World Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) Championships Fast Approaching
Have you ever thought about competing on the world stage? ARRL Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV, reports that there are some openings available to compete for the USA this September at the ARDF World Championships in Korea, sponsored by the Korean Amateur Radio League (KARL). "All of this year's USA gold medalists plus those from last year and other competitors who did well have been offered positions on ARDF Team USA for the 14th ARDF World Championships," he said. "Many are unable to go this year for a variety of reasons, so at this time there is at least one opening remaining in every category except M50 (males age 50-59). This makes it possible for relatively inexperienced radio-orienteers to join the team. It is also possible to attend as a non-competing visitor, but all visitors must be listed on the national team roster."
Moell notes that those interested in traveling to the 2008 ARDF World Championships as a member of Team USA (or a USA visitor), to please contact him immediately via e-mail. Do not contact the Korean organizers directly. If you have not been on Team USA before, please include your full name, call sign, mailing address, home phone number and date of birth in your e-mail. If you wish to participate as a citizen of another North or South American country (non-USA), please e-mail IARU Region 2 ARDF Coordinator Dale Hunt, WB6BYU. Canadians should also contact RAC ARDF Coordinator Joe Young, VE7BFK.
To be safe at the World Championships, Moell said participants must be capable of solo navigating with a map and compass in the forest for several miles. IARU rules limit Team USA membership to US citizens and legal residents. Each member is responsible for his or her own travel arrangements and entry fees. For more information, check out the Championship Foxhunting News page on Moell's Web site where prospective participants can get team status reports and download the latest bulletins from the organizers.
Moell also reports that he is looking for hosts and organizers for 2009 ARDF events. "USA ARDF Championships have taken place in New Mexico, Georgia, Ohio, California, North Carolina and Texas so far. Almost every state has an area of forest that is suitable for the sport. Excellent orienteering maps may already be available, because there are US Orienteering Federation clubs in 40 states. Besides maps, these clubs can assist with scoring systems, flags, site acquisition, insurance and so forth," he said.
"Don't worry too much about the transmitters," reassured Moell. "There are plenty available for loan from active groups. Instead, concentrate on the site and the hospitality aspects, such as where people will stay, what they will eat and how they will get from place to place. If your club or ham group has put on a big hamfest or ARRL convention, you probably have the skills and resources to organize the USA ARDF Championships. The optimum months will be July and August." If you or your club is interested, please contact Moell via e-mail.