Apr 242009
 

Having been to wet Easter 3-Days in Tasmania before at Bothwell and 7 Mile Beach (the infamous Pittwater Dunes when it rained cats and dogs just at the presentations), a hardy band of 15 Eureka’s finest headed to Launceston in search of glory – and a few sore muscles. The family relay showed that the Lawfords have not lost anything by moving to ACT by taking the overall and handicap plaques. Geoff, Ian and Jenny accepted the prizes in official Eureka gear! Once a Eureka – always a Eureka!

Lawford Win

But it was Day 1 in the boggy paddocks of a gum plantation east of Launceston that started our quest of the ‘holy badge’. Most people agreed that their first control (in a dense pine forest on downhill slope with minor streams dissecting the forest) was the HARDEST CONTROL of the championships. Tom lost many minutes and even relocated off the start! But after those first few controls, we were greeted by the boggy open paddocks with many fences (they were left OFF the map as the course setter thought it made it too easy), with controls in the heavy grass gullies and forests HIDDEN from view until the last 2 steps.

Sunday’s event in the bone dry forest west of Royal Gorge was as much of a topographic contrast as was possible. Blake’s good 4th in M65A on Day 1 turned sour with a 18 minute error on control 2 to drop him to 8th. Dale stayed in 2nd place, while Tom improved to be a few minutes off the pace in M80A on the day. Heather had a good run to finish in the top 10 in W60A, and the invincible Lawfords powered on with Jenny, Belinda, Ian and Geoff all holding GOLD in their classes. Roch was frustrated and queried why a good orienteer (as he is) could not put up a good result at Easter. Aislinn’s run was off the W-20 E pace and she needed a good Day 3 result to realize her ‘Italian Dream’.

After the longest drive on record through a bloke’s property to the start/finish, we were indulged by another perfect day. But would our navigating hold up in the granite and tin mining terrain? Well for most it did – and the results were amazing: Geoff (M50A) 1st, Belinda (W-20E) 1st, Jenny (W50A) 1st, Ian (M-16A) 1st, Dale (W60A) 2nd, Tom (M80A) 2nd, Roch (M55A) 3rd (after a slashing win on Day 3), Aislinn (W-20E) 5th, Blake (M65A) 7th, Heather 10th and Richard – saved his best till the last day to beat 6 in M60 overall! And then the crowning moment -– Aislinn and Belinda named in the JWOC team to Italy! EUREEEEKA!

While the hardy (Aislinn and Belinda) stayed on for the next weekend, most of us headed for the ferry while the Gordons indulged our thrill-seeking senses at Hollybank Treetop Adventure. All in all – a terrific week with many memories. Just ask the Norwoods, Prendergasts, Haebichs, Bices, Gordons or Lawfords. Start making your plans for Easter in Canberra next year – but it would be hard to top this one!

Blake G

Hollybank Treetops Adventure 5
Hollybank Treetops Adventure 4
Hollybank Treetops Adventure 3
Hollybank Treetops Adventure 2
Hollybank Treetops Adventure 1