Experiences of a young radio amateur during HST - Mari Nikkilä, OH2FPK

2011 High Speed Telegraphy World Championship was arranged in Bielefeld, a historic town in Germany. It was my first time in any HST competition so I didn't know very much about the rules and ways to prepare myself for the competition.

The first time I heard about high speed telegraphy was when my mentor Jukka, OH2BR, told about HST as a very interesting sector of IARU. He asked me to join him, because he was invited to participate as a judge in this top event where the best telegraphers of the world gather to take measure of each other. You can guess that I did not have to think twice because CW is my favorite mode.

It appeared that I was the first ever competitor from Nordic countries. I learned many new things. I have just finished writing an article about HST in our national amateur radio journal Radioamatööri.

I hope that this sector of Amateur Radio will become more popular in Finland and of course everywhere in the world. Next time there will be more participants from Finland, I hope.

I came to the conclusion that HST is most popular and best organized in Belarus, Russia and Romania. That explains why the majority of the competitors – including many youth - came from these countries. I must tell that the young people I met in the competition are really very talented. Frankly, they are younger than I am and yet they have gone so far!

I realize that the young HST enthusiasts have practiced Morse code during many years. That partly explains their fantastic results. Sometimes I wish that I had started my own ham career many years earlier than I did. Two years in Amateur Radio is a very short period of time and there is so much to learn!

It was a pleasure to realize that HST people are very kind and helpful as hams usually are in general. That fact alone gives me much more energy to practice CW at home when I know that I have made great friends with so many pleasant hams always ready to help me to become a truly competent CW operator. Thank you!

Related pictures are posted in the IARU R1 photo gallery.