Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Connacht Champs in Ulster Once More

The Connacht Orienteering Championships 2009

The 2009 Connacht Championships were held on the Finner sand dunes between Ballyshannon and Bundoran in Co. Donegal on Sunday 30th November. Seven BOC members braved the weather and the distance and travelled to the event. Despite the recent severe rain and flooding, running conditions on the day were very good, and despite the cold weather some very good time were seen. The dunes were fast, but the numerous unmarked paths throughout meant that careful running was needed. The best navigational features were tall dunes with loose sand, marked with yellow on the map. These features were highly visible and great catching features. The longer courses used the entire complex dune network with the shorter courses sticking to the main path network.

An outstanding run by CorkO's Brian Corbett saw him win the M21 Long race by 35 seconds from CNOC's Colm Hill, in the closest finish of the day, with Gerard Butler (3ROC 3rd). In the W21 Long Maeve O'Grady (DFO) took an impressive first place ahead of Ciara Largey (FermO) and Ruth Lynam (CNOC).

Once again BOC members ran impressively with a number of solid runs and finishes. Paul O’Sullivan-Hourihan once again took third place in a major Championship in the M45 category, ahead of John O’Donovan (7th). Sons Josh (M18) and Zac (M12) finished 4th and 5th respectively. Other BOC Juniors, Christine O’Donovan (W18) and Alex Simonin (M16) also finished impressively taking 2nd and 5th places in their respective categories. Sharon Lucey also took 5th spot in the W21L competition.

Once again, Frank Ryan and his usual Connacht gang did an impressive job on the day and a big ‘thank you’ goes out to them for their efforts and organisation.

A full set of results can be found here

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Advent Calender of Orienteering

Here is a little something to keep the minds working on the run up to Christmas (courtesy of Rob McEvoy of CorkO who first told us about it)

Jan Kocbach at World of O ( is doing his "Route to Christmas" series again this year. It is sort of like an Advent Calendar of orienteering puzzles. Every day he uploads a snippet of a map from an Elite course from a 2009 race, and you must decide the route you would take between 2 controls. Then you can see the routes that some of the Elite runners took in that race. There is no analysis of the best route choice for each leg, but there is a comment section for people to discuss it amongst themselves. It also gives people a chance to see what sort of maps/routes are used for bigger events and for Elite courses. Hope you find it fun!

For your daily installment click here

You can also view the archived puzzles from 2007 and 2008 here:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thank you's in Orienteering

Some thoughts by Sharon Lucey

The Irish Orienteer has been the national orienteering newsletter for Ireland since the early 1980's and is now being distributed via the Internet and is accessible on Information can be found here on what is happening in the world of orienteering, from upcoming events to race reports to controllers reports to news about orienteers. This month's installation has now been uploaded for viewing. Of particular interest is the report on 'Thanking the Control Collectors'.
I think that this is a very important item to stress because we sometimes can forget that some people run the entire map a second time, armed with controls on their arms or in their bags. BOC results always make sure that due recognition is given to all those who assisted in the organising and running of the event.
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the running of the club and orienteering in Ireland in general, from any aspect.............controls in, controls out, mapping, registration, control card sorting, results, starts, finishes, manned controls (probably one of the hardest jobs anyone can do, though SI is now eliminating the numbers involved in this), planning, organising. I hope I didn't forget any position. Finally, I would just like to thank all the members who have attended events during the year and previous years who have kept the club going since it was first established. I am one of the members who has been in the club since it started and would like to thank Sean Cotter for keeping the club going. It must not be forgotten that we are the only club in the whole country that holds an event almost every weekend.
So thanks to everyone involved and happy orienteering!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Venice Street Orienteering 2009

Report by Sharon Lucey

This year’s Venice Street-O event was held on the 14th and 15th of November and saw a group of five senior orienteers from all over Ireland make the journey, including one BOC member. The team was comprised of Sharon Lucey BOC, Sarah Ni Ruairc FIN, Brian Flannelly CorkO, Kieran Rocks LVO and Stuart Scott UCDUO. With over 3,600 entrants and 398 teams from 31 nations, the 30th meeting of the Venice Street-O is the largest street race in the orienteering calendar.

Street orienteering has become one of the up-and-coming disciplines in the orienteering world with more and more races being held at this level. This Venice Street Race is different to usual urban races as the courses are much longer in length meaning that concentration and speed are of the essence. The normal winning times on urban races are under 20 minutes (usually sprint races) but for Venice, the winning times are typically around the hour mark for the Elite classes. There is no other orienteering event in the world that can be compared to Venice.

