The 2010 SILVA National Orienteering League kicked off in Victoria with 3 races over the weekend.
Race 1 – Multi-loop Mass Start format
Race 1 was a mass start multi-loop race in the complex gold mining terrain at Chewton Diggings. A well planned event arena enabled spectators to see competitors at seven times during the race. Organiser, Darren Meeking from Melbourne Forest Racers, succeeded in bringing the action of the forest to the public, while Rob Lewis and course setter Simon Goddard provided expert commentary.
There were few surprises in the senior divisions, with the favourites proving too strong. Julian Dent won by a clear margin from Simon Uppill and David Shepherd who fought it out all the way to the line.
It was closer in the women’s race, but the results still finished as expected, with Kathryn Ewels just ahead of Shannon Jones and Vanessa Round.
Leon Keely had a comfortable victory in the Junior Elite Men class, while Georgia Parsons (Cockatoos) surprised some with a breakthrough win in Junior Elite Women.
Race 2 – Sprint Distance
Despite the overnight rain and hail in Daylesford, the 18th Eureka Challenge, NOL #2 and the 2-Person NOL Mixed Relay have been run and won in the challenging goldmining terrain at Bryce’s Gully, west of Hepburn Springs. Roch Prendergast’s tough NOL Sprint course was made just that much more difficult with slippery conditions in the rocky ground in the gullies. Back from injury Julian Dent (NSW) scored a clear 3-minute win over Nugget’s Bryan Keely and Canberra’s evergreen Rob Walter. Vanessa Round showed a welcome return to form to win the Women 21- Elite. Laurina Neumann (Qld) showed her Bendigo goldfield terrain practice counted with Canberra’s Shannon Jones third. Tasmania’s Oscar Phillips (M-20E) and NSW’s Emily Prudhoe (W-20E) were both well pleased with their victories in Junior Elite race.
Results (including Victorian State Series #1)
Race 3 – Mixed Relay
The Mixed Relay was a race where the lead changed with each of the 4 legs but the Stingers dynamic duo of Tracy Marsh and Julian Dent edged ahead on the last 1.8 leg to win narrowly from Shannon Jones/Grant Bluett with Susanne Casanova/Simon Uppill third. Rob Plowright’s input certainly made the courses challenging with a good mix of route choice and technical navigation.
All photos by Elise Gueyne