World Class Orienteers compete at Royal Deeside

Last month Deeside became the battleground for the British Squad selection races at Middle and Long distance in advance of the World Orienteering Championships.

Local Mar Orienteering Club (Maroc) were responsible for hosting the highly prestigious event held on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 July.

Two of the major favourites at the World Championships took the opportunity to use the races as part of their preparation.

Thierry Gueorgiou (France) won both races and is widely regarded as being the best male orienteer in the world over the past 10 years.

He completed the punishing 13.2 km course with 550m climb and 23 controls in a time of 88.38, two minutes clear of Carl Godager Klaas, Norway in second place.

Tove Alexandersson (Sweden) is the world number 1 ranked female orienteer (despite being just 22) and has spent the past week training in Royal Deeside.

In the women’s middle race Alexandersson gave an impeccable performance and was in the lead from the first control until the finish.

The Norwegian Squad performed exceptionally well - especially in the Long Race at Glen Tanar which was a very Norwegian type forest - hilly and patches of contour and rock detail. They are staying for a few more days training, along with the the Finnish and Czech teams who are also visiting in the next week for final preparation for the World Championships.

Torphantrick provided a good challenging middle distance course with the novelty of crossing the Cambus O’May footbridge to get to the start of the race.

The best British runners were Jess Tullie, Dulnain Bridge – in both middle and long distance races, Graham Gristwood, Dunblane in the men’s middle distance and Hector Haines, Edinburgh in Saturday’s long distance. All will be keeping their fingers crossed for the imminent GBR Squad selection announcement.

Local orienteers Duncan Coombs and Josh Dudley of Maroc also took part in the races, both having very respectable results against some of the worlds’ best orienteers.

Local orienteers Duncan Coombs and Josh Dudley of Maroc also took part in the races, both having very respectable results against some of the worlds’ best orienteers.”