2012 Leinster Orienteering Championships

by Brian Corbett (CorkO)

The Leinster Orienteering Championships was held on Carraig na Seabhac, a new area to orienteering, and promised much having been being originally pencilled in for the Irish Championships in 2011. However, that occasion clashed with the breeding season for the hawks (Seabhac) and the random movements of orienteers were considered detrimental. Come the day of the event on the 30th of September there was no sign of the feathered friends. For once, an incredibly accurate weather forecast brought heavy rain to coincide with the first starters and didn't cease until the last competitors were good and wet. In fact the forecast had caused Danny's carefully planned pre-event training to unravel leaving an empty room in the nearby Glendalough youth hostel.

Now several weeks after the event it feels like it was a real epic but the mind does that. In fact the orienteering was excellent with some challenging legs across green forest. Sure the best way is around but sometimes it is hard not to be tempted by the straight line. Green scratchy trees awaited while the legs met with either deep water or tussocky grass. The open featured wonderful boulder fields surrounded by plains of marsh and an amphitheatre of high mountains (ok imagination is required). I did in fact disappear to waist height between rocks requiring huge physical effort to escape. The final section back through the wild forest was my downfall. Body and mind were worse for the effort and the drinking from the mountain river brought no relief. Drunken-like manoeuvres got me to controls which I gratefully punched. On the way back from the finish I saw the W21 course and realised that either I had punched the wrong control or Ciara Largey, the winner of that course had. You can guess who the sucker was. Liam O’Brien was the top CorkO orienteer winning M55 over local Senan O’Boyle. Thanks to Ajax orienteering club for sticking with the plan and holding an incredibly physical event through interesting wild countryside which was, especially in hindsight, worth the trip.