News from KFO

May 25, 2015

Scottish Championships 23/24 May 2015

Phil's report of  the Scottish Championships 23/24 May 2015
Category: General

Scottish Championship 2015


Individual Day – Sat 23 May 2015 – Arnaskie & Airds Park

A looked-forward-to return to this area was well rewarded by testing terrain in undulating open and scattered-tree moorland which meant careful (or not so careful, as it happened) navigational strategy.  Soft ground meant trails soon deteriorated, but the firmer areas hid the optimum route and compass was essential, especially with so many folk running in different directions.

Reasonable weather with a coldish wind right on the shore of Loch Etive gave a brilliant backdrop.

Good results all round and without the odd mistake here and there perhaps might have been a little better.  There was a large contingent of Swiss, Norwegians and Hungarians there obviously spying out the Scottish terrain for the World Cup in the summer.  There were also many up from England and Wales as the event feature was in the UK League, but many of them also found hazards in this terrain, so mixed results all round.  When the results are widely spread in a class it does mean that the courses provided a good test, though I have to say that one or two of the controls did seem to be on features that required little navigation and could be seen; or the nearby features seen from a long way off and the test became a physical one without the navigation.  It is easy however to view that a slight location adjustment would not change the distance whilst providing a better navigational challenge, but it is not easy to see what all the other courses are doing around that particular control – well not until RouteGadget comes up – not there yet at the moment.

Good fast finish in open ground led to good support from the spectators in the Arena.

Heather Smithard W65L 3rd 58:04 / 54:09 2nd Scot 3.8k 160m
Rab Philp M70L 3rd 59:50 / 52:25 3rd Scot 4.3k 215m
Phil Smithard M65L 5th 58:08 / 48:44 2nd Scot 5.2k 210m
Les Smithard M60S 2nd 75:56 / 72:71 2nd Scot  4.7k 120m
John Emeleus M45L 10th 83:74 / 62:54 9th Scot 8.0k 250m


Relay Day – Sun 24 May 2015 – Inverawe

Not an area visited by any of the team I think though some may have visited the Inverawe Smokery at some time.  The event was located right next to the Smokery and a special BBQ had been put on with shop and café sales probably breaking all records, even for a Bank Holiday weekend.

The terrain was similar to the Individual day with deciduous woodland, a bit of pointy tree forest and the testing moorland bogs and myrtle.  The first section tested close control orienteering in the detailed Forest Walks area with boggy ground and lots of humps and bumps.  First leg was frenetic in this area, with trying to identify the control numbers on the map and the short lines in between controls whilst keeping moving, hopefully in the right direction.  2nd and 3rd legs will have had more space and less pressure, so perhaps managed a little better.  A testing final descent to riverside level followed by a long run home in flat fields certainly meant everyone was exhausted at the finish line – or they should have been!!

With only 4 KFOs attending a sound team entered the 20+ category with Les initially combining with the third Smithard brother Mike and Steve Ingleby from DEE only to see things change just before the race with Tim Sands taking his place and Les moving the grandly names EXTRA team in the 17+ with perhaps even more testing running mates – Rob Hickling and Richard Oxlade.

Phil led out for the KFOmnipresents in the 20+ field in a mad dash up the runout into the tricky area round the ponds.  By the time he got there, the elephant trails had established, but one still has to ensure that the correct one is selected.  Trying to find #2 on the map was testing and so a little space in the wood appeared to allow freer running with not too many folk around.  Good progress round the rest of the course and the team was back in 3rd place.  Heather sadly came to grief in the first section, struggling to read the map and find the controls thereon.  Bogs of indeterminate depth added to the problems to be tackled, but once through this section things flowed a little better.  Heather came busily across the long run to the last controls with the team lying then in 9th position.  Action man JohnJohn had obviously warmed up on the Individual day as he had a blinder of a run with few dalliances running speedily again across the fields as the photo shows to record the fastest Leg 3 time in class on the day and taking the team to 6th place overall.  This Class is very competitive and this is a good result.

Les had a steady run for EXTRA 17+ as is his tradition with good navigation in tough terrain taking over from Rob coming back in 4th rank.  Les came back in 7th place and this was retained by Richard on the last leg


A good weekend away so for those not there, you missed a good weekend’s scenery and orienteering.