END 4.30pm


STATION A          M6GLP/P      1960 kHz

STATION B          G4JAC/P        1930 kHz

Two start locations were used to comply with Covid19 limit of 6 people.

Last year all competitors did the event in the same order, probably because Tx B was
nearer the tea. We were concerned that the same might happen this year, bringing more
than 6 together. With no tea, we reasoned that most would try to finish nearer their home
location. With navigators there were 11 participants, 6 would head home to the West(ish),
  5 to the East(ish), so Tx sites were chosen to give a clear W - E divide from the start..

Tx A   Gary

Tx B  Roy

The first three in were separated by just a few seconds!

  Socially distant winner's speech from Justin!

First off I have to say that I don't like the new normal with split starts as you don't get to meet at least half of the other competitors and wind them up!  But it is what we have to live with right now.  Really grateful to Gary for arranging this event, the only two station event this year I think!

 So there were two good signals at the start and despite local power line noise I was able to get two good bearings, 300 degrees on TX A and 55 degrees on TX B.  The bearing on TX B was very sharp despite it being much further away.

So there I was thinking "Oh! I have to find two sites, where do I go for the 2pm transmissions?"  I started out and set the sat-nav for Wyse's Cott, just south of the A414.  There looked to be a good bit of unclassified road there and low likelihood of power lines etc.  When I got there, I found the road to be so narrow and with steep banking straight into fields that it was not possible to park up. so I meandered south a bit and stopped short of Edney Common.  However I did not feel it was a good spot, so turned around and headed for College Wood.  Again it did not feel right so I turned around again and ended parking up in a field gateway just  to the North of Barrow Farm.  (Oh the indecision!)  While waiting for the TX's, a black pikey truck slowly crawled past, probably a local farmer wondering what I was up to.  He must have thought I was OK as he carried on without stopping.  Again I got two good signals with TX A on a bearing of 221 degrees and TX B on a bearing of 73 degrees but quite weak so almost certainly the other side of Chelmsford.  I decided I would head for TX A.

 At this point I was very sure that the site was to the south of Dagwood lane in a U shaped bit of woodland with a path going through it.  I drove a bit too far and the TX came up when I was near Wishfields farm.  The bearing I got seemed to confirm my now known to be erroneous assumption.  So I parked up just to the south east side of the woods and ran in.  I ran around an area of paths and found a nice pond and drainage ditches.  "Ah!" I thought, "this will explain the good signal"  When the signal came on I sprinted north through the woods towards Doddinghurst, only to find my way blocked by a Herras fence!  The TX was clearly beyond it. "Bum!" I exclaimed out loud.  And rushed back to the car as fast as I could.  I drove round and parked on Dagwood lane and when the TX came up it was clearly in the area between me and Doddinghurst, I drove back down the lane a few hundred yards to the south entrance to the footpath going NW and legged it in.  There were some unfriendly signs to my right about private property, but I soon entered the woods and was able to turn right towards where my bearing said the TX was.  Some passers by asked what I was up to as there were other people in the area doing the same thing with strange looking contraptions and headphones on.  I quickly explained and asked where these strange people had been seen, "just down there" they said pointing.  I carried on and found a small ditch and looked around, eventually being drawn to a fallen tree past which I found Garry!  Two sites visited, one TX found! So back to the car....

 Now it was a case of trying to make up for lost time so I had to make a guess as to where I thought the TX B was.  Looking at my bearings crossing just off the map near a place called Ulting, my eye was drawn to Blake's Wood near Little Baddow.  There were plenty of other places in the area the TX could be but I decided I would drive to the south side of the wood where there might be a parking spot close to where a load of foot paths converge from the wood.  I set the Sat-nav and it said 25-30 minutes. Off I went.  As I left the site I found myself stuck behind a large self propelled agricultural sprayer!  This cost me some 3 minutes according to the Sat-nav.  The air in the car was blue as I muttered various things every time the machine took the same turning I wanted!  Eventually we diverged.  As I got to the junction to exit the A12 the TX came on but I did not see anywhere I was happy to stop, so carried on.  Luckily I trusted the Sat-nav as it steered me around a traffic jam on the A414 in Danbury.  I was just coming up to Blake's Wood when the TX came on again, I parked up and under various power lines criss crossing the road got a vague bearing that said NE into Blake's Wood.  While getting back into the car I saw Graham and Geoffrey driving away from the site so I felt confident I had come to the right area.  A few hundred yards up the road there were DF cars parked up, so I elected to abandon any caution, parked up, and ran into the woods.

As I ran down hill to a stream and up the other side TX B came on and the set said off to the right.  There were lots of fences and private looking areas, but eventually I found a track leading in the right general direction.  I found another track and followed it downhill to the stream again and then the road!  Argh!  Where was he?!  The map seemed to indicate a path through the woods from the road at this point at 45 degrees to the road.  But I could see no sign of it.  Undeterred I picked my way through the undergrowth wondering where to go.  Then the TX came up and the set gave me a definite direction upon the hill and not far away.  I trekked up the slope looking under any likely bushes and eventually came upon the operator in the form of Roy sitting comfortably against a tree.  "There you are!"  I exclaimed, "Shush!" said Roy, "Tim is nearby"  So I dived for cover in the brambles and we waited for Tim to come in about 1 minute later.

At this point I was pretty sure I was some way down the pecking order having visited 3 sites.  But Roy seemed to think we had done OK.  So after a few text exchanges with Gary it turned out I had beaten Colin and Rosie the other way round, but they had beaten Tim by a mere few seconds!  Well that was a nice end to the day and made the trip worthwhile.

My thanks again to Gary and Roy for putting the event on.  I just hope we can learn to live a meaningful life in the new normal and get DF up and running properly again.  I do feel that we can conduct this activity in a safe socially distanced way if we are allowed to.  The only area where this might not work is the Apres DF.


Congratulations to Justin (hard luck to Colin & Tim)
and well done to Larby, never give up, a loud voice can
sometimes provide a few extra minutes of Tx wind power!

Thanks to Gary for the inspiration and doing all the hard work
on this one and to you all for coming.