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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.

Top 10

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.

Elsewhere, the Triton Showers National Rally Championship awards night took place recently.  Josh Moffett was crowned overall champion for the second time. In the classes, Kevin Flanagan finished 1st driver in class 9. Gary McCrudden finished 1st navigator in class 11F. Micky Conlon finished 3rd driver in class 12, while Ronan Comerford finished 1st navigator in the same class. Kaine Treanor finished 3rd navigator in class 14. Jack McKenna finished 3rd driver in class 16 and Michael Carbin finished 1st driver in class 20.

PRO Oisín Sherlock


Tynan’s Top Tough Test

Posted: November 14, 2022 in Uncategorized

Michael and Ciaran Tynan claimed a hard fought victory last Saturday night on the infamous Drumlin Navigation Trial.

They finished the 120 mile event, 10 marks clear of 2nd placed Darragh Kelly/Oisín Sherlock. Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan went one position better than they did in the previous round to take 3rd overall.

The first big test came at Time Point 4 in a farm at Gortnana, where a tulip diagram had to be used to guide crews through a road goes to the timepoint and depart out another road goes. Sixteen of the crews who made it to the end of the event would all pick up wrong approach’s here due to the close proximity of the road goes entry and the timepoint. Number two seeds, and winners of last months October Navigation Trial Aidan Keenan/Sean Marron would be the first victims at this location, missing the slot right turn and continuing round the corner and into the TP.  Sam Johnston sitting on in place of Ryan Treanor for Shane Dalton would also pick up 15 marks here. TPs 5 to 10 were all located between Latnamard and Stranooden taking in no less than ten lanes on private ground. TP 10 would see the departure of County Cork crew, James Fitzgerald/Ken Carmody as the engine in their Subaru decided enough was enough and packed it in.

 TP 11 ultimately decided the winning of the event. Plot and bash was handed out at TP 10. The herringbone tulip diagram included all roads, unmapped lanes and house entrances. The time point was located in a previously unused farm at Lecklevera just south of Greenans Cross. Twenty eight of the finishing crews would either miss or receive a wrong approach in the farm yard. Fortunately for the Tynan’s they would spy the narrow slot between a shed and silage pit wall and drop just 2 minutes.  Both Carbin/Mohan and Kelly/Sherlock would be caught here, both dropping 16 marks by being a minute late and receiving a wrong approach.

Plot and bash was again distributed at TP 17 beside Annaghmakerig Lough, south of Newbliss. Once again a Herringbone tulip was handed out for TPs 18, 19 and 20. TP 18 was on the main Newbliss-Cootehill road after passing through a farm lane at Gorrevan, TP 19 was located in Halls farm at Doohat after passing through the familiar shed. From here it was back down to the main road and take the turn off for Drum village before turning left down a grey lane at Drumborisk to reach TP 20 which was also on the main Newbliss-Cootehill road.  

   TP21 brought competitors out of the Newbliss area towards Rockcorry with four TPs in total in the area between Coolkill West and Drumrooghill before a well due ITC section, which for once competitors were glad to see as it gave them a chance to relax after relentless opening twenty four time points.

The reprieve was short lived however as another five time points in quick succession awaited before the fuel stop in Ballybay. At the half way point, the Tynan’s led the way on 11 marks, followed by Derek Mackarel/Conor Boylan on 22 marks despite also receiving a wrong approach at TP 11. In 3rd was Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes, just a further 1 mark in arrears having likewise faltered at TP 11.

The second half of the event would prove to be just as challenging as the first, with another twenty two check points to visit, including four on plot and bash. TPs 31 to 44 would bring crews from Ballybay through Tullycorbet, Braddocks, Ardaghy, the edge of Monaghan town at Tanderageebane to Corcaghan taking in twelve private lanes on the way. TP 45 was located in a farm just west of the chapel in Corcaghan, and it was here that Mackarel/Boylan would lose out on pushing for overall honours as they would arrive at the p&b TP 47 which was located in the same farm first. Looping around they did manage to arrive at TP 45,but they received 30 marks for a double visit at TP 47 when they arrived back after TP 46.

 The last p&b of the night was given on a six figure grid reference for TP 48 on a farm lane beside Corcaghan Creamery before heading back towards Threemilehouse for the last farm lane of the night in the townland of Crumlin. This time point which required tulip diagram to follow the correct path. Unfortunately, Carbin/Mohan would miss this TP and receive 20 marks due to being over the 15 minutes max lateness allowed. From here it was a short dash over to Togan crossroads for the penultimate Control before heading back to the Sean’s GAA Complex for the final Control spelling an end to one of the toughest events of the year.

