Some Fingal members after the IOC relays in Killarney National Park.
The Irish Championships finally took place in Kerry on the May bank holiday weekend, 29th April - 2nd May, having been originally planned for 2020.
Cork and Kerry Orienteers put on a great weekend assisted by a few others, including our own Sarah Ní Ruairc. The event was centred in Killarney where plenty of accommodation and other attractions were available. The event probably had the highest ever entries for an Irish Championships. There were visitors from Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland including 2 buses of Scandinavian senior orienteers, mostly in the M/W 60, 65, 70 classes.
Day 1 was a sprint event in Muckross house. Muckross has been used many times going back to the eighties, but I believe it's the first time for a sprint event around the house gardens. The map by Tony Cotter was excellent and it was quite technical and different to the more typical urban or campus sprints.
Day 2 was the Middle Distance championships at Cappanalea adventure center. The Saturday was a lovely sunny day with great views of the Magilicuddy reeks. The terrain was tough going, on open moorland boggy in places and plenty of heather.
Day 3 was the Long Distance or classic Irish Championships. It was held on the more typical West Cork / Kerry open terrain of complex contours and abundent rock features. The final controls on most courses were in a very technical forest. Cork O ran this day on the Crohane Lake map that was used for the World cup event and many Shamrock Oringen events. There was a little bit of drizzle but it didn't impact very much on the competitors.
Day 4 was the Irish Championship Relays held at Knockreer House and surrounding parkland, part of Killarney national park. The slope outside the house was a great location for viewing the spectator control and changeover, but it did add a climb back up to the finish. The terrain was not as technical as Muckross but was a good relay area.
Liam O'Donnell 2nd M14 Sprint, 3rd M14 Middle, 2nd M14 Long.
Orla Young 1st Orange Middle
Donal Kearns 2nd Mens Short, Middle
Alan O'Donnell 3rd M40 Sprint, 2nd M40 Middle, 3rd M40 Long
Sarah Ní Ruairc 3rd W40 Long
Eileen Young 2nd Irish W55 Sprint, 3rd Irish W55 Long
Kathryn Walley 3rd Irish W60 Sprint
Val Jones 2nd (1st Irish ) M65 Sprint, 3rd Irish M65 Middle, 2nd Irish M65 Long.
Tommy Burke 3rd Irish M65 Sprint
Jean O'Meill 1st W75 Sprint, 1st W75 Middle
Also there were Eoin O'Donnell, Sean Kearns, David and Ronan Smyth, Gabrielle King, Ian Murphy, Sinead and Ciaran Young
In the relays our junior team of Liam and Eoin O'Donnell and Sinead Young came 3rd in the J48 Class. It's good that we were able to field a junior team again.
We also had 4 other teams in the Premier Open and the Handicap 18 class.
Photos from the 4 days
The Rally of the Lakes was taking place in Killarney on the weekend. A lot of the rally followers were cruising around at night showing off their motors. Sometimes it seemed like a competition to see who had the loudest exhaust.
Sean and Jean at JK 2022 in south Wales.
Jan Kjellström International Festival of Orienteering 2022 Wales
15th April - 18th April
The JK” is named after a young Swedish orienteer, Jan Kjellstrom, who was instrumental in starting off orienteering in Britain. He was the son of the founder of the Silva compass company but he was killed in a car accident in 1967. The JK is held in a different region every year but hasn’t happened since 2019 due to Covid. In 2011 the JK was held in Northern Ireland. The competitions consist of a sprint, middle, long and relay over the four days, starting at Swansea University, then two events on areas of open limestone hills and old mine workings, followed by a relay in an army camp. It’s a great event to attend if you’d like a taste of big international competitions. 110 Irish travelled to the JK and 10 Fingal Orienteers club members participated over the four days.
Day 1; Sprint
Day 2; Middle Distance
Day 3; Classic (Long) Distance
Day 4; Relay
My experience of the JK this year was great. I discovered that Wales has a beautiful landscape and definitely one of the greatest places to travel on holidays or sightseeing. The event was also amazing because I got to meet new people. It's been a while since I had seen crowds that big and there was plenty of time after my race to meet new people and become friends.
There is a big set up for the events and it was very well organised, with shuttle buses up to the start and afterwards when you're done your race there were food stalls and shops orienteering kits, o-shoes and compasses.
The orienteering itself was great and was a different terrain than what I was used to but when I wasn't orienteering we went on hikes, built a campfire and went camping in a tent. The orienteering courses were tough and sometimes when I was out on the course I was so focused on not losing contact with the map that I forgot the little things like checking out the number on the markers.
I feel it's a big step up to the level of the courses set at the Jk but if you stay in contact with your map and keep a good pace you could perform very well. But my overall experience of it was great and I would do it again next year.
Photos From organisers and attendees