Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Pakie Duffy and Evin Hughes took outright victory on a wintry Monaghan Navigation Trial last weekend, which was based out of Ardaghey Community Hall. The event was the final round the 2022/2023 National and Border Navigation Championships and first-time Clerk of the Course Shane Maguire ably assisted by his brother Ciaran laid out an 85 mile event that stretched as far west as Oram and Mullyash.

Darragh Kelly/Oisín Sherlock were seeded number 1 and lead the pack off at 21:01. At TP2 the first plot and bashes of the event brought competitors from Braddox with two “mapped roads” box tulips that saw crews navigate a number of crossroads in quick succession. With the order of some of the tulips mixed, navigators had to be alert to avoid a wrong approach or double visit to TP3 and TP4 which were located on two parallel roads beside the old church at Terryeely. Only four crews, Duffy/Hughes, Kelly/Sherlock, Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan and Damien Treanor/Christopher McMahon would make it through to TP4 without dropping time.

After departing TP5 down a mucky lane at Derrylusk, crews headed to the main Ballybay/Clontibret Road at Cornahoe with the route heading southeast towards Cremartin, taking in farm lanes at Tiromedan and Dunfelimy before passing through another farm lane at Tonyglassan for TP9. From here competitors turned onto the R183 before crossing under the N2 before heading towards Castleblayney and then taking the “old road” away from the town towards Laragh Lough and the first Time Recovery Section of the night at TP10 and 11.

The majority of crews had minimal time to take back at this point, before setting off towards the second set of plot and bash TPs. At TP12 in a farm at Corrintra, two pieces of paper were handed out. One was a box tulip that counted mapped non-goers for the route to TP13 which was located in a farm yard at Lisnagreeve. With crews then having to transfer to the second sheet which was a herringbone tulip of mapped roads, road-goes and mapped non-goers. There was an added trick as the distances on the herringbone were accumulative from the departure of TP12 which had some trigger-happy pairings regretting resetting their tripmeters on arrival to the first hidden timepoint. TP14 was just south of TP12 on a farm lane that joined the Corrintra road with the R181.The difficulty of the P&B meant every crew picked up penalties of some sort through this section.

At the front there was little between the top crews. Duffy/Hughes and Tynan/Tynan dropped their first minute on TP14, with Kelly/Sherlock dropping two, hindered by being first one the road.

 Back on the mapped route from TP15 at Errybane, the course travelled north towards Creaghanroe before taking in a farm at Tullynamalra for Via 2. Navigators had to be very careful here as missing the right hand turn into the farm would lead to a wrong approach into TP17 which was at a road junction only 100m away. This TP would also prevent anyone from being able to turn around and go back to get the Via. The last farm lane in the first half was at Tullycaghny for TP18 and from here it was a short trip down to Control B at the R182 road junction outside Oram

From Oram, the direction was north, via a trip through Mullyash forest before returning to tarmac for the ITC. The ten mile long 30MPH check brought the trial back to Creaghanroe and Tattyreagh North. TP23 used a muddy lane at Latnakelly before a dash parallel to the N2 to TP24 at Coolartragh. A familiar loop at Ballygreany and Bryanlitter took crews to Via3 and TP25 before entering Clontibret. The route crossed below the N2 at Glennyhorn for TP26 and the beginning of another P&B section.

This time, four clock face diagrams were received which outlined which direction to approach and depart the next few road junctions and bring crews to the correct approach for TP27 on a road-goes just north of Clontibret National School.

A loop to a road-goes almost adjoining the N2 at Kilcrow was the location of TP28 and brought crews back onto the Clontibret/Ballybay Road. This road goes hadn’t been used in a number of years and competitors had to take a deep inhale of breath to try squeeze past an oddly parked Berlingo van.

TP29 used a familiar farm lane at Letteragh before Via 4 directed crews across to Scotch Corner and then onto another farm lane at Corlongford for TP30. Here a trace diagram was handed out which brought the event up the last farm lane of the night on another regularly used pass at Shanmullagh for TP31. All that remained after here was the two final controls to spell the end of another great night’s sport.

On just a solitary penalty from TP14, the expert crew of Pakie Duffy and Evin Hughes took the overall win. Martin Tynan and David McCrudden were just behind on three penalties to take 1st Expert. Kelly/Sherlock were a single penalty behind, proving how small the margin was for error. 3rd expert went to the Cork pairing of Derek Butler/Denis O’Donovan. This result clinched them the National Navigation Championship for the 2022/23 season. Shane Dalton/Ryan Treanor pushed them hard all year but ultimately fell short on the very last round, losing out by just two points.

