Summer League #6: Regional Park Ballincollig Tuesday June 12th Results and Report

Post date: Jun 14, 2018 1:18:59 PM

The Regional Park Ballincollig was the sun-soaked destination for the sixth event in the CorkO summer orienteering league. Tuesday’s event saw a variation from our usual Summer League format with the introduction of 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 in any order. 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. To make things even more exciting on the night the start was constrained to two group starts. With over 40 competitors 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 pre and post-race strategies. This week we were delighted to welcome the Blarney Beavers and the Ballinora Scouts to the event. We hope you all enjoyed your orienteering adventure in Ballincollig. It was also lovely to see so many families in action on the night.Score strategy was the hot topic for much of the pre-race discussions. The experienced and faster 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 slightly more technical. 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. However, given the spell of fine weather a number of the canals were exceptionally dry which meant heading directly North through the canal to control 29 was a option that some elected on the night.

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 positioned at both extremes of the park there was a lot of distance to cover in a short space of time. So, 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 miss a control in their vicinity that would be difficult to revisit at a later stage.

Some of the controls were more technical than others 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 2 and 28 proved costly for some on the night. Furthermore, the popular nature of this location often means that curious passers-by think it funny to lift and recollect our control kites. Thankfully, our SI units were discretely placed and safely secured to their locations but unfortunately some of the colourful kites got displaced on the night. I hope this didn’t cost anyone too much time.

While navigating around the park competitors would no doubt have crossed paths on several 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. For those that left the Western end controls till the end this might have meant cutting across the pitches. The soccer training taking place on one of these pitches meant the most direct and fastest route wasn’t possible here.

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. It was such a glorious evening that others ignored the time limit (or perhaps they didn’t have a watch!) and elected to suffer the penalties imposed as they savoured the charming sights and wonderful amenities (including the playground!) in this tranquil park. This resulted in hefty penalties for some. Nevertheless, we hope you all enjoyed the Score format and the social atmosphere at the event.

Unfortunately, we had some technical problems with our computer on the night which delayed download for some of our early finishers. These issues were eventually resolved thanks to Conrad. However, amongst all the excitement at the finish it seems that the following competitors forgot to download at the event.Eric CurryJohn ChandlerAdrian O'SullivanCathy KennedyLiam TwomeyWilliam CurryCiara FitzgeraldLeah O'SullivanWillie FitzgeraldIf your name is listed above you can download before you run at next week’s event.After all the exhilaration and novelty of the group starts, the Regional Park Ballincollig provisional score event winner was Dan McDonnell. He achieved the maximum points on offer scoring 550 points and finished with plenty of time to spare having punched all 30 controls in a time of 33:58. Dan’s speed and navigational prowess meant he had nearly 6 minutes to spare over his nearest rival on the night. Brian Corbett was the lead chaser and was runner up in Ballincollig. He also visited all the controls and took the maximum 550 points on offer. He completed the score course in a time of 39:49. Third place went to Eric O'Connor who again finished the full score course and his points tally was 550 but took a little longer to do so when he punched the finish in a time of 40:48.The fastest lady around the score course was Elizabeth Jakobsson she attained 510 points and avoided any penalties as she finished with time to spare when she punched the finish in a time of 43:38. Runner up on the night was Una Buckley who had a score of 480 points and finished in a time of 45:49 and incurred just one 10 point penalty. The final podium spot went to Elaine Sheridan who scored 410 points following a 20 point deduction due to poor time keeping. She punched the finish 1 minute and 5 second over the time allowed.Of the 40 competitors classed on the Short course it was Chiara Bosonnet who took the event winner honour. She scored a total of 350 and incurred no penalties when she finished in a time of 44:36 inside the time limit. Runner up on the night was Matthew O'Shea who was just 10 points behind Chiara. However, he finished in a time of 41:56 so perhaps he might just have had enough time to punch just one more control! Third place went to Aisling O'Mahony who also achieved a score of 340 points but took a little longer than Matthew to do so and finished just over the time allowed when she punched the finish 46:40 minutes after the group start.

Well done to all who participated in the racing action on the night. Full individual results of the group starts 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 Ben Gearey and Sinead O’Donoghue for planning and organising the event. There were a lot of controls to put out! Thanks also to Andrew Turner for assisting with starts and to Conrad Daly for the IT support and Una Buckley for her assistance with control collection. Thanks also to the two Karen’s for providing substance to our planners on the night!

Thanks, are also due to Cork County Council for granting us permission to stage our event in the park.

The next event in the Summer League will take us to Corrin Hill Wood near Fermoy. The hill of Corrin is a prominent landmark south of Fermoy and a very historical site. The mound at the summit dates back over 3000 years to the Bronze Age so I'm sure there will be some interesting features for all to see as you navigate around this hill next week. Further directions and location trivia are available here:

Hope you can join us.