David Ritchie

Q1. Name and age class

David Ritchie M60

Tell us about when/where/how you started orienteering.

1974 at School and Army Cadets. First event was around Loch Ussie near Dingwall and the Next was the British Army Cadets near Stone in Staffordshire. Anagach and Binn Hill too. Got hooked. Then eyes totally dished at WOV76 at Darnaway. Now totally hooked!

Why do you like it?

I don't really know. Maps have always fascinated me and the exploring new spaces with a map was great. Got really into making maps. Over the period 1977 to late 80s surveyed and or drew nearly 50 maps. The committee and development stuff appealed too and was the editor of the magazine that I renamed to "Score". So what's not to like? Something for everyone

Your best orienteering memory?

Revising the Sluie map (near where I live now) on a dreich, wet day in a dark fir plantation and turning to see a big Soay Sheep standing on a rock looking at me! Not for long though - as I legged it.......

Your worst (and/or funniest?) orienteering memory?

I have been slightly disorientated (code for lost) on more occasions than I care to remember so won't really go there. I was mapping at Binn Hill wearing old army stuff 'cost it was good for that but when I got back to the car I was surrounded by RAF Regiment lads with rifles etc who thought I was in the SAS and part of their exercise....easy mistake to make eh?

Your favourite O area?

Darnaway. Just the shapes and variety plus the views of the river. Nearly always bring a tear to my eye and then I look at my results and I do start greeting

A top O tip for others/favourite piece of kit?

I can't offer tips - not me! But it's got to be don't get flustered just enjoy the time in the forest. It is truely a spiritual experience for us all


In your other life... what do you like doing when you're not orienteering?

I have a couple of printing businesses, one in Inverness and one in Elgin apart from that I tell jokes! Some (but not all) have been known to be funny

What's your orienteering ambition for the next year?

Seriously, to try and get a wee bit fitter and do Greens more often than Light/Short green.

Anything else you would like us to know?

Orienteering was a huge passion for me in the 70s through to the late 80s early 90s (before most of the club members were born) and I got back into it in 2013 when I got divorced! I am not very good at running these days but the joy of the forest has helped me relax in a way that I had almost forgotten. I have found myself again even if I haven't found all the controls yet