As the main event is on the Sunday, direct flights from Ireland to Venice were not an option since the change in AerLingus’s flight schedule. This meant an early departure on Friday morning from Dublin airport to Bologna for some of the group, while others opted for a transfer in Heathrow to Venice. After spending a few hours sampling the local culture and food in Bologna, we took the express train to Venice and all rendezvoused on the top of the Rialto Bridge.

As part of our accommodation, a free trip to Murano, an island in the Venetian Lagoon, was provided where we got to witness some glass makers in action. After a leisurely stroll around the island of Murano, it was time to head to the Event Centre, in the Sport Arsenale, for the start of the weekend’s orienteering.

As a taster for the main competition, a Park-O/Sprint-O was held on a 1:7,500 map, near the Event Centre. Though it was officially labelled a Park-O event, there were only 2-3 controls from the majority courses actually in the park. The rest of the course was on the streets of Venice itself to get competitors used to the map and the streets. This event proved to be a great taster for the main event, with everyone being able to get a feel for the map and an idea of what to expect for the next day. The level of entries was much lower for this event, with some competitors opting to just run the main event. We had nice steady runs on Saturday as the courses were pretty straightforward. The results from the day showed just how fast the map was and how costly a small mistake could be. Excitement was beginning to bubble over in anticipation of the great orienteering to come.


1. Graham Gristwood GBR 19.33

2. Lucas Basset FRA 20.11

3. Théo Fleurent FRA 20.17

49. Brian Flannelly IRL 27.01

70. Stuart Scott IRL 31.44


1. Marine Leloup FRA 24.26

2. Severine Vandermeulen BEL 25.11

3. Galyna Petrenko ESP 25.17

37. Sharon Lucey IRL 32.17

45. Sarah Ni Ruairc IRL 35.18

Sunday’s event was when the real competition started. After having a taster for what it was like from the day before, we were ready to tackle the streets once more. This year the courses were planned by a previous winner and the challenging legs promised were delivered. To get to the starting area, we had to get a boat across the Grand Canal to Rio Tera die Catecumeni all Salute. The boats held around 160-170 people and ran frequently and runners were given ferry times depending on their allotted start times. Once on the other side the call up was 4 minutes. At two minutes you ran over a bridge and out of sight of waiting runners and picked up your control descriptions. If you didn’t have a safety pin or holder they were speedily taped to your arm by an official. The organisation at the event was a credit to all those involved.

Venice is renowned for its intricate network of streets, dead-end lanes, canals and bridges. This made for the ideal street race venue, especially given the fact that there would be no traffic problems to contend with. As the area itself is unusual, so was the map and the control points. The map was printed on blue paper with white representing streets and lanes. The narrower the white, the narrower the laneway. Particularly busy streets were marked with a different shade (brown) on the map so that these areas could be avoided with some careful planning. All buildings were shaded in grey and a lighter grey was used to show covered laneways.

The control points were located at specific locations; for example, building inside corner or bridge western side, which meant that you had to look carefully at your control descriptions to see whether or not you were in the correct place and to see which street was best to attack the control from. Choosing the wrong lane could prove incredibly costly. The navigation was challenging as you tried to run at full speed down the twisting alleyways and across the steep bridges whilst trying to dodge the oncoming photographers and window shoppers. Needless to say, there were numerous crashes between orienteers and tourists and orienteers and other orienteers. The fast pace of the courses meant that no-one was willing to find an alternative route to avoid the busy streets.

Most of the long courses crossed the Rialto Bridge twice, that combined with the distance and ridiculous number of bridges, all competitors felt every second of the race in their legs! The highlight of the day was the comparison of GPS distances to see how long the courses really were. Most people were quickly learning that the easiest and safest route choices were those that involved T-junctions and routes through squares or lanes with distinctive features, such as water fonts or pillars. Though finding these ‘safe’ routes at speed proved to be the greatest challenge of all. A number of courses had an extremely long route that covered the length of the map meaning the route had to be planned in stages and lots of folding and re-folding had to be done. As this leg was towards the end of the course it tested everyone’s concentration levels as well as fitness. For me this leg took 21 minutes, with others bounding across it in a cool 13 minutes.

