Drummond Castle, 8 December
Tayside Orienteers organise an annual mass-start score event at Christmas. This year’s event was held at Drummond Castle, near Crieff. The TAY website describes the terrain as “delightful ancient oak woodland to the north of the castle, dropping down to the Pond of Drummond, with mixed conifer woodland to the west complicated by linear volcanic dykes.” The oak wood, with its lichens, has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation, meaning it is one of the best oak woods of its type in Europe, and there were strict warnings about safeguarding the ground flora.
Roger Scrutton commented: “It was great to run around Drummond oak wood, where the best part of the course was. It was WET. The frequent showers weren't too bad but underfoot it was very wet - marshes had swollen, as had the burn through the area, which could be crossed at a couple of bridges but otherwise required a massive leap or knee high water. No-one was lost as far as I know. Off the motorway the roads were flooded in places, especially one quite deep flood just outside Muthill (one-way traffic).”
There was a 45 minute time limit for the Short course (19 controls available), and 60 minutes for the Long (24 controls available), with control values ranging from 10 to 40 points. Bonus points were awarded for those who encountered the roving Santa or Elf controls, worth 20 points each.
After the event, there was a Christmas lunch at Crieff Golf Club, with an ingenious Christmas quiz, based on control descriptions.
All the ESOC competitors did the Long course, which had 56 competitors. The best ESOC result came from Heidi Ross, who was 2nd. Others in the top half of the results were Finlay Ross (9th), Timothy May (19th), Maggie Scrugham (20th), Margaret Dalgleish (23rd), Les Dalgleish (24th) and Roger Scrutton (28th).
Full results and more details about the event, including the quiz, are on the 2019 Christmas Score page on the Tayside Orienteers website.
Click the image for a larger version.