Team USA Competes in the 2014 ARDF World Championships
Burabay, Kazakhstan, September 6 - 13, 2014

M40 winners
Silver medalist Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI (left) shakes hands with gold medalist Mikhail Kirgetov of Russia on the medal podium at the World ARDF Championships awards ceremony.  (Photo by Ken Harker WM5R)

Team USA formed and performed in the 17th World Championships, which took place in Burabay, Kazakhstan from September 6 - 13.  There were separate events on separate days for each competitor on eighty meters and two meters.  Also taking place during championships week were the World Sprint and Foxoring Championships.

Shortly after the 2014 USA ARDF Championships in Boston concluded, I sent invitations to USA's best in the Thirteenth USA ARDF Championships (North Carolina, October 2013) and the Fourteenth USA ARDF Championships (Massachusetts, June 2014), offering positions on ARDF Team USA for the World Championships.  Each nation is permitted to have up to three competitors in each age/gender category on its team.  I hoped that our team would be as large as in 2012, when nine men and four women went to Kopaonik, Serbia to compete against 32 other countries.  That team brought back thirteen medals.

It appeared at first that this year's team would be about the same size, but about half dropped out before September for various reasons.  For instance, a foot injury sidelined Bob Cooley, KF6VSE of Pleasanton, California.  He had won four medals in Serbia two years ago, including three golds.  The final roster included four men and three women, ranging in age from 29 to 72.

                 TEAM USA 2014
     Name                Category  Home town
     Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI   M40  Boston, MA
     Ruth Bromer WB4QZG     W60  Raleigh, NC
     Jennifer Harker W5JEN  W35  Austin, TX
     Ken Harker WM5R        M40  Austin, TX 
     Joseph Huberman K5JGH  M60  Raleigh, NC 
     Lori Huberman          W21  Berkeley, CA
     Leszek Lechowicz NI1L  M40  Bridgewater, MA

Team members were responsible for their own registration/room/board fees (250 to 490 Euros, depending on events) and for transportation expenses to and from Kazakhstan.  In addition, veteran radio-orienteer Marvin Johnston KE6HTS of Santa Barbara, California served as a member of the international jury overseeing the competition.

The Kazakhstan Federation of Radiosports and Radioamateur (KFRR) was host for the 2014 ARDF World Championships.  Attendance was down overall, with only about 270 competitors from 25 nations arriving in National Park Burabay on September 6 for six days of competitions and cultural events.  The ARDF World Cup events for individuals, in which USA won eight of its thirteen medals in 2012, did not take place this time.

With our smaller numbers, USA's outlook was uncertain, but the first day of classic competition brought us a medal.  On that day, there was one large course with five two-meter transmitters for those in younger age/gender categories to find and five 80-meter transmitters for the older ones.  Vadim Afonkin won silver in the two meter competition's category for men ages 40 through 49.  His 51:58 elapsed time was second only to that of Mikhail Kirgetov of Russia.

WC medal 2014
2014 World Championship medal.  (Photo by Ken Harker WM5R)

There were no more medals for USA for the remainder of the championships, but three days later, Vadim finished fourth in the sprint competition.  His elapsed time was just four seconds greater than the bronze medalist from Lithuania and it was just one and a half minutes greater than the gold medalist from Hungary.

For more about the 2014 ARDF World Championships, visit the World Championships Web site of the Kazakhstan Federation of Radiosport and Radioamateur (KFRR).  Complete results of all competitions are here in the German ARDF site. 

Portions of this report have been excerpted from my Homing In column in the December 2014 issue of CQ-Plus Digital Magazine.

Joe Moell KØOV
USA ARDF Coordinator

Text and photos copyright © 2014 Joseph D. Moell.  All rights reserved.

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This page updated 22 April 2015