What a weekend! What a result! Congratulations to the Scottish Juniors who emerged victorious at the end of the Junior Home Internationals.

Photo Credit: Jon Musgrave

It was Scotland’s turn to host the Junior Home Internationals (JHIs) and  juniors from all over the UK and Ireland congregated in Speyside for a weekend of fantastic orienteering. 

With Lagganlia Outdoor Centre as a base everyone congregated on the Friday night and were delighted to meet up with friends. With the sun shining on Saturday morning, we headed to Loch Vaa for the relays organised by Interlopers.  There was time for the obligatory face painting – which spanned the range from very artistic dragons for the Welsh to Braveheart style boldness for the Scots.  The relays are run with separate boys and girls teams both the order 16 – 14 – 18.  With Ruari Cottier (ECKO) playing the pipes, and trying to drown out the singing and shouting of the other nations the girls relay set off, followed 15 minutes later by the boys.

It was then time for an anxious wait as everyone peered out into the area trying to catch a glimpse of an incoming junior. There was much excitement as Ruth Gooch (MAROC)  appeared first with a good 4 minute lead before Freya Tryner of England appeared, closely followed by Kate McLuckie (MOR).  Then out of nowhere James Hammond (FVO) appeared as the first runner back on the leg 1 of the boys relay – he must have sprouted wings out there as he had a 9 minute lead.

The victorious boys – Photo Credit: Jon Musgrave

The boys relay continued to go like a dream with James handing over to Finlay McLuckie (MOR) and finally Ewan Musgrave (MAROC) and all three of them recording the fastest times on their respective legs to secure a win on the boys relay with a 12 minute lead.   In the girls race the 1st Scottish girls team finished in 2nd place –  congratulations to Ruth Gooch (MAROC), Scarlett Kelly (FVO) and Isobel Howard (MOR). The courses were much admired and everyone loved the challenge of Loch Vaa – although it did catch out quite a few!

Ruth emerges at the final control – Photo Credit: Dave Rollins

It was great to have the relays alongside the Middle Race, and have so many people along to support and cheer on the juniors. The team spirit and enthusiasm was great to see – especially towards the end as we waited for the final finishers who were cheered on and accompanied down the run in with much much noise and enthusiasm by their team mates and friends from the other nations too!

At the end of the day the scores were:-

England          54 points

Scotland         50 points

Wales              22 points

Ireland            16 points

It was still all to play for in the Individuals the next day.

It was then time to head back to Lagganlia to scrub off the facepaint, remove the ticks and catch up with friends.  It was then the mammoth task of feeding the hungry hordes, before a ceilidh in the evening. Somehow everyone still found the energy to dance – but it was very quiet at lights out time for a change!

After fears of bad weather for Sunday, the rain held off as the juniors headed off up Creag Dubh to the starts for the Individual race. Creag Dubh provided some tough racing – with most returning to tales of “it was ok apart from the x minutes lost at one control”.  The challenging terrain though suited the Scots who rose to the challenge with some incredible results to win the Individuals by 13 points and to take the overall trophy.

After some strong results in the Individuals, Ireland emerged victorious over Wales to retain the Judith Wingham Platter


Full results, including Routegadget and Winsplits are available at:

Individual:  https://www.basoc.org.uk/events/creag-dhubh-2022-10-09

Relay:  https://www.scottish-orienteering.org/documents/results/latest-results/

A huge thank you to Mike Stewart for planning the relays, Graham McIntyre for organising and Richard Oxlade for controlling and all in Interlopers who helped make the event happen, as well as to Robin, Sheila and Kirsten Strain for running the computing for the relays. Thanks to BASOC and Lynne Walker for planning, Jo Cumming for organising and Alan Halliday for controlling the individuals. Thanks to everyone in BASOC and all the other volunteers from other Scottish clubs who helped out at the Individuals – the Scottish Orienteering Community is just fantastic the way it all pulls together.

It was also lovely to have so many competitors return from their own battles with Creag Dubh in the SOL to ask “Well did they do it?”  and to be able to answer “Yes – they did it in style!” (They just like to keep us on our toes!)

Jon and I must have the best roles in Scottish Orienteering helping and supporting junior orienteers. Their team spirit, enthusiasm and determination is an inspiration and it is so much fun to be involved with the squad.  Congratulations to them all for a wonderful result this weekend.

By Judith Bell

The 3 amigos – victorious at their final JHI Photo Credit: Jon Musgrave