9th OA was the first non-expert crew in the form of Beginners David Kelly and Gerry Hughes on 28 penalties. Only three penalties separated them from Shane Maguire/Molly Maguire who were 2nd Beginner and 10th OA. 3rd in Beginners went to Martin and Gretchen Swinburne.

 Charley McMonagle and Ciaran Coyle were best of the semi-experts, beating Emmet Sherry/Patrick Corcoran. The latter crew were very unlucky as they were on for the class win, but received 30 marks on the penultimate control with a double visit. Declan Tynan and Anthony McDonald led home the Novice crews. Tynan/McDonald were lucky to finish the event after sliding into a drain trying to get past Francis McElvaney/Danny McKenna on a narrow farm lane after a wheel on McElvaney’s car decided it would be hilarious if it parted company with the car. 2nd in class went to Kieran McCarra/Aaron McElroy, with 3rd going to the Donegal crew of Damien and Keith Sheridan.

The Squealing Pig Monaghan Border Navigation Championship

came to its conclusion on the night too. Michael and Ciaran claimed a tiebreaker win on this prestigious championship from Michael’s son Martin Tynan navigated by David McCrudden. Both crews finished on 52 points, but Tynan/Tynan took the win due to having an overall win on round 1.

Elsewhere, Patrick O’Brien/Stephen O’Brien had a challenging opening round of the European Rally Championship.

Competing in Portugal on the Rally Serras de Fafe, the pair finished 21st OA. The event got off to a troublesome start with a roll on the qualifying stage, but they got the car repaired in time and were able to continue the rally.

Eamonn Kelly/Conor Mohan were also in action at the weekend, taking part in the opening round of the 2023 British Rally Championship, the Malcom Wilson Rally. The team finished 7th OA on what was an extremely bad weekend weather wise. In fact, the weather was so bad that the first three stages of the event were cancelled.

PRO: Oisín Sherlock, with Aaron McElroy.


The Triton Showers backed National Rally Championship kicked off last weekend with the Midland Stages Rally, which was based out of the Longford Arms Hotel. Defending national champion Josh Moffett, with his 2022 Irish Tarmac Championship winning co-driver, Andy Hayes sitting in with him for the National Championship as well as the Tarmac Championship this year led the field away seeded number 1.

Sam Moffett with, last year’s National Rally Championship winning co-driver Keith Moriarty were seeded number 2, with Matt Edwards/David Moynihan, and Callum Devine/Noel O’Sullivan seeded number 3 and 4 respectively.

After the opening loop of three stages, Devine/O’Sullivan held a slender lead of just 4s over 2nd placed Moffett/Hayes with Edwards/Moynihan in 3rd place overall. Both the Moffett brothers struggled with the setup of their cars and could not push to the absolute maximum. Despite the setup issues, Josh did manage a stage win on SS2. In fact there was three different stage winners on the opening loop, as Devine took SS1 and Darren Gass/Barry McNulty took the win on SS3.

On the middle loop, there once again was three different stage winners with Devine setting the fastest time on SS4, Gass setting the fastest time on SS5 and Edwards setting the benchmark on SS6. At final service after SS6, Devine had extended his lead over J Moffett to 5.6s. Moffett and Edwards were actually both joint 2nd overall after SS6 as both had a total time of 37:38.7s.

For the final loop of stages, the rain arrived, but not before most the drivers had made their tyre choice and headed back out to the stages. On this loop Devine really stamped his authority on the event. Taking stage wins on both SS7 and SS8. On SS7, Josh dropped 11.4s to Devine and 1.9s to Edwards, most of which was down to having an overshoot on the second last junction on the stage. Edwards also had a spin on this stage, which worked in Josh’s favour as it was still possible to overtake him with just two stages to go. On SS8 Devine extended his lead to 18.2s over Edwards, and Josh went faster than Edwards to reduce the gap to just 0.8s.

With a lead of over 18s Devine took a cautious approach to the final stage to prevent any last minute mishaps. Josh managed to set the stage winning time on SS9, but amazingly, just by 0.1s faster than Edwards, meaning Edwards held onto his 2nd place overall by a slender 0.7s!

Sam Moffett finished the rally in 5th place, after not being able to stick with the pace of Gass over the evening loop. Stephen Write/Ger Conway finished 10th OA and 5th class 5. Richard Moffett/Darragh Kelly finished 13th OA and 4th class 14. Brendan Cumiskey/Martin Connolly finished 16th OA and 8th class 5. Niall Maguire making a return to driving his beloved Impreza s12b finished 18th OA and 1st class 7 with Conor Mohan on the notes. Gary McPhillips/Gary McNern finished 21st OA and 7th class 14. David Moffett/Paul Lennon finished 22nd OA and 8th class 14. Raymond Conlon/Gavin Doherty finished 25th OA and 1st class 13. Shane Maguire/Paul Maguire making their debut in an R5 Fiesta finished 37th OA. Justin Smith/Gregory McQuillan finished 43rd OA and 1st class 12. Mickey Conlon/Damien Fleming finished 45th OA and 2nd class 12. Johno Doogan/Ciaran Marron finished 50th OA and 14th class 14. Arthur Kierans/Shane Farrell finished 51st OA and 6th class 13. Des Lyons/Ashling McArdle finished 66th OA and 4th class 11F. Martin McPhillips/Peter Farrell finished 71st OA and 3rd class 11R. Jack Maguire/Keith McConnon finished 81st OA and 5th class 11F. Dessie Keenan/Jason McKenna made a return under rally2 rules and finished 101st OA. Daniel McKenna/Andrew Grennan also made a return under rally2 and finished 103rd OA. Jack McKenna/Damien Doherty, fresh off their Junior win on the Galway International, won the Junior section here by 50.6s in their Honda Civic.

The final round of both the National and Border navigation championships

takes place this Saturday night with our own club’s March Navigation. First time COC’s Shane and Ciaran Maguire have laid out an 80 mile event based out of Ardaghy hall. Regs and entry are available now.

PRO: Oisín Sherlock  

Tynan’s Conquer Cavan Once Again

Posted: February 28, 2023 in Uncategorized

Michael and Ciaran Tynan took outright victory on last weekend’s Cavan
Navigation Trial which was based out of Crosskeys Resource Centre. Clerk of
the Course Sean McConnell ably assisted by Anthony McDonald laid out an 80
mile event that covered a huge area between Stradone and Finnea.
Last weekend’s winners of the Midland Navigation Trial, Shane Dalton/Ryan
Treanor were seeded number 1 and lead the pack off at 21:01. From Timepoint
1 at Corbeagh crossroads, it was immediately into the first farm lane of the
night. This lane, which was just shy of two mile long brought crews through the
townland of Aghavaddy and up to TP2 at Killynanum.
At TP2 a plot and bash box tulip diagram was handed out for to direct crews to
the unknown location of TP3. The box tulip was rather straight forward until
near the end, when some boxes were switched around and navigators had to
figure out which box came next. TP3 was located on a farm lane at Grellagh,
and it was here that a second tulip was handed out. Competitors received an
upside down herringbone tulip which brought crews to TP4. TP4 was located in
a farm opposite the end of the lane that TP3 was located in. From here it was
down another short farm lane to TP5 witch was located only a two hundred
meters away in the public road.

This opening section didn’t throw up any problems for the Expert crews apart
from some people dropping time. Further down the field the less experienced
competitors did struggle with the quite complex P&Bs. Six crews missed TP3
and a further nine missed TP4. A short trip over the road and across another
farm lane lead to TP6 at Leiter. Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan would miss this
TP and then receive a wrong approach at TP7 to ruin any chance of an overall
win. Surprisingly, quite a few competitors were caught out at TP7, which was
located at Carrickaboy crossroads. To get the correct approach, crews had to
travel a farm lane Denmore. Derek Mackarel/Conor Boylan were another
Expert team to receive 15 marks for taking a wrong approach here.
TP8 was located just a hundred yards away to the west, but this TP had to be
approached via yet another farm lane at Carrickaboy Glebe, with only one
minute allowed to reach it. Another farm lane at Aghadreenagh had to be
taken on the way to TP9 to avoid arriving at TP10. TP9 was on a farm lane at
Drumcrow and after leaving the TP, competitors had to turn left at a T junction

before doing a short loop on the public road before arriving at TP10 and
departing up another farm lane that joined the lane that TP9 was on.
The ITC section began at TP12 located at Shannow Lower just south east of
Ballinagh, and it ended in the village of Finnea on the southern bank of Lough
Sheelin. Control B, the halfway mark of the event was just over the road. At
this point two crews were still holding clean sheets, with both Michael
Tynan/Ciaran Tynan and Martin Tynan/David McCrudden getting through the
first half unscathed. Next up was Dalton/Treanor, down 1 mark from the ITC
section. Darragh Kelly/Oisín Sherlock were also down 1 mark from arriving late
to TP6.

