The start for this years Coventry event was at Bucknell Wood, about a mile north west of Silverstone. June 13th just happened to be the date of the motorbike GP at the Silverstone motor racing circuit which caused some concern because of the traffic, but fortunately it wasn't a problem. The only hiccup at the start was the organiser leaving the clock cards at the tea place, meaning that paper forms had to be used just like the good old days.
Ten competing teams entered the event with Graham Jones G4DKH, from Weston Super Mare, accompanying the organiser as a 'guest competitor' to learn a little of what top band DF was about. The WSM club is keen to run the final qualifying event in the Weston Super Mare area later in the year. After the event Graham said he hoped to enter the Salisbury event as a proper competitor.
Station A, G4CFG/P, was located approximately 22km north west of the start on a disused railway near the village of Braunston. It was intended that the interlinking canals, disused railway lines and footpaths would give the competitors plenty to think about. The land adjoining the railway has open access and with the land owner being an ex radio ham there was no problem with access to the station. The aerial was a simple end fed type running about 400m along the railway embankment - not much of a problem here for the competitors except fighting their way through the dense undergrowth.
Station B, G4KZU/P, was located approximately 10km south west of the start in a mixed plantation wood. Again the aerial was a simple end fed type, about 100m long, running through the woodland. The undergrowth here was far less dense so competitors had a much easier time of it.
All teams and organisers assembled for tea at Yardley Gobion village hall where a superb tea was served by the good ladies of the WI. Roy Emeny gave an account of how he had beaten off the opposition to win the event, in fact his first win after several years competing in DF contests - congratulations Roy. Andrew Mead came second so it was Essex grabbing the top points. Roy and Steve Stone qualify for the National Final.
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