The results from today’s event at Elibank are HERE
Planner/Organisers report from James Purves:
As an orienteer every time I have competed at Elibank I have found it very challenging both on navigation and fitness which is why it has been the venue for the Scottish Score Championships in 2018 and a Scottish Orienteering League 2016 event among others. Rough, steep, cold north-facing, hillside terrain, covered in mature coniferous and beech forest, with tiring deep, dead bracken hiding lots of fallen trees, branches and debris, plus the time of year, February, when the weather might be horrible played a large part in planning courses. My task was to plan a small local event with three levels of difficulty: Yellow (easy, fun level to attract children and families); Orange (medium difficulty) and a Green course (hard navigation, physically difficult, to attract experienced orienteers). As there was a date clash with an ELO event at Butterdean Wood we didn’t expect huge numbers – in the end we ran out of maps! Organising and planning an orienteering event needs assistance from several willing and enthusiastic helpers: Sam is a dab hand with the Condes maps and recced the courses beforehand with me, Judith helping put out higher up controls on the Friday and Saturday morning and mentor Ian Maxwell who checked and advised on the maps before printing and also ran the courses in the morning to “wake” the controls. Ian then did a well-attended coaching session on contours. Robin Sloan communicated with the different owners of Elibank forestry, private and Forestry and Land Scotland re permissions and access / risk whilst Lindsey Knox helped with registration and downloads, etc – the event couldn’t have happened so easily without everyone working together as a team. Thanks again to Rob, Robin and Ian for collecting controls at the end.
On the day we were lucky with the weather which deteriorated only after the event was finished. The Green course attracted a good turnout of 20 competitors from a range of clubs, with lots of positive feedback at the end and plenty mention of the 160 metre finish and gradient !
However it was very encouraging to see the large turnout of families with children who entered the Yellow and Orange courses – we should have had more maps as we ran out. Colin Williams had played a part in spreading the word about the event and it just shows the benefit of promotion. Orienteering must be the ultimate family sport where parents and children of all ages can take part together, in a sort of treasure hunt adventure, finding controls, climbing over fallen trees and scrambling up and down slippery grassy banks. Some enjoyed it so much they went back out and did another course! There were plenty happy faces at the finish and most of them, parents and children, said they would be keen to do it again.
The results from this morning’s event at Bowhill are HERE
Routegadget (where you can add your own route) is HERE
When I got word during the week of the approaching storm I
did start to wonder what else might happen. Away back whenever, I agreed to
plan an event at Elibank but couldn’t do it on the proposed date. I started
planning in the hope that the date could be changed. When it couldn’t, I had to
begin again. Initially I had thought to try and take the courses to parts of
Bowhill that hadn’t been used for some time. After 2 visits, I gave up on this
as it would have needed too many map corrections. As I was running out of time,
I planned courses using sites that had been used in the past and parts of the
forest that I had visited. There were, however, a couple of parts that I hadn’t
checked, and I apologise if these caused any problems.
It is also getting quite tricky to plan a Light Green course
which doesn’t present W12, Ellie with too much of a challenge while still
giving the “more experienced” orienteers some level of challenge. From the
results, it looks like Ellie was doing fine up to control 9 when she realised she
needed to get back, to accompany her friend Ava round the yellow course. Some
of the more experienced orienteers seem to have found controls 9 & 10 quite
Well done to everyone on the Orange and Yellow courses.
Everyone managed to come first on at least one leg of their course. I apologise
again for leg 7 – 8 on the Orange course. It looks relatively straightforward
on the map, but I didn’t check it!
A very big thank you to Bowhill House and Grounds and especially to Michael Paton, their Learning and Engagement Ranger. He brought the weather warning to my attention and was very supportive when I suggested moving the event to an earlier start time. I’m listening to the wind and rain battering my house now and am glad that we got everyone safely away before the weather deteriorated. A second big thank you to Lindsey whose role as “buddy” started off with reminders to put the course closing time on the maps but ended with a massive effort to put out controls on Friday afternoon and very early on Saturday morning (and then manage registration) so that we could beat the weather. Thank you to those who brought in controls: Rob, Eb, Andrew and James and to everyone who came along and took part in the event, making all the effort to organise it worthwhile.
The results from today’s event at Bowmont are HERE
Thank you to all those who came along to Bowmont today. It was a lovely day to be out and I certainly enjoyed my trip around the forest placing the controls, beginning not long after sunrise. Judging from the comments at the finish I think all enjoyed their runs around the muddy grid of paths. It was great to see a few new faces and also newcomers returning for a second outing.
I also enjoyed comparing the variations in routes on the Score. The 30 minute time limit meant there wasn’t much time for dithering and I planned the Score so that it would be difficult to get around all of the controls within the time allowed. Well done to John for being the most efficient in hoovering up the highest score within the time allowance. James actually collected the most points but his ambitions were greater than his time keeping…..
As ever, organising the event was a Reivers team effort. Thanks again to Lindsey for setting up and running registration / download and to Pauline, Robin, John, Keith, Eb and James for collecting in controls and dismantling the start /finish. And all just in time to get to the Club Christmas Lunch which was excellent.
p.s. thanks too to Robin for organising the club’s 50th birthday cake.
Planners comments: Selkirk Hill is a funny kind of place – we all know it well enough that we’ve probably visited every decent control site ! So it’s tricky to do something new, and make it challenging. On reflection, that was probably a bit more technical than was strictly necessary for a night event, though that said, every control was on or near a path, and there were always path options to connect them. I tried to tempt you into taking cross country choices rather than ‘round the paths’, and tried to give you route choice decisions to make. In order to make the most of the complex pitted area, the course had a LOT of controls – but I felt that was necessary to prevent it being a simple fly-through on the larger paths. I suspect patience, keeping it slow and steady and really drilling down into the detail and always knowing where you were was what worked. Maybe ask Ellie what the secret was !
Thanks to everyone for coming on what turned out to be a pretty miserable and damp evening !