Darragh Kelly and Oisín Sherlock were the top finishing local crew on last weekend’s ‘Carbery’ Navigation Trial hosted by the Skibbereen and District Car Club. The event was round 3 of the National Navigation Championship and round 2 of the Munster Navigation Championship. Having retired on the opening round, the Cork ‘Startrek’ back in October, they hit back with 2nd overall on the Drumlin and followed this up with another 2nd overall on the Carbery to get their championship challenge back underway. Winners on the night were the Cork crew Derek Butler/Denis O’Donovan making it their second overall win this season. Shane Dalton and Ryan Treanor finished in 3rd place overall. Skibbereen based Cavan man Ruaidhri Nash assisted by Eric Calnan organised a very challenging 85 mile event based out of the Saint Oliver Plunkett’s GAA Club in Ahiohill. A double plot and bash was handed out at Time Point 2 for TP 3 and TP 4. The two TPs were based in a regularly used farm just to the north west of Ballinascarthy. Butler/O’Donovan were the only crew to negotiate this section without dropping a single mark. Kelly/Sherlock’s night would get off to a terrible start as they dropped 8 minutes on the way to TP 3 due to confusion on the approach direction and would follow this up with a wrong approach and being two minutes late at TP 4 due to the same problem. Dalton/Treanor would also struggle with TP 3 and dropped 5 minutes while sorting the route out, followed by a further minute dropped into each of TPs 4 and 5. Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan and Derek Mackarel/Conor Boylan would both miss TP 3 but luckily got to TP 4 the correct approach with minimal time loss.
Disappointingly, Mackarel/Boylan’s night would come to a premature end as they would puncture the water pipe for the radiator of their Subaru on the way to TP 7. To prevent any damage to the engine, they immediately retired from the event. TP’s 7,8 and 9 would take the event just to the east of Ahiohill, where a couple of treacherously slippy lanes really tested the drivers skill as they struggled to keep the 30 mph average speed, not helped by the floods on the lanes from the recent heavy rainfall. From here the event headed north through the village of Farrannasheshery and three more private lanes before arriving at TP 16 at Cappeen. At TP 16 a herringbone tulip diagram plot and bash was handed out to reach TP 17. Navigators had to be very accurate as the tulip involved two forest lay-bys where distances between junctions are very small which can lead to mixing up the junctions by the smallest deviation off the route. Carbin/Mohan would pick up 20 marks here by failing to find the marshal hidden in the bushes of a lay-by along the R585. There was some confusion on the route from TP 17 to TP 18, as some crews took what they believed to be the shortest route only to find it blocked. Kelly/Sherlock dropped 4 minutes and Dalton/Treanor 6 by the time they had realized their error.
TP’s 19 to 31 were all based between Shanlaragh and Ballineen. TP 28 was on plot and bash, but didn’t throw up much difficulty apart from dropping time due to the tightly timed and twisty roads. An ITC section timed at 27 mph brought the event from Ballineen through Ballynacarriga to Forge Cross Roads on the Enniskeen-Clonakilty road. The final plot and bash of the night was handed out at TP 34. A relatively straight forward in appearance box tulip diagram was handed out which brought crews into a rarely used farm just to the west of Ahiohill. Once in the farm yard however, the tulip became quite technical with very little distance between each change of direction causing competitors to get flustered. Dalton/Treanor, Carbin/Mohan and Kelly/Sherlock all arrived into the yard at the same time. Once in the farm they all went off the tulip and couldn’t find the TP disguised behind a shed. After a few attempts, Dalton/Treanor and Carbin/Mohan took off through the farm yard but ultimately faled to make it to the TP and each received 20 marks. Meanwhile, Kelly/Sherlock went back to the last point on the tulip they knew they were correct at and with a little help from a spectator managed to find the TP with a loss of just three minutes. From here it was out another farm lane to the penultimate Control where Ruaidhri greeted all the finishers and congratulated them on surviving the tough event.
The Navigation season will take a short break until the 14th of January, when Monaghan Motor Club will host their club round event. The National Championship will resume with the Cork ‘1000 Shakes’ navigation on January 21st.
1st Derek Butler/Denis O’Donovan (Subaru Impreza) 11m,
2nd Darragh Kelly/Oisín Sherlock (Subaru Impreza) 38m,
3rd Shane Dalton/Ryan Treanor (Subaru Impreza) 42m,
4th Ray O’Neill/Patrick O’Leary (Subaru Impreza) 48m,
5th Gar Collins/Patrick O’Sullivan (Subaru Impreza) 74m,
6th Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan (Subaru Legacy) 75m,
7th Brian O’Mahony/Amy Gallwey (Subaru Impreza) 99m,
8th Mike O’Connor/Greg Shinnors (Subaru Impreza) 138m,
9th Sam Leech/Barry Attridge (Toyota Starlet) 160m,
10th Patsy McDonagh/Patrick Corcoran (Subaru Impreza) 170m.