Islands on the Air - Isle of Man 1997 / 1998

GD6YB 1997

Members of the Bristol Contest Group decided to venture into new territory by entering the 1997 Islands on the Air (IOTA) contest from the Isle of Man. It was certainly an experience that set us up for future years.

We hired a 17-seater minibus like this one Minibus to take us and what seemed like two tons of equipment to the island. Every space was crammed full for the long drive to Liverpool. Then its a crossing on the SeaCat.

SeaCat The bus broke down when we got to our site at Bradda Head near Port Erin on the Isle of Man. Luckily Manx Auto Rescue got us going again.

16 hours to go before the contest and all antennas were perched on the cliff edge. Getting 59+ reports from west coast USA !! Cliff

4 hours before contest start - generator not working properly. We asked a team of coastguards who happened to pass, if they happened to have a generator. By an enormous stroke of luck we were able to borrow a generator from a local builder known to one of the coastguards. We found out how friendly and trusting the Manx people are.

Contest started - enormous pile ups ! Why isn't it like this at home ?

sunset As you can imagine our signal was pretty strong to the west. This is the view over the Irish Sea from the bottom of the mast. The antenna in the picture is a 40m/80m dipole strung out 400ft over the water.

GD6YB 1998

We had such a great time in 97 that we did it again in 98 - This time as GT6YB !


We used the same site at Bradda Head, but this year we tried some new antennas right on the cliff edge as you can see in this photo.

We were only a few points off last year despite the fact that most of the team were more experienced in VHF than HF contesting, and we only had one CW operator. So an excellent result, and great fun on and off the contest site.

1997 Team

Group Photo 1997

Top left to right: Alan G3XSV, Vic G0WKW (now SM7ZDI), Neil M0AXF (now EI3JE), Matt G7ORR (now M0MAT), Steve M1AHH, Robin G3TKF, Barry G0CFM

Results for the two Years

Year QSOs Mults Score Position Multi Op Section
1997 2509 375 6,338,250 3rd Multi-Op Island
1998 2037 221 3,119,857 4thMulti-Op Island

1998 Team

Group Photo 1997

Top left to right: Alan G3XSV, Barry G0CFM, Wilf G7VIN (now M0WLF), Matt G7ORR (now M0MAT), Neil M0AXF (now EI3JE), Steve M1AHH