Ailani On The Run In At Darnaway
Credit: Wendy Carlyle
A small group of 7 QO members arrived at Moray by various forms of transport for the bi-annual Scottish 6 day Orienteering Festival.
This year the competition was restricted to 5 main events with best 4 results counting, and the ‘rest day’ offered a Trail O, a Sprint and a MTBO event.
The 1st Day at Lossie Forest was marred by a fatal accident on the A96 which closed for the day giving problems for timed starts. Long walks to/from the start/finish gave plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere and anticipation of challenging courses in Scottish terrain.
Day 2 at Darnaway was a World Ranking Event with some very challenging courses. Sheila Braine had the outstanding run of the week and achieved Championship standard. Drone and professional photography (see Ailani on her run-in) and the only commentary of the week from Holly Stodgell (Mark’s daughter) enhanced the experience.
A day of wonderful weather greeted us at Roseisle for Day 3. A small group of QO were captured for a photo (see below) before a visit to the beach for a swim with many of the 3000 orienteers attending the festival. The evening Ceilidh in Forres Town Hall was an energetic finish to the day!
Day 4 was the ‘rest day’ with cycling, Trail O and Sprint O on offer. These options were oversubscribed but Steve and Julia Robertson managed to brave the technical challenges of the Pre-O in Roseisle Forest. Most of the group entered the Sprint around Forres town centre with the walk to the start and download exceeding the time on the course!
The fine weather threatened to break on the Thursday for Day 4 at Culbin Forest East, but most managed to escape the rain. Probably the longest walk to the starts, while those with camper vans had to be bussed from Forres. Some interesting courses with long legs leading into complex navigation. Plenty of opportunity to follow elephant tracks if they were the right ones!
I flew back on Thursday evening, but Day 5 was in the West at the same venue. There appear to have been some problem with a voided control but fine weather for the presentations. The only QO representation was Ailani Braine-Clarke who had a podium position on W20S – she was swimming at Findhorn at the time!