The Twilight season is now well underway, national championships are behind us, and suddenly we are almost in 2024! It is timely to reflect on recent events, celebrate successes and acknowledge all of the commitment and enthusiasm that so many Bushflyers, of all ages and skill levels, are showing as we enjoy all aspects of our orienteering.
As always, this is a busy time of the year for many of us, particularly families, as there are school celebrations to share and enjoy as well as all of the other seasonal festivities.
We wish you all a safe and relaxing Christmas, New Year and holiday period, whether you are at home or away, working or travelling, orienteering or doing other activities.
National Championship Events – Western Australia
A small but committed group of Bushflyers made the journey to WA in October, either as part of the ACT ASOC team, as an ASOC supporting family, or as enthusiastic orienteers wanting to enjoy the special challenges of that WA terrain. We were so fortunate to have such good weather – almost too hot on the Australian Long Championships day, where starts were brought forward by an hour to try to avoid excessive heat for later starters. Well done to all participants and to all place-getters, across all nine days of the carnival.
We are pleased to acknowledge and congratulate the following place getters:
- Australian Middle Distance Championships
- 1st Max Johnson (M Short Hard)
- 2nd Rachel Penton (M/W10 Novice)
- 3rd Katherine Maundrell (W16A)
- 4th Justine Hobson (W20E)
- 4th Paul de Jongh (M21E)
- Australian Long Distance Championships
- 1st David Penton (M35AS)
- 1st Rachel Penton (M/W10 Novice)
- 2nd Valerie Barker (W70A)
- 2nd Tom de Jongh (M55AS)
- 3rd Matty Maundrell (M14A)
- 4th Paul de Jongh (M21E)
- 5th Katherine Maundrell (W16A)
- 5th Emma Penton (W Open)
- 5th Justine Hobson (W20E)
- Australian Sprint Distance Championships
- 1st Rachel Penton (M/W10 Novice)
- 3rd Justine Hobson (W20E)
- 3rd Valerie Barker (W70A)
- 4th David Penton M40A)
- 4th Emma Penton (W40A)
- 5th Katherine Maundrell (W 16A)
- 5th Ben Mansell (M12A)
- Matty Maundrell, who was awarded the ASOC Rob Simson Memorial Shield for Best Newcomer 2023, at the ASOC presentations. This is a relatively new award and is a wonderful recognition of Matty’s participation in ASOC, and his commitment to developing his orienteering skills and experience.
- All of the Bushflyers who represented the ACT in the 2023 ACT ASOC team.
- Senior Girls – Katherine Maundrell
- Senior Boys – Max Johnson, Josh Mansell
- Junior Girls – Naomi Penton
- Junior Boys – Ben Mansell, Matthew Maundrell
We also acknowledge and thank the team officials, especially those who are Bushflyers: Tom de Jongh (Manager) and Paul de Jongh (Coach).
… And more important acknowledgements
- Patrick Maundrell – who abandoned his Moderate course at the Twilight Red Hill event on 1st October, to get back to the Assembly area and get support and assistance for badly injured David Hogg. This is a great example of exercising qualities of sportsmanship that are highly valued in orienteering. (I gather he later got out to compete an Easy course, which he flew around!)
- Ken Mansell – have you read Ken’s article about orienteering as a family sport, in the latest (December) issue of The Australian Orienteer? Many of us can relate so well to this, having been introduced to orienteering through our children – at school, in Scouts or from other related sports.
- The recent SC-ORE series, run during October/November, has again been organised by Susanne Harryson. Among the regular helpers were Ken Mansell, Tom de Jongh (photographer), David Stocks, Chris Stocks and Valerie Barker.
- ACT Controllers’ Workshop (25th November) – Bushflyers participants were David Stocks, Matt Stocks, Paul de Jongh, Chris Andersen and Valerie Barker. Workshops such as these are so important to help build capacity and expertise in our club and state organisations, enabling the presentation of high quality events at local state and national level, with a particular focus on course-setting, controlling and organising.
