23rd-24th May 2009 : Badenoch & Strathspey
Whilst the forecast was not good, and the route through Bealach Druim Uachdair (Pass of Drumochter to you and me) was very dark on the Saturday morning, the orienteering was completed mainly in the dry with quite a bit of sunshine for the Relays on Sunday. Forty-five club members travelled north for the Individual Championships at Balavil & Dunachtonmore on Saturday with twenty-seven staying on for the Relays in Strathmashie the next day.
The shorter Individual courses were on the fast-running, lower slopes of Dunachtonmore whilst the longer courses also included the steeper, rougher upper slopes of Balavil & Dunachtonmore. ESOC class winners on the day were Claire Ward (W21E), Rona Lindsay (W16A), Janice Nisbet (W55L), Paul Hornsey (M21L) & Fiona Findlay (W50S); second place was achieved by Mark McLeod (M18L), Ian Pyrah (M65L), Jim Clark (M70L), Helena Nolan (W40L), Norma Coutts (W65L), Jamie Fawthrop (M12B) & Clare Williams (W45S); in third place in their class were Mark Wood (M40S) & Eleanor Pyrah (W65L).
Others in the top half of their class were: Adam Hunter (10th in M14A), Mike Stewart (12th in M50L), Andy McLeod (5th in M55L), Dave Kershaw (6th in M55L), Alastair Lessells (13th in M60L) & Chris McLeod (7th in W45L).
The Relay courses in the more physical Strathmashie Forest were slightly longer than usual due to the use of two fixed river crossings (a ford & a bridge); this was to prevent cancellation if the weather was exceptionally wet in the run-up to the event resulting in the river being in spate. Ten ESOC teams (9 Senior & 1 Junior) took part although injury & illness resulted in three teams being either incomplete on the day or involving people returning to the forest for a second run. Despite, and in many cases because of, their physical nature, the courses were enjoyed by all and there were some excellent results. First ESOC team in the Senior Handicap race was Mike Stewart, Alastair Lessells & Dave Kershaw; second in their class (Handicap 15+) and ninth overall of 68 teams. Second ESOC team were Margaret Dalgleish, Sally Lindsay & Les Dalgleish (fourth in the 18+ Handicap), followed by Ian Pyrah, Eleanor Pyrah & Clive Masson (sixth in the Handicap 18+), Janice Nisbet, Alison Cunningham & Rona Lindsay (fourth in the 15+ Handicap) & Roger Scrutton, Claire Ward & Andrew Lindsay (fifth in the 6+ Handicap). This was an excellent result especially as the handicap for the team on the day was 12 rather than the required 6 points due to injury/illness to two of our M21s. The boys 48- team (Andrew Lindsay, Jamie Cunningham & Gavin Williams) finished in 6th; a good result considering the limited relay experience of the team.
Links to the results and the relevant ESOC photo albums below.