Ken Harker WM5R
2009 IARU Region II ARDF Championships


Jen and I competed in the Fifth IARU Region II ARDF Championships held June 5-7, 2009, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. This was the seventh USA or IARU Region II championship that we have attended. The competition was held in the Blue Hills Reservation, a 7,000 acre state park about 7 miles due south of downtown Boston. This was the first year that the ARDF championships have been held in the U.S. northeast. A lot of DX competitors showed up this year, because the logistics of flying to/from Boston were much easier than the other cities where we have held the championships in the past. Jen came home with a gold medal in W35 two meter championship and the silver medal in W35 eighty meter championship.

These photos are copyright © 2009 Kenneth E. Harker. All rights reserved.


The practice event was held in the Breakheart Reservation, a state park about 6 or 7 miles due north of downtown Boston, in the town of Saugus. We had this picnic pavillion as a gathering area.
Barry Fox W1HFN on the left and Nikolay Ivanchihin UR8UA on the right. Barry likes to set out fox hunts in the central Massachusetts area, and was very interested in the on-foot format of the championships, but he attended only as a spectator.
The park was quite hilly with dense woods. Practice transmitters were placed out in the woods so that competitors could get used to the terrain and evaluate the performance of their equipment without giving them specific advanced knowledge of the exact terrain being used for the competition.
A two meter receiver that belonged to Nikolay Ivanchihin UR8UA. As with a lot of ARDF gear, it was made by hand. Nikolay's receiver has seen a lot of use.
PA Nordwaeger SM0BGU came to the championships from Stockholm, Sweden. I first met PA at the 2008 World ARDF Championships in Korea, where he and I were both international jurors.
Harald Dettling DC1GB and Susanne Walz DG4SFF both came to the championships from southern Germany. They are both holding two meter receivers designed and built by Nick Roethe DF1FO, who also came to Boston for the championships.
Leszek Lechowicz NI1L was one of the locals who decided to give ARDF a try.
On the left is one of the two meter transmitters we would use in the competition the following day, and on the right is a German PRX-80 receiver used for 80 meter competition.
At the general meeting for competitors, Jen Harker W5JEN from Austin, Texas and Winnie Hennigan KA6OFZ from Santa Barbara, California catch up. Winnie and her husband Jay Hennigan WB6RDV have attended all the same ARDF championships that we have.
Dale Hunt WB6BYU from Oregon (right) describes the design of his homebrew 80 meter receiver to Masahiko Mimura JH4JQH (left), who came to the championships from Tokyo, Japan. Dale is the IARU Region II ARDF Coordinator..
Several receivers for 80 meters. The one being pointed to is a Chinese PJ-80 receiver.
A homebrew 80 meter receiver designed and built by Nick Roethe DF1FO.
Addison Bosley, age 13, signs in at the registration. At left is Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI, the organizer and chairman of the championships. Sitting is Marvin Johnston KE6HTS, who has operated the SportIdent scoring system used in all of the most recent USA and IARU Region II Championships. Also in the photo are Winnie Hennigan KA6OFZ and Dick Frey WB4SUV, Addison's grandfather.
A homebrew two meter receiver designed and built by Nick Roethe DF1FO, next to its schematic diagram. This was probably one of the most sophisticated receiver designs at the competition.
Ardy Fox, the official team mascot of Team USA, together with Hamlet and a new friend. Ardy has a medal from each of the USA ARDF championships.
Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI goes over some of the details of the competition, and answers questions from the competitors. Vadim is one of the top ARDF athletes in the United States. He trained for ARDF competitions as a teenager in Moscow before emmigrating to the United States. His best international result to date was a fifth place finish in M40 on the 80 meter course at the 2008 World ARDF Championships in Korea.
In the parking lot of the Blue Hills Reservation on the morning of the two meter competition, David Willams M3WDD from London, England and Matt Robbin AA9YH from Cincinnati, Ohio. David is one of the three authors of Radio Orienteering: The ARDF Handbook, the only English-language book published so far that focuses exclusively on ARDF.
Bill Noyce AB1AV came to the championship from Hollis, New Hampshire. Bill is also a Dartmouth College '75.
Bob Frey WA6EZV was examining one of the vertical antennas that would be used the following day for the eighty meter competition. This was Bob's first major ARDF competition since his successful cancer therapy.
Dick Arnett WB4SUV gives another review lesson to Addison Bosley on how to use the 80 meter receiver.
Guy Olsen, an experienced orienteer and member of Hudson Valley Orienteering, came to Boston to try ARDF for the first time.
On the left is Joe Moell K0OV, the ARRL Coordinator for ARDF in the United States. Joe always takes a lot of excellent photos and promotes the sport in amateur radio magazines and his web site, Homing In. Behind him are Matthias Kuehlewein DL3SDO and Nikolay Ivanchihin UR8UA.
The parking lot was a short walk from Houghton's Pond, which had a nice beach with a designated swimming area and a small visitor center with restrooms.
At 8:30 AM on Saturday, there were few people at the beach at Houghton's Pond, but on Sunday afternoon it was packed with people enjoying a warm summer weekend day.
Another smaller pond close to the parking area where we waited for the signal to start marching to a start location. There were some people fishing in this pond, but nobody swimming in it.
On Sunday afternoon, after all the runners had come in, Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI opened the awards ceremony. Behind him, strung between two trees, are small pieces of paper that record the times for each of the competitors. As soon as a competitor's time is computed, the paper is stapled onto the string in the relative order of finish with the other competitors in the same category. This is a traditional, low-tech way of posting a running "scoreboard" during orienteering meets in North America.
Jen Harker W5JEN won gold in the W35 category for the two meter competition. Although I came in third place amongst the Region II competitors, I did not come in among the top three spots overall, which were all taken by visiting competitors from Europe.
Jen Harker W5JEN won silver in the W35 category for the eighty meter competition. I did not do as well on eighty meters, finishing in fifth place among Region II competitors.
Most of the medal winners in this year's competition (some had to leave early to catch airplanes). From left-to-right, back row: Matthew Robbins AA9YH (Ohio), Bob Cooley KF6VSE (California), Leszek Lechowicz NI1L (Massachusetts), Igor Kekin (Russia), Dick Arnett WB4SUV (Kentucky), Dale Hunt WB6BYU (Oregon), David Williams M3WDD (England), PA Nordwaeger SM0BGU (Sweden), Nick Roethe DF1FO (Germany), Jen Harker W5JEN (Texas), Brigitte Roethe (Germany), Matthias Kuehlewein DL3SDO (Germany), and Jerry Boyd WB8WFK (New Mexico). Front row: Ruth Bromer (North Carolina), Lori Huberman (Massachusetts), Addison Bosley (Kentucky), Harald Dettling DC1GB (Germany), Susanne Walz DG4SFF (Germany), Bob Frey WA6EZV (Ohio), and Nikolay Ivanchihin UR8UA (Ukraine).

Last Updated 14 April 2016
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