Kuwait: 2014

Thanks to an invitation by Hamad, 9K2HN the Voodoo Contest Group operated in CQ World Wide CW from Kuwait this year. As you can see below, we tried to get into the spirit of the occasion!

Operators were Hamad, 9K2HN; Ned, AA7A; Don, G3XTT; Ray, G4FON; John, G4IRN; Mike, KC7V; Dave, N4QS; Bud, N7CW and Bob, W6RGG.

The team flew in from San Francisco, Phoenix and London, arriving in Kuwait at various stages prior to the contest. Hamad lives in Kuwait City, however his family has a 50 acre farm about an hour north of the city, near the Iraqi border. The journey from the airport to Hamad’s contest location took us down the infamous Highway 80 – the ‘Highway of Death’ that appeared in the news in the early 1990’s: see link: Highway of Death. Fortunately there is little danger there these days.

The out-of-town 9K2HN station is a well established contest station, however it is rarely set up for Multi/Multi. It is difficult to import equipment into Kuwait without paying import duty, so the group was very grateful to Hamad (and his friends!) for mustering sufficient equipment to set up six stations, complete with radios, Microham units, amplifiers and PCs with Win-Test for logging. Normally we would have a seventh multiplier station but this year we decided to have each of the ‘run’ stations hunting their own multipliers.

Hamad’s artillery of antennas includes a full sized 4 element 40m beam at 90ft, stacks on 10,15 and 20 and a 80m 4-square. The first arrivals from the States added a 2 element 160m phased broadside array towards EU/USA, phased 700 foot, 3/4 wavelength apart Beverages to EU/USA, a 700 foot Beverage to JA and a 500 foot Beverage towards VK/ZL. They spent considerable time prior to the contest working 80m/160m to give many a new one on those bands, particularly in the US where the west coast is a difficult path.

Prior to the contest, Hamad and his friends hosted a banquet meal in the family’s house on the farm. The Voodoo team took the opportunity to present Hamad with a Morse key from the collection of the late Vince Thompson K5VT – a ‘thank you’ gift from the team for his hospitality.

The shack was well appointed with a mix of amplifiers (mainly Expert 2K-FA) which worked effortlessly along with both FT2000’s and a couple of FT5000’s.

Hamad’s friend, Ahmed 9K2QA spent all week with us and helped tremendously in keeping us fed, entertained, and comfortable. These are two wonderful people. We had the chance to meet many other local 9K hams and hopefully generated more interest in CW. The following are some more shots of the team relaxing around the farm during the week.

The main event, of course, was the 48 hour contest. The equipment worked well and the final submitted/claimed score is as follows:

160 906 17 64 35 2605 2.88
80 2247 30 103 60 6332 2.82
40 2966 39 128 82 8067 2.72
20 3770 39 153 139 10777 2.86
15 2697 39 145 70 7405 2.75
10 2741 39 145 57 7368 2.69
TOTAL 15327 203 738 443 42554 2.78
TOTAL SCORE : 40 043 314

We were aiming for the prevailing Asian Multi/Multi record held by A61AJ since 1999 (38,789,751 points) and only an incredibly accurate log would beat the record.

Fortunately we did have an incredibly accurate log!

38917878 Final   score

    2.8% Score reduction
    1.0% Error Rate based on claimed and final qso counts

This compares with the contest median average as follows:

Median score reduction for all logs: 8.27%
Median Error Rate for all logs: 2.56%
(Median = 50% of logs are lower and 50% are higher.)

Following the contest the team headed for Kuwait City. Dave N4QS departed for Lebanon (going home on the ‘long path’) whilst the remainder of us we spent Monday evening with Hamad and Ahmed, eating even more food, before flying back to London on the Tuesday morning. Five of the group transited in London for the US.

Now that we’re all home and some of are back to work, those experiences and happy memories of Kuwait seem in the distant past. We’ve met some very friendly and welcoming people on our travels over the years, but few have been so welcoming as the Kuwaitis. Thanks Hamad, Ahmed and friends for making this a classic year!

The following certificate was received for our record breaking efforts:

9K2HN 2014 Certificiate

9K2HN 2014 Certificiate

John Warburton G4IRN

December 2014.

Updated May 2015.