The second half of the event was slightly more open with longer distances
between the TPs. TP14 was located at farm buildings down a grey lane at
Ballynascarry while TP15 was located at the end of a separate grey lane at
Cullendragh, and it was here that the third P&B was handed out. This time a
list of gridlines was handed out for to reveal the locations of TP16 and TP17 as
well as the correct approach to Via 2.
TP16 was located at the start of a grey lane at Clontyduffy Nugent. After
reaching this TP competitors had to travel down a cow lane a Pollakeel for to
reach TP17 with the correct approach. National Championship leaders, Derek
Butler/Denis O’Donovan’s night came to a premature ending just after this TP
as they would burst the radiator and break some steering components on their

The next few TPs after Via 2 were relatively straight forward as the event
headed up to Crosserlough before proceeding back towards Slieve Glah. The
last P&B was handed out at TP26. This P&B consisted of the location of TP27
being muddle in with plots for some other TPs and a trace diagram on the back
of the sheet. TP27 was located at the end of a road goes at Corriga and the
trace diagram revealed that the location of TP28 was at the end of the farm
lane at Grellagh, which had been used at the start of the night for TP3. Once
TP28 was delt with it was just the small matter of going to Via 3 and then
traveling back down the very first lane of the night, this time in the opposite
direction for to reach TP29.
In the end team Tynan managed to hold onto their clean sheet despite all the
hardship McConnell and McDonald could throw at them. Tynan/McCrudden
had held their clean sheet up until they dropped a minute figuring out the

trace diagram at TP28, but luckily for them they won the further cleanest
tiebreaker over Dalton/Treanor as both crews had finished the event on 1

In the classes, Tynan/McCrudden finished 1 st Expert, with Dalton/Treanor 2 nd
and Kelly/Sherlock finishing 3 rd . Jack McKenna/Patrick Corcoran won the Semi-
Expert class, finishing on 9 marks. Finishing 2 nd in the class, and only 3 marks
behind was the Donegal pairing of Darragh Kelly/Eamon Doherty. Aidan
Keenan/Sean Marron finished 3 rd in the class on 12 marks.
Shane Maguire/Ciaran Maguire finished 1 st in the Novice class, finishing on 18
marks, with Phillip Smith/Conor Smith finishing 2 nd on 25 marks. Declan
Tynan/Ben McIntyre had to settle for 3 rd in the class as they lost a further
cleanest tiebreak over Smith/Smith as they too had dropped 25 marks.
Martin Swinburne/Gretchen Swinburne had a commanding win in the
Beginner’s class, finish on 25 marks. They were on for finishing on just 10
marks when they unfortunately received a wrong approach at the very last TP
of the night. World Rally Championship competitors Craig Breen/James Fulton
made a surprise entry to the event, and they finished 2 nd in class on 87 marks.
3 rd in the class went to Ciaran McGorman/Aaron McGorman who finished on
90 marks.

The final round of both the National and Border navigation championships
takes place on Saturday night the 11 th of March with our own clubs March
Navigation. First time COC’s Shane and Ciaran Maguire have laid out an 80 mile
event based out of Ardaghy hall. Regs and entry are available now.

Samsonas Fivemiletown Rally

Took place last Saturday also, MarkDonnelly/Stephen O’Hanlon emerged victorious after a hard fought battle with
Gareth Mimnagh/J.B. McCarney and Vivian Hamill/Andrew Grennan all day.
Donnelly finished the event 1.7 seconds faster than Mimnagh, with Hamill
finish a further 0.9s in arrears. Derek Mackarel/Emmet Sherry finished 8 th
overall and 1 st class 8 in their Mitsubishi Evo IX. Arthur Kierans guided Alan
Smith to 13 th OA and 1 st class 7 and Killian McArdle navigated Peter McCullagh
to 15 th OA and 3 rd class 8 while Ryan Farrell on the notes for Damien McGauran
finished 29 th OA and 5 th class 6.
PRO: Oisín Sherlock

Treanor victorious in the Midlands

Posted: February 21, 2023 in Uncategorized

Ryan Treanor along with his Ballinalee driver Shane Dalton secured the overall
win on this year’s Midland Navigation Trial, which was based out of Creggs
National School on the Galway/Roscommon border. Patrick Brides along with
Sam Johnston organised a 65 mile route that took in the area between
Dunamon and Ballygar.

