Day 5 - Daily Digest
Comments from Colin Matheson
WOC is finally over and I hope it is recognised that without the Scottish 6 Days it could not have happened. I can breathe a sigh of relief as Assistant Director that at least WOC has been the great success we had all wished for. Thierry “King of the Forest (and Mountain)” again. Today’s report must give a special mention to the S6D Event Coordinator Richard Oxlade – along with the day organisers, farmer Willie Birnie and landowner Donald Fraser at Guisachan, Richard helped pull together a cunning plan that allowed everyone in and everyone out of the Day 5 race arena.
The traffic count in the main field was 1,300 so the other 800 fitted in elsewhere including a temporary campervan park (with some of you possibly overnighting there). The predicted chaos didn’t happen, but there are some dark clouds on Saturday’s forecast. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped the plan work.
Last September a magnificent bridge was built about a mile away from the arena, but in the end to avoid conflict with cars this was not used for the main event. Another Royal Engineer bridge built from a fish farm walkway was used for two way pedestrian traffic, carefully avoiding an important ecological site. Can we stress to some people that if there is a bit of double tape with a sign saying No Entry to Orienteers we actually mean it. The area used today had been used in 1999 for a WOC Qualification race but the bad storms of the winter and some major windblow coupled with the wet weather since around October 2014 made it tough going. There were some fairly dramatic descents and ascents traversing across the area but I did laugh as I plunged waist deep into a river washing off the mud from having previously been wallowing in a marsh. The tough nature of the a rea was reflected in the number of competitors seeking assistance at British Red Cross. Today’s count was around 45, significantly up on the more gentle Darnaway days. First aiders love our events – where else are you virtually guaranteed such a range of injuries to deal with? I think the injury count will be down tomorrow.
Special thanks go to the landowners Alex Grigg and Nigel Fraser, and of course the Forestry Commission Scotland who have been extremely helpful carrying out various improvements in the area. Andrew Castell kindly strimmed a path through his garden so we all made it up and down to the river in relative comfort. I hope you all enjoy the final day and remember to put Deeside 2017 in your forward planners.