PVRC Forfeits the 2006 Sweepstakes Gavel 

Dear PVRC Members and Friends: 

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce our Forfeit of the 2006 ARRL Sweepstakes competition and Gavel. 

This is a decision that I take very seriously, as so many of you poured your heart and soul into this great competitive event.  You can rest assured that your entire team of Officers, along with the PVRC board of Trustees, has carefully weighted this decision, discussed and deliberated for several days about it, and voted (X to Y) in favor of forfeiting our Sweepstakes victory.   We decided this was the best course of action consistent with our high ethical standards as one of the finest unlimited contesting clubs. 

PVRC completed the 2006 ARRL Sweepstakes Competition with the largest turnout of operators in our history.   Upon close examination of our participants, however, there was measurable activity that occurred from areas that were clearly beyond any 350 diameter ARRL competition boundary (175 mile radius) that encapsulates our membership.   The ARRL rules clearly stipulate that all activity must occur 175 miles from “a center”.  Given today’s precision for measuring distances, we subtracted out all “out of 350 mile diameter” scores and ended up losing the contest by a wide margin.  This measurement held even when we permitted a 5 mile margin of error in our calculations!  

It is important to point out that we were not officially challenged or requested to forfeit; we made this decision on our own after examining our participation carefully.  We do, however, feel confident that had there been a formal challenge, the ARRL would have reached the same conclusion we did – that we lost the contest, when all out-of-club competition circle activity was removed. 

This is NOT the fault or responsibility of any PVRC member!  It is my responsibility, as your President to make sure that we are in compliance with the contest sponsor’s rules for unlimited club competition.  You can rest assured that I will do everything within my power to move our club forward, and position ourselves so that we are able to confidently comply with the ARRL’s club competition rules. 

I hope that when you reflect on this decision, you agree that the delight of winning this competition would be best enjoyed when playing the game fairly. 

Please join me in extending congratulations to the team that earned the 2006 Sweepstakes gavel: our worthy competitors and good friends at the Northern California Contest Club.    


Jim Nitzberg    WX3B