Wattle Park RadiO CombO – Sunday 7th September 2014

Father’s Day 2014 dawned crisp and blue and sunny, with not a breath of wind and not a cloud in the sky. On any other day, we would have anticipated a huge turnout, particularly as Wattle Park is in a prime location in the Eastern Suburbs, but given it was Father’s Day with all those associated family commitments, we weren’t really expecting large numbers.

Well. Were we mistaken. As the last competitor (Peter Maloney) showed up just before midday and got handed a non-cardboard score card and sprint course hastily hand-drawn on a blank map, we looked down at our attendance sheet and noticed that we’d had more than 50 competitors (some with families) turn up!

Luckily it was just the one map and control card that we were short, and Peter is a regular ARDF competitor so took it all in his stride.

We hope everyone enjoyed themselves – certainly all the kids were smiling, and there weren’t too many grumbles (that the course setters heard, anyway) about control placement, which is always a relief when you’re setting multiple loops. Also all the equipment behaved and no transmitters were stolen, so basically, I’d call this a successful day.

Thanks to Geoff for the use of his maps, to Pierre, for co-setting and running this one and putting out transmitters with me this morning, and also to my long-suffering partner David who programmed up and battery-checked all the Fox-Ors and helped me put out plate controls on Saturday evening. Also to Fitzel, because he has fleas.

OK. Enough waffle. Here are some results.

Sprint Loop

This was a short (about 2.2km straight line distance) line course set in the eastern end of Wattle Park. Ian Dodd pointed out that there was an easy cheat’s way to shorten one’s distance on this one, given we weren’t using SI controls. In my naivete, I didn’t even think that this would be a problem, and I’d like to think that given the relaxed nature of the day and the cheerfulness of the competitors, this didn’t happen.

Name Start Finish Time
Tim Hatley 11:08:30 11:23:30 0:15:00
Stephen Bird 10:16:20 10:31:30 0:15:10
Kristian Ruuska 10:25:05 10:43:20 0:18:15
Orry Thomas 10:25:05 10:43:20 0:18:15
Ian Dodd 12:25:30 12:44:15 0:18:45
Peter Maloney 12:43:45 13:04:20 0:20:35
Geoff Armstrong 10:34:10 10:54:50 0:20:40
Peter Grover 11:17 11:39:24 0:22:24
Deb Sutherland 11:16 11:38:30 0:22:30
Greg Tamblyn 11:15:30 11:39:35 0:24:05
Mark Besley 11:55:38 12:21:19 0:25:41
Dennis Mews 10:35:45 11:01:50 0:26:05
Pat Mews 10:36:45 11:04:10 0:27:25
Merv Bendle 10:53:45 11:21:20 0:27:35
John Sheahan 12:00 12:28:30 0:28:30
Debbie Dodd 11:57 12:25:45 0:28:45
Janet Johnson 10:39:30 11:09:08 0:29:38
Lara Bell 12:55:00 13:25:30 0:30:30
Pam Braithwaite 10:49:30 11:20:45 0:31:15
Bernadette Murray 10:00 10:33 0:33:00
Denise Pike 10:50:40 11:23:50 0:33:10
Pat Miller 11:11:20 11:45 0:33:40
Lauris Stirling 10:33 11:07:20 0:34:20
Andrew Francis 10:17:45 10:55:55 0:38:10
Liz Hatley 10:39 11:18 0:39:00
Kevin Maloney 10:12 10:55:15 0:43:15
Suzanne O’Callaghan 11:49:15 12:33:20 0:44:05
Rosie Salvaris 10:00:45 10:47 0:46:15
Des Gregory 10:00:45 10:47 0:46:15
Mike Hubbert 9:35:00 10:23 0:48:00
Alan Miller 11:01:30 11:50 0:48:30
Adams Family 11:25:15 12:14:15 0:49:00
Zoe Davies + Family 10:24:30 11:15:55 0:51:25
Amber Lecluyse + Family 10:24:30 11:44:30 1:20:00
Burr Family 10:24:45 11:45 1:20:15
Ardern Family 10:24:30 11:45 1:20:30
McGill Family 10:24:24 11:45 1:20:36
Thomas Pritchett + Family 10:24:30 11:45:55 1:21:25
Chris Jeffries 10:40 12:01:40 1:21:40

Scatter Loop

We used the usual Wattle Park street map for this loop, scaled it down to be the same as the sprint map and hacked off a small corner to create a scatter course which was not too long. It’s surprisingly difficult to create interesting, short scatter courses! Hope we succeeded. Competitors had the choice of doing all 12 controls for a distance that I measured at 3.3km, or 6 out of the 12 controls for a distance of about 2km.

Name # Controls Start Finish Time
Tim Hatley 12 10:51:25 11:08:15 0:16:50
Ian Dodd 12 12:44:30 13:05:00 0:20:30
Kristian Ruuska 12 11:00:40 11:22:45 0:22:05
Orry Thomas 12 11:00:40 11:22:45 0:22:05
Geoff Armstrong 12 11:02:20 11:24:50 0:22:30
Denise Pike 12 11:41:30 12:07:10 0:25:40
Deb Sutherland 12 10:33:50 10:59:30 0:25:40
Greg Tamblyn 12 11:55:30 12:21:55 0:26:25
Pam Braithwaite 12 11:25 11:52:32 0:27:32
Pat Mews 12 11:20:40 11:48:40 0:28:00
Dennis Mews 12 11:19:40 11:48:40 0:29:00
Janet Johnson 12 11:12:50 11:42:30 0:29:40
Mark Besley 12 10:51:45 11:22:25 0:30:40
Bernadette Murray 12 10:35:30 11:06:50 0:31:20
Peter Maloney 12 13:35:00 14:07 0:32:00
Lauris Stirling 12 11:12 11:45:15 0:33:15
Geoff Adams 12 12:15:05 12:49 0:33:55
Andrew Francis 12 11:00 11:35:20 0:35:20
Christine Parker and Peter Berry 12 10:32:05 11:09:05 0:37:00
Sandy Burgoyne 12 10:27:30 11:05:40 0:38:10
Murray Hanna 12 9:55:30 10:35:10 0:39:40
Ian Stirling 12 10:30:15 11:11:40 0:41:25
Pat Miller 12 10:12:45 10:57:15 0:44:30
Liz Hatley 12 9:51 10:36:20 0:45:20
Ian Baker 12 10:38 11:23:50 0:45:50
Dorothy Adams 12 11:15:30 12:04 0:48:30
Alan Miller 12 10:12:45 11:06 0:53:15
Gray Family 12 10:23 11:30:40 1:07:40
Peter Grover 6 10:52:45 11:09 0:16:15
Debbie Dodd 6 11:34:20 11:51:25 0:17:05
Stephen Bird 6 10:39:45 10:57 0:17:15
Merv Bendle 6 11:26:30 11:45 0:18:30
Henk de Jong 6 10:11:15 10:40:50 0:29:35
Dianne Shalders 6 10:11:15 10:40:50 0:29:35
Mike Hubbert 6 10:25 10:59 0:34:00
Julie Wood 6 10:23:35 11:05:10 0:41:35

