Championship Radio Foxhunting News

From USA and Around the World

Group photo
Participants gathered for this group photo just before the final awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

The Sixteenth USA National ARDF Championships
Killeen, Texas, April 6 - 10, 2016

Texas ARDF logoEvent logo USA's national championships of Amateur Radio Direction Finding returned to the Lone Star state in 2016.  The Sixteenth USA ARDF Championships took place in early April, sponsored by the Texas ARDF group and the Austin Orienteering Club (AOC).

Primary site of the competitions was the Parrie Haynes C5 Youth Ranch and Equestrian Center, about ten miles southwest of Killeen, Texas.  The fun got under way on Wednesday, April 6 with optional practice courses.  Thursday was devoted to foxoring, a sport that combines RDF and classic orienteering.  The sprint event took place on Friday, followed by a catered lunch and informational meeting.

Saturday was the day of the classic two-meter ARDF competition with a catered lunch afterward and an awards banquet at the Parrie Haynes clubhouse in the evening.  Then the classic 80-meter ARDF competition got off to an early start on Sunday morning, followed by another lunch and awards ceremony, concluding in time for those who had to catch evening flights to home.

Organizing Co-Chairs for the 2016 USA Championships were Jennifer and Kenneth Harker, W5JEN and WM5R.  They have competed at the USA Championships almost every year since 2003 and have won numerous medals.  They represented USA at the ARDF World Championships in 2008, 2010 and 2014.  Jen and Ken were organizers of the first Texas ARDF Championships in October 2005 and the USA ARDF Championships in 2008.

National ARDF Championships are for individuals only.  No teaming or assistance on the course is permitted.  Participants are divided into six age categories for males and five age categories for females in accordance with standard IARU rules.  Medals for first, second and third places were awarded in each category for each competitive event.

Five pages of photos are now in this site.  Complete results are now online.  Background information, including lodging, transportation, frequencies and climate are in the event section of the Texas ARDF Group Web site A full report on these championships is in the August 2016 issue of CQ Magazine.

Joe Moell K0OV
USA ARDF Coordinator

Eleven of the members of ARDF Team USA 2016 just after the final awards ceremony.  Heads left to right are Karla Leach KC7BLA, Harley Leach KI7XF, Ruth Bromer WB4QZG, Bill Wright WB6CMD, Mike Schuh KF7QDZ, Lori Huberman, Bill Smathers KG6HXX, Joseph Huberman K5JGH, Nicolai Mejevoi, Alla Mezhevaya and Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI.  Not pictured are Alexandra Bondarenco, Natalia Bondarenco, Robert Cooley KF6VSE and Kenneth Harker WM5R.  (Photo by Mindy Wright)

Team USA Attends the 2016 ARDF World Championships
and ARDF World Cup
Albena, Bulgaria, August 29 through September 9, 2016

FLASH! ARDF Team USA has won seven medals.  On Tuesday, August 30 in the 80m classic competition of the ARDF World Cup, Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI of Newton, MA placed third in the M40 category, capturing a bronze medal.  He found all of his required transmitters in 1:02:43, just eight minutes behind the first finisher, Alexander Sheynis of Russia.  The minimum M40 course length that day was 5.6 kilometers.  On Wednesday, August 31 in the 2m classic competition of the World Cup, Alla Mezhevaya of Rockford, IL was second in the W35 category, finding all required transmitters on a 5.8 kilometer course in 1:18:53, just four minutes behind gold medalist Steliana Mateeva of Bulgaria.  In the sprint event on Thursday, September 1, Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI took gold in M40 category, finding all ten required transmitters on a 2.7 kilometer course in just 21:09.  Also on that day, Ruth Bromer WB4QZG of Raleigh, NC took third place in the W60 category.  On September 2, Ruth (who is USA's Team Captain) won another bronze in the foxoring event, finding all seven required low-power transmitters on a 2.5 km course in 1:11:37.  That concluded the World Cup events for individuals.  During the World Championship events for national teams on September 8, Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI won an individual bronze medal on a 5.85 km 2m classic course.  He did it in 1:11:52.  Also on that day, Ruth Bromer WB4QZG and Karla Leach KC7BLA won a team bronze medal in W60 category, on a 4.25 km 80m classic course.

Fifteen of USA's best on-foot hidden transmitter hunters are heading home from Albena, Bulgaria and the Eighteenth World Championships of Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF).  Over 400 competitors representing 39 nations took to the courses near Varna, a popular resort city on the Black Sea coast.  Competitors were divided into six age categories for males and five for females, in accordance with rules of the International Amateur Radio Union.

USA's team members included nine men and six women.  They ranged in age from 26 to 74 and came from eight states.  They won their places on the team by their excellent performances in the 2016 USA ARDF Championships near Killeen, Texas and the 2015 USA ARDF Championships in Elbert, Colorado.

Competitions in Bulgaria got under way on August 30 with the 80-meter classic event of the ARDF World Cup, which is an optional competition for individuals.  The next three days each had World Cup events (two-meter classic, sprint and foxoring) that served as world-class training and an opportunity for individual medals.  Eight members of Team USA participated in the World Cup.

On Saturday, September 3, World Cup competitors got a day of rest as the remainder of the World Championship participants arrived.  Sunday was devoted to foxoring, the first official World Championships event.  Participants in all events sought medals both as individuals and as members of national teams.  There was a limit of three persons per age/gender category from each country.

