The Queensland Championships took on an international flavour this year with 18 orienteers from Great Britain, Canada and Sweden, en route to the World Masters Orienteering Championships, joining over 210 local and interstate orienteers for the two day event.
The Championships were held close to Stanthorpe in Queensland’s Granite Belt with the longer Day 1 courses crossing over the border fence into NSW. The combination of subtle terrain and isolated granite features on the Over the Border map caused even some of the experienced competitors to lose time in the forest. Former Australian representative, Lorenzo Calabro (TF Q)took out the 5.5km M21A middle distance event in a time of 35.14, 4 minutes ahead of Mark Gregson (TF Q) with junior, Kurt Neumann (EN Q) a further minute behind. In the 4.3km W21A course, Anna Sheldon (UGQ) showed her superiority with a 5 minute gap to nearest rival, Laurina Neumann (EN Q) while Melissa Thomas (UR N) was just behind in third place in a comeback to Australian major events after several years in Germany.
Day 2 of the Championships saw a return to the famous Cascades map, west of Stanthorpe, which must rate as one of the most technically complex granite maps in Australia. Few people managed a clean run in this challenging area with many tales of woe and long times. Lorenzo and Anna once again demonstrated their experience and abilities, with Lorenzo finishing his 9.2km course in 88.22, 5 minutes ahead of Blair Trewin (YV V) while Kurt Neumann was a further 10 minutes behind. Anna won her 6.4km W21A course in a time of 71.33, 8 minutes in front of Laurina, while Melissa was a further 13 minutes back to finish in fourth just behind Ainsley Cavanagh.
Other competitors who handled the tough conditions of The Cascades with good runs included Krystal Neumann (W17-20A), Judith Hay (W55+AS), Geoff Peck (M55A), Darryl Erbacher (M65A) and Ray Kelly (M80A).