Published on October 10th, 2019 | by nioa-sec


Veteran Home International Report

On the cusp of the Junior Home International on home soil we look forward to at least one trophy staying in Ireland this year. Meanwhile Raymond Finlay reports on the 2019 Veteran Home International which was hosted by Scotland in the Edinburgh area on 21-22 September.

“The team assembled from across the UK and Ireland at Broomlee Outdoor Education Centre; where all the teams were accommodated. Unfortunately, we were one team member short (W60) because we were unable to find a competitor available for this particular weekend. Everyone turned up on the Friday evening bar a few who were to travel up on the Saturday morning, staying with family elsewhere or living locally.

Unusually the Relay was held on the Saturday morning at Binning Wood about 50 minutes from the accommodation. It turned out to be a fresh but beautiful day. The forest was fairly flat with many paths and rides some of which radiated in a confusing way from 3 circular clearings. Runability across the forest floor was hampered by extensive areas of bramble. These conditions seemed to suit the English best who were comfortable winners on the day; even over the Scots. Wales too scored well leaving us 9 points down going into Sunday the individual day.

The Irish were not dismayed. After the dinner and the Day 1 prizegiving we enjoyed a pleasant social evening renewing and gaining new friendships across our very geographically dispersed team.

The individual Day 2 was incorporated with a well-attended Scottish League event on the southern outskirts of Edinburgh in the northern foothills of the Pentlands. Parking and Assembly were at the Dreghorn Army base about 40 minutes from the accommodation. An excellent base in a Gym with showers was much appreciated by those with lengthy journeys home; and on a day which turned wet later on. The Start was a 30-minute walk up into the hills where a large proportion of all courses crossed moorland of mixed runability finishing through steep more technically challenging woodland. Again, the terrain seemed to suit the English who had very good results in many classes to win the day comfortably; an understandable disappointment for the Scots who were on home ground. On the day some of our men produced excellent results, scoring highly, but the Welsh women had strength in depth to hold and slightly increase the Welsh lead over us.

I would just like to take this opportunity first to thank all the team members, many of whom travelled long distances, for their company and performances over the weekend. Then I wish to acknowledge and thank Helen Baxter (the official VHI Team Manager who was responsible for 95% of the selection and organisation of VHI 2019). Unfortunately, (?) Helen had a clash of dates with the Oceania Cup in Australia so asked me to step in and cover the weekend roles of the Team Manager. (Not exactly true, Philip Baxter said it was fair payback for me persuading him to plan the IOC 2019 Relays!)  – I didn’t have much to do and it was very enjoyable!

The results of the VHI weekend:

About the Author

Stephen Gilmore is the Hon Secretary of NI Orienteering.

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