A record seventeen teams arrived at Salcey Forest for this last but one qualifier. Our dear deceased DFers decided to turn on the taps whilst taking our first bearings. One signal was fine, the other fairly weak . One bearing went towards Daventry, the other towards Wellingborough. The DF pack was split 50/50 as to which Tx they chose to be their first. Just after the 2pm signal from station A (near Daventry) three teams arrived down a track leading to the Grand Union canal, with a fourth arriving soon after. With the next signal on, three teams (the hares) raced down the tow path and across the bridge to find station A hidden in a privet bush. When challenged, he promptly handed us the key reader to enter our own cards (that's a first). The fourth team (the tortoise) eventually, after searching beyond the bridge and hearing George Whenham's whistle, found the said station.
Off on the A45 road, taking one bearing to confirm bearings crossing near to a power sub-station. I arrived at a nearby car park and saw many DFers on their first station ("Fantastic", I thought), but to my own disappointment, and not heeding my dear wife's comments on looking at the map, decided to tackle the long stretch of wood on the opposite side of the canal where I found poor master Peacock frustrated and lost. Thrashing through another mile of booneys, I finally managed to get across the dratted canal, only to find the signals still took me towards the power sub-station. I eventually arrived at station B, which was operated by Eric (who must own a wire factory), and found most teams had beaten me from the other site. But (yes, you have guessed it) the hares were beaten by the wise tortoise. This site was to be the cause of most frustration since the Torbay Rhodys but, in all, a good qualifier.
The tea was at Yardley Gobion where Graham Nicholls and George Whenham explained how good they were on the event (sick). The two teams who qualify for the National Final at Winchester are Graham Nicholls and Steve Stone. Our thanks to all the Northampton crews who helped to run this event .
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