Korea Post has issued a postage stamp in recognition of the 19th Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) World Championships, being held September 2 – 8 in Sokcho City, Gangwon Province, Korea. The Korean Amateur Radio League (KARL) will host the event. Representatives of at least 30 countries, including the US, are expected to participate. Events will include formal ARDF competitions on 2 meters and 80 meters, plus sprints and foxoring. Each country may have up to three persons per age/gender category on its team, in accordance with International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) ARDF rules. Nine men and three women have been preparing to represent the US in Korea.
“I issued invitations to 30 persons to compete for the US, based on their finishes in the 18th USA ARDF Championships in June and in the 17th USA ARDF Championships last August,” said ARRL/USA ARDF Coordinator Joe Moell, K0OV. “Because of health issues, economic considerations and activity conflicts, only 12 were able to accept.” Moell said Team USA members range in age from 29 to 76 and are paying their own way to attend the event.
ARDF World Championships take place every 2 years, as hams from around the world compete to determine who is best at on-foot hidden transmitter hunting. The US has been represented at every ARDF world championship since 1988.
In Korea, hidden transmitters will be scattered in a forest that might encompass 1,000 acres or more.
Sokcho is located along the coast near the northeast corner in the Gangwon-do province of South Korea. Participants and visitors will arrive in Sokcho on Sunday, September 2. The next day will include short practice courses and opening ceremonies. Foxoring events take place on Tuesday, followed by the first classic event on Wednesday. The sprint event will be on Thursday morning, followed by a cultural excursion in the afternoon. The second classic event will be Friday, followed by the farewell party.
This marks the second time that ARDF Team USA has competed in Korea. In 2008, Korea hosted the World Championships near Hwaseong. That year, in the 2-meter competition, George Neal, KF6YKN, became the second Team USA member to stand on the winners’ podium by capturing bronze in the M50 age category. The US has earned at least one medal in every World Championship since 2006. The greatest number of medals the US team brought home from a foreign competition was 2012 in Serbia, when team members won five medals in the World Championships and eight more in the associated World Cup competitions for individuals.
A weekend training camp for Team USA members and other ARDF enthusiasts took place August 10 – 12 at Mount Pinos in the Los Padres National Forest of California. Visit Moell’s “Homing In” website for more information about Amateur Radio direction finding.
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