Honours and weather conditions were shared in the just concluded Christmas Five Days in the Southern Highlands of NSW. Five Day organisational gurus Dick Ogilvie and Ron Pallas put together an interesting program of events in and around Mittagong and Belanglo and attracted visiting orienteers from as far away as Russia, Sweden and South Africa. Light rain on the first 2 days and overcast conditions for the remainder of the events provided good summertime orienteering conditions.
In men’s A, Simon Uppill had a blistering win in the sprint in Mittagong on day 1 but had to be content with second to Dave Shepherd over the next 3 events, with Shep also taking out day 5 in the technical granite and mining terrain of Soapy Flat in Jellore State Forest. At Soapy Flat Russell Blatchford (pictured chatting to Dave Shepherd) won plaudits as course setter of the week for clever and challenging loops that optimised use of the best areas on the map.
In women’s A, Aislinn Prendergast secured the overall win with 3 firsts and 2 seconds to Bridget Anderson’s 2 wins and 2 seconds. The Christmas Five Day format is a best 4 out of 5 for overall calculations.
Men’s B saw ACT junior star Oliver Poland too strong for Big Foot veteran Michael Burton and Russian Nikolay Sytov. A high quality women’s B field resulted in a win to Australia’s most capped female representative Jo Allison, on the comeback trail after motherhood, from Sweden’s Maria Brodin and Queensland’s Lillian Burrill.
Men’s C went to Malcolm Roberts, D to Steve Flick, E to John Hodsdon, F to Ashley Nankervis, G to Nicholas Burridge and Novice to Noah Poland. Women’s C was won by Paula Shingler, D by Lynda Rapkins, E by Heather Burridge, F by Georgia Jones and Novice by Sophie Jones.
Full results are at the Uringa Orienteers website.
This first week of January sees the National Junior Squad in camp at Belanglo while the Senior Squad is off to Fall’s Creek in the Victorian high country where they will be rubbing shoulders with Australia’s best long distance runners in altitude training.