Scottish Championships, Relay
Newtyle Hill is a beautiful area with one problem: it is steep and a lot of the good orienteering is a long way above the assembly area, which was to be the same as for the JK in 2012. I decided that I would take the courses the opposite way round the area, and soon had ideas for the latter part of the courses. I also liked the hill that stood overlooking the field to the west, and thought a spectator control on top would be spectacular in the mass start, albeit a little cruel. I did the final planning this year and soon came up with some draft courses. Sorting out the many possible combinations of controls was more complicated. Much toing and froing with Graeme Ackland, my kind controller, led to courses that looked the right length for the time guidelines. The 48 control sites were tagged in early May, and controls put out the Friday before the event.
Unfortunately, I missed the mass starts as I was putting out radio controls (a test for WOC), but was assured that the hordes making their way up the hill to the spectator control looked great. I came back to the arena shortly before the finish of the Junior36- class, and was pleased to see 3 teams finished very close together. The Junior44- was even closer. I was a little worried that the A course might be outwith the 30 to 35 minutes guideline, when the first back took 38 minutes. However, on talking to Graham Gristwood in the finish area, he thought that he and Murray Strain would take around 35 minutes, and so it proved.
I heard remarks that it was a bit brutal, but most seemed to enjoy the experience and liked the figure of eight loop that kept people on their toes. In fact several people liked it so much they did some of the loop twice! At the JK this year, there was favourable feedback on printing the control codes on the map, and I decided that we should do the same at the Scottish Relays. I’ve heard more positive comments than negative, and think this should be the norm in the future.
Crawford Lindsay (ESOC)
Controlling the Scottish relays gave me a sneaky route to try out a few things before WOC next year. Crawford had some imaginative ideas, in particular the figure of eight loops. These generally seemed to work OK, although the map marking proved confusing to some. This may have something to do with the novelty.
Printing control numbers on the map was widely praised at the JK, but here reception was more mixed, especially around the loops. You can't please all the people all the time, but on balance I think this should become the norm.
Some people commented that we need to improve communication so people know what's going on. We had some technical issues with the radio controls, but there is an urgent need for a knowledgable commentary team who can at least follow the race and alert the field as leading teams finish.
A month before the event responsibility for map scale was transferred to the controller. We opted for 1:7500 on the basis that it fits nicely on A4. I heard some comment that this made the symbols too heavy – and no comment about lack of name, legend, scale or North arrows on the map. Also, I was surprised and disappointed at the number of map errors. We avoided the worst of it, and did some remapping where the courses were affected, but I had expected better from a two-year old JK map and I let it get too late before acting. I think the only issue was some extra good running on tracks and strips of white, so nobody should have lost time.
There were a couple of minor issues with SI cards not registering for people who had clearly been to the control. We ignored the overofficious BOF rules, interrogated the units, and reinstated everyone (Appendix A, Section 8.9 verses 3&4 since you ask). If anyone else thinks they are still wrongly DQed, let us know and we'll tell you what we think you did.
Finally, many congratulation to Crawford for nailing the course lengths; to the various juniors who producing the most exciting relay finish in my memory (on 36-) rapidly followed by an even more exciting one on 44-; to Alex Carcas on winning men's open aged 16, and Andy Dale on passing 12 other C class runners on the last leg to win the handicap. Brilliant stuff.
Graeme Ackland (INT)
What did you think about the relays?
Pre event information
Entries / Fees
Enter through Fabian4 closed Sunday May 11th
Entry fees are £36.00 for classes 1 to 6 and £18.00 for junior classes 7 & 8.
There is no Entry on the Day.
Newtyle hill is located roughly 2.5 kilometres to the East of the village of Dunkeld. Please follow the directions carefully to avoid un-necessary delays to fellow competitors and other road users.
From the North – Southbound traffic on the A9 should use the “Rotmell” junction (signposted Blairgowrie (A923) Coupar Angus (A924). Competitors should proceed through Dunkeld to the A984 junction by the Atholl Arms. Turn left at this junction and follow the A984 for 5km before turning left into the Dungarthill Estate just before Stenton.
From the South – Competitors travelling northbound on the A9 (or eastbound from the A822) should use the turnoff signposted Birnam/Dunkeld (A923) and the main Dunkeld turnoff (signposted Dunkeld/Birnam/Blairgowrie A923 and Coupar Angus (A984)) . Follow the “Perth Road” 1.7 km through Birnam to the A923 junction. Turn right and cross the bridge over the Tay to the A984 junction at the Atholl Arms (300m). Traffic should turn right and proceed 5km as described above.
