WhiteKirk Hill SoSOL
Sunday 30 April 2023

WhiteKirk Hill SoSOL  Sunday 30 April 2023

Rocky outcrop near Whitekirk Photo © M J Richardson (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Whitekirk Hill is a brand new area for orienteering. It has been professionally mapped for this event and boasts a variety of rock and contour features on broadly open hillside with picturesque views over East Lothian.

The majority of the paths are mown strips through the grass though they appear to be more permanent and there are many informal paths around the former golf course.

We look forward to welcoming you to East Lothian for this event which is part of the South of Scotland Orienteering League – we will have courses to suit everyone from novices to experts.

Parking for the event is at the Whitekirk Hill resort and we’d encourage you to make use of the excellent cafe which is there.

Organiser’s Report

A big thank you to Whitekirk Hill for giving us permission to use not just the area, but also the car parking, toilets and foyer which made the organising so much easier than in many areas, and to the Events Manager, Jenny Woodford, for all her help with this.
Thank you as well to Roger Scrutton of ESOC for Controlling the event. He paid several visits to the area to check that the courses were suitable and of the correct standard, and was there at 8 am on the day to confirm that the controls were in the correct places with the correct numbers on each. Finding a controller to do this was not straightforward and brought home to us that we need more, and younger, people to take on this role.
During Covid and lockdown we ran our events, as required, on the minimum of helpers but now we are aware we need to widen our pool of experienced people and were able to recruit more than 20 members and friends to volunteer somewhere, and this number meant that everyone had the opportunity to compete as well, and almost all took this up. Thank you to all the helpers.
The area was first mapped for orienteering in 1988 and the original black and white hand-drawn map was on display. It was used for several years before the area became a golf course. It was at a Wednesday evening event there in those days that I remember going away rather frustrated because there was no results display, not even the ‘washing lines’ of stubs that were the norm then. I thought I had had a good run but wanted to know if I really had, so it is something I endeavour to have at all events however small. The live display on screens was stopped during Covid and live results went online but my feeling is that the screens add to the atmosphere of competition.
The accounts for the event have not been worked out yet, but the commercial mapping of the area was £550 which is relatively cheap for an area this size. Being quite open, the Lidar data provided the mapper with a good base map before he set foot in the area.
We certainly hope to be back there again.

Sheila Strain

Controller’s Report

Whitekirk Hill is a gem of a new, wee orienteering area, and it was both a privilege and very enjoyable to be Controller there today. Although no more than a kilometre north-south and east-west, Duncan planned some excellent courses up to and including Blue: Brown was a bit more difficult, but simply having a Blue/Brown course and allowing runners to declare their choice worked well. In practice, the Brown was a middle distance course for those who ran it and a winning time of 38min was about right. A number of runners mentioned that the area would be suitable for a night event or a relay. The other stand-out feature was how busy the event was, with String, a pre-event warm up session and a beginners training event running alongside. I think ELO punches above its weight for a small club, running an extensive programme of small and medium-sized events and having an excellent team of knowledgeable volunteers who always turn to. Congratulations to ELO for an excellent event.

Roger Scrutton

Results

  • Simple results are here.
  • Routegadget allows you to plot your route, either by hand or by downloading a gpx file from a watch or phone and to look where you and others went.
  • Winsplits Online gives another way of comparing your times for each leg.
  • British Orienteering collect results from all events and publish ranking scores for larger events.
  • The SoSOL-2023 table after 3 races.

General Information

Type of event:

Local event in the East of Scotland Orienteering Association (ESOA) series

Rocky outcrop near Whitekirk Photo © M J Richardson (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Terrain:

  • Open land.
  • Runnability is generally very good.
  • There is some gorse and scratching undergrowth so shorts are not recommended – wear full leg cover.
  • Please observe any out of bounds areas.

Other Users

The area is very well used by the general public including dog walkers and families. Please respect their right to be there at the same time as you are orienteering.

Dogs

The area is well used by dog walkers so dogs are welcome to come with orienteers.

Toilets:

Toilets are available in the cafe building.

Accessibility:

TBC.

Location

Nearest Town: North Berwick
Grid Ref: NT 599 825
Nearest Postcode: EH42 1XR

Directions

If travelling from the west leave the A1 at the Abbotview junction (signposted for East Linton) and head east, continuing past East Linton on the A199. Turn left on the A198 signposted for Tyninghame and North Berwick. At Whitekirk Village turn right towards Whitekirk Hill which is on your left.

