2007 National Qualifier No. 7

02 September 2007

A problem with the W-S-M map No 182 is that a large proportion is covered with the Somerset Levels; vast expanses of flat land and rhynes with little cover and even fewer trees, or it is taken up with a huge chunk of the Bristol Channel. Any half decent sites are either privately owned and have barbed-wire placed around them with machine-gun posts and declared a ‘nature reserve’, or are so well kept that they offer little ground cover when you get up close. The first site we selected to use was in Canada Combe and fell into the former category. As we had a closer look at this site with its good access next to the Mendip Way we noticed a ‘keep out’ sign at the opposite end of the wooded -small quarry that we intended to use. We then moved to our 1st reserve site ( a secret location that we may use in future) and rigged by Bob, Colin and myself with a considerable amount of aerial only to find out later that it was on a similar bearing to our ‘B’ station and also too close to the start.

When initially looking for sites we came across the East Harptree woods, which not only had some half decent hiding places but a good location for starting the competition. I thought it would be a little more challenging to put up a considerable amount of wire in the form of a large dipole at right angles to the car-park and attenuate the signal considerably with a 30db attenuator (it would have been 20db if it was raining). In practice this ‘B’ station was only ˝ mile from the start, but with its very weak signal, it was sufficient enough to send most competitors off to Weston-Super-Mare! First team into this station was Paul Clark & Dick Brocks at 2.58pm (with some very rude words).

The ‘A’ station was hastily selected by Colin and myself on Saturday morning and rigged with a reasonable amount of wire which would hopefully radiate into the overhead power lines. Its location south of Wells on a dismantled railway was so obvious that we hoped it would be dismissed as too unlikely … but it didn’t fool anyone and first in was George Whenham at 2.17pm quickly followed by Graham Nichols. Overall winner was Tim Parker who thought the event would be over by 3.00pm, making a creditable 3.44pm arrival at the ‘B’ station after nearly having a trip to the sea-side at Weston.

Unfortunately, newcomer Dave Dyer went after the ‘B’ station not realising how sneaky DFers can be!

Graham Jones

Position Competitor Finish Time A Time B
1 Tim Parker 15:44:15 14:19:19 15:44:15
2 Geoffrey Foster 15:55:16 14:34:39 15:55:16
3 George Whenham 15:57:18 14:17:08 15:57:18
4 Colin Merry 16:23:20 14:21:46 16:23:20
5 Brian Bristow 16:26:20 16:26:20 15:44:10
6 Graham Nichols 16:27:17 14:17:29 16:27:17
7 Dick Brocks 16:29:03 16:29:03 14:58:13
8 Graham Phillips 16:02:07 16:02:07 -
9 Dave Dyer - - -