Fox-Or Loop

The Fox-Or loop took in the western part of the park, with all those lovely hills. Straight line distance for the lot was about 1.7km. It was predominantly our regulars who tried this loop, but we roped in a few newcomers as well. Congratulations to Deb for finding her chosen 3 transmitters, and to Sandy who said she’d give it a try, and came back in good time with all Txs under her belt!

Name # Txs Start Finish Time
Tim Hatley 6 10:37:20 10:51 0:13:40
Kristian Ruuska 6 10:44:30 10:59 0:15:00
Orry Thomas 6 10:44:30 10:59 0:15:00
Ian Dodd 6 11:28 11:46 0:18:00
Peter Maloney 6 13:06 13:25:00 0:19:00
Suzanne O’Callaghan 6 11:25 11:45 0:20:00
Mark Besley 6 10:30 10:50:50 0:20:50
Greg Tamblyn 6 9:57:10 10:20:15 0:23:05
Henk de Jong 6 10:49:30 11:21 0:31:30
Dianne Shalders 6 10:49:30 11:21 0:31:30
Lara Bell and Paul Elliott 6 11:25 11:59 0:34:00
Mike Hubbert 6 11:00:20 11:36:20 0:36:00
Sandy Burgoyne 6 11:21 12:05:10 0:44:10
Debbie Dodd 3 12:29:15 12:47:15 0:18:00


In a park as small and open as this one, we weren’t able to have the flags as visible as we would have liked, but despite this, the only complaint we got was that the flags did not match the Tx numbers. Whoops… Yes, we did notice this as we were putting them out. But then we decided we couldn’t be bothered going back and changing the flags over. (Come on, early on a Sunday morning…)

We saw a bit of a change in the results for this leg; where previously speedsters Tim and Ian were vying for winning places, in this leg our more experienced ARDFers demanded a bite of the action. Congratulations to Kristian for winning this loop (despite the dodgy flag numbering), although it was a bit mean of you to give your mate Orry the slip so close to the end! Particular credit, also, to David and Peter who, despite walking, found all five controls with minimal fuss, and only a couple of minutes more slowly than Kristian had. Sometimes accuracy beats running ability – excellent effort, boys! Good work also to Greg, who found three Txs, and Lara and Paul who gave it a go and picked up two.

Name # Txs Start Finish Time
Kristian Ruuska 5 11:25 12:03:20 0:38:20
David Beard 5 12:00 12:39:55 0:39:55
Peter Maloney 5 12:00 12:39:55 0:39:55
Orry Thomas 5 11:25 12:05:15 0:40:15
Tim Hatley 5 9:50:00 10:36:50 0:46:50
Ian Dodd 5 11:46 12:44:50 0:58:50
Henk de Jong 5 12:10 13:11 1:01:00
Dianne Shalders 5 12:10 13:11 1:01:00
Mark Besley 3 11:25 11:54 0:29:00
Greg Tamblyn 3 10:25 11:15:10 0:50:10
Lara Bell and Paul Elliott 2 12:00 12:38:15 0:38:15

The Battlers

The beauty of this CombO course is that people can come and try whatever loops they want – I think that’s what makes it such a popular event with both orienteers and ARDFers alike. But a special mention, I think, is absolutely necessary for those people who put in the effort to try every single leg. So without further ado, here are those brave souls who took on all four loops on offer. (Particular credit to Mark who, every time he came back, informed us that he needed to go home to get to a Father’s Day event… and then proceeded to go and try the next leg anyway!)

Name # Scatter controls # Fox Ors # ARDF Txs Total time
Tim Hatley 12 6 5 1:32:20
Kristian Ruuska 12 6 5 1:33:40
Orry Thomas 12 6 5 1:35:35
Peter Maloney 12 6 5 1:51:30
Ian Dodd 12 6 5 1:56:05
Mark Besley 12 6 3 1:46:11
Greg Tamblyn 12 6 3 2:03:45

Congratulations to Tim Hatley, our overall winner!

PS. Kudos to this nice online Excel-to-HTML converter, which produces clean HTML tables without all the crappy formatting stuff Excel tries to stick in when you save as HTML from it: ~link~

Mothers Day RadiO Hageby – Sunday 12th May 2013

Mother’s Day dawned windy and overcast. The BOM forecast rain only in the evening… And of course we BELIEVE them without question, but perhaps we can be forgiven for being a little worried. But by the time we arrived at Koomba Park just before 8am to put out RadiO controls (all street O controls were out the night before), the wind had settled nicely and the sun was coming out.

We had everything out in short order and had adjourned back at the northern Koomba car park at around 9:10 AM for a quick listen of the ARDF transmitters. For those non-RadiO people, these are five quite high-powered transmitters which are on for one minute, then off for four minutes. If you turn them all on at the same time, they are supposed to nicely cycle through so one and only one is on at any given minute. Well, all was going swimmingly until #4 failed to transmit. Uh oh… We definitely turned them on in unison (give or take a second). We hustled down towards it, noting a double set of transmission during #5s cycle. When we got there, we turned it off, then waited an endless few minutes for the next five minute mark to roll around. Then on again, and another 3 minute wait to make sure it actually came on when it was supposed to. It did – all good, and the oddity filed away for our club tech geniuses to think about. Even better, we kept the sniffer on and the rest of them turned on when they were supposed to.

