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Jan 28, 2010

Night O Bushy Park Sat 30th Jan

Next Night O will be in Bushy Park this Sat
Start Templeogue Rd / Terenure Rd West Jnc i.e. just opposite main gate to Terenure College
BushySnip.JPGStart times 18:30 - 19:30
And afterward pints in Templeogue Inn (The Morgue?)

There will be 2 courses, long circa 3.5 km and short circa 2 km
Given the nature of the park, this is the ideal event if you have never tried Night O but wanted to give it a go. It is also suitable for younger runners. There will be a good few of the AJAX crew around to keep an eye on things.

See you there
Mike Long

Jan 04, 2010

Lug Snowmen ..Jan 2nd

Last week's snow and ice drew out the ice axe crew.  Deftly piloted in PG_PK_DW_POB_Lug_Jan_10.JPGPeter Gargan's BMW to an icy Glen of Imaal, the initial slog up snowy Camarahill switched quickly to plunging into a cloudy coomb behind Paddy O'Brien. 

Distracted by a fox and hare scuttling around, picking up the gullies in the gloomy white, proved tricky.


The call to go straight up turned good, the slope pulling up sharply into a clean route.   A short pause allowed Marcus off the leash to rip into some ice (photo), and a quick traverse let us climb quickly onto a cold top.
Didn't spend much time on the lunch before slipping back down to stools in Fenton's.

Setanta's Dave Weston proved steel capped wellies can mix it with the best, passenger Peter Kernan did what he was told.

photos by  Marcus Geoghegan

Peter Kernan

Christmas Walk 2009

For the second year in a row Setanta's Phillip Brennan put together an original point to point walk starting on the newChristmasWalk2_BOC_b.jpg

Tibradden trail, taking in Fairy Castle, lunching at an impressive Ballyedmonduff tomb, and crossing by lanes, woods and a bankrupt Kilternan Hotel to Barnaslingan above the Scalp.

View from Carrickgolligan was of a Dublin carpeted with mist, and the last leg to Brady's of Shankill took in a little known Rathmichael ring fort.


 This year, despite the walk invitation bringing in a troop drawn from GEN, Setanta, Fingal and Ajax there was surprisingly little crowd trouble.  The slick, icy tracks were the biggest danger.
Many thanks to Phillip and crew.

photos  by  Brendan O'Connor    Paddy O'Brien

Peter Kernan

Dec 22, 2009

Curracloe permanent course update

......latest update from Martin Flynn...

Denis, John & I travelled to Curracloe twice to design courses & control sites.  There are to be 3 permanent courses - Short is about White standard and I think worked out at about 2k.  The Medium is "off the paths" standard and about 3k.  The Long is as technical as we could make it and is about 4.5k.

We are using the Northmost section of the forest - all that will fit on the length of an A4 sheet.  Anyone familiar with Curracloe will know that it is very narrow, especially at the north end.  Unfortunately, much of the forest is completely overgrown and unusable.  The Western half is impenetrable, the middle section is unpleasant and the Eastern side is beautiful.  This impacted greatly on the courses and kept the Long about 1k shorter than we had hoped.

The stakes have been ordered and a contractor had been lined up for the start of December.  I was in contact with the coordinator from Coillte to try to arrange for one of us to be present when the stakes were installed - to make sure they are in the correct locations.  Unfortunately, there were some delays on their side and she was to get back to me but I haven't heard anything since so I am not sure of the current status.


Dec 21, 2009

AJAX 2010 and beyond… some notes from the recent club AGM.

.....summary on the AGM and permanent course in Curracloe by Aongus O'Cleirigh...

Permanent orienteering course for Curracloe…
Curracloe2009.jpgAjax members Denis Reidy, John Delacy and Martin Flynn are working with Coillte to setup a permanent orienteering course in Curracloe, Co. Wexford.  This was the venue of the 1981 Irish Orienteering Championships individual (classic) race.  The terrain consists of forested sand-dunes in a narrow strip along the coast. There are three courses planned  – an easy 2k course on paths, an off-path course of 3k, and a more difficult 4.5k course.  The mapped area is the Northern part of the original Curracloe map and fits on an A4 sheet.  (See map extract).  Sadly, over the years some of the terrain has become overgrown and is now impenetrable.

