[CQ-Contest] CW Sprint this weekend!

John Dorr cqk1ar at gmail.com
Fri Feb 1 19:18:53 EST 2019

 Have you ever tuned your radio and stumbled across a complete mystery?
Something you've never heard before?  Sure you have -- that's why you're on
this reflector.  What you heard was a contest, and it sucked you in, and
here you are, reading and operating your fool head off.

But even among contesters, there are strange and unfamilliar -- yet
intriguing -- things on the bands.  Perhaps the most intriguing is the CW

Its a four hour contest that happens twice a year -- February and
September.  And the winter event is happening this weekend.

Saturday night local time (0000 UTC through 0359 UTC), CW Sprint runs on
just three bands.  Its a North American contest, with states/provinces/NA
countries as multiplilers.  What makes it so unique -- in the rules, that
is -- is the QSY rule.  Simply put, you can't sit in one place and CQ.  The
person who answers your CQ actually inherits the frequency after the QSO.
You are the one who spins the knob and has to move, not the one who
answered you.  Its a contest that rewards agility and the ability to
quickly make sense of what's happening on a new frequency.  Not just being
loud and typing stuff.

What makes Sprint unique -- in practice -- is that it is the contester's
contest.  Speeds can run high and the big gun are out, no doubt about it.
But those same big guns are just as hungry for your QSO as any other
station.  They'll slow down, believe me.  And with the QSY rule, its just
as likely that they will call you instead of the other way around.  The
competition is tough, but so is the camaraderie.  With the team
competition, you can add your points to your team, no matter how many or

Is it different?  Oh, yes.  Its so different that you almost have to start
all over again, learning how to do it.  But it is also addictive.  Maybe
that's why so many folks are operating their own mini-sprints during
weeknights.  You can learn a lot from those.  There is also a neat web page
that remains incredibly valuable despite its age -- the Sprint Survival page
<https://www.kkn.net/n6tr/sprint.html>.  Its full of examples, recordidngs
and links of how to do it.  And how to get better.

The CW Sprint is the big one -- a real contest with records and results
published in NCJ, and logs checked for accuracy.  The rules are here.
<http://ncjweb.com/Sprint-Rules.pdf>  The time is this weekend.  Hope to
hear you on.

  - Pat

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