Luckily, I had a great run (by my standards) finishing just a few minutes off the pace of some very experienced and fit elites. As this was my first time running elite at an international competition I was impressed with my ability to stay focused and I kept a consistent pace throughout. I was hitting controls nicely and kept concentration for the majority of the course. My one slip in concentration was on that long leg. I took my thumb off the map and ended up running down a lane and came face-to-face with a bemused gondolier. A quick look out into the canal and I confirmed my location and was on my way once more. As I wasn’t wearing a GPS I’m not entirely sure of the exact distance of the Women’s Elite course. However, based on the length of the WA (11km) and the Men’s Elite (15/16km), I expect it was around 13km.

The fast pace of the streets meant that some incredible times were seen. The best results from the day from our group were from Brian and Kieran, who both finished a mere 11 minutes behind their respective course winners.

Women’s A: 7.8km

1. Zsebeházy Eszter HUN 59:11

2. Rysava Vendula CZE 61.31

3. Sabine Mumprecht SUI 63.16

55. Sarah NiRuairc IRL 94.42

Women’s Elite: 8.5km

1. Karin Schmalfeld SWE 58.26

2. Svobodna Sarka CZE 59.00

3. Sabine Hauswirth SUI 61.03

37. Sharon Lucey IRL 84.53

Men’s Elite: 10.64km

1. Mamleev Mikhai ITA 64.02

2. Øystein Kvaal Østerbø NOR 64.20

3. Jan Troeng SWE 64.45

64. Kieran Rocks IRL 85.10

Men’s B: 6.3km

1. Szajkó Csaba HUN 40.22

2. Batticci Stefano ITA 46.07

3. Eugenio Pedrazzini SUI 46.12

20. Brian Flannelly IRL 51.43

126. Stuart Scott IRL 74.38

Overall the weekend’s orienteering proved a great experience for all the group. The event was highly organised, with good quality maps and some excellent planning on all the courses. Having never experienced the street event before, I for one was bitten by the Venice bug (quite literally with the unwelcomed visit of a mosquito) and fully intend to hit the streets again in the near future. I would highly recommend the event to everyone; it genuinely shows that ‘orienteering is a sport for all’, with plenty of families and walkers being spotted amidst the faster paced runners. However, buggies are not recommended. Though Venice is trying to be more accessible, the vast majority of courses only crossed bridges with ramps on the final leg of the course.

A big ‘well done’ to all those involved in the organisation and planning of the event and a ‘thank you’ to the rest of the group for making the weekend so enjoyable.

A full set of Results can be found at and keep an eye out for details on MOV 2010 in September. Apologies for the lack of photos from this event, but as we entered as a group we were given similar start times and so the photo moments were slim!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

OCAD Computer Training Course

This Saturday (14th) there will be an OCAD training course (for drawing O-maps by computer) in Dunboyne.The course was originally to be run on September 26th but was postponed. There are a few places available so get in quick if you would like to attend. The venue is Dunboyne Castle, Co. Meath. It is an all day course on Saturday, Nov 14th for all levels of OCAD skills. The course is given by Pat Healy of CNOC.
To secure your place please send a cheque for €25 to the Irish Orienteering Association, Second Floor, 13 Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4 to Aine Joyce IOA Admin Assistant
To enquire about the course and availability contact Aine at

One place still available (10/11/09)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Munster Orienteering Championships

CorkO held this year's Munster Orienteering Championships on Sunday, 1 November in Toureen Wood, around 3 km outside of Cahir.

The terrain commanded high levels of fitness as the wood proved more of a physical challenge at times, more so than a technical challenge. The would itself had a great network of paths, tracks and roads allowing for some exceptionally fast times to be produced on the day. The mature coniferous forest provided good visibility and very few brambles. The poor weather over the last number of days and weeks meant that small drains became last streams and any marsh area was highly visible. There were a number of parts of the forest that hindered speed, where long grass, stones and hidden dips meant that caution was required. The rain held off for most competitors runs making the courses very enjoyable.

Some excellent times were produced in the M21L and the W21L where Darren Burke of CorkO stormed around the 10.9km course in a mere 94.27 minutes, a full 9 minutes ahead of CNOC's Seamus O'Boyle. Daivd Healy of GEN also fought hard on the day, finishing just 2 seconds behind Seamus.

