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La Jollan to Compete in International Radiosport Competition

WRTC2014 gathers competitors, referees, and visitors from around the world to connect and celebrate amateur "ham" radio.

Patrick Briggs. Submitted photo.
Patrick Briggs. Submitted photo.
La Jolla resident and top amateur radio operator Patrick Briggs (amateur radio callsign KK6ZM) has been selected to compete in the World Radiosport Team Championship 2014 (WRTC2014). This quadrennial radiosport competition, the first held in the United States since 1996, will be held across 16 New England communities from July 9 through 14. Known as the “Olympiad of amateur radio,” previous WRTC2014 competitions have been held in Seattle (1990), San Francisco (1996), Slovenia (2000), Finland (2002), Brazil (2006) and Russia (2010). 

A senior vice president at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Briggs was born in Bremerhaven, Germany while his father served overseas in the U.S. Navy. He later grew up in New York State, lived in Tennessee for 13 years and has made California his current home. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and Juris Doctor degree from the University of Tennessee.  

Briggs received his amateur radio license in 2009, making him a veritable rookie amongst his longer tenured competitors.

“I am honored to have been chosen by my father to compete with him as a team,” says Briggs, “It will be a tremendous learning opportunity and an experience of a lifetime.” 

WRTC2014 pits 59 two-operator all-star amateur radio teams, representing 38 countries, in a battle of operating skill and strategy under emergency field conditions, for personal and national pride on a world stage. Similar to Olympic athletes, competitors hone their skills for superior performance through mental and physical conditioning, talent, skill and strategy. This form of competition evolved as a method of practicing emergency communication, but also serves as a laboratory for technology innovation and experimentation, much like other technical sports, such as motor sports or sailing.   

Competing teams were selected from around the world in a series of 55 qualifying events over a 3-year period. Just earning a spot in the competition is a prestigious accomplishment for every competitor, allowing them to represent their country and have the opportunity to win a coveted place on the podium. 

Returning to the United States after 18 years, WRTC2014 gathers competitors, referees, and visitors from around the world to connect and celebrate amateur radio. Hundreds of spectating visitors are also expected to attend, taking advantage of the rare opportunity to network with amateur radio luminaries worldwide, while enjoying the surrounding area’s rich history and regional charm. On the global scale, thousands more will “tune in” and participate over the airwaves, and follow the event’s real-time Internet scoreboard to stay abreast of competition results. The largest “radiosport” competitions draw activity from over 20,000 participants and can collectively include more than two million two-way contacts – all in one weekend.  

Amateur radio, or “ham radio” as it is often called, enables licensed participants to use short wave frequencies to communicate with peers from around the world. Licensed “hams” in the United States are authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to use their radio equipment to talk anywhere on earth, using different “modes of operation” such as voice, Morse code, or any of several digital modes, also pioneered within the ham radio community. Today, there are more licensed amateur radio operators than ever before—over 700,000 in the U.S. alone, in addition to more than a million operators around the world.  

Amateur radio plays a key role as a critical emergency service in times of disaster when other forms of communication fail. Locally, this was demonstrated after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, when cellular networks were overloaded and failed. Amateur radio operators have assisted in providing communication services to the Marathon for many years, and were on hand to provide vital communications for Marathon volunteers following the bombing. Critical communication services were also provided by hams during the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Radio amateurs have been involved in the front lines of developing modern communications systems, including the fundamental technology used in all cell phones.  

For more information, visit wrtc2014.org.



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