UK Christmas Cumulative Contest
In the UK the Christmas Cumulatives take place from Saturday 26th December through to
Tuesday 29th. Activity is on all bands between 50 and 432MHz each day from 1400 to 1600 UTC. The exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.
DARC Christmas Contest
The DARC Christmas Contest takes place on Boxing Day/St Stephen’s Day (26th) from 0830 to
1059UTC on 80m and 40m. The exchange is signal report and serial number with German stations sending DOK or NM.
The XMAS-Contest is a very popular short-contest sponsored by the DARC. It’s the last competition which counts for the German annual club championship, which ensures a competitive field of participants from all parts of the country. For these, the XMAS-contest which only lasts 2.5 hours truly is a sprint contest, where every second wasted can hurt the score. But there is another feature which makes it unique: The QSY rule. After completing a contact, the station which called CQ on the frequency has to move and leave the frequency to the calling station, Contrary to most contests where the big guns with high power are occupying the run frequencies for most of the contest, in the XMAS contest the skill, speed and experience of the operator is the key to success. And a clean log is a must: More than once, the top places in the XMAS contest changed from the claimed scores to the final results, where bad contacts were removed,
But the XMAS-Contest is also an event where you meet many old and new friends, most of them for the last time in that year, and you often hear the words “Frohes Fest” (“Merry Xmas!”) or in CW “FF” after a QSO.
Also the propagation makes the XMAS contest an interesting and challenging event. Especially on 40m, the skip zone is often too large to make contacts within Germany at the start of the contest; yet the multipliers from 40m are needed to achieve a high score. The right strategy and a lot of experience are more helpful than a big amplifier.
Foreign stations are always welcome to take part, and with the current conditions on 40m, they truly have an advantage in propagation over the DLs.
The Stew Perry Topband Distance Challenge
Known as The Big Stew, the Stew Perry Topband Distance Challenge runs for 24 hours starting 3pm on Saturday 26th. Entrants are limited to 14 hours operating, which, considering the band is closed during daylight hours, seems about right for Middle America. In Europe the band is open for 14-18 hours, depending on how far north you live. The exchange is your four character locator.