JK Memories – Day 2 Long/Middle

Day 2 Tyrella South, County Down

  • Planner – Wilbert Hollinger, LVO
  • Organiser – Colin Henderson, LVO
  • Controller – Brian Bullen, FVO
  • Assistant Organiser – Mark Hudson, NWOC
  • Assistant Controller – Anthony McGonigle, NWOC

Day 2 took us south, to County Down.  If a competitor lifted their gaze from their map and the sand dunes, they were rewarded with fine views across to the Mourne Mountains.  Perhaps not overly useful in the context of their orienteering course, at least it was a pleasant distraction from searching for O flags in amongst the marram grass.

Before the event, map scales and contour lines were the hot topic, with the birth and re-birth of the Tyrella South map providing many hours of controversy.  But before we got as far as mapping – where would we even HOLD the event?

Harold White, LVO, Event Coordinator writes

We were having difficulty in finding a suitable venue for the Middle and Long Distance on Day 2 partly due to environmental issues. Glenariff was ruled out due to the presence of Red Kites, Binevenagh due to rare mushrooms, and Tollymore Forest Park due to Sudden Oak Death Disease.

Intricate terrain at Tyrella. Credit Roxanne White

Given the intricate nature of the terrain at Tyrella South, the Planners and Controllers felt that the terrain would be best represented at a map scale of 1:7,500 with 2.5m contours for the Middle and Long Distance courses on Day 2 rather than the BOF specified scale of 1:10,000 with 5.0m contours…This led to a long-running discussion with the BOF Mapping Group, on the correct representation of the terrain where in the end we were instructed to use the BOF rules.

It turned out that the Saturday competition provided the greatest need [for medical cover]. One injured competitor had to be stretchered out of the competition area, and two had to go by ambulance to hospitals in Belfast and Downpatrick. I met the most seriously injured competitor some months later and was very pleased to hear that she had fully recovered from what was a very serious injury.

Brian Bullen, FVO, Controller writes

Perhaps more than the areas and event I remember the way you and Wilbert made me feel at home, and kindly provided accommodation and kept me fed and watered.  I was particularly impressed and grateful to the [event safety] planning by Murray, with 2 casualties efficiently rescued from the area.  I was privileged to visit many potential areas – I remember Binevenagh with its towering cliffs, Glenariff (with a spectacular gorge), Tollymore (beautiful forest and fantastic lodge) and the adjacent Meelmore and Luke’s Mountain.

Wilbert Hollinger, LVO, Planner writes

Standing on top of a dune near the start and looking over Tyrella.  Lots of brightly coloured competitors – young and not so young, running, stopping, running again, turning back – yes the challenge was there.  Courses too short as suggested beforehand? No, I don’t think so!

Where the Mountains of Mourne roll down to the sea. Credit Crawford Lindsay ESOC

Danny O’Hare, CORKO, Download & Results writes

JK 2011 seems a lifetime ago. It was a huge logistical challenge and the organisers created an excellent event which was a great showcase for Northern Ireland. My recollection is the calm leadership of Harold White and Colin Henderson. You organised Stranmillis and Queens to merge, overcame lack of access to Tollymore and nesting birds and even organised good weather!

I’m glad to have made a very small contribution with my club mates from CorkO helping at the Finish/Download. When are you doing the next one?

Alan Gartside, LVO, TrailO & TempO writes

As ever, I recall the delight in being out alone in the terrain as Planner, checking and updating maps for TrailO accuracy and devising TrailO control sites.

Day 1 TrailO was at Murlough, with Day 2 at Castlewellan.  We used the Castlewellan Peace Maze for the timed controls – mapped as hedges in a paved area for one, and as paved paths in impassable vegetation for the other.

For more information on orienteering in Northern Ireland, a great place to start is with one of our DIY Orienteering courses

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