News & Race Reports

JK 2019

As we all know the Easter weekend has come to represent a lot of things to a lot of people. Good health, good fortune and of course, good quality orienteering. The JK (Jan Kjellstrom) is the finest orienteering festival in the domestic calendar, doubling up as the World Cup and Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) selection races. To equal such high quality competition, EUOC sent their strongest teams to attempt to win us some silverware.

The competition kicked off on good Friday. The arena? The site of the 2015 British Sprint Championships, the one and only, Aldershot Garrison. Just a mere 423miles south of and about 15oC warmer that the homeland and trust me, you could tell. The Edinburgh contingent, having only seen the sun once over the dark winter months, felt the brunt of the Easter heatwave. With heat stroke on the horizon the only positive was the discipline of the day being the sprint race – 15 minutes of pain and endurance and the race was complete.

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Picture by Steve Rush. Alasdair Pedley in the middle race.

Stand out performances came from Jonthan Crickmore, taking 4thplace, and scalping fellow EUOCer Alex Carcas by just 2 seconds in the M21E. Eddie Narbett also had a very strong race mixing with the big boys – finishing in 9thplace in the senior race but the 2ndM20 home and a satisfying 5s ahead of Alistair Masson, in 10thposition. Condolences to Finn Lydon who should* have finished 3rdbut unfortunate EMIT* malfunctions* meant he lost out on a podium finish by just 1 second. In the women’s race first EUOCer home, with a very strong performance, was Laura King in 3rdposition on W20E. This was closely followed by both Tara Schwarze-Chintapatla, in 5thposition and Emma Wilson, in 6th. Fay Walsh was the first W21E home in 14thposition in the women’s open.

The next day of competition took us to Windmill hill which was a new area for the majority of us (although some crafty fellows had taken the initiative to go training on the similar terrain of the area over the road, he he he). Here the middle distance competition would be fought out on a course comprising of intricate contour detail, pits and some old army training trenches. Starting with the W20E category and the top results reversed themselves – this time it was Emma Wilson that took the title of the first EUOCer home in a time of 25:20 and 4thposition. This was closely followed by Tara Schwarze-Chintapatla, finishing in 5thand Laura King finishing in 6thposition. In the M20E category, it was all success with a EUOC 1-2 going to Alastair Thomas and Eddie Narbett respectively. Next to finish was Joe Wright who after a difficult season had a very strong run to finish 4th. Alasdair Pedley and Tom Lines had a very close race with Alasdair gaining the upper hand near the finish, completing the course in 9thand 10thplace.

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Photo taken by Wendy Carlyle. Jonny Crickmore on the middle race.

In the W21E category Fay Walsh, Louise Adams and Madara Brice had strong runs to finish in 15th, 30thand 32ndrespectively and in the M21E, Jonny Crickmore and Alistair Masson had great runs to finish in 6thand 8th. Special mention to Thomas Wilson who completed the M21E course after being impaled by a metal spike and had to be treated by the first aid at the finish.

The 3rdday of competition took us to Cold Ash, the final day in the individual competition. The more experienced of us may have recognised this as the scene of the JK long championships in 2013, not that this helped us out much as heat exhaustion is well known to bring about mirages in the desert heat. In which case, perhaps it wasn’t there in 2014. Who knows. I’m still trying to decide. With temperatures soaring to over 25oC (maybe) we were ready for a scorcher.

In the M21E competition, unfortunately Jonny Crickmore was bedbound due to illness and had to sit it out (coincidentally resting up for the relay competition………..). This meant that somebody else, for the first time this weekend, might have a chance at stealing the prestigious first EUOCer home trophy. Today that went to Alistair Masson, finishing the long course in 97minutes and 8 second. Rapid. Clearly those hot chocolates before bed have been working a treat. Next in was Alex Carcas (15th) and Thomas Wilson (19th). In the W21E competition the first EUOCer home prize winner was Fay Walsh in 14th. Looks like those hours spent watching plants grow in the labs have been paying dividends for the taper. Next to the finish was Louise Adams in 23rdposition.

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Photo taken by Wendy Carlyle. Lindsay Robertson on the middle course.

