Fence climbers set pace

ORIENTEERING

Orienteering at Gurra Yarda favoured those with long legs.

The mapped extent of this wonderful boulder country just north of Port Lincoln covers about 25 paddocks which meant a lot of fences.

Difficulties in negotiating well-strained and sometimes barbed-wire-topped fences were a common topic of post-event conversation, particularly amongst those blessed with short legs.

 It is not surprising, therefore, that most of the days’ winners were competitors of the long-legged persuasion.

Portia Clem is a perfect example, leaping tall fences while scooting around the 2.3-kilometre easy course in a slick 25 minutes, with quick young Elodie Nohlmans, who would have been able to fit under the bottom wire, in second place.

Keen and improving Julie Bassham was a satisfying third.

Paquita White wandered across the road from her home to the event area and, despite carrying an injury, was first individual home on the 3.1km moderate course, with Robyn Lees in second.

Boasting youthful zest and obvious climbing skills the trio of Nik Ellin, Cate Pearce and Anna TeWano succeeded in posting the fastest time in the same course.

Jane and Elke Thomas were just four minutes in arrears, with the Reichstein family, ably supported by Sebastian Clem, in third.

Jennie-Lee TeWano covered her 4.1km moderate course in a very good 53 minutes, finding 17 fence-crossings no hindrance.

In their first year of orienteering, and seeming to enjoy every minute of the competition and the challenges, Lauryn Farmer and Jonathan Story were first of the groups.

In the very popular and hotly contested hard-X course, Cath Dickie once again proved the advantages of experience and stature, winning by three minutes over Jenny Lawson; Gordon Pope, who is more familiar with constructing fences than scrambling over them, was a close third.

In the hard short course Barry Hetherington succumbed to Elise Clem’s gymnastics skills – a fellow competitor swears she saw Elsie cartwheel over one fence – which enabled her to complete four hard kilometres in a very fast 44 minutes.

Although his combined routine earned him accolades from onlookers, especially the arabesque at fence one, Kevin Vigar’s efforts placed him only in the bronze medal position.

Newly crowned SA Champion Tim Ashman included his run in his training regimen for the upcoming Australian Championships, where he has firm top-three capacity, hardly noticing 18 fence crossings on his way to covering a challenging 5.6km in just 44 minutes.

Long-time club member Tim Klau, in perhaps his last local run, came in second, with Alison Hoopmann third.

After the event, both being very long-legged, course planners Marc Dickie and Phil Clem gratefully accepted recognition of their efforts from all vertically-challenged competitors.

The next orienteering event celebrates the end of the season, with a mixture of traditional and novelty courses at Coffin Bay on Sunday, September 16 from 10.30am. Courses suited to regulars and newcomers.

Assembly area will be the yacht club lawns, where the electronic barbecue will be popular; please bring your own drinks and food.

For details contact David Winters 0427 022 294, or visit www.lincolnorienteers.com.au/