A Contesting Confluence this Weekend: The IARU HF Championship and WRTC-2014!
This weekend, July 12-13, will present the sort of operating opportunity that comes along only about as often as leap year — the IARU HF Championship and World Radiosport Team Championship 2014 (WRTC-2014). It’s essentially two sides of the same coin, though, since these events occur concurrently. While the IARU HF Championship is an annual event, WRTCs typically take place every 4 years and use the IARU event as a framework for their international team competition.
Everyone works everyone in these events, which run 24 hours (1200 UTC on Saturday until 1200 UTC on Sunday). In the IARU, both single and multioperator stations are welcome, but single operators may not take advantage of any spotting nets, packet, or multi-channel decoders (such as CW Skimmer). Stations may elect to operate CW only, SSB only, or both modes. In general stations exchange signal report and ITU zone.
For WRTC-2014, 59 international two-operator teams will gather in New England to determine the world’s top contesters. Competing teams will deploy to essentially equivalent stations that run 100 W to a wire antenna for the low bands and a Yagi for the high bands. Stations taking part in the IARU event can win WRTC-2014 awards, such as for working all 59 teams, which will be sporting 1 × 1 US first district call signs.
Operators in both events will be seeking out “HQ stations” representing various IARU member societies; these count as multipliers. Many will include the letters “HQ” in their call sign suffix, and some will include the organization’s abbreviation, and it might be helpful to review these beforehand. Member societies are listed by region on the IARU website. IARU International Secretariat club station NU1AW will be on the air from New England and counts as a HQ station.
Member-society HQ stations will send signal report and their organization’s initials, eg, 599 IARU, for working NU1AW. W100AW, operating from Newington, will be the ARRL headquarters station (W1AW will not be active). Members of the IARU Administrative Council and the three IARU regional Executive committees send “AC,” “R1,” “R2,” and “R3” as appropriate, following the signal report.
There are some differences in the rules between the IARU HF Championship and the WRTC-2014 events. For instance, WRTC-2014 stations will not use 160 meters, and all WRTC teams will use both CW and SSB. While WRTC-2014 competitors are restricted to 100 W, IARU HF Championship participants may opt to run high power, low power or QRP; there are entry categories for each.
The IARU HF Championship and WRTC-2014 offer a lot of operating enjoyment and a chance to check out your station and antennas well in advance of the 2014 “contest season” this fall and winter.