The successful Otago MTBO Carnival finished with a friendly relay yesterday at the Snow Farm, a ski-field high above Cardrona near Wanaka. The rain cleared, the sun came out, though it was a coolish 6 degrees. Riders tangled with a spaghetti-like maze of benched ski trails and motor vehicle testing tracks. The race format involved 2 person teams taking turns to do 2 loops each.
NZ top guns Phil Wood and Chris Forne sprinted in just 17 seconds ahead of Alex Randall and Oscar Phillips to win the long men’s course. Other Australian placing’s in this class included: 4th – Damian Welbourne & Dion Keech; 5th -David Simpendorfer & Paul Darvodelsky; 6th – Ricky Thackray & Ian Dalton.
Marquita Gelderman and Georgia Whitla won “long women” by 3 minutes ahead of Mary Fien & Melanie Simpson. Chris Firman (Qld) paired up with Jen Graham-Taylor (WA) for a convincing win in long mixed, while the mother and son pair of Carolyn and Tim Jackson took out 3rd.
Andrew Campbell (Far North Queensland) teamed with Tim Hackney for 3rd in medium men, whilst Jean Douglas (NSW) paired with Sally Dickson for 2nd in medium women and Carolyn Matthews and Malcolm Roberts (both NSW) did well to achieve 3rd in the medium mixed category.
In “short women” Victorian duo of Heather Leslie and Peta Whitford placed 2nd while Cath Vero (Alice Springs) teamed with Annie Sanderson for 3rd place. And guess what? A bit of a shower overnight, and the next day the hills were coated with a fresh dusting of snow down to 1000m!
New Zealand is to be congratulated in organising such a fantastic carnival despite the earthquake hardships faced by the Christchurch orienteering community. They utilised a variety of interesting terrains, some innovative course setting and also had a diverse range of weather conditions which added up to a memorable experience for all riders.
Snow farm contouring tracks – map below.