In the M20E category, todays prize for the first EUOCer went to Alasdair Pedley with a fantastic run to finish in 3rdplace. Alasdair has been grafting away behind the scenes so it’s great to see him on the podium in that highly competitive M20E age class. The EUOC coach schooled the EUOC pupils. This was closely followed by Alastair Thomas (5th), Eddie Narbett (7th), Daniel Spencer (9th), Finn Lydon (12th), Tom Lines (14th), Thomas Laraia (16th) and Joe Wright (20th). In the W20E category we had a tight battle for the first EUOCer, with Laura King (2nd) and Emma Wilson (3rd) both sharing the podium. As flatmates and course mates, clearly the chemistry between the two of them is incredible. Next to the finish was Tara Schwarze-Chintapatla in 10th.

Kudos to Micheal Stanwix for grinding out the M21 long course in 144minutes. The boy from Scotland may not be used to the tropical climate of the south of England. To be honest, I don’t think many of us were. Nope that’s a lie, Alex Boloux is no stranger to heat living as a Mediterranean native, completing the W20 long course in a quick 73minutes and winning the 3rdposition. C’est la vie. What a good day.

Next up was the relays, on the rapid course of Minley Forest. Lets hope this army area didn’t take its name from something explosive……. One way to find out. Lets race.

Luckily the only explosions that happened today was the raw pace of the Edinburgh University athletes.

Lets start with the defending champions, the men’s open team. Scintillating runs on first and second legs left us with 4 teams in the top 8 (though Eddie unfortunately had mispunched. He then later claimed he hadn’t mispunched. But I’m checking the results now, a couple of weeks later and he’s down as a mispunch. Should he buy a club round??). So 3 teams in the top 7. This set up an exciting last leg of the relay with OD out in front, EUOC in second and a fairly rested and spritely FVO team chasing close behind. A great run from Jonny Crickmore, catching the OD team and then gurning through till the finish line let us take a brilliant second position, behind the FVO team, containing a former world relay champion, Graham Gristwood, in their ranks.

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Men’s relay team.

(nb on further inspection of the relay results I can confirm that Eddie Narbett mispunched not once, but twice. Two club rounds?? Check your codes next time lad.)

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Victorious women’s relay team.

On to the women. WE ONLY WENT AND DID IT. EUOC Legendess Laura King took the first leg, finishing in the mix in 4thposition. She handed over to Legendess Emma Wilson, storming around, overtaking three teams and finishing with just an 11s lead over the second placed team. Legendess Fay Walsh took the anchor leg, storming around, extending that lead to a healthy 1minute and 1 second and crushing those who tried to oppose her in the forest. Congratulations to a fantastic team and a fantastic achievement, getting the Edinburgh University name onto the prestigious Women’s Trophy for the first time in a long time. What a good day we have had.

To conclude, we travelled, we competed, we had ups, we had downs, highs and lows but at the end of the day Eddie definitely mispunched and that is all that matters.

Written by Alex Carcas

BUCS Orienteering 2019

This year EUOC had the honourof hosting the British University Champs, and boy did we do a good job! Spearheaded by coordinator Ewan McMillan with assistance from Forth Valley Orienteers, the event was a great success. 180 competitors from 22 universities flocked to Edinburgh for 2 days of fine orienteering in fantastic weather on 2 famous Scottish hills. A 34 strong EUOC team performed excellently to destroy our competition, taking home the Men’s, Women’s and Overall trophies, making it 10 wins in the past 11 years.

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The individual race was held at Birnam hill, made famous by William Shakespeare’s Scottish play, Macbeth. The terrain offered fast running with some intricate contours and some steep slopes, suiting EUOC perfectly. We had great performances in all the classes, with Zoe Harding taking the bronze medal and EUOC packing out 5-9 places in the Women’s A, a fantastic 2ndand 4thfor Alexander Chepelin and Thomas Wilson in the Men’s A, Robbie Peal and Gregor Malcolm were 1stand 2ndin Men’s C, and finally Holly Page and Sigrid Hellan were 1stand 2ndin Women’s B.

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The relays took place on Dumyat hill next to Stirling, with a stunning arena allowing viewing of much of the racing on the hillside above. Similar to the individual, this race was mainly a physical challenge with lots of climbing up to the top of the hill, followed by some tricky controls on the way down where mistakes could be made. There were too many excellent runs from Edinburgh athletes to list here, with the stand out being Gold and Silver medals for both the Men and Women! What a spectacular team performance!

