2011 National Qualifier No. 2

05 June 2011

The Torbay event on 5th June 2011 started from the usual place, Woodbury common on the Exeter map. Eight teams assembled for the event.

Both signals were heard with roughly equal strength at the start. This was the result of much testing on Saturday.

Station A on 1920kHz, 2.4km from the start on bearing 162deg had 20dB of attenuation applied to bring the signal down to that of station B. The station was close to a lake in very thick undergrowth.

Station B on 1960kHz was 18km from the start on bearing 235deg at Well Covert wood situated in a deep heavily wooded valley just south of Olchard. I think Olchard saw more traffic during the afternoon than it usually gets in a month.

The starter, Colin had no need of approximate bearings as 7 of the 8 teams left the start and headed out for station A, the close one. The other team made it a difficult afternoon by tackling station B on their own.

The plan was that station A could have been on the coast path, disused railway or the wood by the lake.

Unhappily for station A (me) Rosie and Graham found my car in the "car park" in the wood. This car park is not marked on the map so top marks for them finding it.

This meant that at 1:55pm, five minutes before my second transmission I could hear Rosie, Colin and Graham talking about where I might be not 15ft from my hide!

We had put a lot of thought into the use of the new fence that ran through the site and I was connected to the top rung of the fence by a wire along the ground covered over with a log to protect it from DF feet. The fence was used for 240metres with earth stakes to guide the signal to a wire in the bushes a long way from my hide. The DF set did not point to me but only along the fence.

Luckily, it took 20mins of searching before Rosie found me (off transmission) by walking the fence and looking into all the deep undergrowth along it.

Another 4minutes before Alan did the same, then 10minutes more for the Ateam to arrive.

By 3:13pm my site was finished, with all on site competitors in (unfortunately one team got caught up with station B) and I was transmitting on my own.

So, the wave of DF competitors went for station B.

Matthew was operating that site and Colin had told him after the start that he thought half the teams were heading his way. As Matthew had not had anyone in by 2:45pm he was worried that we had overdone the difficulty and so put some extra transmissions on to help out.

This did help them out and when the A Team and Rosie fought for first place at 3:23pm (A team won, they are not gentlemen) Matt was surprised when they didn't take off for the other station. "Isn't this your first?" he asked. No, second said Rosie!

So, the DF teams have made short work of all Torbay's best efforts to give them the impossible DF. Next year is the challenge, then.

Well done to all who took part, and many thanks to the Tx crews and Colin for his continued enthusiasm and without whom it would be difficult to think up suitable hardships for DFers to endure.

Paul Clark

Position Competitor Finish Time A Time B
1 Andy Collett 15:23:23 14:26:42 15:23:23
2 Rosie Merry 15:23:35 14:12:33 15:23:35
3 George Whenham 15:55:07 14:30:47 15:55:07
4 Bill Pechey 15:55:51 14:40:58 15:55:51
5 Alan Simmons 16:20:42 14:17:35 16:20:42
6 Graham Jones 16:23:19 14:35:20 16:23:19
7 Dick Brocks 16:26:32 15:11:35 16:26:32
8 John Mullins 15:45:53 - 15:45:53