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

Post date: May 14, 2014 10:56:10 PM

The 2014 Cork Orienteering Club Summer League got off to a fantastic start in the tranquil surrounds of Fota House and Gardens last night. During the summer months there is always the expectation for long bright summer evenings but often the weather gods can put a dampen on things but thankfully last night we got a glorious evening which was ideal for orienteering and allowed us to enjoy being outdoors and appreciate this charming location.The fine evening combined with the stunning terrain ensured a record turn out of 125 entries ranging in age from seven weeks to eight plus years.....orienteering really is a sport for all ages.

We were delighted to welcome so many new faces to our sport. We sincerely hope you enjoyed the experience and will join us again at more of our league events throughout the summer. It was also great so see so many familiar faces returning to enjoy our Summer League series. Many of these were sporting their 2013 Summer League finishers t-shirts. If you were envious of their orienteering style fear not if you complete six events in this years league you too can earn yourself the 2014 edition of the Summer League finishers t-shirt!

Last night's Short course took a very scenic route through the grounds with controls by Fota House and the striking orangery. The open parkland terrain and buggy friendly nature of the grounds at Fota House and Gardens certainly seems to attract families and it was wonderful to see so many young orienteers in action on the Short course. I'm sure there are some future Irish Champions in the making.

The planner made full use of the map for the 4.3km Long course. The early part of the course took competitors down to towards the railway station were they had the pleasure of running through some very clear open forest. It was difficult to stay focused on the task at hand with passing trains, beautiful bluebells and the aroma of wild garlic. From the post run discussions it seems control number six in this area caused some trouble. It was discretely located in the pit in a patch of slow run and as a result some got to enjoy the runnable forest for a bit longer than anticipated. The latter part of the course had routes criss-crossing the house and gardens and participants had to navigate their way around the numerous lush and vibrant shrubs in this area in getting to the control sites.

Many concentrated hard on the task at hand and this year's league got off to a very competitive start. The bragging rights for the first event win in the 2014 Summer League go to recently returned local man John Chandler who set a blistering pace on the Long course and managed to complete it in a time of 23:12. Perhaps the efforts John put into planning our Christmas fun event on this map gave him the edge on the night as he had a good memory of where all those pits were. Only seconds separated the remaining podium finishers with Danny O’Hare finishing second with a time of 24:18 with a mere eleven seconds to spare over third place finisher Jonathan Lucey. With a time of 24:39 Jonathan just piped Donal Murphy by seven seconds for the final podium spot.

The fastest lady around Fota was Eibhlin Cleary with a time of 32:30. Sharon Lucey earned second place finishing in a time of 34:07 and third place went to Trishia O’Mahony with a time of 35:28. 

It was brilliant to see some of our juniors taking up the challenge of Long course with notable runs by both Joe Bosonnet and Oisin O'Sullivan they finishing 14th and 15th respectively on the Long course. Impressive orienteering lads.

On the Short course Ken McGilreavy had a convincing win finishing in 16:22 and claiming the first Short course event win in the process. Things were a lot tighter between second and third with only six seconds the difference between the two. Noranne Scott taking the runner up spot in a time of 19:58 and Gary and Maeve Brett pooling their navigation skills to claim third place in a time of 20:04.

Well done to all who participated. Full individual results with split times are available here.

We also added a few photos from the evening to the Gallery page on our website which you can view here.

Thanks to Brian Corbett for planning last night's challenging courses and to Liz Deane for assisting with organising the event and handling registration on the night. Thanks also to Bobby O’Connor and John Scannell for taking care of starts and for bringing and erecting our club tent. Thanks too, to Gerald Duffy for helping with control collection.

As always we would like to extend our gratitude to the OPW and the people at Fota House and Gardens for granting us access and for facilitating us using this marvellous area. 


Next week sees the Summer League move on to Currabinny Wood near Ringaskiddy. Legend has it that the wood’s name commemorates a giant, Binne whose burial chamber surmounts the hill (‘Corra’) to this day. However since our last visit to this area a few new giants have arrived in the vicinity of the wood with DePuy, GSK and Janssen Biologics all having recently erected new 150 metre high wind turbines at their sites in this area. They will be hard to miss on your approach to Currabinny next week. Further woodland trivia and directions can be found here.

Hope to see you there,