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Observations at site ABG-3

Sunday, 2:00 pm, contest end. Deep breathes from the three in the tent at  Site ABG-3. 24 hours work is behind them. Referee Michael Fulcher, KC7V, comes out of the tent, talks to us briefly and asks that we from the media team be patient. "Of course - we will comply," I reply in broken English before he closes the tent door with the zipper again. Meanwhile, more and more "volunteers" and "organizers" gather in the dry, dusty field about 6 km south east of Jessen. Several photographers have already set up in front of the tent entrance to watch the moment when the Y81N operators leaves the tent after more than 24 hours. Quiet, factual-sounding scraps of conversation come out of the tent. Some impatience is spreading. "Now stop," one of the bystanders thinks out loud and winks. Then the "cheerleader team" of Lithuanians arrives in a VW Camper and several cars. Their funny T-shirts stand out and their happiness is obvious. Everyone waits and then a familiar sound: the zipper opens and Gedas, LY9A, hurries to the porta-a-loo. "I have waited a long time," he murmurs smiling at each of us waiting for the crucial photo of the two operators. He looks puzzled but gets sympathetic looks from those he passes in his sweaty clothes. It is 32° C and undoubtedly even hotter in the tent. It takes a few more minutes and shortly after Gedas goes back into the tent, the referee and the contest crew seem to completed the formalities.

As the three appear in front of the tent, the clack-clack of cameras shutters start along with applause from the surrounding fans, volunteers and organizers. Mindis' children run towards their beloved daddy and in a heartfelt embrace the family is reunited including XYL Lina after 24 hours. All of a sudden you can feel a warm, loving camaraderie of all of the Lithuanians and their German friends. They are all happy about what has been achieved because it is something to be proud of. It doesn’t get better than this. It is the hour of the new world champions. But Gedas and Mindis do not want to acknowledge it at first. For one point, they are very modest people and they also know that before the logs are verified, nothing is official. Experience has taught them that things can change before the award ceremony. What they do not know at this point is that their lead is probably unassailable by the second-placed German team. 5212 contacts and over 5.9 million points in 24 hours is a great achievement. Nevertheless, Gedas and Mindis are waiting for the log check - modest, professional radio amateurs.

The interview that Ed, DD5LP, has with them at the site has been recorded and videoed by Ralf, DH2FBL. Both return quickly to Wittenberg to deliver the media. Gedas asked me then to take some photos of the volunteers and the contest team. Gedas and Mindis know what they owe their success to: the committed and perfect team work by the helpers at Site ABG-3. What distinguishes the LY team as well, is that they are also, outside of the hobby, great people, with whom one is very proud to be friends.

With ABG-3, there was something else: Gradually I got used to the cryptic abbreviations. Now I will remember Annaburg near Jessen as - ABG-3 because it was the pace that created new world champions. It completes a great WRTC snapshot for me that I will never forget.

 

Klaus Wöhler, Press Officer WRTC 2018

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