World Radio Team Championships

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WRTC 1996:

The 1996 World Radio Team Championship: Part 3
by The WRTC-96 Committee


The is the last of three articles announcing and describing WRTC-96 to be held in the San Francisco area in July. The WRTC-96 organizational committee can testify that it has been a lot of work but no one's complaining. It's going to be an outstanding event. So make sure that you take time to enter the IARU HF contest July 13 and 14th and look out for the WRTC-96 stations. They will be using distinctive call signs so they will be easily recognized.

The stations they will be using will be on the flat land surrounding SF bay. Each station will consist of a tribander between 40-60 feet and a 40 meter wire antenna. Each team will consist of two operators who can use only one 100W rig to transmit with during the whole contest. The other rig will be used to SWL for the transmitting rig.

After the contest is finished the teams are required to present their logs within 10 minutes to the judge or referee at their station. The logs from the 52 competing teams will then be computer analyzed and the panel of judges (see last months WRTC-96 article) will select the winners. The judges will be finishing their work will everyone else is off at a huge beer party talking over the contest and meeting new friends on Sunday.

The Spirit of WRTC-96

In February of this year, the WRTC-96 Committee asked the competitors and judges the following three questions: 1. What does WRTC-96 mean to you? 2. How do you think WRTC-96 will help increase goodwill between countries? 3. What is your idea of the Amateur radio "spirit"? It was hoped that through the participants own words you will receive a feeling of the spirit of WRTC-96 and the competition the WRTC-96 has come to represent. Below is a sampling of the input from those questions.

DK3GI (Roland: competitor): Let me give you an answer to the questions. What does it mean to me? I watched WRTC-90 from a distance and I thought what a great event, and I must sit here....

Now since I was nominated for WRTC-96 I can already feel the excitement. For me WRTC means the Olympics, just without publicity and TV, but the feeling for the participants is the same. Even now, month before the event, I do believe that participating is all, winning only part. I can feel the Olympic Spirit. Having a look at the calls listed for the event I must say: against each and every of them it would be an honor to lose. Because they are good. That are 52 of the very best teams in the world and to compete against them and to be amongst them for a few days is just great.

It was amusing to watch the discussion on internet of the rules. Yes of course there are advantages for one or the other. It's like in baseball or soccer, the team playing at home has an advantage. And so do the US-guys in this case. But what about it. It will be my pleasure to beat them all despite their home-advantage or not! I think we will find the winning team on the bands, and not in the rules. I would accept any rules as long as they are fair and equal to all participants. Remember to participate is the excitement!

WRTC-96 will help a lot to increase goodwill between countries. We (the participants) know each other but most of us have never seen each other. WRTC-96 gives us a great chance to win more understanding not only on contest strategies. I doubt anybody will seriously discuss contest strategies before the event. But I expect to learn more from the other's culture, way of living, history and way of thinking by just talking to them with a glass of beer. And all of us will return home and tell our friends and neighbors of our experience and new friends. That will not change the world dramatically but will be a very little step in the right direction of better understanding.

The idea of Amateur Radio Spirit? That's not easy. The best summary I found decades ago in an American Amateur Radio Handbook. It gave the 10 rules for Amateur Radio. I accepted them. Whenever more than 2 people are trying to do something together they need to exchange information and to coordinate. That makes information the most important thing in human life. To transmit the information comes to the most important task of all. No information - no common actions - nothing will happen.

Amateur Radio takes care of this task on an individual and volunteer basis. Of course internet and Handies provide all the needed facilities and work perfectly and reliably. But not always.

There are many examples where public communication failed and the only way to provide the most important task of humans, to provide essential emergency information was through Amateur Radio. That fact was true in the past, is true today and will be true in the future independent of what face Amateur Radio will show 50 or 100 years from now. The Spirit of Amateur Radio is to serve the public with the private capabilities and to keep the personal skills trained, improved and prepared and to be the life essential back-up for commercial communication.

