Entries open for Irish Championships
The IOC sprint race will be used for selection for the World Championships sprint and the other IOC races will also be part of the selection process for the Junior World Champs and European Youth Champs.
The cheapest entries are up to 12th April. Visit the web site here.
A group of 11 juniors also took part in the event, run on fast forested sand dunes. The competition featured two long distance and two middle distance races and there was a night sprint event in a small fishing village on the first day as a bit of variety. This was a lot of fun, with tiny lanes barely wide enough to get through, and a run-in along the beach. The main competition provided very fast and technical orienteering and was a great way to spend a few days of a mid-term break. Best of the Irish were Mary Healy (2nd W55), Ruth Lynam (4th W45) and Niamh Corbett (4th W15). The Irish Junior Tour party were ranked 10th out of almost 350 clubs, so they did well.
Results were better in the night sprint event: 1st place to Mary Healy (W55), 2nd to Niamh Corbett (W15), Declan McGrellis (M35) and Ruth Lynam (W45), 3rd to Niamh O'Boyle (W Elite). Full results are here.
Portugal has become a popular destination for orienteering training. with lots of maps, technical runnable forests and (normally) good weather. The event was obviously popular with Scandinavians fleeing the winter, though this year's weather was more like Siberia than Portugal. Veteran globetrotter Peo Bengtsson from Sweden was 1st M70.
The Junior Tour was billed mainly as a training trip rather than a competition, and some useful lessons were learned, not just by the juniors: make sure you have your SI card and compass when you go to the start; check your control codes carefully; it doesn't matter how fast you run if you haven't got all the controls; take that extra quarter second at the control to check that the SI unit beeped.
Next year's event is the first weekend in March but won't coincide with mid-term, so hard luck, Juniors - only the parents can go! (Well, maybe some Transition Year people ...)
The weekend will be based around Carlingford and is open to all squad members. IOA are extending the invitation to all older juniors who want to get a feel for the senior squad. More details to follow.
Also, something to think about is organising a squad get-together at this years Irish champs to catch up on all the squad business.
IOA Elite Funding
Good news on the money front - Despite all the recent gloomy economic news the Elite funding grant from the IOA has remained the same as previous years at €15k.
Although it may sound like a lot, it has to go a long way. New O-kit, major competitions and training account for most.
The IOA are investing a lot in the Elite squad and we should provide as much of a return as possible by striving for that wee bit extra - training hard, orienteering hard! and then writing about it afterwards.
All team members should be writing up event reports so that the IOA and Irish orienteers in general get to know what they are getting from us for their money - Ivan Millar.