Oban 2011

Under the leadership of Ross Lilley as Co-ordinator and Scott Fraser (Assistant Co-ordinator) this event is developing its own unique characteristics. Each of the six days of competition are within 10km of the Event Centre and the focus is very much on reducing the environmental impact of the competitors once they arrive in the Oban area. Local services are being used as much as possible and local traders will be encouraged to have a presence in each assembly area.
As well as a recent article in ‘Score’, Ross has also had a two page article published in the ‘Australian Orienteer’.  Publicity material was taken to several events during the summer of 2010; vehicles were leafleted at the JK, British and Lakes 5 Day events. It is planned to have a couple of articles in CompassSport.
The Central Organising Team (Ayroc, Clyde and EckO) is almost all in place and working hard towards the event at the end of July 2011. The detailed reports produced by the Tay 2009 COT are providing very useful guidance.
One of the main challenges for the Oban 2011 event is the budget.

  • Expectations and costs are both continually rising (e.g. services that have to be bought in like Portaloos; event levy payable to British Orienteering – a rise of about £1 per day per adult competitor; reimbursement of travel costs for event officials; etc.)
  • The competitor has an increased expectation of the level of services at a multi-day event (an example of this is with the advent of many mobile computing devices a WiFi network is being established at the Event Centre for competitor use)
  • It is hoped to have GPS tracking of the Elite athletes on Day 3.
  • The competitor will resist paying a large entry fee unless they really feel that there is value for this money. The Swiss O Week is taking place at the same time – their entry fee is £156 for six days, transport to the events included.

One way Oban 2011 is meeting these challenges is with regard to the programme. It is likely that this will be a double-sided A3 sheet, collected at the event by the competitor along with their race bib. Fuller details about the event will be available as a series of PDFs on the Oban 2011 website.


Anne Hickling is the link Director for this event. The lead clubs are Gramp and Moravian; George Esson has agreed to be the interim Co-ordinator. He would like a younger replacement to be found! The Event Centre is likely to be near Forres. Scott Fraser has been instrumental in the discussions with Moravian and interested parties in the local area.


This event will be the 20th Scottish 6-Day Event. At the moment British Orienteering (working with the SOA, EventScotland and the 6-Day Company) are in the process of placing a bid for the World Orienteering Championships for 2015. If this bid is successful the 6-Day Company will assume responsibility for the ‘public races’ – what a way to celebrate the 20th birthday! One challenge for the Board of Directors will be to decide the format of the public races.

Director changes

Andrew Dalgleish resigned from the position of Technology Director. The Board were delighted when Robin Strain accepted the invitation to take up the post.
John Emeleus has intimated that he wishes to resign from the post of Technical Director; at the present moment a replacement is being approached.
Gareth Bryan-Jones (Co-ordinator Tay 2009) and Ross Lilley (Co-ordinator Oban 2011) continue to attend board meetings. Mike Atherton (Co-ordinator Spey 2007) has now departed from the board meetings (and Scotland).

General Board of Directors business

The Scottish Orienteering 6-Day Event Company has left Tay 2009 behind and in this ‘even number’ year the Board of Directors spent time:

  • Consolidating the lessons learnt from Tay 2009. For the Day Co-ordinator Director (Lindsey Knox) this has meant revision of the Day Organisers’ manual, and the issue of an Equipment manual based on the recommendations of the Tay 2009 equipment manager. The Technical Director (John Emeleus) has worked with Bob Cherry (Technical, Oban 2011) to revise the Technical Manual. All of these were greatly assisted by the feedback from the Day Officials at Tay 2009.
  • Production of outline remits for all of the Central Organising Team for a 6-Day Event.
  • Lindsey Knox has been the link director working with the committee responsible for staging the very successful Park World Tour in Perth September 2010.
  • Revising and developing the Business Plan to direct the future of the Scottish Orienteering 6-Day Event Company. Most of the discussion took place outwith meeting time, making use of electronic communication and Googledocs.
  • The Directors are in the process of deciding the allocation of funds for the benefit of orienteering in Scotland.
  • John Colls is nearing completion of the ‘History of the Scottish Orienteering 6-Day Event’. The book will be available to pre-order for Oban 2011. Gareth Bryan-Jones has been involved with reading the drafts and giving feedback to John.

Other news

The Scottish Thistle Awards are for tourism related businesses and events. Tay 2009 has been nominated as a finalist in the ‘Events & Festivals (National)’ category. Other finalists in this group are the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running and Etape Caledonia.
Anne Hickling (and Rob) will represent the Scottish Orienteering 6-Day Event Company at the award ceremony on Friday 29th October 2010 – get your speech ready Anne!

Looking forward

There will be as yet unidentified challenges ahead; if the Board of Directors prepares for known challenges, the Scottish Orienteering 6-Day Event Company should be able to adapt and cope to the unknown.
The 6-Day Event should be ensuring that it is capitalising on the use of electronic media – e.g. for marketing and publicity, sales (of entries, merchandise and peripherals to the event), communication with entrants, communication within the Board of Directors. Hopefully this will help to ensure that costs are lessened and the paper mountain reduced.
As with many organisations in orienteering, it would be beneficial to recruit younger directors (and their fresh ideas) onto the Board.

Lynne Walker
Chair, Board of Directors
Scottish Orienteering 6-Day Event Company.
22nd September 2010