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[CQ-Contest] The good old U.S. holiday weekend contest debate

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] The good old U.S. holiday weekend contest debate
From: "Scott R." <w4pa@yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 08:14:23 -0800 (PST)
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Amuse me, can we rehash a tired old debate for a little while on the

Make sure to read all of this before flaming me, because the status quo
for CQ WW CW works for me at the moment.  But I don't think it works
for a lot of other people.  I would like to know the reasoning involved
behind why this can't be changed from the CQ committee members, or why
even considering it is not possible.

In the aftermath of being gone for 3 days to do a serious M/S operation
for WPX SSB this weekend I started talking with my XYL about plans for
this year's contest season last night.  My XYL is VERY tolerant of all
the time I put into station building and contesting.  At least at the
moment. . .

Last year, I missed Thanksgiving to operate CQ WW CW at NT1Y.  This was
not a big deal.  I haven't missed CQ WW CW since 1994, and last year
was the FIRST time I wasn't home on T-Giving day.  Including a trip to
the Caribbean once to do CQ WW CW - I was home on turkey day.

My XYL has noticed I wrote 'contest' on my calendar across Memorial Day
weekend for WPX CW.  She pointed out that if I am gone over
Thanksgiving for CQ WW CW (possible) that I will give up two holiday
weekends - rare ones - to run radio contests this year.


I don't usually operate WPX CW.  It's **"almost always"** the weekend
after Dayton, and ALWAYS Memorial Day weekend, and that makes it
IMPOSSIBLE.  This year, I decided I might sneak in and try it, for the
first time **EVER** on Memorial Day weekend.  My XYL saw this on the
calendar and (even though she is very supportive) she was not too happy
when faced with the prospect of me being gone for two holiday weekends
this year.  

She said: "How do they expect people to do them when it's always a
holiday weekend?" and I gave her the arguments that I always hear - the
United States isn't the whole world, we've always (or most always) done
it this way, there are people who it does work out for, etc., etc.
...and her non-contester response was:

"Couldn't they substitute the weekends every other year?" - which is
also a point I've seen made here many times before. 
I have heard the comments made that we (the United States) are not the
whole world, that the rest of the world doesn't have these contests on
a holiday weekend, blah blah blah.  That's great, except I might point
out that there are A LOT of contesters, serious and casual, that live
here and we are DEPRESSING overall activity in WPX CW and CQ WW CW by
having these contests every single year on U.S. holiday weekends.  It's
not a holiday weekend in Europe.  And serious European contesters are
going to work less U.S. stations when these contests are on a U.S.
holiday weekend every year.  The competition among us is less from the
U.S. side.  I happen to like more competition, not less.  DXpeditions
won't happen...because it's always a holiday weekend.  See where I am
going with this?

Don't get me wrong, the T-Giving day weekend for CQ WW CW **WORKS FOR
ME**, usually.  But I am pretty sure I am not going to operate both WPX
CW and CQ WW CW this year, AGAIN, in deference to my family EVEN
THOUGH, I *could* do them both if I want to.  It's going likely going
to be one or the other, or neither of them this year, just because
they're on a holiday weekend . . . .AGAIN, ad infinitum.  Repeat: 
I have NEVER operated WPX CW because it's always Memorial Day weekend.
That sucks, sports fans.  I really would like to try it for once.

Tell me the rational argument for why these contests cannot be inverted
every other year to hold CQ WW CW the last weekend of October and WPX
CW this last weekend of March.  Propagation is better in November;
you'd think the SSBers would want the chance to enjoy this every so
often.  Conversely, March is generally better, us CWers might like the
opportunity to have the good prop then. . . .

I don't want to hear "it's tradition, we've always done it like this" -
with that logic we'd be running AM phone, starting the contest at
0200Z, 2 weekends for contests and have quota systems for DX contacts. 

There was a MAJOR rule change made to WPX to increase operating time
from 30 to 36 hours (net effect: U.S. east coast wins this contest,
like all other DX contests, every time, too.  How does that stimulate
activity?  If we can do THAT, we can invert weekends.)  I want to hear
the logical argument for why inverting the weekends for WPX CW and CQ
WW is not possible.  Please note again (being redundant) - I am not
being hostile or antagonistic.  I really want to know what the logic is
for why this is not possible to do.  Isn't the point of contests to
stimulate amateur radio activity?

Scott Robbins, W4PA

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