I waltzed into the North American CW Sprint this past weekend. Thought I could run QRP and that I could somehow cope with all the rapid fire somewhat lengthy exchanges along with bouncing between frequencies for every QSO. I’m here to report that I was seriously delusional.

I managed to work 5 QSO’s before I abandoned the effort. Not a single station answered my CQ’s and I would eventually get squashed by other stations. I guess I should have resolved to do a pseudo search and pounce effort, but I couldn’t get my head around that type of approach to this contest. It was very clear that my CW skills are not up to snuff in this type of effort.

I will continue to work my usual list of contests. Plus, I really need to devote some serious effort to CW practice and do some of the W1AW Qualifying Runs to verify that I’ve got my speed up to a sufficient level to really work a sprint.

On another note, I have been able to work NH8S on three bands so far — 10, 12, and 17 meters. They mark the 200th country that I’ve been able to work. I currently have 193 confirmed. So just a few more and I can update DXCC and the CQ DX Award. I’m also trying to work toward the 80/40 meter CQ DX Award endorsement that requires 100 countries between the two bands. I’ve worked that many but need the paper QSLs to come in to qualify.

If you worked the NA CW Sprint, my hat is off to you. One day, I hope to emulate your feat. For now, I’ll submit my checklog and resolve to develop my CW skills. 73 dit dit


  1. Jim

    As always I really enjoy reading your blog!

    If you get a chance, there is a 30 minute sprint practice session called the NS Sprint or NS Ladder depending on the time of the year. There are some sessions that are QRP only however most are 100 watts or less.

    73 OM!

    Eric NM5M

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