Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Autumn 2011 Orienteering

Senior Home International
Ireland, England and Scotland travel to Wales this weekend for the annual Senior Home International event. Generally the competition boils down to England v Scotland and Ireland v Wales. This also generated a "Celtic Cup" competition for several years at the suggestion of John Butler, then the Chairman of WOA, where there was a Wales v Ireland match alternating between the two countries, with a flexible scoring system dictated by the composition of the away-team, run separately from the Junior, Senior and Veteran Home Internationals.

The SHI team (careful with your acronyms, folks!) is:

Colm Hill (team captain)
Seamus O'Boyle
Ruairi Short
Hugh Cashel
Darren Burke
Gerard Butler

Kevin O'Boyle
Conor Short
Josh O'Sullivan Hourihan

Olivia Baxter
Rosalind Hussey
Ruth Lynam
Toni O'Donovan
Regina Kelly

Áine McCann
Deirdre Ryan
Niamh Corbett.

The competition involves an individual race on Saturday at Merthyr Common South and a relay on Sunday at Clydach terrace (see previous map here), both near Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales. This part of Wales has an abundance of open limestone areas, often with old mine workings, quarries and other man-made features. When the mist is down, it can be pretty interesting, as many of the features acan be below ground level (depressions and the like).

Provincial Championships
The 2011 Munster Championships is on Sunday October 30th at Coumshingaun, Co. Waterford ("the valley of the ants", if I'm not mistaken). Waterford orienteers are hosting the event on the boulder-strewn slopes of the Comeragh Mountains. Entries close on Friday October 21st. The Irish Junior Squad are having a training weekend in conjunction with the Championships.
Monday 31st sees a Sprint Relay event run by WatO at the John F Kennedy arboretum near New Ross in Co. Wexford - you can enter the day before at the Championships.
Details of the events are here.

Meanwhile, in the West, Western Eagles are working on the Connacht Championships near Oranmore in Co. Galway on November 27th. Cheap entries to 4th November. The terrain is flat, largely open, military lands, originally surveyed by Padraig Higgins in 2002 and updated in 2011. Full details and entry form here.

Twenty Years Ago
Were you orienteering then?
Autumn 1991 saw Issue 54 of The Irish Orienteer, with Orla Cooke taking over from Una May in the Relays at the World Championships in the Czech Republic on the cover. In those pre-internet days, for the latest fixtures information you rang an answering machine which was updated every week. The Senior Home International (in those days for M/W 19, 21 and 35) was about to happen in Wales, with an individual and a score relay (an idea borrowed from FermO). The Junior event was in West Cork.
Marcus Pinker (3rd in H17A in the Scottish 6-Day) reported on his trip to the Junior World Championships in Germany. (Lesson learned: if you carry pots of jam in your rucksack, make sure the lids are on.)
The Swedish O-Ringen featured a new idea called "Trail orienteering" for what we were then allowed to call "disabled" orienteers.
The Shamrock O-Ringen in West Cork was run at the end of June (in previous years it had been around St. Patrick's Day). 179 foreign competitors ran, with 274 Irish: bigger numbers than we see now.
Brendan O'Brien (current IOA Chairman) discovered aerobics; Thomond Orienteers in Limerick staged their annual Burren Walk at the end of August with a sand-dune event at Fanore next day - traditionally the end of summer and the start of the new O-season. National "Try Orienteering Day" was on 29th September with ten come-and-try-it events around the country. Preparations were in train for the only night-O of the season, 3ROC's Phoenix Park event; the Leinster Orienteering Council (remember that?) and the clubs had their own news pages; Ultrasport advertised VJ O-shoes for £45.95 (like running shoes, they must be proportionately cheaper nowadays).
Results included the Leinster Score Championships at Trooperstown (won by Justin May), the 3ROC bike/foot event in Phoenix Park (won by Justin May), and a league event on Three Rock Mountain .
The address list included several clubs no longer with us: Bolton St, ComadO, Crusaders, Eastern Command, Former UCCO, kevin St, Lee Orienteers, Little Killary Orienteers, Lough Key Orienteers, Southern Orienteers, Thomond Orienteers and Trim/South Meath Orienteers.
Read the full stories here.

Thanks to Brian Hollinshead for the scanning and to Aine Joyce for the other features. All old TIO's are now available on the IOA website.

Read about other non-orienteering events from 1991 here.

Good times, good times ...

That's all for now, folks!

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