2005 National Qualifier No. 4

12 June 2005

Thanks for all those who attended, hope you enjoyed the day.

We did have some rain first thing as Frank and I drove down to the westerly station and although it was mostly cloud – the rain managed to hold off, so, apart from those who went wading in streams (and mud), most people managed to stay dry.

We did advise everyone to get a new map with the new A120 link from the M11 to Braintree on it. A good deal of the action took place along this route with the start mid way at Dunmow, Richard’s A station 90 degrees east in the middle of Braintree town, with Frank and the B station just over 185 degrees to the west. Only Bill turned up without the right kit but was helped up by Andrew and Dick Brocks who lent Doreen their spare map.

Ten teams started with some arriving fairly late. The Test transmission from the A station was also very late. Both stations generated fairly moderate signals to the start, leaving everyone with the feeling they were farther away than they actually were.

Nine teams went west and three East to Richard near to the Braintree leisure centre. A tricky urban site Trevor would have hated. But it did not give Bill too much trouble though, with Graham and Geoff close in tow, the three were in and out fairly quickly and shooting back down the A120.

The B station was a much further run in, within a triangle of railway junctions formed where the Stansted airport link comes off the main London to Cambridge line. Not on the map is the large expanse of water on the site, with several streams, ponds and tall stinging nettles. The aerial ran 200 metres from one side of the sizable pond to the other with an earth stake close to the waters edge. This meant Frank could look across the lake and watch teams locating the earth stake at the other side. The easiest way to get to the Tx was by running along a 25 meter wall that separated the lake from the stream, but only one person did this and only after wading across the muddy stream (well done Geoff – sorry I was not there with the camera). Most teams climbed across the sluice gate in order to get over the stream to find Frank who was using very little cover by the waters edge.

It was a really close finish between two teams, at different stations, with only 30 seconds or so in it. It did not have to be that way! Tim and team arrived at the A station well ahead at about 3.45 but decided to use the time to thrash around the site, pose for the camera and impress the local children with their vigour. George and team came and added greatly to the number of people looking in the wrong place – where all the cover was. Then all on his own Peter Larbalestier turned up ten minutes after taking a very different approach, casually sauntering around, not looking at aerial, not looking in the bushes, Yet by wandering around in the open spaces, happened to stumble virtually straight way across Richard. Yes, OK he says he had his receiver turned on, and yes, he says the set did peak up, turning just at the right spot, but he made it all look so easy for it to be true. Tim was robbed! So was Bill who had got off to a flying start but had taken some time to sort out all the wire at the westerly station and just missed out taking the Colchester and Chelmsford trophy home for another year – coming second.

Consolation prize for Bill was a qualification place and from Peter - not wishing to take the qualifier place – Tim was given a qualifier place as well.

Great tea and Great Saling village hall (Essex has so much more that you think) and great event all round, with all teams finding both stations within time.

Photo provided on the web site I have called Smugness, though it could be called stunned; either way it was Luk, Luk, Lucky. Well done Peter – still think you should get a team together and do the final. The other photos (mainly of the start) I will send through to Bill and Roy for posting on the web sites.

Philip Cunningham

Roy Emeny has kindly provided some extra information about the event here .

Position Competitor Finish Time A Time B
1 Peter Larbalestier 15:58:20 15:58:20 15:02:26
2 Bill Pechey 15:58:49 14:41:45 15:58:49
3 George Whenham 16:00:14 16:00:14 14:53:36
4 Tim Parker 16:02:33 16:02:33 14:57:41
5 Andrew Mead 16:08:01 16:08:01 14:56:52
6 Andy Collet 16:10:37 16:10:37 14:55:43
7 Geoff Foster 16:14:04 15:05:51 16:14:04
8 Ian Butson 16:17:33 16:17:33 15:02:12
9 Alan Simmons 16:20:02 16:20:02 15:05:23
10 Graham Phillips 16:27:00 14:42:49 16:27:00