It’s Official: N6MJ and KL9A Take WRTC-2014 Gold, Slovak and German Teams Win Silver and Bronze
After considerable deliberation over which team placed third in the 2014 World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC-2014), it’s now official. At the awards ceremony July 14 concluding the international Amateur Radio contesting competition, the US team of Dan Craig, N6MJ, and Chris Hurlbut, KL9A, operating as K1A, took home the gold for their winning team effort. They racked up 7,184,844 points. There was little suspense about the top spot; Craig and Hurlbut had led the international pack of 59 competing teams literally from the start. Craig, 33, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, comes from a ham radio family and got his license when he was just 8 years old. He had competed in the last three WRTCs, finishing fourth in 2002, second in 2006 (with N2NL), and third in 2010 with KL9A. Hurlbut, 31, of Bozeman, Montana, became a ham when he was 10 and began contesting 4 years later.
Walking away with the silver was the Slovakia team of Rastislav Hrnko, OM3BH, and Jozef Lang, OM3GI, who operated as W1L and logged 6,816,144 points. Hrnko, 46, got into ham radio when he was about 10. He took part in WRTC-2000 and WRTC-2010. Lang, who’s 54, was licensed at 15. He also competed at WRTC-2000 and WRTC-2010. Both have been active members of the OM8A contest team.
Determining who landed in third place was not so simple, but in the final analysis, the W1P team of Manfred Wolf, DJ5MW, and Stefan von Baltz, DL1IAO, won the bronze medal with 6,421,383 points. The duo had ranked fifth in the “raw, unchecked claimed scores.”
Chief Judge David Sumner, K1ZZ, who was master of ceremonies for the awards presentations, said there was “a lot of pressure” on the judges to get it right, and they had to carefully scrutinize the logs of those placing the third, fourth, and fifth in the claimed scores.
“Because the skills of the operators were so high, the judges had a very, very difficult time resolving the position for number 3,” Sumner told the gathering. “We went to extraordinary lengths, given the time that we had available, checking logs. As a matter of fact, had we not checked to the depth that we did, the error rate at W1P would actually have been a bit lower.”
“In the end,” Sumner said, “there were 8000 points separating number 4 from number 3. That’s six-tenths of a multiplier.” Wolf and von Baltz edged out fourth-place finishers Kevin Stockton, N5DX, and Steve London, N2IC, who operated as W1Z and garnered 6,413,056 points.
Wolf, 42, was competing at his second WRTC. He took part in WRTC-2000 in Slovenia. Von Baltz, 38, was a competitor at WRTC-1996 and WRTC-2000.
The vast majority of the activity was on CW — a 5-to-1 ratio in the case of the number 1 team, although competitors did make SSB contacts.
Sumner pointed out that in one particular hour of the 24-hour event (0200 UTC) the 59 teams logged 13,573 contacts — an average rate of 115 contacts per hour per operator.
WRTC-2014 Co-Chair Doug Grant, K1DG, said “everything went smoothly” throughout the competition. WRTC-2014 has posted the final results on its website. Video of the closing ceremony also is available.