The Olympics of Amateur Radio

The Olympics of Amateur Radio – WRTC 2022
– Don K6GHA 6/12/2023

The World Radio Team Championship (WRTC) 2022 (postponed to 2023, due to COVID) will be held for 24 hours on the second full weekend in July from Bologna, Italy. This event is a ‘once every four year’ radio contest and has been called the Olympics of Amateur Radio. The world’s best operators qualify regionally based on contest scores, and it has worldwide participation. 

WRTC tests operator’s contesting abilities in CW and SSB operation by defining a common playing field (antennas and power) and scoring contacts to determine world champions in two-man team over 24-hour of nonstop competition.

Bottom line, it is the best test of one’s radio operation acumen, and in one weekend crowns the best operating team in the world for the next four years!

There is a lot of background on the WRTC including WRTC History, the contestant selection process, the completion rules and regulations, and the judging (yes, each team has an a “on-site referee”. Judges are also on duty, but they are behind the scenes). I’ll include some links for those who want to dive deeper into the dits-and-dahs of the WRTC. 

However, you may ask at this point why I’m writing about this event? It is a bucket list item for me to travel to a WRTC location. And it all started from just trying to make a contact with just one of the WRTC 2014 teams on SSB with 100w. A half dozen QSL Cards confirming my success came from WRTC teams in 2014. I did it, I was hooked! From Santa Cruz this year may be a bit more challenging, but it will be a great contact if you can make it, and if you do you should receive a COOL QSL Card.

Santa Cruz and Central California is a hotbed of exceptional world class contest operators. In fact, this will be the third time Bob K6XX will be a participant and reaching for the gold. He will accompany the team captain Alan KH6TU/AD6E, who is representing Oceania in this year’s competition. OC2 is mainly Hawaii, plus some minor islands in the region. 

As for me, I’ll be part of the support crew. I like to think of my role like being a pit crew in auto racing. Well, maybe more like the ‘auto hauler’ getting the car to the track. There is a lot of equipment which has to be hand carried from Santa Cruz to Bologna, and I’ll be part of the transport and set up team. 

You may ask why you would go to half way around the world to attend this event. I’ll be meeting some of the world’s best operators, and I’ll be in close proximity of the 60+ teams that make up the WRTC. While operating as I4/K6GHA from my hotel room, I’ll be running a QRP (5 watt) rig to do my best to ‘work’ all of the WRTC Teams, and collect those QSL Cards during the competition! By adding the “I4/” in frontof my call I’ll taking advantage of the “reciprocal license agreement” with Italy (To find out more look at the link provided). 

There is a lot more to come from this adventure. At some future date I look forward to sharing a slide presentation on “what it is like from the sidelines at WRTC 2022”.  

The contest Exchange information and Rules for the contest are under the IARU (International Amateur Radio Union) HF World Championship contest. Yes, the contest does really has that highfalutin’ name! The WRTC is a superset of this contest and runs concurrently.  

My recommendation is to try to jump into the action, you never know with who around the world you will make a contact. But if you listen for only WRTC Special Call signs the QSL card from the participants is cool!  Sunspots should help us here in six land for 10, 15, 20, or 40 Meters. If you dodecide to try, the sent exchange is really simple: signal report (Phone 59, or CW 5NN) and ITU zone 06. When a WRTC or IARU Op acknowledges your call sign, they will call you and give their signal report and ITU Zone Number, your response is simply “five nine six”. You need nothing more. So:
1) Be ready to break the pile-up with your call
2) listen well 
3) be brief! 
4) and, send in your log!

The team hopes to work you from Bologna, Italy. 
Grazie Mille, Ciao! 

73, de K6GHA- (I4/K6GHA in Bologna Italy). 

References and links:

IARU Rules and Information:

WRTC Italy 2022 Home –

WRTC History –

WRTC Qualification Rules –

Amateur Radio Reciprocal Agreement –