2019 National Qualifier No. 7

11 August 2019

Organiser's Report

The aim was to have two stations that were fairly easy to find once you were on site but finding the sites might be a bit tricky. There should also not be too much driving.

The A station was in Bramshill Plantation, 16 km from the start. It is a large area of Forestry Commission open-access land, surrounded by high-voltage power lines. The Tx was roughly in the centre of the site and was quite a good run from any of the points of access. I was pleased to see that people got poor bearings but, once on site, found John's location quite quickly.

Alan operated the B station which was in an old copse surrounding a couple of ponds about 300 metres from the start. When I investigated the site the ponds were full and the area around them was very boggy. Sadly, it had dried up considerably by the date of the event. The Tx was a normal one but we inserted about 50 dB of attenuation between the Tx and the antenna. This seemed to have the right effect and only Graham suggested that it might be within walking distance. If he had decided to stay behind and run in, the results might have been very different.

Everyone found both stations and seemed to have a good time.

Thanks to eveyone for coming and especially to John and Alan for operating. A special thanks also to Doreen and Linda who organised the tea.

Bill Pechey

Winner's Report

Seven teams assembled at Sulham, NGR 648745.

Two cracking signals were heard at the start.

Signal A was ok and a bearing of 132deg. Signal strength indicated > 10km

Signal B could be heard well and Dick got 150deg and a strength indicating about 8km.

On map below, the bearings and the guess at B distance.

Start bearings

So we agreed that we needed a decent cross on them both so went to the left of B bearing – to Burghfield Common and aiming for B first.

RUDE words most loudly. Nothing heard of Tx B on set or incar. So back at or near the start.

So change of plan and go for A instead. Bearing on A taken and not much use as we can see below:-

Bearings 2

Start and 2 o’clock bearings do not cross.

So Dick navigated us south eastward to get nearer and hopefully a better bearing.

Bearings 3

More helpful. Dick’s thinking is either the Bramshill Plantation or the lakes to the right of Everley Cross. So onward.

Got to the right of the plantation and got another bearing

Bearings 4

Looked like the Tx was near the Sluice at the top right of the wood.

Parked near the Sluice together with two other already parked DF cars and off into the wood.

No one seen in the immediate wood, then signal up and it said slightly less than 1km so probably up near the lake. We were in the wood so we ran for it.

We all seemed to get to the Tx site at about the same time but no one had got in yet.

The wire in the trees by the path seemed too soon so we went on.

Overshot and had to come back only to find others clambering out from the lake side and running off. Not much lost so in to the Tx and the run back.

We are getting old for this lark!

Got back to the car and headed off to the start.

Chatting it over Dick decided that as we could hear nothing at 2 o’clock and the start was indicating 8km he must be much less than 1km from the start.

He decided that if we heard it and could get a bearing then we would, otherwise it's back to the start and run the bearing. Our estimate was probably 500m to 1km from the start.

Bearings 5

Looking at the map our guess was that he was in the strip of wood going east west at about 600m south of the start.

Nothing heard on the car monitor (we drove to the start via Little Heath) so we got back to the start.

We were the only DFers there so out and running.

Got to here and Tx came on and Dick said “not in the wood, in the copse”

Bearings 6 Satellite view

Nothing there on the OS map, but there is the copse from the satellite view.

We run into it and Dick and Matt are following the wire on the outside and I am tracking them on the inside of the copse.

Andy Collett and Tim Parker have joined us and Andy thinks we have been in. Alas not so.

Matt had seen Alan in his hide and so it was with difficulty that he relayed this to Dick with some whispers. Luckily for us that Andy thought we were telling him porkies and ran back the way I had been thinking to get ahead of us, but Matt has found Alan in the opposite direction so able to lead Dick to him first.

Touch and go but another first.

Thanks to Mid Thames for putting it on.

Dick, Matt and Paul – Torbay Tigers

Position Competitor Finish Time A Time B Between
1Dick Brocks15:53:2714:57:3915:53:2700:55:48
2Andy Collett15:53:4114:55:1715:53:4100:58:24
3Tim Parker15:54:0314:54:5715:54:0300:59:06
4Justin Snow15:56:1314:55:0215:56:1301:01:11
5Graham Phillips16:06:0714:56:0416:06:0701:10:03
6Chris Plummer16:06:5614:57:2416:06:5601:09:32
7Rosie Merry16:22:0615:26:0116:22:0600:56:05