First-Equal Placings Awarded in Autumn Mist

Wairarapa OC, 17 May 03

Two teams were awarded the first placing in the Autumn Mist 12hr rogaine near Martinborough yesterday: the father-and-son team of Alan and Robbie Holdaway from Blenheim, and Mike Sheridan/Greg Thurlow from Hutt Valley. They scored 1000 out of a possible 1260.

Normally ties are broken by reference to finish time, but this was not a case of crossing the line together! Instead, it arose from the solution to a course-planning error, in which a control circle was marked in the wrong saddle. Although finishing later, Sheridan and Thurlow spent time and actually found the problem control, and the organisers felt this deserved credit. All teams which claimed for going to the marked saddle were credited with the points.

In third place and the winning Mens Vets team were Derek Morrison and Hamish Goodwin from Hawkes Bay, scoring 910. And also from Hawkes Bay was the top Mixed team, consisting of Derek's brother Geoff Morrison and his wife Pamela. It's only a year since Geoff was in Burwood Hospital with three broken vertebrae, and a narrow escape from life in a wheelchair! They scored 840 for sixth place overall. Jacqui Sinclair and Annie Sanderson (New Plymouth) were the top women with 640.

There were also 6 and 3-hour categories, the former won by a knife-edge by Wellington pair Alan Horn and Simon Faulkner. Arriving back 15 seconds late reduced their 440 points to 430, but getting into the second minute would have put them equal with Veterans Alan Stowell and Owen Rouse (also Welllington). Stowell and Rouse would then have won outright on finish time, as well as being first Vet Men. Close behind on 400 was the top Mixed team of Neil and Dorothy Kane, who would also have qualified for Mixed Vets if there had been one. And the winning women were Rachel Dawber and Christine Whiteford. Both these teams are from Wellington.

No-one would have predicted any 3-hour winner other than Malcolm and Gillian Ingham (Wellington), who are formidable orienteers and runners. But they were run close - 10 points - by Peter Watson and his 15-year-old daughter Emma from Hawkes Bay. There were no categories in the 3-hour event.

The event was run in bright crisp autumn weather, with none of the trademark mists in evidence. What was in evidence was a full moon, and conditions would have been ideal for an all-nighter! The 66 teams had an hour and a half's darkness to manage before the finish time of 7pm, and a generous meal in a comfortable woolshed. Results are on the Wairarapa OC website.

Written by Michael Wood and installed on 18 May 03.