Summer League #8: Curragh Wood Tuesday July 2nd Results and Report

Post date: Jul 03, 2019 9:48:45 PM

Curragh Wood near Midleton was the destination for the eighth event in the 2019 CorkO summer league. Now that school is out for the summer many of our regulars have embarked on their vacation plans. Furthermore, a number of our reliable Cork juniors are away on international duty as they represent Ireland at the European Youth Orienteering Championships (EYOC) in Belarus. Aoife O’Sullivan, Darragh Hoare and Liam Cotter have done us proud at this year’s competition. Despite these absences over 71 participants registered on Tuesday night to compete for the Curragh Wood event winner titles. The fine weather continues to give us a sense of summer and the arid conditions of late also meant that Curragh Wood was very dry under foot. This led to some rather loose earth on some of the steep slopes which made them difficult to traverse. Some struggled to stay upright on these banks and unfortunately for some the map suffered during these slides. The dirt concealing much of the pertinent detail on some areas of the map. Luckily, the Short course participants didn’t encounter this issue as they enjoyed a nice gentle loop around the wood. The planner elected to start the courses approximately 400 meters from the car park which eliminated a good detail of climb from the courses. The Long course proved quite the challenge on the night with many competitors getting more fresh air than they bargained for! The first control offered a bit of route choice with a save but very steep route to the control from the north side versus a rough and cautious descent from above through a patch of forest walk bounded by impenetrable vegetation. From here competitors traversed the slopes to control two located in possibly the biggest hide we’ve seen in the summer league to date. Next participants veered south to a shallow re-entrant in an area of very rough open land. The next control proved troublesome for some as there was a steep descent toward control 4 which was located on a crag on the steep slope. This was especially difficult to spot from above. On the next leg many aimed to contour along the slope and didn’t want to drop too much height in the process. However, the intricate network of trails in this area meant some participants got dragged unintentionally downhill toward the river and had to climb back up to control 5. Having punched this control there was sharp climb to control 6 located amid another network of paths before a further sheer climb up to seven. There was some route choice from here to control eight with an option to stay in the runnable forest or ascend to the wide forest road and drop down at the relevant junction. Similar route choices exited on the leg to control 9.

From 9 it was back onto the wide forest road and time to enjoy some nice downhill running toward the large junction before diving back into the runnable forest for control 10. There followed a series of short legs from 10 to 13 zig zagging across the hill top before another drop down to control 14 in the gully. Again, there were several ways to reach this gully. There were two clear routes to the final control. One along the narrow trail at the boundary of the wood and alternate on the wider forest road. The former route led straight to the control while the later was probably faster but some might have got carried away bounding down this road and overshot the control which was tucked neatly away at the stream/path junction. The terrain in Curragh is physically demanding and always requires careful navigation to avoid costly errors as a result there was a wide spread in finish times on the Long course on the night. Our current Summer League leader Conrad Daly continues to make strides to improve his overall points tally and the technical course and difficult terrain didn’t appear to hinder him on the night. Conrad took the Curragh Wood event winner title in a super time of 37:55. He had nearly six minutes to spare over his nearest challenger. Despite holding the lead from much of the evening Gerald Duffy was overtaken late in the evening and had to be content with the runner up honour. Gerald punched all 15 controls in a time of 43:44. Hot on Gerald’s heels over the steep terrain was Pat O’Donovan. He punched the finish in a time of 44:02 to take third place on the night. With Aoife O’Sullivan busy representing Ireland at EYOC many of her challengers might have been hoping to significantly improve their overall league position by claiming the top spot in Curragh Wood. However, with a very experienced Finnish orienteer and trail runner at the start line their hopes were soon dashed. Riina Kuuselo proved the fasted lady around the terrain in Curragh Wood when she completed the course in a time of 48:04. Leaving her 4th in the overall results. Caroline Murray continues her run of podium finishes and was runner up on the night. She covered the gruelling course in a time of 53:21. Trishia O’Mahony ceased the final podium spot when she finished in a time of 57:23. There was some fierce competition on the Short course on Tuesday night with 20 seconds differentiating our top three. By the narrowest of margins (just one second) Ciara O’Brien took the title of Short course event winner. She finished the 2.2km course in a time of 22:31. Chasing her around the course was runner up Paul Sweeney who himself was being pursued by Eoin Sweeney. Eoin punched all nine controls in a time of 22:51. Well done to all who participated on the night. Full individual results with split times are available at the following link: to Liam O’Brien for planning and organising the event. We were grateful to Brendan Wall for handling registration on the night and Dave O’Donovan for taking care of starts. Thanks also to Norah O’Brien for assisting with control collection.

The next event in this year’s Summer League will take us to Moanbaun 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!