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Lochaber 2021, the Scottish 6 Days Orienteering event planned for the start of August, will go ahead as two three-day events rather than the usual six-day competition.
The scaled down orienteering competition, which has been staged every two years since 1977, will now take place in two stages with all the ancillary events and services removed entirely. All efforts will be concentrated on the orienteering. There will be no trade stores, commentary, club tents, catering or results boards.
Despite the First Minister announcing all areas of Scotland will be moving to Level 0 from Monday July 19 – meaning sporting events can be run with unlimited participant numbers – event organisers decided to alter the usual format and are limiting numbers to 1,000 per day.
Colin Matheson, assistant co-ordinator, Scottish 6 Days, Lochaber 2021, said: ‘1,000 participants at level one had been signed off with sportscotland and with full support from all the main stakeholders, the Scottish Orienteering 6-Day Company Ltd and the Scottish Orienteering Association met and agreed the best way forward was to stage two three day events. Most competitors had already booked accommodation and there was overwhelming support that some orienteering was better than none.
‘Delivering a quality event is now the top priority. There were some great lessons learned from the recent Lakes event and there is an acceptance that more of a bare-bones event has to be the way forward in the short term.’
A Scottish 6 Days Company spokesperson added: ‘We realise this is disappointing, but feel this is a responsible approach given that the 6 Days will be one of the first mass participation events in the Highlands this summer and that many other events in the area have been cancelled.
‘The good news is we still have an event in some great areas in a beautiful part of the world and we look forward to seeing you in Lochaber in August.’
The 23rd Scottish 6 Days Orienteering event will take place in Lochaber between August 1 and 7 and 2,065 participants have already entered the competition.
The Scottish 6 Days Orienteering event is the largest orienteering event in the UK, typically attracting more than 3,000 competitors. It is widely regarded as one of the best multi-day orienteering events in the world and attracts orienteers from across the world.
Lochaber 2021 logo. No_F30orienteering01