Summer League #4: Regional Park Ballincollig Tuesday May 30th Results and Report

Post date: Jun 02, 2017 2:57:12 AM

The fourth round of the CorkO Summer League saw a crowd of over 130 eager orienteers converge in the Regional Park Ballincollig on Tuesday night. In a change to our usual Summer League format Tuesday’s event was a Score race. There were 30 controls positioned throughout the park and competitors had just 45 minutes to locate and punch as many of these controls as possible. With varying points assigned to controls it was all about getting the maximum number of points and finishing within the time allotted as penalties applied for every minute you exceeded the allowed time. Furthermore, to make things a little more exciting on the night the start was restricted to two group starts. With over 50 participants taking part in each start there was a lot of head to head racing on the score course.It was great to see so many embrace the Score format and we hope the group starts gave you an opportunity to meet fellow competitors and discuss score strategies both before and after the race. This week we were delighted to welcome several members of the Blarney Beavers to the event we hope you all enjoyed your orienteering adventure in Ballincollig. It was also great to see so many families in action on the night. No doubt their team work helped locate many controls in the park.There was much pre-race debate regarding the best score strategy to adopt. Some experienced competitors were focussed on punching all the controls while others decided to give precedence to punching the higher valued controls. The risk with this approach was that these controls would most likely be the furthest from the start and be more difficult to navigate to. Many of the beginners in the field opted to stick to the paths and keep close to the start/finish area.As competitors lined up for the group start watches were synchronised and maps were distributed then the starter announced GO and the racing commenced. With the event starting from the middle car park there was the immediate decision to head East or West. There was probably a bit of congestion at the first control in either direction and some might have lost precious seconds waiting to punch. With controls located between historic ruins on the East end of the map and around the playing pitches on the West side of the map there was a lot of distance to cover in a short space of time.

Careful route planning was required to try and visit as many of these control sites as possible in the most efficient manner. Competitors had to pay close attention to the map to ensure they didn’t skip a control in their vicinity that would be difficult to revisit at a later stage. Furthermore, some of the controls were more difficult to locate and with the time ticking down participants couldn’t afford to waste valuable time searching for the control if they didn’t immediately spot it. It was simply a case of forgetting it and moving on to the next one. No doubt controls 23 and 24 caused some trouble on the night.While navigating around the park competitors crossed paths on numerous occasions which would have encouraged some to up their pace and outsmart their rivals. Those that observed the locations of the dry canal crossings would have shorten the distance on some legs. As the time on the course approached the 45 limit entrants had to alter their plan and skip over some controls to ensure they didn’t incur any penalties by arriving late at the finish.This event was all about smart route choice, efficient navigation and fast running.  A number of competitors managed to punch all 30 controls and obtain 550 points which was the maximum number of points on offer. They also finished well inside the 45 minute time allocation. Others pushed right to the 45 minute limit and as a result things got a title frantic at the finish and download with the simultaneous finishing of a number of participants. Given the fine evening others ignored the time limit (or perhaps they didn’t have a watch!) and elected to suffer the penalties imposed as they savored the charming sights in this lovely, tranquil parkland amenity. We hope you all enjoyed the Score format and the social atmosphere at the event.Following all the excitement and drama of the group starts, the Regional Park Ballincollig score event winner was Agris Kramins he punched all 30 controls in a time of 30:28. His speed and efficient route planning proved most effective on the night as he finished almost 15 minutes under the time limit. Another solid run from Conrad Daly earned him another podium finish in the 2017 summer league as he was runner up on the night. He finished a mere 24 seconds after Agris in a time of 30:52. Third place went to Brian Corbett who also punched all 30 controls in a time of 32:17.

For the second week running the fastest lady on the night was Niamh Corbett. She succeeded in punching all the controls in a time of 35:37 and was well inside the time limit. Runner up on the night was Elaine Sheridan she missed just one control and scored a total of 520 points. She finished in a time of 41:20 so perhaps she would have had time to get that one last control! The final podium spot went to Sinead O’Donoghue who scored 490 points on the night. She missed just two of the 30 point controls and finished in a time 43:23. If only these controls were a little close to the finish area she might have had enough time to find them.

Well done to all who participated in the racing action on the night. Full individual results with splits are available at the following link:

The overall results based on combining the results from the two group starts can be viewed at the following link:

Huge thanks this week to Gerald Duffy for planning the course, Niamh Murphy for taking care of registration, Dave O’Donovan for assisting with the starts and thanks also to all who helped with control collection.

Thanks also to Cork County Council for granting us permission to stage our event in the park.Next week will see us head West along the Wild Atlantic away when we visit Garretstown Wood in Ballinspittle. This area was updated last year and last used during the 2016 Autumn League. As this terrain will be less familiar to many of our regular summer league followers it should present a rewarding challenge to all who participate.Hope you can join us.