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WRTC2002 in Finland

from WRTC2002 Organizational Committee on April 22, 2001
View comments about this article!

WRTC--Onward to 2002!

Ari Korhonen, OH1EH

The next World Radiosport Team Championship, the Olympics of Amateur Radio, will be taking place in Finland in the year 2002.

What is the WRTC? The WRTC is a competition among two-person teams of some of the top Amateur Radio contest operators in the world. By bringing these competitors together in one geographic area and providing equal operating conditions (antennas, power, etc), the variables normally associated with radio contesting are minimized, and the individual team's operating skills are emphasized.

WRTC 2002--A Joint Effort Discussions as to which country would host WRTC 2002 began during the highly successful WRTC 2000 in Slovenia. Well known for its long history and high level of participation in contesting, Finland was one of the obvious choices. A common comment heard during the planning discussions in Slovenia was "The Finns must do it!" We are now pleased to announce that WRTC 2002 will be jointly organized by Contest Club Finland (CCF) and the Finnish Amateur Radio League (SRAL).

The Teams The team selection process is about to begin. Participants from all continents will be selected based primarily on their track records from past contests. Some 45 to 50 teams will be chosen through a variety of methods. These include open applications as well as "Encouragement Letters" sent out directly by the committee. Leading contest clubs and the IARU societies are encouraged to assist in identifying prospective participants. We will be keeping the contest community informed on the progress of this selection process on a regular basis.

The Contest The on-the-air portion of the competition will be held within the 2002 IARU HF Championship. In keeping with the original WRTC concept, every effort will be made to provide the teams with operating conditions that are as equal as possible. Our plan is to set up 45 to 50 station sites in locations around the Helsinki area; each equipped with identical antenna systems. The Finns are considered forerunners in information and telecommunications technology. We are proud to say that during the WRTC 2002, some of these exciting new technologies will be creatively utilized!

The Social Aspects While the competition itself is certainly the focal point of WRTC 2002, the social aspects of this event will also receive special attention. Once they've arrived in Finland, the competitors and the other guests will eventually be transported to the SRAL Summer Camp. Summer Camp is one of Finnish Amateur Radio's oldest traditions. It's essentially a combination of a hamfest and Field Day, and just about every ham-related activity is demonstrated. There's something exciting in the air during these camps--something that one has to experience first hand to fully appreciate! A variety of other activities--such as excursions, parties and more--are also planned.

The WRTC 2002 Management Team
Jouko Häyrynen, OH1RX--Organizing Committee Chairman
Jari Jussila, OH2BU--Events Chairman and Domestic Publicity
Martti Laine, OH2BH--Competition Co-Chairman
Pasi Luoma-aho, OH2IW--Competition Co-Chairman
Jukka Kulha, OH2MA--Site Design and Management
Veijo Kontas, OH6KN--Wireless and Web technology
Merja Veisterä--Financial Controller and Treasurer
Ari Korhonen, OH1EH--Competitor Correspondence and International Publicity
Timo Klimoff, OH1NOA--Competitor Correspondence and Webmaster
Risto Lund, OH3UU--Logging and Scoring Management

WRTC 2002--Preliminary Schedule
Tuesday, July 9th:
Competitors arrive in Finland. There will be an informal get together and registration.
Wednesday, July 10th:
Competitors and guests will be transported to the SRAL Summer Camp and the official opening ceremony will be held.
Thursday, July 11th:
The first official contest meeting, the pileup competition and an evening party are scheduled.
Friday, July 12th:
The second contest meeting will be held. Competitors will then be transported to the contest station sites.
Saturday, July 13th:
WRTC 2002 on-the-air competition begins at 1200Z.
Sunday, July 14th:
WRTC 2002 competition ends at 1200Z. Late night "after the contest" events will be held in Helsinki.
Monday, July, 15th:
There will be a tour of Helsinki, the awards ceremony and the closing ceremony.
Tuesday, July, 16th:

WRTC 2002 Publicity
We'll be keeping the contest community informed on the progress of WRTC 2002 through various means. One of the best places to find the latest information is the WRTC 2002 Web site:

Amateur Radio in Finland
The Finnish Amateur Radio League (SRAL) currently has 5000 members. This number represents more than 95 percent of all Finnish amateur licensees--the highest percentage member-to-licensee ratio in all of Europe. SRAL has retained its membership while many other countries have experienced declining numbers. To this end, the League employs some highly advanced initiatives--SRAL is quite possibly the only national Amateur Radio society that recruits new members through television commercials. The organization is professionally run and the Finnish Ministry of Education supports its efforts.
Contesting and DXing are two of the most popular Amateur Radio pursuits in Finland. Countrywide amateur activities are also organized by the Contest Club Finland (CCF) and the OH DX Foundation (OHDXF).
Located at 62 degrees North, Finland is considered by some the "KL7 of Europe"--as it is within the auroral zone at roughly the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska. Finnish hams seem to believe that by hoisting their antennas higher and adding more elements they can close the "propagation gap" that exists between them and the rest of Europe. In Finland, rotatable 140-foot towers are fairly common. With antennas positioned at lesser heights it would be very difficult to be competitive under typical conditions. When the propagation is favorable, however, OHs are right in the thick of things--fighting for victory. Some of these individuals are not content with leaving their fate to the whims of the local propagation though--they head south and set up operations in contesting "hot spots" in equatorial regions.
Those who visit Finland may be surprised to see that the reach of the internationally renowned OH2AQ DX Summit--the global network of Web-based DX spotting--has been extended into the horizon of new innovation. The DX Summit is carried by the Finnish nationwide teletext TV network. Switch on a TV set anywhere in Finland--in any household--and you'll enjoy instant access to the latest information from the site on DXing and Amateur Radio contesting.
Many Finnish hams are exposed to state-of-the-art technology in their employment as well--as they work for companies that are front-runners in high-tech sectors. Some of these companies will be providing support for WRTC-2002--Elektrobit, Nokia and Vaisala for example. (Nokia, incidentally, currently employs more than 10 percent of the ham population of Finland.) But ultimately, the greatest factor that has contributed to the success of Amateur Radio in Finland is the unity of its ham population. While OH DXers and contesters compete head-to-head in many events, the following day they are back around the same table, sharing what they've learned and planning their next endeavors.
As the hosts for WRTC-2002, we invite both the competitors and others to come to Finland and experience firsthand the beauty of our country, the depth of our culture and the tremendous camaraderie that has become the hallmark of the WRTC events.

WRTC 2002 homepage:

Member Comments: Add A Comment
WRTC 2002 Results...summary. Reply
Anonymous post on April 25, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
N5TJ and K1TO win again...
WRTC2002 in Finland Reply
Anonymous post on April 28, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Don't be so sure they are getting old... The Finns may come like cannons, if aurora hits, the Finns have natural built-in "Collins 500Hz Aurora filters".
RE: WRTC2002 in Finland Reply
Anonymous post on May 9, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
K1TO and N5TJ are awsome operators but 60+ degrees north is a whole new universe for these guys who live in the south (regardless that Dan lived in CT all those years...) Maybe one of the guys from KL7 will get to go. They know what its like. And I see Chris, KL9A already has signed as an interested party! If aurora I can see the a OH team or another scandinavian team duke it with a team with a KL7 on it!
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