The N6QAB I.A.R.U. 2 meter ARDF Page
For information on the upcoming I.A.R.U. Region 2 and FRG-99 competition being held in Portland, OR the week of Aug 9, 1999 click here.
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The opening ceremonies of the Region 3 A.R.D.F. Championships held in Townsville Australia. Competitors line up behind a sign bearing the name of their sponsoring Amateur Radio organization.
My friend from Japan Yoshiko Yamagami JQ1LCW, joins my wife Susan and I in a snapshot.
After the opening ceremonies a 2 meter and 80 meter practice session was held. Two of each type transmitters were hidden in the surrounding bush of the college that hosted the event. Pictured above are two competitors checking their equipment before hitting the practice course.
On the day of the 2 meter competition competitors are in the college parking lot at 7:00 AM waiting to board the bus to the mystery site of the official 2 meter course.
The bus ride to the course is relaxed and friendly. Competitors and I.A.R.U. officials from different countries discuss what else, Fox Hunting.
The bus pulls up to a vacant lot located next to wooded area. On the lot is a awning covered staging area complete with chairs, refreshments, and a plastic bag for each competitor. After getting off the bus all DF gear is required to be impounded. In Townsville the impound area was along an adjacent fence At this point competitors make final preparation to run the course and are provided with a number to be worn on the outer clothing. All personal items not being carried by the hunters on the course are placed in the plastic bags, labeled with their names, and put back on the bus to be taken to the finish area.
Located under the awning (in the center) is a board with the starting list showing the various competitor's country, name, number, and starting order. An event official calls out each competitors number when it is time to retrieve their DF gear and head towards the starting table.
Here "Yours Truly" heads toward the starting table. At the starting table each competitor is given a map of the course, a punch card, and is given a chance to calibrate their compass with a true north reference. At the prescribed time each hunter is instructed to proceed to the starting corridor. The starting corridor can be seen in the above photo. Because it is a bit hard to see, I highlighted it with a white frame. It is located just above my left shoulder. The starting corridor is located out of the sight of the waiting competitors to insure a fair start for all. Only at the end of the start corridor is a competitor allowed to turn on their DF receiver. Note: Long pants are required for International events. It is a safety concern that drives this requirement. So don't do what I am doing above and where shorts.
Each transmitter is monitored by two course referees. They log the time and number of each hunter when they find the fox. Located above each transmitter is the prescribed orange and white prism. On the prism is the number of the transmitter. Attached to the transmitter is a punch with a unique pattern that the competitors use to punch the associated block on their punch card. Although hard to see, the transmitter, with a competitor punching his card is located in the center of the photo (above) to the left of the yellow dot.
After finding the all the transmitters required for their category, competitors switch their DF receivers to a prearranged finish line homing frequency. It is easy to become disoriented during the course of the hunt. It is very important to find one's way back to the finish line within the event time limit. Failure to do so will negate all the work out on the course and will result in no score. Finally, the finish line! Notice the yellow tape on each side of the path. Competitors must pass through this corridor before crossing the finish line.
After crossing the finish line, competitors must surrender their punch card to the event officials. The officials then calculate times and ranking.
After finishing, competitors find welcome shade and refreshments under an awning set up past the finish line. Under the awning is a board where each competitors times are posted.
On the final evening of the championships, an award dinner and ceremony is held. During the festive occasion, individual and team medals are awarded. Additionally the competitors trade small gifts and have pictures taken with one another. Make sure to take a good supply of unique goodies to give to the other competitors, as they will be giving you the same.
I had an excellent time at the Region 3 Championships. The officials, volunteers, and other competitors were all very friendly and fun to be with. I am looking forward to FRG-99 in Portland. I hope to see you there.
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This page updated on 01/17/99