Autumn League #1: Fota House and Gardens Results and Report

Post date: Aug 29, 2012 11:1:58 PM

The opening event in the Cork Orienteering Club Autumn League took place last night in the stunning setting of Fota House and Gardens. This was the first of the four events in our Autumn League. Thankfully the heavy rain arrived well after the event and the 89 competitors in attendance got to enjoy a fine evening of orienteering and trail running. Perhaps the large turnout was aided by the fact that this was the first opportunity for all the Summer League finishers to collect their hard earned t-shirts. A lot of kilometres were clocked up to achieve these shirts and we hope that you will clock up ever more wearing them!Fota House always seems to encourage new people to try the sport of orienteering and we were pleased to welcome so many new families last night. It was also great to see others coming back to the sport after a long absence. We hope you enjoyed the navigation challenge the gardens present.Rob McEvoy planned last night’s courses and similar to the summer event confined them to the areas around the house and gardens. As a result the Long course comprised a double sided map and lots of criss crossing of the area was required with competitors having to visit one control on four separate occasions (see if you can spot it's location on the picture above). So there were ample route choice options available most notably whether to cross the wet-ish meadow in front of the house and negotiate a route through the round bales or take the slightly longer route on the dry tracks!The event also saw the return of Farsta orienteering. With four variants of the Long course on offer all of equal length. This allowed competitors to engage in a head-to-head race if they so desired. However for those that weren't aware of the course variants they may have been a little confused by some controls which were in relatively close proximity but on different features. This simply emphasised the importance of checking your control descriptions and more importantly the control codes! On the other hand others might have assumed their fellow competitors were making mistakes or missing controls. It all added to the challenge and with 24 controls on the Long course rapid decision making and advanced planning was required as even the smallest lapse in concentration in this tricky area proves costly.

So down to the business of results and on the Long course Danny O’Hare came very close to getting the double at the Cork O Fota events this year but Dermot O’Sullivan robbed him of the honours on this occasion and won the Long course with a time of 27:53. Danny had to be content with second place with at time of 29:58. Francis Harrington claimed his first podium finish of the year taking third place with a time of 30:40. He obviously hasn't been resting too much over the past few weeks.The fastest lady on the night was Niamh Corbett who completed the course in 31:40 and also finished fifth overall. The second lady home was Eibhlin Cleary in a time of 33:55 and she also finished inside the top ten in the overall results claiming ninth spot. These ladies must have also been getting some training in during the last few weeks. The final podium place went to Ailbhe Creedon who finished with a time of 36:22.The Bosonnet family certainly weren't taking things too easy either over the orienteering break and were straight back to their winning ways with Sienna Bosonnet taking the spoils on the Short course with a time of 21:51. Joe Bosonnet took second place with at time of 23:59 and third place went to Tom Kelly who completed the course with a time of 29:53. A great run by Tom at his first Cork O event.Last night also saw the introduction of the new Trails course. This course required minimal navigation and involved three laps on the roads and trails around the house and gardens. The numerical sequence of the controls and odd/even number discrimination may have causes a little confusion at the start. Fiona Craven was the inaugural Trails winner completing the three laps in a time of 35:11. Daithi Power was only 14 second behind Fiona and took second place while third place went to Margaret O’Connell with a time of 41:01.

Full individual results and splits are available here:

Thanks to Rob McEvoy for planning the fun courses and to Jim O’Donovan, Ailbhe Creedon, Gearoid Ryan, Fiona Craven, Gerald Duffy, Liam O'Brien and Danny O’Hare for assisting with starts, control and tape collection. We would also like to thank the people of Fota House and the OPW for giving us access to the grounds and to Evelyn Byrne of the Irish Heritage Trust for assisting with promoting the event. 

To complete the Autumn League you need to attend three of the four events in the league and all league finishers will be entered into a draw for some spot prizes. So don’t miss the second event in the Autumn League which sees us return to Watergrasshill Wood. Can Brian Corbett do the double and claim two wins in Watergrasshill this year or will someone deny him this honour? We promise the courses won't be as long as the summer event! Further information on the location and directions to the wood are available here.

A reminder that any Summer League finishers who haven’t collected their t-shirts these will be available for collection at Watergrasshill.

Hope to see you there,