Region 3 ARDF – Equipment test and Opening Ceremony

The day started early with selection of cooked or continental breakfast on a cold morning. We were soon filling onto the two buses for the short drive to the Model Event. The model event serves as an opportunity to test out receiving equipment as well as familiarity with both the mapping style and the terrain. The full compliment of 5TX and homing beacons were available on both bands HF and VHF. This event was set on the Blowmine Map. Maps were handed out and after some initial testing the competitors headed out to test their receivers. Competitors were allowed 2 hours for this testing which allowed plenty of time to adjust and calibrate their equipment for the Australian Forrest. Many Kangaroos were seen on the course, which was a highlight for the international competitors, for many of them this would have been the first first time they would have seen one in the wild.

Lunch was next on the agenda, a smorgasbord of cold meats, salads, fruits, cake and drinks. Shortly after lunch was the Combo Street Orienteering and Fox-or-ing. Street Orienteering is a navigation activity where the points are marked accurately on the map. Fox-Or-Ing on the other hand is a combination of Radio Direction finding and Orienteering skills, The control circles for fox-or define an area of 300m diameter, whereas the orienteering is marked as a precise location. The locals thought that the gold rush with soo many people racing around with Gold Detecting (look alike) equipment.

The opening ceremony was soon after which was held in the local community hall, MC Robert VK3DN setup a PA in the hall so everyone could hear the speech by IARU Region 3 Chairman and WIA President Michsaael Owen VK3KI. Michael greeted guests and welcomed them to Australia and then officially opened the competition, wishing everyone well in the championships. Jack Bramham VK3WWW WIA ARDF Coordinator also welcomed competitors to Australia. Everyone then grouped outside for a participants group photo. Many cameras were working overtime not to miss any of the action.

The Team Leader meeting was held were team leaders and international referees were given the time line of the first competition which would be held early tomorrow on VHF. Rule changes were queried and last minute questions were answered. All competitors were tucked into bed early in preparation for an early start in the morning.