First, I want to thank the Northern California Contest Club for nominating me as Team Captain for one of the two US National WRTC teams. This type of team was designed to honor the host countries and organizing committees from previous WRTC events. For the US the first WRTC was held in Seattle in 1990, and the second WRTC was held in San Francisco in 1996. (There were also National WRTC Teams from Slovenia and Finland, where WRTCs were held in 2000 and 2002, respectively.)
Because of the way qualifications were ranked for selection to WRTC 2006, frankly I wouldn't have been able to qualify on my own. Most of the contests I have operated since I returned to the Bay Area in 1998 have been at multi-multi operations out at N6RO's place. Single-operator, all-band scores counted more for WRTC 2006 qualification.
Same Playing Field
WRTC has been billed as the ham radio Olympic games, a way of determining the best operators in the world, using a level playing field. From the official Web site for WRTC 2006:
The World Radiosport Team Championship - WRTC in short - represents a large gathering of the world's best in radio traffic - as selected Regionally - coming from some 35 different countries and all continents in the spirit of competition, using the same playing field and allowing pure skills to determine world champions in two-man team, 24-hour nonstop competition in Florianopolis, the state of Santa Cantarina, Brazil.
In my opinion, the organizers in Brazil did an absolutely amazing job trying to reach the goal of same playing field. They set up 47 identical, brand-new antenna installations with towers, log-periodic 20/15/10 meter beams, 2 element 40 meter beams and 80 meter loaded dipoles at each of the stations. As best they could, the Brazilian organizers tried to ensure that the stations were located with clear shots to the major population areas for the contest - Europe, the USA and Japan.
The organizers put in a truly mind-boggling amount of time and effort. They placed many stations at existing ham locations, as might be expected. But they also negotiated with city and national authorities to put many other stations at completely new locations. For example, my partner Mark Obermann, AG9A, and I enjoyed the facilities at a research facility that studied aquatic life (shrimp, shellfish and fish). This site had never seen a ham radio installation before. But there we were, with a brand-new 50 foot high tower, loaded with shiny new antennas and rotatior.
Other WRTC 2006 stations were located in city parks, and many stations were located at the house of non-hams, somehow recruited to allow a large amount of antenna hardware to be placed at their residences. And each house was taken over by two Type-A contesters and a referee for 24 hours!
The Brazilian organizers also worked tirelessly with the local electrical power company in Florianopolis to minimize power-line noise at each location. Even so, some stations experienced very bad local power-line QRN during the actual competition. My understanding was that some of the noise came from defective streetlamps that started arcing when they turned on after nightfall. Arcing streetlamps would not have been noticed when the local electrical crew was out to replace defective insulators or pole hardware - during the daylight hours.
Now, let me emphasize that to the extent that everything wasn't perfect - that the playing field wasn't precisely level for everybody - is not a reflection of any lack of effort on the part of the Brazilian organizers. I can't even begin to imagine the amount of effort they put into making the WRTC 2006 successful. The amount of time spent negotiating - and implementing - such arrangements had to be incredible. Kudos to the PYs!
Summary of the Final Results
Table 1 summarizes the results of the Top Four WRTC 2006 stations, along with the 31st ranked station, operated by my partner AG9A and myself. More later on the results for this lower ranked stations. Note also that I could not get exact latitude/longitude locations for many of the other WRTC 2006 stations.
|Rank||Station||Operators||Total QSOs||Total Mults|
For the complete version of this article, with corrections of the version published in the NCJ, view the pdf version.