On Tuesday the first cassic event took place.
In a nutshell, it was tough. 6 out of 6 Aussies agreed that the course was very difficult. (but perhaps in more colourful language)
The map was large (B4) and was very colourful with lots of dense forest, many uncrossable features and decent contours to contend with. Many competitors were over the 140 min time limit and many competitors did not find the required transmitters.
Kristian and Nelly competed on 80m.
Ewen, Jack, Jenelle and Peter competed on 2m.
Kristian completed the course in 124 mins.
Ewen found 1 Tx and finished on time.
Nelly finished in perfect time (with 44 seconds to spare) but unfortunatley didn’t find any Tx’s.
Peter, Jack and Jenelle found 1 Tx each but finished over time.
Todays sprint event was more enjoyable for all competitors. The open forest in this area allowed for quick running. All of the Aussie competitors found all of their Tx’s except for Peter and Jack.
The uncrossable fence 2/3’s of the way down the map caused some difficulty for many competitors trying to find transmatter 2F (Which also had its antena knocked down on the ground for approximately 20 mins during the event.)
After the sprint Jack, Nelly and Peter went on a tour to the unification observatory and DMZ museum.
Ewen, Jenelle and Kristian explored a local film set that contained many historic replica buildings from different periods and thought that they might find some instruments to assist in the local terrain.
Jenelle found a ladder (intended for storming castles) to assist with the impossible hills, whilst Ewen and Kristian found a battering ram to assit with getting through the inpenetrable forest.
6 athletes (5 from VIC and 1 from Qld.) Are currently in Sokcho, Korea for the 19th ARDF World Championships.
In the usual fashion competitors made their way to Korea all at different times.
Jenelle and Ewen were the first to arrive, enjoying a week long tour of Korea before the event.
Peter and Kristian met up with Jenelle and Ewen just a couple of days before the event. As a team we headed on a tour to the DMZ and individual members enjoyed some of the historic and cultural sights around Korea.
On the arrival day Jack and Nelly met up with the rest of the team in Sokcho.
The following day we had training with 3 seperate model events which were held in the area surrounding the accomodation.
During the model events all equipment was tested and working except for one of the 2m beams had a broken BNC connector, but luckily there was a spare. (however the spare PVC beam exhibited a design flaw so no doubt a fault report will be lodged with the manufacturer on our return.)
The first event was the fox-or which was held today.
For each age category a different map was produced with only the required Tx’s shown. There were a total of 10 Tx’s (10mW) plus the beacon (3W) but the longest course only covered 8 of the TX’s (map shown below for M21). Each Tx had its own morse identifier and were numbered 1-5 and 1F-5F.
The frequencies for the foxes were 3520 kHz (1,2,1F,2F), 3550 kHz (3,3F,4,4F) and 3580 kHZ (5, 5F) with the beacon being on 3600 kHz.
All Australian competitors completed the course within the allocated time.
Jenelle and Ewen both finished 7th in thier categories.
Kristian finished 24th in M21.
Nelly finished 27th in W21.
Peter missed 1 Tx.
Jack missed 2 Tx’s.Full results can be viewed for todays fox-or event here:
With the forecast wind and hail, 9 brave souls attempted the ARDF Sprint training held in and around Deakin Uni. A couple also did some of the Enduro controls, which was an orienteering event starting from the same spot.
The format of the event was a Five-in-Five 2m event, which in theory is possible to complete in about 6.5 minutes, followed immediately by an 80m Sprint ARDF event. Five-in-Five uses classic 5 minute cycle (1 minute each) ARDF transmitters spaced close enough that it should be possible, walking, to get to each transmitter as it comes on first time (for you). Only Jack WWW managed to get the transmitters in under 10 minutes (2 cycles). Good effort, Jack ! He admits he had a bit of luck, with earlier competitors just leaving transmitters as he approached, helping to lead him in. The time limit for this part of the event was set to 30 minutes. The transmitters were all in parkland, just off a track. In you look at the splits, below, you’ll also see Jack was the only one to do the transmitters in order, with everyone else going from #1 to #5, and then to others. Perhaps some just happened across #5 by accident ?
Mark, Suzanne & Rodney elected to only do the Five-in-Five course, with Mark the winner amongst those. Suzanne suffered some late penalties (problems with #1), but still beat out Rodney for second place. Looking at the splits at control 6 (236), Jack was clearly the fastest at this part of the event, followed with an impressive 11 minutes by Jenelle.
