Three Rock Orienteering Club

The Rocket

May 2002Editor: Eoin DunneNewsletter No. 36

Welcome to your club!

The 26th AGM was held on February 22nd last and was attended by a very small crowd which is disappointing given the importance of the meeting. It's obvious that this format does not appeal so suggestions for an alternative approach would be most welcome. Just pass them on to any member of the committee.

The first report was given by outgoing Secretary David Brennan who noted that current membership is 105 and that the "come and try it" event in the Phoenix Park had been very successful in attracting new members. He also commented that in spite of the Foot & Mouth crisis, the club managed to hold 5 events during the year. The next report was from Treasurer Nigel Campbell-Crawford which indicated that the club made a profit of £2,053 (€2,607) for the year though income was down as a result of F&M. The total bank balances at 31st December 2001 were £11,628 (€14,765). Fixtures Secretary Trina Cleary listed in her report the events carried out by the club and appealed to members to help with organising and running events. Mapping Officer Brendan McGrath gave a summary of the map stocks and reported on the work done to update the Three Rock map.

The final report was given by the Chairman, Eoin Dunne, who identified the difficulties in getting people to help at events and called on all members to support their club. He also listed some of the challenges for the coming year such as the Irish Relays and the update of the Three Rock map.

New committee

At the AGM, several members of the committee stepped down and I'd like to thank them for all their help. These were Maire Walsh, David Brennan and Brendan Cryan. However, we are very fortunate to be joined by some new faces so the committee for 2002 is as follows:

Chairman: Eoin Dunne (Tel: 495 0402 / E-mail:

Mapping Officer: Brendan McGrath (Tel: 295 5405 / E-mail:

Treasurer: Nigel Campbell-Crawford (Tel: 475 5451 / E-mail:

Fixtures Secretary: Trina Cleary (Tel: 493 6187 / E-mail:

Secretary: Vera Murtagh (Tel: 490 8237 / E-mail:

Committee: Geraldine Ryan and David Madigan

Check out our new web address!

Now you have no excuse not to visit our web site with our new easy-to-remember address. Visit to check your results or find out about upcoming events. Thanks to Gordon Elliott for all his continued administration of the web pages.

Ronan & Julie Cleary win Silva Trophy

Congratulations to Ronan and Julie Cleary who were jointly awarded the Silva Trophy at the IOA AGM in May. The Silva Trophy is awarded each year to a person who has contributed in a most deserving manner to the development of Orienteering in the country. In a first, the IOA Executive decided to make a joint award having recognised the contributions that Ronan and Julie have made towards the sport. Julie was a member of the International Squad for several years until her recent retirement and is current Irish and British W35L champion champion. Meanwhile, Ronan spent most of the 90s managing the Irish Squads at some level. He started as Manager for the Juniors, got promoted to Assistant Manager of the Seniors before eventually landing the role of Irish Manager, bringing the Squad to numerous World Championship events around the world. Well done to both of you.

The Pine Forest Leinster League Event

They said it couldn't be done.

And they were almost right. It was only due to the investment of an enormous amount of time that the event went ahead and Controller Harold White and I were sufficiently nervous about complaints to post warning notices at Registration regarding the quality of the courses. Having discarded the South face of Tibradden and the North face of Cruagh due to deep heather, we were left with large blocks of fight, narrow strips of runnable forest, a very inaccurate map and felling in progress. Most of my first choice control sites were rejected by Harold as being inaccurately mapped, so the search was on to find areas which were adequately correct. How for example a large boulder the size of a small car can not be mapped, and a ruined wall marked clearly on the map be missing on the ground, mystifies me. Visitors are not rearranging the landscape to that extent. Maybe the days of amateur mapping are over, it makes planning too frustrating.

One major concern was the busy road and we planned the courses to cross at two distinct well-signposted points. We also posted notices at Registration requesting all competitors not to run along the road, for their own safety. It is unfortunate that a number of runners ignored this request. In a similar vein during the event somebody moved a control a small distance to a similar adjacent site. We discussed, but decided against, voiding the courses affected.

Due to the narrow strips of forest being used controls had to be re-sited and additional controls had to be added to most courses to make the master maps more legible. We therefore decided to allow four minutes for copying down the map. This worked smoothly due to an experienced Start team and proved to be very popular.

I used Condes software to handle all the data including the punching patterns for the master control cards and would recommend it. The only possible drawback is that you have to know the available control codes well in advance. There is no provision to handle temporary ones. However this applies to SportIdent as well.

A well organised event, thanks to Ger, and the Finish team took in their stride a printer that would not print. The feedback at and after the event was very positive which, as Harold said, goes to show that enjoyment out is proportional to effort in.

