2007/08 Events

Ae Forest – 24 & 25 November 2007

 The first of this year’s planned events took place on 24 and 25 November 2007
It was held down in South Western Scotland, near Dumfries at the Dog Sport Scotland trails in Ae Forest. We are grateful to DSS for allowing us to hold our weekend event there.
Organised by Brian Duncan and Peter Duncan.
 
As ever, the times only tell part of the story. Unfortunately, no photographs were taken at this event, but on the other hand, that’s maybe no bad thing.
The small group who stayed in the Bothy all survived, despite the rather smokey range and vast quantities of chilli.
 
If there was an award for Most Improved Time on Day 2, then that would obviously have gone to Jay Whiteley – loping a whacking great 1 hour and 10 minutes off her first day run. She also managed to knock off the extra 4 or 5 miles she ran on the first day too – what must have been doubly galling for her dogs was that she took the wrong turn only 300 yards from the finish !

The Fritz Dyck carts returned to “racing” – in the hands of Graeme Scott, Peter Duncan and David Paterson – David going with the double seat version. David’s autobiography – “Ditches I Have Visited In Ae” – will be available shortly.

Thanks to all who participated and to Brian Duncan for his organisation of this event.

The Results – Saturday : Wet 44F : Trail 6 miles
Driver
Team Size / Rig Weight
Time
Graeme Scott (2)
10 dogs / 188 lbs
21:18
Graeme Scott (1)
10 dogs / 188 lbs
21:25
Gus Hogg
8 dogs / 43 lbs
34:41
Brian Duncan
5 dogs / 55 lbs
38:49
Peter Duncan
8 dogs / 188 lbs
39:20
Brian Cutter
3 dogs / 42 lbs
42:49
Matthew Cutter
3 dogs / 47 lbs
51:04
David Patterson
10 dogs / 220 lbs + pax
53:51
Jay Whiteley
3 dogs / 39 lbs
1:54:30
The Results – Sunday : Dry 44F : Trail 6 miles
Driver
Team Size / Rig Weight
Time
Graeme Scott (1)
10 dogs / 188 lbs
20:51
Graeme Scott (2)
10 dogs / 188 lbs
21:23
Gus Hogg
7 dogs / 48 lbs
32:49
Peter Duncan
9 dogs / 188 lbs
37:45
Brian Duncan
5 dogs / 55 lbs
38:45
Ewan Robertson
9 dogs / 150 lbs
42:50
Jay Whiteley
3 dogs / 39 lbs
43:47
Matthew Cutter
3 dogs / 47 lbs
47:03
Brian Cutter
3 dogs / 42 lbs
47:51
David Patterson
10 dogs / 220 lbs + pax
56:23

Culbin Forest   12 & 13 January 2008

Well, what can I say……I think this event was more a test of will for the mushers rather than a work test for the dogs!!   The usual motley crew (minus a few regulars) turned up early on Saturday morning ready for an 11 mile jaunt round the woods only to be met with a rather icy access road in.  There was also a distinct lack of an event organiser as well.  As it turned out, said organisers had struggled for an hour to get out of their own driveway due to ice.  However, they did eventually manage to get to the forest albeit a tad on the late side.  The trail still had to be marked so it was obvious we were going to miss the 10am start.  Off went Mrs P, Mrs P and Mr P to mark out the trail, singing along to Elvis (much to Helens disgust).  The trail itself was in much better nick than the access road with only a few small patches of ice at the sides and so was deemed runable.  Unfortunately on the long back stretch (those of you that ran it last year will remember the mud with fond memories!) the waterlogged part of the trail had completely frozen over and was nothing short of an ice rink.  This meant we had to cut the trail short to 6.68miles (accurately checked by ‘old man’ Halliday ).
 