CNOC's Niamh O'Boyle took the lead in the Women's 21, 7.2km course in a time of 71.24, holding off stiff competition from FermO's Rosalind Hussey and Ciara Largey, who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

BOC club members also were out in force and some fantastic results were seen at the end of the day, with two of our juniors claiming gold. Tim O'Sullivan was top of the results in the M12's, while Josh O'Sullivan-Hourihan took first in the M18. Younger brother Zac, finished 5th in the M12. Keeping it in the family, Paul took third spot in the M45L course, fighting off some tough competition. Other club members on the course were:
6th Pat O'Donovan
7th Dermot O'Sullivan
12th Steve Young
15th Jim Lawton

Another medal winner was Dorothy Grimes who claimed third prize in the W21S course.
Other notable results from the day were:
W21L 7th Sharon Lucey
M50L 9th Pat Murphy
M21L 15th Donal Murphy

A full set of results and split times can be found on
A selection of Finn van Gelderen's photos from the day can be found at John Shiels photos are found
Well done to all competitors!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Upcoming Championships and Events of Interest


The Fourth Annual Cliona Callanan Memorial Orienteering Event to be held in Doneraile Forest Park on Oct 25th.


Cork-O are staging the 2009 Munster Championships on Sunday 1st November at Toureen Wood, Bansha, Co. Tipperary, on one of the last remaining mature forests on the Northern slopes of the Galtees. The area selected has mature coniferous forest with good visibility and is free of brambles except for parts where long grass and stones will impede running. The forest has a good road track network with steep sided ravines and dry gulleys which run down the slopes which are characteristic of Galtee maps.

The Connacht Championships are also due to be held on the 29th November by Western Eagles Galway Orienteers. Location and further details yet to be confirmed. Keep on eye on for more info.

The Northern Ireland MTBO Championships are due to be held at Castlewellan, Co. Down at some stage towards the end of the month. It is being run by LVO so keep an eye out for more details.

For those interested in travelling further afield, a group of 7 senior orienteers from a variety of clubs, including BOC's Sharon Lucey are heading to the Venice Street Orienteering event on the 13-15th November. Check out The event also incorporates a Park-O event on the Saturday. The event caters for all age groups and abilities.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Cliona Callanan Memorial Orienteering Event

The Cliona Callanan Fourth Annual Memorial Orienteering Event will take place on Sunday, 25th October 2009 in Doneraile Forest Park (R603076) between 10a.m. and 1p.m.
All proceeds in aid of the Cork Children's Leukaemia Association.
There will be a choice of courses on the day: Long, Medium and Short, to suit all the family.
Cliona was an accomplished orienteer, representing Bishopstown Orienteering Club and the Irish Junior Orienteering Team.
Why not come along with a picnic for a nice family day out in aid of an extremely good cause. It will be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Irish Orienteering Championships on RTE...

There was a short 4 minute video clip on RTE tv recently about the 2009 Irish Orienteering Championships which were held in Donegal in May. This is now available on the RTE website until the 4th of July.

Just go to the following link....

....and once it starts playing, just drag the bar on the yellow line forward to about the 21:21 mark.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

IOC 2009 Results...

The results of the 2009 Irish Orienteering Championships in Donegal are now available.

Day 1........
The results of the first day in Benson Hill are available HERE.
Photos are available HERE.

Day 2.......
The results of the event in Tannawully are available HERE.
Photos are available HERE.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Leinster Orienteering Championships 2009

This year's Leinster Championships were held outside the province in the beautiful setting of Rossmore Forest Park, located just outside Monaghan Town. The area was similar to Curraghchase Forest Park, used by BOC in last years Munster Championships. The area was very runnable with some briar patches scattered throughout and an intricate network of paths. There were few handrails in the depths of the forest but the forest had high visibility and runnability so some incredibly fast times were produced. Route choice and fast thinking proved to be the winning formula with a number of options from several controls. There was one particular area which held a number of controls and proved tricky for some because of the sheer number of stone walls and other black features. Controls were often visible before the feature allowing for faster exits from the sites.
The 21L courses were won by CNOC's Colm Hill and Niamh O'Boyle. BOC's Christine O'Donovan was also among the prize winners, finishing third in the W20 category. Other BOC finishers were Pat O'Donovan, 4th M45, John O'Donovan, 6th M45 and Sharon Lucey 6th W21L. Well done to all who made the long journey to Ulster and to Final Orienteers for organising such a good event. A full set of results can be found at

Monday, March 30, 2009

BOC Evening events.....

Now that the clocks have changed and the evenings are beginning to get longer, Bishopstown Orienteering Club are starting their Business Houses League. These take place every Thursday evening and there is a choice of 3 courses...

  • SCORE COURSE (Hardest): Visit as many of the control sites as you can and in any order in 60 minutes or less. Penalties for over the hour and bonus for under the hour if all controls got.

