After our success of last year we were quietly confident as we headed into this year’s Navshield. We’d retained the same team as last year and with the knowledge that this years event was to be held nice and close we were looking forward to a good walk.
Clear skies, cool nights and mild days lead up to our departure on the Friday night. We only had to travel to Glenbrook, in the lower Blue Mts so we chose to leave late having a nice Italian dinner before heading out to the ‘hash house’.
After setting up camp and marking maps we set about planning a winning route. Our plan was simple, an anti-clockwise loop around the course and if that failed we could easily comprise to ensure we got back on time.
Saturday, and on que we were underway. Not too many seemed to share our plan which had us brimming with confidence, but alas our navigation didn’t seem to fall into place. We hit our first checkpoint but an oversight had us miss the next one and this took the wind out of our sails. While we pressed on it was never with the perfection of last year and it’s this perfection that’s required to achieve a high result.
By the time we passed through our second radio checkpoint, Mick was feeling the effects of some bad knees, which in turn had slowed our pace. As night fell we were still a few km’s out of base but Mick was still keen to push on. Armed with good headlamps we took on a few more checkpoints. However, time was starting to work against us and as we searched for our last checkpoint there was only 15min of time remaining and we were still along way from home. Eventually we had to cut our losses and head for base. Regrettably we arrived back at base 6min late, which incurred us with a 60 point penalty and an 11th place overall.
While our day hadn’t been what I’d expected, it was still a very enjoyable and memorable day. It taught me to ‘be never over confident’. Over confidence is your worst enemy.