Championship Radio Foxhunting News

From USA and Around the World

Ferns in Boston
These thick ferns are just an example of the many terrain types that you will encounter when you do ARDF in the Boston area.  Will you be in this picture in June?

The Fourteenth USA ARDF Championships
Boston, Massachusetts, June 5 - 8, 2014

Vadim Afonkin KB1RLIBoston ARDF championships logo USA's national ARDF championships will return to the northeast this year.  Radio-orienteers of all skill levels will gather in Boston for four days of intense competition.  The events will be open to any fan of on-foot hidden transmitter hunting, with or without a ham license.  Visiting competitors from outside USA are welcome.

Classic five-transmitter competitions will take place on the weekend, two meters on Saturday and 80 meters on Sunday.  Prior to that will be optional competitions in sprints and foxoring on Thursday and Friday.

Organizing and hosting these championships will be Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI (pictured at right), one of USA's most accomplished radio-orienteers.  As a youth, he learned ARDF and won awards for it in his native Russia.  After coming to America, he first participated in USA's national championships in 2003, where he won silver and bronze medals in the five-fox M21 category.  He has competed in almost every USA championships since then and has won numerous gold medals.  As a member of ARDF Team USA, he has been to every World Championships since 2004.  In 2012, he won a gold medal for USA in the classic 80-meter competition, M40 category plus three other medals.  Vadim will be assisted by members of Cambridge Sports Union (CSU).

Winners of the 2014 USA championships will be under consideration for membership in ARDF Team USA, which will travel to the mountains of Kazakhstan for the 17th ARDF World Championships in September.  A maximum of three competitors in each age-gender category may be on a nation's team.

Registration is now open, with a deadline of May 1.  Go to the Boston ARDF Web site to register online and get more information.  For the latest updates, subscribe to a special group mailing list for participants and others interested in these championships by sending a blank e-mail to

Joe Moell KØOV
USA ARDF Coordinator

Trinity Church in Boston
There's lots to see and visit in the Boston area, including the Richardsonian Romanesque architecture of Trinity Church, which overlooks Copley Square.  It was completed in 1877.

Team USA Forming for 2014 ARDF World Championships
Burabay, Kazakhstan, September 6 - 13, 2014

Every two years, hams from around the world gather to see who is best at on-foot hidden transmitter hunting.  USA has been represented at every one of these ARDF World Championships since 1988, and 2014 will be no exception.  Team USA is now forming for the 17th World Championships, which will take place in Burabay, Kazakhstan from September 6 - 13.  There will be separate events on separate days for each competitor on eighty meters and two meters, each with up to five transmitters scattered in a forest that might encompass 1000 acres or more.  Also taking place during championships week will be the World Sprint and Foxoring Championships.

If being a part of the World ARDF Championships appeals to you, start making plans now.  Each country may send up to three competitors in each of eleven age categories, six for males and five for females, in accordance with rules of the International Amateur Radio Union.  Team members are responsible for their own registration/room/board fees (250 to 490 Euros, depending on events) and for transportation expenses to and from Kazakhstan.

In accordance with standard IARU procedures, I will submit USA's Letter of Intent to Participate to the organizers at the end of March, including the expected number of competitors and non-competing visitors.  The final team roster will be submitted this summer.  Team USA selection in competed categories (where more than three wish to attend) will be based on performances and standings in the Thirteenth USA ARDF Championships (North Carolina, October 2013, see news item below) and the Fourteenth USA ARDF Championships (Massachusetts, June 2014, see news item above).  The categories for males under 20 and for all females may have uncontested openings, so it may be possible for inexperienced radio-orienteers in these ranges to join the team.  It is also possible to attend as a non-competing visitor, but all visitors must be listed as such on the national team roster and their fees must be submitted along with those of the team members.

If you are interested in traveling to the 2014 ARDF World Championships as a member of Team USA or a USA visitor, please let me know by e-mail to  Do not contact the championships organizers directly.  If you have not been on Team USA before, include your full name, call sign, mailing address, home phone number, and date of birth.

If you wish to participate as a citizen or resident of another North or South American country, contact Dale Hunt WB6BYU by e-mail to  Canadians should also contact Joe Young VE7BFK by e-mail to

For more about the 2014 ARDF World Championships, visit the World Championships Web site of the Kazakhstan Federation of Radiosport and Radioamateur (KFRR).

Joe Moell KØOV
USA ARDF Coordinator

Group photo
Competitors on Sunday morning before the 80-meter event.