  • MEDIUM COURSE : Slightly difficult. Visit the controls in numerical order. Might suit someone who wants a good walk or jog without getting too technical.

  • SHORT COURSE (Easiest) : Very easy. Visit the controls in numerical order. Suitable for anyone who justs wants an easy walk, beginners or kids.

ENTRY FEES : € 6 Adult, € 5 Student, € 3 Junior, and € 12 Family. Second run on the night € 2.

More details on the fixtures list.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Klub Biegów na Orientację Bishopstown jest najwiekszym i najbardziej aktywnym klubem w Cork. Nowi czlonkowie sa mile widziani na wszystkich naszych zawodach, a koszt czlonkowstwa w klubie za caly rok (od wrzesnia do lipca) to jedyne 10 euro. Wpisowe na zawody to 7 euro dla czlonkow klubu (darmowe wpisowe jesli wstapisz do klubu w dniu zawodow) i 10 euro dla niezrzeszonych. Jesli jestes poczatkujacy, możesz znalezc wiecej informacji na temat Biegow na Orientacje na polskiej stronie internetowej ...

Czym sa Biegi na Orientacje.........Najprosciej, uzywasz mapy do znalezienia punktow zwanych kontrolnymi w lesie. Na kazdym punkcie kontrolnym jest czerwony dziurkacz, ktorego uzywasz, by oznakować kartę, by potwierdzic, ze tam byles. Wiecej szczegolow na temat istoty Biegow na:

Masz do wyboru kilka poziomow trudnosci

Zolty....bardzo latwy. Wszystkie punkty kontrolne sa na sciezkach.

Pomaranczowy....latwy. Dluzszy niz poziom zolty.

Czerwony ...troche trudniejszy. Niektore z punktow znajduja sie poza sciezkami w lesie.

Zielony.....trudny. Wiekszosc punktow znajduje sie w lesie.

Niebieski......bardzo trudny. Jest to dluzsza wersja zielonego.

Zawody odbywaja sie w prawie kazda niedziele i w czwartkowe wieczory w okresie letnim.
Na naszej stronie glownej znajdziesz szczegoly dotyczace terminow oraz miejsc gdzie odbywaja sie zawody wraz z informacja jak dotrzec na miejsce startu.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Orienteering Intervarsities, 14th March 2009

The Irish Orienteering Student Intervarsities 2009 were held in Oughaval Forest in Stradbally, Co. Laois on Saturday, 14th March. Nine different Third Level colleges were represented in the event hosted by the Military College. There were six courses available and 44 competitors.
The courses were long and well planned by the organisers. Bramble bashers were an advantage, depending on route choice. Weather conditions were perfect for orienteering.
The Men’s Long course at 8.7km was the most competitive category, which saw UCD’s Christian Foley-Fisher take first place, followed closely behind by DIT’s Colm Hill and UL’s Oliver Breiling.
DUO’s Niamh O’Boyle took the Women’s Long course (7.4km) in an incredibly fast time, ahead of UL’s Sharon Lucey and DUO’s Audrey Martin. Teammate Farina Freigang finished in fourth place, giving the DUO Women’s team the overall women’s prize for 2009.
UCC’s Gearoid Ryan finished strongly ahead of UL’s Andrew Guckian to take gold in the Men’s Medium (5.2km). Similarly, Isobel Abbott of UCC took first spot in the Women’s Medium (4.3km), with Sarah O’Regan of the Military College in second place. Sarah Conlon, also of the Military College took poll position in the Women’s Short course (3.1km). UCC claimed the overall men’s team prize.
A sample of photographs from the event can be found on the BOC Picasa photo gallery
Congratulations to all those who took part and well done to UCC and Trinity on taking the team prizes. Many thanks to Brendan Delaney, Pat Farrelly, Maeve O'Grady, Ray Holohan, Pat Healy and the Military College for producing a very enjoyable event.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Portugal Orienteering Meeting 2009

