Six hounds rocked up at a shopping center carpark near the corner of Ferntree Gully Rd and Burwood Highway in perfect conditions for a night of challenge and fun. A GPS waypoint file is included below.
Hunt 1 was straight into a unusual hunt with unusual rules. There were 5 ARDF transmitters in the same area about 10 minutes drive from the Start. 1,3 & 5 were very close to each other (about 40m) wheras 2 and 4 were more distant. Teams could drive or drop off as many runners as they liked, but the trick was a homing beacon on another frequency could be turned on at any time, and since this was to be scored using the normal 10 minute timing teams could not delay too long hunting this or risk losing more points than they could gain by going for another ARDF. A dilemma ! Teams were also required to find the homing transmitter within 15 minutes of it first being found or lose all their ARDF points as well as getting 10 for the timed part. This was to give a defined finish to the hunt so it wouldn’t drag on forever.
OW still attempted to fool father time but it didn’t work and they lost all their ARDF points, as well as coming in 22 minutes after the winner. BLN had found the homing as well as all 5 ARDF transmitters. Mention must also go to KIR team who managed a credible 4 on this hunt, also finding all 5 ARDFs, making them 2nd. VT scored a total of 5 (with 4 ARDF’s). [ Note the ARDF’s were scored as 2 points for every ARDF TX *not* found, to fit in with the inverse scoring system ]. What did people think of this hunt ?
Hunt 2 was a more conventionally run 2 legged hunt. Hunts were scored on leg time, so even if a team does poorly on the 1st leg, the 2nd hunt is entirely independent. This tends to bring up some unexpected results at the end of the night ! Leg 1 wasn’t far from the ARDF location but tricky to get to. BLN again won this one, followed quickly by VT and BQZ, then OW. YDF and KIR both found it 5 minutes later. Leg 2 was a nice drive in the countryside, being located on the far side of Cardinia Reservoir in some grassland beyond the dam. On leg time VT and YDF were equal first to the well hidden YQN Pajero, followed closely by BQZ. All others were over 10 minutes, some having visited all sorts of interesting and fascinating rural locations on the way.
Hunt 3 was again 2 legged in order to save re-group time. Steve and Nathan were under a bridge on an equestrian (that’s horse for the ignorant) trail. They also found someone’s prize marajiana plant secreted in the same location. A glowing bollard decoy was used not far from the real fox just to annoy Roger. Well at least, we were told it was glowing, but by then that might have been the hash talking. YDF seemed to have recovered from the slow start and won this leg too, followed 4 minutes later by BLN and VT, then OW, KIR and BQZ (see that bollard really worked!).
Despite being last on the first leg, BQZ managed 1st on the 2nd leg, which was in a bastard location in a thin bit of green park hemmed in by private properties back near Rowville. OW did a bit better on this one with a 4 to come 2nd.
Hunt 4 was going to be somewhere else I’m not going to reveal, but as usual time contraints meant we had to skip it and straight into the 2 legged supper hunt. The first leg was possibly the hardest location to access on the night being in the middle of just plain white on the Melway. VT braved the long grass to find this one first, followed by a group of BLN, BQZ and YDF a minute later, closely then KIR and OW.
There were a few signal problems on the final leg, aggravated by the long distance back to Ashwood. Still everyone knew where supper was, so no prizes for guessing which way to head ! OW took honours on leg time (being last on the 1st leg does seem to help !), followed by BQZ and YDF on leg times. All other teams took over 10 minutes.
It was a high scoring night with only BQZ and YDF not scoring a 10. BQZ only missing the first place by 1 point. Bollards !! BLN started well, but they seem to have difficulies with 2 legged hunts (dropping off too many runners on the 1st leg perhaps ?). OW did very poorly on the first hunt by losing their ARDF scores (but they be the rules!) but improved markedly during the night.
Here are the scores:
YDF: 6,6,0,0,5,2,3 /22 (1st)
BQZ: 8,1,2,8,0,2,2 /23 (2nd)
VT: 5,1,0,4,10,0,10 /30 (3rd)
BLN: 0,0,10,4,10,2,10 /36 (4th)
KIR: 4,6,10,7,7,3,10 /37 (5th)
OW: 20,2,10,5,4,4,0 /45 (6th)