The two course setters then separated to their respective starting areas (the walk between these was probably closer to 700m than 500m, despite what I told you guys – but I didn’t want you to get discouraged before you’d even started J). And then the turnout happened! Very rare for any ARDF run events to attract such crowds, even if they have orienteering components. Last year’s Hageby certainly wasn’t that popular, and on Mother’s Day, besides! Anyway, we had sufficient maps and the two orienteering legs seemed to proceed with minimal complaints – good to see a lot of familiar faces but also a few newer families, as well!

The RadiO legs proved to be a little more exciting… Tim Hatley was one of the earliest runners to attempt the 80m ARDF leg, and he came home having found them all (and without further destroying his already injured arm). All good… But not afterwards. Reports came filtering in – Fox-Oring transmitter G couldn’t be found. ARDF TX #1 had also gone silent. Even more interestingly, those two transmitters were pretty close together, either side of the same major path. Hmmm… Well, batteries do go flat (but Bruce had charged the big ARDF ones, and the ‘faulty’ one had just received a new battery, beside; he had also tested and replaced any failing Fox-Or batteries). We had sniffers to check the Fox-Ors as we put them out and are pretty sure all had ended up ON, on the right frequency and on high power… But I guess it’s possible one got missed and left off/on low power/off frequency. Bit odd, though.

We persevered, and despite the blackberries and thorny bushes and recalcitrant transmitters, people seemed to enjoy themselves.

Then control collection time came around. Thanks to everyone who helped pick up street O plates – much appreciated! And to Lara for having to do her sprint leg with a course setter and the dog following behind and picking up each control that she found J. The course setters then headed out to get the RadiO controls. We left the two dodgy ones till last. First attempt was the 2m Fox-Or, with the rest of them safely in the car and turned off (or so we thought). We actually caught a sniff of signal and got a bit excited… But when we got to the track where the transmitter was put out (and I distinctly remember the track, reaching a dead end and thinking ‘no point bush-bashing there – the squashed wandering jew will give it away), turning around and wandering a short distance in the other direction and hanging it reasonably high in a tree), the signals made no sense. In fact, they seemed to be pointing back to the cars… Hmmm… We wandered around for a little bit, with increasingly shrill assertions that the control HAD to be in this clump of trees, and perhaps it had fallen, because surely the flag had been visible from the track (if you knew where to look)… But nothing, so we headed off to get the 80m ARDF transmitter instead. No sniffer, because if it was flat, it was flat. And the flags for those are big anyway, and though it was off in a reasonably deserted area of the park, the flag had, as per convention, not been hidden at all.

It took longer to find the flag than expected. We were getting a little worried, I do admit. But then there it was. Except it was on the ground. And there were no wires running out in all directions… We looked more closely. Squid pole (used to sling one of the antennas high in the air, as this transmitter needs) still where it was, but no wire attached. A bit further away, a few metres of grey wire. No sign of the transmitter or the blue and black wire, though. We looked more closely. Blue and black wire eventually found in a tangle some metres away. Transmitter box also found after some searching, slung into the bushes somewhere. Wires clearly ripped out of it. Still turned on (who knows what that did to the circuitry…).

We turned it off, put it back in the car, turned off the stray 2m Fox-Or still on in there (d’oh!) and headed back for another go at the Fox-Or. But it didn’t turn up. We checked a few frequencies, wandered further away than it should have been, and no trace of it. We gave up and returned to the car and had a look at the start list. At about the time that Tim Hatley got into ARDF #1 (and he was the only one that found it, so presumably there were people loitering around who followed him in and broke it), a pair of newcomers might have been attempting to find Fox-Or G on the other side of the track. It wasn’t the easiest location for a newbie, so they might have had some trouble and wandered back out. But someone watching could have easily followed the track in and if they were observant, spotted the flag hanging in the scrub. It wasn’t THAT overgrown.

So there you have it. A disappointing end to what had looked like a good turn out and enjoyable day. We hope people enjoyed the courses nonetheless, and a special welcome to all the newcomers who graced us with their presence!

The results follow (bearing in mind on the RadiO legs that many people lost a lot of time looking for transmitters that weren’t there! Sorry!). Please post a comment here if we’ve got the number of controls you found or whether you were walking or running wrong.

Thanks for coming! Marta and Pierre

2m Fox-or loop

Competitor #Tx Start time Finish time Time taken
Bryan Ackerley 6 10:55:26 11:41:09 0:45:43
Kristian Ruuska 6 11:07:00 11:54:11 0:47:11
Mark Besley 6 12:09:00 12:58:00 0:49:00
Gary Panter 6 12:13:00 13:06:00 0:53:00
Simo Ruuska 6 11:07:00 12:00:00 0:53:00
Dennis Mews 6 11:04:00 12:01:00 0:57:00
Bruce Paterson 6 11:00:22 11:58:00 0:57:38
David Beard 6 12:03:57 13:04:59 1:01:02
Ian Davies 6 11:01:35 12:04:00 1:02:25
Ewen Templeton 6 11:48:00 12:54:27 1:06:27
Dennis Haustorfer 6 10:41:22 12:04:00 1:22:38
Ian Stirling 6 10:50:37 12:15:00 1:24:23
Henk de Jong 6 10:56:00 12:35:00 1:39:00
Peter Maloney 4 11:25:00 11:57:31 0:32:31
Mike Hubbert 4 11:13:00 12:26:29 1:13:29
Nick Wong and Pam Chang 4 10:20:00 11:37:21 1:17:21
Darian Panter 3 11:06:34 11:34:26 0:27:52
Debbie Dodd 3 11:47:26 12:30:47 0:43:21
Denise Pike 3 11:47:26 12:30:47 0:43:21
Peter Grover 3 11:47:26 12:30:47 0:43:21
Lara Bell 3 10:18:00 11:07:00 0:49:00
Dianne Shalders 3 10:56:00 11:57:00 1:01:00
Bernadette Murray 1 12:00:00 12:29:59 0:29:59

80m ARDF loop

Competitor #Tx Start time Finish time Time taken
Tim Hatley 5 10:54:00 12:00:48 1:06:48
Bruce Paterson 4 12:08:00 12:49:10 0:41:10
Kristian Ruuska 4 11:59:00 12:43:00 0:44:00
Dennis Haustorfer 4 12:10:00 13:09:44 0:59:44
Gary Panter 4 11:05:00 12:11:00 1:06:00
Peter Maloney 4 12:06:00 13:15:42 1:09:42
Greg Williams 4 11:32:00 13:06:00 1:34:00
Darian Panter 2 12:05:00 12:25:00 0:20:00
Henk de Jong 2 12:44:00 13:19:00 0:35:00
Dianne Shalders 2 12:01:00 13:10:48 1:09:48
Lara Bell 2 11:14:20 12:35:21 1:21:01
Dennis Mews 0 10:46:00 11:02:00 0:16:00