Portugal ‘O’ Meeting 2009
Sharon Lucey

The annual Portugal O Meet took place on the 21st-25th February 2009 in the Alentejo region, 200km east of Lisbon. The four-day competition, held on Carnival weekend, included 2 short races, 2 classic races, an urban night race and an orienteering show.
A group of ten senior orienteers from all over Ireland headed to the event, through the orienteering holiday provider, Sun-O. The group consisted of Darren Burke CorkO, Hugh Cashell CNOC, Ailbhe Creedon CorkO, Donncha Cuttriss BOC, Neil Dobbs IFK, Colm Hill CNOC, Susan Lambe LVO, Sharon Lucey BOC, Niamh O’Boyle CNOC and Kieran Rocks LVO. Six of the group took part in the training camp before and after the competition, while the remaining four travelled for a long weekend. Based in Brotas, we were centrally located for the events on all days.
The model event was held on Friday in Pavia (Azenhas da Seda) and though the map looked slightly daunting at first, those who braved it were rewarded with fast paced terrain, intricate contour detail and high visibility. It proved to be a great start to the week, with everyone being able to get a feel for the terrain and an idea of what to expect for the coming few days races. After a long days travel and early start, the other group of weary orienteers joined the group Friday night and excitement began to bubble over in anticipation of the great orienteering to come.
Saturday began with a Middle Distance race in the National Forest of Cabeção. As start times were not until 12pm, we got our first taste of running in the mid-day Portuguese sun. Courses were short, fast and incredibly enjoyable. The best results from the day were Niamh O’Boyle 22nd W21E, Colm Hill 69th M21E and Ailbhe Creedon 8th W21L.
The late starts on this day were due to the night event being held in the streets of Cabeção later that night. After freezing cold showers and a trip to the Fluviario in Mora to check out the local marine life it was back into our running gear once more. Around 700 competitors took part in the night-O, much to the amusement of the locals who took to the streets to support and enjoy the spectacle before them. As there were no allotted start times, all competitors had to queue in the main square of the town and starts were 15-20 seconds apart. This made for a very interesting and fast paced race. The town was made up of numerous short lanes and a few grassland areas without lighting. Navigating the cobbled streets and dodging traffic and other runners proved the challenge of the night with a number of ‘hit and runs’ between competitors. The best results on the night were Niamh, 2nd Women’s Senior and Colm, 4th Men’s Senior.
For the elites, Day 2 was the main race being a world-ranking event. Almost 1,600 competitors took part in Sunday’s competition in Brotas - Torre das Águias. Despite our ingenious plan of taking a “short cut” to this morning’s event, three of us managed to miss our start times. The debate is on going as to whose fault this was! As the event was not a punching start, the clocks began ticking as soon as our start times came around. Despite a gallant effort sprinting the 2km warm up route to the start, Kieran and myself both managed to miss our starts by 8 or 9 minutes. Breathless and unfocused we began our trek into the Portuguese wilderness. Luckily, I had a solid run, after a slow start, I was consistently hitting controls steadily and kept concentration throughout the course.
Map reading and accurate compass bearings were key to success. It was a fast paced course, with a lot of brown features. The terrain was rolling cork oak plantations mostly very fast but with occasional marshy areas and barbed wire fences to slow you down. Accuracy was key, as a number of controls were only visible from the control site. Unfortunately, for Kieran and Neil the other two late starters, the push to the start defeated them and both DNFed. Not surprising, given that the men’s elite course was over 16km.
The Swiss team, in Portugal for a training camp, dominated the elite categories. The W21E was 12.5km. The top results on the day went to:
1 Simone Niggli-Luder Sui 1:20:4
2 Signes Soes Denmark 1:22:04
3 Vroni Konig-Salmi Finland 1:22:08
25 Niamh O’Boyle 1:49:37
The M21E was dominated by the Swiss team, taking the top 3 places, as well as domination by past JWOC medalists: Hubmann and Merz have both taken individual gold while Tervo has two short race silvers.
1 Matthias Merz Sui 1:23:28
2 Marc Lauenstein Sui 1:28:50
3 Baptiste Rollier Sui 1:29:42
82 Colm Hill 2:09:43
A banquet dinner was held in Mora that night, following the prize giving ceremonies for the previous races.
Monday was our last day’s orienteering as we were heading back to reality the next day, while the other six were remaining for the fourth day of competition and another training day. The Middle Distance was held in Pavia – São Miguel/Remendo. Winning times were even faster than expected, showing just how fast paced the environment was. There were some very tricky stone features and very high boulders scattered around the area making it very technical but fast.
A fantastic spectator control and subsequent loop on the top ten courses provided great viewing for those with early finishes and a chance to monitor the techniques of the top elites. Of particular interest was the Swiss elite team who were told by their coach that compasses were forbidden on this day. All eyes were on the Swiss team to check that they all stuck to this rule. The best Irish results on the day were Niamh, W21E 21st and Colm M21E 75th and Ailbhe, 10th W21A.
This led us to the most interesting event of the entire weekend, the OriShow. This took place in the football pitch of the town we had invaded during the night-O. This is one of the best ways to demonstrate the sport to outsiders and beginners. The concept is based on short courses of up to 500m in length which are run on maps at 1:500 scale or even larger. The whole idea is that the courses are run on such small areas that spectators, as well as speakers, can follow the action all the time, from start to finish, watching the runners making mistakes, breaking away from one another and running into dead ends.
Disqualification was common among competitors in this event, as the fast paced nature of the race meant that keeping a keen eye on the map and codes was essential in order to achieve a clean run. There were four heats in the men’s and women’s race, each with 20 competitors. All competitors in each heat had the same first control and then broke into smaller courses. There was a mass start for each heat. The features on the map included; barriers, tapes, bales of hay, pot plants, chairs and cars, yes there were 3 cars on the map. Barriers and tapes could not be crossed, and were marked as uncrossable fences on the map.
The men’s semi final was extra exciting, with Colm taking too long checking his code for the last control and narrowly missed on a spot in the final to Darren because of this error. There were some great Irish results in this race, proving that we can stand our ground in high-pressure situations. Niamh took top spot in the women’s race with Darren pulling out a consistent race in the final to take 3rd spot. All podium finishers received cash prizes, a much-deserved reward after completing three intense ori-show races in a row.
Overall the weekend’s competition proved a great experience for all competitors and saw some fantastic results from the team and two podium finishes. There were around 1,500 competitors each day, proving that the event was appealing to people of all ages and abilities. The majority of competitors were in the 40+ age group according to officials. The inclusion of a WRE really added to the atmosphere on Day 2. The event was highly organised, with good quality maps and a variety of very technical and fast-paced terrain thrown in. We travelled with a company called who were incredibly helpful and they specialise in orienteering holidays in Spain and Portugal. A special thank you to Niamh for getting the ball rolling on organising a group to go. Here’s to POM 2010!
Results from all of the four days events can be found at and a full selection of photographs from all alls can be found at

