Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Final Report

Hi all. It seems the last blog for the JWOC 2010 Australian team is up to me. Having just read some of the blogs from Attackpoint(bun and Joshb) I realised that things have been left a little open ended.

Having finally getting onto a computer for the first time since JWOC I will post this in the hope that some may have a last look.

As pointed out by Bun, the team was amazing and very supportive of each other. As coach, and I am sure the manager would agree, I found the cooperation and the determination of the group to be second to none. After being together for two weeks you would usually find that with a group of 12 individuals tempers would become a little frayed. This was never the case. They were a pleasure to work with and always looked after each other. Well done team. Lets do it again next year.

As the pictures show the team worked hard at making an impression on the last night and, as a result set the standard for all. I believe that a great night was had by all and it seems many tales of some of their exploits may leak into the system. All I know is that everyone was able to get up at 7:00am for an 8:30 departure time and that, although looking a bit tired were in a cheerful and happy state to travel.

With 10 of the 12 eligible to return to Poland in 2011 I am already looking forward to working with them. Thanks team for your support of Valerie and myself and I hope we were able to go some way towards offering you the help and support you needed.

Bring on Poland!!

The Girls Showing the UN Troops how it should be done

Bronzed Aussies. How could anyone resist

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Middle Final Day

Today dawned bright and sunny on the middle final and brought out some determined Aussies wanting to prove themselves in the even more technical terrain. The courses began with a few controls in an intricate and very difficult clear area and ended with similar terrain to the middle qualification.
The day produced some mixed results with decent runs from Sarah and Lilian to place fairly well in the B final, though both were frustrated with errors. Lachy and Kurt also pulled out some tidy runs to finish well up on the board. Other runners were frustrated with errors but most ran well and continued to improve in the tough terrain.
All runners are looking forward with anticipation to tomorrow's relay race, and also to tomorrow night's banquet!



Sarah sporting the Linebreak tights

Lachy at the spectator

Looking east along the track from beside the two knolls on the north west side you see the terrain below. Can you work it out?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Middle Qualification(Not so Long Long Day)

Today the Australians bounced back with Belinda qualifying for the finals and better results all round for the rest. This meant that the squad headed back to barracks with more positive and cheerful attitude. "Today I felt like I could orienteer again" was a quote that reflected the attitude of all.
Most enjoyed the courses and the more open terrain than they experienced in the long. Obviously there was an element of disappointment with Ian and Kurt missing the final by 40 and 44 seconds respectively and errors by the others adding to their frustration of not making the final.
Frustrations aside it was impressive how the whole squad bounced back after the disappointment of the long day and dug in and had a real go at their respective courses. Well done team. No squibs and quitters in this squad.


Belinda in qualifying form

The support team

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Long Long Long Day

The Long competition day is aptly named as it always turns out to be a long and difficult day both for the athletes and coaches. Once again the start times determined the Bus timetable with some of us leaving at 7:00am.
Once at the start area the problems began. A 10 min downpoor ensured that everything was wet. On arrival of the second bus an announcement was made that the start would be delayed for 30min. This meant that Kurt, Claire and Sarah, who had done most of their warm up, had to sit down and start again later. Oh, wait, another meeting. The start is now delayed by 40min. We still don't really know why. This delay caused some dramas and uncertainty back at the barracks but, to their credit the team just shugged their shoulders and got on with the job.
The sun came out, the coaches got sunburnt and by 2pm all the athletes were in the forest. The two coaching zones kept Aislinn and Valerie busy looking after the athletes and taking photos. The usual tension and streess of keeping an eye on the clock, wishing the best for all and then concern as to what might have happened to some added to the emotional mix of the day.
Eventually the whole team had crossed the line and it was time for reflection.
Each member of the squad had worked hard and finished the event determinedly all the way to the finish. All runners had some good legs, some average ones and some very poor ones. The general consensus was that a week is not enough to master the intricacies of navigating in this very specialised type of terrain. A large percentage of the course is track running and then each athlete has to master the varying vegetation and sand dune contour detail.
Confidence in most cases is a bit battered bt all have expressed a determination to learn how to be better and are planing to bounce back for the middle. Study of splits has shown that the Australians are as fast, and at times as good as the best and there is a pervarading determination to prove this. Heres hoping they can.
To add insult to our wounds another bus muck up meant that most Australians spent 2 hours waiting at the finish for a ride home. On arriving back at 7:45 and a late meal ther was little energy to update this log yesterday. Appologies for the late Blog.



