Navigation Season comes to a close.

Posted: March 28, 2023 in Uncategorized

The 2022-23 Navigation Trial season came to a close last weekend with the Donegal Motor Club’s event. The stand alone event based out of Inver Community Centre attracted an impressive entry of 36, despite not counting as a round of the Squealing Pig Monaghan Border Navigation Championship or the National Navigation Championship. Clerk of the Course Bernard Gallagher assisted by Declan McBrearty laid out a 65 mile route from Inver to Lough Eske and back.

The new Monaghan pairing of James McCabe/Oisín Sherlock were seeded No.1 in their Subaru and lead the field away at 21:15. From the start in Inver, it was a short trip over the road to Control A and the start ramp at the Milltown Bar and Filling Station. From the start ramp it was a brief blast over the ‘old’ road and just as you turned for to come out on the ‘new’ road it was turn square left and drop down to the yellow L16252 and Time Point 1 via a grass and bramble covered track.TP2 a Caldry was where the first plot and bash section of the night was handed out. Competitors received no less than 5 Herring Bone Tulip diagrams for to bring them from TP2 to TP3, 4, 5 and finally to the pre plotted Control B.

Despite the sheer number of junctions and the relatively short distance between each one, most crews got to TP3 at the start of a grey lane at Drumaneary with no issues. Car 2 on the road, Shane Dalton/Ryan Treanor were not one of these crews however as the interface for their tripmeter decided to play up making their herringbone diagram useless. They would end up missing TP3 and arrived to TP4 instead. TP4 was located on a yellow road between the approach road to TP3 and the end of the grey lane after departing TP3. TP5 was located just off the main road at Drumgorman Barr crossroads, where the former railway also crossed the road. From here it was down to the Pier and along the coast up past Jacks Quay to the control at Reefpark in Mountcharles.

From this point on, the rest of the navigation took place north of the N56. After departing TP7 just off the N56 to the east of St Peters lough, it was practically  the first half of SS2/4/6 of the 2021 Harvest stages Rally only in reverse as competitors travelled to TP11.

Following a relaxed section on the western edge of Lough Eske it was up into the mountain for a mammoth section through Banagher Hill. The ITC section began after this mountain pass and it brought the event down to Letterbarra for the hidden check car at Drumrone before heading back north again to TP19 at the edge of the Blue Stack’s at Meenaguse Lough.  

A short loop around Meenaguse brought crews into Control C beside Letterbarrow Football Club. More P&B was on the cards here as navigators were issued with three pages of box tulip diagrams for to take them through TPs 21 and 22 and into the pre plotted Control E. Drivers had to turn right at the football club and travel a long grey farm lane before arriving back on the public road and arriving at Tp21 at Lettermare bridge. From TP21 it was turn left and head to Drumrone crossroads, where any overshoot would lead to a 30 double visit penalty at the ITC checkpoint. After turning right at the crossroads, it was down past The Stables Motorsport Centre before turning left and reaching TP22 at the end of a grey lane at Drumkeelan.

Control E was just on the other side of the hill and here the last P&B of the night was handed out. The P&B received was a lot more straight forward than the ones handed out earlier due to this one being a standard grid reference plot for to reveal the location to TP25. TP25 was located at the end of a grey lane at Drumduff. The entrance to this lane was very well disguised due to it not being in everyday use and this caused a lot of competitors to drop time as they debated where the lane actually was.

Only the two final controls remined after this, with Control F being on a grey lane after passing under the old railway bridge at Cranny and Control G back at the Milltown Bar and Filling Station which had to be approached using a private grey lane behind the pub.

Unfortunately for the COC, the first P&B section was scrapped on a technicality saving many crews blushes after numerous crews had dropped time and made errors in this section.

In the end the Beginner team of David Kelly/Gerald Hughes emerged victorious after a tiebreaker win over the Semi-Expert crew of Darragh Kelly/Eamonn Doherty. Kelly/Hughes won the event on the Beginner beats Novice beats Semi, beats Expert rule after both crews completed the event without making any mistakes and finished on 0 marks. 3rd overall to 8th overall were all down just one mark, with five of the of them six crews dropping their minute penalty at TP25.