Sprint loop

Competitor Run/Walk Start time Finish time Time taken
Henk de Jong W 10:23:21 10:38:30 0:15:09
Dianne Shalders W 10:23:21 10:38:30 0:15:09
Tim Hatley W 10:25:00 10:42:55 0:17:55
Jenelle Templeton W 11:39:05 11:58:35 0:19:30
Ian Baker W 10:46:20 11:07:50 0:21:30
Sue Healy W 10:05:00 10:26:50 0:21:50
The Liau family W 10:03:00 10:25:30 0:22:30
The Tan family W 10:03:00 10:26:25 0:23:25
The Cheah family W 10:03:00 10:28:15 0:25:15
The Tong family W 10:31:00 11:27:39 0:56:39
Peter Hobbs R 10:13:00 10:21:38 0:08:38
Simon Rouse R 10:35:00 10:44:54 0:09:54
Ian Davies R 10:15:00 10:25:54 0:10:54
Bruce Paterson R 10:25:15 10:36:17 0:11:02
Tim Jackson R 10:15:00 10:26:35 0:11:35
Dennis Mews R 10:07:00 10:20:20 0:13:20
Peter Grover R 10:46:00 11:02:20 0:16:20
Denise Pike R 10:44:00 11:00:50 0:16:50
Debbie Dodd R 10:05:00 10:22:07 0:17:07
Bernadette Murray R 10:43:00 11:01:05 0:18:05
Pat Mews R 10:08:50 10:29:20 0:20:30
Lara Bell R 13:02:00 13:26:00 0:24:00
Brooke and Max Murray R 10:01:00 10:26:08 0:25:08
Mike Hubbert R 10:02:00 10:28:45 0:26:45

Scatter loop

Competitor Run/Walk # Controls Start time Finish time Time taken
The Fleming family W 10 10:05:00 10:54:20 0:49:20
Wally Cavill W 10 10:23:00 11:24:15 1:01:15
Tim Hatley W 6 12:11:45 12:27:55 0:16:10
The Liau family W 6 10:35:00 10:54:40 0:19:40
The Tan family W 6 10:35:00 10:54:50 0:19:50
The Cheah family W 6 10:35:00 10:55:50 0:20:50
Ian Baker W 6 11:12:15 11:39:05 0:26:50
Sue Healy W 6 10:29:00 11:01:05 0:32:05
Peter Hobbs R 12 10:34:00 10:53:45 0:19:45
Ian Davies R 12 10:29:00 10:52:02 0:23:02
Peter Kempster R 12 10:35:00 11:07:50 0:32:50
Bernadette Murray R 12 10:00:00 10:37:00 0:37:00
Simon Rouse R 10 10:51:00 11:07:40 0:16:40
Debbie Dodd R 10 10:32:00 10:54:00 0:22:00
Denise Pike R 10 11:09:10 11:33:40 0:24:30
Merv Bendle R 10 10:30:00 10:54:40 0:24:40
Mark Besley R 10 11:27:35 11:53:35 0:26:00
Ian Stirling R 10 10:00:00 10:27:20 0:27:20
Pat Mews R 10 10:40:00 11:14:06 0:34:06
John and Jackie Dempster R 10 10:00:00 10:46:30 0:46:30
Brooke and Max Murray R 8 11:25:35 12:35:30 1:09:55
Peter Grover R 6 11:13:00 11:27:39 0:14:39
Mike Hubbert R 6 10:28:50 10:57:35 0:28:45
Kristian Ruuska R 1 Dunno, but love the leaf control card!

28th WIA Victorian Fox Hunting Championships – Saturday May 4th 2013

A report by Roger, VK3 HRL

Please may I start by thanking Ian Stirling, Jack Bramham, John Van Bree, Mark Diggins and Dennis Haustorfer for their help with planning and execution, and for all the assistance with food and equipment preparation that ensured a successful event.

Cool and inclement weather greeted the six teams as they assembled at Thorpe St Newport, just in time to realise that setting up their equipment required more than the available time.  The first hunt started a bit later than planned, and events ran later than expected during the afternoon, but by dinner time we were back on schedule.  Dinner was a barbecue of chicken, lamb and beef, with salads and desserts provided by wifey and members of the fox team.


Fixed order hunts:    One point for first place through to six points for last, points awarded for each leg.  Scores based on leg time, so that if a given team did poorly on one leg it would not ruin the entire hunt.

Any order hunt: like ARDF – number of foxes found then time taken.  Three points per fox (ie first team for hunt scores 3 points, last team 18 points – to give Hunt 3 appropriate weighting vs the other hunts)

Sniffer hunt: individual winner, no contribution to championship aggregate.

Hunt 1        Foxhunt 3.585 MHz, 1296.1 MHz, sniff 1296 MHz.  Fixed order.

Jack VK3WWW on 80m at 40G4 near Buckingham Reserve, then Ian VK3MZ with the Driftmaster 23cm hand-held near Altona Gate 41A12 and John VK3TVB a short sniff away.

Hunt 2        Foxhunt 28.450 MHz, 438.850 MHz, 52.100 MHz, Fixed order

Dennis VK3BQZ found a good nook in a Williamstown laneway for a tricky 10m leg (56E11 area), followed by Roger VK3HRL on 70cm near the Italian Social Club at 41C11, and John VK3TVB on 6m near The Pines (ugh!)

Afternoon Tea / repairs

VK3CI required a tubular mast to be straightened after a collision with a tree; VK3OW needed the services of a soldering iron.  The Assorted Creams disappeared in short order.

Hunt 3   Foxhunt 3.585 MHz, 1296 MHz, 28.450 MH z, 145.700 MHz, 438.850 MHz, hunt in any order. The foxes were turned off at 18:10.

Jack VK3WWW on 80m was in a small dead-end near the Brooklyn abattoir, 41B8.  Ian VK3MZ with 23cm between the Spotswood football oval and the railway line, 41K11.  Mark VK3MD ran 10m from a laneway near the Nosh coffee shop at 55K4 (good coffee!).  Dennis VK3BQZ on 2m found a small vehicle track into the Newport Lakes golf course off Ross Rd Altona North, 55D7.  John VK3TVB put 70cm up near Seaworks in Williamstown.

