CW Shootout!

Sunday Feb 26 I went to the Fayetteville WV hamfest. It’s a small hamfest held in the American Legion hall, but a very nice time.

Around 11:00AM they started hollerin’ it was time for the CW Shootout. They promised a $1/WPM cash prize for anyone who could hold out.

Well, that fascinated me so I followed the crowd (well, you can call 8 a crowd, ‘cuz it’s more than 3 and we all know “3’s a crowd!” Maybe 8’s a MOB?)

We went into a back room where some tables and folding chairs were set up. The moderator fired up his lap top and passed out pens and pieces of paper.

They started at 15 WPM with “WELCOME TO THE CW SHOOTOUT.” and everyone said, “yeah, yeah, let’s get going!”

He went to 20 WPM and sent “FOR SALE, ICOM 7800 CHEAP, WILL FINANCE.” A few chuckles, a snicker, and they were ready to move on.

At 25 WPM we got “STAY SHARP AND GOOD LUCK IN THE CONTEST.” and this was about where I fell out.

I didn’t copy the 30 WPM, 35 WPM, 40 WPM, and 45 WPM. They were all short statements like the others, one of them was, “KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, YOU’RE ALMOST AT THE MONEY.” Fewer and fewer pens were active as we proceded. Some folks were copying in their heads, and I could hear the short words like “THE”, “AS”, “FOR”, and such up to about 40 WPM.

Beyond that I was just sitting there watching in amazement as N3BA kept writing. He copied all the way up to 50 WPM, and the final transmission said something about “THIS IS AS FAST AS THE MACHINE WILL GO.” which I know only because he read it back for the copy check.

So Bob Anderson N3BA from Covington, Virginia won the $50 prize. We all queued up to congratulate him as we went back to the hamfest activities.

Well, **I** for one, was impressed.

Bob West WA8YCD
883 Goshen Rd
Morgantown WV 26508
Monongalia County FM09an
39d 37m 26s N 79d 57m 55s W