Happy Easter!

We’ll have members orienteering in several places over Easter: Ger Butler will be one of the 3Rockers running at the Jan Kjellstrom O-Festival in the south of England, joined by Trina, Ronan and Julie Cleary  and Frank Martindale. The first event of the weekend is a Sprint race at Reading University on Friday (see a 2011 map here). Ronan and Julie are also the IOF  Event Advisors for the sprint, which is a World Ranking Event.

Saturday sees a Middle Distance race for the Elite classes at Hambleden, near Henley, with a long-distance race for the other classes, then a long distance race at Cold Ash, Newbury, for everyone on Sunday and Relays back at Hambleden on Monday.

Another group are heading for the Czech Republic where there is a Junior World Championships training trip in preparation for JWOC in July. Eoin McCullough is one of the aspiring team members travelling there, though the weather doesn’t look great for orienteering, with thick snow and temperatures of -3 to +3 and high winds. In fact the JWOC organisers have advised against teams travelling to the competition areas because of the risk of branches breaking off trees due to the snow. Could be a fun trip!

Well done to Colm Moran, 2nd behind Darren Burke at the UCC Sprint on Saturday, and to Eoin McCullough a further 11 seconds adrift in 3rd. Colm, representing UCD, won the Student Championships at Muckross on Sunday with 2 seconds to spare over Swedish visitor Anton Hallor, and DUO’s Rúairí Short 3rd. The UCC event covered the main campus, on a hillside overlooking the Lee, across the river to the Mardyke sports ground and Fitzgerald Park on an excellent new map. The Kerry Orienteers event at Muckross was based above Torc waterfall in superb Scandinavian-style forest: what a treat to get back to the forest sport!

There’s no orienteering at home until Setanta’s Leinster Spring Series event at Mullaghmeen, Co. Westmeath on April 7th. This is a super area and well worth the journey, plus there is a new map surveyed with LIDAR detail, meaning that the contours are likely to be right for the first time in 35 years!