Rest Day Report
In best Scottish 6 Days tradition the middle of the week counts as a “rest” day so of course many competitors scattered across the area to sight-see, mountain bike, golf, Munro bag (Loch Muick and Lochnagar will have been busy) and much more.
In Ballater itself Sprint Scotland took on the organisation of a Sprint Race, helped by volunteers from the Scottish Elite Development Squad (SEDS) and ScotJOS. Courses took advantage of the path network on the southeast side of Craigendarroch, the lump of a hill that sits directly above the village. After a quick dash across Monaltrie Park (adjacent to the event campsite), the race was more urban and included a small industrial estate and mini-park adjacent to the event centre at the Victoria & Albert Halls. The Sprint Scotland Team (Graham Gristwood, Kris Jones, Chris Smithard and Fanni Gyurko) attracted an excellent number of competitors and sponsors. The Scottish 6 Days event itself has had support from EventScotland (Scotland the Perfect Stage), Aberdeenshire Council and Ramboll.
Further down the glen, opposite the area earmarked for next year’s British Relay Championships, the Hicklings (Anne and Rob) put on a well-attended TrailO event with both Elite and Novice categories. My own hopes of selection for Team GB were severely dashed by a below par performance but it was interesting to watch the meticulous approach taken by some of the real experts. TrailO (Trail Orienteering), a recognised competitive discipline of the International Orienteering Federation, is best described at http://orienteering.org/trail-orienteering/
The rest day doesn’t extend to everyone, and behind the scenes the Day 4 arena was under construction. Thanks to some excessive trampling by cattle in the original race arena everything has been flipped and moved into the next field – Andy Tivendale was hard at work enabling a new fence crossing to make this all possible. The race arena (and parking) is a very short distance from Braemar Castle. This is celebrating its tenth year as Scotland’s only community run castle, and would love to welcome all Scottish 6 Day Orienteering participants to come and visit. They are offering a 10% discount – Adult entry would be £7.20. The castle was originally built as a hunting lodge in 1628, but in this commanding and strategic site, played a part in both sides of the Jacobite Uprisings. It has indeed had a turbulent and varied history – as a British Army garrison and a Victorian country house. Today, you see the home of the Chiefs of the Clan Farquharson, owners of this magnificent Invercauld Estate, and can visit 12 furnished rooms, as if the family had just stepped out! Please walk from the orienteering car park and do not use the castle car park.
Looking forward to more orienteering challenges.
Events Manager Scottish Orienteering Association