First day proper. 8.5km M21 course.
Started out ok and safe. Then lost 4 mins on 2 as not used to their mapping distinction of white and yellow open - so stopped far too early. OK for a while from there and kept seeing both Ali Gardner and Ben Beresford - both started ahead of me.
Left 14 slightly the wrong way and passed close to 12 but still just behind Ali at 15. Took better route through marshes on long leg (but walked as it was very tough) to get ahead then lost nearly 10 minutes in the circle at 16 as spent all the time looking for a hillock (description "East side of southern hillock"). Went within a couple of yards of it but didn't see it as hidden in a shallow depression surrounded by thick veg. Relocated from south, north and west and did complete tour of all hillocks in the area before Ed Stott caught up and was able to show where it was. Accept that it was in the right place based on everything around it, just I didn't look there as it wasn't a hillock! Seems that somewhere Ben had ended up behind and we found control together, but Ali must have punched and gone ahead.
Not so happy by now so set about trying to make back the now 5 mins I'd lost to Ed. Straight route to 18 and got to control just ahead of Ali somehow. Reasonably lucky on 19 but was surprised it was my control as feature so small and good into the finish.
Managed to get the 5 mins back on Ed and finished well ahead of Ali and Ben - who I know were both going at roughly my speed - so *reasonably* happy. Not the nicest area with the open tussocky marshes and furrows towards the end but pleasant all the same and good to be doing a bit of proper orienteering once again - and without much in the way of actual mistakes.
Watched the sprint finals in Forres followed by pizza in Nairn and weather held out for most so made for a nice day.