Northbrook Canoe Challenge 2023

Yesterday, my local ARES-RACES group provided communications support for the Northbrook Canoe Challenge. This fun event benefits the Cerebral Palsy Association of Chester County (PA). Despite some equipment issues on my part, the event went off without a hitch.

Like last year, I was located near a dam along the Brandywine River with my ARES-RACES colleague, Tim KB3FCJ. I once again served as the net control operator for the event. 

I initially set up my trusty old Icom IC-207H dual band mobile rig, and it seemed to work fine. However, I ran into an issue where it wouldn’t un-key when I released the push-to-talk button. Fortunately, Tim had his rig nearby, and we were back on the air in short order. (I have some troubleshooting to do this week.)

  • My old Icom 207H. It was replaced shortly after taking this picture, due to an issue with the push-to-talk button.
  • The dam on the Brandywine River. Members of a water rescue team were in the water directing canoeists around the dam.
  • The water rescue team directing a canoeist around the dam

The perfect weather made for a great day to sit along the river, watching the canoes and observing the wildlife in the area. We had a water rescue team on hand in the river to make sure canoeists avoided the dam and portaged safely around it. 

After the final “sweep canoe” or “drag boat” passed our location, I packed up and relocated to the finish line at the Northbrook Canoe Company to run the rest of the net. I met up with Rich KE3HG, who served as our liaison with the canoe company. After the drag boat had passed all of our locations along the river, I closed the net. Rich and I stayed on site until the drag boat arrived at the finish line. 

There were plenty of emergency personnel on hand, but (thankfully) there weren’t any safety issues. It was just a beautiful day out on the Brandywine River.

73, Craig WB3GCK

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