The International Grid Chase has been a wonderful distraction this winter and has given me an excuse to spend an hour or two on air almost every day. In fact, when I miss a day, I feel like I’m missing out part of my routine.
In terms of the contest itself, I’ve dropped into a distant 2nd place behind Jim KS1J — about 120 points behind. And Russ, KA1ERL, is right behind (as I write this it is March 4th and Russ is within a few points of me, and I’ve fallen even further behind Jim — however, I’ve been mostly off the air since Feb 28th).
There is a great side benefit to the IGC; one is likely to pick up missing band-point for the DXCC Challenge. That’s certainly been my case, and I’ve already exceeded my goal for the year. As of the end of February I have 1,305 band-points, and even picked up a new country for a total of 265. Of course I’ve been concentrating on 160-meters, gaining 16 new countries to 53 total (beating my year-end goal of 50), but I’ve also really added a bunch of 30 and 17-meter countries as those seem to be the “goto” bands for FT8 (40-meters is a zoo).
I also managed to complete 48 of the 50 states for 160-meters, missing only Alaska and Hawaii. The latter I can work if I decide to get up around 3-4 AM some morning. The former is likely to be my Waterloo.