Ajax set to host IOC 2011…
30 years after organizing its first Irish Orienteering Championships in Curracloe and Camolin, Ajax will host IOC 2011.  The racing venues will be the Glendoo ridge and Carrickshouk.  Surveying (primarily by Pat Healy) has been progressing steadily.  Event officials who have volunteered to date are Denis Reidy - overall event coordinator, Aonghus O'Cleirigh - planner classic course, Marcus Geoghegan - planner relay and Paul Smyth - planner short/sprint course.

Main organizers of upcoming events…
Vale of Clara – Marcus Geoghegan, Denis Reidy, Mike Long.  (already successfully held, where the new club SI equipment and refreshment tent received their first competitive outing).
Bushy Park NightO – Mike Long, Peter Kernan, John Delacy.
Bull Island – Andrew McCarthy, Paul Smyth, Aonghus O’Cleirigh.

Other club matters…
The club is still solvent, but we need more members (or at least members who pay their subscriptions.)  Membership is €25 for Adult or family and €10 for Junior.
Two new maps were completed this year – Rathfarnham, Bull Island North; three maps
were revised – Vale of Clara, Killiney Hill, Curracloe.  Other maps including those for IOC 2011 are in the pipeline.

Congratulations to Cian O'Reilly who competed for Ireland at the World Orienteering Championships this year in Hungary in the Trail-O discipline.

Ajax may yet get a new club jacket for its members.

Current members of the Ajax committee…
Chairman: Denis Reidy
Treasurer: Donal Wickham
Mapping Officer: Aonghus O'Cleirigh
Children's Officer: Mike Long
Equipment Officer: John DeLacy
Web Master: Peter Kernan

Nov 27, 2009

Ajax Vale Of Clara event - 3ROC's Ger Butler, Colm Moran lead in the trees.

ClaraValeEvent.jpgDespite dropping to seventh at control 4, Ger Butler pulled the pack back and raced ahead through the trees to win the Brown by 6 mins from Christian Foley-Fisher of DUO.

His clubmate Colm Moran needed only two controls on the Blue to take the lead and hold it over 21 controls winning from Setanta's Dave Weston.

A strong run by 3ROC's Eoin McCullough saw him take 3rd, seconds behind Dave.

Conditions on Sunday were considerably better than Saturday when Marcus Geoghegan, standing in water streaming out of the car park onto the road, reflected on the chances of cancellation.
Months of preparation prevailed and Sunday saw him deliver map, planning and Grade A orienteering to a forest starved audience.
Complementing his efforts finishers also got to watch results on screen and drink coffee in the finish tent courtesy of Martin Flynn and Donal Wickham.

When the weather turned raw for the last finishers, offers of coffee, met initially with disbelief, hit the right button.ValeOfClaraTent.jpg

It wasn't all plain sailing, Denis Reidys' tale of a tree dropping as he placed control 21, reports of the Yellow course "blowing away", the tent window splitting in the wind, added an edge of uncertainty that was only dispelled when finishers began to flow in well.

The Orange course also saw a group of Bootcampers take to the forest as well as CNOC first timer Fergal Foley.

Cleared up by 4 pm, the organising club Ajax deemed the event a big success.


Photo by David Healy - Hazel Thompson, Setanta.

Nov 13, 2009

Vale of Clara Nature Reserve

Leinster Autumn Series 2009 #3
Sunday November 22nd 2009
Vale of Clara Nature Reserve, County Wicklow
Grid Reference T 185 923

Results are now available on www.orienteering.ie

Weather Report from the event at 8.20AM Sunday: cold, light breeze, dry - perfect weather for orienteering, see you later

IMG_1092.jpgThe Vale of Clara Nature Reserve is the area formerly known to orienteers as Cronybyrne. The new 2009 map is a part of the larger Cronybyrne/Ballinastraw area initially surveyed in the early 1980s, incorporated into the Claravale map for the 1987 World Military Championships (CISM) and used for the 1993 Leinster championships as well as numerous Leinster League events. Ajax has decided to change the name of the area to Vale of Clara Nature Reserve as this is how the forest is signposted locally and this is the name used by the National Parks and Wildlife Service who manage it.

Organised by: Ajax Orienteering Club, ajax.orienteering.ie

Directions: The event will be signposted from Laragh, County Wicklow. In Laragh turn east at Lynham's pub onto the Rathdrum road; after about 400m you will reach a junction where a small road goes straight ahead and the main road veers right across a narrow stone bridge. Take the small road straight ahead and drive for about 6.5km to the event. Parking will be in a Coillte forest north of the nature reserve - please follow the marshals' parking directions. For orienteers living near the N11/M11 there is a viable route via exit 15 for Ashford and onwards to Garryduff crossroads - this route will only be signposted from Garryduff crossroads.

