The best ever score in this category. That was a concern what the CME will cause on Sat when it hits the Earth but fortunately it was not that bad…

The way most challenging SSB contest ever. Fact, 20m is always crowded but now one could have been happy if the neighbor was “only” 1kHz away and not closer.

The propagation itself was “special”. Really great opening on Sat morning to OC via LP and to JA LP in the same time. Frankly speaking this was the first time when SSN allowed this direction to JA and sounded better compared to the SP. Felt like it’s easier to copy the stns. Managed to log 100+ VK/ZL in short time. Never had a pile-up like stream of callers from that part of the world. ZM4T was as loud as a local broadcaster.
However into NA it was not the case. Big activity as usual but somehow the signal strength did not become strong enough to overcome the side QRMs like did in 2020. This was the real start of the struggle. Lot of stns called but fairly slow rates of “deciphering”.

Hat off to the not a few operators mainly in US and JA who were forbearing to wait until I could find out their call. It was frustrating to “feel” the callers covered by the QRM having no chance to hear them. The absolute low was when this story started to be valid to EU QSOs as well.

Now I felt the real need of secondary direction in this contest. I have no proper estimate but it feels like one can lost a lot with a single antenna direction when the propagation might allow simultaneous openings. Need to find out something for next year. Not to mention the higher possibility of losing the CQ freq when beaming to AF or OC.

Focused on mults hard. When a double appeared on the band tried to hit as quick as possible to avoid the pile-ups. Managed to harvest almost every country I heard however VP5DX and couple of others are lost. Definite high, when FR4KR started to CQ and I was pointing to north exactly away from FR direction. Gave a try with “back” and fortunately I could get through on the second call. Zone 34 was never heard.

Really tough final hours on cqcontest.net. Thanks to SQ2A and 9A50Y for the run. Literally every QSO counted to keep the distance. Closer to the end it became kinda “mining”. Definitely gave extra motivational boost.

Thanks to everyone for the calls and the perseverance to repeat, and repeat, and repeat…

CU in the CW leg.


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