Italian Princess Visits Cape Cod Historic Wireless Site, Honors Upcoming World Radiosport Team Championship

Princess Elettra Marconi
Princess Elettra Marconi

Italy’s Princess Elettra Marconi visited the historic Marconi wireless site at Cape Cod National Seashore last week, honoring the memory and accomplishments of her father, inventor of radio, Guglielmo Marconi.  During her stay, Princess Marconi marked the occasion by initiating a radio contact through the Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club station with organizers of the World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC2014), an international radiosport competition being held across New England from July 9 through 14.  .

At about 2:30 pm on Friday, Princess Marconi made radio contact with WRTC2014 Chairman Doug Grant, and spoke about how her father would be proud that radio amateurs are still advancing his work in wireless communication. She went on to praise WRTC2014 and its ability to promote international goodwill and operating skill.  A visit to the Marconi Wireless Station Site and Chatham Marconi Maritime Museum is one of the tours of interest to the amateur radio operators from over 40 countries that will be participating in the WRTC2014 event.

“What an honor and thrilling experience,” said Grant after the contact was complete. “It was exciting to bridge history from the very beginning of amateur radio to today, even more so with the Princess’s acknowledgement of how WRTC2014 is helping to carry on the Marconi legacy.”  Assisting with the contact was Barbara Dougan (N1NS), trustee of the Marconi Cape Cod Radio Club station (KM1CC).

In 1899 Guglielmo Marconi validated his theory that wireless signals could extend across the Atlantic and offer competition to the cable monopoly on communication. Marconi was attracted to Cape Cod for its proximity to Europe and in 1903 astounded the world by completing two way communications between his 35,000 watt station in Wellfleet and Poldu, England.

Known as the ‘Olympiad of amateur radio,’ WRTC2014 gathers competitors, referees, and visitors from around the world to connect and celebrate amateur radio.  The competition pits 59 two-operator all-star amateur radio teams, representing 38 countries, in a battle of operating skill and strategy under emergency field conditions, for personal and national pride on a world stage.  Similar to Olympic athletes, competitors hone their skills for superior performance through mental and physical conditioning, talent, skill and strategy.  This form of competition evolved as a method of practicing emergency communication, but also serves as a laboratory for technology innovation and experimentation, much like other technical sports, such as motor sports or sailing.  On the global scale, thousands will “tune in” and participate over the airwaves, and follow the event’s real-time Internet scoreboard to stay abreast of competition results.  The largest “radiosport” competitions draw activity from over 20,000 participants and can collectively include more than two million two-way contacts – all in one weekend.

Amateur Radio, or “ham radio” as it is often called, enables licensed participants to use short wave frequencies to communicate with peers from around the world.  Licensed “hams” in the United States are authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to use their radio equipment to talk anywhere on earth, using different “modes of operation” such as voice, Morse code, or any of several digital modes, also pioneered within the ham radio community.  Today, there are more licensed amateur radio operators than ever before - over 700,000 in the U.S. alone, in addition to more than a million operators around the world. 


For more information about the events of WRTC2014, visit www.wrtc2014.org.


About WRTC2014


The World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC) is an international competition held every four years, consisting of 50+ two-person teams of amateur radio operators from around the world competing in a test of operating skill.  Unlike most on-the-air competitions, all stations are required to use identical antennas from the same geographic region, eliminating all variables except operating ability.  The WRTC 2014 committee is an independent organization created specifically to organize the event.  For more information, visit www.wrtc2014.org or contact WRTC Chairman Doug Grant via e-mail at k1dg@wrtc2014.org.  Information about the history and results of previous WRTC events is available at www.wrtc.info.





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