Nigel Campbell-Crawford

Final warning for membership fees!

Our Treasurer, Nigel Campbell-Crawford, has informed me that the percentage of members who have paid their subs for 2002 is very low. Therefore, if you wish to continue receiving copies of The Irish Orienteer and the Rocket then please send in your subs ASAP. Note that the membership rates are as follows:

Senior - euro 12.70

Family - euro 19

Junior/student - euro 6.35

Please send in your subs to: Three Rock Orienteering Club,

13 Stamer Street


Dublin 8.

You have been warned!!

Club shorts

I'd like to extend a very warm welcome to the new members of our club. These include Gary Rice, John Kearney, John Riordan, and to the Hemmings and Neeson Families. I hope you will all get great satisfaction from the "cunning running."

Currently on the injured list is Gary Tully, Brendan McGrath and Trina Cleary with back, leg and neck problems respectively so best of luck everyone in shaking off your ailments.

Welcome back to Ger Power who was out in Namibia as an international observer in the recent elections there. I can only wonder what they would have made of Jackie Healy-Rae.

For the third year in a row, only a few points separated 3ROC from winners GEN in the Inter-Club Championships held in Trooperstown recently. This is in spite of 3ROC winning three of the four categories so next year we will need to make an all-out effort for it. Still, the courses were short and sweet and thanks are due to GEN for putting on this special event again.

That fellow Sean Rothery is popping up in all sorts of places now that his book "A Long Walk South" has been published. An interview with Sean is published in the May edition of Backpacker where he describes his 2,300km walk from the North Sea to the Mediterranean. Note that the cover of Backpacker includes the caption "bare arses" though I'm satisfied that none of them belong to Sean. One small quibble is the brief description of Sean and Nuala's family which states "their son is an athlete…" Well, anyone familiar with Eoin or Colm, both former Irish Orienteering Champions, would know that there's a bit more to it then that, perhaps in the next issue…

How many people noticed that Day 2 of the Shamrock 2-day event (which took place at Crohane Mountain, Co. Kerry) was planned by our Justin May and that the World Ranking Event element of it was controlled by Trina Cleary? I think you guys deserve a break after all that.

Return to Carlingford!

On April 28th last, 3ROC held its first event on Carlingford Mountain since the Foot & Mouth crisis. In fact, this event was to have taken place in 2001 and for Planner Trina Cleary, everything had been on hold since then. In fact, the control sites had already been tagged when all orienteering events were cancelled. At last we could return and for Trina and Controller Frank Martindale, it meant re-visiting all sites to see if the tagging had survived (as it turned out, half the tags did survive the year-long wait for controls). With this accomplished, the controls went out in the days before and everything was set for a perfect day, what could possible go wrong?

Now picture the scene, it's 10.00am on a Sunday morning, all the helpers have arrived, all the equipment is ready to go and nobody has a key to the barrier. A frantic search along the length of Carlingford village to Omeath ensued until eventually a bleary-eyed forester was found to let us in. Everyone raced to the car park area where a new record for getting an event going was established. By 11.00am we were open for business when a dark cloud appeared on the horizon, literally. The heavens opened with the first of several heavy hail showers and the sign for cagoules was quickly amended to "must be worn." As the start area was exposed, it had already been decided to locate the master maps in the forest with a tarpaulin to provide cover. This proved popular with competitors though may have encouraged some people to give up, before they even got to the start.

Thankfully, everyone came off the mountain safely and afterwards it was felt that the numbers attending were satisfactory, for Carlingford anyway as you'll never get the crowds like we would up in Three Rock Wood. Carlingford is always a challenge, for competitors and more so for the organisers but apart from the barrier key, the whole event went smoothly. Many thanks to all the members who helped out and to Trina, Frank and Organiser Nadya Hutchinson for their work in putting this together. Thanks are also due to the Converys for the use of their home, without which, the logistics of this event would be so much more difficult.

Planner: Trina Cleary

Controller: Monica Nowlan

Organiser: Una May

Results round-up!

Well there's certainly been plenty of Championship action over the last two months with lots of 3ROC names appearing in the lists of winners. Congratulations to all of the following:

Leinster Champs (21/04/02) - Nadya Hutchinson (2nd) W21L, Monica Nowlan (1st) W50L, Trina Cleary (1st) W55L, Antoinette Butler (1st) W55S, John McCullough (1st) M45L, Michael Butler (2nd) M60S, Frank Martindale (1st) M65L.

