2022 National Qualifier No. 5

26 June 2022

Position Competitor Finish Time A Time B
1 Colin Merry 15:35:40 14:22:09 15:35:40
2 Gary Parker 15:45:02 15:45:02 14:37:55
3 Peter Larbalestier 15:58:09 15:58:09 14:41:30
4 Alan Williams 15:59:02 15:59:02 14:47:00
5 Alan Simmons 16:03:00 14:39:38 16:03:00
6 Richard Scott 16:03:30 14:22:50 16:03:30
7 Geoffrey Foster 16:15:58 16:15:58 15:06:45
8 Philip Cunningham 16:29:55 15:22:20 16:29:55
9 Roy Emeny 15:50:45

Winner's report

One very good signal was heard at the start and that was from station A. Station B was weak and, due to the strong interference from nearby power lines, had a very wide and indistinct null. The bearing was imprecise and was plotted as a dotted line. Station A on the other hand was full-scale on my S-meter and I would have guessed at no more than 5km away. There were two likely spots, on the banks of the river Colne or at Fordham (a site recently used for a multi-df contest).

Most competitors opt for the distant station first but we decided to go for station A first, the near one. We went to a quiet spot just north of Great Tey and waited patiently for the second transmissions. Some locals passed by and we explained what we were up to while waiting. The second bearing on A was about the same strength as at the start and gave a near 90 degree intersection just to the west of a disused airfield. It was also possible to get a decent bearing on station B which passed to the north of Witham before going off the map.

With two perfect-looking bearings on A we headed straight for a track which entered the ex-airfield. We pulled up at the same time as Richard, who approached from the opposite direction. The signal came up and we all proceeded to run down the track until it turned right off the track and the signal strength soared. Aerial found! Finding Tim took some time but we found him and returned swiftly to the car.

The A12 was a suitable road in the direction of B but the route to it was not straightforward. Routed via Wormingford, Fordham and then Aldham to access the A12 at Marks Tey. Then we headed south. I had intended to leave the A12 at Rivenhall but made a serious navigational error and exited too soon, at Kelvedon. We attempted to turn around and rejoin the A12 but could only do so northbound. Another turn-around needed! Went south, nearly to Tiptree before stopping for another bearing to the west. Went towards Great Braxted and Rivenhall End to Rivenhall church. Saw Roy near Rivenhall turning out of a road from Witham. Took a final bearing near the church. It went due south and we had a cross on golf course on the outskirts of Witham. However when we got there the golf course had changed into a new housing development. Parked up and headed south weaving though the built-up area following the signal until we got to a field bordering the railway line. Signal strong and rising rapidly. We could see a bridge crossing the railway and were heading towards it when the signal strength seemed to reduce. A quick check of the sense showed that we had passed the station. Rosie found a suitable entry into the bushes and a short look around revealed Ian who was nicely camouflaged with the surroundings.

Two interesting sites which did not look promising on the map. Not too much driving. Thanks to Tim and Ian for organizing. We enjoyed a good rendezvous at the Cricketers.

Colin and Rosie Merry