Report of the 2003 Victorian Foxhunting Championships

Held April 12th 2003

The 2003 championships were conducted by the VK3OW team with a number of helpers and were centered around Bullengarook in the Wombat State Forest. The following is a report as seen by one of the teams (VK3VT - not the winners!) The hunts were well thought out and as all teams were in 4WD vehicles there was no confusion about terrain and beaching low slung machines. The catering was excellent and a really good time was had by all who attended - our thanks to Ewen, and the team.

 
1300 Hunt 1 Foxhunt 70/2/10/6/23 any order

From the start location we headed basically north looking for the two metre transmitter.  It soon became apparent that this location was an excellent choice by the organizers – there is not a straight road of any length and things are definitely not set out on a grid pattern!!  After a lot of driving and shooting down a number of 4WD tracks we located the fox.  As we were not sure of the gear for 6 and 10 Metres we decided to chase the 70cm fox next.  This proved to be almost due south of us and we headed off on a much more direct route.  After traveling for what seemed like ages we arrived at the 70cm fox and caught up with  our fellow NERG members Betsy VK3HBK  .  As this transmitter was on top of a hill with good views and was almost at the bottom of the map we decided to have a listen on the other three frequencies.  We could hear a signal on 23cm and this seemed the closest and we could also hear something on 6 and 10. We put the 6M loop on the car and had the 23cm receiver – IC T8A; and antenna – Doug VK3JDO’s corner reflector; in the car and just waved the antenna out the window.  Soon we had good signals on 23cm and followed this finding Ewen up a track reasonably close to the start.  We then went looking for the 6m fox and were reasonably close when time ran out. In turned out the 6 and 10m units were relatively close to the 2m transmitter – where we had been on the first leg!. Only one team – VK3VR/MZ/JMD/TVB found all transmitters – great result guys. We placed second.

 Hunt 2 Foxhunt 80M

This was a fairly conventional affair but the lack of a grid road system meant that a wrong decision early could see you in trouble.  After a few incorrect turns we were on the trail and found Henk in the township of Woodend.

 

1500 Afternoon Tea

Good stuff and very welcome!

 

Hunt 3 Foxhunt, 23cm

We took a wrong turn early so were at the rear of the field – our experience in Mount Gambier is that the signals are usually weak but these were strong which led us to believe that the fox was near by.  After some time driving we came to the Steve the fox in a maze of twisting back streets near the foot of Mount Macedon. It turns out there was a high powered amplifier being used with a directional antenna and this provided the strong signal we had so many kilometers away!

Hunt 4 Foxhunt 6M.

Our borrowed equipment always gave us a direction but we were very hard pressed to locate the fox – it looked like the direction given may not have been that of the fox, or not all the time!! Very frustrating.

 
1820 Dinner, casseroles and  desserts.

Good food and a chance to tell our stories from the day’s events.

 

1930 Hunt 5 Foxhunt   2/70/6/10  in fixed order

The first leg was looking reasonably easy as we headed up towards Mount Macedon – our directions were pointing at the cross and we were all ready for quick trip up the hill and back but the fog was most unexpected and we were crawling all the way.  Our choice of the cross was wrong and so we  had to return and take the Lionshead road track following the YQN team. This meant that we did not have to scout the track in the fog.  After finding the fox at the NERG field day site right at the end of the road, we managed to change over antennas quicker than YQN and so had to gingerly follow the track back.  Second leg was a beaut spot under the freeway bridge and beside a pine plantation. Very Mount Gambier like.  We were second here so had caught up.   With renewed vigor we were on the way to the 6m fox – once again the gear gave directions but rarely pointed at the fox – by using signal strength and hints we were able to find Ewen and then head off on 10m.  This was back near the township of Macedon as Henk was the fox on the first and last legs.  A bit of 4WDing was required to get to this fox – a chance to try out my new toy!

We returned to the venue for an excellent supper and the presentation of the results, trophy and prizes, our team secured one second and two third places and 3rd  overall. Team VK3JMD were the winners, not sure of other placings as the results table we had was blank!!

73

Greg VK3VT

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