Leinster Orienteering Championships 2005

Carnawaddy, Ravensdale, County Louth, 17th April 2005.

Fingal Orienteers thank everyone who entered the 2005 Leinster Championships, who came to the event on the day, and who braved the trying conditions on the mountain.

Results in text form

Note that one of the DFO runners may be entitled to be declared men's Leinster Champion and put their name on the perpetual trophy. However, the trophy needs to be located first.

Splits and analysis available at WinSplits
and SplitsBrowser.


Brian Corbett's route on Course 9, M21E

Organiser's report - Tommy Burke

In 2001, when Leinster asked us to host the 2005 championships, today seemed a long way off. It was big decision but, in truth, we did not need a lot of thought to agree to do so. It would give us the opportunity to obtain our first Grade 1 map. Having made the decision the next question would be where was it going to be. There were not a lot of good areas left in the province. All the long established clubs had the best areas mapped already. It was suggested Carnawaddy might be worth something and in the end we decided to go there as it was in our part of the province and looked very runable. We are obliged to our old friend Pat Healy for the aerial photography and to Stirling Surveys, who produced an excellent plot of the area.

Our planner, Val Jones took over the survey of the area and in collaboration with Padraig Higgins was able to produce the map. It received a lot of praise on the day. The courses also received excellent praise from experienced campaigners and this is testament to the effort that Val put in. As controller, Val had an able partner in Gerry Brady from Setanta. Its great to have an experienced hand and Gerry provided that over the period. I would like, here, to thank Gerry for his commitment and help.

We were originally contemplating the road from Clermont pass bridge to the TV mast as the assembly/Start/Finish area but we eventually decided upon The Lumpers area as assembly and registration. This involved a long hike to the Start/Finish. The lads at the Start , particularly John Rowe and Ian Murphy with Val and myself endured a long day from the start of the first army lads at 9.00am to the last starter at 1.15. It was impossible to erect the Start tent in the high winds and the start itself had to be abandoned and a retreat made to the top of the road which at least provided a little protection. It was a good decision in the end with the weather being as dreadful as it was, the Clermont area would have been a disaster for both computer and registration people.

Special mention here has to be given to Eileen and Ciaran Young who handled entries and did the SI work and the computer work on the day. We are indebted to Nigel Campbell-Crawford for his tuition in the SI system. Having the use of the dressing rooms was invaluable. Thanks are, also, due to Francis Lafferty and to the local community for allowing us their use.

John Rowe took the responsibility for map printing and despite keeping him waiting until almost the last minute, he produced, in the end, over 300 maps for 9 courses.

Thanks, too, to Bernie Sharkey and Alex for completing the bagging of the maps and obtaining the bottled water for the finishers. Most runners declined the water as they probably felt they were wet enough already. Alex also provided order to the parking area and Bernie provided tea to anybody that looked as if they might need it. Thanks also to our other members in this area Jean, Deirdre and Lolita and to Mick O Keeffe for his help in control collecting..

Another special thanks to Frank Flood , our founder member who presented the prizes later in the day. I would also like to thank Joe Scarborough from Scarborough Orienteering in the USA for his help in producing the medals and also to Robert Flanagan Furniture who provided the club with some sponsorship for their purchase.

Finally, early in the day the thought had crossed my mind that maybe we should postpone the event. On the Saturday, when we were putting out the controls, it was fabulous on the hill with tremendous views The weather forecast of being wet with some heavy showers and wind did not prepare us for what was persistent rain and very strong wind the entire day. It occurred to me that the hill was not a dangerous hill, as say Carlingford Mountain would have been. I was also aware that runners had travelled from as far away as Cork and Derry. In the end we let the race run. Thankfully everybody got back safe, albeit some were feeling the cold. In this regard we availed of the Red Cross and I thank them also for their help. We had them on hand throughout the day and this also proved a good decision.

I hope that you can all come back to the area on a better day in future and enjoy it fully.

Planner's Report - Val Jones.

I think it was 1999 that Tommy first mentioned Carnawaddy as a potential area for a new map, along with a few other areas. At the time we decided to concentrate on updating Dún a Rí and producing a map of Howth. Carnawaddy then stayed on the backburner. In 2001 Tommy and myself went on Pat Healy's excellent mapping course. From that plans started to formulate. Again things were set back with the Foot and Mouth crisis. Finally in September I managed to pay a visit to the area. My initial walk up through Ballymakellet Wood proved to be very disappointing. We were about 10 years too late to consider doing anything with the wood. However once I crossed out onto the main summit area of Carnawaddy itself I realised this area had great potential. We decided that if we were going to proceed to map the area it had to be for something bigger than just league events, i.e., a Leinster Championship. So 2005 was pencilled in for the event. Pat helped us with getting aerial photographs and photogrametry, and I started drawing. By the Spring of 2003 we were ready to start surveying.

