The 2023 Veteran Home International was held in the Forest of Dean in late September.
It was England’s and the South West OA’s turn to organise and North Gloucester OC hosted it alongside the Caddihoe Chase. The extra effort NGOC had made was evident and thoroughly appreciated by the England team who had travelled from far and wide. We were rewarded with excellent terrain, planning and racing, with the individual on the Saturday and the relay on Sunday. The England team comprised 2 men and 2 women in age groups 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 and one man and one woman in age groups 35 and 65: 24 in all.

This year England were better by a margin over Scotland on both days, with Wales besting Ireland by not much. In Saturday’s individual, Heather Roome, Sarah Rollins, Alison Howe, Jane Morgan, Tom Bray, David Roome, Nick Barrable and Clive Hallett all won their classes.
On Sunday, though the Scots won the ‘2 men, one woman’ relay they were closely chased home by all the England teams led by the Gavin Clegg, Kim Baxter, Tom Bray trio.
England whitewashed the ‘2 women, one man’ relay with England’s teams filling #1, #2, #3 and #4: Ruth Ker, Ben Chesters and Sarah Rollins the victorious triumvirate.

Overall results:

  England Ireland Scotland Wales
Individual 157 70 115 81
Relays 126 52 78 56
Total 283 122 193 137

The full set of results – individual, relay and team – can be accessed through the NGOC Results page.

Organising the VHI embedded in an ‘open’ event increased its visibility and allowed those chasing in the Caddihoe later to spectate and cheer on England teams in the relay, helped by the visibility of the spectator control cunningly situated bang in front of the team tents.

England were accommodated locally in Welsh Bicknor YHA youth hostel. The VHI Dinner was in the adjacent Goodrich village hall on Saturday evening, set up by a team led by Jackie Hallett with Welsh Junior O Squad (athletes and parents) providing 2/3rds of the meal and in-hall support. Thank you to all those, nearly all NGOC, led by Pat MacLeod, who made it happen particularly the planners Paul Taunton and Greg Best, and the controller Charlie Daniels.

The 2024 VHI is in Northern Ireland near Omagh on 5-6 October.