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Friday morning had an exciting and important event in the program. Although all locations are equivalent, the draw of locations and callsigns is considered to be the fairest method of allocating the sites. A glass bowl containing 63 plastic orbs containing the call signs of the teams and the assigned referee along with sealed envelopes with the Y8xx call sign inside laid on the table.

The first team was Manfred, DJ5MW and Stefan, DL1IAO, who will transmit from the location near Mühlberg, the furthest away from the HQ. Also Stephane, F4DXW and Sebastian, F8CMF could start early with the help of the volunteers.Two and a half hours later Fred, K9VV and John, VE3EJ received the nearest location, almost directly on the Elbe.

The sealed envelopes will be held by the referees and will only be opened at 11.45 UTC tomorrow, 15 minutes before the competition starts.

Wittenberg’s Mayor, Jochen Kirchner, has tonight formally opened WRTC 2018, the World Radio Team Championship 2018. It is the first time that WRTC takes place in Germany. With the endorsement of Martin Luther, Jochen Kirchner welcomed all participants and visitors and wished them good luck and many radio contacts.



One of the corner stones of WRTC are the special call signs that were revealed during a presentation on the 100 year history of amateur radio in Germany by Uli Müller, DK4VW. The call signs from the Y8 call sign block will be assigned to 63 teams and will sure help to generate massive pile ups on the bands.


The event was framed by a parade of participants from 40 nations and an entertaining  report by John Dorr, K1AR, the first team champion of a WRTC event in 1990 in Seattle. All participants, visitors and supporters alike are looking forward to an eventful and competitive event.


The WRTC is a serious event. On Thursday morning, participants and referees for the radio sports world championship had to get up early for a very important meeting at 8 am! During the briefing by the competition management all rule principles were again explained and all questions answered. Moderator Uwe, DL8OBF, was supported by the Judging Committee. Led by Ulf, DL5AXX, the Judging Committee contains experienced contest experts from four continents. Randy, K5ZD, has a lot of experience as organizer of WRTC 2014, Nodir, EY8MM was a member of the Judging committee in 2014 and Bernd, VK2IA, was referee in 2014 and multiple times a WRTC participant. Dietmar, DL3DXX, organizes the log check team and has developed special evaluation software.

Competitors and referees asked for a lot of detail. Especially as regards correct log keeping and rating of QSOs, such as what to do when the QSO partner sent the wrong zone. The guidelines given at the meeting are a building block for fair competition, which must indeed be reflected during contest operation and not only through subsequent regulatory discussions.

In another meeting there was a detailed briefing for the referees. Here, among other things, the function of the power checking meter was described and the configuration of the score collection computer explained.

The WRTC is not just an amateur radio competition, it is also a meeting of amateurs with many participants accompanied by partners or families. To provide a good welcome to the five-day event, Bill Vinci started the Ham Widows Ball at the WRTC in Boston in 2014 - an exclusive event for the sometimes neglected partners. In the historic Luther House, 78 wives, husbands and children met. Bill Vinci acted as host for this unique event. The Californian painter quickly melted the ice. Without any problems, he was able to overcome language and cultural barriers and make sure that everyone understood each other well. You did not have to understand perfect English to have fun on this evening. Friendships were developed or revived. A good start for the WRTC and for the very important “contest-life balance”.

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