Competitors looking for good lead up events to the Australian 3-Days got them over the weekend with ACT League # 1 at Collector Hill staged by the Bushflyers and ACT League # 2 at Snows Hill staged by the Big Foot NSW.
Although ACT League # 1 was advertised as Middle Distance, the course lengths were more the length expected for a normal ACT League event, which is between Middle and Long Distance. While many competitors experienced difficulties with the fallen timber, low visibility, hills, heat and defunct tracks, making it a tough day out for most participants, they appreciated the effort that course planner Patrick Miller (M18) and controller Ross Stewart put into planning the courses and accurate control placements.
Patrick also received an accolade from Barbara Dawson (GO-N) who had the misfortune of suffering a serious injury while out on her course. On hearing of her plight, Patrick went to her aid and helped her walk out of the forest. In her thanks on Facebook Barbara added, ”I am grateful for Patrick’s First-Aid skills, forest clearing and navigation under trying circumstances. Bravo!!” And recognition must also be given to Justine Hobson (W14) who on coming across Barbara unselfishly abandoned her course and returned to the Assembly area to alert the organisers.
ACT League # 2 was a traditional Long Distance event on one of the best spur gully areas in Australia. With few tracks and a lot of termite mounds the Hard courses were challenging. Runnability was often flat out fast, but in some places that were mapped white there were fallen branches somewhat reducing running speed. There were areas of low-visibility, she-oak forest and some tea tree regrowth on old farmland, which were mapped various shades of green. There were plenty of hills, but course planner Simon George and controller Cath Chalmers kept climb down to 3.2–4.6% of distance. The Hard courses had early long legs which required competitors to maintain precise navigation.
Being pre-entry events both had a 10% loading for ACT League points, with the top points being:
- The top five in ACT League # 1 were: Matt Crane 138, Ella Cuthbert 137, Martin Dent 136, Robin Mennet 135, Ian Prosser 134.
- The top five in ACT League # 2 were: Patrick Miller 138, Ann Sutton 137, Jo Allison 136, Pauli Piiroinen 135, Martin Dent 134.
- The best two scores after two events are: Martin Dent 270, Ian Prosser 266, Ella Cuthbert 265, Andrew Kerr 259 and David Stocks 256. The standings after two events is here.