The Stories: 2016

Will post interesting stuff here and might reorganise it later.

Winners' Routes on the map. Assumptions have been made about some routes between controls.

Winning Route 8hrs: Makara Peak Mudslingers

A challenging course befitting a typical Ak Attack.  We opted for a flat warm up on QE Park while the temperature was still cool.  Then into Havoc Forest via private land to work through the ridges between Big Ring Boulevard and Orange Hut followed by heading North to pick up points up off the road to Titi and down the 3 Sisters to Maungakotukutuku before heading back to Whareroa to get the remaining big points. Order of controls: 20, 10 - rush of blood to the head (and soon to the shins) saw us go cross country via blackberry hell to 40 and back - 40, 32, 21, 53, 45, 11, 24 - still chasing Tough Like Jelly at this point after 10 to 40 blunder, overtaking them before - 35 - approached from south on foot only to be passed by a riding Tough Like Jelly team - 83, 38, 36 (a bit of stuffing round to pick the right spur), H2O, 26, 37 (almost missed track start), 28, 55 (and into the land of bogs), 29 - some discussion about staying high to 73 but opt for fast travel on Hydro Rd - 13, 73, Orange Hut water refill, 48 - slow push with bikes dodging MX bikes and confusing navigation above 48 so bail on 63 - 56, 72 (lunch), 27, 47 (on foot from Big Ring), 25, 82 (long run down and trudge up - someone mentions ice cream), 54 - worried about time so bail on 61 and 71 - 81 (slow going), 52, 42 - someone says "mostly rideable" down to - 31 (self doubt creeping in on what is a dry watercourse), 80, 51, 43 (on foot), 60 - just stopped prior to control to recheck clue after reading the wrong one earlier - 33, 100 (some of our party did not enjoy this one and may have required a bit of bike pushing assistance), 23, 14 (why are we bothering with this one?), yummm watermelons.   
It's been a few years since Andrew and Jonathan had done an Ak Attack, but between the three of us we nutted our way around the course with only a broken carbon crank thread causing any concern. Thanks for the countless hours put in by mappers and course planners, and of course Michael for pulling it all together

2nd Placed 8hrs Tough Like Jelly

Anti-clockwise round QE11 park : 20, 10, 40, 32, 21, 53, 45, 11, 24 Notes :

  • Intended to do 11 first on the way in across the field, and 45->24 across the field, but ended up doing 45->11->24 along tracks at the end, which was way better.
  • Rode round the top 10->40 taking significant time out of the Mudslingers who went direct on foot 10->40 and back again.
  • Went road and dune path 21->53 which was silly, should have taken the new cycle track along the edge of the fields.
  • 21 showed us that it was worth reading the control descriptions as it was not actually on the track as it appeared at first glance ;-)

Then anti-clockwise round the Akas : 35 - went in the field at the northern end and along, overtaking the Mudslingers for the last time. 70 as an out and back. Up the main road, and down to 83 on foot from the saddle due north, 38, through the stock yards and down the southernmost road/ tracks to Orange Hut via 55, 29 and 73.  Past Orange Hut and in to 13, then push up the track through 48, dumped bikes near 4WD track and 63 on foot along 'difficult to ride' tracks. Cross country to 56, down to main road and direct across to 62 on foot. W along road and in to 27 on foot, up to 72 and along to 47 and 37 via tracks. (This was a mistake - should have gone to main road after 63, foot to 62, up to 56, track just S of 56 to 72, then main road again, on foot to 47 and round the road to 37.) 26, road to 41 in and out on foot, northern entrance to 81 then high track to 42, back up to 52 and straight down to 34. Road to 30, road back to 80 and over the river on foot, decided to flag 31 due to risk of time sap in complex tracks. Road and ridge track to 51, dumped bikes at gate and down to 43 on foot. 60 on fun new track, up to 23 and home along road. (Should probably have gone 43->44, (possibly 36), 100, 23 at the end.)

Top 8hr route by team without bikes: Lightnng Speed Robots

Our route was 23, 100, 60, 43, 51, 34, 52, 42, 81, 41, 25, 54, 61, 82, 46, 62, 27, 72, 56, 63, 48, 13, 73, 29, 55, 83, 70, and then not 35.  35 was our lesson to learn.  Marty and I both thought - nice weather, can't bothered with the map bags.  But 35 was on the fold in both of our maps.  All we had to go navigate by was a strip of white disintegrating paper.  We found a track and found where it crossed a gully  - nope - wrong track.  We didn't have time to search any longer.  Cost us 35 points and 3rd place. Lesson learnt.We really enjoyed Sunday.  It felt like man versus machine.  Thanks heaps for organising that.

Winning route 4hrs: One Control Too Many

We made the decision to take on QE park because the controls added up to a reasonable amount, travel is quick, temperatures still reasonable and probably would get sucked into the back country and not get into the park on the way home. Order of controls:  24, 11, 45. Then utilising the new cycleway picked off 53, 21, 32. Coastal track out to 40, back up and over the bench hill to 20, leaving 10 and heading back into Whareroa, less than 1 hour used up. Decided that a climb in the pines with some shade although steep was better than up the link track. Picked off 35 then up the hill and down the gully for 83 on past 38 and found 36 and dropped down to Campbell’s Mill. Popped over the gate for 26 before heading down for 44 and 51. Down the Link for 43 back up and down the new track for 60, walk in for 33, up and back for 22 and then with 35 minutes left and a ‘sting in the tail’ a grind up to 100 and back for 23 before heading for home.  AND as usual your map detail was outstanding, control placements from easy to devious! Lots of variety and choice.

Lost and Found

Baseplate compass brand "Konus" or similar. Contact us.

Control Pickup. Contact us to avoid disappointment. Wrap string round clipper to avoid tangles:-))

Done QEP 40, 10, 32, 20, 21, 53, 11, 24, 45. Part Whareroa 14, 22, 33, 60, 23, 35. Rest Whareroa/Campbells Mill 83, 70, 38 Havoc/Hydro Valley 12, 13, 26, 28, 29, 36, 55, 73  Sisters 25, 34, 41, 42, 52, 81  Brothers 27, 39, 46, 54, 61, 62, 71, 82  Cousins (Co-Op) 37, 47, 48, 56, 63, 72

Not done: Rest Whareroa and Campbells Mill 51, 43, 44, 100. M'tuku 30, 80, 31.

Credits: landowners Greater Wellington Regional Council, Dept of Conservation, Whareroa/QEP  leaseholder Pastural Holdings (manager Drew Brown), Whareroa Guardians (you might say "saviours") convenor Ann Evans, neighbour Will and Hannie van Crutchen, Campbells Mill Rd KCDC, Didymo procedures GW (Kieran McLean). Planning and mapping Gordon Balfour Michael Wood. On the day Brent Hoy Jo Goudie Barbara Bridger Gordon, Mel, Michael. Control recovery Liam Drew