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