East Coast Multi-DF   Nov 17th 2013
Ten Txs  with  Gary
Start          Tiptree Heath 13:00        Site      Danbury Common  approx 15 Km from the start

Gary sets the scene:
Danbury Common was chosen as the site to host the final multi DF of 2013. A last minute decision, after previously settling on another site which had proven to be unsuitable on my final visit. It seemed an obvious choice, with a combination of large open areas and path networks through the more covered parts. It would also be a sensible distance from the start at Tiptree Heath, with there unlikely to be many other site alternatives along the route. The fact that two car parks are clearly shown on the map also provided me with the confidence that all competitors should be able to reach the site with out too many problems.

I drove to Danbury the day before the event to erect the aerial for the 'A' site. This proved more difficult than I had anticipated due to the number of dog walkers. I chose a location close to the main car park which would enable me to see competitors arrive on the site. I made hard work of the aerial, and wasn't able to get the height I had desired - (which reflected in the signal at the start) and quickly moved to scan the rest of the site for suitable locations for the other transmitters, before it started getting dark at 4pm.

After switching on all ten transmitters in sequence at 7.30am on Sunday, I used the long drive to Danbury to my advantage by preparing a mental map of where I wanted to place the triffids and in what order. On arrival, I grouped the 'Y', 'Z', 'I' and 'J' transmitters together and briskly walked over to the furthest part of the site, nearby to the mountain bike tracks. Due to 'Y' and 'Z' being more difficult in terms of location and transmission time, I decided not to over-hide the triffids, to ensure that competitors would not be too hampered.

'I' and 'J' were the next transmitters to hide on my way back to the car and I decided to make these easier, being closer to main pathways. 'I' needed to be slightly harder, falling into the  'yellow' category, but due to the small size of the triffid, I decided to  make it fairly accessible.

I appeared to be ahead of schedule and returned to the car for a quick break, before Katherine arrived to assist me with the remainder of the preparation.

I wanted to locate 'F' and 'G' fairly close to the main station which, in addition to the large area of open space in front, would meet the criteria for the 'green' category. 'F' was positioned very nearby to the edge of a main pathway, with 'G' further into the woodland, but placed in the open.

'M' and 'N' were the next transmitters to prepare and my early intention was to position these towards the southern edge of the map, but not too far into the wood. It was difficult to establish whether these would be too difficult to find, as there was thicker cover in this wood, combined with smaller pathways and I had a slight concern that there would be considerable distance to travel from 'Y' and 'Z'.
Mini 'B' was the penultimate transmitter to hide and I delegated this task to Katherine who found an appropriate tree to hang the aerial. This area was chosen due to it's close proximity to 'A'. It was now 11.30am and there was now plenty of time to set up the 'A' transmitter which I had still had doubts about. A brief test at 12.30pm proved that there was a problem with the set up, but there would be sufficient signal to enable a reasonable bearing to be calculated at the start. 

Roy bringing newcomer  Nigel  to station A  for tuition by Gary
11 competitors assembled at Tiptree Heath, much to my surprise, as my earlier prediction had been 6 or 7. I was hiding at the 'A' station at this point, in the hope that I would be able to see competitors arrive and provide assistance to any newcomers. Roy, Graham and Nigel appeared to be the first to arrive, closely followed by Steve. It was clear that Roy would have the 'A' joker and as he tracked down the transmitter, I was introduced to Nigel who I would spend the afternoon with, in the pursuit of the 10 triffids.

Nigel seemed to be a natural in his approach to multi DF'ing and so required little assistance from me and it was clear that after bagging some early points at 'A' and 'B', that he would be showing me where I had hidden the triffids earlier on.

He picked up 7 tickets in total and returned to the 'A' station to bank his tickets, after a successful days DF'ing. The highlight of the day was his visit to 'G', which he tracked down well but was unfortunately out paced by Rosie who made a dramatic lunge to the triffid which reminded me of a similar battle I witnessed earlier in the year at Pods Wood, between her and Colin F.