Dinner at Thorpe St

While everyone was out hunting, Roger (with the help of family + Eleisha and Sue Diggins) fired up the barbecue and cooked for the army.  The brazier was lit and provided some warmth for those who needed it.  All seemed well fed and the wine  and beer supplies dipped dramatically (fortunately there was plenty on hand).  Thanks to the fox team members for the variety of salads and desserts, there was certainly no lack of choice.   Scarlett the Koolie and Otto the Greyhound got plenty of  attention and scraps, although Otto felt additional pats would have been nice.  I found the forgotten veggie burgers in the fridge this morning – I guess there were no vegetarians because no one complained.

Hunt 4   Sniffer Hunt, 145.700 MHz.

Mark VK3MD placed three ARDF-style TXs in the neighbourhood and hounds tested their intestinal fortitude by sprinting on a full stomach.  Well done to Darian and Gary, and commiserations to Ewen’s nose (which met its sorry fate on the playground equipment at the Loft Reserve, 55F4).  Mars Bars to the victors, and Suzanne who just wanted Mars Bars.

Hunt 5   Foxhunt 145.700 MHz, 438.850 MHz, 28.450 MHz, 52.100 MHz, 144.250MHz, hunt in fixed order

Ian VK3MZ put 2m up from an industrial estate in Truganina, 360H10.  This was a bit of a procession but thankfully the following legs were more challenging.  Then Mark VK3MD put up 70cm from Ralph Ct Pt Cook, 208F4.  Jack VK3WWW ran 10m from Law Crt Sunshine West, 40D6, followed John VK3TVB on 6m in a paddock near Fulton Dve Derrimut 39E7 (proved a challenge for some).  Finally Dennis VK3BQZ and Eleisha ran 2m from a cleanfill pile in Altona North 54J2, which required some deal of sniffing.


All teams returned to base for debrief and cocktails.  More beer and wine was consumed, along with cakes and hot food (traditional foxhunt supper).  Tall tales became taller while Roger tallied the scores.  Announcements were made, then following a protest the scores and times were checked and re-calculated.  The VK3FAST team was pronounced the winner (confirmed), and after re-checking the scores the placings were confirmed as shown in the table below.

Team Hunt 1 Hunt 2 Hunt 3 Hunt 5 Total Place
VK3FAST 3+2+1=6 6+3+1=10 9     2+5+4+2+2=15    40  1
VK3OW  6+3+2=11 3+6+6=15 18  5+3+1+6+5=20    64  6
VK3CI  2+4+3=9 5+2+5=12 12  3+2+6+1+1=13    46  4
VK3BLN  4+6+1=11 4+1+3=8 3     4+4+3+5+4=20    42  =2
VK3TXO  5+1+2=8 1+5+2=8 6     6+6+2+3+3=20    42  =2
VK3FOX  1+5+3=9 2+4+4=10 15  1+1+5+4+6=17    51  5


Well done to the VK3FAST team!  Good luck to all for Mt Gambier in only five weeks’ time.

Templestowe Valley – 27 April 2013

Radi-O:    2m ARDF        “Templestowe Valley”           April 27, 2013

Thanks to Geoff for setting an interesting 2m ARDF in Westerfolds Park. Here are the results:

 First Name  Surname

No of  Tx

Time  (mins)


 Adam  Scammell




 Kristian & Simo  Ruuska




 Bryan  Ackerly




 Matt  Heritage




 Becky  Stuchbery




 Paul  Stuchbery




 David  Beard




 James & Jenelle  Templeton




 Dennis  Haustorfer




 Henk  de Jong




 Dianne  Shalders




 Mark  Jarvis




 Keith  Anker




January Fox Hunt report

Well, better late then never… Right??

Hunt 1:

The Tx was set up adjacent to a railway bridge – on one pylon, while the fox sat on the other. The fox and Tx were both below the level of the train, and both fox members had an excellent view of the sunset as we waited for the first team to show up. It took a while, but eventually TXO pulled up with teh screech of gravel, on the wrong side of the creek. They spotted the fox straight away and got across without even getting their feet wet. MZ joined the fox shortly afterwards and Roger crossed the creek and found the Tx without incident. FOX approached from the same side as the fox had driven in, but Greg opted to send Kristian out for exercise so he ran in to find us. It wouldn’t be the last time he’d be out hiking tonight…

 Hunt 2:

The Tx was set high up on a hill, near a transmission tower. Too near. After complaints from the previous leg that the signal couldn’t be heard, the fox made rapid adjustments and put the beam in a tree, instead. First in was Kristian. On foot. (Do we see a theme?) His car arrived shortly after. Ryordan from TXO powered in shortly after and then MZ; a line of torches spread evenly across the hillside. They all found it within a short time of each other.

Hunt 3:

The fox made his way to a small reserve. As he skulked his way through the bushes, he thought ‘Gee, I look suspicious.’ And the dog he’d brought along for cover didn’t really help much. And indeed, neighbours accosted him soon after to ask what he was doing. With neighbours pacified and Tx finally placed, wedged in a tree not too far in with beam pointing west, the fox settled down to wait amongst razor grass and mosquitoes. Teams needed directions to get on the fox’s scent, but then MZ and FOX arrived very close together and TXO a few minutes later.

Hunt 4:

The fox had quite a long drive from the first leg but despite that, they had a long wait. After driving up a very overgrown, dry and rutty bush-track, the fox negotiated at 137-point-turn (but who’s counting? Anyway, the gender of the fox makes the fact that any 4WD happened at all worthy of general praise), plonked the fox up on a gate with the beam pointing west and settled down. There was lots of fox activities – car engines on the road, stopping, reversing, u-turning; and then disappearing. Torch light from adjacent hills. Many complaints on the radio. The fox calmly advised all teams that it was possible to drive in. Despite that, no-one seemed convinced. After what seemed like centuries, Kristian for the FOX team continued his exercise routine, strolled up to bid the fox goodnight, and then strolled back out the other direction. About ten minutes later, TXO finally deigned to join the FOX team and drove up with many complaints about the use of a beam. The fox nodded sympathetically. They didn’t snigger at all. Well, not much. MZ drove in not long afterwards. Cue much synchronised u-turning, and everyone finally got back out onto the road and gathered for the supper hunt.

