Survey results – RD contest scheduling

As a part of our ongoing commitment to listen to the concerns of Radio Amateurs in Australia, RASA has a program of surveys that will be conducted during 2019.

We recently surveyed Australian Radio Amateurs regarding the clash in two very popular events – the Remembrance Day Contest and the International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend – when the floating date of the RD Contest falls on the third weekend in August.

The Remembrance Day Contest is THE Australian Contest. This contest commemorates the Amateurs who died on active service and is designed to encourage friendly participation and help improve the operating skills of participants. It is held on the weekend closest to the 15th August, the date on which hostilities ceased in the South West Pacific area.

The International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW) (, has been held on the 3rd full weekend in August since 1998. The ILLW, which is not a contest, has become an iconic global event with over 500 lights being activated across 40 countries each year. The event is relaxed and attracts all sorts of entrants. Over 10% (ca 60) of activations come from Australia, with only Germany and the USA having a higher number of entrants. It is a very
popular event in Australia now with many individuals and clubs taking up the challenge.

The weekend closest to the 15th August sometimes falls on the second weekend, and sometimes on the third weekend of August. This “floating date” creates planning challenges and conflicts between the RD and the ILLW. Note that this year (2019) the RD Contest will fall on the same weekend as ILLW.

These are very different events, and many operators would like to operate in both; but not at the same time. Many contesters like to have all the facilities of their home shack available for a (semi) serious contest effort, whereas the ILLW is, by its very nature, a portable activation of a more social nature.

Locking the RD contest into a specific weekend removes the potential for a scheduling conflict and encouraging more participation This proposed scheduling change still acknowledges the important historical significance of this preeminent Australian contest, whilst providing more certainty for those who like to operate in both events.

Please consider this issue and answer the following question. Would you support having the Remembrance Day Contest scheduled to fall on the second full weekend of August each year, thereby avoiding any potential scheduling conflict with the ILLW?

There were 377 responses to the survey, which represents a confidence level of 95% – the survey method is explained in detail here.

The vast majority (86%) of respondents want to see the RD Contest locked in to the second weekend of August, thereby creating certainty, and removing the overlap from the ILLW.

We passed the results to the WIA contest manager, Alan Shannon.

He has responded that the survey has no value and has refused to fix the date.

This is very disappointing.