Orienteering race 16:17  *** 3.75 km (4:21 / km) +17m 4:15 / km
With the race at 11:20am, the Victorian team had arranged to fly to Launceston on Saturday morning so that we could have a good night sleep at home.
6:15am - team mate Blair arrives on time to drive me to the airport
7:00am - bags checked in at terminal; all good so far
7:05am - noticed that Friday evening's flight to Launceston was back in Melbourne. It couldn't land due to fog and had returned. I thought, "good thing that I didn't take that flight!"
7:30am - Met with about 10 Victorian team mates. Boarding delayed by 30 mins due to fog in Launceston. No problem, we have plenty of time if it is only 30 minutes.
8:00am - Friday's flight boards. Good news
8:30am - Friday's flight still on the ground. Bad news
8:50am - Friday's flight leaves. The fog must be burning off. We must be set to go.
9:00am - Boarding finally. That's fine - we'll make it easily. We finally take off at about 9:20am. The sky is clear all the way across Bass Straight.
10:10am - Tasmania looks great, except that the Tamar Valley is under cloud.
10:15am - Approaching the airport, 500m out, I can see the terminal, but the pilot cannot see the runway. Landing aborted and we take off again back towards Melbourne.
10:20am - Announcement - "The fog is burning off quickly. We're going into a holding pattern and wait". It's not looking good. How much fuel do we have until we have to return to Melbourne?
10:30am - Attempt #2. It's still foggy - will we make it? Touchdown! It must have been marginal. I couldn't see the terminal from the runway. Why would they build an airport in a foggy valley?!? Hats off to the Virgin Australia pilot.
10:40am - On the ground. Only 40 minutes to my start. The rental car queues are long. Luckily I'm with RedSpot and the queue is empty. Quick. Sign anything - just give me the damn keys! Grab the bags off the belt. Warm up jog to the rental car park.
11:00am - Blair drives through Launceston, while Piotr, Clare and I get changed in the car.
11:05am - Finally made it to the race and register. Right, time to relax and warm up properly. The adrenaline was flowing, but now I had to control it.
This is where my Street O experience was useful. All of those events where I turn up at 6:57pm were perfect preparation.
11:20am - I was now warmed up and in a good state of mind and ready to go.
11:38am - 3.75km and 29 controls later I had completed the Launceston University course fast and clean. I passed the runners who started both 1 and 2 minutes ahead of me. I think I nailed 27 of the 29 route choices, with just a handful of seconds lost from an ideal run.
It was quite a complex sprint, particularly in the first 1/3 of the course.
I was careful on the first 8 as it was both slippery and complex. The splits show that I didn't get away from Rob Preston until after this stage of the course.
It felt like the course setter was perhaps trying to trick us with some of the placements up stairs or behind walls.
I should have gone right to 7, and lost 10 seconds zig zagging on the left route.
I think 19 was misplaced on wrong side of hedge. The description was inside corner, but it was placed on the outside corner. I don't usually check those things, but this one affected micro route choice.
Pos Name Club Time
1 Julian Dent NSW 15:14
2 Simon Uppill SA 15:28
3 Bruce Arthur VIC 16:17
4 Rob Preston NSW 16:58
5 Murray Scown NSW 17:07
6 Reuben Smith SA 17:13
7 Ben Rattray SA 17:32
8 Ian Meyer NSW 18:10
9 Peter Preston NSW 18:14
10 Evan Barr VIC 18:20
11 Warren Key VIC 18:27
12 Andrew Hill NSW 18:45
13 Jim Russell VIC 19:09
14 Morten Neve VIC 19:26
15 Piotr Czajkowski VIC 19:36
16 Blair Trewin VIC 19:46
17 David Brownridge VIC 19:48
18 Grant McDonald ACT 21:34
mp Mathieu McGuire QLD 20:40
It turns out the Friday evening flight never made it. It turned back to Melbourne and only returned again at 5pm on Saturday. How lucky was I that I wasn't on that flight!