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Irish Orienteering Championships 2009...2nd-4th May

The 2009 Irish Orienteering Championships will take place this year in Donegal.

IOC09 organised by WEGO and CNOC - Saturday to Monday, 2nd - 4th May 2009, east of Lough Eske, Co Donegal.
Day One - Middle Distance Event Benson Hill;
Day Two - Classic Distance Event Tawnawully;
Day Three - Relay Event Croaghmeenere - even shaped mountain.

Assembly and parking at community centre G 985 481.

Entries for reduced entry fees required by WEGO by 18th March.
Anyone BOC members interested in Club Relay teams (entry fees will be paid by BOC)?

For more information on this event, visit

LOC - Leinster Orienteering Championships - Sun 5th Apr 2009

The 2009 Leinster Championships will take place in Rossmore Forest park, just outside Monaghan town on Sunday, the 5th of April. Rossmore Forest Park is located 3.5km south west of Monaghan Town on the R189 to Newbliss, off the N54 Monaghan to Clones Road. Grid Reference H 653 299.

The closing date will be 23rd March 2009 (post marked). No entries will be accepted after this date. There will be entry on the day courses but will not be eligible for prizes.

For more information, visit the LOC 2009 website........

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Record attendance & membership

1) Record attendance at club event........The actual attendance for last Sunday (1st March) at Farran Forest Park was 268, making it (as far as we know) our largest attendance since the club was formed.
2) Record Membership............The club membership, taking into account the people who joined us on Sunday the 8th, has just exceeded last season's record number of 654! With still quite a bit of the season to go, it looks as if 2009 is going to be a record year for the club.

3) Cork Winter League.........The final table for the Cork Winter League which took place over Jan/Feb 2009 is now up on the club website.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

National Tree Week...1st-7th March 2009

National Tree Week March 1-7...'Our Trees Our Culture’

