WRTC 2002 Welcome Message
Basic WRTC2002 related information:
Amateur radio is a unique passion of all ages, with the radio spectrum providing a playing field for technical innovation and global human communication in pursuit of giving 4 million amateur radio operators a chance to experience telecommunications as a way of life and a source of technological innovation, taking our wonderful world a step closer to better and more human communication – or just simply connecting people.
The World Radiosport Team Championship – WRTC in short – represents a large gathering of the world’s best in radio traffic – as selected nationally – coming from some 35 different countries in the spirit of competition, using the same playing field and allowing pure skills to determine world champions in two-man team, 24-hour nonstop competition in Helsinki, Finland.
The fifty (50) invited teams will be using both single-sideband (SSB) and radio telegraphy (Morse Code, or CW) modes of transmission trying to propagate their 100-watt radio signals to the maximum number of countries, everything based on similar radio conditions in Finland and using the same kind of antennas and technical concepts. All this is capped with camaraderie and fellowship between all the participating nations, very much in the Olympic spirit but using the methods of shortwave communication to determine the best.
WRTC2002 in Finland
Honoring the declining sunspot cycle – the source of shortwave radio propagation – the 2002 event came only two years after the previous competition, a true 50 years celebration of the Helsinki Olympic games 1952. Here, Contest Club Finland (CCF) and the Finnish Amateur Radio League (SRAL) jointly hosted the event. While the actual on-site race was organized in the Helsinki area, the week prior to the competition saw these world competitors spending several days together with the entire amateur radio population of Finland as well with many international guests. Some 2000 people gathered in the SRAL Summer camp (field day). This time 53 teams from 30 countries were competing, with almost real-time score presentation on monitors at the WRTC HQ and on the Internet, Finnish hi-tech at its best.
Unique Radio Propagation Setting in Finland
While the setting for the competition will be made as equal as possible for each of the teams, the experience of operating at 62 degrees North will be a new one for most of the participants. Here the radio propagation is extremely unpredictable – varying dramatically from one day to the next – coupled with the fact that Helsinki provides no darkness as is typically needed to facilitate communications on the lower frequencies. All this is added to the fact that Finland is often within the auroral zone, which effectively eliminates radio communication during periods of high activity. The participating teams will be doing significant research and strategy planning well before arriving at the site of the competition.
What to Expect in Finland
Finland is a modern western nation with a population of 5 million. Finland’s economy is booming, with annual GDP growth of 5.7% (2000), second only to Ireland within Europe. This country has made a major transition from traditional industries toward high technology, adding to the well-known design and human touch of Finnish products and services. Finland is a country of deep seasonality from the low of -40°C (-40°F) to the Indian summer of 30.9°C (87.6°F), as was the case in 2001. Here, July is the month when Finns leave their cities and head to their second homes, typically located on the shores of one of the country’s 180,000 crystal clear lakes. WRTC visitors are expected to experience something unique when they see the creations of Mother Nature in Finland.
Amateur Radio in Finland
SRAL membership stands at 5,000, representing the highest percentage of licensed operators belonging to their national society. In Finland, amateur radio is supported by the Ministry of Education. The competitive spirit of Finns has taken amateur radio competitors to heights that no other small nation can match. Finns have been equal partners and repeated world champions in international amateur radio on-the-air competitions. Adding to the rich history of amateur radio innovations in a variety of fields, such as commercial wireless communication, the Finnish amateur radio community has pushed many of the innovations to the extreme.
The world-renowned DX Summit presents live, on-the-air happenings and is connected to the nationwide teletext service on TV; thus the amateur radio world is within reach of every household and every hotel room throughout Finland, just at the push of a button.
But the greatest asset of amateur radio in Finland is the unity of its amateur radio population. After flexing their technology and operating muscles in amateur radio competition, the OH’s always return to their original fireplace, together planning their next endeavors. This spirit has given the OHs a big boost to organize the WRTC2002.
Financing of WRTC2002
Prior to committing themselves to the event, the organizers were able to secure 50 percent of their budget of USD 200k from local sources. Nokia Corporation stepped forth as a local title sponsor while Vaisala, Elektobit, SGS and Texas Instruments contributed further to the initial success.
The remaining USD 100k is expected to be raised from international sources during a 12-month period preceding the actual games. The organizers have urged the amateur radio community, amateur radio suppliers, as well as all associated forces – including employers and family members – to step up and meet the financial needs of WRTC2002, thus to safeguard the continuity of the games.
You can read more about WRTC2002 on the Internet at http://www.wrtc2002.org or contact regional representatives in the United States or WRTC2002 organizing committee members directly as all on the website.
You will be most welcome to be part of the WRTC spirit by supporting the WRTC2002 and experiencing its success during the on-the-air event, or better still, visiting Finland to enjoy its beauty and to feel the competition as it is happening in this northern setting.