Orienteers navigate their way to Arran for first time

A young competitor using her electronic ‘dibber’ to record that she has found the finish kite on her course in front of the castle. Photograph: Dave Rollins.

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Nearly 200 orienteers visited Arran for the first time last week as part of the annual Coasts and Islands Orienteering Week, organised by Scottish orienteering club Masterplan Adventure.

The visit to Arran is the first large-scale competition to be on the island as the sport requires specialist maps which up until now were not available for Arran.

After four days running in forests around Tarbert the orienteers made their way to the island for the second half of the competition.

There were three Arran races, one using the forest behind the castle, a sprint course in the castle grounds after hours and a long-distance race based at the Community Land Initiative in Whiting Bay which stretched into the forest around Glenashdale.

Now that the competition is over and the area at the community land in Whiting Bay specifically mapped for orienteering, a set of permanent courses will be set up there shortly which will be accessible for anyone wanting to try the sport themselves.

The Coasts and Islands Orienteering Week was limited to 200 participants to limit the impact on the locations visited and to keep costs reasonable. Next year the Coasts and Islands week will move to Harris.