A much-loved fixture on the Australian orienteering calendar, the The Highlands Forest Series aims to give new and experienced orienteers a fun and challenging bushland navigation experience ('true' orienteering - it's where we came from!).
Event 1 was head at Soapy Flat, just out of Mittagong. It's a notoriously tricky map with some very flat, indistinct areas which always managed to trip up some competitors (cough, normally me!).
We saw 62 runners head out into the bush, and some great orienteers were on show, with Alastair George and Duncan Currie both visiting before they compete for Australia at JWOC in July. Alastair won the Men's Long Hard, wit Doug Jay the highest placed SHOO runner in 5th.
In other divisions:
Bigfoot's Paula Shingler won the Women's Long Hard, with Ruth Shedden in 5th;
Garingals Serje Robidoux smashed the Men's Short Hard by over 10 minutes, with Ben Cummins in 3rd;
Nea Shingler won the Women's Short Hard, with a gap of 23 minutes to the next competitor;
In a strange turn of events, there was no winner in the Men's Moderate, with both competitors mis-punching;
Women's Moderate saw Niamh Cassar zip around the course, with Kristie Carroll in a respectable 3rd. Oh, and Liz is still in a moon boot because of this course (thanks Garry!);
In the Men's Easy, Rory Shedden was hot on the heels of the winner, Aco Stamenkovski;
In the Women's Easy, SHOO's Michele Jackson put in a great run to come second in behind Uringa's Hebbat Veschambre;
SHOO's newest, Ben Zids took out his first win in the Men's Very Easy - well done Ben!
A reminder that at each HFS event we will also have a kid's club/development program to allow the kids to have some fun with bush orienteering. Parents can hang around and help out/supervise, or head out on their own orienteering adventure.
The first kid's club for the season started great (check out the pic below), and the kids put in some solid runs as a result. Can't wait to see everyone at Stingray Swamp!