I thoroughly enjoyed setting up the event and it was good to see such a large number of competitors. I am waiting to hear how Colin F managed to deposit all ten tickets by 3.20pm!      Gary

Nigel  - I know it's here somewhere!
An easy peasy green - strangely 'expert' DFers are ofter heard muttering in the surrounding bushes while the beginners wonder why they find it so difficult.
Graham D - too fast for the camera
Yours truly is moving - but slower - it's an age thing.

John - "All that for 13 points - who's idea was this?"

Graham P  - a bag full of hard earned tickets and probably the odd twig.
Position Competitor Handicap Joker A B F G I J M N Y Z Total Percent
1 Colin F 0 J 17 13 13 11 32 80 26 26 32 26 276 100
2 Philip C 40 Y 40 40 11 8 40 32 20 23 52 32 258 93
3 Tim P 0 Z 15 11 9 9 26 11 23 20 40 80 244 88
4 Graham P 0 B 23 64 23 32 20 23 0 0 0 0 185 67
5 Roy E 40 A 64 20 26 26 23 26 0 15 0 23 183 66
6 Nigel E 0 * 26 23 64 20 9 15 17 0 0 0 174 63
7 Steve S 40 M 20 17 15 13 13 13 80 40 0 0 171 61
8 Colin M 0 N 9 8 0 17 15 20 32 64 0 0 165 59
9 Graham D 0 G 13 15 40 80 0 0 0 0 0 0 148 53
10 Rosie M 0 F 11 9 40 23 17 17 0 17 0 0 134 48
11 John M 0 B 8 52 17 15 11 9 0 13 0 0 125 45

Hi Df world
Not sure if one of these has been posted before - please click on this link  to see my 'track' taken at this event last Sunday. I used an application called 'Strava' on my phone to do a GPS track from the start at Tiptree heath. I have tried this before without success - this one worked. The interesting bit is when I get on site - it dillegently shows me running around in circles on Danbury Heath. I am hoping next year there will be a special Multi-Trophy for the 'Person who runs about the most' as I do this really well - I clocked up 4 miles in all. If you follow the link, zoom in and scroll over the graph, towards the end it shows me as a blue circle 'Haring' all over the place, as you move across the time line of the graphic - it looks best in Satellite Map image. Our new rising star, Colin Ferrer from Kent, won the event by using the boring tactic of drawing up a site map, taking cross bearings then strolling round the ten stations without breaking into even a Tortoise like sweat! I am sure there will be a full report by Colin in due course - but I wanted to get my excuses in first.     Enjoy,  Philip

Sorry Philip, Colin's report was in first.  However, as the man with the power to handicap I have put yours ahead!
It occurs to me that I started to develop the same circular behaviour at about his age, perhaps there is hope for the rest of us yet.


Philip C -   'Four mile man'
Colin F -  'Plan-man'
How did our winner do it  (with only 6 previous DFs to his name) ?
After establishing a weak signal from Gary before the real start, I used C&R’s mini turntable to get an approximate bearing. This I found meant taking a reading, then mentally subtracting 90deg for my frame set, as it was set up for a ferrite. Both Colin & I had the same bearing, so Rosie did the plotting, and suggested with a weak signal an area to the SW edge of the DF map. With that, we decided the A12 was not really going to help, and made our way along minor roads avoiding towns. We were playing cat & mouse with Phil on the way, and collected a couple more bearings showing our initial thoughts were indeed correct. We made a mistake when quite near as we turned right at a T junction, pulling into the next Car park, Phil had done the same! We both back-tracked past the junction, and found another parking area by a green on the left. Although we knew it wasn’t the designated parking area, we stayed put, as there were good signals on both micro channels. At this point I turned my attention to Joker ‘J’ and soon picked up a weak signal, it suggested I follow the road which I hurriedly did. Then I began to feel it was more left off the road a bit, so I took the next good path into the woods. This took me near the proper car park, heading North East, now had a good signal and just kept going, the paths were good and ‘J’ stayed on long enough for me to get in quite close.
Then the signal increased, so I dived off the path to the right, and found myself amongst some holly trees, but with no signal for a while, all I could do was search the ground in circles. The next transmission got it with 40 points, and I was pleased with my start. I then took some bearings and noted that ‘I’, ‘Y’ & ‘Z’ were possibly the furthest from the start, so I quickly tuned to ‘I’ as it would be the nearest. I couldn’t find my way out to the path though, and spent some time in the undergrowth before I found a track, it wasn’t long before ‘I’ was near, but it took me a while to find it. When I did, Phil suddenly appeared and beat me to it, so I took 32 and Phil then teased me about M & N being close, I didn’t take the bait as I felt sure Y & Z were next for me. I was right, but again it took a while to find Y, and Tim was nearby muttering about not getting any signal from Z ! . . I knew which direction it was, but carried on with Y, the next transmission got it with 32 points again (Tim had taken the 40). Heading down the path I nipped through the a gap in the fence and on towards a bank, Tim was there with Phil in hot pursuit behind me, I stuck to the open basin as they both battled through the trees, but then found I was too low and had to climb up the bank, Phil looked like he’d been in a fight, apparently Phil had slipped and allowed Tim to pick the cherry, so I came in a close 3rd on this one.

