16 September, 2009Whoever forecast a bright sunny day for today either got it horribly wrong or was not talking about Aghavannagh where NC 2 took place this afternoon. In horrendous weather conditions 12 runners set out to do a navigational challenge which brought them on a 17.5km circuit of the Ow Valley. The first two controls whose only function was to provide safe access to the open mountains posed no problems.
In the pre race words of the race director the next two controls a 4m high 25m long crag and an 11 m high crag should not present too much trouble but in the gloom that hung over the slopes of Lug and Slievemaan visibility was down to 10m.
The last control was seen as the crux of the exercise. There was an open mountain route option and a longer, lower route through the forest. Again the RD, fearing he might never see some of his colleagues again, intervened and suggested that maybe the longer way around was the quickest way home. Some of the more confident navigators took the open mountain choice and managed fine. Given the day that was in it there were the inevitable few DNFs and lost maps. With only one race left in the series defending nav champion Paul Smith still has a chance to regain his title if he can catch orienteer Philip Brennan and lapsed orienteer Justin Keatinge. Mick Hanney and Justin Rea have an outside chance.
Thanks to Dave Weston for supplying the map.