[CQ-Contest] IARU HF Championship - A Travesty

David Pruett k8cc at comcast.net
Tue Jun 19 19:04:52 EDT 2007

Bruce, et al:

I am a big fan of the IARU HF Championship, although it seems like I 
only operate in it occasionally.  Over the past few of years we've done 
multi-ops here at K8CC, and one year not all that long ago I drove down 
to be part of the K8AZ team for this contest.  And of course, we were 
NU1AW/8 on 80CW, 40CW, 20 SSB and 15CW from this QTH last year, along 
with three other MRRC/NCC sites linked toether over the Internet.  I 
never dreamed that we would work 8600+ QSOs *at a sunspot minimum*.  It 
was great fun watching 700+ QSOs go into the log in the first hour of 
the contest, with the CT log window showing a new screen full of QSOs 
every minute!

I really like IARU.  The 24 hour format is great (as so aptly described 
here on the reflector by Ed, N1UR), and although it has a small 
multiplier set, the mid-summer band strategies can be learning 
experiences.  I'd never have believed that a W8 could *run* (yes, run) 
European stations on 80 CW at 0200Z, or work JAs long path on 28 MHz at 
1200Z.  (OK, so the latter is not likely for a few more years.)

But I'd encourage you not to sit this one out, and if I can get my 3L 40 
spinning between now and the contest I might just join you in the 
multi-op category.  Most of the alleged cheating is not in the 
categories we inhabit anyways.

I've been trying to follow the cheating accusations, but how many of 
these have been communicated to the logchecking team?  As a volunteer 
logchecker myself, I would offer the observation that while in recent 
years we've seen great strides in lock "checking" (i.e., matching up and 
verifying QSOs at each end), I don't think checkers are being expected 
to "monitor" the contest (for lack of a better term).  If you suspect 
something's wrong, TELL IT TO THE CONTEST DEPARTMENT rather than 
spilling it here on the reflector, where all you'll get is a bunch of 
commiseration and nodding of heads.  If something can be investigated, 
I'm pretty confident that HQ will look into it.

I wonder how much of the suspected "cheating" has more to do with the 
accusers simply not believing (or can't conceive) how the scores can be 
done legitimately?  I think back to the 1975 SS Phone, listening the 
WA5VDH (now K5UR) make almost 1300 QSOs while claiming "A" power.  
Listening to his S9+20dB signal on 75M, I was convinced he was running 
an amp.  However, just three years later I found myself in the operating 
chair at the original N5DX station with a barefoot C-Line and no amp in 
the shack, and beat Rick's score myself.  So sometimes you don't know 
what you CAN do...

But then again, 2400+ QSOs on 160M from a HQ station in IARU is 
certainly extraordinary.  I would think this takes the definition of 
"uniques" to a new limit...

Don't bother sending your gripes to the CAC.  I am on the CAC, and our 
name means "Contest Advisory Committee", not the "ARRL Contest Oversight 
Committee".  Our role is to advise the directors, Membership Services 
Committee, or ARRL HQ Contest Department when requested; we're not 
tasked to be the "voice of the contester" to carry complaints to the ARRL.

I'm glad they clarified the IARU HF dates, otherwise I might have been 
QRV a week early...hope to CU in the pileups.



BruceAA5B at aol.com wrote:
> Except for being part of the W1AW/0 team a couple years ago, I haven't done 
> this contest seriously for quite a while, but was planning a good mixed-mode 
> effort this year. If things are really as bad as you guys say, I'll join you in 
> sitting this one out. Letters to directors and CAC will be on the way soon. 
>      -Bruce AA5B
> ----------------
> N2IC says:
> It's good to see some others speaking out about cheating in the IARU HF
> Championship. 
> Now the HQ stations have taken on a life of their own, with fierce and 
> unethical
> competition between countries for bragging rights. This has led to rampant
> cheating. 
> Some IARU
> member societies have convinced their national, government funded, sporting
> organizations that this is an international event worthy of financial awards 
> to
> their countrymen, should their countrymen be the world "gold medal" winner.
> 2) Enjoy a beautiful July weekend with your spouse, kids or signficant other, 
> rather than operating the radio.
> --------------
> K5TR says:
> Yes, it is good to see some sunlight being shined on the cheating but
> it is sad for me to see that the cheating only seems to be 
> getting worse in the IARU contest.
> I have found the HQ station unethical operating and manufactured contacts 
> to be really distasteful over the years - and it only seems to be 
> getting worse.  
> we either need
> to kill this contest off or start checking the logs and 
> maybe even making station visits during the event to 
> ensure that the winners are really worthy 
> Though it saddens me to miss a contest I really enjoy and have 
> won (SSB HP USA) many times - I will sit out the IARU contest.
> **************************************
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