There were mixed fortunes for the 5 members of the Irish Junior team at JEC 2007, held
in Aveyron, France.
The Sprint on Friday afternoon was disappointing from the Irish point of view.
Route choice was critical in small fields with impassable thorny hedges, and dubious choices and small mistakes
cost vital minutes for Nick Simonin, Ruairi Short & Ciara Largey. Fiach O'Rourke injured his ankle and finished
at a walk.
The news was better after the Long race on Saturday, with Nick finishing a very
good 16th in M18 despite a less than perfect run. However Ruairi lost his compass midway round though he still
managed to finish, and Fiach walked the M20 course. The terrain is mostly open grassy limestone with a thick scattering
of bushes (each one mapped) with areas of mazelike crags & canyons, all mapped at 1:7500 in minutely intricate
detail. The French put home advantage to good use to win W18 and W20 and take 2nd in M18.
The Relay map was even more finely detailed and caused some serious navigation difficulties.
The arena was nicely arranged, with 2 spectator controls we could watch dramatic changes in the leading positions. Czech Stepan Kodeda's lead of several minutes was lost on his last loop, the Norwegian
Women dropped 10 minutes during one 20-minute loop, and there were lots of similar stories.
The Czech Men persevered to win by about 6 minutes, and the Danish Women passed the French & Norwegians
to finally take the lead. Of the Irish Ciara completed her Womens first leg, but on the Mens team Nick
& Ruairi missed controls and Seamus O'Boyle's run had to be cut short as the team had a train to catch.
W18 (40) 1 Marine Leloup FRA 14:33
M18 (49) 1 Matej Klusacek CZE 13:50; 43 Nick Simonin IRL 18:21; 46 Ruairi Short IRL 19:32
W20 (33) 1 Maja Alm DEN 15:14; 28 Ciara Largey IRL 21:49
M20 (42) 1 Stepan Kodeda CZE 14:48; 37 Fiach O'Rourke IRL 27:24; Seamus O'Boyle IRL mp
W18 (40) 1 Marine Leloup FRA 41:28
M18 (47) 1 Matej Klusacek CZE 47:41; 16 Nick Simonin IRL 55:44; 41 Ruairi Short IRL 73:22
W20 (33) 1 Karine d'Harreville FRA 50:46; Ciara Largey IRL
M20 (42) 1 Christian Bobach DEN 61:39; 39 Seamus O'Boyle IRL 119:15; 40 Fiach O'Rourke IRL