In the end it was Michael and Ciaran Tynan who completed the route only dropping 19 minutes. Kelly/Sherlock would rue their earlier wrong approach as it ultimately cost them the outright win. Despite their late 20 marks, Mohan/Carbin would still manage take 3rd place. Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes who had been in 3rd place at the half way point, would get a double visit and a wrong departure late in the event and would drop to 9th overall.

In the class’s, it was Kelly/Sherlock 1st Expert on 29 marks, Carbin/Mohan 2nd on 55 marks and Mackarel/Boylan 3rd on 59 marks. Emmet Sherry/Patrick Corcoran won the Semi-Expert class on 77 marks, 2nd was Damien Treanor/Christopher McMahon on 91 marks and 3rd was Mickey Conlon/Martin Connolly on 144 marks.

The novice class was won by Damien Hagan/Ryan Farrell on 93 marks, 2nd was Darragh Kelly/Eamon Doherty on 125 marks and 3rd was Elijah Dixon/Marco Lennon on 145 marks. Shane Maguire/Molly Maguire won the Beginners class on 199 marks, 2nd was Martin Swinburne/Gretchen Swinburne on 233 marks and 3rd was Ciaran McGorman/Aaron McGorman on 238 marks.

CoC Shane Farrell thanked all the residents and landowners along the route for allowing the event use their property, the Sean’s GAA club for the excellent facilities and all the marshals who turned up to cover every check point.

The National Navigation Championship continues in two weeks’ time with the Skibbereen Carbery Navigation Trial.

Top 10 Results

1st Michael Tynan/Ciaran Tynan (Subaru Impreza) 19 marks,

2nd Darragh Kelly/Oisín Sherlock (Subaru Impreza) 29m,

3rd Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan (Subaru Legacy) 55m,

4th Derek Mackarel/Conor Boylan (Subaru Impreza) 59m.

5th Martin Tynan/David McCrudden (Subaru Impreza) 65m,

6th Emmet Sherry/Patrick Corcoran (Toyota Starlet) 77m,

7th Damien Treanor/Christopher McMahon (Subaru Legacy) 91m,

8th Damien Hagan/Ryan Farrell (Subaru Impreza) 93m,

9th Pakie Duffy/Evin Hughes (Subaru Impreza) 95m,

10th Shane Dalton/Sam Johnston (Subaru Impreza) 97m.

PRO Oisín Sherlock

Richard Moffett and Ger Conway took overall honours on last weekend’s Kerry Winter Stages Rally at Banna. The pair claimed victory by 24.8 seconds from Ryan Loughran/Toney Healy. Third overall went to Stuart Darcy/Darragh Mullen who were a further 5.5s in arrears.

Early leaders Jack Newman/Andrew Browne held a 3.5s lead over Moffett after special stage 3 but all their hard work would come to an end on SS4 when they clipped a chicane and ploughed into a silage bale damaging the bonnet. With the bonnet lifting and blocking the view out, they decided to retire for safety reasons. Newman’s retirement promoted Moffett to 1st, a position he’d hold to the very end. Darcy put in a big charge over the afternoon stages and overhauled both Michael Carbin/Dean O’Sullivan and Padraig Egan/Tomas Ryan and take the final podium place.

Carbin/O’Sullivan finished 5th OA and 1st class 20, David Moffett/Martin Conolly finished right behind them in 6th OA and 2nd class 14. Previous winners Sam Moffett/Keith Moriarty finished 8th OA and 2nd class 13 while Des Lyons/Ashling McArdle finished 23rd OA and 3rd class 11F.

Ed O’Callaghan/Kaine Treanor taking their recently purchased Darrian T90 GTR for a race, retired with mechanical trouble on SS2. Piaras O’Ceallachain navigating for Brian Lavelle retired after SS3.

Cambrian Rally

Eamonn Kelly and Conor Mohan made their way over to the final round of the British Rally Championship, the Visit Conwy Cambrian Rally 2022. Despite taking their Junior Championship title over the previous two rounds they still headed across the sea to finish out the championship.  Taking the R5 VW Polo this time, they finished a fantastic 3rd OA on the event and 2nd BRC crew.