There was no easy introduction to the event as two plot and bash time points
were received at TP1 for the location of TP2 and TP4. At TP1 a trace diagram
was handed out for to find the position of and the departure of TP2. Located
on the back of the sheet was the plot for TP4, so any navigator who didn’t turn
the sheet over would miss the TP or drop time as they went searching for the
discarded piece of paper at TP3. The trace brought crews along a three and a
half mile journey into the forest and gravel tracks of Mount Mary. After
heading into the forest at Attifarry, it was turn right for Mallyree and travel a
half kilometre before taking a left turn in the forest. Failing to take this left turn
would spell disaster as TP5 was waiting out of sight around the corner. After
taking the left turn competitors had to travel another kilometre before turning
off right to come out on a public road at Ballynahowna and turning left to
arrive at TP2 at the next crossroads.
At TP2, a page of plots was handed out with the grid reference for TP3
disguised in the middle of them. Once plotted, competitors had to do another
loop through the forest tracks of Mount Mary to arrive at the TP which as the
crow flies was only 350m away. TP4 was the only check point along the entire
route that every competitor dropped time, mainly due to having to take yet
another trip through the demanding Mount Mary tracks as well as some
navigators not having realised that they had received the location at TP1 and
thus still had to plot its location.
As straight forward as this opening section was despite the P&B section, eight
crews missed TP2 and a further seven missed TP3 along with three wrong
approaches. A fourth pass through Mount Mary brought competitors into TP5
before a straight forward road section to the time recovery area of TP6 and
TP7 located at Coolavehy.
A bog pass at Boggauns led to TP8 at Creggan, and this lane/pass caused the
first and only casualty of the night. National Championship contenders Darragh
Kelly/Oisín Sherlock got caught out on a section of the lane which was covered

in bog mud and they slipped off the route and dropped into a drain. Car 10
Aidan Keenan/Sean Marron stopped and tried to tow out the stricken car but
to no avail, which left Kelly/Sherlock having to wait an hour and a half for a
tractor to arrive and free them. By the time they were towed out, the pair
were well over their allowed thirty minutes maximum lateness at the next
control and thus went their event and any National Championship hopes for
From TP8 it was all back on public roads with plenty of looping around
Cregganagrogy for TPs 9 and 10 before moving back north to TP11 at
Monasternalea. From here it was yet another pass through Mount Mary and
most of the same lanes as the route to TP2 for to reach the midpoint control at
Ballynahowna. At this point Dalton/Treanor were out front, with just a minute
dropped on the way to TP4. In 2 nd place was Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan,
down 3 marks, with a minute dropped at each of TP3, 4 and 6. Holding 3 rd OA
was the Squealing Pig Border Championship leaders and Drumlin winners
Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan, down 4 marks. National Championship leaders
Derek Butler/Denis O’Donovan were down 7 marks with 3 dropped at TP2, 2
dropped at TP4 and a further 1 at each of TP7 and 8.
An ITC section stared off the second half, timed at a speed of 24mph. This
uncommon average speed for an ITC section threw up some difficulty for the
crews. Tynan/Tynan who were first on the road dropped 3 marks on this route.
Carbin/Mohan, Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes along with ten others all dropped a
minimum of 1 mark here in what turned out to be quite a complicated route.
TP13, just west of Dunamon, was the end of the ITC and more P&B was on the
cards here. Competitors were issued with a two page box tulip, and to make
the P&B extra difficult, the tulip counted every gate, road and unmapped lane
along the route. Most of the distances along the route were only a few car
lengths apart which took serious concentration on the navigators part for to
not get lost. Crews had to turn right off the yellow road and onto a grey lane
that was a dead end on the map at Kilbegnat. Once on the grey lane, it was
another kilometre of skipping gates and lanes before turning left onto an
unmapped farm lane which brought crews into a farm yard. A great trick lay in
store here as there was a crossroads on the lane. On the tulip diagram, the
COC had swapped box 20 with box 26. Box 20 showed a ‘go straight through’ at
a crossroads, but box 26 showed a ‘turn left’ at a crossroads. Anyone who
missed the switch would inevitably get lost and possibly miss the TP or a least

