Summer League #9: Curragh Wood Tuesday July 3rd Results and Report

Post date: Jul 05, 2018 8:20:22 AM

Curragh Wood in Midleton was the destination for the penultimate competitive event in the 2018 Cork Orienteering Club Summer League. As we continue to enjoy this incredible spell of fine weather the tar on nearly all roads leading to Curragh Wood was melting in the heat. Thankfully, the conditions in the forest were a lot less sticky!It is great to see so many families regularly participating at our summer league events among them on Tuesday night were the Murray, Moynihan, O’Shea and O’Riordan families. They will certainly be sporting well deserved stylish summer league finisher t-shirts come the Autumn league! Indeed, their orienteering skills are definitely improving over the course of the league.We are now in the middle of the holiday season and perhaps this and the continued good weather resulted in a somewhat reduced field on the night with over 55 orienteers in action in the wood. The smaller turnout was once again advantageous for those looking to improve on their overall league standing with a good run around Curragh Wood.The considerate planner located the start on the plateau above the car park. This took a significant amount of climb off the courses and I think everyone appreciated this on the night. The tough hike to the start was exhausting but at least competitors had time to recover before commencing their course. The 3.2km Short course took competitors on a loop around the hill adjacent to the start and then dropped onto the beautiful trail that traverses the steep Northern section of the wood before a fast descent to the finish.The Long course began with a series of short legs which may have been too short for some as several overshot the first control. Having located the first control competitors then headed up the hill to control two in an area of runnable forest. There was a bit of route choice on the leg from two to three. There was the option of the narrow trail through the forest or the wider track around the hill. It seems the latter may have been the fastest route on the night as the narrow trail was quite overgrown so it was slow going on this route. Another short and fast leg followed this to control four before a long run to control five. Those confident in their navigation skills may have opted for the straight line route from five to six while the more conservative orienteer may have chosen to stick to the path here.

Thankfully the conditions on Tuesday night were a little cooler than last week and the forest canopy provided welcome shade from the scorching sun which made for very pleasant running conditions. The trail from 6 to control 7 at the ring fort was exceptionally dry and lent itself to fast and enjoyable running. Some struggled a little to locate control seven which was carefully positioned between the walls of the fort and not the most obvious to see in the evening sun.The series of controls from 8 to 12 comprised another cluster of short legs in the Western most part of the map. There were lots of changes in direction so vigilant navigation was required to avoid losing precious time on these legs. Following 12 there was a steep drop onto another beautiful trail that led to control 13. Another long leg awaited on the leg from 13 to 14 and smart navigation was required to avoid extra climb on this leg. Again, the soft dry conditions in the wood meant competitors had a spring in their step as they bounded along this trail. The location of control 14 may have brought back some bad memories for some, as the last time orienteers visited (or attempted to visit) this site was during our night orienteering series late last year. It certainly was much easier to navigate to this control site on a glorious summer’s evening compared to spending a lot of time searching for it on a dark wintry night.The final three controls on the Long course were common with the Short course so there was a sheer descent from 14 to the wide track on the steep Northern slope towards control 15. Then a final climb up the hill to control 16 positioned in a very well-constructed hide. Then began the fast down hill run towards the finish with just control 202 having to be punched on route. This final control was discreetly tucked in out of sight at the road drain junction so it wasn’t so obvious to see while sprinting down the hill to the finish. The observant orienteers might have spotted it on the walk to start but some folks had to back track on the night. The dry fresh evening meant conditions were ideal for orienteering and there was some fierce competition on the night.On the Long course the local lads competing on their home turf dominated in the results. Despite a busy weekend competing at the European Youth Orienteering Championships in Bulgaria. Dan McDonnell and Cathal Lane showed no signs of fatigue. Both lads needed to finish just one more Summer League event to complete the league and a good clean run in Curragh Wood would see them both muscle their way into the top five in the overall league table. This was an extra incentive for them to push hard over the hilly terrain in Curragh Wood. Furthermore, in an unexpected turn of events our current summer league leader miss-punched on the night and others capitalised on his misfortune. The Curragh Wood Long course event winner was Dan McDonnell. He showed great determination, skill and speed to complete the 5.9km course in a time of 31:48. This first place finish earns him the runner up spot in the overall summer league results with just one competitive event remaining. The runner up on the Long course was Agris Kramins he crossed the finish line in a time of 33:35. The remaining podium spot went to Cathal Lane who also demonstrated efficient navigation and speed on the night. He finished in a time of 34:49 and this third-place finish will surely move him into the top five in the overall league standings.The fastest lady around the Long course on Tuesday night was Elaine Sheridan. She punched all 17 controls in a time of 47:44. This first place finish will strengthen her narrow lead in the overall Summer League table. However, the title race is still open as Elaine can be overtaken and the league winner will only be decided after our final competitive event in Ballyannon Wood next week. Runner up in Curragh Wood was Aoife O’Sullivan who completed the course in a time 48:50. The final podium spot went to Sinead O’Donoghue who punched the finish in a time of 50:06. This third place finish will no doubt reduce Sinead’s overall points tally.

On the Short Zane Kramina sped around the 3.2km course to take the Short course event winner title. She had a comfortable winning margin over her nearest rival when she completed the course in a time of 23:49. There was a very close contest for the runner up spot with just 25 seconds between the next two finishers. Adam Murphy managed to hold off a strong challenge from Clare Nuttall to take the honour. He punched all 10 controls in a time of 27:03. Clare was hot on his heels and crossed the finish line in a time of 27:28.

Well done to all who participated on the night. Full individual results with split times are available at the following link:

Huge thanks this week to Dermot O’Sullivan for planning and organising the event. Thanks also to Liz Deane and Gerald Duffy for helping with starts and registration. Thanks to Conrad Daly, Dan McDonnell, Cathal Lane and Liam O’Brien for assisting with control collection.

The final competitive event in the 2018 Summer League will take place at Ballyannon Wood in Midleton next Tuesday night. This ancient woodland with its ruined cottages, boathouses and sandy shore lines has challenged many at previous events on this map.  A useful tip for next week would be to check the tides! Further forest trivia and directions are available here:

The small wood with its intricate network of paths will provide a testing challenge for the conclusion of the competitive element of our summer league.

Hope you can join us.