Summer League #6: James' Fort, Kinsale Tuesday June 16th Results and Report

Post date: Jun 17, 2015 11:24:21 PM

The historic setting of James' Fort in Kinsale was the location where orienteers battled it out in the sixth event in the CorkO Summer League. This pretty sea side hamlet is always a popular destination and despite the slightly duller conditions orienteers were out in force again on Tuesday night. The coastal sea fog which engulfed the area on the night created an eerie backdrop at this ancient site. Even Charles Fort on the opposite side of the harbour was difficult to see at times. While the vistas of the surrounding areas were obscured by the fog thankfully visibility wasn't impaired on the courses.The Fort itself provided the focal point for activities at the event and despite the sea fog the bright red club tent was very prominent on the approach road to the fort and it was the assembly point for all competitors. This red beacon attracted 114 entrants all eager to take on their orienteering rivals. We were delighted to welcome back a great number of players, coaches and families from Sliabh Rua Camogie club who took a break from their regular training to try out the sport of orienteering. It was also great to see a few members from Tracton AC taking on our orienteering challenge and racing around James’ Fort. We hope you all enjoyed the experience and had some fun at the Fort on Tuesday night. James’ Fort is quite a compact area and both courses took competitors to all areas of the map. This week’s planner designed the Long course for some HEAD-TO-HEAD racing. It was in "MOTALA" format and comprised two common 'butterfly' controls, each giving rise to two loops of controls. This allowed for four different map variants but in reality all runners covered the same distance and completed the same legs, just in a different order. Competitors were actively encouraged to start with a partner and RACE HEAD-TO-HEAD. If the pairings were evenly matched, then you would meet your partner back at the common controls, at the start and end of each loop. This no doubt motivated some to push even harder on the remaining loops. The proximity of the first control in the butterfly loop to the start triangle meant that some folks got off to a sluggish start as they struggled to read the map and determine the correct leg to their second control. Once deciphered competitors were then observed sprinting in all directions and from the bastions of the fort competitors could be seen criss-crossing the hillside below. With 24 controls on the Long course there was no let up in the navigation and route planning. The two sided map aided map reading and careful observation of the map detail was required to spot some of the shorter route options through some areas of impassable vegetation. These would help shave precious seconds off some split times. Competitors passed through the infamous tunnels on numerous legs and warning signs were in place reminding participants to watch their head! Some folks who were too focused on keeping their head down failed to notice fellow competitors approaching in the opposite direction and there were a few close encounters in the tunnels. Furthermore, congestion on some of the narrow paths may have cost some valuable seconds. The downhill running towards the controls at the jetty, blockhouse, beach and depression were to be savoured as these legs were inevitably followed by a steep ascent. Contouring was possible on some legs to eliminate additional climb. The open hillside with the long grass was quite gruelling at times and the physical nature of this terrain took its toll as competitors circled the fort on the various loops. So down to the important business of results, did anyone let the fog cloud their map reading and route choice judgement? The common controls and the butterfly loops confused some on the Long course and resulted in a few DNFs on the night. However, following all the looping around the Fort it was Conrad Daly who emerged as the event winner. He completed the 4.1km course with its 175m of climb in an impressive time of 28 minutes and 43 seconds. Conrad has had several podium finishes in the league to date but the event winner’s honour had eluded him until Tuesday night. Conrad raced hard on the night and suffered a few grazes and scratches following numerous short cuts on the various laps around the Fort but these were all made worthwhile as he bagged the event winner title. The margins between second and third were the closest we've had in this year’s league. After the demanding course just two seconds separated Sean Murphy and Brian Corbett on the Long course. Sean claimed the runners-up award finishing in a time of 31:25 while Brain took the final podium spot with a time of 31:27. The fastest Lady around James’ Fort was Meabh Perkins she proved the hills were no obstacle as she punched all 24 controls in a time of 33:16. The runners-up distinction in the Ladies section went to Niamh Corbett who finished in a time of 34:08. Eibhlin Cleary took third place on the night when she completed all four loops in a time of 36:02.

There was fierce competition on the Short course this week with 66 competitors electing to take on all the challenges the Short course presented and just 27 seconds separated the three podium finishers. For the sixth consecutive week it was Matthew Kearney who took the event winners honour when he completed the 1.6km Short course in a time of 18:34. With just four competitive events left it will be impossible for anyone to deny Matthew the title of 2015 Short Course Champion! Well done Matthew for demonstrating very consistent navigational skills and great running ability in the league to date. Ger Lynch ran hard around the Short course at James’ Fort and got very close to Matthews time when he finished in a time of 18:47 which placed him second on the night. Andrew Murphy also had an impressive run when he punched all 17 controls in a time of 19:01 to take third place on the Short course. Well done to all who participated at the event. Full individual results with split times are available here. We also managed to capture a few photos of some of the competitive action at the Fort and these can be viewed on the Gallery page of our website.Huge thanks this week go to Rob McEvoy for educating us on the MOTALA format and for planning interesting and testing courses. Thanks also to Stephen Murphy for his assistance at the event and to Dave O’Donovan for explaining things at the start and setting us off in the right direction. Thanks to Bobby O’Connor for his work with the slash hook in clearing some otherwise impassable paths and for transporting the tent! Conrad Daly was carefully monitoring the results until the last finisher had downloaded to ensure his time wasn't surpassed and following confirmation of his event win he kindly assisted with control collection which was much appreciated.

The next event in this year’s Summer League will take us to Moabaun Wood near Watergrasshill. The “White Bog” is a popular hangout for the midge so if you tend to be a tasty treat for these pesky little critters you might want to come prepared to do battle with them. Further information and directions are available here

Hope you can join us.