postheadericon Mooterdine Moonlight Meander Setter's Report

I decided it was time to set another event as I had been out of the Rogaine scene for a year due to an Achilles tendon problem and it was time to test it out. I talked Frank Coning into setting the 2012 upside down event and so we got started in mid-October.

We picked the Wandering area for two reasons: it was farmland and we had set in this area before and knew most of the major landowners. After visiting Wandering for a day in mid-October, we had permission from these major landowners and had fixed the Hash House site, so the event was a goer.

Unfortunately, both Frank and I suffered some health scares in November, but after tests and spending considerable dollars, we both were pronounced to be OK. Let’s hope we don’t get too many future scares. Jim Langford organised Ann Smithson and Sandra Papenfus to help with the event, Frank roped in Dick Blom, and I got Chris Reid involved. Ann, Sandra and Dick were new chums to the setting and vetting game but their help was greatly appreciated and I think they had a good time and \learned a great deal about the other side of rogaining.  Ann also says that she has learned a great deal, both about setting and vetting and also about rogaining generally.  From the vetting side, control 100 was a bastard to find, but if she had to find it in the dark, she would now think like a setter and approach it from a different direction.

The name Mooterdine comes from a pool of that name in the Hotham river but I do not know the history of it. Unfortunately, during mid November, Ann’s father passed away in England.  She had to make an urgent flight home and did not know when she would be back. Fortunately for us all, she arrived back in mid–December, and we were most grateful for her huge help in the vetting process. Frank, Chris and Dick did the first field set in mid December we had a great time trying to agree on the armchair control positions. As per normal, several alterations were made to these control positions in the field and suffice to say that a couple of major changes were required after Ann and Sandra’s vetting.

The Wandering tavern supplied a few good meals and refreshments to the team and in Ann’s case, even an amorous local admirer, who wanted to stay with her until breakfast time with his bottle of Bailey’s. Ann cannot remember breakfast????

There had been a lot of unseasonal rain in the Wandering area during November and December, which affected the harvesting of the crops and also played havoc with some roads, tracks and fences in some areas. Frank even managed to bog his van in one near control 45, and had to be towed out by an obliging landowner. This unseasonal rain also made us alter a couple of control positions from the east side of the Hotham river to the western side, so that no competitors would have to cross the swollen river at the floodways if there happened to be more unseasonal rain close to the event date, as these floodway’s could be impassable. As a collective group, with a vast difference in experience in rogaining, and in setting and vetting, we tried to organise a course that would be a challenge to both social and experienced teams. From feedback received so far, this seems to have been achieved.

After a few more minor hiccups, and vetting in the heat with the flies, we finalised the map and were ready to hang the controls the weekend before the event. You may recall that the week had been extremely hot and humid, with temps reaching the forties. In order not to get “fried” while hanging the controls, we decided to hang the majority at night. This task was commenced at around 5:00 pm on Saturday 28 Jan and we went until 3:00 am Sunday morning. The things we do for an event! Even a landowner, Brian Cornish, helped us out by giving us a lift in his four wheel drive to hang controls 79 and 105 in the late arvo, which is way above and beyond expectations, but was greatly appreciated. After dusk we had to put up with a plague of small flying insects, millions of them in your eyes, ears, nose, etc, not pleasant, but fortunately these pests disappeared about 9:00pm when a very welcome cool breeze arrived. It was a tremendous relief. Just think that it could easily have been the event Saturday and you were all lined up to take off amongst these flying pests. It would not have been a good look or start. Did not have too many problems hanging the controls at night except that I could not find the marker for control 60, I had not visited this position before, and I said to Sandra, it should be here but I could not see the marker. Sandra then said in a very polite voice, Excuse me, excuse me, and pointed to a tree two metres from where I was standing, which had the marker on. Maybe spec savers are the go for me??? Completed the control hanging on the Sunday morning, a very pleasant morning it was too, and were home by 12:30 pm.

Then it was event day. The toilet truck was early, and I soon put him in the right paddock. The weather was excellent, even on the cool side for February, but was very welcome after the week before. The event seemed to run very well on DMT (Dave Muir Time). The association has bought a beautiful clock, to be used for event timing, in memory of the late David Muir and it performed admirably. Warren wished to try out his new GPS gadget with the Rogaining map, which will improve safety at events, so I went with him in his ute on the first patrol run. All was well in the first half, GPS unit running slightly off in the E/W direction but spot on in the N/S and screen going blank every now and again but a small tap on the screen brought the map back again. On the road near control 103 we had to pick up an injured competitor, who had hurt her ankle. Her other two team mates decided to continue on as an unofficial team. It was a very entertaining trip from here to the water drop at control 75 then back to the hash house, with the young lady (no names) having trouble sitting between the two of us squeezed between the two way radio and the console in the ute. She kept mentioning that her pants were sliding down and her bum was getting sore, so when we reached the water drop Warren found some padding for her posterior, to ease the pain for the rest of the journey. There were other spicy bits, but enough said, and we all arrived safely back at hash house. The event went very well with no other injuries that I know of, and all teams arriving back safely and on time. How many found the lolly jar at control 93??? 

Congratulations to all the category winners, and a special congratulations to Ricky and his team for an outstanding effort for completing the course. Well done! A great effort by the second and third teams also, in almost completing the course. I hope that you all enjoyed the event and that you had a good time in the unusually cool night air, and all arrived home safely. Thanks to all the control collectors, your efforts were most appreciated, and to all who helped pack up and clean the site, a job well done. A big, big thank you to all the landowners, a tremendous bunch of special people, who gave us permission to traverse their land and to Maurice and Vivienne Sewell whose land we were camped on. I must also thank my fellow setters and vetters who have done a mighty job, in sometimes very hot and trying conditions, and special mention must be made to Frank for producing a great map after many minor setbacks. Your combined efforts all helped to make this event another memorable one. Ann also adds that from her perspective, she appreciated everyone’s efforts, from my total and absolute attention to detail, Sandra’s feedback on the controls from her more relaxed approach to rogaining, (despite Ann’s enthusiasm for dragging her off to more controls) for Frank’s dedication to getting the controls out in the field, Dick’s willingness to keep us all company and getting those controls out there with Frank, and for Chris’ enthusiasm for visiting yet more far distant controls with Ann leading the way.

John and Ann - On behalf of the team

Last Updated (Wednesday, 28 March 2012 14:58)