All teams had a good run and everyone came over the finish happy.  Sunday however was not quite as rosy.   The access road was even worse than it had been the day before.  Most of us still had a little hope left in us and proceeded down the access road to the start with our fingers crossed that the trail would be ok and it was just the road in that was bad…. Yeah right!   It had rained overnight and frozen so what had been a runable trail on Saturday had turned into a trail we could have skated on.  Helen had no choice but to cancel the event and everyone was in agreement with this decision. We managed to get a hold of Graham and Sandra to let them know but everyone else had already turned up. Not to be defeated we hung about a bit and let the dogs out for a stretch.  David and Cameron went for a walk in the woods, Brian and I taught Helen all about Jack Bauer and old man Halliday kept us entertained with stories about upsetting the Americans and Guantanamo Bay. We were really just kidding ourselves that if we waited about for a while the ice would melt enough to drive out without getting stuck!  Unfortunately it didn’t and on the way out Patterson and Pack got stuck. Cameron then whipped out the snow chains that he had obviously bought on the sly as I knew nothing about them!  They did the trick but David was still stuck.  Along came Jay Whitley to the rescue with her trusty 4×4 truck and towed David up then went back for his trailer. Well done Jay!  I think it would have been at least Tuesday before he could have driven out of there!
 

The times for Saturday are as follows.  It should be pointed out that Jay W and David P both had passengers and David was running with a particularly heavy Fritz Dyke cart which I think reflected in the times.  Suzanne Alexander was the quickest of the day with her 4 dog team in 35 minutes.  Well done everyone and hope you enjoyed the event. It was nice to see some new faces at the event and hope to see you all soon for ‘The Balloch’.  Lady-P.

The Results – Saturday : Trail 6.68 miles
Driver
Team Size
Time
Suzanne Alexander
4 dogs
35 mins
Brian Duncan
5 dogs
37 mins
David Halliday
3 dogs
37 mins
Sandra Robinson
4 dogs
39 mins
Jay Whiteley
7 dogs
40 mins
Kirsty Halliday
4 dogs
43 mins
David Patterson
10 dogs
46 mins
Stuart Groce
4 dogs
47 mins
Balloch Wood   16 & 17 February 2008
 Balloch this year was really an advert for the Gwaihir Kennel.
The Gwaihir dogs certainly saved the day for a few mushers on the Sunday.  Balloch Wood really started on the Friday when Helen and I went round to mark out the trail, aided by Scott who claimed to have finished work early.  Armed with hammer, string, markers and Lady-P’s tub of sweeties, we set off for a scenic drive round the trail.  Having been on a previous ‘marker counting’ trip, I was happy in the knowledge everything would go smoothly……maybe not!  Round about marker 20 Helen pipes up and says ‘We don’t have enough markers.  We are going to run out.’ To which I reply, ‘We should have. I counted them last time and wrote them all down.’ Scott is busy hammering pins in and trying not to laugh.  Helen then says, ‘Well, we are going to run out. Are you sure you counted them all properly?’ Not wanting to enter into an ‘it’s your fault not mine’ discussion I shrug my shoulders and say ‘Oh well.’ We drive on to the next marker and I quietly start to doubt my maths skills.  We do run out of markers and feeling rather puzzled, I note down how many we need to bring for tomorrow so the mushers don’t get lost. Scott at this point is sitting quietly in the backseat sooking orange fizzes and wondering why he agreed to come in the first place.  Next morning as the usual crowd start to arrive in the woods, Helen shows me the paper that I had originally noted down the number of markers on to prove that I had miscounted.  I was counting in bundles of five. The four vertical dashes and one diagonal through, you know….to make five.  Whilst I fell about laughing Helen explained she thought it meant four and didn’t have a clue what the diagonal line was for.  She had never seen this before.  They obviously didn’t teach this pre – Falklands.  Laughing like idiots, Helen and I headed off to check the trail and put out the remaining markers.
 

