[CQ-Contest] re: 'Sweep' Contest and EU/DX !

Bruce Sawyer N6NT at worldnet.att.net
Tue Nov 4 09:49:08 EST 1997

DL8AAM writes:

>maybe anybody out there who could give some infos about the "Sweep" test ?
>When I understand well, the rest of the world is NOT ALLOWED to work
>anybody in that contest. Strange !?!
>Even all local/district Contest in DL (and anywhere?) are open for everybody
>YOu will get 1 point for "DX"-QSOs, but no multiplier..."


I've been expecting to hear a complaint from the Europeans about being
excluded this past weekend, and am only surprised it took so long for
one to appear.  Sunday morning here in California we had fantastic
conditions on 15m, and I was absolutely besieged by European stations
who wanted to "help".  Normally that would have been more than welcome,
but this time around it really got in the way.  I turned my beam down to
about 090 to try to avoid EU (the normal heading from CA is 030 or so),
but that didn't help at all.  Conditions were just too good.  There were
even a few stations who expressed their irritation quite openly about
being excluded.  I suppose this is one time I was glad (from a ham radio
perspective) that I wasn't on the east coast.  

I can definitely sympathize with the complaint, since the shoe is often
on the other foot over here.  It wasn't many weeks ago that the U.K. had
the British Empire Reunion contest, or whatever they call it (BERU).  We
US ops are explicitly told that we blew the opportunity to participate
some 200+ years ago, so it's not the fault of the Brits that we're left
out in the cold today.  I guess they're right on that score.  They want
to have an event among all the Commonwealth countries, and I don't think
there's anything wrong with that.  I'ts hard to have to sit it out and
just listen (particularly when I hear somebody I really need), but
that's just the way it is.  I'm absolutely not going to challenge their
right to have a private event, nor am I going to interfere on the air
with it the way happened to me this past weekend.  

There's another time this problem comes up, and that's fast
approaching.  Every time I go off for ARRL DX, I have a real problem
with the non US/VE operators trying to get a contact.  Two years ago I
was at KH6CC, and the JA's just would not leave me alone.  That was a
major problem.  Last year I was in Panama, and it was the Europeans who
were the problem.  I guess that's just one of the hazards of traveling
abroad for ARRL DX.  From experience I know that if I work one
non-US/VE, then there are 20 more who take his place.  Ergo, the score
goes down the drain.  Thus you have to be hard-nosed about it and not
take anybody.  But it's tough to do that.

There is one counterexample (besides the DL events that DL8AAM
mentioned) to the pattern of closed contests that is perhaps worth
mentioning, and that is the RAC contests (Canada Day and Canada Winter
Contests).  There, they have the scoring system stacked so that non-VE's
can work non-VE's, but the contact only counts for 1/10 what a contact
with a VE is worth.  It was interesting that one of the soapbox comments
in the results that just came out from last July's Canada Day Contest
was "Contest rules should have it that non-Canadians can only work
Canadians and Canadians work anyone."  That complaint came from a W6,
not a VE.  I don't agree with this one, but I can see why he made the
statement.  The non-VE callers definitely hurt your score in that
contest.  (I came in #2 as VY1RAC, just barely behind VY2SS, and my
analysis says I might have been able to nose Bobby out if it hadn't been
for all the EU stations who wanted VY1.  If I had had the same
points/QSO ratio that VY2SS did, I would have beat him.)

I guess what I'm saying is that there is a lot of diversity in the
different events, and I much prefer it that way.  Let everybody
structure their events they way they want, and if they don't want me in
it then that's fine.  I'm not going to challenge their right to do so. 
On the other hand, I'll be more than willing to give a point to ops in
the all-LZ or the all-HB contest, or whatever, even though I know I
don't have a prayer of making the top-1000 box.  

Just an opinion.  Ur milage will definitely vary.

Bruce, N6NT

CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://www.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests:  cq-contest-REQUEST at contesting.com

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list