2011 National Final

25 September 2011

Eighteen teams started this final at Maidenhead Thicket and were pleased to hear three signals from the Tx operators.

Station A, G4KBB/P, op Ray Goodearl, was situated just off the Chiltern path at Penn Bottom some 15km from the start. Because of the motorway link closure eight teams opted to go to this station first with Peter Lisle first in at 14:01.

Station B, G3TRY/P, op Roger Shepherd, was the long run in station which was situated in the Swindly Forest (Bracknell) 15.5km from the start with various ways of running in. Most finally opted to come in from North Ascot. Roger was hidden in one of the many Rhody forests with around three quarter wavelength aerial centre fed. First in to this station was George Whenham at 14:44:34.

Station C, G4MDF/P, op Min Standen, was placed 17.5km away in a very difficult urban site on the outskirts of Reading. Min's Tx was beside a disused railway line and an old canal, the aerial was end fed, about half a wavelength, with two attached wires going into very thick undergrowth. The main problem with this site was navigating through the housing estate to get the shortest run in but few found that simple. First in to this station was Andy Collett at 14:21:17 with various groans regarding Reading traffic.

Unfortunately, this event proved too tough for any team to find all three in the allotted time but Peter Lisle did find it just 1.5 minutes after close down.

Tea was held at the Dashwood Arms, Piddington and the presentation was given in the garden by our Chairman Mr George Whenham to this years winner Peter Lisle and runner up Andy Collett.

The GP Rose bowl was presented to Andy Collett and Brian Bristow alias the "A" team.

My personal thanks go to the Tx operators who worked extremely hard before and during the contest and, of course, the 18 teams who travelled from various parts of the country to take part.

Brian Bristow G4KBB Contest Manager 2011

A Competitor's View

All contestants heard all three stations at the start, which isn't always the case. We plotted bearings of 40 degrees for station A, 155 for B and 240 for C, with B giving the strongest signal. We decided to go for station A, which wasn't particularly strong but thought that at 1:30 we'd also get another bearing for B. A was roughly in the direction of Beaconsfield so we set off along the A404 towards High Wycombe and then along the M40 to the Beaconsfield junction. We spent quite a bit of time looking for a suitable spot away from power lines and eventually settled on the back of the football ground near the service station and waited for the 1:30 transmission.

Station A was a strong signal on a bearing of 345 degrees, crossing the start bearing to the east of Knotty Green and station B, not surprisingly, weaker than at the start gave a bearing of 20 degrees crossing the start bearing near Maiden's Green, south of Windsor. We set off through Beaconsfield towards Knotty Green hoping for a third bearing to confirm a location. The next transmission found us north of Knotty Green and the bearing of 300 degrees with a strong signal didn't confirm our previous bearings but indicated a wood near Penn Bottom with the Chiltern Way footpath going through the wood. We parked the car near the footpath and set off, hopefully, in the right direction. We met Team Lisle running back to their car having found the station so we knew we were getting close. We spotted another contestant, Steve Stone, coming out of some bushes by the path and running off, presumably back to his car so we were pretty close. A bit of hunting around in the undergrowth eventually located the transmitter operator. One station found, two to go.

Back to the car and head south towards Windsor. Unfortunately, the journey south meant going through Slough and Windsor and was slow and tedious. After what seemed an age we headed south of Windsor, past Legoland towards Cranbourne and Winkfield on our way to Maiden's Green. The transmitter came on as we passed through Cranbourne giving a bearing almost due south. Definitely not Maiden's Green. We then headed for Ascot along the A330 and then took the A332 towards Bagshot, stopping in the middle of Bracknell Forest near to a sawmill. We waited for a signal which indicated east. Our latest bearings crossed in the forest not far from South Ascot. The problem was how to gain access as there didn't seem to be a way in from the A332  and there was a railway line in the way on the east side of the woods. We headed south towards Bagshot and then took the A30. Another transmission confirmed the location to be in the woods, not far from the railway line. The first bridge over the railway that we tried led to a very exclusive golf club - no use. There was another bridge further north so we headed for that and came across other competitors' cars. This looked more promising. By now it was nearly 4:00pm and the transmissions were more or less continuous so we were able to follow the set. The signal peaked up by some Rhododendron bushes and after quite a bit of searching on the wrong side of the bushes, we eventually found the aerial and after a bit more searching we came across the operator. Two stations found by about 4:10pm. No chance of finding the third which was to the south of Reading so we headed back to tea. We thought we'd done quite badly but on reaching the tea location we found that nobody had found all 3 stations. The majority of those that had gone to station C first had spent most of the afternoon there in a difficult location. Hardly any of those that had been to C first found a second station. It would seem that we had made a good choice in tackling A first and than going on to B as we had come 5th.

Team of John Mullins and David Ryan (Mr.Y and Mr.X)

Position Competitor Finish Time A Time B Time C
1 Peter Lisle 15:17:20 14:01:01 15:17:20 -
2 Andy Collett 15:40:21 - 15:40:21 14:21:17
3 Andrew Mead 15:45:56 14:08:45 - 15:45:56
4 Steve Stone 15:49:00 14:06:27 15:49:00 -
5 John Mullins 16:12:20 14:09:22 16:12:20 -
6 Chris Plummer 16:23:02 14:01:25 16:23:02 -
7 Graham Jones 16:25:12 - 16:25:12 15:13:53
8 Dick Brocks 16:26:55 - 15:06:42 16:26:55
9 Tim Parker 14:20:39 14:20:39 - -
10 Rosie Merry 14:42:28 14:42:28 - -
11 Gary Parker 14:42:47 14:42:47 - -
12 George Whenham 14:44:34 - 14:44:34 -
13 Alan Simmons 14:47:11 - 14:47:11 -
14 Roy Emeny 15:08:46 - - 15:08:46
15 Graham Phillips 15:15:10 - - 15:15:10
16 Graham Nicholls 15:15:49 - - 15:15:49
17 Geoffrey Foster 15:21:23 - - 15:21:23
18 Mark Coventry 15:49:28 - - 15:49:28