From ARRL de WD1CKS@VERT/WLARB to QST on Thursday, May 12, 2022 20:12:21
04/29/2022 The results are in for the 21st USA Championships in Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF). The 4 days of competitions were held from April 7 - 10 in Prince William Forest Park (PWFP) in northern Virginia. The competition results will help determine the makeup of ARDF Team USA at the 20th ARDF World Championships, set for September 2022 in Serbia.
Thirty participants competed in categories for men and women ranging in age from 15 to 70+. All the competitive events were held within PWFP, on maps provided by the Quantico Orienteering Club (QOC) of Quantico, Virginia. In an innovative approach, the Backwoods Orienteering Klub (BOK) of Raleigh, North Carolina, organized and sponsored the event across state lines, applying the Raleigh group's ARDF knowledge and experience to a beautiful new venue.
After a day of practice, the races began on April 7, with the fast-paced sprint event in which two sets of five transmitters operating on two different 80-meter frequencies transmit sequentially in 12-second bursts every minute. "The course was hillier than typical for this event. Nevertheless, none of the finishers exceeded the 60-minute time limit," noted Event Director Joseph Huberman, K5JGH.
Other events included:
Foxoring -- This event followed the next day. Foxoring is a timed race in which individual competitors use a topographic map and a magnetic compass to navigate through diverse, wooded terrain while searching for radio transmitters (foxes).
2-Meter Classic -- This involves locating up to five transmitters on courses of up to 12 kilometers in length. Course lengths and the number of foxes are adjusted for different age and gender categories, so that men, women, youth, and seniors, can traverse courses designed to be appropriate for their capabilities.
80-Meter Classic -- This is conducted much like the 2-Meter Classic, but without the reflections and multipath propagation that are often observed at VHF frequencies.
US competitors in the six International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) categories for men aged 19 - 70 and women aged 19 - 65, are under consideration for membership in the US team for the 2022 ARDF Championships. Up to three competitors in each age and gender category and competition format may be on a national team.
For more information on amateur radio direction finding, visit the ARRL ARDF website.