Map: 1:10,000 with 5m contours, printed on waterproof paper, A4 landscape, updated Summer 2009 by Marcus Geoghegan.

Terrain: Mature Oak woodland with occasional Scots Pine and Birch.  Visibility is nearly always good but runnability varies - underfoot you will find sedge grass, Fraochán bushes (bilberry) and bracken fern. In some areas runnability is impeded by high bracken - these areas have been mapped with widely spaced green hatching. There are a few small areas of bramble which have been mapped with closely spaced hatching. During the 1990s a long-term project was started to return the Reserve to native woodland so most non-native trees (plantation conifer) has been removed. Here are some photos of the terrain. The Irish Farmer's Journal has written a good article about the area's wonderful flora and fauna.

Sportident electronic timing will be used. Please make sure your sportident card is properly registered - it makes things a lot easier for the organisers. If you do not have a Sportident card, they will be available for hire for €2 each and you will be required to leave a deposit.

Registration will be at the car park entrance.

Start Times & Course Closure: starts are between 11AM and 1PM. Courses close at 3PM promptly and the controls will be collected at this time, so please make sure that you have reported to the download tent before 3PM.

Start: Approx 500m from the parking and registration area. Allow 10 minutes to walk there.

Finish: Approx 200m from the parking and registration area. You do not pass the start when returning from the finish to the car parking.

Download: when you return to the car parking you MUST download your sportident card - the place to do this will be clearly signposted. You must download even if you retire and do not finish the course. Failure to download might lead to an unnecessary search and you will be unwelcome at future Ajax Orienteering events.

Groups: if you plan to bring a group to the event please email ajax@orienteering.ie as soon as possible so that we have enough pre-printed maps.

Clothing transfer: As the parking, start and finish are close to each other there will be no clothing transfer system in operation.

Warm-up: Colleen Robinson (Setanta orienteer, professional dancer and physical therapist) will lead a warm-up session at 11:30 sharp - meet at the registration tent. All ages and abilities are welcome and encouraged to join in.

Safety & Cancellation: This orienteering event does not visit open mountainside. However it is November and inclement weather should be expected - a rain jacket/cagoule might be mandatory. All competitors must carry a whistle. If you get hopelessly lost walk north along the forest roads until you reach the road where the car parking is located. The brown course crosses Cronybyrne Brook - please use the bridges and do not attempt to wade across. If the weather on the day is severe there is always the possibility of the event being cancelled - if you are in doubt please check the Ajax website ajax.orienteering.ie before travelling.

Control Descriptions will be printed on the front of the maps in IOF pictorial format, except for the yellow course which will have text descriptions. CONTROL DESCRIPTIONS WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE AT THE EVENT - you can download them here and print them yourself, or you can use the descriptions on the map. There will be no little bits of paper at the event!

Brown Blue Green LightGreen Orange Yellow

Results: weather permitting, live results will be displayed on a computer screen beside registration. Live results will also be available online - bookmark this page on your mobile phone so that you can see the results as they come in. Live results on a second screen and on the web are a part of the latest version of Ór, Martin Flynn's orienteering software. Full results, including splitsbrowser, routegadget and winsplits will be available on www.orienteering.ie on the evening of the event.

GPS Splits: Orienteers with a Garmin Forerunner 305 will be able to print GPS map splits (example) - before downloading, make sure to tell the download operator that you want to download your Forerunner as well as your Sportident card.

Leinster Autumn Series: this event is the third of five in the 2009 Leinster Autumn Series - you can see the automatically updated current league standings in the results section of www.orienteering.ie. Best 3 of 5 to count.

Refreshments: tea/coffee/biscuits will be available near the registration.

Course: Length, Climb, #Controls : Suitability

Brown:  7.9km, 260m, 24 : very experienced orienteers only
Blue: 6km, 205m, 21 : experienced orienteers only
Green: 4.7km, 140m, 18 : experienced orienteers only
Light Green: 3.2km, 105m, 13 : improvers
Orange: 2.9km, 85m, 10 : "off the paths"
Yellow: 2.3km, 55m, 12 : novices/young juniors/families

The yellow course is not suitable for buggies.

Planner : Marcus Geoghegan, Ajax
Mike Long, Ajax
Organiser: Denis Reidy, Ajax

Orienteering is an adventure sport, all competitors take part at their own risk.