By Vivian Hoskins
Orienteering has made its first appearance at Dorrigo in more than 130 years with 100 competitors battling humidity a trickle under 100 per cent. And as the smiles on the faces of the ‘best dressed prizewinners’ (above L-R) Mahi Fard, Angus Tosh, Amanda Jones and Bri Parberry can attest, the climate certainly didn’t quell any of the enthusiasm.
The first-time-for-Dorrigo experience drew hardened competitors from across north eastern NSW as well as first timers from the Plateau. It was a joint project by Dorrigo Show Society, Bush ‘n’ Beach Orienteering Club and Northern Tablelands Orienteering Club.
Orienteering is a group of sports that require navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain whilst moving at speed. Participants are given a topographical map, usually a specially prepared orienteering map, which they use to find control points.
Saturday’s outing involved teams and individuals spending an hour (or more!!), collecting points by locating a possible 20 control stations. Their speed was up to individual fitness and experience and varied from slow walks to full-on running.
Organisers seem to believe that orienteering in Dorrigo will be a smash hit. They have already donated an inaugural president’s perpetual trophy (for local teams), strongly suggesting this will become a permanent annual event.
Coffs Harbour athlete, Sam Woolford, was the overall winner while Dorrigo’s Paul Woodhouse, won the novice section which attracted a large number of entries from plateau residents.
The president’s perpetual trophy went to Jade Cochran, Logan Cochran, and Lewis Taylor of Cochran & Co.
President of Dorrigo Show Society, Sally Duckett, described the afternoon’s activity as “highly successful” and “likely to become an annual feature for the town”.
“Visitors and locals had a very enjoyable time,” she said.
Competitors varied in age from junior primary students to octogenarians.