An ARDF sprint event has a 1 minute complete cycle, with each transmitter only on for 12s each. This was set in an area with both complex buildings, the university, and parkland around Gardiners Creek. TX #5 and #4 were in amongst the buildings and this proved too much for Jack and Peter, but not so Kris and Jennelle, who both managed those with ease. Monica liked #5 so much she punched it twice (see splits below) ! Clearly after being so flustered by those two tricky TX’s, Jack and Peter both also forgot to punch the Finish Beacon (which you are required to do at international events).
And TX #1 in the uni accommodation area ? Well, it had to be there didn’t it 🙂 Can’t make it too easy ! Generally competitors had to plan and DF carefully in this event, as it could be easy to end up the wrong side of the creek. Competitors doing both events had an un-timed (up to a 10min limit) transition leg between 2m and 80m, to get their 80m gear in order. I’m happy to say the software handled this perfectly, and I didn’t have to adjust the times it published at all.
Yep, we got that hail, and the heavy rain, but luckily both were only for short bursts, being perfect running conditions otherwise. Monica says the hail even helped her spot TX#5, as she sought shelter under cover. Besides, it’s good practice and testing for your gear, as sometimes weather can be quite unpredictable at international events. Torrential downpours are not uncommon. Thanks to Ewen for the new 80m Sprint TXs. Proto TX#1 for the 2m set has now been completed (and works), so soon we’ll have a 6-TX set on both bands.
Thank you to everyone who helped pick up the transmitters afterwards, just before the rain came (again). Apologies to Monica for not giving her a key on her first attempt.
Here’s the map, with TX locations shown. I’ve used A->E for the 80m TX, and 1->5 for 2m TX. BB was the location of both 2m and 80m beacons.
The long and winding road from Moldova through Transylvania to Walachia (north to south)
From our rural retreat in Maramures we headed east to Moldova crossing the Carpathians by the Borgo pass road enroute to Bucovina. Egg painting is a competition among the villages at Easter time.
Lunch today was Mici, a rectangular meat pattie cooked on a BBQ and served with mustard sauce.
Visited two painted monasteries (orthodox). The first was for the local community (Moldovita) and used as a refuge in times of siege. Note the wall and the strong wooden gate.
The second was for the clergy (Sucevita). The outside walls of the church was decorated, one illustrating the difficult path in getting into heaven. Inside, the frescoes showed various methods of torture and head lopping. Again a walled garden and plenty of room for the local community to shelter in times of siege.
Next highlight of the road was the animal reservation with animals native to the area. One sad and lonely bear, a small herd of buffalo and several different species of deer.
We drove through the Bicaz gorge (river running down the side). Sampled some green nut jam. Walnuts cooked in a syrup halfway between golden syrup and malt extract. An acquired taste.
Our route took us past Lake Rosu, really a dam and then onto Brasov.
Brasov is also fortified. City square with Lutheran church – aka Black Church due to a fire. Johannes Honterus was
responsible for setting up the Lutheran church and the building of the first school (directly across from the church). The original school was wooden but suffered the same fate as the church and was rebuilt in stone.
It has been particularly pleasant having an evening stroll through the many pedestrian malls in our travels.
Fort on the hill outside Brasov. Spectacular view of the surrounding country.
Bran castle – summer residence of Queen Mary of Romania. No vampires in site. Apparently Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) was have seen it on his way through. The most interesting artifact was the scales of justice. Based on a person’s size and height, if they weighed less than expected they were considered apprentices of Satan and torture would commence. Hopefully you can read the information in the photo.
The most elaborate building in Transylvania is Peles Castle. Unfortunately only outside views, but obviously prime real estate.
Our guest house at Maramures is located in a peaceful rural setting apart from the chainsaws, angle grinders and whipper snippers. Hospitality here is exceptionally good.
Dinner was in an open air setting
Entree meat balls, soft cheeses, pork fat and tomato with onion bread
The lightest, fluffiest and tastiest donuts ever with blackcurrant jam
All washed down with Palinka and black currant “cordial”
Needed a sleep in after last night!
Late start, headed for the local market, plenty of “stuff” to buy from clothing, shoes, manchester and tools. Too late for the animal market. Probably a good thing.
Checked out a modern monastery at Barsana, beautiful wooden buildings and gardens, church with pictorial stories.
Memorial to the opponents of the communist regime, very bleak place.
In a complete contrast we visited the Merry cemetery at Sapanta with colourful wooden headstones with pictures of deceased in their occupations and poems about them (all in Romanian of course)
Spent a leisurely afternoon in the outdoor area. We have eaten so well the last few days Ewen has survived since breakfast on only one jam pancake.
