WRTC 2018: 500 Days and Counting!

02/28/2017

Pointing out that World Radiosport Team Championship 2018 (WRTC 2018) in Germany is only about 500 days away, the event’s all-volunteer Organizing Committee reports that while many necessary tasks are out of the way, much more work remains. So far, among other things, it has wrapped up the qualification process, drafted official rules for the WRTC 2018 competition, evaluated 160 possible station sites, selected and tested antennas and antenna-related gear, completed the first major round of testing, and inked several contracts with major sponsors. Probably the top priority at this point is to secure the remaining 40% of necessary funds to mount the international Amateur Radio competition in the Jessen-Wittenberg region near Berlin.

“Several of the component projects are approaching a stable state; however some projects are requiring more work than expected,” WRTC 2018 announced on February 26. “We are on schedule and are proud to be the host. A great number of volunteers support the organization of the WRTC and dedicate many hours of their time for this very special event.”

Christian Janssen, DL1MGB, is the WRTC 2018 president. “For me as a part-time organizer of DXpeditions, WRTC 2018 is like 65 DXpeditions; a major difference is that we don’t have to travel anywhere in 2018, rather the world comes to us!” he said. “For me, WRTC 2018 is a perfect, unrestricted way to bring together a lot of different ham radio groups into one large project.”

Committee member Rudy Schwenger, DJ3WE, who is among those with fundraising responsibilities, said high expectations worldwide regarding the committee’s organizational skills is one thing that “occasionally makes me sweat,” especially given that “we are up to now a very small group, too small.”

Ben Buettner, DL6RAI, is overseeing IT services for WRTC 2018. “We are happy to have built a great team that maintains several different websites, provides 65 logging computers for the online-scoring function, and created a custom web-based application to manage data and documents of the 65 different sites,” he remarked. “Expectations are high, and we are working on meeting them.”

A World Radiosport Team Championship features approximately 60 two-person Amateur Radio teams competing in a test of operating skill. The event takes place concurrent with the IARU HF Championship in July, although WRTC rules vary from those of the IARU event. All stations use identical antennas and power levels and operate from equivalent sites within the same geographical region in an effort to eliminate all variables except operating ability. The last such event was WRTC 2014 in New England.

WRTC volunteer Uli Weiss, DJ2YA, said he’ll be doing his best to provide a level playing field for all competitors, as well as helping with English translation. “As a WRTC-veteran (San Francisco, Bled, and Florianapolis), I consider WRTC 2018 in Germany as the pinnacle event,” he said. — Thanks to Michael Höding, DL6MHW, WRTC 2018 Vice President for Fundraising and Public Relations