Cham­pi­onships mapped out

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - WORKPLACE -

HUNTINGDALE’S Ricky Thack­ray is gear­ing up to take on the world’s best moun­tain bik­ers and nav­i­ga­tors.

He has been cho­sen to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia at the World Moun­tain Bike Ori­en­teer­ing Cham­pi­onships in Por­tu­gal.

Moun­tain bike ori­en­teer­ing is essen­tially ori­en­teer­ing – us­ing a com­pass and map to go quickly around check points on a course – on a moun­tain bike.

The 39-year-old said he was go­ing to have to per­form strongly to make the top half of the field, as it is a bet­ter known sport in Europe.

“It is rel­a­tively un­known in WA,” he said.

“We can get 35-40 peo­ple; when I go to Vic­to­ria they can get 80-90 peo­ple and it is bet­ter known in Europe.

“Euro­peans are a whole dif­fer­ent field; they live it over there.”

He said he got into MTBO af­ter do­ing ro­gain­ing for sev­eral years be­fore he did an ad­ven­ture race – which in­cluded moun­tain bik­ing, pad­dling and trekking – in the early 2000s and loved the moun­tain bike com­po­nent. d453566

He has al­ready rep­re­sented his coun­try in 2012-13 and is ready to have an­other go from July 24-30.

Thack­ray was made re­dun­dant from his job as a fi­nan­cial ac­coun­tant and has been us­ing his time over the past few months to train hard.

The Aus­tralian MTBO Cham­pi­onships for sprint, mid­dle and long course will be held in WA this year.

To try MTB Ori­en­teer­ing, email rick­ythack­ray@hot­mail.com.

Moun­tain bike rider Ricky Thack­ray.

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