In the classes, Eoin Quinn/Patrick Masterson got the win in the Beginner class after a further cleanest tiebreak win over Caolan Gaffney/Neil McHugh as both finished on 1 mark. Quinn/Masterson’s minute dropped came at TP25 while Gaffney/McHugh’s minute dropped came at TP22. 3rd in class went to Shane Laverty/Gareth Kelly. Martin and Gretchen Swinburne finished 10th in class after having a tricky start to the event. Team McGorman switched seats for this event, with Ciaran making his debut in the passenger seat. Aaron and Ciaran finished 12th in class.

Damien and Keith Sheridan won the Novice class, finishing on 4 marks and just 1 less than 2nd in class Aidan McDevitt/Aidan Sweeney who finished on 5 marks. 3rd in class went to Shane and Ciaran Maguire who finished on 101 marks.

Kelly/Doherty were 1st Semi-Expert. 2nd in the class went to Emmet Sherry/Ciaran Geaney, while 3rd in class went to Andrew Mackarel and Ciaran Coyle. Aidan Keenan/Sean Marron were 4th in class, Damien Treanor/Danny McKenna finished 5th in class and  Eoghan Corr drove Ruaidhri Nash to 7th in class.

1st Expert went to Dalton/Treanor in their 1990cc Impreza, with Conor Harvey/Kevin Gallagher and McCabe/Sherlock finishing 2nd in class.

COC Bernard Gallagher and the winning crew of Kelly/Hughes thanked all who helped get the event back up and running in Donegal after a hiatus of six years. They also thanked all the residents along the route, the event sponsors and the entrants for all their support.

Top Ten

1st David Kelly/Gerald Hughes (Subaru Impreza) 0marks,

2nd Darragh Kelly/Eamonn Doherty (Subaru Impreza) 0m,

3rd Eoin Quinn/Patrick Masterson (Subaru Legacy) 1m,

4th Caolan Gaffney/Neil McHugh (Subaru)1m,

5th Emmet Sherry/Ciaran Geaney (Toyota Starlet) 1m,

6th Shane Dalton/Ryan Treanor (Subaru Impreza) 1m,

7th Conor Harvey/Kevin Gallagher (Subaru Impreza) 1m,

7th James McCabe/Oisín Sherlock (Subaru Impreza) 1m,

9th Andrew Mackarel/Ciaran Coyle (Subaru Impreza) 2m,

10th Aidan Keenan/Sean Marron (Subaru Impreza) 3m.

Squealing Pig Monaghan Border Navigation Championship

The Squealing Pig Monaghan Border Navigation Championship prizegiving takes place this Friday night at 9pm in the Squealing Pig. All Welcome.

In this year’s championship, we had a tiebreaker for the overall award.

Michael and Ciaran Tynan emerged victorious on the four round championship. Both themselves and Michaels son Martin Tynan with David McCrudden navigating finished on 52 points, but Tynan/Tynan had the upper hand as they had two overall wins to their name. Their first came on the opening round, the Monaghan Drumlin Navigation and then on round three in Cavan. 3rd overall went to Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes who finished on 47 points.

In the classes, Shane Dalton and Oisín Sherlock were 1st Expert, with Darragh Kelly and Ryan Treanor finishing 2nd. 3rd in the class went to Michael Carbin and Conor Mohan.

In the Semi-Expert class, Darragh Kelly and Patrick Corcoran were victorious, with Aidan Keenan and Eamonn Doherty finishing 2nd. 3rd in the class went to Matt Hume and Sean Marron.

In the Novice class, Declan Tynan and Molly Maguire finished 1st, 2nd went to Shane Maguire (Ballinode) and Ciaran Maguire. 3rd Novice went to Shane Maguire (Stranooden) and Aaron McElroy. Martin and Gretchen Swinburne finished 4th in class with Ciaran McGorman and Ryan Farrell finishing 5th. 6th in the class went to Damien Hagan and Anthony McDonald.


Eamonn Kelly and Conor Mohan are in action in Croatia this weekend for to take part in the Quattro River Rally Karlovac. The pair will be using this event as practice for the next round of the World Rally Championship, Rally Croatia which takes place from April 20th to 23rd.

PRO: Oisín Sherlock


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