United States ARDF Championships Results

The results are in for the 21st American Amateur Direction Finding (ARDF) Championships. The 4 days of competitions took place from April 7 to 10 at Prince William Forest Park (PWFP) in northern Virginia. The results of the competition will help determine the composition of ARDF Team USA at the 20th ARDF World Championships, scheduled for September 2022 in Serbia.

Thirty participants competed in categories for men and women aged 15 to 70+. All competitive events took place within PWFP, on maps provided by the Quantico Orienteering Club (QOC) of Quantico, Virginia. In an innovative approach, the Backwoods Orienteering Klub (BOK) of Raleigh, North Carolina organized and sponsored the event across state lines, applying the Raleigh Group’s ARDF knowledge and experience to a magnificent new place.

After a day of training, the races began on April 7, with the fast sprint event in which two sets of five transmitters operating on two different frequencies from 80 meters sequentially transmit in 12-second bursts every minute. “The course was hillier than usual for this event. Nonetheless, none of the finishers exceeded the 60-minute time limit,” noted event director Joseph Huberman, K5JGH.

Other events included:

Fox — This event followed the next day. Foxoring is a timed race in which individual competitors use a topographical map and magnetic compass to navigate through various wooded terrain while searching for radio transmitters (foxes).

2 meters classic — This involves locating up to five transmitters on routes up to 12 kilometers long. The duration of the courses and the number of foxes are adjusted for different age and gender categories, so men, women, young people and the elderly can take courses designed to suit their abilities.

80 meters classic — This is conducted much like conventional 2 meter, but without the reflections and multipath propagation that are often seen at VHF frequencies.

U.S. competitors in the six International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) categories for men ages 19-70 and women ages 19-65 are under consideration to become members of the U.S. team for the 2022 ARDF Championships. Up to three competitors in each age and gender category and competition format may be part of a national team.

For more information on Amateur Direction Finding, visit the ARRL ARDF website.

Dino J. Dotson