Initially we thought we could do it ourselves. Sometimes though it's not such a good idea to have too much time. 2003 went by with very little work done, and we realised we needed help. After failing to contact Marcus Pinker I phoned Padraig. and asked him if he was interested. He had done some work on Dún a Rí and another wood in Virginia for an army event. He was going to Liberia for 6 months but agreed to do the survey when he returned. So I decided to leave the most complex areas to him and worked on updating Ravensdale wood, to include it in the map mainly for junior courses. By the end of the summer of 2004 Padraig had done a lot of work on Carnawaddy itself, but I realised I was still being over-ambitious with the size of the area to be covered. So we decided to forget about a 1:15000 map and concentrate on the best areas, the area covered by the final event map. The only problem now was junior courses, and the only realistic area was the valley between Doolargy hill and the main Carnawaddy mountain where there were paths, earth banks, walls, and other linear features. Also it meant the only realistic start/finish area was where we had it. But how were we going to access it and where was the assembly to be ? We had been thinking of having the start at the TV mast on Black Mountain with parking on the road below. Tommy took a trip up and after looking at the options suggested using the Ravensdale sports ground. It meant a mile walk to the start and back but at least it was on a road.

By December most of the survey was completed. Padraig did the complex areas while I completed the areas in between. It was a good learning experience for me to see how Padraig approached surveying an area such as this. Gerry Brady also agreed to Control the event.

In planning the courses I used the courses from LOC 2003 at OldBoleys as a template. However my impression, which Gerry and Padraig confirmed, was that this was a much more runnable area. Therefore I felt I could allow an extra kilometre on courses 5 to 8, and make course 9 as long as I could reasonably make it. I also wanted to have separate 21E and 21L classes. Padraig advised me not to go for long legs with a lot of climb. To make maximum use of the best areas then the general shape of the courses became fairly obvious. I generally prefer courses with plenty of controls to keep the emphasis on navigation. One issue was that course 5 was 2 K longer than course 4. I thought it was worth bringing as many courses as was reasonable up to the complex area around the main summit, so I minimised the climb on 5 as much as possible and dropped W18 and W45 down to 4.

In an area like this once I had the shape of the courses finding control sites was straightforward, as in most places there was no shortage of features to chose from. I spent several days tagging control sites, then another with Gerry agreeing on them. While most of the features selected were there and were generally pretty accurate there were a lot of other features, particularly rock features on the upper section, not mapped. Padraig, as promised, spent the St Patrick's weekend going over the whole area again, then over Easter all three of us went around most control sites finalising the detail around them. A map is an interpretation of the terrain and every mapper has his own way of interpreting terrain. I think Padraig's ability to interpret and emphasise contours where necessary is excellent.

Working with Gerry as Controller was very easy. He showed great patience while the map was being finalised. He only objected to one or two reentrants as control sites which were a little bit vague anyway. His main focus was always looking at things from the competitors viewpoint and ensuring that nothing no matter how small would distract or confuse the competitor.

For those interested in such things, I produced pdf files from OCAD for each course and sent them to John Rowe, who submitted them to the print shop. The printer used was a Xerox 1200 dpi.

On the day of course all my estimates of winning times went out the window given the conditions. I had expected under 90 minutes on course 9, under 80 on 8, under 70 on 6 and 7, 60 on 5, 40 on 4, and 30 on 1, 2, and 3. Harry Millar and Ben Mangan achieved it on courses 1 and 2, and Ann Savage came close on course 4. It's very informative for a planner to look at Winsplits to see which controls people lost time on. This occurred on most of the higher controls and the 2 crags on the descent back to the valley - not surprising in the conditions.

Finally I'd just like to add my own thoughts on the conditions. We have had events in similar conditions over the years. The trend, in Leinster at least, has been to map open areas higher up the mountains due to the forests being clear-felled. We need to be prepared for similar conditions in the future. Everyone has a different level of tolerance to the cold and it is probably only by experience that they will learn where their limits are. It was instructive to see that most of the older competitors finishing were relatively comfortable and were well-wrapped in good wet gear and even waterproof leggings, while some of the teenagers who were on the verge of hypothermia had only a light rain top. I would strongly suggest that some form of headgear is vital, and 2 thermal layers under the cagoule, or even a fleece, should be worn. Thermal long johns might also be considered. One thing I noticed also is that the lycra leggings really soak up a lot of water. As the saying goes "There's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."