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Autumn League #3: James Fort Kinsale Tuesday September 8th Results and Report

posted 9 Sep 2015, 16:22 by Elaine Sheridan   [ updated 10 Sep 2015, 01:27 ]
The third event in the Cork Orienteering Club Autumn League took place on Tuesday night at James Fort in Kinsale. This historic site has witnessed many a skirmish in the past and on Tuesday evening 57 orienteers battled it out on both the Long and Short courses for the event winners honour.

Passing through Kinsale en-route to James Fort observant orienteers would have spotted some control sites in the distance as fellow competitors could be seen running around the North Western area of the Fort. Conditions were a little overcast on the night and the threat of rain loomed all evening but thankfully it remained dry the fresh sea breeze was most refreshing when running on this physically demanding terrain.

With two maps, 18 controls and 190m of climb the Long course took competitors to all corners of the map and offered up plenty of route choice in the process. With controls at three of the bastions at the Fort competitors got to enjoy some beautiful views of Kinsale town, the Bandon river and Kinsale harbour. As the course progressed participants may have gotten weary from repeatedly climbing the hills around the fort but careful scrutiny of the map helped identify several paths which would eliminate distance and unnecessary climb.

The infamous tunnels were busy on Tuesday night as they provided convenient exit points from the Fort on several legs. The intersecting tunnels may have caught some competitors by surprise. Having punched control 250 some orienteers used the covered steps en-route to their next control and their presence may have frightened some fellow competitors passing through the main tunnel.

From the final control on the Long course there were two possible routes to the finish. Competitors could take in the sandy shores of the Dock beach or the path around Castlepark. However, the finish control did catch some people out as they didn't register its precise location on the map and returned to the start before realising their mistake. Perhaps fatigue from all the climbing on the course could be blamed for this slip-up. Despite the cool conditions on the night this didn't stop some of our brave orienteers from enjoying a revitalizing post run swim in the harbour waters next to the Dock beach.

The 3.6km Long had participants running up and down the hilly terrain around the fort numerous times and following all this traversing a mere 20 seconds separated our top three finishers. It was Andrew Turner who took his first event win and claimed the title of the fastest orienteer around the fort. He completed the physically demanding course in a time of 33:42. Andrew had just 18 seconds to spare over second place finisher Ben Gearey who finished in precisely 34 minutes. Ben had an even narrower margin of victory over third place finisher Cian O’Mahony who was just two seconds behind him.

The honour of the fastest lady around the fort went to Eibhlin Cleary who completed the course in a time of 36:30 which also gave her a top ten finish in the overall results on the night. This was very impressive navigation and running from Eibhlin. The runners up honour went to Sinead O’Donoghue who punched all 18 controls in a time 45:52. The final podium spot went to Elaine Sheridan who completed the course in a time of 47:49.

With 29 competitors battling it out on the Short course the competition was intense on the night and similar to the Long course just seconds differentiated our three podium finished. On the demanding hilly terrain at James Fort Matthew Kearney just edged out Andrew Murphy for the distinction of the event win. Matthew completed the course in a time of 17:13 and achieved a four second lead over runner up Andrew Murphy. Andrew punched all 11 controls in a time of 17:17. Sienna Bosonnet was pressuring these guys all the way around but she lost vital seconds at controls 7 and 11 which proved costly in the end as she relinquished her lead and finished in a time of 17:42.

Well done to all who participated on the night most especially the four rowers who due to the rough waters weren't able to practise on Tuesday night but instead opted to try some orienteering around the Fort. Full individual results with split times are available here.

Thanks to Daithi Power for planning and organising the event and to Cian O’Mahony for assisting on the night. Thanks also to Dave O’Donovan for taking care of starts and assisting with control collection.

In a change to our usual order the next event in our autumn league will be the 10th Annual Cliona Callanan Memorial event and will take on Sunday September 13th at Doneraile Park. All proceeds from the event will go to the Cork Children's Leukaemia Association. So why not take advantage of the opportunity to experience this magnificent setting and sample the wonderful parkland terrain in North Cork while at the same time lending your support to a charity which does great work to support children who suffer from leukaemia, cancer and other serious blood disorders in the Munster region. Come along any time between 10.00am and 1.00pm. Why not bring a picnic or enjoy the Tea Rooms and don't forget the playground! Further directions and park info can be found here.

Also just a reminder that there are still places left on our “Off-the-Path Training Day” on Saturday September 12th at Walshtown Wood, Dungourney. So if you are keen to improve your orienteering skills please email our club coach Danny (dannyohare(at)gmail(dot)com ) if you plan to attend so we can organise food and make sure we have enough coaches. Full details on the day can be found here.