Badenoch & Strathspey Orienteering Club

BASOC local event at Nethy Bridge

Loch Vaa Map
Loch Vaa Map
Published: Mon 9 Oct 2023

BASOC held a local orienteering event at Nethy Bridge on Saturday 23rd September and the following day a larger (SOL) event was held at Loch Vaa. Jo (organiser) wrote the report below for the Strathy.

The weekend of September 23/24 saw two very different orienteering events. The Saturday local low key one at Nethy Bridge run by the Badenoch & Strathspey Orienteering Club (BASOC) attracted 120 competitors. The path network is ideally suited to newcomers and families. Jo Cumming, the Organiser, said “we were delighted to see 25 entries from individuals or pairs going round a course for the first time”.

Vicki Greer from Boat of Garten came to her first orienteering event with her 4 year old son and found all the controls on the Yellow course. He said he liked looking out for the kites and beeping the dibber (an electronic stick that tracks which control you have visited).

Pat Morris W70 and Ray Morris M75 were encouraged to have a go by their daughter Rebecca and found all the controls on the Orange course.

Pat, “Saturday at Nethybridge was our first event after having joined BASOC a few weeks ago and we enjoyed it very much. We became interested in trying Orienteering after attending an event with our daughter who took up the sport earlier this year. We were struck by how inclusive, friendly, fun, supportive and well organised the sport is and decided to give it a try. We are amazed to find a new sport that we could take up for the first time in our 70s. We have been made to feel very welcome and are enjoying the challenge. We only walk the courses and hopefully we can continue for many years as it’s super for our fitness and health.”

Our usual local event numbers were greatly increased by experienced runners using the event as a training exercise prior to the high-powered Compass Point Scottish Orienteering League (SOL) at Loch Vaa the next day run by Interlopers, an Edinburgh club. We were pleased to see so many university groups up for the weekend encouraging their new members to have a go.

Thanks are due to Laura Holland (planner), Jo Cumming (organiser), Hilary Quick (computing & entries), Lynne Walker (planner mentor & controller) and all club members who helped on the day.

The SOL (Scottish Orienteering League) is very different to a local event, being part of a series of high-quality events in terms of terrain, maps and courses, held throughout Scotland each year and hosted by separate clubs. The winner in each M/W age group is the person with the highest score, calculated from their best 3 runs.

Loch Vaa is a very challenging area, tough underfoot, with few paths and many complex contours. If you lose your place on the map going from one control to the next, relocation can be very time consuming. Of course, no GPS, just a map and compass! The event attracted 279 competitors and there were good results. However, many runners found it too stretching and did not finish.

We were delighted to see BASOC’s Rob Hickling M65 come 2nd on the Short Blue which entailed finding 15 controls over 6.05km and Finlay Hollinger M12 come 2nd on the Yellow, finding 12 controls over 2.87km