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Field Day


3A Field Day #1 in Canada For SARC

Time To Feel Good

By now, many of you will know that VE7SAR, the Field Day station operated this year by SARC and SEPARS, placed #1 in the 3A category in Canada.  

The summer edition of the Communicator went into considerable detail about our Field Day efforts, but only last week did we discover that we had achieved the goal we had set for ourselves. 

Our score—just in case it has slipped your mind for the present—was 7262 with 1689 QSOs, which was enough not only to win our 3A category in Canada, but (according to analysis done by Jim VE7FO, from who’s hard work I will, herein, freely poach) was sufficient to place us in the top 5% of all categories in North America. No small achievement, this.
There were 22 Canadian stations participating in the 3A category.  As we expected, our competition was fierce from VE3HB, who earned #1 place last year with a score of 6442 and 1540 QSOs.  Both VE3HB and VE7SAR bested that performance this year, but fortunately for us we “bested” it better than they—by a smidgeon (1%).  

The top Canadian rankings were:

Note that VE3HB beat us in the number of QSOs, but we beat them in the score.  This shows how important bonus points are, and emphasizes what we were telling “the troops” earlier this year.  Losing just a few bonus points can cost a team the win.
No doubt you are wondering how we did overall in Canada.  After all, not everyone was operating 3A.  There were Canadian entries in categories from 1A to 12A, with 2Ds, 3As, 4Fs, and a lot of other categories sprinkled in between.

Looking at the top nine stations out of the 151 Canadian stations participating:

That’s us at #6.  Being #6 out of 151 isn’t at all bad—that’s in the top 4%.  And we’re located off in the northwest corner of the competition area, whereas all but one of the other stations are in VE3-land, just north of the middle of “the action”.

By now the real skeptics are thinking that considering only rankings in Canada is pretty lame considering that “the real competition is to our south”.  Considering all North American entries in Category 3A (all 310 of them), we look at the “top 20” (omitting all the detail between #1 and us):

There we are at #19. Again, coming #19 out of 310 is highly respectable, being in the top 6% of all 3A entries.

So how did we do considering all entries, in all categories?  Clearly, this is the toughest test.  There were a total of 2548 participating stations, many of them located in advantageous geographical locations. Again omitting all detail between #1 and us:

Now we’re down to #115, which perhaps doesn’t look so exciting until one considers that #115 out of 2548 entries still puts us in the top 5% of all entries in the entire event.
In Jim’s words: “An excellent result.  Congratulations all round.”

Indeed, congratulations to our entire joint team. This was truly a collective achievement.  Many people contributed, some over the long term, and some very much “in the moment”.  

We also had great support from our Corporate Sponsors and Supporters:

  • SuperSave Group (who donated the use of portable toilets);
  • Salvation Army (who provided the mobile kitchen);
  • Vancouver Axle & Frame (who undertook extensive modifications to the yellow tower/trailer);
  • Surrey Fire Services (who secured the site for us at no charge, and provided chairs and tables); and
  • ICOM Canada (who made available three top quality radios for our event).

We needed every sponsor, supporter and volunteer we had. And we will again in 2014. And the earlier we get the volunteers working, the better.  We especially need some “young blood” who will be able to take over once the current set of retirees really retire. 
Why is it so important we get committed volunteers months ahead of the 2014 event?  Well, considering that Jim did most of the analysis behind this article, it’s only fair to give him the last words:

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts prepares to fire SARC's air cannon
used for launching a tennis ball and line

“A 20% improvement in our score would have put us at #13 in North America [in 3A].  I believe that we could accomplish this in 2014.”

~ Brett VE7GM

Supplementary note from John VA7XB: 
Not mentioned above in his supreme modesty is our FD leader, Brett VE7GM, who more than anyone else, is responsible for our success.  Brett no doubt lost many hours of sleep while ensuring that every detail was attended to, smoothing over the many rough spots, figuring out ways around the obstacles, and assembling the winning team. 

This level of planning is unprecedented in all previous FD efforts in which I have been involved (since about 2000).  Although those identified above and many others played critical roles, it could not have been done without Brett’s keen interest, determination and management skills

The 2013 Field Day Crew

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