Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club

Edinburgh Big Weekend 202426-28 January

Edinburgh University Orienteering Club’s Big Weekend had a Sprint theme ahead of WOC 2024 - it was a great weekend with some excellent results from ESOC members.

This year there were training events and races for elite athletes and teams in the week before the Big Weekend itself, and these attracted many international competitors preparing for the summer. Alongside the weekend programme, there was head-to-head knock-out training and a 2x2 Mixed Sprint Relay, and on Saturday the elite classes had a World Ranking Event. Extra helpers were needed and there were many ESOC volunteers.

The first event of the weekend was Fight With The Night, on Friday 26 January at Inch Park. The event centre was at Inch Park Community Sports Club. Junior courses stayed in Inch Park, while the longer courses were mainly in the residential area to the SE. The weather was fine.

ESOC results in the top half were:

  • Long (134 competitors) – James Ball 38th=, Walter Clark 54th, Martin Quirke 61st=
  • Medium (66) – Sabine Oechsner 1st, David Robertson 23rd, Elspeth Bleakley 28th=
  • Short (43) – Megan Brown 3rd, Keith Brown 5th, Kevin Harding 11th, Alison Harding 16th
  • Junior (25) – Calum Robertson 6th, Tate Woodhouse 10th

Further details about the Fight With The Night series are on the FWTN page of the EUOC website.

Saturday’s event was held in South Queensferry. The event centre was at Queensferry Parish Church, and there were 3 starts, a 15-minute walk to the SE. This was a Sprint event for all classes, in complex modern housing estates, with courtyards, grassed areas and a maze of pathways, as well as artificial barriers complicating the route choice.
The weather was sunny and clear but quite cold.

ESOC results in the top half of their class were:

  • W Elite (67 competitors) – Rachel Brown 7th (EUOC/ESOC), Helen Bridle 18th
  • M40+ (33) – Luigi Lerose 2nd, Martin Quirke 11th, Terry Johnstone 12th, David McNeish 21st
  • M55+ (34) – David Robertson 25th
  • W55+ (39) – Helena Nolan 3rd, Alison Harding 14th, Rachel Fawthrop 20th
  • M65+ (34) – Kevin Harding 3rd, Richard Oxlade 6th, Martin Caldwell 9th, Crawford Lindsay 11th
  • W65+ (20) – Janice Nisbet 3rd, Sally Lindsay 4th, Margaret Dalgleish 7th, Mary Williams 10th
  • M75+ (11) – Roger Scrutton 5th
  • W75+ (9) – Eleanor Pyrah 2nd, Katy Lessells 4th
  • M16- (10) – Calum Robertson 4th

On Sunday 28 January, the first Scottish Orienteering Urban League (SOUL) event of the year took place at Bughtlin, on the west side of Edinburgh between Drum Brae and Maybury Road. Although a small area, it’s very complex, with irregular shapes, parkland and courtyards with trees, fences and other features, many small pathways between the houses, and underpasses for crossing the main roads. The event centre was at East Craigs Primary School, and the Start was a short walk to the north. M/W Elite had a Sprint race, with longer courses for other classes. There were plenty of controls on all courses, snaking around the area with lots of route choice, artificial barriers adding to the challenge and a couple of longer legs too. The longest courses had double-sided maps. The weather was cloudy and cool.

ESOC results in the top half of their class:

  • W Elite (64 competitors) – Rachel Brown 8th (EUOC/ESOC), Helen Bridle 16th
  • W Open (15) – Heidi Ross 2nd, Lucie Hamplova 4th, Enrada Cepele 6th
  • M Vet (31) – Luigi Lerose 6th, Walter Clark 7th, Alistair Hindle 8th, Martin Quirke 13th, Terry Johnstone 16th
  • W Vet (26) – Emma Anderson 13th
  • W SuperVet (35) – Helena Nolan 3rd, Alison Harding 9th, Katherine Kirk 12th
  • M Ultravet (35) – Kevin Harding 5th, Martin Caldwell 8th, Ewart Scott 11th, Crawford Lindsay 15th
  • W UltraVet (24) – Janice Nisbet 4th, Sally Lindsay 5th, Margaret Dalgleish 11th, Rhona Fraser 12th
  • M Hypervet (13) – Ian Pyrah 5th, Roger Scrutton 6th
  • W Hypervet (9) – Eleanor Pyrah 2nd, Katy Lessells 5th
  • M Junior (10) – Calum Robertson 5th

Further details about the 2024 Scottish Orienteering Urban League, including a list of this year's events and a link to the latest league tables, are on the SOUL page of the Scottish Orienteering Association website.

This event was the first in the 2024 Scottish Inter-Club Championships. After this event, ESOC was lying 2nd in the Large Clubs division, and also 2nd in Junior Large Clubs. For further details and the league tables, see this news item on the Scottish Orienteering website.

In the Overall results from the Big Weekend (the total of Saturday's and Sunday's times), Eleanor Pyrah won W Hypervet, and there were 3rd places for Kevin Harding (M Ultravet), Helena Nolan (W Supervet) and Janice Nisbet (W Ultravet).

Full results for the weekend’s events, including Routegadget, are available on the EUOC BW 2024 Results page. More details about the weekend are on the Big Weekend page of the EUOC website.

There are lots of photos from the weekend, featuring some ESOC competitors:
South Queensferry, by Michael Philp (see his Facebook page for some comments)
Bughtlin, by Crawford Lindsay
Bughtlin, by Michael Philp

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