Summer League #3: Fota House and Gardens Results and Report

Post date: May 23, 2012 12:35:31 PM

The charming location of Fota House and Gardens was the destination for the third event in the Cork Orienteering Summer League. This parkland venue was only introduced to the Summer League last year and is already proving to be a popular area as was evident by last night’s attendance of 119.We are always trying to encourage new people to the sport of orienteering and so were delighted to see new faces and many families giving the sport a go. This led to a Summer League record of 52 participants on the Short course which meant we had to recycle some maps to cater for everyone. Apologies to those who didn't have their map to take home as a souvenir from the event if you would like a copy please let me know and I can have it for you at the next event. Despite this I hope you all enjoyed the experience and will join us again at some of the other events in our Summer League.This was the second of our Park O style events which once again meant rapid decision making was required and any small lapse in concentration would be costly. Sometimes, when orienteering one can feel quite isolated if you don’t see any fellow competitors for long periods of time. This certainly wasn’t the case last night as the planner confined the courses to the areas around the house and gardens and cleverly used two ‘buttefly’ controls so people could be seen crossing the open areas in front of the house and the lawns to the rear of the house on numerous occasions and in all directions. Thankfully the double sided map printing meant that although there were 23 courses on the Long course, the map wasn’t cluttered and all features were very legible. The planner also introduced some Farsta orienteering to the mix and had four variants of the Long course which allowed those confident enough with their orienteering prowess to challenge their opponents to a head-to-head race.

One of the many features of the gardens at Fota is the intricate network of paths and the shrubbery which can disorient when attempting to take short cuts. However it seemed that control 218 on the Long course caught some people out who chose to approach or leave it (depending on your variant) via the forest fight! Control 203 beside the stream also caused a bit of a splash! While some people though they were being given a receipt when they downloaded the little slip of paper was actually their individual printed split times and these splits provided the focal point for much of the post route discussions in the car park.

Without further ado it’s time to announce the Fota event winners and runners-up. With our current league leader Rob McEvoy involved in planning the event he couldn’t contend for the three in a row but there were plenty of others vying for the winners title in Fota. With the fast nature of the terrain things were always going to be tight and there was just one minute between the top three finishers on the Long course. Danny O’Hare could be seen waiting nervously at the finish when the last competitor on the Long course came in to download. Would his victory be confirmed or would someone pip him at the very end. Luckily Danny’s clean run of 27:58 was rewarded and he was crowded the Fota Long course winner. Danny has over ten years of Summer League experience but an event number one had always eluded him until last night. So needless to say he was overjoyed with his win. He was so pleased he even did a lap of honour.....see if you can spot him in the photos! Meanwhile Conrad Daly continues to demonstrate his consistency and was only 18 second behind Danny. Jonathan Lucy took the final podium place in a time of 28:58.

Unlike Rob the leader of the ladies league Niamh Corbett had the opportunity to make it three wins in a row but a mis-punch denied her the treble. Ailbhe Creedon claimed the winners title and finished the course in 36 minutes even and she was followed by Trishia O’Mahony who completed the course in 38:49 and Una Buckley was third in a time of 44:54.

Things were ultra competitive on the Short course this week with so many challengers. However the flat terrain really suited Sean Bosonnet from team Bosonnet and he didn’t get distracted by the crowds and finished with a time of 23:22. I’m sure he must have been breaking the 15km speed limits on some of the main roads! Just under two minutes behind Sean was Gillian O’Leary who took second place in 25:12 and Joshua Badenhorst was third in 26:59.

On the Long course team Fitzob were reunited and took the honours on the night with a tally of 60pts but the newly formed Defence Forces team has the potential to give these guys some serious competition and they took second place with 77 points. Third place went to team St Colmans who finished with 138pts. On the short course the only team points awarded went to team Ginty who accumulated 87 points.

Full individual results and splits are available here:

For those who were too focused on their runs to notice the vibrant colours of the rare trees and shrubs in the gardens I’ve uploaded some photos which attempt to capture the splendour of the venue as well as some of the action. You can check them out here.

Although the controller promised us some fun in the sun unfortunately the latter didn’t really materialise and the sun-cream wasn’t actually needed. Nonetheless there seemed to be plenty of fun had by all and lots of happy orienteers at the finish. So thanks to last night’s planner Rob McEvoy for great courses and introducing us all to Farsta orienteering. Thanks also to his controller Gearoid Ryan and his helpers John Scannell and Dave O’Donovan. Thanks also to Conrad Daly for assisting with control 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.

Next week’s venue is the "White Bog" - Moanbaun/Watergrasshill. The map of the area has been updated and extended to include an interesting quarry. Those who attended the Cork League event here earlier in the year would have already got to experience this distinctive terrain but will it feature again next Tuesday night? You'll just have to come along to find out. Information and directions are available here.Also if you tend to be a tasty treat for the midges you might want to fight back and come prepared next week as Watergrasshill is a popular hang out for these pesky little critter!

Hope to see you there.