Summer League #9: Warrenscourt Wood, Lissarda Tuesday July 5th Results and Report

Post date: Jul 07, 2016 12:10:28 PM

The penultimate event in the Cork Orienteering Club 2016 Summer League attracted a crowd of almost 90 orienteers to Warrenscourt Wood near Lissarda on Tuesday evening. With just two competitive events left in the league many participants were eager to improve on their present league standing and were hoping for a fast and error free run on the night. For others the key goal was to complete the course to finish the league.All those who make the journey west got to enjoy some technical orienteering in this charming wood. The fine evening accentuated the fabulous views and picturesque features in this forest. Once again it was great to have some novice orienteers in attendance and we were delighted to welcome some orienteers from Lakeland Orienteering Club in the UK who took in our event while holidaying in the region. We hope you all enjoyed the courses and the terrain in Warrenscourt Wood.

The planners resurveyed the area and the Long course took contestants to sections of the map which were previously off limits. Warrenscourt is infamous for brambles and in the event preview the planner indicated that no where do you need to go through brambles. However orienteering is all about route choice and sometimes the prospect of rough bushes with vines and often sharp thorns clearly marked as undergrowth on the map just wasn’t enough to dissuade some competitors from opting for the shortest routes. Many entrants quickly discovered on Tuesday night that the shorter routes aren’t always the fastest!

The Short course comprised a nice loop which took competitors through a beautiful area of forest run. Some of the trails in this area were a little bumpy for some of our buggy-O competitors. Both courses commenced with a steep and tough climb toward the first control. From here competitors on the Long course were taken into an area of slow forest run for a number of controls before a fast descent to control five. Those competitors who did a bit of forward planning on this leg would have quickly realised that this downhill running was to be savoured as the leg which followed would involve a long slow climb back to control 6. This was followed by a sequence of short fast legs with some directional changes in a lovely section of runnable forest.

The leg from 9 to 10 offered some interesting route choices one could take the safe route along the path or opt for the shorter direct route which required some careful navigation through this relatively dense section of forest and some accurate map reading of the vast network of deep gullies. Indeed some competitors heading to control 15 also located in this area could have encountered a stampede of orienteers rushing through this region in all directions as they tried to locate control 10. No doubt some of these competitors deviated from their intended route and lost valuable seconds here.

The leg from 10 to 11 was another which enticed some to take the shorter direct route rather than the more caution but slightly longer bramble free approach around the path. These calculated risks paid off for some but for others they got pushed off course and wasted valuable time attempting to relocate. More route choice decisions needed to be made on the short leg from 12 to 13. The sight of the thick undergrowth was enough for some competitors to immediately decide to go around this block of vegetation. However others were not deterred by this unpleasant mass of brambles and barged straight through (well almost!).Control 14 and 15 took competitors back into the intricate network of gullies. These deep gullies provided excellent channels for some fast running in this otherwise dense forest. However you did need to know precisely which gully you were in! Both courses concluded with some fast running along a very scenic fire road which was encircled by the flourishing trees on either side and lined with ferns and brightly coloured foxgloves which glistened in the evening sun. Tuesday’s courses comprised a great mix of technical navigation and fast running. Understanding the map symbols and colours is essential when choosing routes so for those that quickly regretted some of their route choices on the night the following link has the full list of the IOF Orienteering Map symbols which are well worth studying.After a busy time organising last week’s event the Corbett family were back in competitive action this week and they really dominated on the Long course in Warrenscourt Wood. Cillin Corbett demonstrated incredible speed and fast and efficient route choice to take the event win.  He completed the 4.3km course in a time of 27:42 and had over two minutes to spare over his nearest challenger, his Dad Brian. Cillin claimed the bragging rights this week and Brian having punched all 17 controls in a time of 29:47 had to settle for the runners up spot on the night. Further congratulations are also due to Cillin as he has just been selected to represent Ireland at this year's World Sprint Orienteering Championships. The qualification race will take place on Saturday 20th August in Strömstad, Sweden and all of us wish him the very best of luck on the day. C’mon Ireland! The final podium spot went to an orienteer that has been steadily improving his times over the course of the league. He has had a number of top ten finishes to date and finally achieved a top three ranking. Third place in Warrenscourt went to Jens Waechter who covered the testing course in a time of 32:27.

The honour of being the fastest lady around Warrenscourt Wood went to another member of the Corbett family. Niamh Corbett was not going to let the men in the house have all the glory and she too demonstrated her orienteering prowess on the Long course and was first lady home having completed the course in a time of 38:21. Claire O’Brien continues to show her orienteering pace and skill and finished runner up on the night, she covered the course in a time of 46:54. Coming into the Warrenscourt event Claire had a share of the top spot on the ladies leader board with Trishia O’Mahony. However this second place finish should be enough to edge her passed Trishia and might even have secured her the 2016 Long Course Women’s League title. Although there is still a possibility that Trishia could grab a share of this title again if she wins the Glenbower event next week and Claire doesn’t improve on her current point’s total. Third place went to Elaine Sheridan when she finished the 4.3km course in a time of 48:55. Things are very close now at the top of the ladies leader board as just three points separates Elaine, Michelle Ahern and Sinead O’Donoghue. It’s all set up for a very exciting conclusion to the league in Glenbower next week.

Things were very competitive on the Short course on Tuesday night and just 23 seconds separated our top two finishers over the 2.1km course. It was Fadzai Healy who emerged the victor when she completed the course in a time of 17:03. Very impressive running and navigation from this novice orienteer. Hot on Fadzai’s heels were the Black Family. They pooled their navigational skills together and punched all ten controls in a time of 17:26. Another family who have been demonstrating great team work throughout the league attained their best result to date when they took the final podium spot in Warrenscourt Wood. The Brett family otherwise known as The Bretts of Fresh Air took third place when the completed the course in a time of 18:57. They managed to hold off a strong challenge from Michael Morley who finished a meagre 12 seconds behind them.

Well done to all who participated on the night. Full individual results with split times are available here.

Huge thanks this week must go to two of our most steadfast club members who not only planned and organised this event but have assisted greatly with numerous events throughout the league. This dynamic duo resurveyed the area which introduced even the most seasoned summer league supporters to areas of this forest they had never seen before. They also planned excellent courses which tested both the body and brain! So enormous thanks to Jim O’Donovan and Robert O’Connor for their fantastic work. Thanks again to Darren Burke for controlling the event, Dave O’Donovan for taking care of starts and Gerald Duffy for providing the fabulous selection of refreshments at the finish.

There is just one more competitive event left in our summer series and this will take place next Tuesday in Glenbower Wood in Killeagh then we will have our grand finale at Farran Forest Park in two weeks’ time with a fun relay race, BBQ and prize-giving. So if you are looking to move up the results table or hoping to reel in your orienteering nemesis then don’t miss our Glenbower event.Glenbower Wood surrounds part of the Dissour River and has a variety of unique features from a Fainin’s Well with alleged curative properties to a mass rock as well as an impressive assortment of bridges and of course a cave! Further forest trivia and a location map are available here.Hope you can join us as the competitive part of our 2016 summer series draws to a close.