drop considerable time. In the farm yard at the end of the unmapped lane,
crews had to keep to the right hand side of a cattle shed to reach the TP on the
correct approach.
At TP14 a similar P&B tulip was received for the location of TP15. This tulip
brought crews back up the same grey lane as before, but this time they had to
turn into a farm on the right hand side. Once into the yard it was mayhem and
there were bales and machinery parked everywhere. The correct route was
down a cattle shed with the entrance hidden by a cattle trailer. Once out the
far side, there was a hidden left turn after a lorry, and then travel under the
boom of a loading shovel before turning right around a tractor and traveling
through a chicane made up for agriculture equipment before reaching the
safety of the TP.
The headache was not over yet unfortunately, as a herringbone tulip was
handed out here for to reach TP16. The exit of TP15 was down an unmapped
forest lane and turn right onto the grey lane again and taking the same
unmapped lane that led to TP14. Navigators had to be switched on here as any
wrong measurement would lead to a double visit and a nasty 30 marks. This
time on reaching the farm, crews had to turn left and reach TP16 hidden at the
corner of a silage pit. This P&B section proved to be very difficult as everyone
apart from Dalton/Treanor dropped at least 3 minutes here. Eight crews in
total missed TP14, which included Butler/O’Donovan. This costly mistake
would drop them well down the leader board.
By only dropping 3 marks through this section, Duffy/Hughes jumped to 2 nd OA
at the expense of Mohan/Carbin who had dropped 7 marks. Martin
Tynan/David McCrudden went into 3 rd OA here after dropping just 5 marks.
From this location, it was a straight forward run into the final control with
three TPs to visit via using a bog lane at Clooncunny multiple times to reach
TP17, TP18 and TP19 all in the vicinity of Shanballyeden, and then visiting TP20
before a final via at Tonamaddy.
In the end Dalton/Treanor’s 1 minute penalty was more than enough to secure
their first overall win this season which will keep the pressure on Butler and
O’Donovan in the National Championship as they finished down in 7 th place.
In the classes, Duffy/Hughes finished 1 st on 9 marks, with Tynan/McCrudden in
2 nd , also down 9 marks. Carbin/Mohan finished in 3 rd , down 11 minutes.

Patsy McDonagh/Patrick Corcoran had a comfortable win in the Semi-Expert
class. They finished the event on 19 marks, well ahead of 2 nd placed Ray
O’Neill/Stephen O’Neill who were down 43 marks. 3 rd in class went to the
Donegal pairing of Darragh Kelly/Eamonn Doherty who dropped 48 marks.
Declan Tynan/Aaron McElroy won the Novice class on 34 marks, with Andrew
Stewart/Robert Howard finishing 2 nd on 55 marks. In 3 rd place was another
Donegal team of Damien Sheridan/Keith Sheridan who had dropped 75 marks.
Ciaran McGorman/Aaron McGorman finished 1 st in the Beginner class on 37
marks, with David Kelly/ Gerry Hughes finishing 2 nd on 86 marks. 3 rd in class
went to Shane and Molly Maguire, who finished up on 99 marks.

NI Rally Championship

It was a start to finish win for Stephen Wright and Ger Conway in their Ford
Fiesta R5 at the eurocables Belfast Stages Rally at Kirkistown Circuit. Organised
by the North Armagh Motor Club, it was the opening round of the Northern
Ireland Rally Championship and consisted of three stages ran twice. In a
stacked entry that included 20 R5 and Rally2 cars, Wright and Conway got off
to a flying start with an opening stage win, over five seconds quicker than
anyone else. Jonny Greer and Brian Crawford in a Citroen C3 Rally2 would be
Wright’s biggest rival on the day. It was nip and tuck between them, each
winning three stages, and setting a second fastest times on the others.
Wright’s five second lead after the first stage was reduced to just 1.2 seconds
after five runs, but he held off a hard-charging Greer on the last stage to take
the overall win by the smallest of margins. Just 0.1 seconds separated them
after a day’s rallying. Aaron McLoughlin and Darren Curran were the best of
the rest, finishing 3 rd overall, over half a minute back.
Irish Forestry Championship

Mark Donnelly and Stephen O’Hanlon got first blood in the opening round of
the Sligo Pallets Irish Forest Rally Championship, the Killarney Forest Rally. 71
crews took to the stages in Castleisland, with 2022 Championship runner-up
Jordan Hone leading away the field in his Ford Fiesta R5. Vivian Hamill and
Andrew Grennan were fastest out of the blocks on the opening test in their VW
Polo R5, with Ryan Caldwell and Arthur Kierans second fastest in their Fabia
R5. Heading into service, Donnelly and O’Hanlon had climbed to the top of the
timesheets, with Caldwell and Kierans still holding second behind the new
leaders. There were stage wins for Stephen McCann/Tommy Hayes and Jordan

Hone, but Donnelly had enough to take the win, with Caldwell and Kierans 10.9
seconds behind on their loose surface 4WD debut. McCann and Hayes were
3rd, a further 14 seconds back. Brendan Cumiskey and Martin Connelly
finished 6th in their Polo R5, one place ahead of Derek Mackarel and Eamonn
Creedon who topped Class 20 in their Mitsubishi Evo. Paul McPhillips guided
Michael Conlon to 2nd 2WD and first in Class 14, while Ryan Farrell was on the
notes for Dylan Eves in their Ford Fiesta Rally4 and they finished 3rd in Class 2
and 19th OA.
The ever competitive J1000 class for junior drivers received a boost ahead of
the event with WRC driver Craig Breen announcing sponsorship for prizes for
the championship. As well as a prize-fund of €1,250 for each round, and a
tuition day for all registered drivers, the winner of the J1000 championship will
be invited to a rally school in Norway to hone their skills.
16 crews started the event, and Tommy Moffett with Domhnall Lennon
alongside him took a stage win in their Toyota Aygo either side of service to
lead the category by 1.4 seconds going into the final stage. A hard-charging
Jack Kennedy in a VW Up! pipped him on the final test to take the win by just
5.4 seconds. Kennedy and Moffett had a cushion of over 45 seconds from the
third placed competitor.

