Moray runs a national orienteering race as a Moravian club involved in Scottish Night Championship and league events
The MORAVIAN Orienteering Club organized a weekend of warmer winter activities, which included two major national competitions.
The weekend’s events included the Scottish Night Orienteering Championships at Findhorn and the first round of this year’s Scottish Orienteering League competition the following day at Darnaway.
The events drew around 250 visitors of all ages to the area over the weekend, not only from Scotland but from across England.
The British Orienteering Talent Squad came over for the weekend and used Moray’s superb Orienteering areas for further training.
The Scottish Night Championships event at Findhorn saw riders aged between 10 and 75.
Competitors started at Findhorn Sands Caravan Park, then had to use their headlamp, map and compass to find commands, first in the city, where the many choices of passages and lanes proved a challenge, then in the sand dunes.
Riders had to really concentrate to know exactly where they were on the dunes, in the dark one sand dune looks a lot like another.
The Moravian members achieved fantastic results in a wide range of age categories.
Perhaps the most impressive results were in the 65-year-old male and 16-year-old female category, where all the podium places were taken by Moravians.
The M65 race saw an impressive victory for Alan Halliday, with Paul Furness second and Eddie Harwood third.
The women’s W16 race also saw three Moravians excel on their course and reach the podium. It was a great representation of Forres Academy with their students taking the top three spots. Isobel Howard finished first, Faith Kenyon second and Ida Oikkonen third.
Other top three finishes for Moravian members include: M12 Finlay McLuckie 1st; W14 Kate McLuckie 2nd; W35 Kaisa Oikkonen 3rd; W40 Lesley Coutts 3rd; W45 Nikki Howard 1st, Morag McLuckie 2nd; W50 Liz Barr 2nd; M75 Neil McLean 1st.
After a few early morning showers, competitors in the Scottish Orienteering League races at Darnaway were blessed with winter sunshine and a cool breeze.
This area of Darnaway was last used at the World and Scottish Championships in 2015 and is a popular area with orienteers.
Again the club had excellent local support, this time from Moray Estates who also allowed the use of the walled garden which provided the perfect assembly and finishing area.
A wide choice of courses was offered, ranging from a 2 km white course for young children, which is the easiest, to a 9.1 km black course for experts.
Orienteers enjoyed a beautiful mix of forest, open space and views of the spectacular Findhorn Gorge. The club also set up a “ropes tracking course”, for the very young, which even included a mini obstacle course.
Again, the Moravians were strong across all age brackets, the youngest being Anna Howard of the Anderson primary in the W10 race, to the oldest, Douglas Murray in the M80.
The club has had victories on the course of Isobel Howard and Finlay McLuckie, and many others have finished in the top three of their age class.
Roo Hornby, Chairman of Moravian, said: “I am very proud of all the wonderful volunteers at our club who have organized a spectacular weekend of orienteering in one of the best and most sought after areas of the Kingdom. -United.”
The next Moravian Saturday and School League events are Brodie Castle on Saturday March 21 and Quarrelwood, Elgin on Saturday April 18. Details at www.moravianorienteeringclub.org or on the facebook page @MoravianOrienteering.