Ricky Thackray, Patrick Higgins & Marquita Gelderman win Australian MTBO Championships.
Monday, 29 July 2013
Photos: Callum Fagg, Gaby Withers, Ricky Thackray, Kath Hepplethwaite
An excellent weekend of mountain bike orienteering was held
near Gympie, Queensland to decide the Australian Middle and Long distance
championships titles. A contingent of 30
New Zealanders, who had incorporated the previous weekends NSW Championships
into a 10 day mountain biking tour, added great competition to the races.
The two events were held on vastly different areas. The middle was at Corella Forest, with
several crucial long route choice legs interspersed by two areas of complex
single track. In the women elites Marquita
Gelderman had a narrow one minute win over a very fit and fast Carolyn Jackson. Twenty four year old Patrick Higgins
navigated well to take the men’s elite title by two and a half minutes over
Greg Barbour. Patrick is actually
British but currently residing in New Zealand.
Unfortunately Australian WOC team members Ricky Thackray (tyre trouble)
and Callum Fagg (puncture) had mechanical troubles.
The long event was held in Toolara pine plantation, on a
huge area that required the elites and top three courses to have a 1:25,000 map. Despite its size the area was a detailed maze
of roads and tracks which demanded intense navigation at all times. Several long legs gave numerous route choice
commutations, while some short legs at the end saw some come unstuck.
WA’s Ricky Thackray took out a well deserved elite
championship, managing to withstand the efforts of young Tasmanian gun Callum
Fagg by a mere two minutes on the 38 kilometre course. This followed Ricky’s win in the WA state
championship the week before. NSW’s Gary
Sutherland showed consistency to take out third place again.
The outstanding ride of the weekend was undoubtably from
Kiwi Marquita Gelderman who raced around the women’s 30 km course so speedily
that she bettered the times of the M40’s and M17’s on the same course. In fact, Marquita’s kilometre rate was only
beaten by the two top elite males! There
will be great interest to see where she actually went on route gadget! Carolyn Jackson was joined by Jenny Enderby (NSW)
on the podium.
The Queensland based Withers family dominated the junior
ranks with Gaby winning both W14 titles and Karl the M17 races, though pushed
in both by Tim Jackson. Karl is off to
his second Junior World Championships in Estonia soon. Promising Ballarat rider Declan Dickson won
both M14 races, but was more pleased by his navigation in the long.
The veteran classes had both quality and quantity and all
wins were hard earned. Ann Scown (W60), Malcolm
Roberts (M50) and Peter Cusworth (M60) won both titles, albeit Peter’s win in
the middle was by a mere 1 second over over NSW’s Paul Haynes. Over the four NSW and Australian
Championship title events both Marquita Gelderman and Peter Cusworth managed to
remain unbeaten – a tremendous feat of navigation.
Many thanks must go to the Queensland organisers, notably
course setters Graeme Hall and Liz Bourne and mappers Craig Steffens and Eric Andrews
for the enormous amount of time and effort they put into making the events not
only possible but highly enjoyable. Also
thanks to Rob Croscato, Wendy Steffens, Debbie Gordon and other Multi-Terrain
Bike Orienteers and QOA who assisted the running and promotion of the
event. This included a lovely meal and
quiz on the Saturday night.
Full results are available on eventor.
W21 63.22 Marquita
Gelderman (NZ) 102.39 Marquita Gelderman (NZ)
64.36 Carolyn Jackson (VIC) 115.42 Carolyn Jackson (VIC)
69.21 Rachel Drew (NZ) 135.35 Jenny
Withers (Q) Gaby Withers (Qld)
Beckinsale (Qld) Kath Heppelthwaite (NZ)
W50 Deb Bain
(NZ) Roz Clayton (NZ)
W60 Ann Scown
(ACT) Ann Scown (ACT)
Gordon (VIC) Yett Gelderman (NZ)
M21 65.42 Patrick Higgins
(Great Britain) 120.51 Ricky Thackray (WA)
68.28 Greg Barbour (NSW) 122.49 Callum
73.07 Gary Sutherland (QLD) 146.45 Gary Sutherland (QLD)
Dickson (VIC) Declan Dickson (VIC)
Withers (Qld) Karl Withers (Qld)
Swanson (NZ) Greg Barbour (NSW)
Roberts (NSW) Malcolm Roberts (NSW)
Cusworth (VIC) Peter Cusworth (VIC)
Gordon (VIC) Graham Fowler (NSW)
Cadman (VIC) -