Posts Tagged ‘County Waterford’

Sean Kelly Tour

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Since 2007, the Sean Kelly Tour has taken place on the last weekend of August. This year AREN was asked to assist Waterford County Civil Defence with locating the head and tail of both the 90k and 160k events to allow for efficient and effective ambulance deployment.

EI2GN, EI3ENB, EI7IG, EI5GOB and EI8JA turned up on the morning, and quickly set about the task. As the mobile command post was being set up, APRS was deployed into the sweeper vehicle for the 90k event, however the 160k sweeper had already left so a plan was formed to intercept the 160k sweeper later in the day, and EI3ENB, was dispatched to a food station to carry items to a Civil Defence ambulance already deployed to that station.

Below are a series of screen shots (from Xastir) depicting the progress of the event during the day.

Screenshot 1, EI3ENB en-route to Clonmel, and the 90k Sweeper is visible just outside Dungarvan.
08:00-10:00

Screenshot 2, EI3ENB is in Clonmel, EI8JA is heading to Rathgormack to let us know when the head of the 160k arrives there. 90k sweeper is nearing Bunmahon. Civil Defence Officer is at the Tramore foodstop.
08:00-11:00

Screenshot 3, 90k sweeper is almost in Tramore, EI8JA is in Rathgormack.
08:00-12:00

Screenshot 4, CD Officer has moved to Rathgormack, EI8JA has moved to Mahon Falls, EI3ENB has taken up station at the tail-end of the 160k and is acting as a sweeper.
08:00-13:00

Screenshot 5, EI2GN has gone to relieve EI8JA at Mahon Falls, 90k sweeper has left Tramore.
08:00-14:00

Screenshot 6, EI3ENB reached Rathgormack, 160k sweeper was located and an APRS tracker was quickly installed in his vehicle. EI3ENB then headed for home. CD Officer has moved to Mahon Falls.
08:00-15:00

Screenshot 7, 160k Sweeper has passed Mahon Falls, 90k sweeper has almost reached Dungarvan.
08:00-16:00

Screenshot 8, CD officer has returned to Race HQ and is satisfied that AREN can close down operations, 90k has finished, 160k sweeper is nearly back to main Dungarvan – Waterford Road.
08:00-17:22 - Closedown

All-in-all the day was very successful. Civil Defence were very appreciative of the information being supplied to them by us. Amateur Packet Reporting System (APRS), was used both for status updates/short messages, and, obviously for position reporting during the day. This meant that our own voice channels were kept free for more important traffic, and, in fact, very little voice traffic was passed during the day.

Comeragh Challenge

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

This year marks the 14th anniversary of the Comeragh Crossing, from Clonmel to Dungarvan. The walk has developed over the years into a national event, and has raised more than €110,000 for charity. The committee led by John Neylin have organised a great day on the mountains, catering for walkers of all levels and fitness. Last year over 160 walkers took part.

Behind the scenes there are over 60 enthusiastic members who volunteer yearly. They man the checkpoints; lead the walkers over the route; brew the tea on the mountaintops; and make dinner back at the check-in; and still remember to turn on the hot water for the showers!

There are actually 4 different options available to walkers on the day.  The Comeragh Challenge which is approximately 40km. long with about 2000m of ascent. The average walking time is approx 10 hours, though 2 hardy men finished it in less than 6 hours yesterday. The Comerach Crossing is approx 30km. long with 1150m of ascent. There are three stages to the walk and it is possible to join at either Stage 2 or Stage 3, later in the day.

Invariably this means that communications (assuming nothing happens) is mostly about “missing” walkers, walker leaving the walk and needing transport, and making sure that no walker goes missing between manned checkpoints.

One checkpoint in the Nire Valley poses a particular challenge, and, as a back up, communications were establised with  80m NVIS mode propagation to ensure communications between this location and base in Dungarvan.

Members participating included EI8JA, EI5GOB, EI2IT, EI3ENB, EI2KA and EI7IG, with operation being wrapped up at approximately 19:00, with all walkers accounted for and en-route back to base.

The operation position
Operating Position

EI5GOB and EI8JA taking a break before deployment.
Taking a break