30 July - 4 August
The 2023 Scottish 6 Days was an entertaining week, featuring six varied days of orienteering (5 forest races and several different events on the Rest Day) plus social events. The venues were scattered along the Moray coast, with beautiful forests and coastal scenery. The weather was very mixed but generally better than expected, and there were very few midges.
Unfortunately parking restrictions meant that campervans and motorhomes were not permitted in the event car parks on days 3, 4 and 5; they had to park in Forres, with buses provided to take competitors to the events, giving challenging logistics.
Day 1: Lossie, Sunday 30 July
The first day was a long distance event. Lossie Forest is on the Moray coast just to the east of Lossiemouth. This is an excellent area of forested dunes featuring contrasting terrain. Near the shore the dunes are very complex and quite steep, and there are various remains of WWII coastal defences. Further inland the terrain is much flatter, with indistinct features – most found this part of the area more challenging. There are paths and tracks throughout. The weather was very warm and sunny.
Many ESOC members enjoyed a social after the event, a barbecue on the beach at Burghead.
Day 2: Darnaway West, Monday 31 July
Darnaway is inland, SW of Forres, and this was a middle distance race. The forest included broadleaf areas with beautiful beech trees, and varying density of conifers. Underfoot conditions were quite rough in places. There was plenty of contour detail throughout the area, with many small hills and depressions, and a network of paths and tracks. In one part there were many confusing paths around archery targets. The weather was dull, and cooler with a little rain.
Day 3: Roseisle, Tuesday 1 August
Roseisle is on the coast south of Burghead, and this was another long distance race on forested dunes. The coastal strip has open pine forest and very intricate contour detail. The area is split by an old railway line, with somewhat flatter terrain to the east, and thicker vegetation.
The weather was fine.
Rest Day: Wednesday 2 August
There were several different orienteering options on the Rest Day: Trail-O at Roseisle in the morning, a Sprint race in Forres in the early afternoon, and Mountain Bike Orienteering at Altyre Estate in the late afternoon/early evening.
The Sprint race was the 8th event in the 2023 Scottish Orienteering Urban League. The latest league tables are here.
See this news item for a report from the Mountain Bike Orienteering.
Many ESOC members spent much of the day at the next day’s arena, setting up for Day 4, ESOC’s organising day.
Day 4: Culbin East, Thursday 3 August
Culbin is a huge forest on the coast between Nairn and Findhorn. This was a long distance event, in the eastern part of the forest. The terrain here is complex sand dunes covered in open pine forest, with some pockets of gorse, and deeper heather on flatter areas, as well as slippery lichen in places. There are tracks through the area, and a grid pattern of old rides, mostly overgrown now. Recent forestry work has created some extraction lanes and vehicle tracks, and there are also traces of older vehicle tracks. There was a long walk to the start, to take competitors to the best terrain, and also a remote finish.
The weather was quite wet at times, but luckily it was better than forecast.
As this was ESOC’s organising day, many people were there early to help and/or stayed late clearing up. Mosquitoes in the forest made their presence felt.
Day 5: Culbin West, Friday 4 August
The arena for Day 5 was the same as Day 4, but the orienteering was in a different part of the forest, again with a walk to the start, and a remote finish for some courses, to make the most of the best terrain. This was a middle distance race, again in open pine forest on complex dunes, with some denser areas and deep heather in the flatter parts. The weather was fine, with a little drizzle later on.
For most classes, the overall results were calculated using the Scottish 6 Day points system. Points were awarded for each day’s result, based on finishing position (i.e. 1 point for 1st place, 2 points for 2nd place, and so on). A competitor’s best 4 scores out of the 5 forest runs were added up to give their overall score.
For the elite classes, the overall results were based on cumulative time over the week, i.e. all 5 results counted.
ESOC competitors in the top half of the overall results were:
M14A (42 competitors) – Calum Robertson 7th
M21L (29) – Ben Brown 11th
M45S (23) – Walter Clark 4th
M50S (26) – Finlay Ross (M55) 6th
M60L (110) – Keith Brown 49th
M65L (95) – Crawford Lindsay 27th
M65S (52) – Richard Oxlade 6th, Alistair Armitage 16th
M70L (78) – Peter Halling 37th
M70S (33) – Roger Garnett 2nd
W14B (5) – Ursula MacColl 2nd
W21E (22) – Helen Bridle (W40) 2nd, Katrina McLeod 11th
W21L (26) – Sabine Oechsner 1st=
W21S (28) – Heidi Ross 11th
W45L (44) – Fran Daley 16th
W50S (40) – Judy Bell 2nd
W55L (78) – Helena Nolan 11th
W55S (37) – Rachel Fawthrop 11th
W65L (62) – Sally Lindsay 19th
W70L (47) – Mary Williams 8th, Margaret Dalgleish 12th
W75L (33) – Eleanor Pyrah 7th
The full results for each day, including Routegadget and other analysis, are available on the 2023 Results page of the Scottish 6 Days website. Further details about each day, including description of the competition areas, are on the Day Information page, and day reports are on the Latest News page.
Day 2 (Darnaway) and Day 4 (Culbin West) were the 19th and 20th events in the 2023 UK Orienteering League. There are more details about the UKOL, including the league tables, on the UK Orienteering League page of the British Orienteering website. ESOC is now lying 27th 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 have changed as the year goes on.
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