We could not escape Maramures without a ride on the Mocanita narrow gauge railway at Viseu de Sus very close to the Ukrainian border. For the more ardent train fans it was a 1930s vintage steam locomotive that was used to transport timber down the valley. Originally timber was floated down the river, but after a dam burst the train line was built. The 21km ride to the turn around point was supposed to take just over 2 hours. It became pretty evident early on that at the current speed something was amiss and it would be a lot longer (3 hours eventually). Repairs were needed along the way and after much banging and crashing a bearing was suitably adjusted and we continued on our way. Included in the tool set was a most impressive oil can.
The track followed the river most of the way. Still plenty of logging happening here with some unorthodox methods of transportation. A large tractor pulling 10 -15 m logs down the river and smaller pieces being drawn by horse driven carts.
At one point the river narrowed with steep cliffs and caves hidden behind bushes. It was here that the German army had a first aid centre and stored supplies. It was also the point when they planned to ambush the Red army. There was a small museum at the turn around point and a picnic ground.
The return trip took only 90 minutes which was a relief. Sufficiently rocked, rattled and shaken for the complete trip.
There are a few obstacles along the roads in Romania, this cart was one of the smaller ones.
PS Jenelle is having a love hate relationship with the formatting!!
Our trip began with a short 20 hour flight to Bucharest. The most impressive building in the city is the Parliament House, second largest building only to the Pentagon. Ceausescu thought he would leave his mark by commencing this build, fortunately for the people of Romania he didn’t live to see its completion. It is a magnificent building inside, very tastefully decorated with high ceilings, marble floors and beautiful rugs and chandeliers. (no photos unfortunately as did not have a camera pass)
Another beautiful building was the auditorium for musical concerts. We chanced upon workers changing a light globe, quite an art in itself.
We visited the old town and enjoyed a drop of the local ale.
Many old buildings in state of disrepair, including this ruin outside our hotel window. (more interesting than a carpark) Taken from our room as there was a sign outside indicating no photos to be taken (left over from communist regime)
From Bucharest we headed west to the church (in white limestone) where the Romanian kings were buried. Lavishly decorated inside. Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) lived in the building behind this church.
This is one of the fortifications that the Austrian Hungarian Emperor sent German people to build in 12-13th century. It has suffered due to earthquakes over time. Opted not to climb the 1460 steps. Chose to indulge in a Romanian donut instead!
There was a very large dam (about the size of Hoover Dam) that needed closer inspection. Traversed the Transfagarasan Road (of Jeremy Clarkson fame), (perfect for road testing a corvette or similar vehicle) and then took a cable car for a less exhilarating ride.
Please excuse the erratic formatting. Only get to practice this once a year. Jenelle
Thank you for Kristian and Bruce for writing the blog during the ARDF competition while Ewen was doing his team leader duties and waiting for Jenelle to be rescued from parts unknown. All six of us are all bringing home extra baggage in the form of medals.
Facilities at Sanyo Hotel exceeded our expectations
In our rooms chaos reigned
Photos from the closing celebrations
We left the competition area in fine weather and sunshine (compared to the cloudy wet conditions) to be dropped off at various locations. Jack left before the rest of us were up, Greg was settled in for the long ride back to Tokyo, Kristian joined us for the train trip to Takasaki and was last seen running upstairs with his bag to catch his connecting train in under 4 minutes. (a fair indication of his fitness level). Bruce, Ewen and I continued our adventure and finally arrived in Matsumoto.
We spent some time in the Time Piece museum
and then devised our own street-o to various sites including shrines, temples, gardens and the icecream shop.
Choosing dinner is always an interesting experience, our choices so far have been most acceptable.
Yesterdays trek was along the Nakasendo Way (built during Edo period) commencing after a 20 minute bus ride from Nakatsugawa, and continued through Magome to Tsumago. At this point (after 3 hr 30 min of walking and lots of up and downhill) Ewen and I opted for the bus to Nagiso station. Bruce continued on foot and arrived at the same time as the bus.
We have sorted out our transport across the Kurobe – Tateyama Alpine Route and will head off today for the start.
Today’s blog comes from Bruce, and covers the last 2 days of competition here in Gumna.
However, before that, here’s some pictures from the awards ceremony covering the first 2 days.
Yesterday was the 2nd classic ARDF event; 2m for Jenelle, Ewen & Jack, 80m for Kristian and myself.
Yep more wettish conditions, but far less rain, more just humidity and wet forest. After issues with water somehow making it into the 80m sniffers the day before, in the torrential rain on the Sprint day, we were all equipped with multiple layers of plastic bags today.