Hunt 5 (supper hunt):

Plan A was aborted (after the discontent of hounds following Hunt 4, we decided the poor little mites really couldn’t handle what the fox had planned for Hunt 5; but don’t worry, boys – maybe next time!) and Plan B began a mobile hunt towards supper in Monbulk. Driving 10-20kph below the speed limit, the fox expected to be caught quickly, but as Monbulk approached, they realised they’d better go to ground instead. Frantic searching of Google Maps revealed a small park off David Hill Road. TXO was first and found it quickly. MZ conducted a thorough inspection of the fox’s tail shaft and undercarriage. They found the Tx eventually. And declared the vehicle roadworthy at the same time. The fox would like to thank them for their free service. FOX came shortly afterwards and found it without any trouble.

Everyone then adjourned for supper (MZ with a flat tyre which was reinflated with some good ol’ Monbulk air).

And the results are:





1 0 2 1
2 1 0 2
3 2 0 1
4 1 0 2
5 0 2 1


4 4 7


1 1 2

Well done, TXO and FOX! Equal first.

Radio Hageby @ Karkarook Park, 1st April 2012 – Marta and Pierre

Despite forecast showers, the weather was perfect for the first Sunday Special of the series – slightly overcast with the sun breaking out later in the afternoon. We set a hageby course on a brand new map (thanks to Adam Scammell from the ARDF group for producing this one!), providing two standard orienteering legs, one 2m Fox-Oring legs and one 80m ARDF. The orienteering legs, in particular, were designed for beginning orienteers, and this allowed the Thomas family kids to successfully navigate around the first orienteering leg without their dad’s help – well done, guys! Both kids and dad then successfully completed their Fox-Oring leg, their first foray into RadiO sport despite a long interest. It was great to see them enjoy themselves.

We had an exceptional turnout today – 37 people went out with control cards, and some of those were families. This was great to see, because the ARDF events often do not attract a large following. While some of the non-ARDF members enjoyed a normal orienteering run on our new map, several other brave souls forayed into the brand new world of RadiO orienteering, with great success! We’d like to mention in particular Steve Peacock and Jeff Hughes, who completed both Fox-Oring and ARDF legs! An excellent first attempt, and we look forward to seeing you again at future events. Bernie Shuttleworth also gave RadiO orienteering a go, completing an entire Fox-Oring leg as well as finding a couple of ARDF transmitters. Excellent effort, Bernie. And welcome back to Jun and Miki Okabe, as well, who ran both orienteering legs as well as completing a Fox-Oring course. Good to see you back out there. Also well done to the Diggins family, who successfully dealt with the ARDF leg despite an intensive workout earlier in the day at footy. Finally, a special mention to Chris from the Newbury Navigators, who joined us for a pleasant stroll around the lake. We hope you enjoyed yourself, Chris!

Congratulations to Bruce for completing the entire four-loop course in 1:10:13. This was closely followed by Gary and Darian, with 1:13:26 and 1:15:35. A special mention also to Denise and Peter, who despite completing their two orienteering legs in different order, both finished within 3 seconds of each other. (Well done, Denise; you pipped him at the post!) We always like a sprint finish.

Thanks to everyone for joining us out there today. Hope you had a good time, and hope to see you at more RadiO events later in the year. Results are below (and Simon Rouse, if you read this, you snuck in without us recording a finish time – if you recall what time you got in, please contact us.)

Competitor O1 O2 FoxOr ARDF Legs Time
Bruce Paterson 7 7 7 5 4 1:10:13
Gary Panter 7 7 7 5 4 1:13:26
Darian Panter 7 7 7 5 4 1:15:35
Ewen Templeton 7 7 7 5 4 1:23:37
Ian Dodd 7 7 7 5 4 1:28:22
Geoff Hudson 7 7 7 5 4 1:50:47
Kristian Ruuska & Orry Thomas 7 7 7 5 4 1:53:35
Mark Besley 7 7 7 5 4 1:55:04
Steve Peacock 7 7 7 5 4 2:01:30
Ryordan Panter 7 7 7 5 4 2:03:55
Jeff Hughes 7 7 7 5 4 2:11:25
Pam King 7 7 7 5 4 2:23:08
Henk de Jong 7 7 7 5 4 2:44:50
Greg Tamblyn 7 7 7 4 4 1:43:00
Mike Hubbert 7 7 7 4 4 2:26:30
Bernie Shuttleworth 7 7 7 2 4 2:25:45
Dianne Shalders 7 0 7 5 3 1:59:52
Mark Jarvis 7 0 6 5 3 1:36:10
Tim Hatley 7 7 7 0 3 0:44:14
Peter Dalwood 7 7 7 0 3 1:06:30
Miki and Jun Okabe 7 7 7 0 3 1:30:55
Ian Stirling 0 0 7 5 2 1:14:16
David Beard 0 0 7 5 2 1:40:26
Greg Williams 0 0 7 5 2 1:53:42
Suzanne O’Callaghan 0 0 3 5 2 1:35:20
Denise Pike 7 7 0 0 2 0:30:43
Peter Grover 7 7 0 0 2 0:30:46
Rosie Salvaris 7 7 0 0 2 0:43:47
Ian Baker 7 7 0 0 2 0:45:02
Schon Hudson 7 7 0 0 2 1:07:27
Simon Rouse 7 7 0 0 2 ??
Diggins family 0 0 0 5 1 0:35:19
Thomas family 0 0 7 0 1 1:06:45
Jacinta, Renee & Nathan Thomas 7 0 0 0 1 0:30:00
Wally and Caroline Cavill 7 0 0 0 1 0:33:50
Newbury Navigators 7 0 0 0 1 0:40:15

Click here for a spreadsheet with individual leg times.

Region 3 ARDF – 80m event tomorrow

The Region 3 ARDF competition finishes up tomorrow with the 80m event. Stay tuned for more information, and check out the results of earlier events by going to http://r3.ardf.org.au and selecting the Results and Start Lists menu option.

2011 Fox Hunting Championships at Mt Gambier

The Queen’s Birthday weekend is typically looked forward to by the fox hunting community here in Melbourne, because it gives us an opportunity to test our equipment against the wits of SERG and the might of the South Australian pine forest. As always, we are extremely appreciative of all the work done by SERG to organise this event, particularly this year, shortly after the passing of our friend Wayne Kilpatrick, who has been involved with the Mt Gambier championships for many years. He will be missed, and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this very sad and difficult time.

