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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.