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We thank Ewan McMillan and Forth Valley Orienteers for organizing the weekend. We hope everyone enjoyed the racing and we will be back next year in Cambridge to attempt to retain our title as the UK’s best university orienteering club!

Full results can be found here for the whole weekend: http://www.rstrain.ndtilda.co.uk/results_19/fvo_spring/index.html

Written By Matthew Fellbaum

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Junior World Orienteering Champs selection races

By ‘eck, we orienteers did reet well at t’ Northern Championships:

On Sunday, 10th March, Edinburgh University orienteers competed in the first GB Team selection race for the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) 2019, held in Denmark. JWOC is the major focus for junior (under 21) elite orienteers, and there are 6 selection races over the next two months for a place on the JWOC GB team of 6 men and 6 women. The selection race was incorporated as part of the Northern Championships, held at Wharncliffe near Sheffield.

The competition area was a technical and physically challenging forested slope with a fast running open moorland section. The M20 and W20 Elite courses were 7.1km and 4.7km respectively, shorter than usual which reflected the challenging terrain. Edinburgh Performance Orienteering athletes performed extremely well, with Tom Lines winning the M20 Elite race in 47:21, Alastair Thomas 2nd in 49:12, Joe Wright 5th in 52:11 and Eddie Narbett 6th in 52:24. In the W20 Elite race, Emma Wilson was 5th in 43:44 and Laura King 6th in 43:52. These top 6 results are a very good beginning to the racing season for Edinburgh and a promising start for JWOC GB team selection. In the Senior races (7.1km and 10.4km respectively), Fay Walsh was 2nd W21 Elite in 62:41 and Alex Carcas was 5th on M21E in 84:00. After a successful first race of the season for Edinburgh University orienteers, the team are looking forward to the next weekend of selection races 23rd-24th March in the Lake District.

Credit to Antoine Vullioud, photo taken of Tom Lines in action at the Junior European Cup, Switzerland

Written by Fay Walsh and Tara Schwarze.


February 2019

British Night Orienteering Championships (23rd-24th February)

EUOC travelled up north to the forests of Deeside for the British Night Orienteering Championships Weekend. The weekend kicked off with an afternoon Scottish Orienteering Urban League event on the outskirts of Aberdeen, where EUOC members took top placings in both the Men’s and Women’s Open.

Later on Saturday evening, was the British Night Championships, organised by MAROC at the Muir of Dinnet, near Aboyne. The first starters headed off into the forest at 19:00.  The Men’s 11km and Women’s 7.5km courses over the technical terrain made for a tough competition. EUOC did extremely well; on M21 Elite, Tam Wilson achieved 3rd place and Fay Walsh came 1st on W21 Elite. Laura King and Emma Wilson came 2nd and 3rd respectively on W20, and EUOC members; Alastair Thomas, Alasdair Pedley and Joe Wright achieved the top 3 places on the M20 podium. Our newer members put in great performances, having only orienteered on a few previous occasions. The weekend cumulated in the third and final race on Sunday. Sunday’s event was the first Scottish Orienteering League race of 2019 at Birsemore Hill, near Aboyne, and EUOC again had some great results, despite the previous days efforts!

EUOC Club Photo

Scottish Orienteering League 2018 Prize Winners: Sarah Jones (W21), Tam Wilson (M21), Michael Stanwix (M20) and Felix Wilson (M18).52977605_1103960226473634_3445593768974090240_n


January 2018

EUOC Christmas Weekend (12th – 14th January) – by Captain Cal

Semester 2 started in style with our annual “Christmas Weekend”, where 32 of us headed up to Nethy Bridge for a weekend of training, socialising and the odd bit of ice skating in some very wintery conditions.

