What is the real value of WRTC?

With all the opinions flying around the the contesting reflector this weekend I was about to send the following to the CQ-CONTEST reflector but I decided not to post it. I will however put it here…


I ask this with the most respect possible for everyone involved in past, current and future WRTC’s.

I ask this with the most respect for all my contest friends who have and will be participating in WRTC.

I ask this without detracting even the slightest bit from past and future achievement in qualifying and participating in WRTC.

I want to ask this open question:


Is WRTC not a bit overrated?


I have lost all interest in it, even if it was once my dream. I was playing radio in July 2002, still at my parents’ place, with only a leftover string of wire, too much RG-58 and the rig’s ATU. I was fairly new to contesting but I was so amazed, intrigued, mesmerized by the game of contesting that working the Finish WRTC 2002 calls was a starting point. Afterwards I attended a photo presentation by ON4UN who always had great stories and inside information from events like this. That was an extra boost. It was there I met OT1A (back then ON4CCP), and he also had strong WRTC aspirations. It was the start of a friendship too, still standing today.

WRTC 2002 was a motivator to become good enough to be part of a WRTC. To be on the air each and every contest. From a local event with 30 QSO on a Sunday morning to 48hrs of CQ WW. To get myself and my callsign known on the air. To learn to run CW at 40 WPM and 200 Q/hr. To download half a SCP file in my head. To spend money and time building a station that could get me there.

I think I pulled that one off sixteen years later. Honking my own horn: I did some crazy stuff with a single tower – small tribander – wires in a stealthy semi-fieldday setup. I wouldn’t have dared to dream that in 2002. Wanting to be part of the contest was key, FOMO before the acronym got invented.

However: all this is not enough. After the qualification for 2014 I gave up on WRTC. I will support it and I will root for all being in the tents. But I let it go. I think the selection criteria suck bigtime for a couple of reasons. I do not want to spend more money and go abroad or get my call in the list of operators at M/x stations. In fact it’s not needed: OR2F proved it can be done by being smart. I don’t want to be smart, I want to have fun in contesting. And to have fun again, I needed to abandon trying to compete but just be the best ON5ZO there is.

Furthermore it has become another item on the list of things that can set this reflector ablaze because of black-white point of views. But like almost everything, it’s gray.

So me thinks WRTC is highly overrated. The event as such, not the people running the show on the stage and behind the curtains, and not those running the pile ups.

Nevertheless: GO WWYC! Our generation produced some butt-kicking WRTC-medal-wearing contest operators from all over the globe. It was fun to be part of all the BS’ing on #IRC fifteen years ago and seeing you guys grow year after year. Grow old but moreover grow as a contester. Good luck to you all next week, lids!

I won’t be working you with my own call this time, but trust me: I will be in your logs  ;o)


Franki ON5ZO = OQ5M

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