The local ham radio club, known as the Louisiana Cane Field Contest Club, joined approximately 35,000 operators from all corners throughout the North American continent contesting to see who could make the most contacts in a 24 hour period.
Over the past year, the news has been full of reports of ham radio operators providing critical communications during unexpected emergencies in towns across America including the California wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes and other events world-wide. When trouble is brewing, Amateur Radio’s people are often the first to provide rescuers with critical information and communications.
The local group participated in the contest in the 2A class which is the class that is limited to the use of two amateur radio stations that work on emergency power for 24 hours without stop. The 2A class is the largest and most competitive of the contest classes. This annual event, called “Field Day,” is the climax of the week long Amateur Radio Week.
Using only emergency power, these ham operators setup two emergency stations in a local ham’s back yard next to a cane field and operated on generator power using Morse code. Under the rules, a third station is allowed if manned by recently licensed hams or hams who are just starting.
This year the “GOTA” (Get On The Air) station was manned by members of a church group from the First Apostolic Church of New Iberia. Most of those members were under the age of 18 and they communicated by voice instead of Morse code. They made a very respectable showing by contacting 375 stations.
Over the last two years the Louisiana Cane Field Contest Club has performed very well placing in the top 10 each year in class 2A. Although the calculations of the final results are still pending, the club appears to have made more contacts than last year.
The club’s president, Bert Beyt, and Field Day chairman, Louis Corne, greeted St. Martin Parish Council member Mike Fuselier and St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Terry Guidry at the beginning of the event and gave them a tour of the site before the contest started.
Members of the club who participated included President Bert Beyt W5ZR, Roy Bonvillian WD5DBV, Art Suberbielle KZ5D, Art Mouton K5FNQ, Louis Corne KR5R, Charles Morrison KI5XP, Ed Sexton NA5G, Curtis Waites N5CW, and the Rev. Michael Pitre WR5U.
The total number of contacts made this year was 3,477.
The GOTA station operated under the call of Rose Pitre, W5RZY, and included: Remington Martin KF5KSG, Angela Latigue KF5FYM, Adrienne Latigue KF5FYL, Demarcus Mack KD5QLC, Rebecca Roy KD5WJJ, Jennifer Cormier KB5UKJ, Carmichael Linzer KF5FYN, Carriane Linzer KF5FYK, Allison Roy KF5FYO, Lauren Roy KF5FYR, Catherine Roy KE5RPH, Jonah Thompson KD5OID, Tiffanie Chartres KB5QYN, Bethany LaBiche KB5PNH, and Jeanne Roane KB5VCS.
Also, operators who are working on their licenses: Victoria Bouy, Whitney LaBiche, Joey LaBiche, Laura Linzer, Breenne Doucett.
Assisting them as their instructor-operator was Rachel Comeaux KB5SCV.
The GOTA operator making the most contacts and winning the 2012 CFCC award cap was Whitney LaBiche.