Ted’s essays

dogsled race support

brandi-5-dog-teamDDDI helped provide comms for the Darby Dog Derby sled dog races and skijourning this weekend.

A club engineer set up 7 old-school GMRS radios with a suitcase repeater to handle a set of races with 8-dog teams doing 24-mile route and the 6, 4, 2 and 1-dog teams doing less.

Only 1 other HAM was willing to join me. Fortunately my GMRS license covered the entire team for legality sake.

We all learned a lot. The snowmobile club providing primary logistical support now appreciates some of the value 2-way radios bring. The sled dog club LOVES us and are now thinking about how useful radio is for what they do every weekend, not to mention the huge value we provided during the races.

We were darn-near priceless when a novice fell off her sled leaving a high-energy 6-dog team running with no musher to guide them. Nobody knows what would have stopped them if I hadn’t radioed ahead to have them successfully intercepted and stopped. The coulda-bens varied from ugly to awful.

There were other less dramatic, but significant value incidents on top of the great service we provided giving a 6-10 minute warning for the timing crew to be ready to log the next team in at the Finish Line.

Once again, we learned from mistakes and miscalculations in this our 3rd year of providing this support. Better next time … every time.