European Orienteering Championships - Relay
The final day of the European Orienteering Championships saw the forest Relay take place at Cerna Voda (the Black Water) – from the same arena as the Middle Final yesterday writes Liz Campbell.
The organisers had thought carefully about the layout and it was a big bonus for athletes waiting in quarantine to be able to not only listen to the commentary but also see their incoming runners pass through the spectator controls.
In the men’s relay the first leg saw Hector Haines just pip Kris Jones to the finish, 90 seconds down on the lead. Kris lost some time on control 6 but then ran confidently through the rocky green section to meet Hector’s gaffle for the last part of the course. Second leg for the 2nd team was Peter Hodkinson, who started out with Baptiste Rollier and hung with the Swiss 2nd team to pull through to near the lead. Peter just lost the back of the Swiss though on the final gaffle with a small mistake but still handed over in 6th. Ralph Street made small errors and set Graham Gristwood out on last leg with around 3 minutes to the leaders. Alan (pictured), tired after four races, started just behind a strong pack and had to run his own race. Graham missed in the green ( at a controversial control) both our men’s teams ended up finishing together, some 6 mins behind the winners, in 11th and 12th (9th Nation).
Jess Tullie and Jo Shepherd took the two first legs in the women’s relay and both had a strong starts. Jo missed in the green and lost some minutes but Jess managed to keep a steady pace and came in just over two minutes down. Cat set of strongly and managed to overtake a few teams but sadly the dream finish was not to be as she failed to punch a control near the end. Hollie started well, missed her control in the green but was still in sight of 6th place when she was pulled out of the race. Meanwhile our second team girls fought all the way to the finish with Kirsten Strain running second leg and Alice Leake the anchor leg.
There were exciting sprint finishes in both relays with the Swiss 2nd team taking the men’s title and a surprise win for the Finnish 1st team in the women’s race. Full results can be found here.
Picture credit - Dave RollinsHide full report