by David Baldwin
After the disruptions of recent years due to border closures and lockdowns, this year’s champs looked good. While the weekend of the event turned on perfect conditions, torrential rains in the days prior created major problems for the organisers, nearly causing cancellation and created challenging navigation to the HH pre-event with flooded roads requiring impromptu detours. By Friday evening the rain had stopped and the campsites were not too damp, with only a few cars getting bogged. The HH site had been relocated from a farmer’s paddock to open bushland in state forest. There were wildflowers everywhere as we set up tents in the fading light and cooked our dinner, then had an early night after a long day on the road.
Victoria and the Australian Rogaining Champs has a special connection for both Julie and I. We each won our first Aus Champs in Victoria, for me in 1999 at Shelley and Julie in 2006 at Barkly only 15km away. This was my 23rd Aus Champs as a competitor, 23 years since 1999 when none of the under 23 teams would have been born!