Orienteers played and stayed
THE Granite Belt terrain provided a challenge for more than 650 orienteering experts at the weekend as the annual Australian Three-Day Championships came to the area.
Orienteering Queensland development officer Liz Bourne said the event was a huge success.
She said not only did competitors enjoy their time on the Granite Belt, they contributed to the economy as well.
"I think it went very well. We had a lot of very good feedback from competitors," Bourne said.
"It was of a very high standard and I think they found the maps and courses quite challenging.
"The really good competitors like difficult maps like our granite terrain has to offer.
"I think the weather contributed greatly to the success. If it had been raining people would have competed and gone, but they stayed around and enjoyed being in the district, visiting the wineries and other things in the area."
There was a lot at stake for the elite competitors, who were vying for a place in the Australian team.
Warwick orienteer Lilian Burrill came first in the junior elite section during what Bourne described as a very competitive meet.
Bourne said many of the courses were fast-paced but injuries were kept to a minimum, with a concussion the worst incident.
"We did have somebody out at Pratten who fell and banged his head," she said.
"He wandered out onto a road and was picked up by a doctor."
Twenty-four courses were run ranging from 1.5km to 12km.
Bourne said the courses ranged from short and easy through to hard and technical.
But she said the implementation of new technologies made organising the event a lot easier.
"We didn't have any technical problems. That's always an issue," she said.
"But there are new innovations. The electronic timing system wasn't around in 2000 and that streamlined getting results through.
"The fact that we do the course setting with computer software has been a real time-saver too."
Queensland's next major event will be the Australian Championships to be held in 2016.
Bourne said she would be putting a hand up in an attempt to hold the event on the Granite Belt.
"We've been running major events for years now and we've got it down pat," she said.
"There is still a lot of area around Stanthorpe that hasn't been mapped and hasn't been used for a long time."