Summer League #9: Ballyannon Wood Results and Report

Post date: Jul 04, 2012 12:26:17 PM

The penultimate competitive event in the Cork Orienteering Club Summer League took place last night in Ballyannon Wood, Midleton. Despite the persistent rain throughout the day the evening did brightened up and fortunately there were no showers for the duration of the event. However, the large volume of rain over our “summer” to date has certainly taken its toll on the wood. The planner did warn us all about the very muddy tracks, and there were certainly plenty of them about. The 67 competitors that crisscrossed the wood left a fantastic display of footprints, skid marks and some tyre marks in their wake.

There were even some international visitors competing at the event last night so we hope they enjoyed their Irish orienteering experience. We were also thrilled to welcome some local families to the sport of orienteering and glad to see they came so well prepared. There was a great display of colourful wellies and even water proof suits. It was after all a great evening for splashing in puddles and the wood offered a great selection of these. Last night footwear was almost as important a decision as some of the route choices. O-shoes are undoubtedly the optimum footwear for these conditions. One competitor arrived at the start sporting a pair of lovely new runners by the time they crossed the finish line they had definitely lost that shinny new appearance.

The road from parking to the start gave everyone a chance to savour the local country side and it provided a nice stretch to warm up on ahead of the main contest. For the Long course the planner sensibly used a double sided map. In such a small area this makes the map very legible. The first map was a nice loop around the wood with nothing too technical and some nice route choices from 3 to 4 and 4 to 5. Some people struggled a little with control number 5 which blended in a little too well with the environs. There were also reports of some people running off the map in this area having failed to spot the ruin on their right and only realised something was awry when they got very close to a farmers yard. This first map may have lulled competitor into a false sense of confidence about the area having given them a nice introduction to the different tracks and trails and a bit of practise at dodging puddles and skirting around muddy patches in a bid to stay upright.

Conversely, the second side of the map required a bit more concentration. Anyone taking the event seriously would have checked last night’s tides before the event and known to immediately rule out one of the route options from 6 to 7. Those who didn’t were at least afforded an opportunity to wash some of the mud from their shoes. Legs 7 to 8 and 8 to 9 tempted some to go direct. The area around the butterfly pattern incorporating control 9 and 12 was rather tricky as some of the tracks were difficult to decipher in the wet areas and people got pushed off course when attempting to avoid the brambles. A compass would certainly have come in useful here although local knowledge was possibly just as valuable. It is worth mentioning that many of the Midleton residents featured prominently in last night's results. The weight of mud accumulating on competitor’s shoes and legs didn’t seem to slow our Summer League title contenders down and it was Midleton native John Chandler (pictured above) who took the honours on the Long course with a time of 26:25. John has finished inside the top three at several of our events and last night finally claimed his first event win. He wasn’t going to be beaten on his home turf. It is worth checking out his Route Gadget for an example of some accurate orienteering. John had over a minute to spare over second place finisher Donal Murphy who completed the testing course in a time of 27:39. This result is sure to elevate Donal up near the top of the overall leader board. Jonathan Lucey earned himself a third place finish this week with a time of 29:40. This will surely knock a few points of his overall league total. The fastest Lady or should I say ladies on the Long course were Ciara Aoife who finished in a time of 43:52. Una Buckley’s steady run secured her a second place finish with a time of 47:19. This position will clearly improve her overall league total. The final podium spot went to Trishia O’Mahony who finished the course in 49:10 which also sees her jump up a place in the league tables. It all bodes well for an exciting conclusion to the competitive side of the ladies league at our next event.

The Short course was a nice clockwise loop around the wood with control 8 causing some problems for a few participants. Perhaps the vegetation encroaching on the path made it difficult to identify. Teresa Leahy was the winner on the night with an impressive time of 18:35. Despite the warnings that the paths wouldn’t be buggies friendly this didn’t deter our join Short course leader Sean Bosonnet and he finished second with a time of 21:12, no amount of mud can slow this guy down. The Bosonnet sibling rivalry continued this week and Sienna Bosonnet took third place with a time of 23:34.

In the team event UCC took the honours on the Long course with a tally of 36 points while team Fitzob were second with a total of 50 points on the night. On the Short course team Bosonnet continue to outshine the field and added 14 points to their league total. Second place went to the O’Sullivan team who are rumoured to have travelled up from Clonakilty for the event and they finished with a total of 20 points.

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

A few photos which attempt to capture the soft nature of the terrain have been added to the website gallery and you can see them here.

Thanks to Danny O’Hare for planning some great courses with lots of route choice. Thanks also to Jason Hannon for handling registration, Willie Fitzgerald for assisting with putting out the controls and Liam O’Brien for helping with control collection.

Next week we’re off to visit the site of the now infamous disappearing lake as we head eastwards again, this time to Glenbower Wood, Killeagh. Further forest trivia and a location map are available here. Furthermore, to celebrate the end of the competitive events in the Summer League we've made arrangements for a barbecue at The Thatch pub (which you pass on the way into the wood) after next Tuesday's event in Glenbower Wood. This should give you all an extra incentive to run that little bit faster. Tickets for the barbecue will cost five euro and can be purchased when registering or following download. This will entitle the hungry orienteer to a feast including a quarter pounder, jumbo sausage, chicken fillet, wedges and salad. It will also be a perfect opportunity to socialise with some fellow competitors and analyse all the shoulda, coulda, woulda moments of the 2012 Summer League. In addition it's the ideal opportunity to find a team mate for the relay event which will conclude the 2012 Summer League.

Hope to see you there.