August 1997 Foxhunt

Action-packed, controversial and ruthless… three words which leap to mind when talking about the infamous ‘PW’ team and their August foxhunt. Melbourne turned on a crystal-clear evening for the monthly hunt on Friday 15th August. Seven teams assembled at the Lygon St. / VicRoads carpark, and the evening’s festivities commenced shortly after 8.00 pm.

The first hunt – controversial – consisted of three legs and was scored on the third leg. A 150 mW transmitter on the Elizabeth St. roundabout (Melways 2B F4) had the teams promptly under way, with most finding this without too much difficulty. One wonders, however, if it might have been quicker to walk to this hunt rather than drive…

The second leg at “Kensington Banks” (Melways 42 H2) was in a maze of little side streets in the new housing estate off Smithfield Rd. First in here was WWW, then TVB followed by TUG some minutes later.

Action-packed: leg three, “The Three Testicles”, had hounds scattered in every direction trying to land safely beneath the Western Ring Road / Geelong Road interchange (Melways 40 E12). First in again was WWW, 4 minutes later was TVB, and equal third on this hunt went to YQN & TUG. The fox was chirping happily from beneath the complicated freeway crossovers; cars approached, skirted then deflected as the various on-ramps and off-ramps proved chaotic for navigators and drivers.

The second hunt was comprised of five legs, starting from the carpark at McDonalds on the Western Ring Road (Melways 40 B7). Going against the grain of all traditional foxhunting tactics, the FREEWAY proved too much of a psychological obstacle for some. The first leg was beneath the WRR & Ballarat Rd intersection (Melways 25 K8), followed closely by the second leg beside the WRR & Furlong Rd intersection (Melways 26 E6). Two teams found the second transmitter first and were sent back with their tails between their legs to find the first transmitter at Ballarat Rd.

The third leg – ruthless – was beneath the freeway bridge over the Maribyrnong River (Melways 26 J2). Sadly, the fox had a dickey linear amplifier, (the only technical hitch for the evening,) but several teams still found this leg in good time.

To continue in a ring-road fashion, leg four (also known as “The Footbridge” – Melways 6 D12) had some hounds scratching their heads. Two teams had realised by this time that the secret was to STAY ON THE FREEWAY and drop runners as soon as possible.

The fifth leg and meeting place was a transmitter on the south-east corner of High Street & Keon Pde (Melways 8 J12) opposite the railway station. With a 30 minute time limit from the first team, only two teams arrived at this leg: WWW and TVB. Other hounds had ventured off into the undesirable urbanism of Gladstone Park. The meeting place was announced, rude words were uttered by many and Hunt number 3 was underway.

First leg of the last hunt was in the middle of the freeway (Melways 10F10) hosted by Andrew, Dennis and friends. Most teams did well here, dropping runners at appropriate times.

The second leg took hounds to Fitzsimmons Lane (Melways 21 G12) on the south side of the Yarra River. Of all the teams left, four were able to find the offending transmitter: TVB, VT, WWW & YQN in this order.

The last leg brought hounds to the magnificent supper prepared at the QTHR of Richard VK3YLZ. Scores for the night were WWW on 9 points, TVB on 31 points, YQN & TUG both on 55 points, TKQ & VT on 60 points, with HXP on 61 – who incidentally pulled out owing to equipment difficulties.