2021 Results

Despite, or perhaps because of, the pandemic and the many restrictions on travel there was a high turnout for this years contest. 290 entrants logs were received. Participation increased in all sections especially in the HQ stations (see later ). The participation in this contest has now increased threefold over the level on 1996, but that said, total entrants appears to have now hit a plateau.


But there still has been growth in G and VE entrants over the past 4 years but ZL participation is slowly falling. Hopefully this will improve as propagation improves.


As noted last year the balance between Unassisted or ‘classical’ entries and Assisted seems to have leveled off about 50%.


I had hoped to be writing some better news on propagation this year but despite some encouraging propagation from the UK to south east asia in the hours before the contest started the A stuck at 12 and the K at 3 dampened things down significantly. Conditions turned out to be pretty challenging with bands opening and closing without warning and much propagation being spotty at best. On 80 there were some openings around sunset and sunrise but after about 01:00 until sunrise in the UK the bands seemed very quiet indeed.That said strong signals into the UK on 10m from 5B, 5Z and 9J made for some very welcome extra interest. Otherwise most of the 10m QSOs were with HQ stations in the same or adjacent call areas. Conditions on 15m on the North Atlantic path were variable starting direct but switching later to skew path and weaker signals. 20 and 40 carried most of the traffic as is usual but opeings on 80m were commented by several entrants as very good… if you knew when to look. The changed timings of openings on LF meant that close attention to several bands at the same time was important. More analysis here.

The following call areas were active but did not send in logs: 3B8, 5X, 9J, 9M2, 9V, 9Z, AP, V3, VP8, VU, ZL4, ZS1, 2 and 6.

Section Reports

Open Section

VY2ZM_Monticello Home from Air (2)Leading entrant and winner of the Senior Rose Bowl is Jeff, VY2ZM ( last years winner of the 12 hour section ), “Apart from the generally wretched condx, it was fun on 20m/40m and 80m with lots of activity to fill the log.”

XL3A/VE3AT, last years winner, is runner up. In third place was Dave, VE9CB.  VK6LW was highest placed VK station in 5 place.


The highest placed UK station in 7th place in the Open section is Keith GM4YXI. He takes the Col.Thomas Rose Bowl for the first time. But only just…only 5 points clear of Don G3BJ.  Keith commented ” No, conditions were not good, not at this QTH anyway. There were signals on 10 and 15m at the start but it was short skip EU so not much use. I had nothing on 40m at the start”. And ” Twenty was the money band during the day but I was working the second radio hard on 15m and this produced a few extra QSOs, including VY2ZM and a couple of VE3 but nothing else from VE on that band. 9J2BO was a terrific signal on 10m…”.

VE3JM mugThe VP8GQ trophy for the leading 12 hour station goes to Vlad, VE3JM in 5th place.

Vlad has evidently been making good use of his team prize from 2015.


Restricted Section

The leading station in this section was Brian, VK3MI who operated from a quiet rural location rather than his noisy home QTH. “I again set up a portable station at a rural farm stay about 70 km east of Melbourne, due to the high level of manmade QRN and lack of space for antennas at my city QTH. I hauled up two multiband horizontal dipoles to a height of around 20m between some gum trees – one aimed at North America and the other at Europe.” “The only 5 band QSOs were with VK stations but I was pleased to make 4 band QSOs with G3BJ, G6XX and GM6XX. Thanks to everyone for the QSOs and especially the large number of HQ stations for all the bonus points! A special shout out to 5Z4VJ and ZF2CA for their exceptional patience with the many repeats required to pull out my weak signal on 40M and 80M respectively.”

Runner up was VE3BR.

The leading UK station in this section and winner of the G3LZQ trophy was Mike G3VYI. ” It was great to have a go from UK , especially during Lockdown! A most enjoyable BERU for me. Conditions seemed poor but there was lots to work down in the noise. Managed to improve the home antenna farm with a home made tiltover mast, hinging on one HT steel bolt! It supported a 20m loop, 15m loop, 40m V, and the other end of the garden had a 80m L and 10m dipole…”


And leading 12 hour UK station and winner of the Ross Carey trophy was Alan, G3XAQ.

Assisted sections

Open Assisted

The Rosebery Shield for the leading asssted station goes to John VE3EJ. Runner up was Barry, VK2BJ. Highest placed G station was Dave, G3TBK.

Restricted Assisted

The leading restricted assisted station was Ivan 9H1PI. G3RLE was runner up ahead of G3PHO.


G3PHO … started off well and by midnight was 4 hours ahead of where I was last year. However a “Black Hole” descended in the middle of the night and by 6am I was virtually at the same point as last year. Heard ZLs on 80m but no QSOs on that band. Good opening to VK/ZL on Sunday morning. Chased 9V1YC for ages on 20m on Sunday but he couldn’t copy me. Ended up with exactly the same number of Qs as last year but 75 points more. Outstanding signals from 9J2BO ZF2CA VK6LW



Despite the anticipated difficult propagation conditions there was a welcome increase in QRP/5W entrants from just two last year to eleven this year. The highest placed Unassisted entrant receives the Lilliput Cup and for the second year running it goes to Eric Castro VA3AMX.

