Deadman’s Flat 28th June
Before the event I had 14 intendeds. Wow, if they all actually showed up it might even be a record attendance for one of our radiO events, perhaps challenged only by Ian’s super organised Woodlands event a while back, and of course eclipsed by the 2003 Region 3 championships (but not in number of local competitors).
The day dawned freezing as I crawled out of my tent equiped with multiple layers, beanie and gloves. However it promised to be a fine day and at times it turned out quite sunny. I’d taken the opportunity to string up the 80m antennas the afternoon before (with help from Jun & Greg). We really must get those poles sorted out now we have them though ! I’ve had enough of attempting to fling small rocks through high branches only to have the rock fall off the wire, or, more typically with my aim, miss altogether. I had only to put out the 7 FoxOrs, attach the 5 80m ARDF boxes (what happened to those “day before” timers we used to have?) and quickly place the 2m 5-in-5 course near the Start. This all took about 2 hours (driving, riding, running, clambering(!), gradually divesting all those layers of clothing), but I did have the fall back option of placing the 5-in-5 after competitors were already out on their 1st leg.
For some reason bush-O competitors were still not in evidence at 10:25, a mere 5 minutes before their mass start, but a fair RadiO crowd was gathering. Turns out, though Peter predicatably wasn’t able to make it in time, we gained an extra 3 with Grant Jeffrey , Pierre Brockner and Douggie joining in the RadiO. 16 ! Grant had to choose between the RadiO and the Bush-O he’d come up to do, so despite the fairly lengthy Long course I hope he had a good time. People were still getting organised so I ducked off to fix an errant TX#4 in the 5-in-5 leg that didn’t seem to have come on.
The briefing outlined the 4 loops competitors had to do. There was some confusion about frequencies and which-leg-to-do-next for those who weren’t listening closely. The Long and Short had a different order in order to maximise the availablity of 80m sniffers. As it turned out this wasn’t a problem at all and I had a spare unit, plus my own left unused.
The FoxOr on 2m consisted of Long: 6 out of 7 or Short: 4 out of 7 FoxOr circles. Some thought had gone into the placement so that the best ones to do were not immediately obvious due to terrain, rather than just distance.
Unfortunately we had some problems with signal strength on some of the legs. All were set on low power, but it seems this differs somewhat between units. There also appears to be a noticeable difference in sniffer sensitivity, with Mk4 LCD > Mk4 LED > Ultra making it harder for some. David has now taken all the FoxOrs and will perform some comparative tests to figure out what is going on.
This made what was probably a bit too long a loop even longer. I had made this loop for Long roughly the same length as one of the Bush-O A course loops, worried that the 5-in-5 would make the total too short. Well in line distance it did seem on the short side, but the map is quite deceptive ! I should not have worried about course length being too short as it turned out. Next Hageby the FoxOr loop will be shorter. Promise !
Most enjoyed the 80m ARDF. Short course had to get any 3 of the 5, and Long all 5. They were spaced closer than International rules to make the loop short. With the terrain involved many would consider this quite long enough, thankyou. Again the quickest loop was possibly not the shortest. A couple of Txs were right near the Finish/Assembly to keep in tune with the Hageby concept (so near yet so far…). Well done to Grant tackling a full 5 ARDF for the first time.
5 in 5
We’ve only had a couple of these in the past, but I thought it’d make an ideal short Hageby loop. I placed the course fairly simply by walking in a line for about 50s and plonking done a 2m ARDF transmitter, then on to the next (I couldn’t carry them all so a couple of trips back to the Start to pick up more). I was careful to not make a circle, but instead have the course cross over itself.
Each TX was equipped also with a SportIdent control for quick punching, and the homing beacon at the Start has the Finish punch. The Start punch on the changeover table was later used to calculate the amount of time to deduct from each competitors total as the 5in5 has to be started on TX1 time, not when a competitor arrives from a prior loop. Good idea Adam.
I think next time we won’t bother with the homing beacon, instead competitors can just navigate back. It interferes a bit with comptitors heading off from the Start.
Adam proved the 5-in-5 was do-able, completing the loop in just over 6 minutes. He said he had to run fairly hard though, so perhaps a 50s fast walk is a bit far considering the overhead of punching and Dfing. No-one else managed it in 5. Ewen claims sniffer beam issues mid course, and others had a truly dreadful time, in some cases taking longer than their entire 80m ARDF leg ! Not sure why there were so many reflections because each TX would have been line-of-sight to the next, except perhaps the final leg TX#5.
I also later discovered the reason for the recalcitrant Finish punch. For some reason I had managed to reprogram it as a Start control (which is weird because it was definitely a “wired” finish at the recent MTBO event). Hence the Cleared punches I had on the table all beeped when tested… a Start was what they were expecting, but anyone who’d done the course didn’t beep (already ‘Start’ed). All makes sense now, so we don’t have to blame new fangled SI sticks or the Homing Beacon causing EMC.
Most headed off with (tired) relief on the final Bush-O leg to the finish. Not everyone had a great time on this one though. Greg was sighted waving from the wrong side of a chasm on a couple of occasions and admits he really should have read the map a bit better. We all know that feeling ! I’ve also heard rumours that Loiuse was so annoyed she managed to miss the Finish altogether and was overheard blowtorching the surrounding bushland with deep felt profanity when the Registration tent simply refused to metamorphise into a Finish tent.
In map image:
151->155 is the 80m ARDF leg
1->7 is the 2m FoxOr leg
5-in-5 is not shown
Bush-O legs for Short and Long Orange and Green
I hope everyone had a good time, despite the Long course being a bit long (but that line distance is indeed correct). The DNF’s below unfortunately do not show the successful good legs these competitors did. Might be worth keeping a rough record of the stage times in the future. Hope Marta is feeling better.
Special mention to Greg Williams for (mostly) completing his course entirely walking in one of his rare bush appearances (hopefully we’ll see more of him, and Douggie). Very well done to Grant for completing a Long course in his first major radiO event.
PS: Where did Douggie go ? He never made it back to the Start on one of thelegs.
1 Gary Panter AR 129.10
2 Ewen Templeton AR 173.57
3 Grant Jeffrey BK 175.50
Louise Hall DR DNF
David Beard AR DNF
Marta Salek AR DNF
1 Adam Scammell AR 76.53
2 Darrian Panter AR 122.55
3 Mark Besley AR 149.42
4 Suzanne OCallaghan AR 153.28
5 Greg Williams AR 175.59
6 Clifford Heath AR 183.58
Pierre Brockner BK DNF
Doug Canning AR DNF
Dianne Shalders AR DNF