The fun began on Friday when we made the trip to Grantown-on-Spey for some technical training in Anagach Woods; thanks Nixon for planning. The terrain was pretty sweet and also more runnable than the majority of the paths, due to extensive ice cover which did produce some added excitement for some and fear for others. Running across the icy marshes was compared to competing in “Takeshi’s Castle”, and a few “Bambis on ice” were spotted out in the woods. After training, we warmed up at Nethy Station Bunkhouse, with Richard (the owner) rolling out the welcome wagon, complete with drinks and his questionable banter. The Dalkeith gang cooked up dinner and the evening was filled with socialising, fun and games including an event involving big mouths and chocolate oranges! Ali came out on top in this prestigious challenge with a speedy time of 2:33 – absolutely jaw dropping (or gum slicing)! The socialising continued on for some later than others; Ewan and I experienced the rage that ensued from being stuck in the cage.

Saturday saw some more quality training out at Achlean, in theory a 40 minute drive but some questionable navigating by the lead bus may have doubled the journey time – oops! However, a huge thanks does need to go out to the bus drivers this weekend, as they did a sterling job under tough conditions. Once we arrived, we joined SEDS for a variety of course options testing all of our navigational techniques, or napping in the bus for some. It was another enjoyable morning out in the forest despite the wind chill. After training, a group ventured up to Cairngorm in search of snowman building and insta opportunities, and the rest of us stocked up on supplies in Aviemore for the evening ahead. Back at the bunkhouse some cross-country was watched and preparations began for our Christmas dinner. Stephen and I took control in the kitchen where we made a delicious dinner, if I do say so myself. I’ve never carved so many chickens in my life! After dinner had settled, we all gathered for the annual Captain’s Challenge which kicked off with a not-so-short Captain’s poem. Tam came out victorious in this physical and mental test, questionably followed by Lucia and Clara who are still under investigation for breaching fair play rules. I, the Captain, could not win my challenge and bowed out in spectacular fashion involving a large pan. Once again the evening was filled with socialising, games, new friendships and a wee late night/early morning accident from Tam.

Once Sunday’s clean-up was complete, with most putting in a solid shift, we went to the icy Loch Morlich. Some got their running shoes on once more; others went for a stroll, and a few headed straight to the warmth of the café. All in all, it was a very successful weekend and as Captain I feel like I have come out of this weekend knowing far more about all the members of the club. They are such a great group of people, making it (possibly) my favourite Christmas Weekend to date, and I’ve been on 5 now!


March 2017

BUCS 2017

A very successful weekend for EUOC, we managed to retain our title for another year! Some very strong performances on the individual on Saturday followed by a close relay on Sunday. Overall, we beat Sheffield after a close battle all weekend.

We hired 3 minibuses and took a record 32 people along with us which lead to awesome team spirit and a great atmosphere. Leaving at 6pm on Friday we arrived at our accommodation which was a travel lodge in scotch corner. This left not too far to drive to the area on Saturday morning. Saturday featured a long race on Wharncliffe and EUOC had some strong results, especially for the women.

Men’s A – Alexander Cheplin – 4th
Men’s B – Michael Stanwix – 5th
Women’s A – Tess Strain – 1st
– Zoe Harding – 3rd
Women’s B – Laura Hendrie – 1st

After Saturday’s races, all the orienteers headed to a Chinese buffet in Sheffield followed by the social in the Students Union which was very fun. Saturday night featured little sleep from most but it was back on track for the relays on Sunday. EUOC dominated throughout with our first men’s and women’s team winning their categories. The second women’s team had a great performance as well and managed 3rd place. This lead to EUOC taking the overall BUCS competition for another year and retaining our title. Good to have Fergus back again! Congratulations to everyone in the team and thanks to the organisers for hosting the competition!

February 2017

Scottish Night and Sprint Champs

To kick off the Festival of Creative Learning a bunch of us headed northwards. After jumping in the newest minibus ever on Saturday morning we drove up the A9 to Moor of Alvie. Here most of us had a run around on a pleasant course planned by Tim, avoiding the cows. Meanwhile the other two wandered in the forest, not wanting to burn their legs out before the main event of the day. Five more joined us to kill some time in one of Aviemore’s cafés and to peruse the many outdoors shops February sales. When it was time, we piled back into the bus to drive to the lovely forest of Darnaway. On our arrival it was still light but by the time we had collected our brikes (the most annoying timing system), chatted to others and got ready, darkness had descended.

