March 1997 Foxhunt

A coolish evening greeted the 7 hounds who turned up to VK3YQN’s March foxhunt. Start was in Lytton Street in the city as the fox was heading West this evening.

The first hunt was a two legged affair, the first leg a very tricky to approach wasteground behind a chemicals factory in Altona. Both 10m and 2m was run for this hunt. The second leg was the set to be the traditional long bastard of a YQN sniffer hunt, and this one was no exception. Judging by the comments on the liason frequency we were very successful in making this a challenging hunt. Hunters were given credit for both their absolute and relative times on the second leg, so a reasonable score for the sniffer hunt was still possible even if a team did poorly on the first leg. Jack, VK3WWW was the definite winner of the first leg, later followed by VK3PW (using a new runner), David for VK3BLN and Geoff, this night hunting as VK3TVB. For some reason David thought his score might be dangerously low, so he spent a couple of minutes chatting to his team on the liason frequency a few metres from the 1st leg fox before checking in just to make sure they didn’t do _too_ well. Looking at the final scores shows this cost them a place ! Questioned later he stated he hadn’t bothered to read the Fox information sheet provided at the start. Only two teams made it in to the sniffer leg before the timeout ( but judging from the howls of protest when it was turned off, a couple more were quite close… Bad Luck VK3BLN & VK3TKQ ). VK3PW did the best absolute and relative times for this leg, piping VK3TVB by 1 minute. No sign of VK3WWW…..time to build that new sniffer Jack ! Both successful teams were found hotly accusing each other of cheating by using vehicular transportation. Both accusations turned out to be unfounded.

The second hunt was a fairly straight forward but long hunt to a railway crossing out beyond Werribee. The fox apologises for the drop in signal towards the end of the hunt. A suspect fox battery may be the reason the power of the fox dropped so much it was no longer able to trigger the linear amplifier. First was again VK3PW. VK3TKQ and VK3BLN took the minor placings.

The third hunt brought hounds back to a yet to be developed grassland near Hoppers Crossing. Again 10m as well as 2m was run. Ewen, VK3OW was the first to negotiate the reed choked marshy creek, followed by Geoff for VK3TVB with VK3PW and VK3WWW equal third. VK3TKQ and VK3″NBC” were in fact the only teams to come in the “dry” route, but unfortunately it took longer. At least we got Geoff wet as usual.

The supper hunt was a John Munsey KB3GK special. Possibly gum trees don’t load up as well as pines trees, or maybe we can blame the long dry spell we’ve had recently. The many decoy antennas and coax worked perfectly, mis-leading David VK3BLN and Adam for VK3WWW into thinking they had found the fox many times. Suggestion David: Only call out your callsign when you have actually _found_ the fox (and use the team callsign rather than your own). Jack VK3WWW and David VK3BLN then somewhat violently uncovered the real fox followed by VK3TKQ, VK3PW and VK3OW in a group. Since the fox had now been destroyed by the victors the rest had to find a handheld. VK3TVB was unable to participate in this hunt since they had to search for a lost handheld.

An earlier than usual supper (to allow for the long way Hopper’s Crossing is from anywhere) was held at nearby Roger’s where the following placings were announced:

1st VK3PW, 2nd VK3OW and equal third VK3BLN & VK3TKQ.

Full scores are below.

Team Hunt: 1A 1B(abs) 1B(rel) 2 3 4 Total Place
VK3PW  | 3 0 0 0 3 1 | 7 | 1 
VK3WWW | 0 5 5 8 3 0 | 21 | 2 
VK3OW  | 10 5 5 8 0 1 | 29 | 3 
VK3BLN | 5 5 5 4 10 1 | 30 | =4 
VK3TKQ | 10 5 5 3 6 1 | 30 | =4 
VK3TVB | 6 4 1 9 2 (10)| 32 | 6 
VK3NBC | 10 5 5 10 6 5 | 41 | 7 

NB: VK3TVB did not participate in the final hunt. They could not have done better than 3rd however.