The weather was not quite as expected for the 15 June hunt, and most of the locations that had been reachable in a Falcon wagon a fortnight ago were, sadly, now 4WD prospects. However, this did not deter six teams from competing in the VK3YQN hunt. At the starting point in Lytton St Carlton were VK3s HBD, BQZ, TVB, PW and YDF. VK3BLN arrived after the start, as is now the norm.
The first hunt was a two-legged event, the first leg being stationary in-vehicle and under the control of Graham VK3KOA in the car park at Ross Straw Field, 29C12. The YQN Pajero sat nearby as a decoy. VK3YDF was first, followed closely by TVB and HBD. PW, BQZ and BLN arrived after 10 minutes had been called. BLN would have been recompiling something at that time.
The second leg, run by Bruce VK3TJN, was in the vacant land to the north of the railway yard 41C3. Some teams who may have expected a typical train-spotting YQN event were surprised to find that the fox team was too far from the tracks to record locomotive numbers or count axles. Anyway (sweaty palms and panting), TVB were in six minutes before YDF. PW and HBD also got in, but their leg times were 14 and 24 minutes slower than TVB and therefore counted for nothing. No sign of BQZ or BLN.
The second event was another two-legged hunt. Roger VK3HRL had found a picturesque spot just south-east of the long railway bridge crossing the Maribyrnong. Entry was through a small park off Sterling Drive Avondale Heights, 27B2. A vertically-polarised beam was hung in a tree, with the fox and operator (and sightseers) concealed in the thorns nearby. The expected feast of passing trains was a disappointing trickle. Oh well. Anyway, PW found the fox first (after a lot of stuffing about), followed four minutes later by Adam YDF, Mark of the TVB team on 7, BLN 8 and HBD 9. BQZ didn’t get in. Well done to the runner who patiently waited for the grain train (headed by three EL-class GE 4000 hp units – quite rare to see three together like that) before crossing the main line.
The second leg, under the control of Peter, was in the bush adjacent to the west bank of the Maribyrnong under the E.J. Whitten Bridge 26J2. David VK3XAJ from the BLN team sort of stumbled across ! Peter two minutes before BLN had found the first leg. What a dilemma. No negative scores though. Fortunately no-one else found Peter or we could have had a scoring bloodbath on our hands.
By this time we were running a bit late, and VK3TVB had disappeared for some impromptu vehicle cleaning. Something about a dead animal unleashed in the Prado. So the third hunt was run as a “Find as many foxes you can in 40 minutes” event. Hounds were not told how many foxes were operating on the two frequencies of 145.300 MHz and 145.500 MHz. As it happened, four foxes were up. No-one found all of them. This event was scored like ARDF – number of foxes, then the time taken. VK3PW took the honours (3 foxes), followed by TVB, YDF, BQZ (2 each), BLN (1) and HBD (none). The foxes were located at 39F5, 39K11, 39F9 and 360F5.
The supper hunt was a mud-bash. It wasn’t like that when we planned it… Bruce VK3TJN placed the fox just south of Skeleton Creek Tarneit 202K4, on the north side of a new housing development. VK3TVB was first, followed by PW, YDF, BLN and BQZ, while HBD didn’t get in.
Supper was held at Roger’s QTHR in Hoppers Crossing, and this time the wife and children stayed asleep and the dog didn’t get food poisoning. Hurrah! Scores:
Hunt 1a 1b 2a 2b 3 4 Total Place Hound VK3HBD 2 10 9 10 10 10 51 6 Started well. Don't give up! VK3TVB 1 0 7 10 2 0 20 1 Penalty pending for complaint re scoring system VK3BQZ 10 10 10 10 6 3 49 5 Thanks for coming Dennis. VK3PW 10 10 0 10 0 1 31 3 Consistency - not. VK3YDF 0 6 4 10 4 2 26 2 If you people spend any more time at the airport you'll have to pay cab charges VK3BLN 10 10 8 0 8 3 39 4 No David, we won't express scores as complex numbers.