Scottish Success at Junior Inter Regional Championships

This weekend the Junior Inter Regional Championships  (JIRCs) was held at South Gare, N Yorkshire, and the Scottish team returned victorious.

The event involves competition between teams of juniors from 12 regions across the UK, with individual championships on the Saturday and relays on the Sunday. Each team can consist of 4 juniors in each category of M/W 14, 16 and 18.

The races were held on Gare and Coatham Dunes, an intricate sand-dune area next to Redcar. The running was mostly fast with plenty of small paths and short grass in many places though also with some tough spiky marram grass as well. The contour detail was intricate and confusing – lots of small depressions and hills with little to differentiate between them. The dunes were adjacent to an old industrial area and the contrast was very striking.

Both the individual and relay races used the same arena, with a great spectating dune adjacent, where we could watch for heads appearing in the marram grass and try to spot the O-top and then the wearer!

There were excellent performances from the whole squad, with 8 of the Scottish juniors on the podium for the individual race.

M14: Laurence Ward (1st), Finlay McLuckie (2nd), Finn Selmer Duguid (8th), Jamie Connor (13th)

W14: Ruth Gooch (2nd), Kate McLuckie (7th), Scarlett Britain (12th), Iona Scott (18th)

M16: James Hammond (1st ), Adam Barrie (2nd ), Ewan Bennett (17th), Michael Bishenden (20th)

W16: Isobel Howard (1st), Faith Kenyon (7th), Iris Macmillan (8th), Maja Robertson (14th)

M18: Sam Giffin (4th ), Ewan Musgrave (7th), Joel Gooch (11th), Jamie Goddard (25th)

W18: Rachel Brown (1st), Pippa Carcas (2nd), Fiona Eades (11th), Alice Kemsley (14th)

Points are awarded to each region for their top 2 finishers in each category. This scored Scotland an amazing 263 points, with South West (SWJOS) in 2nd place with 224 points.

Although shared accommodation for all 12 teams could not be provided this year, everyone was very happy that the event was happening and fantastic weather for the weekend created a lovely arena where friendships between the teams were made and renewed. The Scottish team stayed in Lingdale Village Hall and despite missing the fun of mixing with the other squads the team had a good time together.

Brand new “go-faster” relay tops emerged for the relays on Sunday, with new kit the envy of many other teams; traditional warrior face painting completed the look.

The boys and girls relays both consist of 3 legs made up from a 16, 14 and 18 in that order, with 4 teams of each gender competing for the Scots and the best 2 results to count. There were mixed fortunes for the Scots, with 2 of the boys teams and one of the girls disqualified for a mis-punch.  Although in good company, with a number of other teams suffering the same fate, this made for a nerve-racking day for the Scottish team coaches.

South West were victorious in both the Men’s and Women’s relays with the best Scottish team results as:

James Hammond, Finlay McLuckie and Sam Griffin (2nd)

Michael Bishenden, Jamie Conner and Jamie Goddard (9th)

Isobel Howard, Kate McLuckie and Rachel Brown (3rd)

Maja Robertson, Iona Scott and Fiona Eades (5th)

Overall Yorkshire and Humberside (YHOAJOS) won the trophy for the relays with 252 points, South West (SWJOS) 2nd with 246 points and Scotland 3rd with 243 points.

Thankfully the strong scoring from the individual competition meant that Scotland came away with the Overall Men’s Trophy, the Overall Women’s and the Overall JIRCs Trophy! Congratulations. Most importantly the team came home with lots of happy juniors who had enjoyed a great weekend of orienteering, fun and friendship and a renewed love for this crazy sport of orienteering. The policy of widening our selection for JIRCs (and thus running 6 different youngsters in each age class across the JIRCs and JHIs) means that more youngsters can have a taster of such great experiences, which we hope will pay longer-term dividends for the sport in Scotland.

Huge thanks to CLOK (Cleveland Orienteering Klub) for organising a fantastic weekend of racing and for even arranging for the sun to shine. Thanks also to all parents who helped with the weekend and to all the juniors – you’re all fantastic – Well Done!

All of the results and a detailed breakdown of the scoring is at:

Jon Musgrave and Judy Bell