|Mt. Brandon from the Relays|
Marcus Pinker retained his Men's title in the Classic race at Inch, while late entry Maeve O'Grady's (DFO) years of training and competition paid off when she took the W21 Elite title. See the classic race results here. In the middle distance event the day before at Castlegregory, Darren Burke took the trophy (his first Senior title), relegating Marcus to second, while Ros Hussey had a comfortable win in W21E. Full results here.
In an exciting finish to the Relays, Cork O's Marcus Pinker gained minutes on third leg leader Colm Hill (CNOC) to win the Men's race while late entries CNOC comfortably took the Women's race with junior Caoimhe O'Boyle joining veterans Eileen Loughman and Ruth Lynam on the rostrum. Relay results will be here.
|Terry, Darren, Marcus, Brian|
Having said that, you might think that the high entry fees would guarantee a correspondingly high level of organisation, but this was not really the case. BOC, "one of the largest orienteering clubs in Cork and Munster" according to their website, seemed to be able to muster only a very small number of helpers. Despite Club Chairman Terry Ley playing a blinder and doing every available job himself at some stage, there were some serious administrative deficiencies in the event. Is it unreasonable to expect prompt results with split times, Sportident units woken up before the race, Routegadget, maybe even punches on the entry on the day controls? There was an unnecesessary neutralised section at the road crossing in the relay which made the head to head racing element a bit meaningless - the central feature of relays should be that it's the first team across the line wins. Taking on IOC is a serious undertaking, but the organisational standards which are adequate for a local park event may not be sufficient for an Irish Championships. As one comment below echoes, surely you should have an external controller, at least? BOC are obviously good at running local events (their web site lists an impressive 27 BOC events so far this year, not including IOC) but where were all the members last weekend - did the club buy into the IOC project as much as it could have?
The excuses for not having split times printed at the Relays ("we have run out of paper"; "we have no printer in the club") are not enough for competitors who supported the event at up to €80 per team.
|Terry, Caoimhe, Eileen, Ruth.|
We all appreciate that orienteering is run on a voluntary basis and without willing volunteers we would have no sport and no IOC. If there is a fault, it doesn't lie with the BOC team who were there on the days; more perhaps with the people who weren't there, or on the failure to ask for help when it was needed: it was willingly offered in relation to the cattle access problem at Inch.
And yes: there was even a cuckoo at Inch - a sure sign of IOC!
... A relay should be about head to head racing with pretty equal "gaffles" so that competitors and spectators have an idea who is ahead of who. What is the point of a mass start and a first-across-the-line finish if, during the comp itself everything is so complex no-one knows what's going on? Particularly the last leg and particularly the last few controls on the last leg.
Having said that - great race Marcus; exactly how to approach Relay running. (former Irish Champion Eoin Rothery, now living in Australia)
I have never commented on an O event before now. If the Irish Orienteering Championships are supposed to be the "defining" event of the year in terms of competition and organisation, then this one fell well below the standard. It is Wed night and the results are still not published. Lets go back to the result string if needed!!!
It is no wonder that the number of competitors are decreasing.
If a club needs help to run IOC then get that help, not muddle through - Denis Reidy
Outgoing Chairman Brendan O'Brien made the very valid point that the people on IOA only have a limited time to devote to orienteering and specifically to IOA activities and that it is much better and more productive if they spend this time on positive things rather than on negatives like disputes between clubs. Brendan has to step down as he has been Chairman for three years. The post remains to be filled and IOA hopes that a suitable person will be found and co-opted. Ivan Millar (Director of High Performance) has gone abroad for a year and so Darren Burke has taken up many of his functions leading up to the 2012 World Championships in Switzerland. Another change was Ruth Lynam (Juniors) stepping down (after seven years?) and Mike Long taking over. Ruth received tributes from seniors, parents and juniors alike : she was and is universally respected by the juniors she dealt with.
The rest of the Executive stays as it was: Treasurer Sarah Ní Ruairc; Mapping Brian Power; Education Ed Niland; Development Andrew Cox; Communications Finn Van Gelderen, Fixtures Fergal Buckley; Technical Harold White.
Thanks to them all for their work on our behalf.
|Liam O'Brien (R) receives the Spirit of Orienteering Award|
The IOA has also instituted a series of retrospective awards recording significant performances over the years and you can see more details of these in a while. The only ones I remember were Aonghus OCléirigh, Aislinn Austin, Marcus Pinker, Alex Simonin and Andrew Quin ...
At the British Championships, James Logue was 9 minutes clear to win M40L, Toni O'Donovan was 13th W21E, Faye Pinker 7th W35L.