Edited – Only comments on Commonwealth Contest
Hello RSGB Contests Committee:

I am writing to provide my comments to some of the proposals outlined in the White Paper.

I am a regular participant in the RSGB Commonwealth Contest. I have placed as high as #2 in the Open section. I have entered the BERU from VO1, VO2, VE9, VE2, 9M6 and ZL7. I am an occasional participant in the RSGB IOTA contest, always on expeditions to IOTAs.

I will comment only on the following sections of the White Paper:

1.4. Reduce the entry period for all contests (except IOTA) to 7 days except by prior arrangement
with the contest adjudicator. The entry period for IOTA will remain at 21 days.

Comment: I support this change.

2.1. IOTA – Introduce a 6 hour duration section to IOTA.

Comment: I oppose this change. IOTA has far too many categories.

2.10. Commonwealth Contest – Change the format so that the World can work the Commonwealth

Comment: I oppose this change. The intra-Commonwealth nature of the BERU is its great attraction to me. There are plenty enough contests in the format you suggest, and they are so numerous as to be banal. BERU has a unique attractiveness because it is so different. BERU is my favourite contest, and a change like this is too drastic for my taste.

Counter-comment: If you must do this, please make changes that keep the focus on the Commonwealth for all entrants. One example you might follow is the RAC Canada Day Contest and the Canada Winter Contest:everyone can work everyone for points, but QSOs with a Canadian station are worth five times as many QSO points as with someone outside Canada, and only Canadian provinces and territories count as multipliers. The keeps the focus for all entrants on working Canadians, but if well-meaning station calls you from someplace else, you will still work them. A similar implementation for the Commonwealth would have QSOs with non-Commonwealth stations worth one point, QSOs with Commonwealth stations worth five points, and only Commonwealth Call Areas would count for bonuses or multipliers. This would kill the old BERU and replace it with something hugely different, but it would alleviate the irritation we now cause my ignoring or dismissing non-Commonwealth callers.

6.8. BERU – To assist identifying QRP stations, remove the requirement to put QRP in the Cabrillo header and add a requirement to enter the power output used when submitting the log.

Comment: I support this change.

6.9. BERU – In the rules, change all references to BERU to Commonwealth Contest and suggest entrants call CQ CC not CQ BERU.

Comment: Your proposed changes are superfluous
– You have proposed to remove something that has already been removed. The contest is called the Commonwealth Contest, and rules have reflected that for over forty years. The current rules make no mention of “BERU” except in two URLs. One of these is an RSGB site where a sample Cabrillo-format log can be consulted. The other is G3PJT’s site where one can find additional information on the contest. Change the RSGB site URL if you must, but frankly, who cares about a URL?
– The rules currently do not recommend a method of calling CQ. What you suggest was attempted in the late 1970s, and was almost universally ignored. I will still call CQ BERU, and I am certain that however I call CQ, you will accept and adjudicate my log. You wish to modify the rules to inform participants that many will solicit contacts by calling “CQ BERU” or “CQ CC.”

Thank you for your hard work to keep the RSGB contest programme humming along.


Dave Goodwin
RSGB life member