Friday, 9 January 2015
..but I'm not totally sure.. it's been a blur since about the 31st of December. This post will be some randomly sorted thoughts & images about the last week or so..I really haven't had the camera out much as we've been so busy so you'll have to make do with what I've go. The Facebook page for Oceania has heaps which are great.
So after booting out the tired partygoers on the first day of the year, we straightened up the house and left for 11 days of volunteering at the Oceania and World Cup Orienteering events. We're currently in St Helens and I think the end is almost in sight. I don't have time to get into detail but we stayed for 5 nights in Launceston..
.which would be the most time I've ever spent there I recon. We stayed at the Penny Royal (that cute green house was ours) which was fun and fantastically located for walking up to the Gorge and having a swim after a hard day out in the field..
Until yesterday it's been pretty hot, which has been tough on athletes and organisers alike. The relay day in the shadow of Mt Barrow brought relief to the competitors (that's a photo from the start below) but unfortunately that day was definitely the most difficult for our team in the finish tent. We survived it, but it was stressful.
Clare and I look like we're smiling in the above photo at the relays, but I think we were really grimacing. A lot of late changes to relay teams made life difficult!
Zali and Jett have also survived many early mornings, very hot weather where they have had to be out in the sun running results around, and also having to stand for long hours being 'hostesses' at prize ceremonies. Yesterday Jett staffed one of the two finish stations all by himself for a long time - where he had to give positive feedback if competitors had visited all the controls, and also had to let people down gently if they were about to discover they would be disqualified for missing one - ('The computer says NO') approach isn't what the competitors need to hear so if you have that job you have to be more sympathetic - he did really well.
The kids have navigated pretty well in their races as well. After a bit of a shakey start where he DNFed the first two races Jett has come good, and Zali had been consistent all week. Their best events have been the non-championship ones unfortunately so no prizes for them so far!
The cowbells have been rung loud and proud which has made me very happy. As far as I can tell, the prizes we have given out so far have been enjoyed as well.
Near the end of one long & hot day a late gale blew down the fancy finish structure which meant a very personable finish line was employed for the remainder of the day. In the background everyone is holding onto the results and finish tents - it was tricky getting them down without them blowing away and everything was covered in dust by the end. On a typical day we have about 10 marquee tents up, 12 laptops running, 8 large tv screens showing results, 2 generators, lots of cables, 5 radio transmitter controls out in the terrain, and billions of other stuff. Not to mention just about every Tasmanian orienteer volunteering in all the different areas.
We've stayed in Launceston for 5 nights as I mentioned - which was actually handy as I had to do a last second run to Bunnings to get power boards and mallets 20 minutes before the first start - and we've just moved to St Helens after 3 days at a nice place in Swansea. We've never stayed in Swansea before - it was nice looking out from the cabin across at the Hazards at the end of each day (there was never time to do that in the morning of course)
So all in all it's been going pretty well. The World Cup races have been very successful, the maps have been great, the rest of the competitors have been pretty happy. We have two competition days left and it's hard to believe that in less than a week we'll be in Oslo!