The rally began Friday night with two night stages. A cautious run on the first stage due to heavy fog seen them complete the stage in 6th place.  Heavy rain over the opening stages hampered them as they got accustomed to the car on gravel for the first time. On SS2 they managed to take 5th place before the overnight break. On SS4 while passing through a watersplash, the impact caused the windscreen to immediately fog up. Unable to see where they were headed, they lost roughly 30s as they drove carefully until the window finally cleared. Despite the stages becoming extremely rough, the pair finally hit a bit of form on SS6 scoring a top 3 stage time. By rally’s end they had five top 3 stage times, including a fastest time overall on the final stage. A perfect way to finish out their BRC campaign. What makes their stage win more impressive, is that they beat former Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team driver Oliver Solberg.  Solberg had recently finished Repco Rally New Zealand in 5th OA driving a Hyundai i20 N Rally1 car.

Drumlin Navigation

Round 2 of the National Navigation Championship takes place on Saturday night the 12th November. Clerk of the Course Shane Farrell has laid out a 120 mile route based out of the Sean McDermott’s GAA Complex in Threemilehouse.  Route card 1 is at 17:45 with the first car away at 21:01. Regulations and entry are available now on the motor club website and Facebook page. As ever marshals are required for the running of the event. Anyone available is asked to contact the club or CoC Shane on 086-2616120.

Cork Pair Derek Butler/Denis O’Donovan will be looking to make it two wins from two after their victory on Round 1. Shane Dalton will be with a new navigator temporally as Ryan Treanor has other commitments and will miss this event. Conor Boylan will be back in action with Derek Mackarel after missing the opening round. Darragh Kelly/Oisín Sherlock will be looking to bounce back from their non finish in Inchigeelagh.

The Squealing Pig Border Navigation Championship, the club Traders and the club Gary Nesbitt Navigation Championships kick off with the Drumlin event. Michael and Ciaran Tynan will be looking to secure the Border title for the 2nd year in a row while Conor Mohan will try to keep his hands on the overall Gary Nesbitt award. Derek Mackarel will also be trying to get his Traders title defence off to a perfect start.

PRO Oisín Sherlock

A Night of Champions

Posted: October 25, 2022 in Uncategorized

Monaghan Motor Club held their annual awards night on Friday last in the Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan. Special Guests on the night ware Alan Carmichael and Eamonn Kelly. Alan Carmichael drove Arthur Kierans to his third British Rally Championship title, this year in the National Section. Arthur previously won the R2 and the Outright championship with Daniel McKenna in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Eamonn Kelly drove Conor Mohan to their maiden BRC win, taking victory in the Junior category. The drivers spoke highly of their navigators, and thanked them for their help and experience all season. The perpetual cups for the Ronnie Hawe Stages Rally were presented. Josh Moffett and Jason McKenna won the Maguire International Cup for being the highest club finisher on the day. The Keenan Stainless Steel Cup was presented to Dessie Keenen and Enda Sherry for being the highest club finishers in class 14. The Squealing Pig cup went to Justin Smith and Gregory McQuillan who were the best club members in the 2 litre class. Anthony Hand and Ryan Farrell were presented with the JG Kelly Supplies cup for being the top club finishers in the 1.6 litre class. Gary Cassidy and Bradley Maguire received the CombiLift Cup for being the best club members in class 16.  Shane and Paul Maguire received the McElvaney Cup for being the highest placed club members in Group N.

There were joint winners of the Ladies award as both Emer McGlone and Gretchen Swinburne could not be separated in the Traders Championship.

In the Gary Nesbitt Club Navigation Championship, Michael Tynan and Conor Mohan were overall winners. 1st in Beginner went to Elijah Dixon and Marco Lennon. 1st Novice went to Aidan Keenan and Sean Marron. Eoghan Corr and Shane Maguire finished 1st Semi-Expert and Derek Mackarel and Conor Boylan finished 1st Expert.

Finally at the end of the night it was the big one, the club Traders Trophy. This highly sought after cup went to all star Derek Mackarel. Derek took the honours on the very last round of the championship at Cavan Motor Club’s autocross by a single point from Conor Boylan. A very emotional Derek gave a lovely speech in which he thanked his family for the support all year, Conor Boylan for navigating for him throughout the season and the COC’s and landowners. Derek is the third Mackarel to win the award after his uncle George, mother Janice and father Andrew. He is also the cousin of another former winner, Ashley McAdoo.

