WRTC History

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.

Seattle, USA – 1990

Developed and hosted by a team of Seattle-area contesters, the first WRTC was conducted in 1990 at the same time as the Goodwill Games.  WRTC-1990 was independent of  the Games but brought contesters together from around the world in the style of Olympic athletic events. Also like the Olympics, WRTC-1990 had significant cultural aspects, emphasizing camaraderie and social events. The social aspects were carried  forward into later WRTCs and have become a significant element of the event.  The Seattle WRTC was the first time that contesters all competed from the same general location in a world-class event, rather than from their home stations.  Minimizing the geographic variation unavoidable in a world-wide competition, WRTC enabled operators to compete on the basis of team skills in a common setting.

Top 3 teams

San Francisco, USA – 1996

In 1996, the WRTC traveled to San Francisco, and in the shadow of the Golden Gate, the event provided a historical setting and a ticket of continuity. At the same time, the WRTC Steering Team was born in the U.S. to promote the concept, select future sites, and be of valuable help to future events. This time the WRTC was a pure Radio Amateur event and assumed more clearly defined aspects of the Olympics. The WRTC began to emerge as a worldwide radio contest and, in particular, a warm-hearted get-together of amateur radio competitors.

Top 3 teams

Bled, Slovenia – 2000

It was in 2000 that WRTC expanded internationally, as the newly born country of Slovenia – on the sunny side of the Alps – set the stage. WRTC 2000 was another historical event for the benefit of those present as well as those following the event on the radio waves from all corners of the globe. The entire country of Slovenia was actively involved, once again upholding the spirit of WRTC and its Olympic flame. A big and successful event by a small country, those that were there had an experience they never will forget.

Top 3 teams

Helsinki, Finland – 2002

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 as many international guests. Some 2000 people gathered at 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.

Top 3 teams

Florianopolis, Brazil – 2006

At the bottom of the sunspot cycle, the competition was held in Florianopolis in the Atlantic coastal area of southern Brazil. 47 WRTC and up to 15 Multi-National Multi-Single Teams (MN MS) with participants from 47 countries participated. In line with the qualification principles for the Olympic games, the competitors for the first time were selected on the basis of real performance within their Region (total of 14 Regions). To encourage the participation of ladies and young radio amateurs, special selection criteria were created for them. The MN MS Teams served as a booster for the radio hobby in Brazil, at the same time developing international friendships and contesting experience among the participants.

Due to the poor propagations (sunspot cycle) and distance from the radio amateur population centers, this WRTC is for the first time providing a linear amplifier and a beam for the 40-meter band, in addition to the standard set-up. Further, the rules were modified to give the second operator a more active role.

Another significant step toward globalization and international friendship is that all teams are no longer National but there are also Bi-National Teams.

Top 3 teams

Moscow, Russia – 2010

The World Radiosport Team Championship was the major HAM Radio contest event of the year 2010. WRTC-2010 took place near Russia’s capital Moscow, where 50 teams from all over the world competed in the same field conditions. The event was held by Soyuz Radioljubiteley Rossii (SRR) – the Russian national amateur radio society.

Top 3 teams

New England, USA – 2014

The World Radiosport Team Championship 2014 was held outside of Boston. WRTC2014 included 59 competing teams from 29 qualifying regions around the world. Competitors represented 38 different countries. The New England WRTC2014 Organizing Committee was an independent group formed to host WRTC2014, and not part of any existing organization, national society, or club.

Visit the WRTC2014 website.

Top 3 teams
Daniel Craig, N6MJ – Chris Hurlbut, KL9A
Rastislav Hrnko, OM3BH – Jozef Lang, OM3GI
Manfred Wolf DJ5MW – Stefan von Baltz DL1IAO

Wittenberg, Germany – 2018

The World Radiosport Team Championship 2018 was held in Wittenberg, Germany. WRTC 2018 included 63 competing teams from 27 qualifying regions around the world. Competitors represented 32 different countries. Call signs from the Y8 call sign block were issued to the teams to help generate massive pile-ups on the bands.

Top 3 teams
Gedas Lucinskas LY9A – Mindis Jukna LY4L
Manfred Wolf DJ5MW – Stefan von Baltz DL1IAO
Daniel Craig N6MJ – Chris Hurlbut KL9A

Bologna, Italy – 2022

The Covid 19 pandemic disrupted the plans of the WRTC2022 organizers, who made the decision to postpone the event one year to 2023.

The event was held in Bologna July 7-11, 2023 and included 58 competing teams. The stations were located in Agro Tourisma inns around the Bologna area. An innovation for this WRTC included the real-time collection of QSO data from all teams. This provided live leaderboards on the Hamaward platform for stations that were chasing the WRTC teams on the air.

The event also saw the first actions taken in response to cheerleading with several teams losing points.

Top 3 teams
Yaroslav Oleynik, UW7LL – Yuri Onipko, VE3DZ
Manfred Wolf DJ5MW – Stefan von Baltz DL1IAO
Vedran Carapovic 9A7DX – Zvonko Karnik 9A3LG