Boston Island hills challenge orienteers

Something to look forward to in any year’s orienteering program is a day on Boston Island, and this year’s May 6 event lived up to everybody’s expectations. 

Sixty fit and keen competitors woke up to a perfect day, the only break in many days of wild and windy conditions.

Course planner Kevin Vigar catered for a large group of local orienteers as well as sixteen from Whyalla and Adelaide; the two courses he offered were in a 90-minute and a 150-minute score format. 

There was plenty of time for both individuals and groups to plan routes before setting off. 

However, in view of the crafty and cunning planner having included only six of the forty controls on each competitor’s map, there was plenty of time for socialising or sharing in island owner Peter Davis’s instructive accounts of life on the island prior to tackling a course.

Competitors found the large and undulating hills of Boston Island emulated, albeit in grander style, the waves they experienced at disembarkation, with both presenting significant challenges.

The course format demanded that orienteers navigate their way over much of the island - zigging and zagging and crossing of previous routes was the order of the day – due to having to reach a ‘common’ control before knowing where the course options might next take you. 

Despite this innovative course planning method causing some confusion and a little bit of frustration, the general consensus was that it was different, exciting and intellectually stimulating. 

To win the 150-minute score event Tim Ashman covered around 19km to gain 595 points, an outstanding effort.

Adelaide visitor Craig Colwell, in his first run on this terrain, came in second with 545; a sad story for local improver Phil Clem is that he would have tied for second if he had run faster or watched his clock more carefully - Phil lost four points for being a minute over time! 

A runner who relished the perfect running conditions on the day, Alison Hoopmann came in fourth on 535 points. 

Trevor Diment from Adelaide was fifth, with locals Elsie Clem and Tim Klau and visitors Zita Sankauskas and Evelyn Colwell not far behind.

Steph and Claire Wilkes were the first group home after two and a half hours, with Daryl Frears and his family and friends just a few points in arrears.

The shorter event was convincingly won by Marc Dickie, who scored a huge 405 points in the 90 minutes; Brian Ashton came in second with Al from Adelaide close behind. 

Portia and Austin Clem teamed up to be the highest-scoring group, with Lyn and Elodie Hoopmann and friend Anika in second place, thoroughly enjoying a unique event on a very unique piece of orienteering terrain.

Lincoln Orienteers offers everybody another orienteering-opportunity- with-a- difference on this coming Saturday night, May 19 – night orienteering on the beautiful pastoral property ‘Mourliya’ at Coomunga; starts any time from 6.30pm – 8pm, bring a good torch, a chair and something for the BBQ (plate and fire provided). 

Signs will be from the Wine Shanty Road turnoff just past the golf course.

For more information call David Winters 0427 022 294, or visit the website