2010 National Qualifier No. 3

16 May 2010

The day dawned well... threats of rain abating after overnight sprinklings, so the Quartet (Eric,Bill,Derek & Trevor) arranged a nice sunny afternoon for the event.

The start access was a bit rutted and potholed but this encouraged slower driving than normal to and from the start on Cannock Chase, but the area was 'radio quiet' with no birdies coming up when the sense was on. Both stations had been tested the day before, but B was too weak on the day, so approximate bearing and distance was given to all, and some even required help on A which was quite audible on a DF set.

All competitors set off West for B, G3TRY/P run by Colin Boyce; this was 27km from the start, near the site in Ironbridge Gorge that had fooled all the competitors some years before. Chris had left the wire up at that time intending to use the site again, but the wire had gone when the site was inspected in April, and the undergrowth had been cut down under the power lines.

At 2:00pm the signal was quite audible but various bearings taken by competitors, so it seemed later at tea, were still affected by the nearby supergrid power lines with bearings up to 30 degrees off. Colin was set up in a bramble thicket half way up the hill, with 500 ft of wire straight up to the top and tee'ed to two 1/4 wave wires at the top right over the track entrance to the site. As most competitors came in this way after some had investigated Ironbridge itself, the tee had a few running around like the proverbial headless chickens. After about 45 minutes Paul clark found Colin, quickly followed by Steve Stone.

Station A had been set up mid morning with Chris Heys operating G3FVA/P, and he was getting quite lonely, by the last half hour of the contest when all the activity happened. The site on Tittensor Chase some 20km North North East with a 1/2 wave aerial against a 1/4 wave balancing wire. This seemed to pick up very well on the fence at the edge of the wood, and took competitors to the corner of a Rhododendron thicket. Some competitors stayed out in the field and soon found the entrace to the Rhodies and thus Chris's site, though at least one competitor said they only saw him from 10ft away when he moved slightly.

Teas were served at the Buttercup Cafe , especially opened for the event by son Matthew's future mother-in-law. We were tightly packed into the cafe, but good grub was had by all, and stories swapped etc.

Congratulations to Paul Clark finding both stations first, and who braved the torrential rain on the way up from Torbay area, and Geoff Foster who both qualify for the National Final.

Christopher Plummer

Position Competitor Finish Time A Time B
1 Paul Clark 16:14:46 16:14:46 15:02:42
2 Steve Stone 16:18:44 16:18:44 15:02:57
3 Peter Lisle 16:19:11 16:19:11 15:09:19
4 Geoffrey Foster 16:21:23 16:21:23 15:09:07
5 Graham Jones 16:23:08 16:23:08 15:12:35
6 Mark Coventry 15:13:07 - 15:13:07
7 George Whenham 15:14:43 - 15:14:43