On a more positive note, however, SERG paid tribute to Wayne by organising another fantastic Australian Fox Hunting Championship event, with many challenging and exciting hunts to keep us all entertained. With just a few spots of light drizzle and even some patches of blue sky, we couldn’t have asked for better weather… Although, clearly there had been SOME precipitation in recent times, as a number of unlucky teams found out – no fewer than three people got bogged during the weekend’s proceedings (one of those people being a would-be rescuer!) The extra multi-legged hunts organised this year added a lot of interest to the event, and we’d like to thank SERG, and in particular Charles and Andrew, for taking on board our comments last year and succeeding admirably in putting on an extremely enjoyable event.

One of the SA teams documented their experience with a series of photographs, which can be found here: http://rfhead.net/gallery/, along with video footage of the de-bogging rescue attempt gone wrong:

Bogged! Fun times at the Mt Gambier Fox-hunting Championships from Mark Jessop on Vimeo.

The VK3YQN team also valiantly recorded their own attempts to teach their Subaru to swim:

The YQN Suby – learning how to swim


The Suby in the lake


“I’ll wait here and mind the car”


Every bridge starts with a small stick…


If anyone has any further pictures or stories, please send them along!

Emerald Lake CATI

Sunday 4th April, set by Marta and Pierre

Sunday 4th April dawned chilly and drizzly; the only thing making it worthwhile getting out of bed, really, was the fact that Daylight Savings had just ended, meaning we had an extra hour’s sleep in! Pierre and I had intended to meet in the parking lot of Emerald Lake Park, and put out a couple of controls before the paid parking kicked in, but when I got there, one half of the gate was closed, so I waited just outside. Upon Pierre’s arrival, we hurriedly exchanged transmitters and worked out a plan of attack, then turned on all the 80ms ARDF Txs. Oops, I knew I forgot something; we were supposed to start these at an even 5-minute mark! Oh well, no-one minded so much starting at 2m 07s past a 5-minute interval 🙂

Pierre headed off to do the easterly controls, while I tackled the ones inside the park. I decided that it was early enough that the rangers probably wouldn’t nab me if I squeezed my car past the closed gate and parked inside for the first two controls. So I snuck in, parked, grabbed the Fox-Or and ARDF Tx which we’d planned to put out at the far end of the lake, and briskly jogged to the appropriate locations. There were a few early morning walkers out, and for some reason, they all averted their eyes as I ambled past, squid pole in hand. Can’t imagine why! I got the ARDF out without too much trouble, and was secreting the Fox-Or when disaster struck – I’d forgotten the little Fox-Or flag! And were coming up to ranger time! Luckily the map scale is small, so I rushed back, acquired the flag and drove back out hurriedly without any trouble. The other controls were far less eventful, and both Pierre and I were back at the start by 9:30, ready to set up and work out how to use the new ARDF software.

People started arriving by 10am, and we had a nice little crowd ready to go. Despite some worries, the ARDF software behaved admirably and after handing out a few spare SI sticks, we soon had everyone entered and ready to go. The only excitement before we started was a pair of dog walkers – for some reason, they took exception to our presence, and backed their car out with a loud squeal of tyres, mumbling something about us being “inconsiderate” under their breaths. Still not sure what that was about – the ruckus they made as they left was far more inconsiderate than our little gathering!

It was nice to see a few newcomers showing up – both Greg and Stewart tried their first-ever ARDF event, both doing extremely well – Greg even  managed to find 3 Txs even though the antenna broke off his 80m sniffer! Great work. Peter M and Bruce went out together, allowing Peter to find five controls for the first time. Hopefully this makes you a little happier for next time, Peter – it can be quite dispiriting doing ARDF if you don’t find many controls each time! Pam came along and happily found all five, as did Clifford, and both Di and Hamish had a great event, getting all except the most eastern control. It’s worth mentioning that Di headed out after already having found all 8 Fox-Ors, so she certainly  got her money’s worth! Ry and Henk also braved the cool conditions and picked up three controls each. The clear winner today was Gary, who blitzed the course in just over an hour. We won’t mention the fact that he was also the first to come back thigh-deep in mud; apparently, despite the rather large lettering on the map pointing out that a bridge was out, people decided to try to leap across the creek anyway, rather than heading back up the path 100m or so and going around :). All in all, the ARDF seemed quite popular, and looks like it was a good introductory event for people to practice their skills on.

The Fox-Or was not quite as much of a success. Unfortunately, one of the Txs had been left on high power so tended to swamp all the others. By the time we realised and sent Gary off to turn it down, most of the people had completed or were most of the way through their course. Oops! Sorry. Note to all future course setters – double check the power levels!! As well, Emerald Lake presents some rather thick bushland, and we may have been a little nasty in how we hid our Fox-Ors. People certainly struggled a bit to find them. Nonetheless, our newcomers seemed to enjoy themselves (more or less!) Matt and his kids headed out and found three controls, while Josie and her kids got 6 – well done. Suzanne perservered despite the tough control placement and came back with 5, while Henk and Darian nabbed four. Georgie did best in the canine department – she found 6 (along with some mud and a few puddles), with Bryan following on behind carrying her sniffer! Crowning glory goes to Dianne, however, who stuck it out and found all 8, and also came back knee deep in mud. Congratulations, Di!

The post-event BBQ allowed everyone to debrief and warm up, and then a number of us headed off to pick up controls and pick up a multi-leg geocache within the park.

Here are the final results:

80m ARDF

Competitor #Txs Time
Gary Panter 5 63’14
Ewen Templeton 5 110’19
Stuart Elliot 5 114’08
Peter Maloney & Bruce 5 120’37
Clifford Heath 5 132’53
Pam King 5 138’45
Darian Panter 4 42’22
Ian Stirling 4 69’27
Dianne Shalders 4 112’15
Hamish McDonald 4 201’16
Ryordan Panter 3 77’06
Henk DeJong 3 82’23
Greg Tamblyn 3 101’44

2m Fox-Or

Competitor #Txs Time
Dianne Shalders 8 2h02
Greg Tamblyn 6 1h18
Georgie Giles (& Bryan with sniffer) 6 1h39
Josie Yeatman & kids 6 ??
Suzanne O’Callaghan 5 2h10
Darian Panter 4 1h2’20
Henk DeJong 4 2h14
Matt Manning & kids 3 1h34

Emerald CATI RadiO event – a competitor’s perspective

ARDF Club Training Day:                        Emerald, Sunday 3rd April, 2011

Close of Daylight Savings allowed for an extra 60 minutes in bed: a coolish morning, not frosty, not raining but I still struggled to get mobile.

