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Autumn League #4: Fota House and Gardens Tuesday September 16th Results and Report

posted 17 Sep 2014, 15:50 by Elaine Sheridan   [ updated 17 Sep 2014, 15:51 ]
A large crowd gathered in Fota House and Gardens on Tuesday evening to participate in our last evening orienteering event for 2014. The bright sunshine on the night really accentuated the scenic nature of the setting and demonstrated why this area always proves so popular with orienteers. Furthermore, the buggy friendly nature of the terrain attracted several young families to the event.

The planner confined both the Explorer and Advanced courses to the region around the House, gardens and car parks and as a result many of the 84 participants on the night crossed paths on numerous occasions. When out orienteering it is always somewhat reassuring to encounter fellow competitors on the course but sometimes disconcerting when they exit a control site in a completely different direction to you. This may have been the case for some competitors at Tuesday’s event as control 7 and 12 on the advanced course shared the same site which resulted in competitors entering and exiting it in all directions.

With such a compact area and 20 controls on the Advanced course to aid course readability a double sided map was used. At the start all participants were informed of the need to turn over the map a control ten but unfortunately some contestants didn't fully comprehended this specific detail. This caused a little confusion at control ten and some folks even returned to the start before realising the error of their ways.

Several legs in the gardens might have tempted competitors to take the shorter straight line routes to controls. The risk with this strategy is that with large trees and thickets in this area, straight line visibility isn’t great and one often gets pushed off course and emerges on a different track than expected. Those who chose the safer option and stuck to the paths had the option to cut some corners but very often this required ducking under some low handing branches.

The Sprint nature of the event required fast decision making on each leg as every second was crucial. This resulted in fierce competition for positions right throughout the results table on both courses. There were several contestants vying for the final event win of the Autumn League and it was Conrad Daly who emerged as the fastest in the field of 58 orienteers. He attained the event win when he completed the Advanced course in a time of 23:20, thus securing him back to back event wins in the Autumn league. Just under a minute behind Conrad was Tuesday’s runner-up, Brian Corbett. He finished in a time of 24:13. Jonathan Lucey ran hard to clinch third place on the night when he finished with a time of 24:39. He had just 17 seconds to spare over his nearest challenger Gerald Duffy.

For the third week in a row Elaine Sheridan had the distinction of being fastest lady on the night. She completed the 4km course in a time of 29:22. Una Buckley claimed the runners-up spot when she finished the course in a time of 33:23. The final podium spot went to Trishia O’Mahony who punched all 20 controls in a time of 34:05.

Of the 26 competitors on the Explorer course it was Calum McIlreavy who proved the fastest on the night. He completed the course in a time of 21:29.  The runners-up honour when to another member of the McIlreavy family. Ken McIlreavy punched all 12 controls in a time of 22:37. Hot on Ken’s heels was third place finisher Ciara Sheehan who finished with a time of 23:04.

Well done to everyone who participated on the night. It certainly was a fitting conclusion to our Tuesday evening series. Full individual results with spilt times are available here.

Thanks to John Scannell for planning the event and to Willie Fitzgerald for taking care of starts. We also very much appreciated the assistance of Liam O’Brien and Gerald Duffy with the task of controls collection.

Thanks also to the OPW for granting us permission you use these spectacular grounds for our event.

As our evening events draw to a close we now transition to weekend events. The first of our weekend orienteering events will take place this Saturday September 20th at Ballyannon Wood in Midleton. The event will be a two person Relay competition. Similar to our Summer League relay competition the goal is a fun and social event. So find a partner or if you can't we'll find one for you. So please do come along on Saturday for some exciting relay action.

Hope you can join us!