European Youth Orienteering Championships – Lucy Haines

EYOC 2017 took place in July in Slovakia. It consisted of a sprint race, a long race and a relay race. The sprint took place in a small town in the middle of Slovakia on the side of a valley, with steep roads and narrow alleys between gardens. There were only 1 or 2 route options each leg; but it was often tricky to decide which to take, as the climb and surfaces varied a lot. With a spectator control, and then final run in next to the castle on the hill in the town, courses involved a considerable amount of climb and were physically very challenging. I came 30th on women 18. Unfortunately, a few small route choice mistakes lost me time.

The long the next day was typical of the continental style that has been the theme of most of the recent European Youth Orienteering Championships Long races. Choosing optimal routes, avoiding too much climb, and maximising the use of paths and fast open areas, where possible, was the order of the day and the key was to keep things clean and simple. I had my best result in the long, coming 14th.
I felt really good going into this race and would like to thank my coach, Nick Lightfoot, for all his help in preparing me for this competition. I executed my plans well, losing only a small amount of time exiting number 6 on the start of one of the long leg.

The relay took place on the same area as the long. After a disappointing first leg, our second leg runner pulled our position back up to 12th. I went out on last leg and managed to finish in 9th, with a sprint finish up the run-in against Austria.

I had a great time on this trip, racing against some of the best girls in Europe and meeting new people. I’d like to thank my sponsors for helping me get there. Thanks to them I could experience this amazing competition and I could learn how to handle the pressure when racing internationally.