- Those juniors who are joining a large group of young orienteers from the ACT and other states at the Beechworth Junior Development Camp in December (Justine Hobson, Natalie Miller, Josh and Ben Mansell). You will have a wonderful time!
Bushflyers have already organised and presented two events of the current Twilight series
Thank you very much to the following club members for setting courses and organising the events, and also to their teams of helpers who set up and pack up the event, manage the registration desk and, especially, assist with control collection.
- Twilight Series #1, Wednesday 25 October, Oakey Hill
Course Planner: Matt Stocks Organiser: Valerie Barker
- Twilight Series #3, Wednesday 15 November, Gossan Hill
Course Planner: Sanda Halpin/Alison Inglis Organiser: the Hobson family
Club events in the next few months
You will notice that on the OACT website and in Eventor that the following events are scheduled for the current Metro and Classic series, and then later in the 2023/2024 Twilight season.
- Twilight Series #7, Wednesday 6 December, Mt Jerrabomberra
Course Planner – Peter Antcliff
- Twilight Series #8, Wednesday 14 February, Commonwealth Park
- Twilight Series #12, Wednesday 13 March, John Knight Park
You have already received a request from Jo Hobson for your assistance with the Mt Jerrabomberra event.
Of course, course setters, organisers and controllers/vetters will be needed for the 2024 events as well. Don’t worry if you haven’t taken on any of these roles before as we have lots of people who would be happy to help you out with the practicalities. Watch for Jo’s emails, and consider how you might be able to support our club.
Coming Major Events
- 15 – 20 December 2023, Junior Development Camp, Beechworth, Victoria
- 27 – 31 December 2023, Xmas 5 Days, Terrigal, Central Coast, NSW
- 29 March – 1 April 2024 (Easter) AUS 3-Day Carnival, Lower Murraylands, South Australia
Thank you to those of you who have responded to me following my long message in the last newsletter (August) about the state of our club finances. I am encouraged to note your support not only of my/club decisions, but also of the general trend in the use of our funds for our current members. I did mention the possibility of a Bunnings BBQ. However, that will not happen, or at least not in the early part of the year, as OACT is having a Bunnings BBQ in February. Do watch the regular bulletins for further details, including the ways that you will be able to assist our whole orienteering community.
A 2024 New Year Swarm and Annual Awards
It would be great to have a Bushflyers Swarm early in the New Year; we might consider a traditional Swarm at a member’s home (of the Bring a Plate to Share type), or perhaps a pizza get-together after a Twilight event, possibly the Bushflyers event at Commonwealth Park in February. Please feel free to make suggestions to me, or even offer your home.
And at that event, we will be able to make a number of presentations: 2023 OA Merit Badges, the Ian Booth Award for the most improved Bushflyer at Masters level (based on ACT League Events), and the Bushflyers’ own special annual awards.
Nominations: If you have nominations for the Blue Bottle (Services to Bushflyers) Award and the Fly Swat Award (for the silliest mistake, biggest blunder, heroism under fire, most humorous moment etc.), please email Valerie with these at . I know that I have been told of a couple of potential nominations for the Fly Swat award (although I will need a reminder, please!).
- Do you subscribe to the OACT weekly e-bulletin? What about the Orienteering Australia monthly e-bulletin? Find recent OA e-news, November 2023 here.
- I encourage you to subscribe to each of these bulletins, to enable you to keep up-to-date at both a local and a national level. They have so many links to interesting and inspiring articles, news items, YouTube videos, health and fitness advice…
- And I continue to remind you that I have a range of Bushflyers’ clothing (O-tops and jackets mostly) for sale. The range of sizes is becoming a little limited, but we will still be able to meet the needs of quite a few of our members. Please check with me if you would like wear our Club colours, especially if you are competing in major interstate events.
Keep safe; keep well; and keep moving!
For Bushflyers Orienteering – where no-one gets left on the bench!