Royal Deeside, 19/20 May
The 2018 British Orienteering Championships were held on Royal Deeside, near Ballater. The Long Distance race was on Saturday 19 May and the Relays were on Sunday 20 May.
The Long Distance event was at Balmoral Estate, halfway between Braemar and Ballater. This venue was last used for the 2016 Scottish Championships, and the castle again made an impressive setting for the race arena. The area includes three hills, so there were steep slopes, and many courses had a lot of ascent. The terrain was quite rough, with lots of rocky ground and some big crags, as well as deep heather in places. There was plenty of route choice, and a network of paths and tracks. For those with time to look, there were good views from the higher parts. It was mostly very dry underfoot. The weather was sunny, and breezy in the arena, but sheltered in the forest – many found it very hot.
ESOC’s best result came from Rachel Brown, who had a great run to win W16A. Other podium places were achieved by Rowan Lawlor, who won M12B, Bill Gauld, who won M85, and Heather Thomson, who won W40S.
Other ESOC results in the top half were:
M21S (4 competitors) - Tyler Morrison 2nd
M45L (27) - Alistair Hindle 7th, Jim Martin 8th
M50S (17) - Finlay Ross 2nd, Ronnie Nolan 3rd
M65L (43) - Roger Garnett 13th, Peter Halling 16th
M70L (47) - Alastair Lessells 14th, Roger Scrutton 20th
W12A (14) - Maja Robertson 7th
W45S (15) - Leonne Hutchinson 3rd
W55L (40) - Alison Cunningham 8th
W60L (38) - Maggie Scrugham 8th, Sally Lindsay 17th
W65L (27) - Margaret Dalgleish 12th
W70L (22) - Eleanor Pyrah 8th
The Relay event was a few miles downstream, at Torphantrick, east of Ballater, with a fine race arena on the grassy banks of the River Dee. The terrain is complex - intricate contours on forested moraine, partly mature pine plantation with lots of brashings, and partly more open birch and oak woodland. Underfoot conditions were very dry. The weather was again sunny and breezy.
ESOC had several podium places:
* ESOC Jedi (Craig Nolan, Alistair Hindle, Andrew Lindsay), who came 3rd out of 20 in Class C, Men’s Short.
* ESOC Naboo (Rachel Brown, Gillian Martin, Rona Lindsay) who won Class D, Women’s Short (10 teams).
* ESOC Landspeeders (Margaret Dalgleish, Sally Lindsay, Maggie Scrugham) who won Class K, W60 (8 teams).
* ESOC Stormtroopers (Alastair Lessells, Eleanor Pyrah, John McLaren) who came 3rd out of 7 in Class L, M/W70.
* ESOC Ewoks (Jamie Lawlor, Joseph Lawlor, Sam McKinnon) were also on the podium, with 3rd place in Class T, Junior Ad Hoc, but there was an appeal about this result, because the fastest team had declared themselves non-competitive due to a misunderstanding of the rules, and in the final results ESOC Ewoks are shown as coming 4th.
Other ESOC results:
* Class F, W40 - ESOC Falcon (Judy Bell, Helena Nolan, Heather Thomson) came 7th out of 10.
* Class J, M60 - ESOC Sith (Martin Caldwell, Roger Garnett, Crawford Lindsay) came 12th out of 17 and ESOC Rebels (Les Dalgleish, Peter Halling, Mark Kassyk) came 15th.
* Class L, M/W70 - ESOC X-wings (Roger Scrutton, Kathleen Lessells, Ian Pyrah) came 4th out of 7.
* Class R, Mini - ESOC Gungans (Rowan Lawlor, Megan Brown, Maja Robertson) came 6th out of 14.
* Class S, Mixed Ad Hoc - ESOC Force (Hanne Robertson, Leonne Hutchinson, Callum Tyler) came 22nd out of 42
Full results, Routegadget, information about the events, and links to photos from the weekend (featuring many ESOC runners) are on the British Orienteering Championships 2018 page of the Scottish Orienteering Association website.
The Long Distance race was the 12th event in the 2018 UK Orienteering League. There are more details about the UKOL, including the updated league tables, on the UK Orienteering League page of the British Orienteering website. ESOC has now moved up to 12th in the club league. The score for each club is calculated automatically from the 15 best club members' scores (across various age class groups) - so the club members whose scores are included change as the year goes on.
Saturday’s race was also part of the UK Elite Orienteering League – see the UK Elite Orienteering League website for full details.
Next year, the British Championships will be held in Yorkshire, with the British Mixed Sprint Relays at the University of Bradford on Saturday 4 May, the Long Distance race at Kilnsey North & Arncliffe, in the Yorkshire Dales, on Sunday 5 May, and the Relays at Middleton Park, Leeds, on Monday 6 May.
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