Summer League #4: Regional Park Ballincollig Tuesday June 3rd Results and Report

Post date: Jun 04, 2014 12:35:30 PM

The Regional Park Ballincollig was the venue for the fourth event in the Cork Orienteering Club Summer League. Although the day started out with sunshine and blue skies by the time our event kicked off the drizzle had begun to set in for the evening. Thankfully, the damp conditions didn’t deter our dedicated gang of Summer League followers from participating. Furthermore, the weather didn’t discourage many beginners from attending the event. In particular, we were delighted to welcome a group of enthusiastic scouts and a number of personnel from the EPA who were competing in teams as part of a work outing. We really hope you enjoyed the event and will join us again for more orienteering escapades.A fireman may have set a new world record for completing a marathon in full firefighting attire but CorkO also managed to set a few records last night. Firstly, a 2014 Summer League attendance record with a whopping 130 participants despite the weather and secondly, a record for the most orienteers in the CorkO club red tent as a result of the weather!

The park has seen a few changes since our last visit with new allotments, way marked Gunpowder trails, several new paths around the pitches on the Western section of the map and the addition of the new middle car park. The planner decided to start the event from this car park which provided regular competitors with a new perspective when compared with our usual start location at the Western entrance. One of the drawbacks of the popularity of the park is that the orienteering kites tend to attract the attention of mischievous youngsters who find it most amusing to relocate our kites to new control sites. As a result this restricts us to using the old school manual punches for the event to minimize our potential losses. The planner ensured the kites were in relatively discreet locations and even when the kites could be seen dangling in the distance on the approach to a control site the way to them wasn't entirely obvious. Luckily no kites went walk about at Tuesday’s event.

I'm sure competitors began with precision alignment of the punches in the respective boxes on their control card but no doubt the efficiency of ones punching technique improved as you progressed along the course. Hopefully any congestion at control sites and time spent waiting for your turn to punch didn't cost anyone valuable seconds.

This park was once home to the Royal Gunpowder Mills and the courses provided competitors vistas of many of the historic structures in the park such as the Western Watch House, the canal sluice gate, the steam stove and several magazine buildings. Fortunately, the only explosive action in the park on Tuesday was from the orienteers who took full advantage of the flat terrain and stormed around the courses on offer.Both the Long and Short course commenced by taking competitors westward from the start along the bank of the main canal. This week’s ten element of orienteering training video posted on our website over the weekend focused on route choice and the planner certainly incorporated plenty of route options on the Long course. The weather may have influenced some competitors route choices on legs 7 to 8 and 9 to 10 on the Long course. The shorter routes here were probably the more exposed routes through the fields but some may have opted instead for the more sheltered route around the perimeter. There was an element of risk associated with the shortest route from control 8 to 9 on the Long course as the vegetation and mash which had to be traversed in the process might have presented it's own challenges. However, I'm sure this route tempted some and I hope the gamble paid off.

Several competitors were just back from their exploits in the Irish 3 Day Orienteering event and others were sporting commemorative t-shirts from the Cork City Marathon having completed the full, half or relay stages at the event. However, anyone fresh from a relaxing long weekend hoping to gain an edge over their weary rivals may have been frustrated with the results on the day. Cillin Corbett was competing in his fourth consecutive orienteering event last night and he showed no signs of wilting as he comfortably took the event win with an impressive time of 25:40. The battle for the final two podium spots was as close as it gets with just one second differentiating these finishers. It was John Chandler who clinched second place with a time of 28:20 ahead of third place finisher Donal Murphy.

Tuesday’s event was a stroll in the park compared to the rough open terrain Sharon Lucey was in action on at the Irish 3 Day in Galway. She also demonstrated no signs of fatigue as she completed her fourth event in four days in style by bagging the title of fastest Lady around the Long course in the Regional Park. She completed the 4.4km course in a time of 35:59. Not far behind Sharon was second place finisher Una Buckley who finished the course in 36:18. The final podium spot went to Elaine Sheridan with a time of 40:01.

On the Short course Fiona Craven had a convincing win when she completed the 2.4km course in a time of 18:55 and took the title of Short course event winner.  Sienna Bosonnet finished runner-up on the Short course with a time of 21:06. Third place went to Billy Cabal who finished with a time of 22:12.

Well done to all who competed. Full individual results are available here.

Some photos from the event have been posted on the Gallery page of our website.

If you missed the event and would like to visit the area remember there is a permanent orienteering course (POC) in the park which you can do anytime that suits you. Some of these control sites were actually used on Tuesday nights courses. The POC maps can be downloaded from our website at the following link.

Thanks to Gerald Duffy for planning and organising the event and Dave O’Donovan for controlling the event. Dave also took charge of the important task of time keeping. Managing both the start and finish at the event. Thanks also to Niamh Murphy for handling registration on the night and to Rob McEvoy for assisting with control collection.

We extend our gratitude to Cork County Council for granting us permission to stage the event in the park.

We would also express a special thanks to Margaret from Cafe Chico who remained open for the duration of the event providing hot beverages and tasty refreshments. The weather wasn’t too conducive to post race analysis over tea and cake but the hot beverages were a welcome treat.

The fifth event in the Summer League will see us trek East to Walshtown Wood near Dungourney. This relatively new map means that no one will be overly familiar with this terrain so it is sure to present new navigational challenges for all. Further directions and area facts can be found here.

Hope to see you there!

(Rob McEvoy in action at Walshtown Wood last year)