2018 IARU HF Championship

Another fun IARU Championship with an added bonus of a WRTC championship at stake. Managed to work some of the guys on 20m, which was surprising and cool considering LP and modest stations. Also felt like participation levels were higher as ops got on to work the competitors. Win-win for everyone.


Having been a competitor at WRTC in 2014, I had an idea of what it takes to get there, including the excitement and nervousness as the big day arrives.


Referee ZS4TX with K7RL and KL2A on set-up day

It was an incredible experience to see all of the best contesters from around the world in one room. Partying, laughing, and a general good time was had by all as we awaited the big day to arrive.

Aside from the skill and technical expertise required to compete at that level, in hindsight, I can safely say that I overlooked one very important ingredient to a better score – comfort.

Yes, comfort. The basic set-up supplied by event coordinators consisted of metal folding chairs and a small fan to keep cool. Don’t get me wrong, the coordinators did a phenomenal job organizing this huge event. Everything was about as perfect as can be. However, the tent was so incredibly hot, I never felt the fan, and after about 12 hours of sitting in a seriously undersized, hard metal folding chair, I was so uncomfortable that it became a serious distraction later in the contest.


N1V somewhere in the Boston area

Lesson learned. I should have brought a much larger fan and my own chair as some of the other competitors did that day. Would KL2A and I have won with a more comfortable set-up? Ha, probably not, but it may have resulted in a higher ranking.


N1V crew

Back to the 2018 IARU Contest

15m turned out to be much better than expected, which wasn’t difficult since I had no expectations. A nice EU opening helped put some needed mults in the log. One EU station mentioned not hearing any east coast stations, but mostly west coast, so a little unusual perhaps. Propagation also seemed good to the east coast. Even worked a few JAs, but no major runs. We’ve had years where the band will open to JA in the middle of night and can last for hours. If signals on 20m are strong to Asia, there’s a decent chance 15m might be open. Did I check for that opening? No. Had too much fun on 20m, 40m and 80m.

20m was open the entire time to EU, but not all runnable. Once the loud HQ stations were worked, it was dicey getting to that next level of stations. Perseverance and timing were rewarded with occasional runs here and there. JA propagation didn’t pick up until evening.

With such long daylight hours this time of year, I worried about 40m producing, especially with a predicted solar disturbance forecasted to hit during the contest. Fortunately, that didn’t happen and I managed to beat last year’s numbers. Also surprised to have 9L1YXJ stop by to give me a Q, which was really cool. He was so loud and clear I did a double take.

My goal this year was to average 100 Qs per hour, but fell a little short this time. At least it’s an improvement from last year 🙂 Congratulations to N8OO on a monster score and K1XM, and N3QE for great scores too.

Big congratulations to all the competitors at WRTC. Many thanks to all for Qs!

73, Mitch. K7RL

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