From the same baseline comes the tolerance. To communicate it is a must to understand each other: in language and in mind. Understanding cannot come from one side alone. That means people who are aiming to understand (because of their wishes to communicate) will develop a much different tolerance than others who are only receivers of information (e.g. from TV).

G3SXW (Roger: Judge): WRTC-96 means the chance for the world's best contest operators to battle it out head-to-head and so to stretch themselves to the limit. Meanwhile to set an on-air impeccable example of contesting skills so portraying to the world all that is good about contesting and all the good that contesting can do for amateur radio and beyond.

Goodwill between countries - the bringing together of like-minded individuals, each of whom is respected in their own community, from all over the world cannot help but spread goodwill. The competitive yet co-operating environment, like the Olympics, offers untold opportunities for developing relationships on so many levels. We will never be able to count the spin-off benefits that will result.

The amateur radio "spirit" - collaborative self-fulfillment. Contesting offers a unique blend of competing hard against friends. More generally a Radio Amateur has nothing to lose and all to gain and learn from this truly non-partisan past-time. On all of my travels never once have I met a radio amateur who has been less than unreservedly friendly - would that the world could follow our example. It would be a better place.

K1TO (Dan: competitor): It's the Olympics of contesting. All of the hard work and dreams have resulted in an opportunity to rub elbows with and compete on-site against many of the very best in the sport. What an honor to be selected! At a point in my life when contesting has begun to slip down the priority list and the sunspot cycle is at a low (any correlation there?!), WRTC-96 sure is a welcome boost.

Any time you bring together talented people from around the globe with a focused interest in something, it can't help but increase goodwill and camaraderie. I bet one or two DX-peditions will be spawned from friendships built at WRTC-96!

Bottom line-it's a hobby! As competitive as we are, let's not lose sight of this. We all have our underlying principles when it comes to contesting. I tend to air on the conservative side and feel that the "spirit" of contesting is to compete as fairly as we can. That means clean logs, clean legal-limit signals, clean operating practices (i.e. honesty when signing the summary sheet) and a tremendous rush of fun!

K4VX (Lew: chief judge): An opportunity to participate in a world class sporting event where the best in the world compete with each other. An opportunity to experience comradeship, exchange ideas and ideals, make new friends, and renew old acquaintances.

Goodwill can be defined as "an intangible asset constituting a value over and above the intrinnsic valuation of the tangible asset." The future of amateur radio is frangible. In 1999, the World Radio Conference in Geneva will take up New Zealand's proposal for the elimination of the Morse code requirement for HF operation. Many of the participants and judges for WRTC-96 have leverage with their country's licensing authorities. We will need all the support we can obtain to stop this HF no-code movement. We cannot just let goodwill "happen", we have the opportunity to strive for it. As hosts, we must take the lead by expressing our understanding, by demonstrating our compassion, and showing our friendship. Goodwill will eventually prove much more valuable than just the scores and standings made at the game.

The spirit of amateur radio has changed over the years, not necessarily for the betterment of the hobby. The things that brought hams together in the past such as helping friends erect antennas, or donating parts from your junk box or junk pile to a newcomer are gradually becoming random occurrences. This of course reflects society as a whole.

We contesters are a different strain of amateur regardless of our ethnic backgrounds, educational experiences, or pecuniary assets. We are risk takers, not failure avoiders. We share the common goal of victory every time we count down to the starting time for QSO #1. We not only strive to become the best operators, we try to develop stations which augment our operating skills. These things we all have in common. It is our competitive nature that continues to motivate us year after year. This sets the contester apart from all others. This is our spirit!

K4XU (Dick: judge): WRTC-96 is an opportunity to meet some of the operators I have competed against over the past 30 years. WRTC-96 is a chance to showcase the skills of an elite group of people engaged in a sport little known to the outside world - one which has its roots in emergency traffic handling - something which the outside world DOES appreciate.

Any time people from different countries gather, the consensus afterward is "he is no different from me!" Understanding is the basis of goodwill. The competition is only the vehicle for the gathering. The benefits are many and long-lasting.

Competitors are a strange lot. Push and shove and scream for a particular frequency, and share a beer afterwards. A convocation of uniquely talented individuals, teamed for convenience, to battle with the best.

