CompassSport Cup 2016
Six Scottish clubs participated in UK Orienteering's principal Club competition, the CompassSport Cup and Trophy Final. In the large Clubs section, FVO and ESOC both made the long journey to Tankersley, on the northern edge of Sheffield. In the small Clubs competition, Clyde, RR, Int and ECKO had all emerged from the Scottish qualifying heat, back in March. The mapped area was long and thin, with a dense and complicated path network, and competitors had already been alerted to a serious number of controls, as well as seriously long control descriptions: effectively, a long 'middle' race. That proved to be the case, with courses to cause blunders for the unwary, punishing lapses in concentration.
In the Cup competition, FVO were clear favourites to successfully defended the title that they'd won in the Lake District last year, and duly succeeded with a very clear victory over hosts SYO and BOK. FVO also had three on-the-day course winners, in Graeme Gristwood, Daniel Stansfield and Lizzie Stansfield.
The Trophy competition was much closer: last year, Interløpers had come second, on 'count-back', having tied with SROC, and initial results showed INT with a small lead over English Clubs East Pennine and South Ribble, as well as Clyde back in fourth place. However, Clyde had back-loaded their strongest runners, and later results pushed Clyde up to second, almost – but not quite – able to catch Interløpers, who regained the trophy they last won in 1996.
Tankersley presents a particular type of orienteering challenge. It is a wooded former mining area with innumerable, closely-spaced pits or depressions and a myriad of paths in random directions. 100% concentration for 100% of the time is required for a successful run.
A very long day out for many, but notable success for orienteering in Scotland, winning both competitions for the first time ever. Our thanks to SYO for a well organised event.
Next year, the Scottish qualifier is on March 12th, at Tentsmuir, hosted by KFO. The final will be at Yelverton, near Plymouth, in October.