Victorian Foxhunting Championships – Report

On Saturday 6th May, after a week of pretty wet weather, it luckily cleared for a day of intense foxhunting activity.

Four teams VK3BLN, VK3TVB, VK3OW and VK3YDF competed for glory, and to test out rarely used equipment prior to the up coming National Championships in June.

None of the teams were in their normal Friday night member or car configurations, so anything was possible !

The Program had 5 hunts in various configurations and scoring methods. We ended up only having to cancel one 2m leg, and that was due to the whole thing starting ½ late due to the slow team arrival (well done to VK3TVB who were the only ones ready on time !).

Roger VK3HRL ran a short simple 70cm leg to get the day rolling and shake out the gear/maps and so on. This was scored using the normal 10minute timing. VK3TVB won this one comfortably with VK3OW just making it in before the 10 minutes was up. VK3YDF hadn’t yet arrived and VK3BLN didn’t quite make it to the fox in time.

The next hunt proved to be the most challenging of the day. It was 4 legs, hunt any order. The scored was based first on number of TX found, then if the same, time into the last TX found. The stopped exactly 1.5hours after starting. This format is great for spreading teams out as many elect to go for different legs first.

To make things interesting, there were two 23cm legs, a 10m and a 6m. No-one found the 23cm leg on Mt Wilson, but two teams were on the scent when the hunt ended. The 6m leg proved more challenging than intended, due to the odd things trees do to 6m, and only one team found this, and only as the fox was driving out at the end of the hunt. Two other teams spent much of their hunt time fruitlessly searching for the 6m fox.

Well done to the two teams who found two legs; VK3TVB won this hunt from VK3OW based on their 2nd TX time.

A Fox-or hunt with 7 transmitters scattered about the forest around the Barry’s Reef starting location was time limted to 20minutes. 4 frequencies were used, which meant that 3 transmitters shared frequencies with 3 others, just to add some complication.

As many could enter individually as you wanted, and we took the best score of a teams entrants to count towards the overall total. Also a welcome to Bevin, VK5TV who competed in this hunt, all the way from South Australia.

Adam, VK3YDF took out this one easily, finding all 7 in under the required time. Special mention also to Marta, who though was helping the fox the rest of the day, competed in the fox-or for her normal VK3BLN team getting a 2nd place for them here.

The two legged 80m/2m hunt was cut to just 80m due to timing constraints. We had planned to use an antenna mount for this hunt that ended up back in Melbourne due to a YQN team member being unable to make it at the last moment. A temporary mount was fashioned up with bits of coax and metal, so apologies for the dodgy signal on this leg.

Strangely the only team who could hear the signal at the start didn’t end up finding the fox, but VK3YDF did, 6 minutes ahead of VK3BLN.

Dinner was supplied pre-ordered at the Blackwood pub, and very good it was too. Though a little more expensive than self-catering for the event, it certainly made it easier for the fox team who had zero time to spare as it was !

Teams had to forgo dessert because soon afterwards was to follow the gruelling 4 legged night hunt. These are always meant to be difficult, to test team’s patience and perseverance. It is rare a team will breeze through easily on all legs, and again this proved to be the case. VK3TVB had difficulty with the first 2m leg, putting them well back in the field to start off with. Marta was the 2m fox located on a walking track to the North East of the start, deep in the Wombat State forest. VK3YDF and VK3BLN swapped places for the 70cm leg run by Roger from a track not shown on the map to the North West of the start. VK3BLN maintained their lead into the 10m fox operated by Ian, well to the East again at a hastily found new location (the earlier planned location was scrubbed due to a road closure). The final 6m leg run by Bruce turned out to be the un-doing of both VK3BLN and VK3YDF. It was located to the South of the start again in what was not meant to be that difficult a location. The two teams spent nearly an hour within about 3km of the 6m fox, not ever quite narrowing in. Meantime VK3TVB is making up lost ground and have found 10m. Unfortunately VK3TVB also waste their time, but in their case searching grotty dirt tracks over 6km away from the fox so were unable to capitalise on the misfortune of the leaders. Suffering grotty track overload they gave up in disgust (at themselves I hope !).

Finally VK3YDF find the 6m fox after an exhaustive grid search. They have to head off to Melbourne from there due to two members running the a “beat the train Puffing Billy fun run” the next day. About 10 minutes later VK3BLN turn up from an unexpected direction…yes I can see your headlights this time, John ! The 6m fox wasn’t far at all from the first road they’d turned down an hour earlier, and turned away as the signal dropped.

I’ll attempt to create a map picture of the event locations.

The night finished up with supper back at Roger’s grandparents house in Barry’s Reef, near Blackwood. Thanks to Roger for use of the great venue, and supper organisers Roger and Rhonda. VK3YDF are the overall winners, which implies they are running the Vic Champs next year ?....or perhaps someone new wants to give it a go.

Results

Team

VK3BLN

VK3YDF

VK3TVB

VK3OW

1. 70cm

10

10

0

9

2a. 23cm A

-

-

0:18

-

2b. 23cm B

-

-

-

-

2c. 6m

-

-

-

1:30

2d. 10m

-

-

0:49

1:17

2. Overall

20

20

8

10

3. Fox-or

1

0

3

7

4. 80m

6

0

10

10

5a. 2m

4

0

8

10

5b. 70cm

0

4

8

10

5c. 10m

0

4

8

10

5d. 6m

4

0

10

10

5. Overall

8

8

34

40

Total

45

38

55

76

Placing

2

1

3

4

Fox-Or results

Competitor

TX / Time (mins)

Placing

Adam YDF

7 / 20

0

Marta

6 / 22

1

Ian MZ

4 / 21

3

Graham ZKM

3 / 23

6

Bevan TV

2 / 23

7

Gary TXO

4 / 24

4

John BLN

4 / 24.1

5



Wombat state forest map