The World Orienteering Championship’s and orienteering’s Scottish Six Days event will run at the same time from 31 July to 8 August and will involve some road closures including Glen Strathfarrar on Monday 3 August. The competitions will bring 450 athletes from 50 nations and more than 5,000 others, including club competitors and spectators.
Day 2 of The Scottish 6 Days Orienteering event will be held on 3 August in Glen Strathfarrar. Although the Glen will still be open for those on foot or on a bicycle, no vehicle permits will be issued that day and its worth remembering that the event is likely to attract around 5000 pedestrians in the Glen, so unless you are joining them to watch the orienteering, Monday is probably not the best day to plan a Strathfarry hill route. For this event all participants (runners and spectators) parking will be in a field at Erchless (entrance beside Struy Bridge) from where they will walk into the glen, approximately 1 mile.
For the Moray area organisers said that between 17:00 and 20:30 on 31 July, a 10mph speed limit will be in place on Forres’ Grant Drive, Pilmuir Road, Pilmuir Road West and Grantown Road. In Nairn on 1 August roads in and around Fishertown will be closed from 17:00 to 21:30. The car park by The Links near Cumming Street will also be closed.
In Forres on 2 August roads in and around the town centre, including the High Street, will be closed from 16:00 to 20:00. Car parks in the town centre will also be closed or have restricted access.
The minor road south of the entrance to Achagour Fisheries to the Ardclach junction will be closed from 08:30 to 18:30 on 2 August. The minor road running through Darnaway Forest north of Logiebuchany will be closed from 09:30 to 18:15 on 5 August and until 17:30 on 6 August.
British Orienteering beat a bid from Sweden to host the 2015 World Orienteering Championships and Highland Council estimates the area could benefit from an £2m economic boost. The last championships in Scotland were held around Inverness in 1999.
British – and Scottish – athletes are likely to feature highly in the results. The Great Britain team is amongst those at the top of the international rankings and will have real medal chances this year. Orienteering has traditionally been dominated by the Scandinavian nations, where it is considered the ‘national sport’. However, in recent years, French and Swiss athletes have broken through and have had an impressive series of wins.
This year’s base will be at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness. Paul McGreal, WOC 2015 Event Director, said: “I’m really excited about the opportunity that WOC2015 brings, both to help develop the sport at elite and club level and also to help orienteering to achieve the maximum positive exposure from a highly successful and professional event.
“We look forward to presenting our incredible forest, moorland, mountain and urban terrain, along with some fantastic Highland hospitality. The areas and arenas we are using for the races are amongst the finest that can be found anywhere in the world, and will provide a challenging test for the best athletes in the world, and an exciting experience for spectators. WOC2015 and Scotland is going to present the sport in its true competitive and accessible light.”
The eyes of millions will be on the 2015 World Orienteering Championships and on Scotland with world-wide live television coverage, recorded highlights and feature packages being produced at the event.