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US ARDF Champions Now Looking Toward September World Championships in Bulgaria

04/20/2016

The results of the United States 16th national championships of Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF), held earlier this month in Central Texas, are now in the record books. Stateside winners of these championships, as well as medalists from the 2015 championships in Colorado, are being considered for ARDF Team USA, which will travel to Albena, Bulgaria, for the 18th ARDF World Championships in September.

“The categories for men between over age 40 and women over age 60 already have a full slate of team candidates,” ARRL ARDF Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, said, adding that “uncontested openings” on Team USA exist for younger men and women. A maximum of three competitors in each age/gender category may be on a nation’s team.

Moell said ARDF fans came to Texas from all over the US to see who was best at finding radio transmitters hidden in the woods. An optional training day kicked things off on April 6. The next day was devoted to foxoring, a combination of radio direction finding and classic orienteering on 80 meters. Friday, April 8, was the formal 80 meter sprint event. Classic 2 meter and 80 meter competitions took place Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Category winners of gold medals were (in alphabetical order): Vadim Afonkin, KB1RLI (M40 2 meters, 80 meters); Dick Arnett, WB4SUV (M70 2 meters); Natalia Bondarenco (W35 sprint); Ruth Bromer, WB4QZG (W60 2 meters, sprint, foxor); Bob Cooley, KF6VSE (M70 80 meters, sprint, foxor); Joseph Huberman, K5JGH (M60 2 meters, sprint, foxor); Lori Huberman (W21 2 meters, 80 meters, sprint, foxor); Dale Hunt, WB6BYU (M60 80 meters); Illia Ivanko (M21 2 meters, 80 meters); Iurii Kolesnykov (M50 foxor); Karla Leach, KC7BLA (W60 80 meters); Norbert Linke (M21 sprint, foxor); Nicolai Mejevoi (M50 2 meters, 80 meters, sprint); Alla Mezhevaya (W35 2meters, 80 meters, foxor); Patrick Sears, AK4JE (M40 foxor); Evghenii Vorsin (M40 sprint) and Zhonghao Xu (M19 sprint).

Lead organizers, hosts, and course planners for the event were Jennifer and Kenneth Harker, W5JEN and WM5R, who are veteran ARDF competitors and medalists. Members of the Austin Orienteering Club assisted. The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) sets ARDF championship rules. Participants are divided into 11 age/gender categories.

In classic ARDF events, competitors start in small groups composed of different categories, just as the first transmitter comes on the air each cycle. “As they seek the hidden transmitters, they navigate through the forest from the starting corridor to the finish line, a distance of 4 to 10 kilometers,” Moell explained. “They plot their direction-finding bearings on orienteering maps that show terrain features, elevation contours, and vegetation type.”

Contact Moell for more information on ARDF and on attending or participating in the World Championships this September in Bulgaria. Moell stressed that ARDF participants do not need an Amateur Radio license. Visit Moell's Homing In website for additional information on ARDF.    



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