Public Transport

Registration & Start Times

Registration

This will be online and on the day in the cafe building – look for the ELO flag!

If would like advice before going out or if you think you will take over an hour please arrive and start early.

Start and Finish:

Start times will be from 11am until 2pm for white and yellow courses and 11am until 1pm for all other courses. We are not allocating start times.

The Start and Finish locations are close to the car park.

Courses Close:

The courses will close at 3:00pm, so if you have not completed your course by then, you should stop and return to assembly. 
You must report to the Download point, whether you complete the course or not, so that we know you are not lost or injured.

Course Information

Map

The map is printed at 1: 7500 with 5 m contours.

Timing

SportIdent (SI) electronic timing will be used – we will have SIs for hire free of charge but there is a £30 charge if lost. Units, apart from start and finish, will be set for contactless punching.

Courses

There will be White, Yellow, Orange, Light Green, Short Green, Green and Blue (& Brown) courses.

CourseLength / Ascent Description
White1.6km / 55mFor competitive 9-10 year olds and 11-12 year old beginners. Follows paths with a control at each choice point.
Yellow2.3km / 75mFor competitive 11-12 year olds and 13-14 year old beginners. Follows line features with controls after choice points.
Orange3.1km / 145mFor competitive 13-14 year olds and beginner adults. Controls near paths or line features.
Light Green3.4km / 135mFor more experienced orienteers. More challenging navigation including route choice and rougher terrain.
Short Green3.6km / 235mSuitable for experienced orienteers. A very challenging course with tricky navigation including route choice and rough terrain in areas without paths.
Green4.6km / 265mSuitable for experienced orienteers. A very challenging course with tricky navigation including route choice and rough terrain in areas without paths.
Blue (& Brown)6.1km / 350mSuitable for experienced orienteers. A very challenging course with tricky navigation including route choice and rough terrain in areas without paths.

More details about the colour coding is available on the Scottish Orienteering website.

Organiser:

Sheila Strain

Planner:

Duncan Edmondson

Controller:

Roger Scrutton

Other Information:

Whitekirk Hill is not big enough to accommodate a full Brown course even with a map turn-over so competitors who have entered Brown will actually run the Blue course. After the event, the league points for those who entered Brown will be calculated separately.
Please check for ticks after your run as there are deer in the area, and the planner has found some even in the winter months. For more information on ticks, visit NHS Inform.
There will also be a free follow the string course for the younger orienteers.

Entry Charges

Entry is cheaper if you are a current 2023 member of a club affiliated to Scottish or British Orienteering.

Please ensure that your membership has been renewed for 2023.

British/Scottish Orienteering member* (before 25th April)Non‑member
& late entry
Senior£8£10
Junior£3£4
Pair of Seniors£10£12
Pair of Juniors (no accompanying adults)£4£5
Parent and Child (White/Yellow)£4£5
Parent and Child (Orange)£6£8
Family Groups (we would generally encourage families to split into pairs)£10£12
Junior Additional Course£1£1

*Members of any orienteering club will receive a discount for advance entry only (usually by the Monday before the event so we can order maps).

It is usually better for family groups to go round in pairs/threes or to allow juniors to try an easier course more independently.

We would like to encourage juniors to do two courses – an easier one first on which they can test their own skills of navigation (though a parent may wish to shadow behind for safety) then a harder one on which an adult can be helping them extend their skills, ie White then Yellow, or Yellow then Orange; so we are introducing a cheap rate for a second course just to cover the cost of the extra map.

Safety and Risk

A comprehensive risk assessment (RA) has been carried out by the organisers, but participants take part at their own risk and are responsible for their own safety during the event.

Small children should be supervised when near the pond.

The RA will be available for inspection at Registration.

Medical Conditions:

If you, or anyone in your group (including juniors), have a medical condition that first-aiders or health professionals should know about in the event of accident or illness during the course of the event please print off the Medical Form, complete it fully and bring it along to the event.   You should complete a separate copy for each individual who has a medical condition.  Please leave the completed Medical Form at Event Registration.  If it is not in a labelled sealed envelope, it will be put in one and will be opened only in an emergency.  It will be shredded immediately after the event if you do not claim it back.

Privacy

When entering our events your name will appear in the results section of this website and may appear in newspaper reports.
We may also take photographs at the event for publicity purposes – please let us know if you do not want us to use your photograph in this way.
Read our privacy policy.

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