The ACT MTBO titles held last weekend produced some of the best racing of the year on terrain that was well suited for the varying disciplines. The sprint saw riders negotiating the maze of single track at Sparrow Hill. The middle had them merely go on the opposite side of the road into Kowen East, which gave a mixture of single track and fire roads. On Sunday riders assembled in the middle of Kowen Forest at the Homestead Campgrounds and mostly had very fast fire tracks with intriguing route choice options. All courses were master minded by Sean Sunley and Julie Sunley cheerfully handled the admin.
The men’s elite had quite a lot of depth and the podium places were shared around as follows:
Sprint: Ricky Thackray, Seb Dunne, David Simpfendorfer
Middle: Todd Novack, Seb Dunne, David Simpfendorfer
Long: David Simpfendorfer; Todd Nowack; Ricky Thackray
NSW’s Steven Todkill was just outside the placings on each ride, as was WA’s Ian Dalton.
Women’s elite saw Carolyn Jackson (who had won 3 gold medals in W50 World masters the previous weekend) strongly challenged by Danielle Winslow, a former foot WOC representative and top adventure racer, who was undertaking her first competition after the arrival of her first child. Carolyn took the honours overall but Danielle certainly made her work hard. Janet Street grabbed the third places ahead of Jasmine Sunley.
There was some great potential shown by a whole bunch of juniors who rode some fast kilometre times. Paul Jongh (“fresh” from 3rd place in the World solo 24 hr Mtb U23 race) shared the spoils in M20 with brother Ian. Alysha McNee rode fast to win W20, as did Gaby Withers in W16. Gaby is quite experienced for her age, even having ridden a public race in Estonia recently. The M16 class saw close racing between Ballarat’s Declan Dickson and Canberra’s Steve Melhuish and NSW’s Eddy Prentice. Declan took the trifecta of wins but was hard pushed by Steve in all of them. Patrick & Tristan Miller shared the spoils in M14 while Sonya McNee literally grabbed the choccies in W12.
The closest finish of the weekend went to Jennifer Strack, who was thrilled to win the W50 long title by a mere 3 seconds ahead of Heather Leslie. Congratulations to the masters who managed to win all 3 events: Malcolm Roberts, Keith Wade, and Dale Ann Gordon.
Victoria dominant state in MTBO in 2013.
Victorian Nugget riders capped off a busy competitive year at the ACT MTBO titles in Kowen Forest by winning back the Orienteering Australia Shield (which is contested over all 3 Australian title events) with Queensland 2nd and 2012 winner NSW 3nd. The ACT sprint title also doubled up as the Australian Sprint Championships.
Victorians were also dominant in the National MTBO Series which was finalised after these championships.
Point summary for placegetters is:
494 Victoria; 286 Queensland; 280 NSW; 106 ACT.
Overall state age class winning states and individual 1st & 2nd places were:
State 1st 2nd
M14 ACT Patrick & Tristan Miller (ACT) draw
M16 VIC Declan Dickson (V) Eddy Prentice (NSW)
M20 QLD Karl Withers (Q) Tim Jackson (V)
M21 WA Ricky Thackray (WA) Callum Fagg (TAS)
M40 QLD Craig Steffens (Q) Bruce Patterson (V)
M50 NSW Malcolm Roberts (NSW) Rob Prentice (NSW)
M60 VIC Peter Cusworth (V) Paul Haynes (NSW)
M70 VIC Keith Wade (V) Blake Gordon (V)
M80 VIC Graeme Cadman (V)
W16 QLD Gaby Withers (Q)
W20 ACT Alysha McNee (ACT)
W21 VIC Carolyn Jackson (V) Danielle Winslow (TAS)
W40 NSW Carolyn Matthews (NSW) Julie Sunley (ACT)
W50 VIC Heather Leslie (V) Norah Skilton (Q)
W60 VIC Kathy Liley (V) Julie Fisher (Q)
W70 VIC Dale Ann Gordon (V) Jenny Sheahan (V)
W80 VIC Joyce Rowlands (V)
2014 will see a lot of travel for keen mtb orienteers, starting in January when over 30 are travelling to the multi-day carnival in New Zealand. The national series has races in 3 states: Queensland in May -Selection Trials for Junior & Elite World Champs too; Alice Springs in June for Australian MTBO Champs, and to WA for round 3 of the Series in early October.