Now all the other signals were roughly SW, and my instinct told me to go for F & G next. This was interesting, as soon I found myself in the middle of a mountain bike fun park, the terrain was not so easy on foot as I soon found myself in the bottom of a pit, and had to scramble through the brambles to get out. Then another obstacle presented itself, a fence around an estate, I took a route around the West side of this and into some swampy stuff, I then spied 3 more DFers on the main path ahead, Colin M was one of them. As I struggled over fallen trees, they disappeared heading North.

The competition is flagging .....

I eventually took the SW route on this path before veering South into the trees, finding myself on a tiny winding path that led me straight into G. But the signal stopped and I desperately needed a pee, I took a couple of steps off the path and almost tripped over the triffid, oh good, another 11 points! But then I had to back-track North for F as I had already passed it by. Only 13 points here, but I was soon back out in the open again and heading for M. This was over the other side of a large open area of sparse vegetation, but it got me a very useful 26. Then N was not too far away in the edge of the woods, getting me another 26, so this is where Colin M and Steve had been! It was around here I bumped into Phil again, and we travelled a bit together before splitting up. It was now about 3:00pm, and time to head back towards B, open areas still with good paths led me past A to the main car park, then into the trees on the NW side. Not far off the path I found B, but I had to wait for another transmission to get 13 points here, and soon I was crossing the car park again back to A.

Nobody about now, as I dived into a very promising hole in the bushes, this rewarded me with the sight of the post box tin on the ground. I emptied my pocket of tokens and carefully checked them all before posting (having missed a couple on the last hunt), and not forgetting A of course. It was now 3:20pm and my best time to date, so I thought I had done OK.

I soon found Gary coaxing a DFer who wasn’t getting any ‘sense’ from his set into the A station,  I spotted the sense switch was in fact on, and then got him back on track. One by one they dribbled in, Rosie was frantically still trying to find B, Colin M had no sense at all, he’d lost his ‘whip’ and was going in all the wrong directions. Steve claimed Z had turned against him, missing a transmission when it saw him coming! I was then thinking, I might have done better than I thought . . Oh little did I know !

Thanks go to Gary for putting on a splendid hunt for us, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks also go to Colin & Rosie for getting us 3 to the site in very good time, it really helped me win.
Colin (F)

Yep a great event, thanks Gary .... and thanks to you Colin for an excellent report, I especially liked the Pee G Tip, if only I had used that method.
(Note to self for next year - keep hydrated).

So that's it, ....... another year of Multi-DF passes.  Multi-Stars have been born but will they still shine next year?

Thanks to those who have supported us by driving many miles or getting up at the crack of dawn to entertain  - I hope you have enjoyed it and will be back for more next year.   Until then, may you dream in colour and as a friend in my year says:

di dah
di di dah di
di di
dah dah
dah di dah dah 

Colin F had to dash off at the end and so didn't learn of his win until the next day. The trophy will be presented at the next event.  He is now a -40 man  but this gets wiped along with all other handicaps on Jan 1st 2014 -  I suspect he used his clip board to plan that! However, the rest of us are slightly protected from his Multi-Onslaught by the fact that as a Multi-DF winner, from now on he has to pick from the dreaded 'Red Joker' bag.

Suffering from Multi-Withdrawal  -    1      2     3    4    5 (Mid Essex)    6       Complete list of all Multi-DF winners (ever).