Greg’s turn today
First day of competition – Monday 8th September
Sunday evening we found that we would all be hunting transmitters on 80m. The younger classes would be hunting on 2m. So we all prepared ourselves for today’s event. Breakfast was at 7:00 and bus departure at 8:00. At breakfast we were give a “sandwich” – two half slices of bread, a couple of slices of sausage and a hard boiled egg for lunch. First start time for the event was 10:00. Bruce was off first at 10:25 then Jack at 10:30. It was a good thing that we had prepared the night before as we were ordered onto the bus at 7:45. Weather was overcast and cool but the bus was warm and excitement filled the air. You can imagine the sight with competitors nursing their Direction Finding equipment, bags et al.
We only travelled about 10 km to the start which was in a forest, as is most of the area. The buses parked on the side of the road and we walked in about 300m. Teams were required to put their receivers in the quarantine area and we were first to do this, luckily we all went as we would be able to find them at start time. We also got our first look at the map, which was on display, the start and finish had been left off but we could locate where we were. We also found which transmitters we were to find. Bruce 2,3,4 & 5 Ewen, Jack & Greg 1,2 & 4 and Jenelle 1,2 & 3 max time was 150mins.
It was very cold waiting around and Bruce was particularly affected. Jenelle had a spare jacket which helped him a bit. First competitors were timed to leave at 10:00 and so at twenty to, the call for first competitors went out. We had plastic bags to put our excess gear in and these were collected as you lined up and transported to the finish. Competitors are sent off in groups every 5 minutes as transmitter number one comes on. There were two start corridors.
In no time it was Bruce’s turn to line up and then Jack’s, once they were off the rest of us had a wait. Ewen at 12:10 Greg 12:30 and Jenelle at 12:55. Luckily we were allowed to wait on the bus and the heater was on!!
Ewen was next to go followed by Greg and finally Jenelle. The start process involved lining up, after 5 mins move to the first tent where details were checked and SI stick cleared. 5 mins later collect your receiver then to the map tent to get your map, mark the start and finish and exclusion circles and put it in or on your map board. Then line up at the start line. This is where the advantage of all of us placing our receivers worked well as I saw one competitor searching for their receiver. The clock counts on, the signal sounds and you are off!!
Turn on the receiver and see if you can hear the signal, fantastic I can hear something, the gear’s all working.
Once there has been one round of transmissions you have a plan of attack and mine was to go to 1, then 2 and finally 4. The direct route seemed easy going and I soon lost close contact with the map. Luckily the forest was easy going throughout and the route I chose was the shortest. I did make a detour to miss a swamp marked between transmitter 4 and the finish, but Jack ran the direct line and only encountered a small creek. As I approached transmitter 4 I could hear Bruce blowing his plastic horn at the finish it was great to know he was finished and encouraging us home!!
As I came to the homing beacon control Bruce’s blowing efforts and Jack’s on the cow bell redoubled but they could not get me into running mode!!
Ewen had finished before me so we just had Jenelle out on the course after a while we saw her bush bashing her way toward the finish beacon, she put on a brilliant sprint down the finish chute.
Then it was back to the bus for the trip home, after a shower we regrouped for a beer. Over diner there were lots of stories swapped with the Americans. One of their team, Vadim KB1RLI had run second place in M40.
Times & placings (Category, time m:s, place/num in Category) were as follows Bruce M50 – 61:43 p13/30, Jack M60 – 60:40 p22/31, Greg M60 – 83:22 p28/31, Ewen M60 – 88:38 p29/31 and Jenelle M60 – 133:12 p8/8. So Jenelle had a top 10 finish!! Bruce was second when he finished and slowly slipped down hovering in the top ten for a long time then finally being pushed to 13th. He is finding it a bit hard to see how he can shave 20mins off his time to catch the leaders!! Jack, Ewen and Greg need to get down to 34 mins to do the same!! Still we all had a ball and are looking forward to tomorrow’s event on 2 metres some with trepidation due to the sniffer problems!.
Results from day 1 of the World Championships (these have been posted as printouts in the hotel lobbies – I guess the Germans took the effort to type them up online):
M19, M21, M40, W19, and W21 were all on 144 MHz. The other classes were on 3.5 MHz (Thanks to Ken WM5R for the link)
There was supposed to be a presentation ceremony in the evening but it was postponed till Wednesday.
Tour day – Tuesday 9th September
The tour today was a bus trip to Astana. As we had looked around there when we arrived we decided to stay at the hotel and look around. We had a leisurely breakfast with more chatting to the Americans. The weather has changed and the outside temperature is in the single digits today. The others went for a walk before lunch and have now gone to the national park nearby. They were well rugged up as they left!!