allowing competitors picture-postcard views across Lake Wairarapa to the Rimutaka Ranges, which separates the area from Wellington. The first hour and last 30 minutes of the 6am-6pm event were in darkness.
In second place on the day was the Blenheim father-and-son team of Alan and Richard Holdaway. However as has happened too often recently, the pressure to declare a result quickly allowed an error through and Tony Gazley and Chris Tait were later given second place with 1690. A pity because the Holdaways were only 10 points further back on 1680.
The errors are not necessarily generated by the result crews, the question-and-answer method used for controls (and which have helped get rogaining going in NZ) makes for a fairly messy indication of where teams have been. The solution is to hand out to each team before the announcement of results, a card with their score on for verification. This is even a good idea where orienteering flags and clippers are used.
The veteran mixed category was won by another Blenheim pair, Barry and Susan King, who were fourth overall on 1320. Then followed the top women, Sue Lyttle, Jenny Cossey, Miriam Jones and Harriet Carr (1300), and the open mixed winners Brian Pawson, Matt Bertram, Brian Tweed and Rozy Rawlinson, who scored 1290. And in a remarkable 3-out-of-3 for the Blenheim contingent, Lance Eccles and Mark Wheeler took out the veteran mens award!
A 6-hour event run at the same time was won by Nick Manson and Ted van Geldermalsen, who is possibly NZ's most experienced rogainer having attended four international 24-hour events. Their score of 1050 compares well with the 12-hour winners, but of course there are diminishing returns in this game. And Dave Persson and Russell Higham won the 3-hour event with 540.
Full results appear on the website of the
Wairarapa Orienteering Club. The next rogaine is in Canterbury
on 26 June, details on the
NZ Rogaining page.