Veteran Home International 2017
The Veteran Home International was held in conjunction with Basoc’s Highland WOLF weekend. Back on home turf with the strongest team for a few years, the Scots were hoping to have a stronger challenge for the title than in the last few years.
The weekend started with relays held on the beautiful moraine of Balliefurth, an area that was new to almost everyone. The courses had been planned by Jess Tullie with a spectator loop through the arena to give plenty of scope for team support. With the sun shining the setting was perfect.
In the M-W-M relay, Jon Musgrave and John Tullie set the top two Scottish teams up with a good start coming home first and second. Kirsty Bryan-Jones and Hazel Dean built on this lead to send Dave Godfree and Roger Goddard out with a comfortable 5’ lead ahead of the first English team. They duly returned to give the Scots the top two spots, but with great English packing over the next four teams and a further two Welsh teams ahead of the 3rd Scottish team, some valuable points were lost.
In the W-M-W relay, there was early drama with the top Welsh team mis-punching on first leg, followed soon by the disappointing news that the top Scottish team had mis-punched on second leg. This left the English with an easy victory, but a close race for the next 4 places between the Scots and the English. Local orienteer Gemma Karatay put in a particularly strong leg to claim second spot for the Scots with team-mates Margaret Dalgleish and Jason Inman. At the end of the day the English had a small overall lead, but the Scots still had all to play for in the individual.
It was an early start the next day for the individual races at Inshriach with VHI runners setting off between 9 and 10am. Whilst the weather wasn’t as kind as the previous day, course planner Gavin Miles had come up with some excellent and varied technical and physical challenges. The intricate moraine in the south of the area caught many people out, with some big time losses whilst trying to relocate. The Scots had very strong results in a number of classes, with the top two places in M60 (1st John Tullie, 2nd Donald Petrie), W45 (1st Sarah Dunn, 2nd Jenny Peel) and W50 (1st Lorna Eades, 2nd Hazel Dean). Unfortunately, a lack of strength in depth once again gave the victory on the day and overall to England. Wales finished 3rd, ahead of Ireland, to take the Stonewall trophy.