[WRTC2018] N5AWs Thoughts on Future WRTCs

Marv Bloomquist n5aw at arrl.net
Sun Jul 29 22:43:57 CEST 2018


 First my compliments and thanks to the organizers of these events. The
amount of work involved is staggering.

I just got back to Texas after vacationing in Europe so I'm am a late comer
to the discussion but here are my thoughts on future WRTCs. They are based
on being a competitor twice and a referee once.

*Qualifying*. Like many others I felt the past qualifying process involved
too many contests. In addition some of the 1000 point contests were not
much fun from many areas of the world (try the Russian DX Contest from the
western US during low sunspots).  All of us have other obligations besides
ham radio but if you were serious about qualifying you had to operate in
all the 1000 point contests plus a number of the others.

First I hope the organizers will choose a core set of contests that have
significant world wide participation as the major events. To me the best
choices would be two years of CQWW CW and Phone, WPX CW and Phone, and
IARU. That is 10 contests *but allow scores to be counted from only 8*.
That allows you to miss two of them if you have other obligations, are
sick, want to join a large multi-multi, or encounter unexpected problems
(or just don't care for a particular contest).

In addition, designate a small sub set of lower point contests for each
region. For example WAE for European contestants, All Asia DX for Asia,
ARRL DX for North America, Oceania DX for Oceania. At most have four
additional contests for each region but allow only three to be counted.

Please continue to allow full points for low power. Prior to this
qualifying round low power points were reduced on the rationale the low
power category is less competitive. That's self fulfilling since lower
points discourages participation. Some of us had no choice but to enter as
low power if we operated from home since we did not own an amplifier. The
2018 qualifying round showed the low power category to indeed be
competitive and is in line with the way qualifiers operate at WRTC.

*The WRTC Event*. I agree with the suggestion that there should be a
consistent set of rules (for both qualifying and the contest itself) and
shouldn't be modified every year. The rules should be in line with the most
commonly accepted contest formats (that excludes the single signal format
used in Russia).  Anything else is not a test of the best over all
contesters.

A number of reasonable variations have been suggested (and some not so
reasonable) but whatever is chosen many of us would appreciate if if it
were consistent from year to year.

While VY2ZM's suggestion about antennas would be a fun thing to do for
field day, to me it is inconsistent with a process that is supposed to test
the world's best operators. It also adds a lot of extra preparation to an
already onerous process. Any serious participant would want to set up their
own antenna test facility - just think how much work would go into that and
how difficult it might be for some participants who lack the space to do
so. Not only that, with modest wire antennas and 100 watts participants are
not going to find operating conditions anything like they would be from a
competitive station. Scoring well would certainly require skillful
operating but I don't think it is a fair test of contesting ability which
is the purpose of WRTC.

While the present format may be getting stale to those who have
participated multiple times, think about future participants. Wouldn't it
be only fair that they get a chance to compete under conditions similar to
those in the past.?  While some changes to reflect improving technology are
in order, wholesale changes just for the sake of change are not in keeping
with the objective of testing the contesting skills of the world's best
operators.

I am fortunate to have been able to participate in three WRTC's. They have
been the high points of my 63 years as an amateur radio operator. Thanks to
all who have made it possible.

Marv N5AW
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