Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Cammo Estate

ESOC local event in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sat 12th Jan 2019

Type of event: Local
Near: Edinburgh

Results are here

Winsplits are here

ORGANISER’S COMMENTS from Leonne Hutchinson:  It was wonderful to see so many people at Cammo. It is a lovely estate and the weather was ideal for a New Year’s outing. I’m glad the wee drizzle mid-way didn’t amount to anything.  It was a shame on arrival to find a window had been broken at the lodge and much rubbish left in the ruined house but both were quickly sorted by our volunteers. 

Cammo is often a popular event, and today was no exception. There were 197 entries on the day, with many family groups and newcomers, as well as experienced orienteers. It did lead to a busy registration and subsequent wait for dibbers to be returned. I was impressed with everyone’s patience and understanding, maybe aided by ginger biscuits and cake. Thank you to those who loaned their own dibbers to save people waiting, even their SIACs.

The team of helpers worked calmly and efficiently in getting everyone out to enjoy Peter’s courses. It is always rewarding when people return from their courses having enjoyed themselves and with positive comments for the sport and for the team that worked so hard to make it happen. A special shout out to the juniors that helped today - Rowan and Tom at the starts, Joseph and Ben on the computers, and Senan, who helped put up the signs. 

PLANNER'S COMMENTS from Peter O'Hara: I hadn’t planned an Orienteering course for more than 25 years. Back then I used little fiddly metal rings and got covered in ink. Condes software was great fun to learn and pretty user friendly I felt. Really had fun playing around with different course designs.  

Cammo was a challenge at times to plan for, particularly because of dog walkers causing the rapid evolution of the paths, my initial draft courses were changed after some ‘ground truthing’ and head scratching, so I avoided some of the more confusing areas. Vegetation boundaries were also avoided as control sites, partly because of it being Winter and looking very different, but also things have move on in places compared to the map.  Katy provided key comments on early drafts to help me revise some rather silly proposed control sites in dangerous ruins etc. as well as sorting out many design flaws and mistakes. 

One suggestion I got from a beginner whilst planning the course was not to cover up the map key with the control descriptions as had happened in a previous event they had been to, something we do have to be careful about with beginners who find some O symbols baffling to begin with. When this happens competitors can usually get a copy of (or get a look at a copy of) a map legend at Registration. 

For the Green as well as trying to get the length up with not too much repetition, I tried my best to make it as challenging as possible in a very familiar area/control sites for many, by making most controls only visible when you were inside the circle, trying to disorient through rapid twists and turns, and provided as many route dilemmas as possible, including trying to use the out of bounds fields as an obstacle. This was only partially successful, I noticed a few foot prints across the soil by the end [��] , thankfully no one tried ‘route one’ through the canal. Although a few will have to wash their shoes after going for it through the swampy ditch. Sorry for that….there was always the option of the long way round. 
Orange used many similar controls to the Green, but coming in from a more visible angle. I worried some sites may be tricky for beginners, but also a good way to hook beginners by giving them a bit of a challenge. My wife Monette certainly got her money’s worth on her 90 minute run on the Orange, some of it spent entirely off the map.
I think the Yellow was possibly too short and possibly a bigger step down from the Orange than desirable. Thankfully Katy advised me to make the Yellow and White quite different in case those that ran the White wanted to do the Yellow also, good advice.  

The White and particularly Yellow I probably found the least fun to plan, my instinct was to try to get kids to have forest adventures and get muddy, but the guidelines said paths only. 

 I really enjoyed the experience of planning, learnt a lot, would recommend it to others to try and definitely up for it again in the future if there ever is a need. Thanks especially to Katy for the wise mentoring and to Janet for gently keeping me on track in preparation milestones and also very impressed by the well-oiled machine of so many dedicated ESOC volunteers, calm under pressure on the day. Apologies that us Peebles outliers don’t do more. 

Super area for newcomers and a training opportunity for experienced orienteers.


Dalkeith Park, SoSOL

ESOC Event in the South of Scotland Orienteering League (SoSOL)

Sun 18th Nov 2018

Type of event: Regional
Near: Dalkeith

Provisional results are here.

Winsplits are available here

Routegadget now available

LOST PROPERTY: 1 green windproof jacket (left at start); 1 pink and brown woolly hat; 1 pair of glasses. Contact Peter Halling: .

PLANNER'S COMMENTS: Thank you to everyone to came to Dalkeith Country Park. What a stunning day – I wish I could claim credit for planning the weather!

Planning at Dalkeith has its challenges. The river is a major constraint and can only be crossed at 2 bridges. During the planning we also expected the access road from the King’s Gate to be open and reasonably busy, and we were also asked to keep runners off the steep banks around the start. I also wanted to avoid crossing most of the fields as they usually contain livestock.

We decided to keep the junior courses east of the river to avoid crossing the impressive Montagu bridge. To get suitable junior courses there were really only 2 possible start/ finish locations – and it’s always nice to finish near a café! I also wanted the senior courses to finish through the Old Oakwood as it’s the nicest part of the park. So the start had to be in the rather fine amphitheatre below Dalkeith Palace. The constraints made the start a little tricky and obviously caught out a few competitors who hadn’t quickly spotted the need to run under the bridge, and immediately turn back up the path to the road. I should probably have cut the start triangle, but I think most folk spotted the route.   

Unfortunately the area isn’t especially complicated for skilled orienteers, but it has a few features and is ideal for junior courses. The western area has very little contour detail and some very subtle (i.e. small) features. I tried to set legs that cut across paths at right angles to give some challenge. Unfortunately I couldn’t avoid the dead run to north east of them map. There are one or two possible mapped features in the valley, but it’s very unpleasant underfoot. Apologies if you were confused by all of the extra holly bushes just before the river crossing. I convinced myself that the control was on a reasonable thicket and the right distance from the distinctive rides, and I tried to hang it clearly.

