World ARDF Tour 2001 Part 17

Bruce’s Report #17

Well I still haven’t sent out report 16 yet, but well here goes anyway. Just incase you missed it down the bottom of 16, Australia are to run the 2003 ARDF Region 3 championships, as decided by the ARDF committee last night. This is subject to approval by the next Region 3 ARDF committee meeting.

Well after an early breakfast (6:30am), which was actually quite good, but Bryan and Adam missed preferring to sleep in, we went out to wait for the bus. Well as we have come to expect to a degree, the bus ws 35 minutes late, and then we had to wait anyway for the 2nd and 3rd bus to arrive, which took another 15 or so minutes.

On the bus to 2m eventThe 2m Start AreaJust off the Bus: Where to ?

We went for quite a drive back through Ulaan Baatar and out the other side. One odd thing I noticed is that the ramshackle old bus didn’t appear to have a clutch. The gears were changed by crash and bang method, but the driver seemed pretty good at it and there was minimal teeth cleaning.

The hills we approached were partially wooded with pine, and the rest grassland. The running even in the forest was reasonably quick. The slowest terrain was in fact some of the wide gullies which tended to be filled with largely unmarked swamp with little creeks running all through it.

As we got out of the bus and headed to the start, we were very annoyed to see some competitors (Korea, Japan and Russia) using their DF gear to get bearings before the equipment was impounded. This is of course cheating, and was specifically banned at the team leaders meeting last night. This was made very clear, so we are going to complain to the jury tonight. Of course it is lent much more weight since Adam was able to take digital photos of most of the offenders in action. They are already on this laptop and ready for display to the jury members !

Bryan was first in start group 5 (25 minutes after the first group with 5 minute intervals). Unfortunately the start time had lapsed somewhat from the planned 10:00am to 11:20am, both due to the late bus departure and a lack of handhelds for control/start communication. We were all asked if we had any on us, but of course we had all left them at the Hotel as it is not allowed for us to have them at the Start ! (for obvious reasons).

Adam was later in start group 18, and I was last for us in start group 31 (out of a total 39 start groups. Overall there were 98 official competitors with another 5 unofficial (not all start groups had 5 people).

Well I ended up doing them in the optimum order, I managed to stay roughly in touch with the map most of the time, and thigs went pretty well. My main stuffup was #5 which I had no good bearing on from the start (no-one else did either), but based on guesswork I headed up a track to the North-East near the top of the map (it was my 3rd transmitter). Even after all this time I still had no decent bearing on #5. They pointed all over the place. As luck would have it I was nearly right, but I had got on the wrong side of one of those blasted swamps, so that wasted at least 5 minutes, probably more. The only other difficult one was #2 (my 4th transmitter), which I always had good bearings on, but was so far up the map to the North-West on a gradual incline that I just ran out of energy (due to the very high altitude mostly). My time was 83 minutes for all 5.

Adam and Vladamir in Start ChuteWaiting at the FinishA Mongolian (Elvis) Finishing

Adam didn’t fare quite so well, missing a transmitter on the way around which he had to go back for, so his time was 98 minutes. Bryan had a fall, bruised himself a bit and totally demolished his sniffer beam. Still managed to find another trasnmitter (that terrible #5) mostly by guesswork and signal strength, but after that he called it a day to make sure he got back before the 2 hour limit.

Overall I’m pretty happy with my result, considering the altitude, ankle and dregs of cold #2 (mostly gone now). We’ll have to see what the best times are, but I know my Russian roommate did all 5 in 68 minutes. It’s to be seen if I an do similar on 80m with less familiar equipment.

About to go the the jury meeting….. (ooohhh what a nasty spot to stop !)