The World Championships continued with the sprint on Monday and classic events on Tuesday and Thursday, with a free day and cultural tour on Wednesday for rest between the classics.  There were banquets and medal award ceremonies each day, with departure on Friday, September 9.

This is the tenth time that USA has fielded a team for the World Championships, which take place in even-numbered years in various countries around the world.  The last time that Bulgaria hosted was in 2006, when USA won its first World Championships medal.  Nadia Scharlau of Cary, North Carolina captured bronze in the 80-meter classic event.  The best year to date for ARDF Team USA was 2012 in central Serbia, when USA had thirteen competitors.  Six of them collected a total of thirteen medals in the World Cup and World Championships that year.

Two pages of photos are now in this site.  Complete results and more details of the ARDF World Championships are in the official championships site.  A full report on Team USA's participation will be in the November 2016 issue of CQ Magazine.

Joe Moell KØOV
USA ARDF Coordinator

Displaying their medals in China are ARDF Team USA members Ruth Bromer WB4QZG, Joseph Huberman K5JGH and Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI.  (Photo courtesy KB1RLI)

USA Participates in China International ARDF Championships
Guangzhou, China, December 3 - 9, 2015

Chinese championshipsOver four dozen middle- and high-school youth plus some of their teachers, coaches and parents came to the USA in August 2015 to participate in the USA and IARU Region 2 ARDF championships.  They were from Guangzhou No. 2 High School in China, where ARDF is a popular extracurricular sport.

The Guangzhou school group had such a good time in the USA that they reciprocated later in the year.  Stateside radio-orienteers were invited to visit their country for the 2015 China International ARDF Championships, which took place in the city of Guangzhou in Guangdong Province of south China from December 3 through 9.  These championships were organized by the Guangdong ARDF Radiosports Club (GARC).

Events included one day of unofficial training, followed on successive days by 80-meter classic, sprint, two-meter classic and foxoring competitions.  There were also afternoon and evening cultural events including a Pearl River night cruise.  Awards were presented in all eleven IARU championship age/gender categories, plus M13, M16, W13 and W16.

December might seem like a cold month for ARDF in the northern hemisphere, but Guangzhou, also known as "Flower City," is considered to be "the Hawaii of China" with average December high temperatures of 69.1 degrees Fahrenheit and average lows of 62.7.  Its pleasant subtropical climate in the Pearl River Delta may explain why Guangzhou has become the third largest city in China.

Here are some photos of USA's participation.  More information is on the English-language (mostly) GARC event Web page

Team USA 2015
The three members of ARDF Team USA in Japan:  Nicolai Mejevoi, Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI and Alla Mezhevaya.  Each stood on this gold medal platform at least twice.  (Photos courtesy KB1RLI)

Team USA Earns Ten Medals at IARU Region 3 ARDF Championships
Gunma, Japan, September 6 - 11, 2015

R3 2015 championshipsRegion three of the International Amateur Radio Union encompasses much of Asia and Oceania.  USA has territories within Region 3 (Guam, for instance).  Because of this, ARRL is a member society of IARU Region 3 and USA is entitled to enter a team of competitors in Region 3 ARDF events.  So it was that three radio-orienteers from USA traveled to Gunma, Japan for the 2015 IARU Region 3 ARDF Championships.  Competing against over one hundred ARDF experts from Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Kazakhstan, each of the three brought home medals.

In the first classic race on September 8, USA's Alla Mezhevaya was the only competitor in her category to find all required transmitters.  Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI won gold by finding all of his transmitters in just 0:46:54, which was 21 minutes faster than the silver medalist.  Next day, Alla and Vadim captured gold again in the sprint.  In the second classic race on September 10, Nicolai Mejevoi tied for first place with Inwon Lee of China.  Each found all required transmitters in exactly 0:44:22 to receive gold.  Alla won gold and Vadim won silver.  In foxoring on the final competition day, Alla's time for all required transmitters was an hour and 27 minutes better than second place.  Vadim and Nicolai also won gold in their categories.

     Alla Mezhevaya W35
          Classic 1 gold 
          Sprint gold
          Classic 2 gold
          Foxoring gold
     Vadim Afonkin KB1RLI M40
          Classic 1 gold
          Sprint gold
          Classic 2 silver
          Foxoring gold
     Nicolai Mejevoi M50
          Classic 2 gold (tie)
          Foxoring gold

Congratulations ARDF Team USA!

Joe Moell KØOV

Upcoming Championship ARDF Events Worldwide

2016 European Youth ARDF Championships, July 2 - 5, 2016 near Oslo, Norway.

18th IARU ARDF World Championships, September 3 - 9, 2016 near Varna, Bulgaria.

21st IARU Region 1 ARDF Championships, September 4 - 10, 2017 at Druskininkai Spa Resort in southern Lithuania.

19th IARU ARDF World Championships, September 2018 in Korea.

The Fifteenth USA ARDF Championships
and Eighth IARU Region 2 ARDF Championships
Elbert, Colorado, August 27-30, 2015

This article has been expanded and moved here.

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

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 Other Recent Stateside ARDF Events

SoCal 2015 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2015.

SoCal 2014 -- Southern California practice/demonstration events of 2014, including Topanga State Park, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Santa Fe Dam, Schabarum Regional Park, Tri-City Park, Mt. Pinos (2), Bonelli Regional Park and Lake Los Carneros.

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 23 September 2016