Summer League #4: The Regional Park Ballincolling Results and Report

Post date: Jun 05, 2013 10:27:13 PM

Tuesday night saw orienteering enthusiasts and numerous orienteering novices converge in the Regional Park Ballincollig for the fourth event in the Cork Orienteering club summer league. We were also delighted to welcome a member of Fingal Orienteers who were heading home from the Shamrock O-Ringen and took the event in on her journey East. The 90 plus participants including many family groups got to enjoy a fantastic summer’s evening with the sun beaming down, the smell of freshly cut meadows in air and the sound of the river Lee and the mill races flowing throughout the park.The sunshine not only lifts everyone’s spirits but it really does invite us all to enjoy the outdoors and it was fantastic to see such large crowds congregating in the park and taking full advantage of all the amenities it has to offer. In fact this week’s orienteering courses utilised the permanent orienteering course which was installed in the park last December. As a result of using the permanent orienteering course there was a slight change to our normal format and this week both the Long and Short courses adopted a scatter format. With this format competitors have a fixed number of controls to get but they may visit them in any order. It is up to the competitor to decide which order will result in the most efficient route. Needless to say when people were given their maps last night there was a small amount of hesitation as the map was studied and the first decision of whether to go clock wise or anti clockwise was taken. 

The courses were all about optimum route choice and bit of forward planning was required to avoid back tracking. It was a really hot evening for running especially across the pitches and pasture land and for those that forgot their sun cream this may have influenced some of their route choices, opting instead for the cooler shaded paths along the mill races. The vegetation growth in the last few weeks meant that some of the permanent posts were engulfed by the surrounding flora. To the disappointment of many of our very young orienteers manual punching was in operation this week which meant that sadly there was just two beeps....the start and finish!

The recent dry spell meant that both the grass land and trails were very dry and the going was fast thus the existing permanent orienteering course record of 29:14 held by John Scannell was always endanger of being surpassed. It was Cillin Corbett who chose the most effective route on the night and took first place on the Long course punching all 16 controls in a new permanent course record time of 25:29. Dave Sweeney was second fastest around the scatter course and finished with a time of 27:17. Third place went to Jonathan Lucey who was just nine seconds behind Dave. With four events down in this year’s league we have had four different event winners. so this year’s league is very much still there for the taking. The one individual who is displaying consistency every week she runs is Niamh Corbett. Niamh fresh from her exploits at the weekend’s Shamrock O-Ringen were she came 5th overall in a very competitive women's elite field of both national and international orienteers was the fastest Lady in Ballincollig. She covered the course in a time of 28:54 which left her 6th in the overall Long course results. Second place on the night went to Ailbhe Creedon with a time of 37:45, I’m sure Ailbhe would have been a good deal faster if she had known it was a scatter event and that you didn't have to get the controls in order! Third place went to Elaine Sheridan with a time of 37:53.

The short course required competitors to punch controls one to ten on the map again in any order and it was Billy Caball who found the most effective route to achieve this. He completed the course in an even 32 minutes. The Ryan Family worked well together and were second with a time of 35:28. The collective efforts of the O’Sullivan family were rewarded with a third place finish. They managed to complete the Short course in a time 37:41.

Thanks to all who participated. We sincerely hope you all enjoyed the orienteering and you will consider coming to some of our other Summer League events. Full individual results are available here.

If you missed the event you can view some photos from the evening under the Gallery. Furthermore as this is a permanent course you can also download the maps from here and venture out at a time that suits you. Remember if you do manage to better the new course record please do let us know. A big THANK YOU this week goes to Ken O’Neill for planning the event. Thanks also to Dave O’Donovan for controlling the event and taking care of starts. Thanks also to Rob McEvoy for organising the event and dealing with registration on the night and Gerald Duffy for taking care of data entry. We would also extend a special thanks to Margaret from Cafe Chico who remained open for the duration of the event and helped several orienteers quench their thirst and replenish their energy levels with some tasty treats after an exhausting run! The fifth event in the Summer League sees us head East to Walshtown near Midleton. This area was originally mapped in 1987 but was updated last year and many are already intrigued about what is in store for us next week. New terrain will surely level the playing field for all. With our dynamic duo of Jim and Bobby planning and organising it is sure to be fun! Further directions and area facts can be found here.

Hope to see you there,