Irish Champs (11/05/02) - Andrew Quin (3rd) M21E, Una May (3rd) W21E, Julie Cleary(1st) W35L, Ronan Cleary(1st) M40S, Mary O'Connell (2nd) W40L, Monica Nowlan (1st) W50L, Claire McGrath (2nd) W50S, Claire Walsh (2nd) W55L, Mike Richardson (3rd) M60L, Michael Butler (2nd) M60S, Frank Martindale (2nd) M65L, Con Carroll (2nd) M70S, Joss Lynam (3rd) M70S,

Irish Relay Champs (12/05/02) - Ger Power, Monica Nowlan, Aine Ni Shuilleabhain (1st) Women's +120, Una May, Julie Cleary, Mary O'Connell (2nd) Women's Open.

British Champs (04-06/05/02) - Julie Cleary(1st) W35L

Shamrock 2-day (25-26/05/02) - John McCullough (1st) M45L, Nigel Campbell-Crawford (1st) M55, Harold White (3rd) M55, Frank Martindale (1st) M60, Mary O'Connell (1st) W40, Aine Ni Shuilleabhain (2nd) W50.

Of course, well done to everyone who competed. Next time go early and hide the controls (only joking!)

On your bike!

As we approach the height of summer (honest!), there's nothing like hopping on a bike and pedalling off, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Well don't just think about it, join in. Harold White is organising a series of bike rides over the summer months with the first one taking place at 7.00pm on Wednesday 19th June. Meet up at the "Hole In The Wall" pub north of the Phoenix Park. The planned route should take an average cyclist about 1.5 hours and covers variable terrain away from mainstream traffic. A mountain bike is desirable although alternative routes are possible for road bikes. You should bring a puncture repair kit and a pump. This is planned mainly as a social event with some modest exercise and is also open to all. For more information, contact Harold at 284 4044.

Relays really rock!

And they're off!!! The Open and Ad hoc classes get away at the Irish Relay Championships

Those orienteers who participated in the Irish Championships in the Phoenix Park last May will surely remember it as one of the most exciting Relays champs in years. There were concerns that organising the Relays and Carlingford within a two-week period would stretch the club very thin on resources but 3ROC delivered and we were very fortunate to have as many helpers as we did with some people supporting both events. Another problem was trying to find a Controller, normally somebody from a different club, but this was proving quite difficult when Ted McGrath agreed to take on this task. Maire Walsh came on board as Organiser and between them they produced a great event. I've included the Planner's report below and you can find the Controller's and Organiser's reports on our web site.

Planner's Report

Well done to Ger Power, Aine Ni Shuilleabhain and Monica Nowlan who came 1st in the Women's +120 category at the Relay Champs

Following the cancellation of the Leinster League event in Carlingford in March 2001 due to the foot and mouth disease outbreak, I was offered the job of planning the IOC Relays in the Phoenix park instead of controlling the Carlingford event. It seemed a much easier option so, naturally, I took it. Suddenly, it was getting very close to IOC and we still didn't have a controller or a map. Luckily, Ted McGrath stepped in and with his help we had both.

Relays involve a lot of organisation, with course and class combinations and so on. We managed to economise on courses because of the variation in leg length proposed this year: the short leg for one course could also be the medium or long for another, and so on. In the end we had only 8 courses and 37 controls. One of the considerations was the possibility of vandalism in the Phoenix park so we used conventional punches rather than SportIdent, and we started and finished early. It may be the only relay event to have had the prizegiving half an hour ahead of schedule. The changeover area beside the Magazine Fort provided spectator appeal and worked very well, the weather was perfect and the Park looked its best with deer, chestnut trees and so on.

By revising the map as we went, and updating it in OCAD, we were able to give you an up to date copy, with courses overprinted and at two scales: 1:15000 for the two long open legs and 1:10000 scale for everyone else. Ted's computing expertise enabled a lot of the work to be done very efficiently. The winning times were difficult to predict because so much depended on who was actually running on the day, but the Park provided a welcome contrast to Scarr and Kanturk Mountain used the day before. I was afraid the courses would be too easy: if they were, you weren't running hard enough. As it turned out, only the Open class and the Open 48- class were on target: all the rest, except the W48- class, were faster than predicted - a good complaint in a relay. Thanks to the Defence Forces for the use of their sports pavilion, to Dúchas for permission to use the Phoenix Park, to the Leinster Orienteering Council for funding which paid for the public address system, to Justin May, Harold White and Nigel Campbell-Crawford for putting out and checking controls, and to Ted McGrath (Controller) and Máire Walsh (Organiser) and all who helped on the day. Congratulations to all the winners. I hope all of you enjoyed your runs. On a slightly pessimistic note, the last IOC Relays I planned was at Carlingford in 1993 when we had more than 130 teams. This year we had barely 50.

John McCullough