2009 National Qualifier No. 4

07 June 2009

The Swindon DF was held on Sunday 7th June starting from Barbury Castle on the Swindon & Devises OS Map.

Fifteen teams booked in at the start - thanks Peter. A couple of phone calls from the transmitter operators into the starter ensured signals were received at the start from both transmitter sites. One competitor was heard to note 'Andy Collett' is on the 'B'-Station, "We'll make his our second station this afternoon". It is good to know my reputation remains intact...!!

The aim of the event was to put two stations close together (6km, in fact) on the same bearing from the start, and have competitors enjoy a 'good thrash' at both sites while having little or no driving to do between the sites. All competitors were expected to get sound bearings on both sites at 14:00, although it was hoped the proximity of the power lines at the 'A'-station will have helped keep competitors guessing.

The 'A'-station (thanks Peter) was 20km from the start located on the bridleway adjacent to Minety substation and various power lines in and out. Something like 500m of aerial wire was put up around the edge of the field with 3-4 tees into some heavy stuff. 100m of wire was tied at both ends to the wire fence on the opposite side of the bridleway, unfed, just to add a little extra interest. Peter's car was suitably parked and decorated with an empty wire reel so as to 'persuade' competitors to take the long run in. It worked!

The 'B'- station manned by my good self was on the edge of Webbs Wood. Again about 500m of aerial wire was threaded between the trees around some seriously 'think stuff' consisting of brambles, bits of gorse, trees, and possibly the odd Adder or two. At the far end the aerial was connected to two earth stakes, the other tied to the wire fence. A number of visible tees were threaded into the mess with further tees connected and 'thrown over' walls of brambles so as to ensure some serious thrashing was to follow. Competitors reported tees radiating in the middle of it all - excellent news. The transmitter was connected to the wire fence about 50-feet away from the aerial.

Although there was thunder, lightning, and hail to boot, signals from both sites held up through the afternoon. Unfortunately the plan to make both stations equally tough did not work quite as planned, the 'B'-station proving far more difficult than the 'A'. Some serious thrash ensued at the 'B'-station site as the thunder clapped overhead and the hail fell. On taking down the aerials, I was suitably impressed by the number of new motorways which had appeared at both sites - well done to all who braved the elements and got stuck in.

Peter Lisle found me at about 15:15 to win - sorry Peter, that is far too early, I'll have to make the next event much more difficult!! One famous name was heard talking of 'getting lost' and enjoying a long walk through the fine Wiltshire countryside, while another lost her competitor for what seemed like half an hour. Fortunately my Dutch Army Surplus wet weather gear kept me perfectly warm and dry through the afternoon, I feel for all those of you thrashing the wet trees, braving the hail, etc.

Tracey laid on an excellent tea to round things off.

Andy Collett

Position Competitor Finish Time A Time B
1 Peter Lisle 15:13:43 14:23:23 15:13:43
2 Steve Stone 15:19:16 14:39:40 15:19:16
3 Tim Parker 15:30:25 14:23:35 15:30:25
4 Roy Emeny 15:36:54 14:34:50 15:36:54
5 Paul Clark 15:46:20 15:11:10 15:46:20
6 George Whenham 15:51:36 14:35:04 15:51:36
7 Graham Phillips 15:54:58 15:14:02 15:54:58
8 Alan Simmons 15:58:03 15:06:43 15:58:03
9 Bill Pechey 15:58:26 15:58:26 14:48:50
10 Mark Coventry 16:24:53 15:11:15 16:24:53
11 Geoffrey Foster 16:25:38 16:25:38 15:52:03
12 Colin Merry 16:26:30 16:26:30 15:52:35
13 Brian Bristow 15:13:35 - 15:13:35
14 Graham Jones 15:48:05 - 15:48:05
15 John Mullins 16:18:12 16:18:12 -