Classes held ahead of Night Navigation Championship

Brothers Keith Sheridan (Clerk of the Course) and his brother Damien Sheridan (Asst COC) from Ramelton rolling out navigation classes ahead of the Night Navigation Rally next month in Donegal.

By Dáire Bonnar

PLANS are in place ahead of the final round of the Squealing Pig Border Night Navigation Championship which takes place in Donegal next month.


The Night Navigation Rally is quite different from the typical rally, and as the name suggests, it takes place in darkness. The navigation aspect sees the co-drivers use ordinance survey maps rather than their typical pace notes, while drivers are timed to an average of 30mph.

“It’s not about the speed, it’s more about the navigation aspect of it and you will receive a penalty for being early or late to each time point,” Clerk of Course Keith Sheridan explained.

“You have an approach direction and a departure direction at each time point so you have to get both these right.

“There could be some tricks thrown in so it could be down a farm lane or across a field.”

Two beginners won the Donegal event last year, with David Kelly and Gerry Hughes from Donegal Town winning not far from their home, around the greater Mountcharles/Frosses area devised by last year’s Clerk of Course Bernard Gallagher.

This year, the Night Navigation Rally is going to be based in the Craoibhin Community Centre in Termon and the Rally will take place on March 23 with Sheridan appointed as the new COC.

Classes were held at the Glenswilly GAA Clubhouse last Friday to help beginners and experts alike for a night of learning to understand the basics.


A good crowd attended and Sheridan is working hard to finalise the course for this year’s event, which was absent from the county for seven years but interest has since grown which saw the return.

Another class will be held before the rally, with a date and venue to be confirmed, but it is expected to be in early March (keep an eye on the DMC Night Navigation Facebook page for information).

“Myself and my brother (Damien) competed the last two years and we decided to put the name forward for running this one.

“There were enough boys running them when we went down the country to do them, mainly down in Monaghan and Cavan, so it was only fair for us to put our names forward and let them have a bit of craic up here.

“We’re getting the route sorted at the minute, we’re about 70% sorted so it’s just about working away at it.

“We’re just checking everything and making sure it’s all right because it’s the last round of the championship.

“Bernard Gallagher ran it last year and he ran the classes in Jackson’s and there was a lot of interest. So we’re just carrying the torch to keep it going.

“But there hadn’t been any rally in Donegal since 2015 before last year. The same guys were running it in the Motor Club and the demand wasn’t there anymore so it fell by the wayside with the cost of everything going up.

“But there are a lot of guys that competed years ago that are buying cars and last year a couple of old faces reappeared.

“The courses are for the benefit of the club members and if anybody new wanted to learn.

“It’s based off ordinance survey maps and teaching them how to plot the maps and what to expect on the night.”

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