On leaving the relay area you return the way you came but could North bound traffic re-join the A9 through Dunkeld and not attempt to turn northbound at the Rotmell Junction.
(Grid ref at NO065412)
Parking is in the same location as the 2012 JK Relays in a field on one side of a minor road.
All competitors should arrive before 11.30am and there will be no exit before 11.30am.
Please only travel to the event along the signposted route and not via Darnoch farm as we will be operating a one way system along a narrow road.
Allow plenty of time as getting through Dunkeld and into the parking fields will be slow with everyone arriving at a similar time. Dunkeld is a very popular tourist destination with one main busy road so do factor this into your travelling time.
Limited hardstanding for minibuses and campervans. Please share if possible. Contact the organiser if bringing a minibus.
£1 charge per car.
Assembly is a 1km walk with 50m of ascent. Allow 15 minutes.
The route to the assembly goes through a couple of fields and runs next to a burn. The first 500m is very rough and although all-terrain pushchairs should manage you may need to be prepared to carry it over certain sections. The assembly area is a large area of open ground. There will be portaloos. Assembly adjacent to the start.
When competitors move from the area with tents in to the toilets they will have to cross the path of starting runners so can they please take care and supervise young children.
A WIFI signal for results may be available near download. Connect your smartphone/tablet/laptop to the wifi access point <strong>soa-results </strong>and browse to <strong>192.168.2.2</strong>
There will be no food/drink traders so please ensure you bring enough food and drink to sustain you.
No Dogs allowed in the assembly area and if they are in the car parking field must be kept on a lead and under control.
Race Numbers / Bibs & Team Declarations
These will be at the individuals for team captains to pick up and team declarations filled in This will be set up in one of the “official” tents. At the moment there is debate as to whether or not there will be “entry on day before” available on the Saturday.
10.30 and 10.45 for the relay.
10.30 for the BOF 36- and 44- classes only, all other classes at 10.45.
Mini-mass start(s) will happen at appropriate times if necessary.
Courses close at 2pm.
There will be a treasure hunt for young orienteers instead of a string course with a prize/ memento for all entrants.
The terrain is a mix of deciduous pine plus conifer woodland and steep open hillside, with good contour and rock detail. The ground may be wetter or drier than when mapped depending on the weather. Open areas have some heather and bracken with varying runnability. There are some small patches of new recent windblow. There are old slate workings affecting the longer classes with dangerous crags taped. Runners may come across bird feeders, high platform ladders, pallets and other temporary man-made items which are unmapped because their position changes often. There are marked crossing points on many fences. Purple highlighted uncrossable fences must not be crossed except at a designated crossing point. Report any damage caused to fences or walls to the finish.
The maps will be printed at 1:7500 on waterproof paper with control descriptions on the map only.
Cagoules may be compulsory for competitors and warm clothing and shelter tents advisable for spectators.
Relay Class Details
Relay Leg Length
A Courses – 5.6 to 5.9 K with 350 metres of climb
B Courses – 4,6 to 4.8 K with 300 metres of climb
C Courses – 4.0 to 4.2 K with 220 metres of climb
D Courses – 3.1 to 3.3 K with 170 metres of climb
Light Green – 3.8 K with 210 metres of climb
Orange – 2.6 k with 190 metres of climb
Yellow – 2.4 – 2.5 with 100 metres of climb
Leg / split removal:
In the event of an issue being found with a control site (or sites) the organisers reserve the right to exclude one or more leg splits from the final result times.
Trophies and Prizes
Prize giving of the relay at 1.30 followed by prize giving for the individual day.
There are trophies for the first Scottish teams in the Men's Open Class (which women can also compete in), the Women's Open Class, the Junior 36-, the Junior 44-, the overall winner of the Age Classes and the first Scottish Junior Team (M/W10-20) in any of the age classes (classes 2-6 in the SRC Guidelines). The last trophy has never been awarded before and is so that there is a TD5 trophy for juniors. Fabian 4 doesn't have a separate entry column for junior teams in classes 2-6, the junior teams just enter the relevant class and the fact that they are a junior team will be spotted when the results are analysed.
Our thanks go to the Landowners and to the volunteers from the organising clubs.
Overall Co-ordinator: Janet Clark ESOC
Planner: Crawford Lindsay ESOC
Controller: Graeme Ackland INT
Organiser: Angela Dixon TAY
Organising Clubs: ESOC and TAY