Harris and Lewis, 22 - 28 July
Coast and Islands 2023 was organised by Masterplan Adventure, and took place in Harris and Lewis, with brand new areas throughout the week. There were 6 orienteering events, and a rest day on Sunday 23 July. Most areas featured open terrain full of rock features (bare rock, crags and boulders) and small lochans. There was a choice of Long, Medium, Short or Orange courses. 9 ESOC members competed, and had a great time.
Day 1 - Cnoc na Cloiche, Saturday 22 July
This area is close to Tarbert, on the hillside SW of the town, and the terrain was described as “Open, rocky, generally fast with occasional tougher sections of vegetation”. The weather was fine and sunny, with a cooling breeze.
Day 2 - Isle of Scalpay, Monday 24 July
Scalpay is an island around 10km SE of Tarbert, connected to Harris by a bridge. The final details said the terrain here was “Open, lumpy. Mixed runnability, ranging from very fast to moderately slow.” Courses led around a loch, with good coastal views. The weather was dull but stayed dry.
Day 3 - Creag na Bunaig, Tuesday 25 July
This area is about 4km east of Tarbert (on the way to Scalpay). It was advertised as “Open plateau with many small hills, fast. A lot of rock.” The weather was cloudy, and it was still and midgey at first but breezy later.
Day 4 - Tarbert, Wednesday 26 July
This was a terrain/urban sprint, starting on rocky open ground above Tarbert, then courses descended into the town for the last few controls, and the finish was beside the Community Hall, with socialising afterwards. The event took place in the afternoon and early evening, in fine, sunny weather.
Day 5 - Torsacleit, Thursday 27 July
This area is just to the NE of Tarbert. The terrain is open, rocky, and generally fast, though there is a stream in a steep re-entrant/gorge which is difficult to cross, and courses were planned to avoid this. The weather was damp and misty.
Day 6 - Lews Castle, Stornoway, Friday 28 July
Lews Castle is further away, on the west side of Stornoway, around 55km north of Tarbert. A complete contrast with the rest of the week, this was a forest/garden Sprint, with hardly any tarmac and plenty of trees. The weather was fine.
Points were awarded each day - the winner of a class scored 100 points, then 99, 98, and so on, and a competitor’s 4 best scores of the week were added up to give their overall score.
ESOC overall results (those with 4 scores) were:
Medium - Women (36 competitors): Sarah Crawford 9th, Helena Nolan 26th
Medium - Men (39): Richard Oxlade 7th
Short - Women (29): Rhona Fraser 23rd
Short - Men (20): Ronnie Nolan 3rd, Ewan Crawford 12th
Orange - Women (10): Anne Hoy 7th
The overall results are on the Coast and Islands website. This also has full results for each day and other details about the events, including some interesting comments about the mapping and planning, plus videos from out on the courses, which give a great idea of what it was like.
Click the image for a larger version.