Last weekend the Western Australian Championships were held for both the Middle Distance and Long Distance formats.
A new area was mapped for the event and provided numerous challenges for the comeptitors whilst offering spectacular views over the Perth coastal plain as well as the hills to the east. The terrain was open and very runnable with grass and wildflowers, but prolific black boys made visibility difficult.
Craig Dufty showed that he has recovered from his recent marathon with good form to take very convincing wins in both events. Saturday’s Middle Distance course was set by Adrian Day and was an exercise ib concentration from start to finish. Craig led the way, winning all but 2 splits (in the middle of the course). John Toomey was second, with Eoin Rothery in 3rd place. A novelty of the event was a local dog “Tash” who started with Craig, ran part of the course with Eoin when she couldn’t keep up, and then accompanied Ian Dalton the majority of the course. The women (running the same course as the men) started later and When Rachel West headed off to start Tash took off with her, but apparently once around the course was enough as she returned to the finish area soon after.
Cath Chalmers won the womens race, although Rachel West was not far behind, having taken the lead through controls 8 & 9. A good long leg transitioning to the later part of the course saw Cath take the lead again and hold on until the finish. Rachel was 2nd and Jen Graham-Taylor showed that her orienteering is improving quickly, close behind in 3rd.
Sunday’s long course was set by Phil Dufty and proved to be a true long distance test. Craig Dufty was able to capitalise on his recent long distance training to take another very convincing win, but the women’s results were overturned with Rachel West taking the win. Steve Fletcher was 2nd and Ricky Thackray 3rd in the mens, while Jen Grahamm-Taylor also improved on her previous day’s result to take 2nd in the womens.