Summer League #4: Regional Park Ballincollig, Tuesday June 4th Results and Report

Post date: Jun 05, 2019 10:4:39 PM

The Regional Park Ballincollig was the destination for the fourth event in the CorkO Summer League. This historic park with its wonderful heritage is always a popular location with orienteers and locals who like to enjoy the great facilities the park has to offer. Although at times the skies darkened and it threatened to rain thankfully it remained dry for the event itself and all 85 competitors got to enjoy a lovely evening orienteering in the park. We were delighted to welcome the Ballinora Scouts to the event for an orienteering venture. It was also great to see so many new families trying the sport of orienteering for the first time. We hope you all enjoyed the evening. This week saw a change from our usual format to a group start score event. With 25 controls distributed throughout the park competitors had just 40 minutes to locate and punch as many controls as possible. To make it even more exciting there was two group starts on the night. The first group set off a little later than expected due to some technical issues. Thanks for your patience and we hope you took the time to socialise with your fellow competitors and orienteering rivals. With each start once the final instructions were communicated the count down began and then it was time to synchronise watches as the 40 minute time limit began. Some competitors paused at the start to do some route planning while others got carried away with the crowd and simply ran to the control nearest to the start. The planner allocated different points to controls based on the distance from the start and difficult in navigating to them. At either extreme of the map two valuable 30 point control sites existed. Some may have taken a few moments at the start to do some mental arithmetic to determine if it was more advantageous to head East or West. Others may have relied on their speed and simply adopted a sweep strategy finding and punching whatever they passed. No doubt the cluster of controls to the East relatively closed to the start may have enticed the majority to head East rather that West.

Some controls such as 1, 2, 7, 9 and 12 were easy to spot on approach others such as 6, 14, 20 and 23 were a little more discretely positioned to avoid the attention of passers-by. On certain routes local knowledge may have been advantageous as regular visitors to the park would be aware of the dry canals and more importantly the narrow bridge to the East of control site 19 which would have shortened the route into and out of this site.

A score event is all about route planning and attempting to select the optimum route to control sites to minimise distance traveled while keeping a close eye on the clock to avoid penalties which would cancel out some punches. Around the 40 minute mark competitors began to arrive fast and furious to the finish from all directions. On the Long course our three podium finishers all attained the maximum 500 points on offer at the score event. So, finish times were used to decide the podium rankings. The event winner title went to CorkO’s Darren Burke although resident in the Kingdom Darren crossed the county bounds and made the journey to Ballincollig to take on the score challenge. His speed and orienteering prowess came to the fore and he punched all 25 control with over eight minutes to spare. Runner up on the night was Liam Cotter he also manged to visit all the controls in a time of 34:34 with plenty of time spare in the process. Third place went to Darragh Hoare who punched the finish in a time of 38:59. Aoife O’Sullivan demonstrated great speed and navigational skills in the Regional Park Ballincollig on Tuesday night and nearly punched all 25 controls. She scored a total of 470 points to claim the honour of the fastest lady on the night. Despite incurring a penalty for being 25 second over the time limit she had plenty of points to spare over the next two finishers. There was a very close contest for the runner up honour with Caroline Murray and Elaine Sheridan both scoring 395 points on the night. However, Caroline finished in a time of 40:56 and took the runner up spot on the count back. Third place went to Elaine Sheridan who punched 21 controls but suffered a 10 point penalty for poor time keeping. On the Short course the experienced Mannix Family topped the leaderboard and took the Short course event winner title. They selected their controls wisely and scored 320 points. Plus their precision timing, punching the finish in a time of 39:58 meant they sustained no penalties. Again, their was a fierce contest for the runner up spot with the next two finishers achieving 315 points. However, it was Milos Mniszek who achieved them in the faster time of 38:32. The final podium place when to Erin O’Brien who got three time penalties for finishing 2:21 over the time allowed.

Well done to all who participated on the night. We hope you enjoyed the change in format and the social nature of the group starts. Full individual results with points, times and penalties are available at the following link:

Thanks, this week to John Chandler for planning and organising the event. Thanks also to Jim and Breda O’Donovan and Frances O’Donovan for handling registration and Dave O’Donovan for assisting with the mass starts. Thanks to Brendan Wall for the technical support and issuing the starters orders.

We are also very grateful to Cork City council for permitting us to stage the event in the wonderful amenity that is the Regional Park Ballincollig.

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. This wooded area will offer a very different challenge to the terrain at the Regional Park Ballincollig. The steep slopes will test all orienteers both mentally and physically. Further woodland trivia and directions to this legendary destination can be found here:

Hope you can join us.