GM4MIn second place and the highest Assisted entry is Bill Tracey GM4M (GM4UBJ)… “Not so much Search and Pounce as Hide and Seek !..”


Runner-up Unassisted is G4GIR and Assisted is G0KYA. Credit to all entrants for taking part with low power and generally simple antennas.


The Commonwealth Medal this year is awarded to James, 9V1YC. Its pretty noisy for radio in Singapore these days so we all really appreciate the QSOs, everyone a bonus, he has given out over the years. Many thanks, James.


Commonwealth Traveller

Every year at least one Commonwealth Traveller Certificate is normally awarded to highlight the efforts of all those that activate commonwealth call areas that are either remote or have low population/activity. With so many International travel restrictions this was difficult or just not possible this year but as indicated above there was one activation of note by Andrew VK1DA who travelled from his home in New South Wales to a site south of Canberra to put VK1WIA on the air. Andrew is therefore awarded a 2021 Commonwealth Traveller Certificate. “I thought the afternoon/evening conditions on 40m were pretty darn good, I don’t recall working into G at that signal level ever before. Benefits of the sunspot low! “

Remote Operation

With international travel off the agenda this year three entrants used reote stations. The leading station ZF2CA was run by Colin, G4CWH from his UK QTH….”Operating wise, it is too easy to think ‘I’m the mult, I’ll just bash away’ but with all the additional HQ stations this now requires significantly more adaptation, as they too think they are the mult.”

Team Contest

In the team event Australia have continued their dominance of the top spot for the fifth year in a row although their lead has been narrowing over the last three years. Canada #1 are in second place and the second Australian team in third. Australia have been honing a strategy to hold on to a leading position, including encouraging each VK call area to have its own WIA station ( see later ). Under these mediocre conditions this strategy has born fruit and taken with the ‘Latitude Factor’ given them the opportunity to field a good team effort.



Australia 1 VK6LW 8680 VK2BJ 8227 VK2GR 7337 VK6VZ 7307 VK4CT 6563 38,114
Canada #1 VE3EJ 8295 VY2ZM 8130 XL3A 7155 VE9CB 6490 VE3JM 6200 36,270
Australia 2 VK3MI 7424 VK4SN 5227 VK7BO 5059 VK2PN 4716 VK6HG 2570 24,996
Canada #2 VE3RZ 5065 VE3NNT 3965 VE3BR 3680 VE5MX 3080 VA3GUY 740 16,530
Atlantic A1A’s VE1RSM 4020 VA1RST 3800 VE1ANU 3125 VE1ZU 2290 VE1CEN 2100 15,335
Canada #3 VE9ML 4360 VE9HF 3530 VE9AA 3335 VE3TM 2150 VE9OA 1570 14,945
Essex CW ARC G4PVM 3530 G3XLG 3500 M5D 2525 M4J 1885 G8CW 1635 13,075
Grimsby Mariners G3TBK 4805 G3SJJ 3240 G4EBK 1740 G4LPD 1165 G6N 660 11,610
Balunmasters G3VYI 2835 G4CZB 2655 G3WRR 1015 G4WGE 290     6,795
IVARC Veterans G3OTK 2195 G4GBP 1280 G3XSD 930 G8XEV 660     5,065

The UK teams were weakened this year by the effort to mount a large number of HQ Stations which meant that some of the better equipped UK stations were not operating as normal entrants or did not operate or form a team.. Hopefully this can be addressed next year.

HQ Stations

Finally to the HQ section, a huge thank you to all those involved with getting 26 on the air of which 25 submitted logs. Leading the table is GB5CC operated by Nick G4FAL with GW6XX (op. GW3YDX) not far behind in second place. There were seven entries from Canadian stations of which VA3RAC (op. VE3ZI) was the highest placed in 6th overall and three entries from New Zealand with ZL6HQ (op. ZL2BR) their leader in 9th overall. Australia also fielded seven stations with VK7WIA (op. VK7GN) highest placed in 12th overall.

The other UK ops were –

G6XX – G3PJT Bob


GI6XX – GI4DOH Richard

GM6XX – GM3WOJ Chris


G3DR – G3LET Peter

GM3DR – GM3WUX Terry

There were issues with logging software not recocognising the different HQ stations, especially those in ZL. GB5CC consistently catches people out who don’t expect ‘GB5’ and log ‘G6H’ or some other variant. After some 35 years, regular entrants should be getting used to it! Well you would think so.

There will be a separate page / article on the role of HQ stations since the first use of GB5CC at the 50th year of the Commonwealth Contest.

Soapbox index


And a breakdown of the top ten radios used by Bob G4DBW.



Adjudication Comments

With so much different logging software and still a few paper logs used for this event there are always a few issues to resolve with entrants before adjudication begins. This time there was also a problem with the adjudication software which could not cope with some callsign formats. Thanks to Mike G0GJV for rapidly producing a software upgrade that allowed adjudication to begin with the minimum of delay. Incorrect calculation of their score concerned some entrants and while it is always nice to know one’s claimed score when submitting a log, entrants are assured that the adjudication software always recalculates the correct score as part of the process and any numbers in the log header are ignored. Full results are here.

Next Year

The 85th contest will be on 12 and 13 March 2022. CU there !