The Thirteenth USA National ARDF Championships
And Seventh IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships
Asheboro, North Carolina, October 9 - 13, 2013

BOK logoThe thirteenth annual USA ARDF Championships took place on the second week and weekend of October 2013 in the North Carolina Piedmont.  Radio-orienteers from all over the country plus visitors from abroad were in attendance.  These USA Championships were combined with the biennial championships of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 2 (North and South America).  The competitive courses were open to anyone of any age, with or without an Amateur Radio license.  Medals were awarded in six age categories for males and five for females, in accordance with rules of the International Amateur Radio Union. 

Ruth Bromer and Joseph Huberman "Piedmont" is a French word meaning "foot of the mountain." This region, in the foothills of the Appalachians, features rolling hills and beautiful forests.  The 5025 acres of the Birkhead Wilderness Area are ideal for orienteering of all kinds.  This wilderness is in the Uwharrie National Forest, about twelve miles from Asheboro.  Backwoods Orienteering Klub, which claims to make the best O-maps in the world, supplied updated course maps for all of the championship events.

Many of the participants arrived on Tuesday, October 8 to pick up their packets at the event hotel and check their RDF equipment.  The events began on Wednesday with optional practice courses on two meters and 80 meters.  Thursday morning activities were model events of sprints and foxoring, followed in the afternoon by the championship foxoring event.  Friday morning was the sprint championship event with awards presented thereafter.

Charles and Nadia Scharlau Competitors who could not be present for all five days arrived Friday for the classic championships.  There were model events on two meters and 80 meters Friday afternoon, followed in the evening by a briefing for everyone about procedures and safety.  Saturday morning was the full-course two-meter main event, followed in the evening by the official banquet and awards presentation.  The full-course 80-meter main event was Sunday morning with awards presented afterwards in time for those who had to hurry home.

Organizing these championships were Joseph Huberman K5JGH, the Event Director, and Ruth Bromer WB4QZG, the Registrar (pictured at right above).  Setting the courses were Nadia Scharlau and Charles Scharlau NZØI (pictured at left).  All four have been consistent medal winners at previous USA Championships and have competed in the ARDF World Championships.

Winners of the 2013 USA championships will be under consideration for membership in ARDF Team USA, which will travel to the mountains of Kazakhstan for the 17th ARDF World Championships in September 2014.  A maximum of three competitors in each age-gender category may be on a nation's team.

More than 90 photos of the championships are now in this Homing In Web site. Individual results and additional event information are in the official 2013 USA/R2 ARDF Championships Web site (  Also you can read much more about these championships and the people who organized them in my Homing In column for the Summer 2013 edition of CQ-VHF Magazine. 

Joe Moell KØOV
USA ARDF Coordinator

Championships logo

Upcoming Championship ARDF Events Worldwide

10th British ARDF Championships, May 9 - 11, 2014 the West Midlands, close to Birmingham.

14th USA ARDF Championships, June 5 - 8, 2014 near Boston, Massachusetts.

17th IARU ARDF World Championships, September 6 - 13, 2014 in Burabay, Kazakhstan.

Team USA Competes in the 2012 ARDF World Championships
Kopaonik, Serbia, September 10 - 16, 2012

This report has been expanded and moved here.

The Twelfth USA National ARDF Championships
Mt. Laguna, California, June 1 - 3, 2012

This report has been expanded and moved here.

ARDF is a Growing Sport in Canada

ARDF Team Canada logoTeam Canada membersThe first formal international-rules ARDF event in North America took place during the Second Friendship Radiosports Games in Portland back in 1991. Two years later, hams in Victoria, Canada hosted the Third Friendship Games, including that country's first radio-orienteering event. Those hams formed the nucleus of a group that continues to grow and promote ARDF throughout all of Canada. Joe Young VE7BFK, a participant in those 1993 games, is now the ARDF Coordinator for Radio Amateurs of Canada, the country's national Amateur Radio organization.

In 2010, Canada sent a team to the ARDF World Championships for the first time. Team Canada participated in the Sixth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico during 2011.

The ARDF in Canada Web site ( coordinates and announces ARDF events all over the country and provides all Canadian hams with information about the sport and about ARDF Team Canada. There is also another a Web site with a blog and announcements of ARDF events in British Columbia.