The old oakwood is an SSSI with some M/W900 trees and a beautiful example of a managed forest. It’s not very complicated, but there are a few features around the edges and those on the longer courses had 2-3 loops here. I apologise for the second holly encounter at 218 (must be that time of year). The map isn’t quite right here but I thought the feature was good enough and visibility was good once through the holly barrier.

We had the inevitable discussion about SIAC and waking controls and decided that there wouldn’t be enough time to guarantee waking all of them on the morning of the event. This seems reasonable for a Level C forest event but if you feel differently please let me know as we will consider it as part of the SOA review of event standards

Finally thanks to Julie Merrilees and Stephen Begg from Dalkeith Country Park for their help and flexibility (especially making sure there weren’t any cattle in the Old Oakwood fields). To Sheila for keeping me straight! And to the control collectors who made my and Sheila’s jobs very easy at the end of the day. With a special mention for Margaret & Les for going out again in the gloom to collect the last 2 controls that I forgot!

Thank you to everyone who came along to this event. It was such a beautiful sunny day showing off the park at its Winter best.


Holyrood Park

ESOC local event in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sat 13th Oct 2018

Type of event: Local
Near: City of Edinburgh

EVENT WAS POSTPONED due to Yellow Weather Warning for heavy rain throughout Saturday. Read more for a fuller explanation.


Ward Junior Home International Relays

A closed event for junior teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Sun 07th Oct 2018

Type of event: National
Near: Pitlochry

Here are the relay results.

The results for all of the JHI races over the weekend are here

The relay points are here

The overall points for the weekend are here

Routegadget for the relay courses grouped together

Routegadget for the separate courses womens courses are the lower versions

Here are some PHOTOS from the JHI weekend, they were taken by Scott Bailey.  Many thanks to Scott for these.  

MORE PHOTOS, this time from Will Heap.  Thanks for these Will.

Thank you to everyone for coming to the JHI Relays today.  We hope you enjoyed our Scottish terrain and our hospitality.  Highland Perthshire did us proud with the autumnal display of colour.  Even the dreaded bracken looked beautiful with colours ranging from yellow through to dark orange.  A bit of blue sky and sunshine would have enhanced the colours but in the end the weather was quite kind with the rain keeping off until after the prizegiving.  

Safe journey home and Haste ye Back to Scotland

Margaret Dalgleish (Organiser)


ESOC Ultrasprint 2018, Bush Estate

Maze combined with Park orienteering

Sun 16th Sep 2018

Type of event: Local
Near: Penicuik

These are the results for the courses

The totals are here

Organiser's comments
The Ultrasprint is something special, and it was great to see such a mixture of people enjoying it today.  Top-class international athletes  and little five-year-olds mingled in the Maze.  Experienced orienteers raced against each other, and some beginners had never done anything like this before.  The sun came out and it was just lovely running around the parkland.  David chose some delightful control sites.  I hope not too many people stopped to eat blackberries like I did!  Most people - but not all - navigated accurately without the control code numbers (a unique feature of this event).   The helpers changed places seamlessly so that everyone could get their runs.  
And the icing on the cake, literally, was Sheila's 70th birthday celebration, generously shared with everyone.

Someone left behind a tattered turquoise cagoule in the tent; contact me to get it back.  

Janet Clark     Organiser     0131 225 7771     

A fun event suitable for absolutely everyone. FINAL DETAILS now available.  If you are newish to orienteering and perhaps more used to local events, it is important to read these.


Lauriston Castle

ESOC local event in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Sat 08th Sep 2018

Type of event: Local
Near: City of Edinburgh

Results are now available. Apologies they have taken so long on this occasion, a lot of work was needed to sort out the Orange course results to incorporate the strategy element.  

Organiser's Comments: Janet Clark writes - It was brilliant that so many of you decided to come to Lauriston on this lovely afternoon.  The downside was the rather long queues, so apologies for that.  You can shortcut the waiting time next time by joining the Club and buying your own dibber........  No, seriously, these events are all about giving it a go and seeing if you like it; which I hope you did!
This is such a lovely venue on a sunny afternoon; and Ewart as the Planner made sure that there was something for everyone with his urban section on the Green course and the extra "strategy" on the Orange, along with standard easy courses for the many "first-timers".  
Do all please come to our next events; at The Bush next Sunday 16th Sept and at Holyrood Park on 13th October.
Lost Property:   a very nice merino wool top, grey with pink trim, size Small.   Contact me quickly to get it back (or you might see me wearing it around....).  Phone:  0131 225 7771  or email:
Thank you very much to all who contributed to the success of this lovely afternoon in a beautiful setting.  We're so lucky in Edinburgh to have these places.  

Planner's Comments:  Ewart Scott writes - Most experienced orienteers will observe that the grounds at Lauriston barely sustain courses of technical difficulty much beyond yellow, so the challenge was to plan courses beyond white and yellow with some form of additional challenge. Even the white and yellow courses in Lauriston are somewhat limited by what the terrain offers and the openness of the ground, vegetation changes were used as line features rather than more obvious features such as paths.

The idea of a strategy score was a theme previously used and here it incorporated a form of route planning to maximise available points and keeping track of the route taken.  Clearly, a few more controls might have been better with the very fast winning times recorded.
The green course, using two maps sections of different types and scales was an attempt to vary what was on offer at this level and the urban section did catch out some at the disused railway line. 

Many thanks for the positive feedback about the courses and also to Mike Stewart, the Robertson Family, Terry Johnstone, Bill Stevenson and Brian Miller for help with the placing and collecting of controls.


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