Championship Radio Foxhunting News

From USA and Around the World

Competitor group photo
Group photo of the competitors just before the two-meter competition on Saturday, June 7, taken by Marvin Johnston KE6HTS.

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

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

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

Organizing and hosting these championships was 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 are 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.

Here are complete results and transmitter location maps.

Here are four pages of photos.

Joe Moell KØOV
USA ARDF Coordinator

2014 medals
Gold, silver and bronze medals awaited the best three finishers of each event in each age/gender category at the 2014 USA ARDF Championships.  Medals were presented at the awards dinner on Saturday night and after the 80-meter event on Sunday.  (Photo by Ken Harker WM5R)

USA ARDF Championships 2015
Let's Start Planning Now

IARUARRLSince the turn of the century, stateside hams have been treated to fourteen outstanding national championship events. From preteens to septuagenarians, they have found radio foxes in the woods and have taken home medals. More Amateur Radio operators in the USA are aware of and have participated in international rules transmitter hunts than ever before.

It's time to look forward to 2015. As ARRL's ARDF Coordinator, I am seeking organizers for the Fifteenth USA ARDF Championships, to be held about a year from now. Hams in the selected city will invite radio-orienteers from all over the USA plus visitors from abroad. They will stage separate events on 2 meters and 80 meters, as well as sprints and foxoring, in accordance with IARU's rules for ARDF competitions. They will provide medals and host a dinner at which the medals will be awarded. And if they organize it well, they will have lots of fun.

The 2015 USA ARDF Championships will help determine the members of ARDF Team USA 2016, which will travel to the 18th IARU World ARDF Championships.

If you have experienced international-style foxhunting, you already know how the sport promotes technical skills, builds physical ability, and fosters camaraderie. Putting on large-scale radio-orienteering events can add even more excitement.

If your local radio club or club council has ever put on a hamfest or ARRL convention, then all the necessary organizational skills and experience to stage an event of this type are probably available to you. Hams who have organized previous championships will have plenty of advice about foxtailing sites, mapping, housing, publicity, transportation, finances, and so forth. A page of tips for hosting ARDF championships is now in this Homing In site.

If you believe that the hams in your area would be seriously interested in hosting the USA ARDF Championships in 2015 or another future year, please contact me via e-mail now. I can provide information to help you approach your club/council leaders about it.

What better way to generate enthusiasm within your club, help your fellow hams, promote international goodwill, and have a great time doing it! Let's get started!

Joe Moell KØOV

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 submitted USA's Letter of Intent to Participate to the organizers at the end of March, including the estimated 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).

"Training camps" are being planned for Team USA members and others who wish to improve their radio-orienteering skills.  First is the Birkhead International ARDF Competition and Training Camp near Asheboro, North Carolina for seven days beginning July 17.  Training courses, clinics and competitions are being planned.  Then on the weekend of July 19-20, training on two meters and 80 meters will take place at Mt. Pinos, near Frazier Park, California.  Finally, Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI will put out training courses in the Boston area during the last week of August.

Joe Moell KØOV
USA ARDF Coordinator

Upcoming Championship ARDF Events Worldwide

European Youth ARDF Championships, July 6 - 10, 2014 at Primorsko on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria.

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

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

This report has been expanded and moved here.

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

SoCal 2013 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2014.

SoCal 2013 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2013, including Tri-City Park, Lake Los Carneros (4), Mt. Pinos (2), Santa Fe Dam, Schabarum Regional Park, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Bonelli Regional Park.

SoCal 2012 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2012, including Travel Town, Tri-City Park, Lake Los Carneros, San Dieguito Park, Mt. Pinos (3), Murray Community Center, Santa Fe Dam, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Bonelli Regional Park.

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

SoCal 2010 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2010, including Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Schabarum Regional Park, Travel Town, Mt. Laguna, Mt. Pinos (2) and Tri-City Park.

SoCal 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 Recreational Area and Lake Los Carneros.

October 9 - 13, 2013 -- Thirteenth USA ARDF Championships and Seventh IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships near Asheboro, NC.

June 1 - 3, 2012 -- Twelfth USA ARDF Championships near Mt. Laguna, CA.

September 16 - 18, 2011 -- Eleventh USA and Sixth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships near Albuquerque, NM.

May 21 - 23, 2010 -- Tenth USA ARDF Championships near Cincinnati, OH.

June 5 - 7, 2009 -- Ninth USA and Fifth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships near Boston, MA.

For results and stories of events before 2009, 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 6 July 2014