Finally under way; decided not to detour to Templestowe Village for takeaway  Cappucinno and took my chances at East Doncaster ‘Maccas’ instead; coffee passable.

Approximately 09.40 am (est):  arrived Emerald, turned right at the first roundabout but the street layout did not look familiar (things not looking good for navigation today).

Checked Melways, retraced route back to roundabout, drove on to second roundabout and turned right, found Crichton Road and “O” sign.  Yay!

Finally arrived at picturesque Nobelius Heritage Gardens and the welcoming sight of familiar vehicles, a few members erecting the ARDF shelter and Bruce sorting the portable BBQ.

After the obligatory welcomes and chit-chat, I decided to attempt the (simpler) 2m Fox-Or Course first. The thinking was I would go out and locate a few Fox-Ors and return to attempt the more complex ARDF Course a bit later when some of the faster runners had completed their course and the demand for 80m sniffers had lessened.

Sniffer in hand, I headed off in the direction of F8, past the Packing Shed and through the gate into Emerald Lake Park … but which way to go?  The path divided and (in true Radi-O course-setting fashion) Marta and Pierre had deviously drawn the Fox-Or circle to encompass both tracks. Decision time … do I take the high track running parallel with  Puffing Billy rail or plunge down into the park along the lower track.

I decided on the Nobelius Track which runs anticlockwise along the perimeter of the park.  That turned out to be a good choice … I walked/ jogged (mostly walked) another 200 – 250 metres until the signal ‘swung’ then left the track and fought my way in through the greenery, stepping over and finding my way around fallen tree branches and fighting off some very (un)friendly grasses (the genus that adheres relentlessly to clothing).  Was thankful I had worn long pants and a long sleeved ARDF top.

Not all that far off the track was F8 hiding in the scrub.  I also found a (muttering) Suzanne in the vicinity – I suspect she may have approached from the lower track and had to fight her way uphill through the undergrowth.

Off again … plodding on in an anti-clockwise direction, progress easy, following the contours for another 800 metres then diverged down a narrow, greasy dirt track to the signal from F7.  Stuffed about for a bit (fought my way through more of that over-friendly grass) and eventually located the punch.  Also encountered another 3 ‘Hounds’ (adult + 2 pups) close to the Fox-Or.  Left dad instructing his two sons in the art of ‘Df-ing’ and was off back up to the main track in search of F6.

I was starting to relax and enjoy myself … another 700 metres on to Lake Nobelius where  F6 was beckoning from up the hill behind one of the many amphitheatres in this picturesque park … so onwards and upwards, fighting my way around annoying tree branches and logs and eventually locating the hidden punch, then back to the track.

Where to next … around the lake and on towards F3 … but why didn’t I look at the map more closely?   Lulled on in a false sense of security, I continued on to the creek to discover the sign … “bridge closed” and the track barricaded.  Only then did I decide to take a good look at the map to discover (marked very clearly) “Bridge broken, Don’t cross”.  Stuff it!   As if I was going to go retrace my steps now (sheer pig-headedness).

Down across the creek didn’t look all that bad and there was tell-tale evidence of others having crossed. Choosing a track that wasn’t too steep, I carefully picked my way down the slippery bank and spotted a largish branch lying in the mud. Carefully stepped out onto it with my left foot … good, reasonably stable, but I still needed another stride to get to the other side.  Choosing a spot devoid of earlier human foot prints I gingerly stepped out … and down I went, down into the squelchy mud!  I hadn’t exactly planned on a mud bath that day but my right foot, ankle and calf slowly disappeared down into the ooze!   Yuck!   Managed to extract my foot with O-shoe still attached and scramble up the East bank on all-fours (most dignified – but then that’s not really what Orienteering is all about).  Several other club members approached the bridge around then and they decided to make a jump for it.  Both landed safely on the opposite side and continued on their way.

Much muddied, but not disheartened, I passed over the next (unbroken) bridge, crossed the rail tracks South of Puffing Billy Station, climbed around the end of the fence and bush-bashed through the blackberries and rubbish and across to the road near the model railway building.  Successfully avoiding massive fox/ wombat (?) holes in the process. 200 metres then to an intersection and another choice to be made … which route?   I decided on the more Southerly track and continued on in quest of the next control.   More bush-bashing through the vegetation to success.  F3 found!

Come this far now, really can’t go back without finishing the lot!

Eastwards through the walkway between properties to Bellbird Crescent, turned right then on, gradually uphill to Wombat Crescent, downhill to Boundary Road then headed North downhill into Wright Forest.  Located F5 successfully, not that far in off the track!

It was now (only) about 1200 metres around the track to the next Fox-Or!

A nice downhill jog out of Wright Forest to the level crossing at Wright Road and on to the Emerald-Cockatoo Trail.  Wait for the signal to swing and downhill into the sparsely vegetated gully to F4 … 5 Fox-Ors down and only 3 more to go!

It was still some substantial distance to where F2 beckoned from South West of the Ornamental and Conifer Tree Lawn.  I was about to head off along a track into the scrub when I met up with Josie and Suzanne. “Don’t go in that way, it’s really hard, it’s actually closer from the road” they advised … so headed a few metres further North West then into the scrub.  Sound advice … F2 located and control card punched without too much effort!  (thanks ladies).  Almost on the home straight now.

Headed off along Emerald Lake Road, then took the short cut across to Durban Road, a 90° turn to the North then on to the “T” intersection and left into Old Gembrook Road.

Arrived at the intersection of Sherrif Road and headed into Worrell Reserve.

F1 found secreted in pine tree along Northern edge of the reserve.

About 600 metres to home!

Retraced steps back to Sheriff Road, headed South across Emerald Lake Road across the open park and the Finish.  Muddy but happy and it only took 2 hours!

and the 80 metre ARDF is another story …

If a 62 year old with a wonky ankle can do it  … so can you!

Why not get out there and try it … it’s all good, (clean ?) fun.


Dianne  (ARDF).