World Championships Team Announced
Results are filtering through from France where the Irish team of Aoife McCavana, Róisín Long, Niamh Corbett, Jonathan Quinn, Eoin McCullough and Jack Millar are taking on Europe’s best Junior orienteers.
Jonny scored a magnificent 15th place in M16 in the Sprint race at Meymac on Friday, and on Saturday the best result was Róisín Long’s 37th in W16. See results, maps etc here.
Thierry Gueorgiou had his first big victory in EYOC back in 1995 – this was the first time the orienteering world got a real look at this exceptional orienteer.
“As I now look back, my victory in the EYOC 95 was the real start of my orienteering career and therefore always had a special taste,Gueorgiou says. -That’s also why I have much respect for this competition which gives the first big emotions to young orienteers.”
Looking at the results it is clear that none of the team will be pleased with their runs, except for the two mentioned above, but there’e still the Relay to run on Sunday. Watch this space for an update …
(Update 1st July: The W18 girls finished in 18th place with a storming 3rd leg from Niamh Corbett, but finishing a tantalizing 5 seconds earlier would have moved them up two places. The M18’s had two solid runs from Jack and Jonny but an unfortunate error in reading a control code on leg 3 caused the team to join the other teams who mispunched – 10 teams disqualified, including our nearest neighbours, Great Britain, and only 19 teams finished.).
The next EYOC will be in Israel in November 2013.
A thunderclap, a flash of light and the dam bursts: a river of fire floods out from the field towards the forest: the 64th Jukola relay has started.
The orienteering kicked off with the women’s 4-leg “Venla” on a baking Saturday afternoon: a small affair of only 1272 teams sent out to make tracks in the forest for the men later (Not really! It’s a very serious and hotly contested race). The legs of the Venla range from 5.7 to 8.5 km. The runners were going out in 31 degrees at 2 pm , but later in the day things cooled for better running conditions. (Unfortunately the weather changed for later runners in the Jukola on Sunday morning, with heavy rain and 13C).
This year’s Jukola was the biggest ever: 1689 teams of seven. The competition centre was based at a sports centre with a running track, sports pitches, swimming pool and outdoor skating rink. All the facilities were close together: food, assembly, toilets, the field of army tents for the teams. Only the showers and sauna were a bit out of the way.
Before the Venla started the announcer warned the runners that there was an out of bounds area used by hunters (archers, actually) with life-size elk, boar, bears and wolves as targets: don’t be frightened if you see them. He repeated the warning for the Jukola runners: could be unnerving at night. In a departure from the norm (reportedly to improve TV coverage), the mass start maps were not strung on wires above the heads of the runners, but put on the ground at their feet.
Though the streams are swollen
Keep them dogies rollin’
Rain and wind and weather
Hell-bent for leather
Wishin’ my gal was by my side.
All the things I’m missin’,
Good vittels, love, and kissin’,
Are waiting at the end of my ride
The rain struck when he was half way around but he kept moving forward to the end.
See the Jukola web site here for results, photos, routegadget etc. If you’re not there you can follow it live on the internet. Jukola party, anyone?
Look at next year’s Jukola in Jamsa. Two and a half hours drive north of Helsinki. One and a half from Tampere. Will Ryanair still fly there next June? How about Norwegian or SAS? Sandwiched in the middle of the Leaving Cert before Chemistry and Economics? Hmmmm….
Ireland finished behind Wales in the Veteran Home International in the Mournes on July 16/17th. It’s a foregone conclusion that England and Scotland will be out of reach, but there can be intense competition between the two smallest orienteering nations. Despite the men leading Wales by 39 to 38 overnight, the ladies didn’t fare so well and the relays on Sunday were a downward spiral where Wales extended their lead to finish with 149 points to 117. Meanwhile, England extended their overnight lead to beat Scotland by 258 to 220.
Conditions in the Mournes on Saturday were trying, with heavy rain and swollen streams but Sunday’s relays at Tollymore were run in better weather. Photos, results and information can be found here.
Traditionally the VHI has been held in October or November, typically on exposed open mountain areas in far from perfect weather. Running the event in June seemed like a good idea, I’m sure, but it did have the side effect of moving November’s weather forward 5 months …
The start was near Glashaboy, in the Wicklow Gap area, but many of the controls were much further north, meaning that a return to base for food, rest and shelter wasn’t such an attractive option this year.