All trekked north past Warwick for today’s event. The rocks were ditched, but replaced by the even less pleasant Lantana (and other weeds). Even prickly pears made an appearance.
At first it all seemed much easier than yesterdy, and most of the earlier legs were faster running. Perhaps those oreinteers we’d seen returning from early runs covered in sticky seeds has just all taken really poor route choices ? This was all to lull us into false sense of security as the lack of easier discerned features and the weed took their toll.
Nick Collins was going great guns till his control 4, which turned into a 30 minute nightmare excursion into Lantana-land. David Knight took a different route chice to that same control, and was deeply scared he would lose contact with the map. Luckily the D.Knight magic compass came to the rescue and he went over the spur was praying would be there, along a subtle border between nearly inpenetrable and completely inpenetrable Lantana to nail the control. Peter Collins fared better than both Nick and Dad, and managed to soundly beat them both with a good overall result. Incidentally, this same zone was the downfall of Warren Key, who, hard to believe, actually admits being “completely lost; no idea where I was”. Perhaps Rowdy Flat has to demoted the second most technically challenging map in Australia ?
Helen Alexander fared better than yesterday, but still lags the ultra competitive W70 field. Phillippa Collins also fared very well today, pushing up to be only 13s from the leader. I, on the other hand, plummetted from 3rd to 7th in Sledge, after 2 consecutive poor legs wandering around subtle parallel features wasting many minutes. Ewen Templeton mucked up his usual 1 control on his course, so remains happy with his event.
The Elites were all coming in very late, having experienced a gruelling Lantana laden epic.
There was no Sledge presentation today; perhaps the organisers were just worn out after the extra heat and tiredness of the returning Elites. I know the fastest finish split was 16s, way below my 24s (my excuse is someone got in the way!).
Tomorrow is back in the Stanthorpe area, after the O dinner tonight.