Waiting for delayed buses

Pre race warm up

Pick the vegetation boundary

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Sprint Day

At last after a week plus some of preparation the event got underway with the sprint. As each start time determined which bus was to be caught it was the resposibility of each athlete to get themselves organised and to the event on time. On the first bus the driver got lost in the university and needed help to find the drop off zone. An accident in the tunnel caused problems for the organisers but fortunately all our team managed to get safely to the start area and on time.

After being hidden away in a hedge enclosed assembly area, athletes made a 350m trip to the warm up arae and then their prestart. Then, after only a 20m run from the pre start runners burst into view only to be confronted head on by about a hundred barrackers yelling their support(even a couple of vuvuzela and a cow bell) even before they had reached the start triangle.
All were taken by surprise but most, except for Claire and Brea(who made major errors on the first control), managed to concentrate and have solid runs. Claire and Brea, to their credit, gathered themselves up and made sure the rest of their course was competitive.
None claim to have had the perfect run and have told sagas of hesitations, lost time and poor route choices.

Overall a very good outcome for all. Well done Australia!!

Photos From The Sprint

Opening Ceremony

Low spectator numbers did not detract from the excitement and fun of the opening ceremony. All teams in one place and an interesting performance from a troupe of unicyclists(they were amazing). Speeches were short and sweet and then home to prepare for our sprint.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


A lot to see. Millions of blocks and almost as many photos. One display had 2.1 million blocks in it alone.

Not a lot to report today. A two and a half hour drive to Legoland. 5 hours in the bus. Traffic on the return was so bad with two traffic jams that we just made it for dinner. A phone call and a need for the food to be brought back out for us. Not to worry, plenty left.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Lines are Being Drawn

A message from the manager (that's me, Valerie)!

Many of you are interested in housekeeping matters, and what our accommodation is like. We've actually been rather fortunate to have been accidentally upgraded to our official JWOC accommodation for the whole of training camp as well so we are enjoying being in 2 person rooms with ensuite bathrooms. The canteen serves delicious food - loads of choice, and plenty of it. The Barracks look very ordinary from the outside but are well appointed inside. Mind you, working out how to use the washing machines and dryers has been a challenge! We do now have plenty of clean clothes, however...
Roch and I are driving 9-seater buses, and each of us has tried to drive on the wrong side of the road only once! Generally, the Danes are courteous and safe drivers and driving has been easy. It has been fairly quiet around the camp so far, but the teams are beginning to arrive in earnest today.

Battle lines have been drawn and the nonsense has begun.

A tired and grumpy team headed off today for training after some hard games of football and team baiting exercises late into the night. The aftermath has been blamed on the USA as their flag appeared on our bus. They claim no knowledge and have blamed either the South Africans or the United Kingdom. Retaliation will be swift.

Legoland tomorrow for the children of today

A high level of concentration for our relay practice. Only one managed to be confused after our extensive briefing.

Lilian is carefully visualising her approach to the next challenge. Not Last Minute Lilian this time!

Oscar on his way to another change-over in the 4-person relay practice event today. Now it's the girls' turn to maintain the winning pace.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yet Another Day in Sand Dunes

Wednesday carried on from where Tuesday left off. Wet and stormy, but by the time we had driven the 70km to Vester Torup the sun was out again. Very windy but fine.

Another set of drills in sand dune terrain, but not quite as far or demanding as the day before. Once again off to the beach for our recovery. Next step will be yet more shopping.

Not yet another complicated and confusing exercise

Rest of the teams recovery method

Sarah and Claire's recovery method