The Start location was the same, but we went the opposite direction.
For some reason they had North at an angle and downwards on the map; no orienteering conventions followed here ! At least there are blue North lines.
The terrain was hillier, with some pretty impressive cliffs.
Kristian wasn’t quite able to maintain his commanding form today, but still managed a commendable silver, as luckily others in Open found it tough too. We estimate the running ‘orienteering’ time would have been under 30mins, so the course length was short, but tricky dircetion finding.
Not the same story in my age group, with some times around 44 mins (well under the Open times, with the TX we didn’t have to find only a few mins extra.
I had an awful day making mistakes/confused on both my first and last TX, so with 2 major errors consigned down to 7th.
All Jenelle’s W60 girls DNF’d either with overtime or no TXs found, with Jenelle heartbreakingly the closest on only 2 mins overtime. The overtime rules in ARDF are sudden death ! Time limit was 2.5 hours. More some navigational confusion this time, apparently. No medals in W60 for this one.
Ewen and Jack have pulled off a team gold. Jack did a great course to get bronze, but Ewen had a pretty awful time on 2m at one of the TX’s, and made it back with only minutes to spare. Those who beat Jack, though, each only had 1 team-mate, and they both failled to find all TX’s, so that puts the team result up the top, despite the pretty average total time.
Greg, as a roving field referee, may have travelled more distance than any of us competitors, as he visited all controls, both 2m and 80m, and he had a fun time walking aroind with his Japanese counterpart. One 80m TX was misplaced, resulting in it being only about 350m from another 80m TX. Both Kristian and my GPS traces confirm this. The organisers are collecting all contributed competitors GPS tracks in order to do some sort of live replay.
So, another pretty good day for the Aussies.
In the FoxOr today, the courses were yet again from the same start area, this time with a map overlapping with the first classic a fair bit, but landscape rather than portrait.
Again Kristian beats all for gold on a physically tough M21 course (only drop 1 particular FoxOr). By a good 25min margin too.
Today he was joined by Jennelle who picked her way carefully through the W60 course to soundly beat the other 2 ladies. Another gold.
Ewen had nothing left in the tank afterwards but did a consistent course to get a well earned silver. The
orienteering expertise showing through.
That’s it for the medals today. Looked for a while like I might get one despite a poor order selection on my part (really I should know better!), but two Lee’s from Korea downloaded very late, both with shorter times, pushing me into the 4th place twilight zone, with Nikolai from USA in first.
Great event by Japan, in challenging conditions, especially the sprint day. This terrain was much more forest runnable than back in 2005.
The only comments I might make were:
– The training day transmitters were not properly representative of those used in the field.
– Downloading at the hotel afterwards is a bit frustrating, not knowing till much later in the day how you fared.
– Transmitter placement a bit off yesterday resulting in TXs too close (but it didn’t really impact on the competition).
– Start list generation needs lots of work. Many in same category starting together.
Pictures from tonight’s awarding ceremony may appear in a later blog.
Initial on land instructions, safety briefing, kitted out and out into the sea to practice paddling, and use of the rudder. Only one unscheduled swim from yours truly, unreal sensation. Paddled for about 2 hours to nearby cove (couldn’t call it a beach). Snorkelled, lucky enough to see some pretty little fish, a couple of larger ones that I tried to pursue but they could swim faster than me. Lunch on the rocks and headed back to starting point, Bruce, Kris and Ewen seemed to be quite proficient. As far as I was concerned steering the kayak was not second nature and invariably became unstuck at a critical moment. Arrived back at our starting point just as the afternoon storm broke. Almost didn’t need a shower to wash off the salt.
Transported back to Shimoda station, with just enough time to book tickets for the train to Tokyo. We journeyed together for part of the way. The last we saw of Bruce and Kris, was them scurrying along the platform to catch their connection in 4 minutes.
Our Friday in Tokyo, Ewen and Jenelle took a bike tour. Very exhilarating riding on the streets of Tokyo, not for the faint hearted.
Saturday trip to Mt Fuji
It took about 40 minutes longer than expected to get to Mt Fuji, bus travel is not the way to go in Japan. Passed an amazing fun park on the way.
Ewen, Mark and Jenelle joined Jack for a tour. We eventually got to Fuji 5th station (where the climb starts) about midday. The traffic was very heavy and crowds of people. Fuji was being coy, and only managed a fleeting glimpse as the fog rolled in.
Visited the lava forest, Shiraito Falls and Lakes and garden.
These activities seem quite tame after more recent events!!