Day 2 of Sprint the Bay was another successful day for Aussie orienteers. In fact it was “moving up” day for a number of our younger men and a “moving further ahead” day for Rachel Effeney.
Rachel won stage 3 by 7 seconds from Angela Simpson (NZ), while Hanny Allston had her best result at 5th and WOC 2011 team members Aislinn Prendergast (10th) and Mace Neve (12th) again ran well, as did Lisa Grant (14th). The men saw Kiwis Tane Cambridge and Tim Robertson remarkably have another dramatic draw for first, (as they did on stage 1) both clocking 16.07. Matt Parton (NSW) had his best result at 5th just 12 seconds behind and 18 year old Oscar McNulty (WA) starred again with 6th place, just 3 seconds further back. Ian Lawford (12th) and Bruce Arthur (14th) again were at the pointy end of the field.
Stage 4 saw our boys take the trifecta with brilliant runs! WA ‘s Oscar McNulty bolted around for his 2nd stage win just seconds ahead of Matt Parton (NSW) and Lachy Dow (ACT) and Victorian speedster Bryan Keeley was close behind in 5th. Bryn Davies (NZ) had looked likely to take the victory but omitted a control near the end. Rachel took her 4th consecutive victory racing home 19 secs ahead of Lizzie Ingham with Ainslin Prendergast again steady in 7th and Hanny Allston was 10th.
Stage 5 on Monday morning on the “Sleeping Giant” map at Te Mata Park is seen as being “huge in determining overall rankings” by the organisers. The area was used last year and is unique because of its mix of intricate vegetation and rock detail with rugged hills and complex track networks. The promise is for physically challenging courses but still with high technical difficulty. Vegetation, tracks and the 5m contours come into play. Stage 6 – the final race at Arataki, will utilise three school campuses and again demand some micro-orienteering.
Rachel Effeney takes a 1min41 sec lead into the last day with a number of Aussie girls trying to move up the rankings. Currently Hanny sits in 8th just 5 seconds ahead of Aislinn in 9th, followed by Mace Neve(VIC) and Lisa Grant (NSW) sitting close together in 10th and 11th and Belinda Lawford aiming to maintain her top 15 position.
Oscar McNulty heads out 2nd overall just 11 secs behind the Kiwi leader Tim Robertson. The top 15 guys are only separated by 4 minutes and includes 6 Aussies. Matt Parton (6th), Lachy Dow (7th), Bryan Keeley (10th), Ian Lawford (12th) and Bruce Arthur (14th) will look to maintain their good form. With tomorrow’s terrain perhaps the danger man is NZ’s super fit Chris Forne, currently sitting in 11th.