Setting off the day before the DF without a clear view on where to hide was a bit of a risk, but necessary due to an overload of previous commitments. The overall strategy was to go for somewhere around 20km from the start and somewhere not too far away from home. Twyford seemed like a good starting point. I parked on the wide entrance way of Stanlake Park (not on the verge!) and investigated a riverbank which had woodland shown on the far side. This looked quite promising until I ventured on the far side and found an easily accessible area complete with children’s playground. However, on going further South towards Hurst I found a suitable wooded area with the benefit of it not being shown as woodland on the OS map. It was a bit muddy in places too. Perfect!
Next day, after collecting the tx plus fishing line aerial deployment kit from John, I decided to set up the aerial in the afternoon and return home for supper before the contest. Just as well: John’s fishing line (which I have used successfully in the past) proved unsuitable for the type of tree (cutting into the ‘v’ notch between the braches and the tree trunk and then breaking) and after 90 minutes on site I had absolutely no aerial deployed! I ditched the idea of a counterpoise, turned to my trusty builders line and weight, and got about 80 metres of aerial up in the next 90 minutes, just getting back on schedule for supper and the return journey to home. Drove a decent earth stake in and got (apparently) an identifiable signal back to the start, albeit with a lot of sky wave.
There was then a long wait! Steve had (amazingly – he is doing this a lot this season!) parked at the aforesaid Stanlake Park for his 8.15pm bearing and on getting a ‘cracking signal’ driven down a narrow side road and found my car. However, unknown to me, my signal was being re-radiated by some nearby power lines which meant Steve then spent 30 minutes on site before finding me. Meanwhile Alan had decided to park up at Stanlake (on the verge – to the owners annoyance!) and came in across the glorious buttercup-infused meadow to the north of the site, sparking curiosity in the group of Shetland Ponies inhabiting it. Graham had chosen yet another access route from the West and arrived shortly afterwards and Geoff, who had also found my car, came in a bit after that completing the competitors who found me.
As I type this a couple of days later I am still itching all over from the bites of the plentiful but at the time seemingly innocuous flies that were buzzing around me in my ‘hide’. Oh what we do in the good cause of DF!
|Competitor||Time||Adj. Time||Time Diff.||Score||Bill North|