Irish Orienteering Championships 2018
Orienteering in north west Ireland

Day 4

Day 4

Provisional information


Finner Sandhills, Finner Army Camp, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal

Finner Sandhills was used previously for the Connaught Orienteering Championships in 2006 and 2009.


Planner: Dave Richardson (Fingal Orienteers)

Controller: Fergal Buckley (Kerry Orienteers)

Organisers: Per-Olov Elovsson & Kathryn Walley (Fingal Orienteers)

Assembly and Parking

Assembly will be at Finner Army Camp along the Finner road. The event will be sign-posted from the N15 road between Ballyshannon and Bundoran and parking will be within walking distance from the assembly area in direct proximity to the Army Camp.

Toilets and shelter will be available adjacent to the assembly area.


Finner Sandhills is located along the Atlantic coast and also an estuary where an inland river flows into the sea. It is an open coastal terrain with intricate contour detail. The main features are extensive grass-covered sand dunes and open sand fields. Many small details, hills and depressions should make for fast running but also challenging orienteering. The area has been used for army training and some features are related to those activities.  Some areas associated with the Army Camp are out-of-bounds and clearly marked on the map.


The area was first mapped in 2006 by Sgt Padraig Higgins and Sgt Mick Hannon and updated in 2011 by Cpl Eric O'Brien. Recent updates have been made by Pat Healy in 2018, including adjustment to ISOM17.

All courses will use 1:7,500 with 2.5m contours. All maps will be A3 size with control descriptions printed on the front of the map. Loose control descriptions will not be available. The map will be printed on waterproof paper.

Controls, Start and Finish

Controls will be SportIdent. SI Air (SIAC) will NOT be enabled. SI cards for use at the relays will be pre-cleared and checked. Runners will not use their own cards.

The assembly area for the Relay Arena will follow the guidelines of IOA as closely as possible.

A waiting pen will be used to call up the runners and a mass start will follow once the officials are satisfied everything is ready.

The changeover area and the finish will also be part of the Arena and managed by event officials.

Mini mass-starts will be arranged at the organiser's discretion.The Arena intends to be spectator friendly but certain areas will be out-of-bounds for control and safety reasons.

Competitors and visitors should follow the instructions from the event officials and pay attention to information given during the races.

Download will be at the Assembly. DON'T FORGET TO DOWNLOAD. You must download regardless of whether you complete your course or not.


Finner Sand Dunes is a well defined and enclosed natural area although it is exposed to strong winds from the open sea and quick weather changes. If the weather is bad you may be required to wear a rain jacket. All competitors must wear leggings.

If you do not reach the finish you must report to the assembly.  

First aid will be available in the assembly area.

Classes and courses

The seven relay classes with 3 member teams and the courses will follow the IOA's recommendations for the Irish Relay Championship:

Junior 36

Junior 48

Handicap 18

Handicap 12

Handicap 6

Women's Premier

Open Premier

The following section describing the classes is an extract from the IOA's Guidelines for the Irish Relay Championship:

In the Open Premier and Women’s Premier classes the team members compete over three equal length laps of the same physical and technical difficulty.

Teams in the Junior 48 and Junior 36 classes should have a combined age of up to 48 years and 36 years respectively using their ‘orienteering age’. Their team members compete over laps of different length, and different physical and technical difficulty.

Similar to the Junior system, the Handicap classes are based on the combined ages of the team members using their ‘orienteering age’. Handicap Points are allocated to the various orienteering age groups as follows, and these are used to calculate the total points for the team that determines their handicap class.

Age Class            Handicap Points

M21                             0

M20, M35                   1

M18, M40, W21          2

M45, W20, W35          3

M16, M50, W18, W40 4

M55, W16, W45          5

M14, M60, W14, W50 6

M65, W55                    7

M70 and over, W60     8

W65                            9

W70 and over            10

The permitted points range for the three Handicap classes are:

Class                    Total Handicap Points

Handicap 6           6 to 11

Handicap 12         12 to 17

Handicap 18         18 and over

The three team members in each Handicap class will run over different lap lengths (loosely short, medium, long in format).

Eligibility for the Irish Relay Championship

The following section describes the Eligibility for participating in the competition and is an extract from the IOA's Guidelines for the Irish Relay Championship:

'The Irish Relay Championship shall be an open competition with the Irish Champions being the first IOA or NIOA affiliated club team in the Open Premier, Women’s Premier, Junior 36 and 48 classes.

To represent an IOA or NIOA affiliated club, all team members shall:

(A) have been an individual, family, or group member of that IOA or NIOA affiliated club for at least three months immediately preceding the Relay Championship, and

(B) meet either of the following conditions:

(i) they qualify for Irish citizenship through birth, descent, naturalisation, or marriage, in accordance with the Citizenship Acts 1956 to 2004, or

(ii) they have been present on the island of Ireland for at least six out of the twelve months immediately preceding the Relay Championship.

Overseas IOF affiliated club teams may compete in the Open Premier, Women’s Premier, Junior 48 and Junior 36 classes provided that all team members are from the same club.

The Handicap 6, 12, and 18 classes have no requirement for all of their members to be from the same club, and as a result no teams in these classes shall be declared as Irish Champion.

It is the responsibility of the club representative completing the Team Registration Form on behalf of an IOA or NIOA affiliated club in the Open Premier, Women’s Premier, Junior 36 and Junior 48 classes to ensure that all team members meet the requirements of this Rule.’

Complete guidelines for the Irish Relay Championship:

Registration and Team Declaration

Team registration will be through Fabian with a deadline of April 15th 2018.

Team declaration forms will be available for download from the IOC2018 website and also available at the IOC event centre during the days of the competition.

The representative for each participating club will be responsible for the filling in of the declaration forms. The filled in forms have to be returned to IOC officials no later than by the time courses close on Day 3  (May 6th).


The Prize-giving ceremony will take place at the Assembly area as soon as the winners are declared and the competition completed.

More detailed information will be published as it becomes available.