Dave Shepherd and Rachel Effeney are the leaders of the SILVA National Orienteering League after winning the final race of the Queensland series, a long mass-start race start of Brisbane, today.
Both wins were by comfortable margins of about five minutes. Effeney was in doubt going into the weekend with a heel injury which kept her out of the final day of Easter, but followed up her Saturday win with another triumph today to give her maximum points for the fourth time this season. It was a much closer contest behind her, with the next four separated by only just over a minute. Aislinn Prendergast won a sprint finish against Anna Sheldon for second, while Susanne Casanova did likewise against Jasmine Neve for fourth.
Whilst Shepherd’s win was predictable there was unpredictability behind it, in the form of a career-best result on home ground for Oliver Mitchell, who came through the field on the third loop to take second place, ahead of Murray Scown and Lachlan Hallett. Another local to achieve a personal-best result was Oliver Crosato in sixth.
Oliver Poland continued his good season with a comfortable win over Brodie Nankervis and Todd Neve in the junior men’s, while Heather Muir took out W17-20E ahead of Jacqui Doyle and Michele Dawson.
Shepherd leads the National League by 39 points, although Simon Uppill and Matt Crane have races in hand and will have chances to improve their position in the second half of the season. Effeney took the lead for the first time to be five points ahead of Prendergast, but her four wins should place her in good stead once competitors have enough scores to be dropping their worst ones.
The Canberra Cockatoos continue to run away with the men’s team competition, but a good contest is developing for the women, with the Queensland Cyclones – aiming for their first title – four points ahead of defending champions Victorian Nuggets.