In the photo at right above: Three ARDF Team Canada members examine a miniature transmitter at the ARDF World Championships in Croatia during 2010. They are Les Tocko VA7OM, Joe Young VE7BFK and John MacConnachie VE7GED. (Photo by Ken Harker WM5R)

ARRL ARDF Development Fund Seeks Donations

ARRL logoThe ARRL Fund for the Development of Amateur Radio Direction Finding is now accepting monetary donations to support deserving groups and individuals as they expand international-rules ARDF activities in the USA.

This fund was first established in year 2000 with "seed money" from the Colvin Award, the ARRL Foundation and the ARRL General Fund. In its first five years, payments from the fund were made on behalf of 18 individuals to help defray the cost of their participation in three ARDF World Championships. Grants from the fund have also been made to the organizers of two USA ARDF Championships.

No further contributions are anticipated from the original sources, so the fund has been opened to contributions from individuals and clubs. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged by ARRL, a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions may not be designated by donors to be granted to any specific recipient, individual or group.

Grants from the fund may be requested by groups sponsoring ARDF events in the USA and by individuals who have qualified to represent the USA in ARDF competitions sanctioned by the ARRL or the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU). Requests for grants should be submitted electronically at least 60 days in advance of need to Mary Hobart K1MMH at ARRL Headquarters ( They will be reviewed by a committee that includes ARRL's Chief Executive Officer, Chief Development Officer and ARDF Coordinator.

You can help support ARDF in the USA by sending a donation to ARDF Development Fund, c/o ARRL, 225 East Main Street, Newington, CT 06111. Checks should be made out to ARRL with "ARDF Development Fund" on the memo line.

The not-for-profit American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association of Amateur Radio operators, founded in 1914. ARRL is a member society of the IARU.

Joe Moell KØOV
ARRL ARDF Coordinator

ARDF Training and Practice

Local ARDF sessions for training and practice are sometimes held in the areas listed below. If you are close to any of them, get involved! If you're not, the task of developing ARDF locally is yours. With the help of other hams in your town, it can be relatively easy and fun. This may be just the activity to shake the doldrums out of your club. Start planning now!

Results and Photos of Some Recent Stateside ARDF Events

Current -- Year 2012 and 2013 events in southern California.

All 2011 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2011, including Lake Los Carneros (2), Bonelli Regional Park, Angel's Gate Park, Topanga State Park, Mt. Pinos, Schabarum Regional Park, Tri-City Park, Santa Fe Dam, Yuma Hamfest and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

All 2010 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2010, including Santa Fe Dam, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Schabarum Regional Park, Griffith Park, Mt. Laguna, Topanga State Park, and Tri-City Park.

All 2009 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2009, including Bonelli Regional Park, Topanga State Park, Tri-City Park, Schabarum Regional Park, Craig Regional Park, Santa Fe Dam and Lake Los Carneros.

June 5 - 7, 2009 -- Ninth USA ARDF Championships near Boston, Massachusetts.

All 2008 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2008, including Hillcrest Park, Schabarum Regional Park, Tri-City Park, Heartwell Park, Fairway Village, Mt. Pinos (2), Irvine Park, Lake Los Carneros (2), Topanga State Park, Huntington Central Park, Balboa Park and Bonelli Regional Park.

May 8 - 10, 2008 -- Eighth USA ARDF Championships near Bastrop, Texas.

All 2007 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2007, including Hillcrest Park, Travel Town, Tri-City Park, Heartwell Park, Craig Regional Park, Lake Los Carneros (2), Topanga State Park, Angel's Gate Park and Bonelli Regional Park.

September 14 - 16, 2007 -- Seventh USA ARDF Championships near South Lake Tahoe, California.

All 2006 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2006, including O'Neill Regional Park, Topanga State Park, Lake Los Carneros, Tri-City Park, Heartwell Park, Bonelli Regional Park and Huntington Central Park.

April 7 - 9, 2006 -- Sixth USA ARDF Championships near Raleigh, North Carolina.

For results and stories of events before 2006, see this site's Table of Contents

Additional ARDF Resources In This Site

THRDFS cover Go to International-Style Foxhunting Comes To The Americas -- An introduction to the sport with the history of its development in the Western Hemisphere

Go to Equipment Ideas for Radio-Orienteering -- Simple and inexpensive receiving and transmitting solutions

Go to Radio-Orienteering News for Southern California -- Results and stories of recent radio-orienteering events in southern California, plus announcements of upcoming ones.

Go to Foxhunting for Scouts -- Let's get the kids involved

Go to Extenders Aid Handicapped Foxhunters -- A novel way to include persons with disabilities

HOMING IN logo Back to the Homing In home page

This page updated 22 January 2014