The Scottish night champs went very well for some, not quite so well for others. Nobody got stranded in the dark and everyone enjoyed their runs, even if only in parts. Notable results include: Jack Leitch 3rd on course 1 and the winner of the M20 category, Matthew Fellbaum not far behind him in 5th followed closely by Mark Purkis, Tim Morgan, Alistair Masson and Ewan McMillan. This was a hotly contested race which could help decide who will run in the top EUOC team at the Jukola relay in Finland in June. In the girls’ race Klará Novotná was 2nd and the first W20 only missing out on the title by a technicality. Sarah Jones was the 2nd W21 and Jenny Ricketts the 2nd W20, although the title also eluded her. After the prize-giving we headed off to Findhorn for the night to eat, shower, play maponimoes and watch a hilarious times tables video featuring a young Carol Vorderman before heading to bed.

Next morning we were up and out to Lossiemouth ready for the Scottish Sprint champs. This consisted of two races, one mainly in a small forested area, and then a couple of hours later the second which was mostly around housing although it did venture into a scrubby area. The winners were decided based on cumulative times. The first race EUOC took 4th and 6th in the women’s whilst the boys got the top two places in the men’s. The second race saw EUOC boys dominating by taking all top five places on course 1. Jenny proved her consistency with another 4th placing in the women’s, securing her the W20 category title. Ali Masson was EUOC’s main winner of the day, not only did he win the M20 category, (just 9 seconds ahead of Matt Fellbaum) but he also won the Men’s Open category in a total time of 31:51, an impressive 3:13 ahead of the M21 winner. Ali returned with a mug, a large lump of cut glass and a useful box to transport it in.

Between races we took advantage of the gorgeous expanse of sand for cool downs, walks, photography sessions and even a bit of paddling! The sun was out but a cool breeze meant the lads kept their tops on for once.

Full results of both days’ races can be seen here. Although we were finished racing pretty promptly we obviously had to stay for the somewhat delayed prizegiving. This was followed by a trip into Elgin to buy some emergency trainers and a food stop later on. This all meant that we arrived back to Edinburgh fairly late- I was very glad not to be jumping on a plane in 12 hours’ time.

January 2017

Edinburgh Big Weekend 2017

Overall the Big Weekend was a very successful weekend for EUOC. The event is extremely important for the club as it is the primary way the club earns its money to fund our training weekends away and vital trip to BUCS. It is a big competition and is popular among orienteers so the organising team had a big job. Friday started the events off with the Fight with the Night race – a night sprint around Kings Buildings with a certain amount of sneaky gaffling, planned by Tam Wilson. After some very funny (and a little controversial) details, the race was successful with over 150 people competing. Saturday featured an urban race around Edinburgh planned by Tim Morgan, including plenty of technical orienteering up and down the Royal Mile and killer 3km long leg across much of the city centre. The weather was clear and cold – as good as could be expected for January in Scotland – and over 450 intrepid runners made their way round some of the best courses the Scottish capital has to offer. Not even a very angry Russian security guard or a colossal anti-Trump march was able to stop the race! Ensuring people were getting the full EUOC experience, there was a ceilidh in the evening for those whose legs were still functioning. People enjoyed a dance and bit of traditional haggis before heading to bed to salvage a bit of sleep before the final race. Sunday was the cherry on the cake for the weekend as the weather continued to hold off and competitors got to enjoy some vintage Edinburgh terrain with the race on Arthur’s Seat. There was chaos all over Whinny Hill as all the courses crisscrossed the technical gorse several times to make the most of the nicest part of the area, leading to several map turn-overs and a map exchange! Furthermore, the course has a micro-O section round Salisbury Crags on 1:1000 map which was highly enjoyable, especially when runners had it 75% of the way round the course and had to be on their toes mentally. Organiser Michael Adam had following comment, “Organising the Big Weekend was a very stressful process with several errors along the way, but ultimately all worth it with everyone that I’ve spoken to having had a great weekend. Of course it couldn’t have happened without all the help from EUOC members, especially Tam Wilson, Tim Morgan and Callum White who planned the superb courses over the weekend and Robin and Sheila Strain who, as with many Scottish orienteering events, did an amazing job with everything SI related. Now all I’ve got to do is persuade someone else in the club to organise the event next year…” A big thank you to all that participated and we hope to see everyone at the EUOC Big Weekend next year for 3 more incredible Edinburgh orienteering races.

