Changes for the 2009 November Sweepstakes
Next month, amateurs throughout the US and Canada will take part in the longest-running domestic contest, the 76th ARRL November Sweepstakes. Since 1930, this tradition in Amateur Radio has brought out all kinds of amateurs -- from seasoned contest veterans to neophytes, from long-time traffic handlers to operators new to HF. The CW running of Sweepstakes takes place next weekend, November 7-9, while the SSB weekend is November 21-23. Each event runs from 2100 UTC Saturday until 0300 UTC Monday. All entrants may operate 24 out of the 30 hours.
According to ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, there are some big changes with the 2009 ARRL Sweepstakes, specifically with log submission deadlines and the turnaround time for final results. "The contesting community has long asked for a faster turnaround with the contest results," he said. "This year, we will aim for having the results online on the ARRL Web site in a PDF only 60 days after each edition of Sweepstakes. This PDF will only be the scores; the detailed report and analysis will still be in the May and June issues of QST, as always."
To make this faster turnaround possible, logs must be received at ARRL HQ within 15 days of the end of the contest, not 30 days, as it has been for years. Log submission deadlines are 0300 UTC Tuesday, November 24 for CW and 0300 UTC Tuesday, December 8 for Phone. Kutzko said that the preferred method of log submission is the Cabrillo electronic format.
"We have several links on the ARRL Contest Branch Web page devoted to Sweepstakes tutorials, including how Cabrillo works and even templates for submitting an entry," Kutzko explained. "While the ARRL will never turn away a paper log, we are asking all entrants to submit their log electronically if possible; this will greatly help us to publish the scores in 60 days as many participants have requested. Contest clubs are encouraged to assist their club members with paper logs in the Cabrillo conversion process. The WA7BNM Cabrillo Web Forms site will walk you through creating a Cabrillo-formatted log.
Numerous certificates and plaques will be awarded, thanks to ICOM America, the principal awards sponsor of the November Sweepstakes. Special participation pins and Clean Sweep mugs will be available for purchase as always. Pins are available for $6 to any station that submits a log with more than 100 QSOs. Clean Sweep mugs will be available to any station that submits a log with all 80 Sections worked; mugs cost $12.
"Sweepstakes has been a part of Amateur Radio for nearly eight decades," Kutzko said. "Don't sit this one out. Check the ARRL Contest Branch Web site for your Sweepstakes 'how-to' package, get on the air, have fun and take part of one of Amateur Radio's finest traditions -- CQ SS!