Day 3 Report - Birsemore Hill
This was probably the first orienteering day incorporating a World Ranking Event where knitted aliens were presented to the winners. The Scottish Junior Orienteering Squad (ScotJOS) is looking at various fundraising initiatives including aliens. The Gristwood household (Graham and Fanni Gyurko) as winners of the Men’s and Women’s Elite will no doubt be delighted with these new additions.
Birsemore had more challenging technical terrain than Days 1 and 2 and included some steep and boulder strewn northerly slopes as well as a more runnable central hill (Birsemore Hill itself). A few courses including the Elite ventured further west towards Craigendinnie, part of the Glen Tanar estate used on Day 1. Dunecht Estate kindly allowed access to Birsemore, very much a traditional shooting estate. All courses were constrained by pheasant pens near to the race arena, but there were huge advantages to the organising teams by the re-use of the same arena, with only a minor tweak to the run-in.
It was all going so well on the day up until 1630 hrs – no official complaints, great service from the traders, no drama in the car parking field, better weather than forecast. That was when we first had concerns over five overdue competitors. Within half an hour we were down to one competitor – part of a large Army contingent taking part in this orienteering week on adventure training. Missing competitor was an Army Nurse, on W35S. As part of the event we have a well-defined rescue plan and procedures, so we started to tick off the list. A number of Army orienteers went out on a quick sweep search, and just before we were due to interrogate the electronic units (SI boxes) we received a call to report she had been located high up on Birsemore Hill. Our Red Cross 4x4 ambulance was deployed (with an orienteer) to recover the casualty – nothing dented apart from her pride (and a raucous welcome from her colleagues and perhaps a talking to from the Sergeant Major). Useful lessons learned, a happy outcome, but a 6 o’clock finish!
Everyone involved in the staging of the event has been very pleased to receive thanks and compliments for the very professional nature of the event delivery. This of course means a huge volunteer effort, for example Scottish clubs allocated to individual days (ELO, GRAMP, STAG and TINTO today). As Assistant Coordinator I have worked primarily with the Central Organising Team of MAROC and Interlopers. The Coordinator (Jon Musgrave), Day Coordinator (Roger Coombs) and Andy Tivendale (Equipment) are in particular involved in the smooth day-to-day set up and running of the event, especially the superb race arenas. Limelight Event Services, contractors from Inverness, have done the heavy lifting and moving and have provided the generators that power the IT systems and the traders. More about the IT side in a future report.
Events Manager Scottish Orienteering Association