Summer League #5: James' Fort Results and Report

Post date: Jun 06, 2012 12:56:42 PM

The historic setting of James’ Fort in Kinsale provided the battle ground for the fifth event in the Cork Orienteering Summer League. The fort was constructed in 1602 after the battle of Kinsale and who would have dreamt that 410 years later 76 orienteers would have turned up for combat of a different kind on this remarkable site. Thankfully the rain stopped and the clouds parted to reveal some blue sky and sunshine which made this one of the most enjoyable evenings of the league to date. The strategic position of the fort means it provides excellent views, with Kinsale to the north, the pretty village of Summer Cove and monolithic Charles Fort due east across the harbour, the opening to the sea southwards, and the broad meanders of the river Bandon to the west. However with a return to Park O no one could afford to waste precious seconds taking in these wonderful vistas.The planner offered competitors on the Long course plenty of route choice starting with control one with the option to traverse the sandy beach or navigate around the marina. Similarly from control 7 to 8 there were options to go either side of the fort while control 13 to 14 gave the choice to go through the fort. Leg 9 to 10 brought the infamous tunnel into play for some. I’m sorry to report that one competitor didn’t heed the warnings in the event preview and didn’t duck low enough going through said tunnel. Thankfully he was alright and seemed quite proud of his battle scar! As is often the case here the dry moat seemed to cause some confusion and several competitors could be seen standing high on the bastions wondering how to get down to the control they could see in the distance. The long grass in places also meant that the straight line route was not always the quickest.Unfortunately the belief that fresh legs might have given someone the edge over those who competed in the Irish 3 day was actually misguided. It now seems that three consecutive days of orienteering merely sharpens ones navigation skills and spurs ones competitiveness as was evident in this week’s Long course results. The top three finishers on the Long course all participated in the Irish three day and not only that they made it a UCC 1-2-3 on the Long course. Rob McEvoy and Josh O’Sullivan Hourihan pursued each other around the hills of Connemara in the chasing start on the final day of the Irish 3 day with Josh just beating Rob on that occasion. However it seems they continued their spirited rivalry in James’ Fort last night and in this instance it was Rob McEvoy’s legendary sprint speed which saw him take the spoils. He completed the Long course in a time of 20:42 with just 18 seconds to spare over second place Josh O’Sullivan Hourihan. This was Josh’s first outing on the James’ Fort map and looking at his Route Gadget and splits it seems the dry moat wasn’t his downfall but rather the marina enroute to number one which caused him some difficulty. Not far off the pace either was third place finisher Gearoid Ryan with at time of 21:39.  At the half way stage of the competitive fixtures of the Summer League it seems Rob McEvoy is fast emerging as the man to beat with three first place finishes to date.

The first Lady finisher was Eibhlin Cleary also from UCC who completed the Long course in an outstanding time of 25:13 which saw her finish seventh in the overall results. The fast open terrain obviously suited Eibhlin. Second place when to Ailbhe Creedon who finished in a time of 27:34 while Una Buckley claimed third place with a time of 30:04.

On the Short course just 30 seconds separated the top three finishers and it was Sean Bosonnet who took first place yet again. Sean continues to demonstrate his inspiring form and got his hat trick of first place finishes completing the Short course in 15:30. A mere 23 seconds behind Sean was Audrey Burkley who took second place with only a seven second margin over third place finisher Richard O’Leary who completed the course in exactly 16 minutes.

Team UCC followed in the footsteps of team Bosonnet last week and their 1-2-3 finish on the Long course means they get the minimum team points possible, 6 points. Team Fitzob took second place with 46 points. On the Short course team Bosonnet continue to extend their commanding lead with another first place accumulating a further 10 points.

Full individual results with splits and Route Gadget are available here.

In bygone times the bastions and ramparts provided excellent visibility of any approaching danger but last night they offered perfect positioning for capturing some of the racing action in the vicinity of the fort as well as some splendid scenes of the offshore action taking place around James’ Fort. These along with some other photos which depict the stunning views which some may not have noticed when running back and forth across the fort can be seen here.

Thanks to last night’s planner Fachtna Healy and to Cork O star members Bobby O’Connor and Jim O’Donovan for putting out the controls on the day and handling the data entry. Thanks also to Breda O’Donovan for dealing with registration and to Dave O’Donovan for manning the starts.

Next week the Summer League returns east as we head to Curragh Woods in Midleton. This wood lies in a long narrow glen and the terrain is fairly physical due to the nature of the landscape so smart route choice with particular attention to the contour detail could help eliminate unnecessary climb. Although climb doesn’t seem to bother some participants, so I’m sure the pace will be as fast and furious as ever. Further details and directions are available here.Rumour has it that some Cork O ex pats may be in town next Tuesday to try and mix up the results a little! In the mean time best of luck to all those Summer League competitors starting the leaving and junior certificate exams today. Hope it all goes well and we see ye out in the woods again very soon. Finally, I just want to congratulate Cork O members Bernard Creedon, Brian Corbett and Niamh Corbett who all won their respective classes at the Irish 3 day event in Oughterard over the weekend.