Summer League #5: Garretstown Wood Tuesday June 6th Results and Report

Post date: Jun 09, 2017 12:27:43 AM

The fifth round in the CorkO Summer league took us West along the Wild Atlantic Way to Garretstown Wood in Ballinspittle. Another glorious summer evening helped draw an attendance of over 90 entrants to the event. By including this location in our summer series, we even enticed some former summer league stalwarts back into action. We were delighted to see these familiar faces and it seems they haven’t forgotten how to orienteer either. It was great to see so many locals taking part on the night, I’m sure their local knowledge proved beneficial when navigating around this wood. We also welcomed a visiting orienteer from WEGO to the event. This week’s planner set out two testing courses so we hope you all enjoyed the orienteering challenge. By obtaining the use of the Courcey Rovers GAA club car park the planner was able to start the event from the Ballinspittle entrance to the wood. Through the picturesque stone arch way this provided immediate access to perhaps one of the most charming areas of the wood with its intricate paths, earth walls and steep contours. The Short course was confined to a loop in this area but the Long course was a slightly more taxing affair. It commenced with a loop in this Easterly section of the map and was followed by another loop in the South West area of the map before returning to this area for a few more controls before the finish. As this area hasn’t been used much in recent years the majority of competitors were unfamiliar with the terrain and the map. This forced competitors to be more alert on the night as they needed to navigate carefully and identify features as they passed them. The 1:10000 map scale might have also added to the difficult on the night. There was plenty of route choice on several legs in particular the leg from 1 to 2 and 4 to 5. The lush vegetation in the wood encroached on many of the narrower tracks which may have influenced some route decisions. There was a long uphill climb from 5 to 6 but the colourful foxgloves and vibrant rhododendron along this and some of the other trails provided a welcome distraction.

Control 10 was at a very impressive hide and from here there was a long downhill run towards control 11. The downhill running was to be enjoyed following the tough slog up this track earlier. The penultimate control was in an area of forest walk and the dense forest to the right of it blocked the light into this area and as a result it was quite dark navigating around the low branches to this control. Following the demanding Long course there was plenty of refreshments at the finish to help restore energy levels.

At just 4.3km the length of the Long Course may have been a bit deceiving on the night. It was difficult to take the straight route to many controls and some careful map reading was required. So following all the adventures and some misadventures in Garretstown Wood there was a historic result on the night. For the first time ever in our Summer League the event winner and runner-up were both ladies. So huge congratulations to Niamh Corbett who this week was not just the fastest lady but also the event winner. She completed the course in a time of 41:54. Less than a minute behind Niamh was our event runner up Emer Perkins who finished in a time 42:34. These ladies have orienteering skill in abundance and it is no wonder that they are part of the Irish Orienteering Squad. In fact, Emer will be part of the Irish Youth team travelling to the European Youth Orienteering Championships (EYOC) in Slovakia later this month. We wish her the best of luck at this event. The final podium spot in ladies section went to Sinead O’Donoghue who punched all 13 controls in a time of 56:09 thus maintaining her record of podium finishes in the 2017 summer league. The fastest Man on the night was Kevin O’Brien who completed the grueling course in a time 43:16. Dan McDonnell punched the finish a mere 4 seconds after Kevin to take 2nd place. Third place went to Conrad Daly who covered the 4.3km course in a time of 44:28. On the 2km Short course Joe Bosonnet wasted little time punching these 8 controls and finished in a time of 13:43 to claim the Short course event win. We haven’t seen Joe in orienteering action in a while but it is great to see he hasn’t lost his pace or forgotten how to read the map. Runner-up on the night was Maeve Perkins she completed the course in a time 14:23. Third place went to James Condon who completed the loop in a time of 15:06. Well done to all who participated on the night. Full individual results with some interesting split times are available hereHuge thanks this week to local resident Fachtna Healy for planning the courses. Thanks also to Liz Deane for taking care of registration and despite his misfortune on Carrantuohill last weekend Brian Corbett didn’t let his injury prevent him from assisting with download on the night. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back in action again soon. Dave O’Donovan did a fantastic job again on starts. Thanks, are also due to Declan Doyle for assisting with control collection and to Gerald Duffy for providing the refreshments at the finish and for assisting with control collection. We were very grateful to the Courcey Rovers GAA club who kindly allowed us to use their car park for our event parking. Next week we won’t be venturing to far from the city centre when we gather in Tramore Valley Park. The area is comprised of open grass land and the going will surely be fast. As the location is so central please do encourage your family and friend to attend. Further location information and important instructions regarding entry to the park are available here.

Hope you can join us.