[CQ-Contest] Fwd: Youth contesting...

Bill Fisher, W4AN w4an at contesting.com
Mon Jun 21 16:54:02 EDT 1999

I received this today and thought it to be pretty darned relevant to this
list.  Read what this young man has to say.  I can say for sure "Been
there, done that", and thanks to K4VX I'm where I am today.  Maybe some of
you have suggestions for the young contesters who are listening?  

73  Bill Fisher

>Date: Mon, 21 Jun 1999 07:22:05 -0700 (MST)
>To: w4an at contesting.com
>Subject: Youth contesting...
>Greetings, name here is Jake Lauser and I'm just writing because I saw
>your little comment box on the contesting.com homepage about wanting to
>keep a place for young contesters on the webpage. I think it's a great
>idea. I think you may have had the idea in mind for younger contesters but
>let me draw your attention to a growing number of younger contesters out
>there who are trying to carve out their little niche in the Contesting
>World. Although I'm not so young anymore (well, 20 is still rather young)
>I've been contesting with people bewtween 14-25 for several years now and
>our main problem is that none of us really have any mentors who can help
>us in our quest for the ultimate score. Sure, we've done well in little
>minor contests like the Collegiate sweepstakes or the school club
>round-up, but when it comes to fighting the big-guns in contests like the
>ARRL DX contests or the November sweeps, we just can't hold a candle to
>others for several fundamental reasons...
>1) Although we sometimes get lucky with the loaned use of some big school
>station or something, we often just don't have decent equipment to run
>with. I myself am a poor college student on leave of absence from the
>University of Arizona trying to pay back a rather heafty student loan. I
>have no HF gear of my own and have found myself resorting to kitbuilding
>cw transmitters just to stay on the air. I and others like me certainly
>enjoy this aspect of the hobby (since I am an electrical engineering
>major) but contesting with QRP and a dipole? Ha!
>2) Some of us are also lacking in experience. I know that many of my
>fellow young contesters gain our experience by running attempts in smaller
>contestes like IOTA or we actually make up contests in order to make wits
>with one another (kinda of like picking a 24 hour period and seeing who
>can get the most Japanese stations or the like) We don't really have the
>opportunity to get in there and fight it out with the big-guys because we
>think it's almost futile to try because even the guys running less than
>1.5 KW are using 45 element monoband beams at 1000 feet (I'm being
>sarcastic of course)
>3) We just don't have as much time to operate. I still live at home, and
>although there was a period that I could (and often did) spend some 8
>hours a day on HF, I now have to work 10 hours a day, drive 3 hours a day,
>sleep 8 hours a day, and eat the rest of the time. Heck, I'm even going to
>miss part of Field Day because I have church to attend.
>The point in writing you this letter is not to bemoan me existence as a
>non-contester, but to point out that there are more of us out here than
>one may think, and if we're given a chance, we just might surprise you
>with the possibilities. I can remeber scheduling a contest while I was at
>the University last year and having nobody else show up. I still ran and
>beat the socks of the competition by some 40,000 points. I can also
>remeber 1 other friend of mine and I toiling diligently to sweep the bands

>during the November Sweepstakes and only coming 3 contacts short of a
>clean sweep.
>Thus, I encourage you to place a youth section on the contesting.com
>website and to encourage young hams everywhere whenever they may have the
>urge to run a big one. Help them, guide them, show 'em the tricks of the
>trade. Because in 20 years, they'll be the ones with the plaques on the

Bill Fisher, W4AN (EX KM9P)

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