Cavan Autocross

Josh and Sam Moffett took 8th and 9th overall respectively at Cavan Motor Club’s Autocross on Sunday last, round 2 of the Cootehill Precision Engineering Autocross Championship. The pair were double driving Sam’s Toyota Starlet on the loose surface track in Latton. After the best three of five timed runs were calculated, Josh finished the day with a 9 second advantage over Sam.

In the buggy class, Martin Connolly finished 2nd OA, finishing less than 1s in arrears to overall winner Aaron Haslett. Paul Lennon finished 8th OA and Conor Boylan on his second ever start in his new buggy finished 15th OA.

PRO Oisín Sherlock

Defending National Navigation champion navigator, Tydavnet man Ryan Treanor along with his Longford driver Shane Dalton finished a solid 2nd place overall on last weekend’s opening round of the 2022-23 National Navigation Championship. The pair finished the event on 12 marks and secured 16 points for the championship.

Inchigeelagh Co. Cork was the location of Round 1 with COC Aaron O’Regan assisted by Niall Murphy organising the first of two Cork Motor Club navigations this season.

The event began at 22:45, and disaster would immediately befall defending Drivers Champion Darragh Kelly with Oisín Sherlock navigating. Unfortunately, barely a kilometre into the event, they would clip a rock hidden in the undergrowth and severely damaged the passenger side wishbone in their Subaru and no matter how much wishing they did, the bone could not be repaired and early retirement followed. The first third of the event took place in the vicinity of villages, Tooms, Teerelton, and Kilmichael. Check points Via 8 and Timepoint 9 were accessed through farm lanes in the townland of Ballina and it was here that most crews dropped time due to the sheer slippiness of the cow tracks. Eventual winners and former national champions Derek Butler/Denis O’Donovan were almost caught out here, but some quick reactions from Derek made sure he kept his Impreza between the fence posts.

The first plot and bash of the night was handed out at TP 15 for TP’s 17 and 18. Navigators had to be very accurate with their directions as both plot and bash TPs were close by and wrong approaches would be very easily picked up due to the amount of information already on the map as the event was passing through the same area later on.

The ITC section turned out to be the trickiest part of the night. The ITC was defined by grid references for some of the junctions along the route, unlike the commonly used box tulip diagram with every junction included. The ITC was also timed at 50kph unlike the normal 30mph. The most unfortunate here were the team of Michael Carbin/Conor Mohan who took the wrong direction at a junction and dropped 1:30s or in ITC terms, 9 marks. Only for this ‘easy to make mistake’ they may well have finished 2nd OA. Butler/O’Donovan would also make a similar error and would drop 4 of their 5 marks on this section due to the difficulty and the very twisty roads.

The next p&b section was at TP39 with crews receiving plots for TP 40 and 41. The approach to TP40 was down a farm lane which brought competitors out directly opposite the Kilmichael Ambush Monument before heading to TP 41 in the same location as TP19 just south east of Kilmichael village.  This TP signalled the event returning to area used earlier and maps became very muddled as there were TP’s no matter where competitors turned. Via 42 was in the same location as TP 16. P&b TP 43 was in the same farm as TP 18 apart from having to take a different lane on the approach and p&b TP 44 was in the same location as TP 15. This was enough to give any experienced navigator a headache. Control 45 spelled the end of the rat race and navigators could breathe a sigh of relief that they survived a very demanding but enjoyable event.

So in the end it was Butler/O’Donovan who were winners on a total of five marks, Dalton/Treanor finished 2nd OA and 1st  Expert on 12 marks and Gar Collins/Patrick O’Sullivan finished 3rd OA on 14 marks. Carbin/Mohan would finish 4th OA and 2nd Expert on 15 marks. Aaron McElroy was super sub for Conor Boylan and he guided Derek Mackarel to 5th OA and 1st Novice on 16 marks. A small navigation error cost Derek and Aaron a better result as they were almost at a TP before Aaron, realizing he was approaching from the wrong direction and had to correct himself resulting in a few minutes dropped. They were also caught out on the exceptionally difficult ITC route like many others and most of their penalties came from there.

Round 2 of the National Navigation Championship takes place in Monaghan with the Drumlin Navigation taking place on Saturday November 12th.

Awards Night

Monaghan Motor Club’s annual awards night takes place this Friday night (21st) in the Four Seasons Hotel Monaghan at 8pm. Tickets are available from any committee member. Please come along and support our champions from last season.

PRO Oisín Sherlock