[CQ-Contest] Competitor Friendly Contesting

ve4xt@mb.sympatico.ca ve4xt at mb.sympatico.ca
Wed Nov 16 13:32:18 EST 2005


What a great essay. Should be required reading for anyone signing up for 

Bravo, Kirk. See you on the weekend.


> From: K4RO Kirk Pickering <k4ro at k4ro.net>
> Date: 2005/11/16 Wed AM 10:15:34 CST
> To: cq-contest at contesting.com
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Competitor Friendly Contesting
> Ed  N1UR  wrote:
> > To me, CQ WW is like the Boston or New York (pick your local big city)
> > Marathon.  Should I tell the organizers that they should open up a 5K,
> > 40+ category of it just because I know I will never "go the distance"
> > in a marathon?  No.  They would rightly say "Run in something 
> > up with your level of ability and determination".
> Over the last few years I've been starting to see the light here, 
> and am beginning to feel the same way about the big DX contests.
> Just because I feel that I am competitive doesn't mean that I
> somehow deserve a playing field more suited to my advantages.
> If I want to win, I must either create those advantages myself,
> or quit complaining that I don't have them.  It takes resources
> and determination, whether building a superstation or paying for
> a plane ticket to travel to one. It's taken me years to accept this.
> I've been reading all of the NCJ's, starting from the beginning
> (something I highly recommend to anyone interested in contesting.)
> The resources necessary to compete at the top levels has always
> been pretty high.  Twenty and even thirty years ago, folks were
> complaining about super stations, guest ops, and the like.  Some
> of the very ops who complained about "hired guns" back then are 
> now hosting hired guns at their own super stations. What changed?
> I suspect they figured out that this is how the game is played at 
> the highest levels.  And like the big marathons, there is nothing 
> inappropriate about the level of committment required to win.  
> Like it or not, DX contests are won by great ops from great stations 
> in great locations.  This would be case no matter how the rules or 
> point definitions were defined. Isn't this how it should be?
> There does seem to be a widening gap over the years between the
> superstation / hired gun scores and the owner-operator scores.
> Typical top ten listings appear to contain more of these pseudo
> team efforts with each passing year, particularly in DX contests.
> Even the SS, NAQP and Sprint Top Ten lists are more and more
> dominated by guest-op efforts than in years past. That's fine
> once that we accept that this is how contests are won. I am in
> awe of the skills of the operators and station builders who
> make these scores possible. Even more awe-inspiring to me are
> the rare ones who single-op competitively from their own stations.
> These are my contesting heroes.
> The biggest "problem" if there is one, is staying in the game long 
> enough to understand how the contesting game has evolved to this 
> Many folks get discouraged before they've had a chance to understand 
> that the folks at the top typically climbed and scratched their way 
> up there. They don't understand the amount of work involved perfecting 
> SO2R techniques.  They don't know about the countless forgettable 
> losing efforts that preceeded the big wins.  It might have been 
> N5KO who essentially said (paraphrasing) "new folks can't understand 
> or appreciate what the masters are doing or why."  I personally
> became very disillusioned with contesting several years ago for
> these very reasons.  It took me a while to understand that I enjoyed
> the operating immensely regardless of the outcome.  I learned to 
> my battles carefully. I now have a better understanding of what is 
> possible from my station.  I'm a lot less frustrated and disappointed 
> as a result. I've even found a contest or two that I can win from home.
> I've traveled for contest DXpeditions and tasted the thrill of world-
> class competing as a team. I'm hooked on contesting for life now.
> Perhaps contesting is just as it should be.  If an operator is going to 
> let a little discouragement stop them, well then they probably don't 
> deserve to be winning contests, big or small. I wonder if there is a way 
> to describe the contesting scene to newcomers so that they don't wind 
> early on with a "what's the point" attitude?  Ultimately I guess it comes 
> down to finding satisfaction in the pursuit itself, regarless of the score.
> The point is, we get out of this game exactly what we put into it.  I don't
> want to establish hanidcap systems (although I am a big fan of regional
> score reporting.) I don't want to shorten the marathons (or DX contests) 
> just because I am unwilling or unable to go the distance. Folks do it 
> year because they are able, willing, and determined.  They deserve to 
> More power to them.
> 73
> -Kirk  K4RO
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