In 2009 we celebrate 25 years of National Tree Week and we have chosen as the theme ‘Our trees Our Culture’
Although Ireland experienced a decline in tree cover for more than a millennium the memory of our ancient forests is still there. When we look at our history, our literature and poetry, our music and art we find trees and what they represent to us embedded into our identity and expression.
Trees have always been part of the world’s mythology and Ireland has its own symbols and legends. To the ancient Irish and into recent history certain trees, for example, oak and hazel were associated with knowledge and others, the ash and rowan with protection. Fairy trees and raths can evoke respect to this day.
Have you ever wondered why people say ‘touch wood’ to ward off bad luck? The Celts touched trees as they believed it warded off evil spirits. Our Celtic ancestors worshiped trees, they had sacred groves and single trees, these sacred trees have survived today at Holy wells.
The earliest form of writing in Ireland was Ogham, a tree alphabet, which can be found carved on standing stones. This had twenty letters, each corresponding to one of our native species. The protection of trees also formed a core part of our ancient legal system, the Brehon Laws.
Our sense of place finds expression in our place names, which today identify towns, villages and town lands, many of which come from trees and woods. We are all familiar with Kildare (Church of the Oak) and of course Co. Derry itself. In fact of the 62,000 place names on the island of Ireland 1,200 are associated with oak. Co. Mayo is ‘the plain of the yew trees’. Co. Roscommon is the ‘St. Comáin’s Wood’ and Co. Monaghan the ‘place of the thicket’. Original names and translated derivatives can be found on all our signposts, maps and almanacs. Indeed they can still be a source of cultural dispute.
Another imprint made by trees on our cultural identity is the use of trees for surnames. Names in Irish such as Cullen or Cullinane come from Cuillen – holly, Darragh or Mc Darragh from Dair (oak), Quill from Coill (wood) as well as Irish names in the English language, Ashe and, Woods.
Trees feature in our poetry in both languages. Cill Cais is the most often quoted poem in both in Irish and English:
‘Cad a dhéanfaimid feasta gan adhmad? Tá deireadh na gcoillte ar lár’’What will we do for timber; the last of the woods are gone’.
Yeats praises the hazel wood and Kavanagh the beech tree. Trees also have a place in the works our major prose writers and playwrights, for example George Moore, Flan O’Brien, Brian Friel and James Joyce, the latter personalising virtually all species known here in his description in Ulysses of the marriage of the Chief Ranger of the Irish National Foresters to Miss Fir Conifer.
Our traditional, popular and classical music pieces often have trees as a motif, for example Percy Frenches ever popular Gortnamona and compositions by Joan Trimble such as the Green Bough.
Wood features in our historical and contemporary architecture art and craftwork. Ancient homes and fortifications were wood based and although little of the original remains today, excellent reconstruction brings these features back to life. Tree planting for aesthetic reasons and to create formal landscapes resulted in the great 18th Century Estates. The engravers and pleine air (open air) artists of the 18th and 19th Centuries saw in trees and woods a focus for dramatic landscapes and studies in light and shade. Today, trees are the focus of numerous works of photography, painting and print. There has been an explosion of wood sculpture and craft and wood use in structural building and finishing has greatly increased.
The ash is of course inextricably linked with our National Sport - Hurling and is annually celebrated in the All Ireland finals. Up to 500,000 hurleys are used each year and the ash is one of our most prized trees. Hurley making is one of the last of our cottage industries.
Tree in cities, gardens, parks and woodlands make our increasingly urban life more bearable and they feature in all major developments. Tree Week 2009 will invite you to focus on the harmony and pleasure that trees and wood bring to our life experience and contribute to creative projects in whatever way you can.
National Tree Week is sponsored by
Coillte and O2.

Guided Nature Walks in Cork...8th Mar-19th Apr 2009

Guided Nature Walks in Cork...
Padraig O'Donoughue, Trails Coordinator, in partnership with Coillte, encourages parents to introduce their children to walking in the great outdoors this spring.
Pádraig is trails coordinator with Co Cork Local Sports Partnership and will be leading a series of five nature walks in selected locations throughout West Cork over the coming weeks. The walks are suitable for children aged five upwards and will include nature awareness activities.

The Guided Nature Walks will take place in the following locations:
Rathbarry, The Long Strand, 8th March
Leap, Dromillihy Wood, 22nd March
Bandon, Dukes Wood, 5th April
Glengarriff, Nature Reserve, 19th April
Each walk begins at 2.30pm from the recreation site car park. Directions to these sites are available on this website, go to the home page, select Co Cork from the map and click on the link to the forests listed above.
The duration of each walk will be 60-90 minutes and there is no charge for participation.
For further information:
or contact Pádraig on 021 4665082 / 086 8532470

First post of the new BOC blog...

Welcome to our new club blog! We have started this new blog as an experiment for members to share information and experiences of other events. We will also be using it for items of club news, details on some non-club events and some other items as well.

This blog replaces our old BOC News page which had gotten way out of date. If you would like to write up a short report on something like an overseas orienteering event or on one of the regional championships, then contact Sean Cotter.

If you have any photos of orienteering events, local or otherwise, then let Sean know and we can put them up on our photo gallery.