The weather was cold and dry and the trail had no ice or frost this time, but unfortunately the trail surface turned out to be harder than it looked and felt underfoot due to the cold temps overnight and some dogs wore quicks down on the Saturday.  The trail distances were 5.8, 6.4 and 7.2 miles. We were unable to get 9 miles this year due to harvesting.  I don’t think anyone missed ‘that hill’ though.  Team sizes varied from 2 dogs to 7 dogs this year and consisted of Siberians or Malamutes. Jay, Mathew and Steve were the only mushers to run the same team both days.  David and Kirsty were only there for the Saturday.   Cameron, Stuart and Scott each had a dog come in with worn quicks, so Helen brought half her kennel for them to run on the Sunday. This accounts for team size changes and times over the two days. Apart from worn quicks all the dogs enjoyed themselves and were happy coming over the finish.  The trail on Sunday had much more give as it had not been so cold overnight and there were no foot problems on the Sunday. We had no ‘heavy rigs’ this time although Jay did double rig with Brian Cutter. I even ran two dogs round the 5.8 mile trail on the scooter!  As always thanks to Helen for organising the event and the loan of dogs.  Hope everyone enjoyed themselves and it was nice to see John and Kari stopping by and dishing out some very valuable advice to us all.

The Results – Saturday
Driver
Team Size / Trail Length
Time
Jay Whiteley / Brian Cutter
7 dogs / 7.2 miles
45 mins
Brian Duncan
4 dogs / 7.2 miles
45 mins
Matthew Cutter
3 dogs / 7.2 miles
46 mins
David Halliday
3 dogs / 7.2 miles
50 mins
Kirsty Halliday
4 dogs / 7.2 miles
59 mins
Stuart Alexander
4 dogs / 6.4 miles
30 mins
Cameron Pack
4 dogs / 6.4 miles
34 mins
Scott Ewen
2 dogs / 5.8 miles
37 mins
Lisa Pack
2 dogs / 5.8 miles
44 mins
Steve Sim
2 dogs / 5.8 miles
54 mins

Blackcraig Forest    15 & 16 March 2008

Nine teams took part in the two day rally, ranging from a nine dog team down to a two dog team of Malamutes.
Two trails were on offer, 5.9 miles and 9.9 miles. Both presented a challenging trail with a variety of surfaces and climbs. The 9.9 mile course took the teams to the summit of Blackcraig Hill, a steep climb with a false summit to keep everyone on their toes or perhaps pads.
 
The weather was fair with a little wind and a temperature range of 4 to 10 degrees. Most teams opted for the long trail; the striking feature was the consistency of the teams – most returning similar times on both days.
 
The request for a picnic bench at the top of Blackcraig Hill has been forwarded to the Forestry !!
 
Overall a good two days working the huskies.
 
Congratulations to all the teams entered, the drivers, the dogs and the organisers.
Good to see everyone, especially nice to see Steve’s malamutes out with us once again.
 
The Results – Saturday
Driver
Team Size / Trail Length
Time
Kurt Vendelborg
5 dogs / 9.9 miles
1 hr, 3 mins
Jim Taylor
6 dogs / 9.9 miles
1 hr, 5 mins
Kirsty Halliday
3 dogs / 9.9 miles
1hr, 12 mins
Brian Duncan
4 dogs / 9.9 miles
1 hr, 13 mins
Brian Cutter (majority of trail double rigged with Jay)
3 dogs / 9.9 miles
1 hr 32 mins
Ewan Robertson (unpowered quad used as rig)
9 dogs / 9.9 miles
1 hr, 42 mins
Jay Whiteley (double rigged run)
5 dogs / 9.9 miles
1 hr, 43 mins
Matthew Cutter
5 dogs / 9.9 miles
1 hr, 48 mins
Steve Sim
2 dogs / 5.9 miles
1 hr, 14 mins
The Results – Sunday
Driver
Team Size / Trail Length
Time
Kurt Vendelborg
5 dogs / 9.9 miles
1 hr, 2 mins
Jim Taylor
6 dogs / 9.9 miles
1 hr, 3 mins
Kirsty Halliday
3 dogs / 9.9 miles
1hr, 10 mins
Brian Cutter
4 dogs / 9.9 miles
1 hr, 18 mins
Jay Whiteley
3 dogs / 9.9 miles
1 hr 22 mins
Brian Duncan
4 dogs / 9.9 miles
1 hr, 24 mins
Matthew Cutter
3 dogs / 9.9 miles
1 hr, 24 mins
Ewan Robertson (unpowered quad used as rig)
9 dogs / 5.9 miles
53 mins
Steve Sim
2 dogs / 5.9 miles
1 hr, 3 mins

We look forward to seeing everyone at NSDSC events in the coming winter.
Advertisements