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Summer League #5: Currabinny Wood, Tuesday June 11th Results and Report

posted 13 Jun 2019, 08:44 by Elaine Sheridan   [ updated 13 Jun 2019, 09:05 ]
Currabinny Wood was the orienteering destination for the fifth event in the CorkO Summer League. Over 100 competitors converged on this prominent hill overlooking Cork harbour on Tuesday evening. The weather has been very changeable of late but thankfully on Tuesday evening it remained dry for the night and the cool fresh conditions were ideal for orienteering and luckily for the orienteers not conducive to midge!

Once again there were lots of families and juniors in action on Tuesday night and the picnic tables adjacent to the car park proved ideal spots for many as they enjoyed some post run refreshments. There were some very elaborate picnics on display and it was great to see so many participants taking full advantage of the long evening and the picturesque setting.

This week’s planner set out two very contrasting courses. The short course comprised a charming circuit up, down and around the hillock taking in some of the charming features of the forest including the infamous giants grave. The going was fast on a number of these trails and this was reflected in some very impressive finish times.

The planner set out a punishing long course which tested competitor’s navigational skills and physical endurance. Competitors certainly got value for money in Currabinny Wood on Tuesday night. The long course was advertised at 4.3km which may have been a little deceptive as this was as the crow flies and even the crows would have difficult taking the direct route to some control sites. By the time participants punched the finish they probably covered over 6km traversing this hilly terrain.

The course offered competitors plenty of route choice on numerous legs. Starting from the car park the first control took participants to a scenic bench near the gazebo. As numerous paths traverse the hill side the first challenge was to set off on the correct one. Some participants climbed up to the correct path immediately while other may have opted to run below the control and then cut straight through the slow undergrowth up to the control site.

Control two was one of two controls which proved the most contentious on the night. Those familiar with this forest might have assumed this would be a very straight forward leg as they knew exactly where the control site was. However, sadly since our last visit to Currabinny this area of once open runnable forest has suffered extensive storm damage. Now numerous trees are strewn across the ground making it very difficult to cross. The M shaped impenetrable vegetation marking on the map indicated this but many found it difficult to traverse this terrain and locate the once obvious earth wall and the control site. Examining the splits for this leg times ranged from 1:33 to over 40 minutes!

The leg from two to three took participants to the western side of the wood and there were several ways to approach this control. From here there was a fast descent to control four situated on the lowest northern trail on the map. A fast descent on this terrain is inevitably followed by a tough climb and the leg from 4 to 5 was just that. This leg took competitors from the lowest trail on the northern side of the map to the lowest trail on the southern side of the map. With the steep hillock positioned between these two controls entrants had to decide the best route to control 5 which would avoid unnecessary climb. The clockwise option offered minimal climb but a much longer route while the counter-clockwise route was shorter but entailed some scaling.

Controls 6 and 7 required navigating through the area of runnable forest. Given the time of year there was quite a bit of growth in this area which meant it was a little slower than expected. The leg from 7 to 8 was another long one and required another traverse of the wood and a steep drop to the control site. There followed a short leg to control nine before one final crossing of the map to control 10. This long leg again offered plenty of route choice with many attempting to eliminate as much climb as they could. The control was located in a very deep depression which was surrounded on the southern side by impenetrable vegetation. As evident in the splits this control proved troublesome for many and lots of competitors must have spent a lot of time milling around this area of forest in search of the depression. Here the split times ranged from a fastest split of 5:36 to the longest split of over 27 minutes. Thankfully everyone made it out of the depression ok and there was one final short leg to a distinctive tree before a careful sprint to the finish. Definitely one of the more challenging courses of the league to date but I hope all enjoyed the body brain workout.

On the testing long course, it was Darragh Hoare who took the event winner title. His accurate navigation, great speed and stamina over the physically demanding terrain meant he completed the challenging course in a time of 32:46. Chasing him down over the hilly terrain was runner up Conrad Daly who finished in a time of 34:01. From the splits it seems that Conrad’s difficulty in getting to control two proved costly on the night. Third place went to Dermot O’Sullivan who punched all 11 controls in a time of 39:36.

The fastest lady around the hills at Currabinny was Aoife O’Sullivan. She had a fantastic run and completed the testing course in a time of 41:33 which placed her 4th in the overall Long course results. Runner up on the night was Trishia O’Mahony who punched the finish in a time of 45:54. This super run saw her finish 8th overall. There was a close contest for the final podium spot but Caroline Murray narrowly edged passed Sharon Lucey to take the honour. Caroline completed the course in a time of 49:22.

Over the 2.5km short course just 19 seconds separated our top three at the finish control. It was Eoin Sweeney who topped the field and took the Short course event winner title. He completed the course in a time of 23:20 and had just two seconds to spare over the Short course runner up Ciara Fitzgerald. Ciara herself had a meager 17 seconds lead over third place finishers Fionn and Eve Buckley. They punched all 8 controls in a time of 23:39.

Well done to all who participated on the night. Full individual results with some very interesting split times are available at the following link:

http://www.orienteering.ie/result2?oaction=moreResult&id=22063

Special thanks this week to Brian Corbett for planning the courses and huge thanks to Liz Deane for organising the event. Thanks also to Gerald Duffy for assisting with registration and all the control collectors on the night – Gerald, Conrad Daly and Liam O’Brien.

Next week we will be heading west to Warrenscourt Wood near Lissarda for the sixth event in our league. The boulders mapped in some forests can be quite understated and often tricky to spot amongst the trees. This is definitely not the case in Warrenscourt wood which has some distinctively large boulders, see if you can spot them while traversing this area next week. Further woodland trivia and directions are available here:

www.corko.net/calendar/warrenscourt-wood

Remember you need to attend six events to complete the 2019 summer league and as this is the sixth event in this years’ league it will be the first opportunity for some to tick that box and they will still have four more events to improve their overall league standing.

Hope you can join us!