Australian, British RTTY Contests to Merge
John Barber, GW4SKA, of the British Amateur Radio Teledata Group (BARTG), announced that 2009 will be the last running of the Australian National Amateur Radio Teleprinter Society (ANARTS) RTTY Contest. Citing the failing health of ANARTS Secretary and Contest Manager Pat Leeper, VK2JPA, Barber said that BARTG, with help toward expenses from ANARTS, will manage June's 2009 ANARTS Contest.
"BARTG have had close links with ANARTS over the years," Barber said, "and we felt that we should help in some way. After discussions between Pat and the BARTG committee, we have decided on a course of action."
Barber said that he briefly considered moving the BARTG HF Contest from the third weekend in March to the second weekend in June, the date ANARTS held their RTTY contest, but based on input from the RTTY contest community, decided against the move. "The general opinion seems to be that moving to a June date would be a bad idea, both for propagation and because there are better things to do in June," he said. "The contest calendar is very crowded and there are few options open if we were to consider a new date at the beginning or end of the year." Saying that the Russian DX Contest is also the third weekend in March, Barber said that "The RDXC contesters will just have to work round us and be tolerant if space gets tight, as we are to them."
Barber said that Leeper had "made every effort to find someone else in Australia to take over the contest, but with no success. My thanks go to Pat for her cooperation and hard work in running the previous contests."
Calling the BARTG HF Contest "a well liked and supported contest," Barber said that the March 2009 BARTG HF Contest attracted "around 2500 participants. I have no wish to change the character by messing around with the rules, so they will remain the same for next year." The ANARTS rules will not change, but logs must be submitted to BARTG. The rules are currently on the ANARTS Web site, but he said they will be posted to the BARTG Web site soon.
BARTG runs two contests each year. The BARTG Sprint Contest is in January and the BARTG HF Contest in March.