November 2016

| EUOC Trip to the Lake District | Written by Thomas Wislon

Edinburgh University Orienteering Club: the club that refuses to rest. Not content with the outrageous success of the last EUOC weekend away to the Moravian coast a mere fortnight ago, the club once again took it upon itself to remind orienteers south of the border that students here at Edinburgh Uni are more than just a pretty face. The plan was simple: leave Friday evening to drive down to the Lake District for a double header weekend of races before making it back in time for an early night on Sunday.
Saturday morning was tough for all. After getting up at what felt like the middle of the night, but was actually 8 o’clock, the club members sprang into action and like a well-oiled machine we easily left the accommodation a mere half hour after we planned to. Not even lunch and we’d already set a new club record.
The weekend’s first race was a middle distance on an expanse of tough and technical sand dunes just north of Barrow-in-Furness. The ominous threat of rain and some of the spikiest grass known to mankind were not enough to deter the fearless Edinburgh students as many of the EUOC runners returned triumphant heroes, with notable results including 2nd, 3rd and 6th on the Black course (the longest and most brutal of all the courses) for Will Rigg, Tim Morgan and Thomas Wilson respectively and 4th on the Brown course for Zoe Harding. Race One over, we returned to the accommodation to rest and recover for tomorrow.
We live in a technology rich world, so accommodation with no signal or WiFi hit some EUOC members hard, forcing us to spend the evening socialising and enjoying each other’s company. The time was spent playing board games and cooking copious amounts of pasta before huddling round to watch a feel good Disney film for all to enjoy on a laptop. Some people may have done some Uni work. Some very keen orienteers decided two races in as many days was simply not enough and snuck out for some night navigation round a slightly grotty area next the accommodation. Never let it be said EUOC members are not committed to their sport. But for the bunkhouse lacked in internet it more than made up for in waffle makers and waffles were enjoyed by all late into the night by everyone.
Sunday morning played out a lot like Saturday: an early start followed by a lot of packing and tidying before a short bus journey to the race. Torver High Common proved to be an excellent area for a long distance race: rocky open fell with some standard spectacular Lake District views. Navigation, although still challenging, wasn’t quite as hard as yesterday, but it was relentless climb up and down the hillside was what sorted the elites from the punters. Once again, EUOC did not disappoint: Sarah Jones won the Short Brown, with Zoe Harding in 2nd while on the Black, Ewan McMillian and Michael Adams placed 5th and 6th.
A quick post-race turn around allowed for a quick getaway and after caning it back up the motorway, we were back in Edinburgh for dinner and enough time to polish off any last minute forgotten homework for Monday morning. Much thanks has to go to both Lakeland Orienteering Club and South Ribble Orienteering Club for hosting the weekend’s races as well as to EUOC Vice-Captain Zoe Harding for organising the trip for the EUOC members. Another fantastic EUOC weekend in the bag.

October 2016

Edinburgh University Orienteering Club went up north to Moray to do some training and two races in Culbin forest this weekend.

It was a very successful weekend and the weather held up which was nice. On Saturday we did a middle race in Culbin and trained in Findhorn then on Sunday we did a long race back in Culbin. Sundays race was the last of the Scottish orienteering league events for the year. About 25 people came along in two minibuses and a car with about 3 new members and for some of those it was their first ever orienteering competition! The new terrain proved challenging to some however the results were good and two of the new members finished one second apart over a 43 minute course. The best results were:

Saturday

Sasha Chepelin 1st on the black
Catriona Graves 3rd on the light green

Sunday

Sasha Chepelin 2nd on the Black
Thomas Wilson 3rd on the Black
Tessa Strain 2nd on the Brown

Junior European Cup 2016

Scotland was lucky enough to host the Junior European Cup this year and it was based around Aberfoyle. There were 9 EUOC members competing for the British team and EUOC decided to head a long to spectate whilst taking part in the spectator races. The event was close to Edinburgh so it was decided that we should do day trips rather than stay overnight and it seemed to work well. Approximately 12 people went each day and it was some of the new member’s fist ever orienteering competition. There were some great GB results and the weather stayed sunny for the entire weekend which makes a nice change. Congratulations to Sarah Jones and her team for doing especially well and coming 5th in the relay race!

Below is the video of the Mens relay race.

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