The deadline for 2013 DX Marathon scoresheets has passed. All entrants had to have their logs in a short time ago at 2359Z January 10, 2014.
And now the suspense builds!
I noticed the DX Marathon Website has been updated showing an empty claimed scoresheet with the comment, "Note: High claimed scores will be published around 3rd week of January". Man, let me tell you, that's a long wait, hahaha!
The DX Marathon Website also states, "in 2013, all 40 zones were active and 294 CQ countries were active for a maximum possible score of 334".
I finished the 2013 DX Marathon with an overall score of 330. 290 DX entities, plus 40 zones. I did not include a QSO with Turkmenistan (EZ) because it would not have counted anyway. No EZ stations count in the DX Marathon. 331 with EZ, 330 without EZ - same difference in my opinion.
But, I did not go for the "overall" Unlimited win!
By not going for overall, I do realize I locked myself out of any chance at winning North America or 20 Meters (my 3rd best effort). I submitted 323 in the World "Phone" (283 DX entities, plus 40 zones). That's 23 more points than 2012's plaque winner, 12 more than 2011 and 37 more than 2010.
I found the World Phone category was actually much harder to score in than the Overall (mixed). I suppose it is the same for CW and Data only too. It took a lot of "coaxing" to move some CW only ops to Phone for a QSO. A half a dozen stations that never operate phone did honor my request for a phone Q. Those QSO's were very exciting for me.
In my opinion, the dark horses will be W9KNI, OM3EY, IZ0OZD, PP5EG and a couple others I've heard in the pileups. It's my belief the overall winner will have a final score of 329, 330 or even possibly 331. We'll soon see how well I stacked up against the other 2013 DX Marathon competitors in claimed (and final) scores.
With many previous years entrants, there seemed to be quite a bit of shrinkage from claimed to credited scores. I've seen as many as 10 subtracted from claimed scores. I checked my submission several (understated) times over, so hopefully there will be no (or very little) shrinkage between my claimed and final credited score. I don't like simple mistakes. This was my first DX Marathon effort, so that factored in my reluctance to enter Unlimited overall.
To answer a few e-mails, the reasons for me not going for the overall win were simple. I missed a few I know others had worked. I do know I worked a couple entities only a handful (if that) had worked, but I wasn't sure those would make up for my misses. I concluded that my best chance at winning a plaque was in the world "Phone" category. And in 41 years of Ham Radio without any kind of plaque, I went for what I felt I had the best chance of winning. My regrettable misses? How about I missed 4U1VIC? I still can't believe I missed that one. I was out of town and visiting family during Thanksgiving weekend, the last weekend the station was activated. Although a family member's competent Ham Radio Station (I built it) was just below the kitchen (where I spent most of my time eating), I didn't even listen as the rules of the Marathon are specific, all Q's from the same station with the same antennas. I tried like hell to get back before they left 4U1VIC, but their last day they operated all on 40 Meters during our daytime. No chance. I did hear 4U1VIC just after our sunrise on 20 Meters the first morning back in my shack, but wouldn't you know - just as I called, they QSY'd to 40 Meters. Rats! Another miss? TL8PRV, Padre Cirillo. I heard the Padre on 20 Meters late one night, and he was an unbelievable 5/9 +20 db, but he only worked Italian speaking stations. Even though I called him several times, he never came back to me - only Italians. Oh well. Praying didn't help either (obviously). As far as the other two I missed, VK9DAC on Christmas Island only made a 130 QSO's or so, and I never even sniffed him. I think I was out riding my Hog the single day he showed up on 15 Meters. TY2BP's (Benin) radio broke earlier in the year for my fourth miss. Although Patrice is back on the air with his new radio for 2014, I whiffed on Benin. I was hoping like hell Wim (ON6DX, 5V7TH) was going to make TY, but Wim's license got held up and he never was able to get on the air from Benin in 2013. Those four misses are the difference between my 330, and the 334 total score maximum. I was lucky enough to work everything else. I think if I had landed even one of those four misses, I very well may have entered Unlimited overall. Two? I surely would have.
And there is my 2013 DX Marathon story. I'd really like to dedicate a paragraph or two here to call out and thank all the stations that accommodated me this year, but if I did that everybody and their brother would be pestering them for a schedule, and I won't do that to them. They all know who they are, and maybe some will read this post someday and smile. To all of you, a big thank-you from N0UN!
In addition to the 4 all out misses discussed above, here's a list of the other 7 CQ Entities I worked on CW (ZL7 Data), but missed on Phone:
JD1 Minami Torishima (JD/M)
UK Bases on Cyprus (ZC4)
Franz Josef Land (R1F)
Mount Athos (SV/A)
Chatham Is. (ZL7)
So now you know my 2013 DX Marathon score and the story behind it. Why don't you tell me your 2013 DX Marathon story in the comment section below?
73, Wayne N0UN
UPDATED 2100Z January 11, 2014.
The 2013 DX Marathon High Claimed Scores are out! 2013 DX Marathon Claimed Scores