Contest HOF Acceptance Speech

These are the notes I used for my acceptance speech and may not represent a true transcript of my remarks.

Dayton Contest Dinner, May 16, 2008

Randy K5ZD (left) receiving CQ Contest HOF plaque from Bob Cox, K3EST.

Good evening,

I was at the very first CQ Contest HOF ceremony – the birthday party for K2GL.  I remember being in awe of the concept and wondering if I would ever accomplish enough to even be considered for induction into the HOF.

I have to start by thanking the YCCC members who nominated me and did it all in secret.  I had no idea they were doing so until I received the invitation from K3EST.

Thanks to the HOF voters who accepted their nomination. 

To my mentors – K5TM and K5RC. 

K5TM did much more than give me a place to operate and teach me how to do tower work.  He helped me navigate through college and taught me a lot of about life.  K5RC used my tower skills and gave me some great operating memories.  Somehow, both of them got me to paint their houses in return for operating time!

To all the people who let me guest op their stations

K5NA – was first in 1976 Bicentennial Contest

N5AU – who gave me the keys to a fantastic station for 4 years

K3TUP – who gave me my first CQWW single op win

To name a few other places where I had the privilege to operate: PY5EG, K3TUP, KA5W, NP4A, K1GQ

I could not have been here without the visibility and experience that I gained from each of them.

I also have to thank all of the people who helped me with the NCJ.  Especially Dave, K8CC. 

Thanks to all of you for your support and for so many QSOs over the years.  And for your kind words over the past several days.

Most importantly, I have to thank my wife and family.  They haven’t always understood why I do contests, but they have allowed me to do them, and for that I am extremely lucky and very grateful.

My philosophy about contesting has always been simple.  Share information, help others as much as I can…  beat them anyway.

As N6BV said last year in the CTU, “You don’t get there by secrets, you get there by doing everything better.”

This urge to share has been behind my writing articles and contest writeups.  Supporting the NCJ.  Sharing my logs and breakdowns with anyone who asks. Having guest ops to my station.  Streaming audio on the Internet.  I have received much more than I have been able to give back.

I didn’t learn my second great lesson of contesting until after I had won my first Sweepstakes.  No one cares that you won as much as you do. 

The reward from competition is not in the winning, it’s in the journey. 

Winners tend to bask in their victory.  Everyone else does their log analysis and station improvements and gets physched up for next year.  You always seem to learn more when you lose. 

I was getting beat year after year by K1AR in CQ WW contests.  I could track him for 36 hours and then lose when 15 meters would open on Sunday morning.  I kept telling him I only had to win once. I finally did!

The contesters that I respect most are the ones that demonstrate passion and integrity.  They play the game hard, but always above board and within the rules.  Win or lose, these are the guys I want to hang out with and compare myself to.

I am truly honored to be inducted into the CQ Contest Hall of Fame.  Thank you.

I found this video of my acceptance speech.