ARRL Announces Colvin Award Recipients
The ARRL has granted Colvin Awards to three 2008 DXpeditions: The recently completed VP6DX Ducie Island DXpedition and the upcoming operations from the TX5C DXpedition to Clipperton Island and the 9X0R DXpedition to Rwanda. These three DXCC entities appear high-up on the most-wanted lists.
VP6DX, Ducie Island
The VP6DX DXpedition was on the air from February 11-27. Carsten Esch, DL6LAU, and Eric Scace, K3NA, led the 13-member team to the small island 540 kilometers east of Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific. This DXpedition made 183,686 contacts, the largest number of contacts made by any radio DXpedition. The previous record was held since February 2001 by the Five Star DX Association's DXpedition to the Comoros Island, D68C. Ducie Island was ranked as #25 on the DXCC list of most-wanted entities.
The VP6DX DXpedition broke many other records, including:
• The largest number of RTTY contacts, previously held by the Swains Island N8S DXpedition in April 2007.
• The largest number of SSB (voice) contacts, previously held by the Comoros Island D68C DXpedition.
• The largest number of contacts on 40 meters, previously held by the Libya 5A7A DXpedition in November 2006.
• The largest number of contacts on 30 meters, previously held by the St Brandon Island 3B7C DXpedition in September 2007.
• The largest number of contacts on 17 meters, previously held by the Swains Island N8S DXpedition.
• The largest number of contacts with North America, previously held by the Comoros Island D68C DXpedition.
• The largest number of contacts with South America, previously held by the Peter I Island 3Y0X DXpedition in February 2006.
• The largest number of contacts with Africa, previously held by the Rodrigues Island 3B9C DXpedition in March-April 2004.
TX5C, Clipperton Island
An overseas possession of France, Clipperton Island is a coral atoll in the North Pacific. About nine square kilometers, it lies southwest of Mexico and west of Costa Rica and has no permanent inhabitants. Bob Grimmick, N6OX, will lead an international team of 21 amateurs to the atoll for a DXpedition set to begin March 7 for 10 days. Clipperton currently ranks as #21 on the DXCC list of most-wanted entities. Logs will be uploaded to Logbook of the World once TX5C's official log has been certified.
TX5C plans to operate on 6-160 meters: "We will nearly always be working split and will regularly announce our listening frequencies. Our goal is to make over 100,000 QSOs and will pay special attention to working some of the more difficult areas like Europe and the Middle East."
An important goal of the TX5C DXpedition is furthering the knowledge of Clipperton and its ecosystem. As part of the application for the landing permit, the TX5C team agreed that certain scientific studies would be performed during their stay on the atoll, such as setting up a weather station, recording tide times and observation of native bird species. These studies will be conducted under the auspices of Christian Jost, director of the Geographical Research Center of Paul Verlaine University in Metz.
Antonio Gonzalez, EA5RM, will lead a 13-member team to this small landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of east-central Africa. The 9X0R team plans to be on the air from March 16-27. The will operate on 10-160 meters on CW, SSB and digital modes. Rwanda has not been on the air since late 1997 and currently ranks as #45 on the DXCC list of most-wanted entities.
Gonzalez said the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) is trying to establish rules regarding Amateur Radio in Rwanda: "Right now there is not an easy way to get an Amateur Radio license here, but in a few months things should be different and ham radio activities will start to be more usual from this country."
According to Gonzalez, a group of Rwandan amateurs, with the help of RURA, are trying to establish the Rwanda Amateur Radio Union (RARU) as the national Amateur Radio society in that country. He said that the RARU will be applying for membership in the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) soon.
The Colvin Award
The Colvin Award was established in 1994 with the proceeds of a life insurance policy purchased by renowned DXer Lloyd Colvin, W6KG (SK), naming the League as beneficiary. The award is conferred in the form of grants in support of Amateur Radio projects that promote international goodwill in the field of DX. The awards guidelines favor multi-national teams with strong ethics and good QSLing policies including the use of Logbook of the World. From the 1960s into the early 1990s, Lloyd Colvin and his wife Iris, W6QL, activated more than 100 DXCC entities. Lloyd Colvin died in 1993 and Iris Colvin in 1998.