VK2GR bush fire 4 minutes away!
Entries for the 83rd Commonwealth Contest held steady with a slight increase to 271. Propagation was predicted to be as poor as last year with the SFI stuck at 69/70. Still bumping along the bottom. And just to add more problems Australia had just had forest fires ( VK2GR above ) and the coronavirus was making its presence felt with all sorts of travel restrictions. The charts show that overall numbers of entrants have been pretty stable over the past 10 years, lying between 250-300 as have the percentage of entrants in the main sections.
Even the precentage Unassisted/Assisted now seems to be settling down at around the 40% Assisted.
Of course the main active regions continue to the UK and Canada but its worth noting that the following call areas were active but did not send in logs: 8Q7, 9J, 9M, 9Z, C6, VK8, VP2V, VP8, VP9, ZS1,2 and 3. Plenty of DX to be found as the following list of active Commonwealth call areas shows
As with last year 10m propagation was the most challenging with almost all contacts confined to the same (with an HQ station) or an adjacent call area. There was one contact between VK6 and 9V on this band. 20m and 40m were the most productive bands for most entrants with 15m providing some useful bonus call areass. 80m as always was a busy band for the HQ stations but there was also plenty of DX available for all at the appropriate times.
Open Unassisted Section
On to the trophies and certificates, the Senior Rose Bowl is awarded to the leading station in the Open Unassisted section and this year it goes to Ron Vander Kraats VE3AT, operating as CF3A. Ron has been a long time entrant to BERU. Dave Goodwin, VE9CB, is in second place. Colin ZF2CA shack on Grand Cayman below
The Colonel Thomas Rose Bowl is awarded to the leading UK&CD Open Unassisted station, Dave Lawley G4BUO operating from the M6T contest site takes this trophy for the 13th time since 1990 and is now not far behind G3FXB who won the trophy a total of 17 times between 1973 and 1991.
The highest placed 12 hour station is Jeff Briggs VY2ZM who receives the VP8GQ trophy.
Restricted Unassisted Section
The Junior Rose Bowl goes to the winner of the Restricted Unassisted section and for the fourth year running Peter Hobbs G3LET, with an outstanding score operating VP5O, leads this section. In second place is Brian, VK3MI. This section is popular with the travelling group, here’s Mike VK2/G3VYI somewhere in New South Wales.
The leading UK&CD Restricted Unassisted entry and winner of the John Dunnington G3LZQ Trophy is Andy Summers G4KNO.
The leading UK&CD 12 hours duration Unassisted entry and Ross Carey Rose Bowl winner is Andy Cook G4PIQ.
Open Assisted section
The Rosebery Shield is awarded to the highest single operator Assisted score, this is usually in the Open section and this year is no different. John Sluymer VE3EJ is this year’s recipient. Second place in the Open Assisted section is VE5MX.
Restricted Assisted section
In the Restricted single operator Assisted section the leading station, for the second year running, is Bryan Turner G3RLE. In second place is G3PHO.
QRP is hard work when propagation is poor so unsurprisingly there were just two entries in the 5W section this year. With an assisted entry, first place goes to Alan Horne M7R/G0TPH and in second place unassisted is Eric Castro VA3AMX. Eric’s is therefore the highest placed unassisted entry so he receives the Lilliput Cup.
A Commonwealth Medal is awarded to Derrick Webber G3LHJ. Derrick has been a regular supporter of this contest since 1958.
World travellers visited 3B8, 8P6, 9G5, V3, VK2, VP5 and ZF. A Commonwealth Traveller Certificate is this year awarded to Iain Haywood G4SGX/V31GX. Iain has activated V3 for the last three years, but this year his journey home from Belize was a victim of the growing COVID-19 pandemic that rapidly overtook travel plans in the week following the contest. You can read here the detailed description of Iain’s difficult return journey to the UK.
Multi-operator and Remote
There was only one entry in the Multi-op section from VE9ML operated by VE9ML and VE9BK and similarly in the Open-Remote section a single entry from VE3UTT. Art VE3UTT/W1AJT operated remotely from the warmer climes of North Carolina, USA.
Once again a big thank you to all the excellent HQ stations providing bonus contacts on every band. There were twelve HQ stations this year and in the top spot is GB5CC operated by Don G3BJ followed by G6XX (op. Graham G4FNL). Australia didn’t quite manage to equal last year’s record of six HQ stations but still had four, VK5WIA was their highest placed operated by Grant VK5GR. Canada fielded two, VA2RAC operated by Claude VE2FK was just ahead of VE7RAC.
In the team event, despite the latitude factor again being adjusted to reduce their advantage, Australia have kept their Canadian challengers in second place for the fourth year running. However Canada did manage to field four teams again this year, if the names seem unusual, they are all nicknames for Canadian coins. In third place are the World Travellers and another Southern Hemisphere team Quake Contesters are close behind in fourth.
6Y5HN, G4FAL, G3DR, G3PJT, G3WGN, MW7X, GM6XX, GM3YXI, VK2GR, VK2PN, VK3JA, VK4CT, VK6VZ, VY1KX, ZM1M, ZL3AB.
As always QSO analysis plots are available as part of the Contest Committee results service and show band activity/time for the various entry categories. Click on the link marked ‘QSO Analysis’.
PS And my thanks to all the contributors, especially the photos! To Steve VK6VZ, Brian VK3MI, Dave VE9CB, Steve GW0ETF, the team captains and all the participants – see you all in 2021.