“Tour de force” for Scottish clubs at British Orienteering Championships
The 2019 British Orienteering Championships were a “tour de force” in Yorkshire for many of Scotland’s clubs and individuals, who headed south for championships based around Bradford, Leeds and the Yorkshire Dales.
Saturday saw the staging of the British Mixed Sprint Relay in Bradford – not yet an “official” Championships but nevertheless attracting some top runners and teams in different categories. Edinburgh University Orienteering Club had a convincing win in the Open class with Forth Valley Orienteers taking second place by a single second over Bristol Orienteering Klub in a dramatic run to the finish line.
On Sunday orienteers joined the queues of traffic and cyclists heading up past Kilnsey, as the British Championships coincided with the Tour de Yorkshire, which came through the same valley later in the day.
It was a fast and furious long “sprint” over the open fell at Kilnsey North and Arncliffe – complete with many out of bounds limestone pavements and uncrossable walls.
There were convincing wins by Scots in all the Men’s Elite categories and close runners-up in the Women classes. There were exciting finishes in other classes, including FVO’s Roger Goddard’s fantastic finishing sprint on M45; Silver for FVO Jon Cross in M50, and Gold for Roxburgh Reiver John Tullie in M60.
In the W14 class Alice Kemsley from BASOC took gold closely followed by Moravian’s Isobel Howard in Silver position. Rachel Brown of ESOC and Pippa Carcas of INT made it a Scots one-two in the W16 class.
Not to be outdone the SOA Development Officer Sarah Dunn of MAROC won W50 with Rona Molloy of FVO taking second place. FVO’s Hazel Dean was Silver medallist in W55 capping off a great couple of days for her club.
It was very different terrain for the British Relays at Middleton Park, Leeds. Middleton offered heavily pitted forest slopes and multiple paths as well as fast open areas including an abandoned golf course.
In the Men’s Premier class EUOC were denied victory through a mispunch and honours went to local club AIRE assisted by Scottish orienteer Alisdair McLeod. FVO again settled for second place. ESOC ladies took Bronze place in the Women’s Premier Class.
The next big event for Scottish orienteers will be the Scottish Orienteering Championships at the end of May, which you can enter at this link: