2008 National Qualifier No. 3

01 June 2008

Fifteen teams assembled at Gt Dunmow for the event, with added suspense caused by the entry of a ‘Mystery’ Competitor!

Transmitter problems earlier in the morning at the B station having been resolved by switching to a standby rig, two good signals were heard at the start leaving some thinking the stations were close by.

Teams split fairly evenly, with seven heading north for the A station and eight west for the B station. Problems were caused at the A station after the operator arrived to find the Wilding Trust conducting an Orchid count at West Wood and decided to move out the top of the wood up the footpath. This meant some signal radiated into high tension power lines close by giving false signals to some teams (humble apologies). This did not deter Tim Parker who limped in to find the first Tx of the day at 2.22pm. The ‘Mystery’ competitor, exposed as the miracle of the NHS - Andy Collett, fresh out of retirement and in good form was first to find the B station at 2.28 pm, followed swiftly by the ‘well into retirement’ - Ian Butson at 2.32 pm.

Despite the large number of teams there was only a steady stream of competitors arriving at the stations throughout the afternoon with only one pile up at the B station between Dave Ryan and Peter Lisle, who literally arrived on top of each other.

The B station was also in a Wilding Trust wood called Rushy Mead located by the Stort canal just south of Bishop’s Stortford. A good 100 meters of aerial ran up from the canal, through swampy bits and tall stinging nettles towards the main road. Raymond being on hand here to take photos of people coming and going throughout the afternoon.

Whilst a number teams took a while to find their first stations the distance between the two sites and a good level of signals meant a second station could be found in just over 40 minutes. This left only four teams only finding one station.

Mark Coventry completed the event with relative ease finishing first up at the canal at 3.41 pm, followed by Andy Collett doing it the other way round at 3.46 pm. Tim Parker lost his initial lead, finishing third at 3.47 pm at the B station, very good going given he was on his own and still recovering from a major leg injury.

Tea at Saling Village hall finished off an event which ended up harder than the organizer thought given the scarcity of good sites on the Chelmsford map and the closeness of stations to the start.

Philip Cunningham

Position Competitor Finish Time A Time B
1 Mark Coventry 15:41:15 14:31:22 15:41:15
2 Andy Collett 15:46:16 15:46:16 14:28:05
3 Gary Parker 15:47:26 14:22:19 15:47:26
4 George Whenham 15:48:25 14:54:08 15:48:25
5 Colin Merry 15:56:22 15:02:33 15:56:22
6 Peter Lisle 16:05:59 15:19:11 16:05:59
7 David Ryan 16:06:05 14:54:40 16:06:05
8 Roy Emeny 16:13:59 16:13:59 14:53:33
9 Andrew Mead 16:15:58 15:02:39 16:15:58
10 Graham Phillips 16:22:58 16:22:58 15:28:56
11 Geoffrey Foster 16:24:05 16:24:05 15:40:46
12 Ian Butson 14:32:26 - 14:32:26
13 Brian Bristow 15:34:56 - 15:34:56
14 Bill Pechey 15:43:29 15:43:29 -
15 Peter Larbalestier 15:52:19 - 15:52:19