|Competitor||Time||Adj. Time||Time Diff.||Score||Bill North|
Geoffrey seems to have done it properly and found the trampled path avoiding the rhododendrons, whereas Peter forced his way through them, costing him vital seconds!
Alan decided to trip over and fall on the operator, fortunately not doing any damage to either.
Roger and Graham seemed to have extreme difficulty locating the TX on site, despite lots of extra transmissions. So in desperation and needing a pint before the pub shut, I resorted to standing up with my torch on and hollering “over here!”. Still took them a while.
Sorry the signal was not better at the start, I hoped to put a big vertical up, but Mr Ryan failed to provide a suitable throwing weight when asked instead providing a tweeter loudspeaker to tie the wire on to and lob over trees. This was unfortunately not very controllable. It came in useful for hammering in the earth stake though!
Motorway traffic was light and I got to Cowleaze Wood earlier than I expected and started on my sandwiches while watching a Peugeot with a faulty exhaust and no number plate lights driving round the parking area. Next to arrive was Alan followed by Graham and Dave who gave out the Tx details.
Justin came up on the dot of 7:30 with a lot of night effect on the signal, I made it roughly South, well + or – 30 degrees but an approximate bearing of 140 degrees was issued which went through Maidenhead Thicket, after plotting that bearing I was the last but one to leave the parking area, turning left when everyone else went right. I had set the SatNav for Wargrave without any hope of getting there for 8 pm but hopefully far enough down the map to get a worthwhile bearing.
I soon found out why everyone else had turned right, DEER everywhere, I counted 10 – 15 on my journey Southwards towards Wargrave, arriving at Christmas Common I found that the Police had closed the road so I had to make a detour getting to Henley on Thames just before 8 pm. I took the road out towards Remenham Hill and stopped at Remenham Place to take a bearing of 92 degrees, looking up I saw the power lines and moved to the other side of them, now 105 degrees so I ran to the main road where the power lines turned right, turned left away from them, now 110 degrees which I plotted.
That second bearing went through Ashley Hill / Ashley Hill Forest, could the Tx be there? I continued on along the A4130 and arrived at the roundabout with the A404 just before 8:15 and parked on the grass beside the roundabout, but where to take a bearing? Fences and lights everywhere, except the middle of the roundabout where I got a bearing of 230 degrees which gave me a cross on Ashley Hill / Ashley Hill Forest. I set off through Burchett's Green, 20 MPH and lots of steep traffic humps, bearing in mind the propensity for spring breakage on M-B cars I went very slowly, to the considerable annoyance of the cars (probably locals) behind. I reached some temporary traffic lights and missed the turn that I wanted due to the queue and bright headlights coming the other way, so on to the roundabout at the lower corner of the forest and back to the turning to look for a footpath in.
There are the cars of Alan and Peter, just room for a third car, grab torch and off along and up the footpath. Up and up towards the 144 metre top of the wood joining another path on the way with the set saying to the left, I find a path to the left which narrows as I run along it and then – torches – off to the left there are two, a head torch and hand torch and to my right a single torch which I head towards, it’s Peter who is shouting something to Ruth but I can’t hear him with my headphones on, doesn't sound like “I have found him” so I head back to the path and the signal comes up as I get there, a good null and I run to my left, there is a torch further to my left and then I almost trip over Justin before saying a quiet hello and moving away, the torch to the left is Peter who is on the other side of the bush, Alan is soon along and we all set off back to the road in a socially distanced crocodile, helped enormously by the map on Ruth’s telephone. First in – a win, despite all the deer and the road closure!
A quick drink of water at the car, ask Peter to buy drinks on my behalf at the pub and it is off home for me. Several bits of Motorway have road works and then one junction is closed so it is a detour but home just before 11 pm. A handful of cashew nuts and a cup of tea and then unload the car.
Many thanks to Justin for an excellent evenings DFing, can’t wait for the next one.Geoffrey Foster