Scottish Urban League, Dunstaffnage & Dunbeg, May 13 2017
Date of event: Sat 13th May 2017
Type of event: District (C)
Nearest town: Dunstaffnage
OK, so it was a bit rash of me to offer to put on a SOUL as well as help with the SOL. We got carried away at the Ecko committee meeting in thinking that anything BASOC can do we can do as well i.e. make a weekend of it. Except we didn't even put on a middle distance or a ceilidh! How do BASOC do it?
I had very little time and so I niaively thought we could get away with using our standard O map of Dunstaffnage and Dunbeg with more detail added. So I started adding stuff to the map. Then Andy kicked in and had a go creating a new ISSOM map. In his usual style he knocked up a pretty good first draft sufficient to make me, and Carol (Controller, who knows what urbanites want and who had read the guidelines) to decide to switch to using Andy's map. After adding more detail to Andy's map and a re-plan of courses (to keep within Urban course ratios) we had things ready by last week. Not in time for Stirling Surveys to print the map...which is why Courses 1-4 were on a 1:7500 so it would fit our club A4 printer.
I hope folk didn't struggle too much to see the detail on the 7500 map. There were some good route choices to work with from what, at first glance, looks like a simple urban area. I kind of liked the urban/park/classic combination. Hope you did too. It is as much Urban terrain as Ecko can muster without using deepest Oban town (which would have ruled out the junior courses).
We are very grateful to Anushka and Nolwenn for hosting us at the Ocean Explorer Centre. Unfortunately I missed the cake at the cafe but by all accounts it was yummy.
Thanks also to;
- Andy and the management at the Scottish Association for Marine Science for allowing us access to their grounds
- the Captain of Dunstaffnage and Historic Environment Scotland for access to the castle and surrounding grounds
- the residents of Dunbeg, Marine Court and new flats between for tolerating runners on their streets
- Carol for ably controlling
- Alan for managing entries, download and results and printing maps - he learned a lot in the wee small hours of Saturday morning!
- Robin Strain for loan of SI equipment and for helping Alan on the day.
- Julie and co-workers for marshalling the start
- Robin Galloway for helping to bring in controls in return for a bed for the night.
Towards the end of last year I decided to attend a Grade C controller’s course to provide EckO with another club controller to help out with our local events and reduce the amount that Andy and Ross were having to do. I didn’t expect my first foray into the field to be a Level C urban event but there wasn’t really anyone else – Ross was planning the SOUL and Andy the SOL. This was a month before the event so timing was going to be tight. It got tighter as the first course draughts weren’t received until the end of April and the map wasn’t finished! Ross and I had one discussion about organisation logistics (which was all in place) and what course changes were needed (it did seem a little strange suggesting to Ross what needed changed when much of my orienteering knowledge has come from him in the first place). He then headed off to the Western Isles for four days for work and a laptop with his course file on it. During this time Andy got the map finished.
Five days before the event I had a lovely afternoon wandering around the area checking the control sites with glorious blue skies above, the scent of gorse flowers in the air and a rather irate male stonechat that didn’t seem to appreciate my presence. A few more questions asked and answers received and we had courses in place by Tuesday evening. Phew
Ross put most of the controls out – I would have expected nothing less. So, while he set up the start I went out to wake up all the controls. This was when I learnt a lesson to remember. Don’t forget to clear your dibber before setting out otherwise it will run out of space when you are at the point furthest from download and you will have to come back to get another one. Having had nearly a month of dry weather it was at this point that it decided to rain too.
I guess you might say that we got away with it but I must admit the a bit more time would be good for my next controlling experience!
I hope everyone enjoyed the event. I spoke to a number of people afterwards to get their feedback and this seemed to generally be very positive. Some pointers to improve map readability have been noted but these were made as helpful points rather than big grumbles for which I thank you.
My thanks go out to Ross for organising/planning, Andy for mapping and Alan for entries/results/map printing and all things computer based. Your hard work made the event happen whilst having lots of things to do for the SOL too. Thanks also go to the rest of the Lilley family for manning the start and Callum for helping with registration.
- Nearest town: Dunstaffnage
- Grid Ref: NM880342
- Postcode: PA35 1QA
- Latitude: 56.451991
- Longitude: -5.440802
- Google Map (aerial) - Bing Map (OS)
- Planner: Ross Lilley
- Organiser: Ross Lilley
- Controller: Carol Burnapp
Courses follow British Orienteering Urban guidelines.
|Course||Category||Length (km)||Climb (m)|
|2||Veteran Men 40+, Open Women, Open 2||4.6||110|
|3||Supervet Men 55+, Veteran Women 40+, Open 3||3.9||80|
|4||Ultravet Men 65+, Supervet Women 55+, Open 4||3.5||50|
|5||Hypervet Men 75+, Ultravet Women 65+, Hypervet Women 75+, Open 5||2.5||30|
|6||Junior Men 16-, Junior Women 16-, Open 6||2.9||35|
|7||Young Junior Men 12-, Young Junior Women 12-, Open 7||2.0||20|
Start times 13:00-15:00.
Courses close 16:00.
Entries via SiEntries (click here) and will close at midnight on Sunday 7th May.
Senior British Orienteering member £8 (non-BO member £10).
Juniors and full time students: £4 (non-BO members £5).
Limited entry on the day subject to map numbers and a surcharge.
Info for dog owners
Dogs allowed. Please keep on lead within ‘urban areas’.
Indoor event centre at the SAMS Ocean Explorer Centre with toilets and cafe.
Click the image for a larger version.
A great area for short courses, especially around Dunstaffnage Castle, where it is contained by natural boundaries and yet has relatively low visibility in summer. The open moorland gives a good introduction to using contours. The area extends to the south on the Dunollie/Ganavan map and includes Dunbeg village and surrounding housing schemes making for an urban - coastal - parkland combination. Not typical Ecko terrain!
Please note: when entering our events your name may appear in the results section of this website or in newspaper reports.
Posted by Ross Lilley