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Results Posted for USA, IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships in North Carolina

08/13/2019

The results of the 19th USA ARDF Championships and 10th IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships in Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) are now in the record books. The joint event was held earlier this month in North Carolina. Results from these championships will factor into the equation to determine the makeup of ARDF Team USA at the 20th ARDF World Championships, set for September 2020 in Serbia.

Separate youth and adult courses ensured regulation courses for foxhunters of all ages, with 36 competitors from the US. Visiting competitors from Australia, Germany, and China practiced and competed alongside Team USA hopefuls. Competitors ranged in age from 8 to 73. Adult and youth championships were held simultaneously in William B. Umstead State Park, with their separate events held on opposite radio bands to avoid interference.

Events began on August 1, with Foxoring, a combination of radio direction finding and classic orienteering on 80 meters, followed the next day with the sprint event. The classic 2-meter and 80-meter adult and youth competitions took place on August 3 and 4.

“Sprint ARDF is a fast-paced event, where quick thinking generally beats fast running,” ARRL ARDF Co-Coordinator Charles Scharlau, NZ0I, explained. “The courses are short enough that elite competitors can complete them in 15 minutes. Two sets of five transmitters, operating on two different 80-meter frequencies, transmit in consecutive 12-second bursts during each minute of the event. Small groups composed of competitors in different categories start together every 2 minutes.” As they run between the groups of transmitters, competitors pass through an open spectator area, where they can be seen and cheered on by supporters, Scharlau added.

US competitors in the six IARU age categories for males (M19 – M70) and five for females (W19 – W60) are under consideration for membership in ARDF Team USA. Up to three competitors in each age-gender category may be on a national team.

Because of the large number of young people taking part, awards were presented in youth categories M10, M12, M14, M16, W12, and W14. Parents of younger age-group participants were allowed to follow their sons and daughters but not assist them.

“American youth competitors held their own, despite the stiff competition,” Scharlau said. In a crowded field of 10 M14 competitors, Tobias Reed took overall gold in the 80-meter classic, silver in sprint, and bronze in foxoring. Other American youth medalists included M12 competitor Marcus Enochs, who won silver in foxoring; M10 competitor Gavin Burkhead, who picked up the gold in foxoring, and M10 competitor James Harker, who went home with gold in the 2-meter classic.

Visiting students and coaches of Guangzhou No. 2 High School in China also participated in the championships.

Veteran ARDF competitors and medalists Ruth Bromer, WB4QZG, and Joseph Huberman, K5JGH, were lead organizers and hosts for the event. David Waller; Patrick Sears, AK4JE, and Kelly Sears, KN4PAE, were primary course setters. Nadia Scharlau designed the adult classic courses. Members of the Backwoods Orienteering Klub assisted throughout the competition.

Contact the ARRL ARDF Committee for more information on ARDF and on attending, participating in, or hosting ARDF competitions. ARDF participants do not need an Amateur Radio license. For more information on Amateur Radio Direction Finding, visit the Homing In website of Joe Moell, K0OV.



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