K5GO (Stan: competitor): It is a great thrill and honor to be a part of WRTC-96. My expectation is that the reward for all involved will be fond, lasting memories of good times spent with friends from all over the world, many years after the details of the actual contest have been forgotten.

K5ZD (Randy: competitor): WRTC-96 is a rare chance to compete against the best contesters in the world on a fairly level playing field. We all know that radio competition is filled with inequities (geography, station, scoring, etc.). I appreciate the efforts of the organizers to give us this exciting opportunity. WRTC-96 is also the chance to make up for something I very much regret. I helped K7SS write the qualification/application procedure for WRTC-90 (We discussed it and I wrote it up in the NCJ). Unfortunately, I was busy and just never sent in my application.

It was a severe disappointment to listen to the guys in WA having fun and knowing I could have been there if I had just followed the guidelines that I wrote! I was driven not to be left out this time.

Any time people from different countries/cultures get together, they become aware of just how much alike they are. And how much the things they have in common bridge their differences.

WRTC-96 embodies many of the Olympic ideals (competition among amateurs).

The Amateur radio "spirit" has many meanings depending on the context. In general, Amateur Radio Spirit is the excitement and curiosity generated by the ability to communicate with people via radio. It usually involves some level of effort and a corresponding satisfaction in accomplishing a goal. Spirit is the thing that motivates people to enter into an activity, learn all they can, apply that knowledge, teach others, and fulfill their dreams and aspirations.

Rather broad definitions, but such is the nature of the question! The Spirit of WRTC-96 is intense competition and the opportunity to test yourself against your peers. It is also the camaraderie and friendship that develops from competition and respect amongst the competitors. The competition is what attracts me. The friendships are what I will carry away and value the most.

K7SS (Danny: competitor): I think I have a somewhat unique perspective on the question of what the spirit of WRTC-96 means, as I was so involved in 1990 in Seattle... The WRTC was conceived originally as an event that would "finally level the playing field" for contest ops from around the world. The need to really find out "How do I stack up with my peers in the hobby?". Well, to be able to answer that question, a group of "propagationally-disadvantaged" hard-core contesters from Seattle and Portland, decided to do something about it, and planned the event that was supposed to give everyone a fair shot at winning. Unfortunately most of these "suffering sevens" ended up on the committee, not in the action.

Well as we found out the operating event that spawned the whole week of festivities was but the tip of the iceberg of fun. Everyone involved with WRTC-96, either as judge, committee, operator, host, sponsor or even spectator, wound up having the "time of their radio lives".

Some great bonds were forged that week in 1990 that last to today.... and will, I'm sure, be felt far into the future. Countries from all over the world had sent their two best ops to the "Olympics of Radio Sporting" and little did they know they would be sending them to join the new "Family of WRTC" !!!!

Of course there were parties, dinners, and lots of late night "hospitality suites" ala Dayton....and without taking anything away from the operating event itself....being able to meet that person behind the callsign that you've heard for so many years, and find out that you shared so much in common... especially the passion for radio sporting...THAT is the essence of what we all felt and took home ....and THAT is the spirit of WRTC-96.

N6TV (Bob: competitor): This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for me to meet the best contesters in the world, and it's right in my own back yard! The competition will be fun, but whoever wins won't really matter. What will matter is that everyone is going to have a great time. As the "home town" team captain, I feel a special obligation to welcome the competitors to the Bay Area, to show them the sights and the restaurants, and to introduce them to the locals. I also want them to understand that just because I live here I will not have any significant advantage -- the competition will be fair and fun, propagation or no propagation.

I am very honored to have been selected as the NCCC team captain. I have been involved with this club for over 20 years now. I can't adequately describe how proud I am of the NCCC for agreeing to take on the enormous task of organizing WRTC-96. I know they will do a great job.

The WRTC-96 certainly will increase goodwill between contesters. Then, if we get adequate media coverage, we just might be able to get some goodwill between countries. Contesting is true amateur sport at its finest. It would be great for the world to see this covered as the "International Olympics of Radio."

