Ballincollig Christmas Fun event Results and Report

Post date: Dec 29, 2017 10:46:44 AM

We were delighted to welcome orienteers from near and far to Ballincollig Regional Park last Wednesday for our annual Christmas fun event. As usual we saw many familiar faces who were home for Christmas, and there was a very sociable atmosphere at the registration tent as old friends and old orienteering rivals caught up with one another.

It was a cold but sunny winter's morning and our orienteers were keen to get running and warm up as soon as possible! We had 51 entries on our "Simple Score" course which was suitable for beginners and juniors. The aim on the Simple course was to punch as many controls as possible within 30 minutes. Although there were 16 controls up for grabs, competitors had to be tactical in order to maximise their points, as visiting all of them within 30 minutes would have been a tall order. There was a tie for first place on this course, with Ciara O'Brien, Lucy O'Brien and Julien Beuken all scoring 12 points. Just one control behind in second place were Joseph Lawlor, Katie Meldrum and Ciara Meldrum on 11 points. Many more people managed 10 controls and tied for 3rd place: Ber O'Sullivan, Conor Lande, Lily Meldrum, John Murphy, Jill Murphy, Laura Cox and Jana Cox.

The mass start "Snooker Score" course got underway at 12:03pm, and competitors had until 12:53pm to score as many points as possible. For some, it was their first game of snooker and they only had a few minutes to wrap their heads around the rules! For others, it was clear that they were familiar with the format and already had a strategy worked out to maximise their points tally.

Planner's observation:

Courses like this can be considered in two parts: firstly the red-colour-red-colour part (where competitors have a choice in which colours to punch in between the mandatory reds) and secondly the "colour sprint" part (where competitors have no choice, and just have to sprint around the six colours to get to the finish). Those that did the best seemed to work their way across the map from west to east, so that they finished the red-colour-red-colour section right beside the Yellow control, and had no delay in starting the "colour sprint" section. There were 27 points up for grabs from the "colour sprint" section, so the people that did best seemed not to waste too much time getting high-scoring colours in the first section, thereby allowing time for them to complete the second section fully.

We had 37 people on the Snooker Score, and after the points were tallied it was a tie for first place, with Darren Burke and Andy Simpson both scoring 88 points within the time limit of 50 minutes. Andy managed it with just 39 seconds to spare! Next placed was Brian Corbett (75), followed by Toni O'Donovan (72) and Conrad Daly (70). Totting up these points was a bit of a Christmas nightmare! For those who are interested in splits etc., see the spreadsheet attached below. Controls punched after the 50-minute time limit scored zero points. Some people punched two consecutive Red controls on the first section of the course, and I applied a 2-point penalty every time someone did this.

Thanks to all who took part and donated their entry fees - this was a charity event in aid of Straight Ahead Ireland, who provide surgery, support and medical equipment for children with orthopaedic conditions. Regular Summer League orienteers will know Sean Bosonnet, whose story was recently featured in the Irish Examiner and inspired us to donate this year's proceeds to this worthy charity. €478 was raised in total.

Thanks also to those who helped out on the day: Bobby O'Connor, David and Francis O'Donovan, Conrad Daly and Darren Burke.

Finally we had two competitors who didn't check back in with us after their runs - so if Rory Duggan and Sharon Duggan are reading this (or somebody knows how to contact them), could they please get in touch with us so that we can retrieve their SI cards.

Happy New Year,