Round Two of the Championship is the Moonraker
Forest Rally on April 15th.

PRO: Oisín Sherlock, with Aaron McElroy.

Ryan Treanor has kept the pressure on current National Championship leaders Derek Butler/Denis O’Donovan with a 3rd place finish on last weekend’s 100 Isles Navigation Trial in Skibbereen. Ryan navigating for Shane Dalton finished the 80 mile event with a loss of just four minutes. Overall winners on the night were the Novice class pairing of Brian O’Mahony/Amy Gallwey. They completed the event with a total of 1 mark from the ITC section near the end of the event. 2nd overall went to Butler/O’Donovan who were also down just 1 mark, but lost out on the win due to the Novice beats Expert tiebreaker rule.

The navigation began just north of Skibbereen on the R637 and then headed toward the villages of Leap and Drinagh. At Time Point 3 competitors were handed plot and bash for the location of TP4. The p&b was in the form of a route card with the TP4’s grid reference muddled between other plots for TPs received before the event start. The approach and departure directions were also swapped around, making it imperative that navigators read the instruction on the top of the sheet. The exact same format of p&b was handed out at TP5 for the location of TP6. TPs 4 and 6 were both located on farm lanes at Cloonkeen. Most crews managed this section without any problems apart from dropping time due to the narrowness and slippiness of the farm lanes as well as the limited time allowed to plot the locations and get there.

Martin Swinburne/Gretchen Swinburne made their first trip south after Gretchen took up the sport at the start of the season. They unfortunately missed Via 1 and instead continued to TP3 and therefore received 20 marks. They also picked up 2 marks at TP4 and 1 at TP5.

Apart from TP9, accessed via a short farm lane at Ballyriree the next few check points were all on public roads which caused no issues for a majority of the entries. The biggest issue here was to make sure navigators didn’t check in too early to the check points and receive 50 marks. This error did occur to two crews during this section.

TP13 was very nearly unlucky for Dalton/Treanor as the TP was located in a farm yard. They missed the entrance to the farm yard and Kelly/Sherlock actually arrived to the TP first. Luckily for the pair the timing was quite relaxed and they didn’t pick up any penalties as they were still within their allowed time.

TPs 14 and 15 were located at a farm near Corran South. Heading into the farm the first time, competitors had to go around the front of a house to receive the correct approach before departing right, down an extremely narrow overgrown former public road. Kelly/Sherlock were losing some time through this section following a slight overshoot and Butler/O’Donovan overtook them the during the second pass through the farm when they took a left turn too early going to TP15.

 Kelly/Sherlock were unable to overtake Butler/O’Donovan on the way to TP16 or make back any time due to the short distance and as the approach was through a very muddy and twisty farm lane which included a river crossing. Time did eventually catch up with them during the p&b herringbone diagram that was handed out at TP16 for TP17. The distances on the tulip diagram weren’t matching perfectly for them through this section and they took their time to make sure they didn’t make any mistakes through the farm at Knockavoher and receive a wrong approach or miss the time point completely. They dropped 1 minute here and a further minute into TP18. Dalton/Treanor also lost their clean sheet here when they picked up a 2 mark penalty for lateness.

Kelly/Sherlock’s night would take a turn for the worse during the last p&b section. They caught up to and overtook Dalton/Treanor (it took them longer to plot the locations of TP21,22 and TP23) on the way to TP21 but unfortunately, they clipped a rock hidden in the undergrowth through another extremely overgrown former public road at Ballyroe, which immediately deflated the driver side front tyre. Luckily Dalton/Treanor were able to get past when the track widened out as Kelly/Sherlock would drop 3 minutes as they continued the mile and a half journey on the flat. They would also drop 4 minutes on the way to TP22 as they changed the wheel after TP21. Butler/O’Donovan would pick up their only mark of the event in this section as they arrived a minute late to TP22, mostly due to how slippy the grey farm lane was on the approach to the TP at Madranna.

