2 - 8 August
What a week! Great areas with amazing variety across the six days, lively arenas, no mud in the car parks, plenty of socialising in the sunshine and ESOC success both organisationally and in the orienteering.
Day 1 : Dalrulzion Sunday 2 August
As ESOC were the main organising club, Saturday afternoon and early evening were spent setting up the Assembly field and the four starts ready for the 3,500 competitors who would arrive the next day to tackle one of the 41 courses planned to cater for youngsters under 5 upto and including adults over 85. This would be the culmination of much hard work over the previous twelve months particularly for course planners Mike Stewart & Richard Beattie who had to cope with much of the forest being subjected to significant forestry work during the past six months requiring a complete re-planning of the courses. The event had recently been awarded World Ranking status adding to the excitement and anticipation. Afterwards, organiser Alastair Lessells commented “The strength of ESOC as a club was yet again demonstrated, both on the Saturday and the Sunday. Despite the equipment vans not arriving until after 3pm on the Saturday, the speed at which the tents, results boards and run in were constructed was most impressive. On the day the Starts, Finish/Results, String Course and the Water worked extremely well with no major problems.” Thanks & well done to everyone who helped.
Competitors’ views on the terrain were mixed and it seemed to depend on which parts of the forest visited. Some, particularly those restricted to areas close to Assembly, found the forest very rough due to significant brashings whilst others commented that it was one of the most enjoyable & technically challenging courses they had run.
Despite having to help on the day there were some excellent ESOC results; Janice Nisbet was 2nd in W55L, Eilidh Nolan 3rd in W18S & Clive Masson 4th in M40S.
Day 2 : Kinnoull and Deuchny Monday 3 August
Sunday had finished with ESOC clearing up the Day 1 Assembly field and collecting controls from the forest by early evening and the Central Organising team moving the equipment down the road to Perth for Day 2.
ESOC starts were in the next to last of six start blocks so many had a lie-in before making the short journey to Kinnoull Hill. Parking was in steeply sloping fields overlooking the River Tay south of Perth and the start was just over 1km away on a steeper, wooded slope - fixed ropes were not provided! The orienteering was generally less technical than on Day 1 but there were still mistakes lurking in the bushes & bracken for the unwary.
Selected ESOC results: Helena Nolan 2nd in W40L, Patrick Ryan 2nd in M12A & Claire Ward 3rd in W21S.
Day 3 : Tullochroisk Tuesday 4 August
Starts in the second time block, and the journey up the A9 (through the Bankfoot roadworks) and on through Aberfeldy to the northern slopes of Schiehallion, meant no lie-in for most club members on Day 3. Whilst it was dry leaving the Event Centre in Perth, once over the Highland fault and into the mountains the weather deteriorated and remained dreich until most had finished their run. This was ESOCs least successful day and the Club Captain left for the coffee shops of Aberfeldy at the first opportunity.
Janice Nisbet (2nd in W55L) was the only ESOC competitor to finish in the top three although Clive Masson & Claire Ward finished fourth in M40S & W21S respectively.
Rest Day : Wednesday 5 August
For some this really was a rest day - from orienteering that is. For others, it was another chance to exercise their limbs and little grey cells with Mountain Bike Orienteering at Blairadam Forest and/or a Sprint Race in the grounds of Scone Palace & Perth Racecourse.
Helen Bridle and Scott Fraser (INT) ran the Sprint race as part of their preparation for the World Championships in Hungary later in the month; Scott won the Men’s race, Helen Bridle the Women’s and Rona Lindsay was first junior female.
Day 4 : Tentsmuir Thursday 6 August
Days 4 & 5 saw the competition move out of Perthshire and onto the flatter terrain of coastal Fife and Angus; flatter but no less technical due to areas of complex dunes. Start times in the fourth and last start blocks respectively provided the best opportunities for obtaining good points in the overall competition (each competitor’s overall position is based on the best four positions out of the 6 days of competition; a new scoring system introduced this year generated increased debate as the week progressed and people gradually realised that the scoring was different from previous years).
In addition to complex dunes, Tentsmuir included tricky navigation sections in low visibility forests and legs which provided route choice of either through the “light green” or round the tracks.
Surprisingly, not a good day for ESOC with only Janice Nisbet (3rd in W55L) and Claire Ward (3rd in W21S) achieving a top three spot.
Day 5 : Barry Buddon Friday 7 August
The best chance of a good score for many club members and a chance for the consistent to cement their position in the overall standings. Mainly an open area comprising seasonally high grass with sparse blocks of trees and areas of complex dunes it seems that the less complex woodland near the Red/Blue/Green start caught out many competitors; relocation in this area, or a realisation that it was necessary to relocate quickly, being particularly troublesome.
Selected ESOC results: Janice Nisbet 2nd in W55L, Ian Pyrah 2nd in M65L, Rona Lindsay 2nd in W16A, Eilidh Nolan 2nd in W18S, Clive Masson 2nd in M40S, Craig Nolan 3rd in M14A, Claire ward 3rd in W21S, Helena Nolan 4th in W40L & Eleanor Pyrah 4th in W65L.
Day 6 : Loch Ordie Saturday 8 August
Earliest starts of the week and a tough day in the heather & bracken.
Selected ESOC results: Tom Ryan 2nd in M18L (his only run of the week on his return from training/competing in Norway), Clive Masson 3rd in M40S & Claire Ward 4th in W21S.
Full results for all six days, including Routegadget, are available on the Tay 2009 page of the Scottish 6 Days website.
Selection of ESOC overall results
Top three : Janice Nisbet 2nd= (W55L) & Clive Masson 3rd (M40S)
Gold Standard (average of best 4 results in top 20% of class)
Patrick Ryan (M12A), Rona Lindsay (W16A), Helena Nolan (W40L), Janice Nisbet (W55L), Fiona Findlay (W60L), Roger Scrutton (M60L), Eleanor Pyrah (W65L), Claire Ward (W21S) & Clive Masson (M40S).
Silver Standard (average of best 4 results in top 40% of class)
Craig Nolan (M12A), Andrew Lindsay (M16A), Mark McLeod (M18L), Chris McLeod (W45L), Alison Cunningham (W45L), Sally Lindsay (W50L), Crawford Lindsay (M50L), Mary Williams (W55L), David Kershaw (M55L), Andy McLeod (M55L), Alastair Lessells (M60L), Norma Coutts (W65L), Janet Clarke (W65L), Ian Pyrah (M65L), Bill Gauld (M70L), Eilidh Nolan (W18S), Walter Clark (M21S), Rachel Fawthrop (M40S) & Nigel Fawthrop (M40S).
Bronze Standard (average of best 4 results in top 60% of class)
Peter Fawthrop (M10B), Jamie Fawthrop (M12B), Martin Quirke (M21L), Heather Thomson (W35L), Mark Rowe (M35L), Mike Stewart (M50L), Les Dalgleish (M55L), Anne Stevenson (W60L), Ben Bates (M60L). Jim Clark (M70L), Stephanie Gilmour (W21S), Ron Nolan (M40S), Finlay Ross (M40S), Simon Moss (M40S), Keith Brown (M45S), Alistair Armitage (M50S), Kirsteen Kershaw (W60S)