Nothing could match Eureka’s involvement in the 2006 Australian 3-Days at Harcourt! So this year was our time to do all the things we did not have time for at Easter 2006. The weather was typically Ballarat – warm, cloudless skies, dry … and DUSTY! About 25 minutes of each of our daily trips to the forest were on dirt roads which quickly became long DUST trails (easy to see where to turn – just follow the dust!). The forests were complex spur-gully with small to very large stream beds (without the water) dissecting the arid land. We set up “camp” each day for the 14 hardy EU souls that made the 10-hour journey to Burra. Lesley’s job (as she propped her cast up in the wheelchair) was to keep us all entertained – and that she did well with special comments and smiles! The rest of us had the easy job of just getting out there, running the courses, and sharing the after-race descriptions of just where we had been. Some did it much better than others with Jenny (W45A), Geoff (M50A), and Dale (W65A) coming home first each day by good margins. The “could have beens” included four 4th placers Chris (M50A), Belinda (W17-20E), Judy (W45-54AS), and BJ (W55AS+). Ian Lawford (M16A) improved each day to take 6th, while Tom survived the “training exercises” getting Lesley to and from the events to take 6th in M75A. Aislinn’s 12th in W17-20E was a good effort with a top 10 finish on day 2. Roch (10th in M50A), Terry (22nd in M55A) had a good tussle with John E (27th in M55A) – while Blake (M60A) missed a control on day 1 (mp) but managed a 6th on day 2. We certainly enjoyed the club meals together, the afternoon teas, the bubbly spa at the motel, the historic sites and the meetings with old friends from all over the country (even Fred Veler from Eltham College days was there).
Of particular note in the 3-day results – both Belinda Lawford (4th) and Aislinn Prendergast (12th) in W17-20E have qualified in the top 12 girls to go “the next step” on their way to the 2007 Junior World Orienteering Championships in Dubbo, NSW. After final selection trials in May, the final 6 girls and 6 boys will be named to represent Australia at this year’s JWOC. So let’s get behind these girls in their attempt to make it into the Aussie team – the first Eureka juniors since Elspeth Campbell back in the 1993 and Hayden Lebbink in 2004.
Photos on the Photo Gallery page.