Orienteers use a specially prepared map, a compass and their navigational skills to locate checkpoints

July 24, 2012

Orienteers from all over Queensland as well as some from interstate will be heading to Blackbutt next month to compete in the Queensland Orienteering Championships.

The two-day event is being organised by the Enoggeroos Orienteering Club, based in Brisbane, and will take place on August 4-5 at Taromeo and Teelah, private grazing land to the north of Blackbutt.

Organiser Rob Rapkins said the area to be used for the championships was spur/gully terrain in eucalypt forest and open grazing land, making it ideal for orienteering.

“There are also areas of scattered boulders and detailed creek and gully systems that should provide for plenty of navigational challenges for the more experienced orienteers,” he said.

Mr Rapkins said he was expecting more than 150 competitors at the event, ranging in age from the under 10s to over 80s.

“We are a very family oriented sport and always have a range of courses to suit all ages and levels of ability,” he said.

“The championships are open to everyone, not just elite competitors, and we are offering four Enter-On-The-Day courses to encompass different standards of technical difficulty, depending on the age and experience of the participants.”

The orienteers have to use a specially prepared map, a compass and their navigational skills to locate checkpoints on natural features in the forest.

The cumulative times of the competitors are used to determine the overall placings in the championships.

Mr Rapkins said that there would be a middle distance event on Saturday afternoon with courses ranging from an Open Men’s course of 6.4km down to a 1.7km course for young juniors. On Sunday morning, the long distance event would have courses ranging from 12.7km down to 1.8km.

“Apart from categories for competitive orienteers, there would also be Enter-on-the-Day courses for those new to the sport,” he said.

“We would welcome the participation of local people if they would like to come along and learn more about the sport. There will be short, easy courses for newcomers and instruction available on the basic map reading and navigational skills.”

Mr Rapkins said the Blackbutt community should also benefit from the weekend event with competitors being encouraged to camp at the showgrounds and the catering being provided by Blackbutt School and Kindy.

A Saturday night dinner will be held at Blackbutt Golf Club.

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