[W4OVH] Radio Support to Horseback Ride in GW National Forest

Want to operate your radio in the field? Want to work with some truly professional operators at a complex event? Want to see some of the most beautiful scenery in Virginia and WV? Why not do it all at once?

The Old Dominion Endurance Rides is hosting a series of long distance horseback races in June. On Friday, June 9th riders and horses will compete in 25 mile and 50 mile races. On Saturday, June 10th will be a 100 mile race. Competitors have 24 hours to complete the 100 mile course and will finish in the early hours on Sunday morning. The start and finish will be at the base camp in Orkney Springs, near the Bryce Ski Resort in Bayse.

Most of the trail is in the George Washington National Forest extending from base camp up to the vicinity of Wardensville, WV. The terrain is mountainous and communications sparse — except for amateur radio!

Hams play a key role in tracking the competitors, coordinating an army of volunteers, and providing emergency support. Communications teams will set up stations at base camp in Orkney Springs, at 5 remote “pit stop” locations, and at several other key points where the trail crosses major roads or crests mountains.

The Virginia EmComm Association (http://www.w4ghs.org/VAEmComm.html) is providing communication services. The communications plan is based on 2 meters using repeaters near the south and north extents of the trail. Randy Lilly is bringing a team, but he can always use a few more licensed operators. Contact Randy directly (randy52@centurylink.net) for more information and to participate on the radio team.

For more information about the ride, see the Old Dominion’s web page http://www.olddominionrides.org/.(Or just ask Duane KK4BZ martindh@iname.com, but be prepared for the long version because he obviously has fun doing it!)

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