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While preparing for the WRTC2018 we thought, that it would be a good idea to talk with younger participants about ham radio and about the WRTC in Germany. Today we focus on Xenia Berger, ZL4YL and Mathias Acevedo, CE2LR.
First of all many thanks to both of you, for finding some time for the Interview. We all know, that you have lots of things to do.

 Now our questions:
How did you discover Ham Radio?

Xenia: My dad introduced me to it, he himself having discovered the hobby when he was about 16. He wanted all of his family to have a license as well and now we all do! (except for our cat). Getting a radio license was just an expected part of growing up in our family.
Mathias: Well this is in the year 2010, when I belonged to a youth brigade of firefighters in the community of La Calera, in which I was familiar with the VHF equipment that we used. After a while I retired but I was still with my VHF team and one day I visited a radio ham who programmed us the teams radios in the fire company and I spoke at a radio exhibition in the center of the city that I attended. There I found the members of the radio club team (CE2RCF) that had some antennas and were transmitting throughout the country and some neighboring countries. What caught my attention immediately, so I enrolled in the club to be a member and get my radio ham license. After several activities with the club I knew the following areas of the hobby, dx, contests, etc.
2. What fascinated you about Ham Radio and what do you like most in Ham Radio?

Xenia: I read a lot and whenever I read apocalypse-like books they always tried to find ham radio operators to communicate. It was always the hams who played a critical part in the survival of the protagonist. As well as in the 1931 Napier earthquake, it was radio amateurs who contacted the Victoria (a navy ship) to come and help, which meant so many more people survived. I just like the fact that Ham radio isn’t just a hobby, it’s a critical part of emergency operations.

Mathias: Well after seeing what the DX was, my father got me a 10M tower on which I installed a 5m yagi for 28Mhz, with which I contacted everyone and an old TS-440S. After a while I met Roberto (CE3CT) who very kindly invited me to come one day to know his station. When it came to me - that was a dream, you will see giant towers with monobanders, last generation amplifiers, etc. At the same time, he invited me to my first ARRL 10M (2013) contest, which was my first time in a contest with a high-end team - CE3FZ, CE3CT and CE2MVF. CE3FZ my first moments seeing in action an OP of CW. At that time I began to be interested in trying to learn CW, in 2014 achieving this important goal in my career as a dx-ist and contester, to understand the morse code. After Roberto joined the group of contestants of CE3CT I know Dale VE7SV who is a HAM known worldwide, and with the unconditional support of CE3CT, VE7SV, CE2ML, CE3OP and some radio amateurs of the country and got the successes that I have.
3. What is your main emphasis in Ham Radio?
Xenia: My main interest in ham radio is definitely contesting, as well as DXing although not as much. Rag chewing has never been my favourite thing (in radio or real life). I enjoy the competition aspect of it, as well as setting NZ or sometimes even Oceania records, hence I’m thoroughly looking forward to the WRTC.

Mathias: Well what I focus more on in the hobby, is to improve my skills as a contest operator every day and try and motivate more hams to be part of the contests and dxes
4. How was the "qualification-marathon" and have there been any interesting experiences along the way?
Xenia: The qualification marathon didn’t affect me that much, only in the way that I spent less time on the radio for the big contests as of course dad had to compete in them in order to qualify. The problem was that because of the time difference, most of the contests don’t end until 1pm Monday, which meant dad had to continuously take days off, which therefore reduced our holiday time in the year.
Mathias: Well this starts in 2016 when I already know CW and seeing good qualities as OP, Roberto tells me that I can use his station as an OP monkey, which leads me to a climb within the top 5 scores of the SA 2 cube. Always trying to reach the first place, something difficult since the only real competition was 2016 and 2017, and being ranked No. 3 in the classification of SA 2 in 2017. I had the opportunity to attend Dayton hamvention, make many friends. Also it was an explosion of experiences, knowledge, making friends, visiting some stations like K9CT, WB9Z and the luck of being able to operate from NR4M in the CQWPXCW that year. I learnt more about the WRTC that was approaching, K0MD who motivated me as a youth team, which interested me a lot. After a few months the applications for the youth team were opened, I asked Bryant KG5HVO who I had met in Dayton if he wanted to be my partner for this event if we classified. When on October 1 in my email I see a message from the organization of WRTC 2018, in the qualify I see that we are the # 1 ranked youth team! The happiness was remarkable of my teacher and mine that we would be part of one of the most important events of the ham radios worldwide.
5. How do you prepare yourself for the WRTC  technically, physically and  mentally?
Xenia: Last year I did a lot of the big contests as a single op to get used to being on the radio for long periods of time. Because of bad conditions, we don’t really get many pileups so we train using a programme called morse runner.

Mathias: Well I have been preparing every day using morserunner, participating in all the contests that I have, studying some records of past IARU 2017, to know the propagation schedules, bands, etc. I also made a trip to the USA to prepare all our staff for the contest and the exercise with my partner in the CQWPX CW 2017 using a set-up similar to the one to be used in Germany.
6. What are your expectations and goals for the WRTC and what are you looking forward to?
Xenia: My hope is that we don’t come last ;) and that we don’t get unlucky with any equipment failure or otherwise. I just hope we have a good time – that we don’t forget to actually enjoy the competition! I’m looking forward to meeting all those amazing contesters, many of whom I’ve worked on the bands.

Mathias: Good as expectations, gain experience, knowledge of the best operators, everything that helps me improve my OP skills, also be able to share with people, as well as yourself that we share in this beautiful hobby.

7. When may we welcome you to Wittenberg?
Xenia: Wednesday the 11th of July
Mathias: Tuesday the 10th of July

We are very grateful for you taking the time to answer our questions. To you both and to your teams of course, good luck in the WRTC 2018! We'll see you soon!
Klaus Wöhler, DF9XV

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