WRTC-2014 Receives ARRL Foundation Grant, Gets Marconi Boost
World Radiosport Team Championship 2014 (WRTC-2014) will benefit from an ARRL Foundation grant. WRTC-2014 announced what it called “a significant financial grant” on June 22. The grant will help to support WRTC-2014’s public relations effort to use the event to promote Amateur Radio to the general public. An international competition involving 59 teams of radio contesters, WRTC-2014 will take place July 8-14, with on-the-air activity taking place July 12-13, concurrent with the IARU HF Championship Contest.
“With competitors coming from around the world, this is the perfect opportunity to showcase the radiosport aspect of Amateur Radio to the public,” said WRTC-2014 Co-Chair Randy Thompson, K5ZD. Thompson said the ARRL Foundation grant has enabled WRTC-2014 to retain a media relations expert to help introduce the event to the media and to issue news releases in the home markets of US competitors.
The ARRL Foundation was created in 1973 to provide grants supporting Amateur Radio activities and programs, and currently awards upward of 80 scholarships per year to young radio amateurs pursuing higher education.
In another public relations coup, WRTC-2014 Co-Chair Doug Grant, K1DG, made a historical connection this past weekend, when he spoke via ham radio with Princess Elettra Marconi — radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi’s youngest daughter. She was at the Marconi Wireless site at Cape Cod National Seashore, where club station KM1CC had set up a station. During the 40 meter SSB contact, Princess Elettra told Grant that her father would have been proud to see that radio amateurs were continuing to advance his work in wireless communication. She went on to praise WRTC-2014 event and its ability to promote international goodwill and operating skill.
“What an honor, and a thrilling QSO,” Grant said afterward. “It was exciting to bridge history from the very beginning of Amateur Radio to the many aspects of Amateur Radio that we enjoy today.” Grant said Princess Elettra’s acknowledgement that WRTC-2014 was helping to carry on the Marconi legacy added to his excitement.
Grant was using the World Radiosport Team Championship club call sign, WR1TC. Assisting with the contact was Barbara Dougan, N1NS, the trustee of the Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club station KM1CC.
A visit to the Marconi Wireless Station Site and Chatham Marconi Maritime Museum is among the tours available to WRTC-2014 participants and visitors. Guglielmo Marconi was attracted to Cape Cod because of its proximity to Europe, and in 1903 he completed two-way communication between his 35,000 W station in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, and a similar, but lower-power, station in Poldhu, Cornwall, England.