The ITC section began at the relaxed TP25, and on having taken back the full allowed 5 minutes, Kelly/Sherlock found the road completely blocked by the other competitors who had got passed when they were changing the wheel. Having been signed for to start the ITC section at 01:04 they weren’t able to leave the until shortly after 01:06. Luckily for them, the hidden ITC check car was located over nine and a half miles away and they managed to make most of the lost 2 minutes up and received only 1 mark for being between 10-19 seconds too late. Dalton/Treanor would drop 2 marks on this tricky ITC.

From the end of the ITC section, it was a straight forward run as the event headed back towards Skibbereen and the final control.

In the end O’Mahony/Gallwey scored their first ever event win together with only one mark to their name. Butler/O’Donovan would rue the minute they dropped at TP22 as it cost them what would have been four wins from four in the County Cork events this season. Dalton/Treanor finished 3rd on 4 marks with Kelly/Sherlock 5th overall on 7 marks. Their penalties along with everyone else’s were scrapped for TP21 when it was found out that the shortest route was in fact using a farm lane right beside the TP. Some crews went this route only to find the farm lanes closed off which dropped them considerable time. The Clerk of the Course correctly scrapped this TP as a non goer should have been given out before the event began.

The Swinburne team finished an excellent 2nd in the beginner class, finishing on a total of 72 marks. A bulk of their marks were from missing Via 1, TP17 and TP22.

The Munster Navigation Championship came to a close with the 100 Isles event. Butler/Donovan finished 1st overall with Dalton/Treanor finishing 2nd and Kelly/Sherlock finishing 3rd.

The National Navigation, and Border Navigation Championships

continue this weekend with the Midland Motor Club event. Patrick Brides and Sam Johnston have laid out a 65 mile route based out of Creggs National School on the Roscommon/Galway border. Late entries will be accepted.

Entries can be sent via email to

Both championships continue the following weekend with Cavan Motor Club hosting the penultimate round of both championships. Sean McConnell and Anthony McDonald have laid out an 80 mile event in the greater Crosskeys area. Entry forms are available now. 

Eamonn Kelly and Conor Mohan had a challenging opening round of the Junior World Rally Championship.

The Swedish event which takes place on snow got off to a great start for them with a 4th fastest stage time on the Thursday Night Umeå super special stage. They settled in well on Friday as they continued to learn the car and the gain experience at this level. A 3rd fastest time on SS4 (even with a spin) showed just how quickly they were picking up the pace against far more experienced competition, they even beat Grégoire Munster through this 25.81km test. Munster was voted the World Rally Championship’s most improved driver in 2022 and back in December was announced as one of the lead drivers in M-Sport Ford’s WRC2 campaign this season.

At first service they held 5th overall but unfortunately on SS6 they clipped a snowbank almost flat in 5th gear. The impact with the bank catapulted the car into the air and sent them off the road and caused significant damage to the car and gave the Eamonn and Conor quite a scare when the car scooped a large amount of snow in through the collapsed front window. Luckily, they both were fine and the M-Sport Poland mechanics go the car repaired overnight and they were able to restart on Saturday morning.

With any hope of a good result gone, they spent Saturday getting the confidence back up after the crash and battling some mechanical issue which was causing the car to stall and cut out at times, but they persevered and even managed another 3rd fastest stage time on SS12. On SS13 the light bar on their car would break off over a jump and left them with very poor visibility over the two remaining night stages which added up to just over 27kms.

Bad luck was back again Sunday morning when a large stone imbedded in a snowbank hit the car and bent a wishbone forcing them to retire for good.  Despite all the hardship endured they are already looking forward to the next round in Croatia. The tarmac there will be a bit more familiar. The Croatia rally takes place from the 20th to the 23rd of April.

The Sligo Pallets Irish Forestry Championship

Kicks off this weekend with the Killarney Forestry Rally. Top Monaghan seed is Derek Mackarel along with his Cork navigator Eamonn Creedon. They are seeded number 8 in their Mitsubishi Evo IX. Arthur Kierans is navigating for Ryan Caldwell seeded number 15 in a Skoda R5. In the two wheel drive category Michael Conlon and Paul McPhillips lead the way in their MkII Ford Escort. Steven Corey/Ella Ryan are seeded just two places behind them also in a MkII Escort and Ryan Farrell is making the trip south, navigating for Dylan Eves in their Ford Fiesta.

Monaghan Motor Club are hosting an open meeting on Wednesday night the 22nd of February.

Topics include the introduction of a marshal’s points system for competitors, the 2024 Monaghan Stages Rally, Pedal Car event and Navigation and Endurance Trials.

The open meeting will take place in the Four Seasons Hotel and starts at 8pm sharp.

PRO: Oisín Sherlock