Summer League #1: Fota House and Gardens Tuesday May 8th Results and Report

Post date: May 10, 2018 11:49:18 AM

The 2018 Cork Orienteering Club Summer League got off to a glorious start in the picturesque environs of Fota House and Gardens on Tuesday evening. The sun was shinning brightly which helped draw over 90 entrants to the event.We were delighted to see so many summer league regulars returning for another summer of orienteering action. It was fantastic to see several new individuals trying out the sport and wonderful to see so many families out enjoying the sport of orienteering. The Fermoy Cubs and the Douglas Beaver Scouts were also in attendance on the night. There was certainly a taste of summer in the air on Tuesday night and I hope you all enjoyed your orienteering adventure around these stunning surrounds.

Our planner set out two challenging courses for all to enjoy. The Short course was confined to the House and Gardens and encompassed a nice loop around this area. The Long course was a bit more challenging and offered some interesting route choices for those willing to venture off the paths. The early section of the course took competitors towards the railway end of the map and had some nice control sites around this area of runnable forest. The leg from 4 to 5 provided some route choice on exiting the forest with options to follow the path out or take a more direct route through the forest boundary.

From here the course took participants back through the start area and on towards the wild life park entrance. In fact, some of the wild life park inhabitants provided an interesting sound track on some of these legs. Peacocks could be heard and the intimidating sound of bellowing buffalo may have spurred some folks to run that little bit quicker on these legs. Control nine was positioned at a rather interesting bunker but many of the faster competitors in the field may not have taken the time to explore it.

Once orienteers entered the main gardens there was lots of short fast legs to test ones’ navigational skills. No doubt the intricate path network caught some folks out and they lost precious seconds here. As always, the gardens provided a colourful back drop for orienteering with interesting control sites such as sculptures and the orangery. Storm damage was evident on some of these trails as sadly, some of the older trees in the grounds fell victim to storm Ophelia. The large tree resting on the wall adjacent to control 20 was a scary reminder of its power. On exiting the gardens participants had a fast sprint across the car park to the finish control.

As always competition was fierce on the night and of the 50 competitors on the Long course it was Darragh Hoare who bagged the first event winner title of the 2018 Summer League. He had a very impressive run and completed the 4.5km course in a time of 30:41. Giving him a comfortable winning margin over runner up Simon Forrest. Simon ran a close race with third place finisher Dermot Murphy but narrowly edged passed him to claim the runner up spot. He finished in a time of 33:07 with Dermot punching the finish a mere 22 seconds later.The fastest lady around the Long course in Fota House and Gardens was Michelle Ahern. She held off a strong challenge from Elizabeth Jakobsson to take first place in a time of 39:27. Elizabeth completed the testing course in a time of 40:08. The final podium spot went to Sharon Lucey who punched all 21 controls in a time of 40:44.On the Short course a meagre second separated the top two orienteers at the finish. Chiara Bosonnet just edged out her brother Sean to take the short course event winner honour in a time of 17:48. Chiara was joint Summer League Champion on the Short course last year and has made a very impressive start to her title defence. Runner up on the night was Sean Bosonnet who finished in a time of 17:49. It was a little crowded for the final spot on the podium with the honour shared between Joanna & Karina and Fermoy Cubs 7 who all completed the 2.1km in exactly the same time. They all punched all 11 controls in a time of 20:04.Well done to all who participated on the day. Full individual results with split times are available at the following link:

Route gadget is also available for this event for those willing to share their route choices.

Huge thanks this week to Conrad Daly for planning and organising the event. Thanks also to Robert O’Connor and Gerald Duffy for helping with starts, Liam O’Brien for taking charge of registration and Rob McEvoy and Gerald Duffy for helping with control collection.Thanks also to the OPW and Fota House and Gardens for granting us access to this fantastic location.Next week the summer league will move across Cork harbour to the prominent hillock of Currabinny. This wooded area will offer a very different challenge to the terrain at Fota. The steep slopes will test all orienteers both mentally and physically. Further woodland trivia and directions to this legendary destination can be found you can’t wait till next Tuesday our Club Coach Conrad Daly will be continuing his Urban Jog social running series this Thursday. This week's urban jog will be revisiting the Lee Fields.We'll be starting at 7pm on Thursday. We'll be meeting in the County Hall carpark fronting on to the Carrigrohane Straight. This is between the County Library and City Print,and is directly opposite the Kingsley Hotel.

We have a 4km loop and a 5.5km loop on offer this week. This week's routes will be making use FitzGerald's Park and parts of the Curraheen walkway, as well as the Lee Fields. It is mostly flat. There is the option to do one or both of these loops. As always, all abilities are welcome, members and non-members. The group will go at a pace that is comfortable for whoever shows up.

Hope you can join us!