This type of event is something you just can't duplicate on the Internet. Radio amateurs have a common bond and contesters in particular have a common interest in international goodwill through friendly competition. The Internet may be a more efficient at data communication, but I know of no more efficient means of TRUE communication, than in face-to-face dialogue between people who share a common interest. Radio contesting is the interest, and WRTC-96 is the means. I am really looking forward to it!

VK5GN (Martin: competitor): Subject: The Spirit of WRTC-96: Amateur radio is very much a solo hobby. Especially in VK5 there are not many other amateurs let alone a lot of other contesters. We are so far away that meeting contesters in other parts of VK rarely happens.

A trip to Dayton is a once every five years thing and then only for the well off or very keen. So the chance to be part of a contesters only event like WRTC-96 is a real privilege. Contesters

are the best radio ops in the world and a chance to mix with the best of the best is an unparalleled thrill and honor.

All sporting events contribute to international goodwill. People meet as people. There doesn't need to be any posturing where skills are exchanged and respected. The amateur spirit recognizes

the skills and abilities of others and respects them for their abilities. Voices on the radio are great equalizers. It was summed up for me when I heard a conversation on 20 between a W and a UA at the height of the cold war. These two amateurs were sharing their concerns. Not about world peace, communism and capitalism but about the fact that they both had teenage sons more interested in sport than schoolwork. The spirit of amateur radio is people in human

communication with other people. The WRTC is first second and every way a chance to have FUN FUN FUN............I can't wait.

WRTC-96 Motel

We are repeating some of the information about accommodations for the WRTC-96 that appeared in the April issue of CQ Contest. WRTC-96 has made arrangements with the a big Motel 6 (not your average Motel 6!) at 1101 Shoreway Road, Belmont CA 94002, to set aside a block of rooms for WRTC-96 visitors. The hotel has a brand new restaurant and bar, as well as a beautiful swimming pool (with Jacuzzi) and patio. We anticipate that several of the informal WRTC-96 gatherings will take place poolside. The hotel has a total of 195 rooms, most with two beds. The Motel 6 can be reached by telephone at (415) 591-1471 or by FAX at (415) 593-6415. The price, including tax, is $47.29 for one person, or $53.89 for two people, but you must tell them you are with the WRTC-96 group at the time you make your reservation. The hotel is located in Belmont, CA adjacent to Highway 101 about 10 miles south of San Francisco International Airport and about 2.5 miles south of Highway 92, a major link over the San Mateo Bridge to the East Bay. The hotel is easily visible in the southeast corner of the intersection of Highway 101 and Marine World Parkway. We strongly encourage visitors to make their reservations early. After May 15, it may not be possible to get a room at the hotel because summer is prime tourist season in this area and the hotel is normally fully booked.

Schedule of Events

The schedule of events begins late afternoon of Wednesday, July 10, 1996 and evening with a picnic open to the public. This is followed by another social event on Thursday which is open to the public. On Friday the contestants and judges have a closed meeting to clear up any questions and to assign stations. The teams will go to their stations on Friday afternoon and prepare for the contest which begins on Saturday morning at 5AM!! After the contest the contestants will go to their sleeping areas. On Sunday July 14th there will be a relaxing party for the general public and the participants. And on Sunday evening will be the awards banquet which can seat 350 people. On Monday, there is another public event. First a boat trip across SF bay and then a visit for lunch to a Napa valley winery. The official WRTC-96 ends when everyone is returned from the Monday trip (around 7PM back to the Motel 6). On Monday evening the Slovenian Contest Club will sponsor a beer and pizza party at the Motel 6. If you are a non-participant visitor to WRTC-96 (to have a blast and meet guys you always heard about), the WRTC-96 committee estimates that the individual cost of all events (5 events in all) will be about $125.00. For more information on an individual event or package costs please contact the WRTC-96 publicity chairman, Rusty, W6OAT at Email: epps@netcom.com or 651 Handley Trail, Redwood City, CA 94062, USA. See you there or on the air!

Scores: WRTC96

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