The Voodoo Contest Group is a group of US and UK hams dedicated to winning the CQWorld Wide CW Contest each year. Traditionally this has been from West Africa…. however after nearly 20 years of dusty roads, uncomfortable border crossings, dodgy hotels, huge logistical problems.. but most of all after nearly 20 years of meeting wonderful people, having huge pile-ups and having loads of fun, the Voodoo Contest Group is moving on: the spirit will live on but not necessarily in West Africa.
This site is an archive of photos, memories and stories of the West African experiences and serves as a memento to current ‘dudes and as a memorial to the ‘Voodudes’ who are no longer with us.
The map shows the countries visited over 19 year period; other pages on this website show pictures of the road-journeys between them, the friends that were met, the crazy things that were done…..
….like taking over hotels and turning them into World-Wide Contest Winning locations!!
Please feel free to browse the pages and share the memories.
Six world first place finishes
Five times ‘Contest Expedition of the Year’
Over 250,000 contest QSOs
Over 1,000,000 QSOs outside contests
Travelled over 50,000 miles on African roads and dust tracks
Over 8 million air-miles logged
Over 5,000 spaghetti bolognaise dinners consumed
Lots and lots of jokes and laughs!
Our desire, over a 20 year period, to form a team, travel long distances to unstable countries, tackle corrupt border guards and uncooperative government officials in an attempt to win the CQWW Contest every year is not easy to explain. Maybe these pictures help.
CQWWCW – Two Decades in Africa
The VooDoo Contest Group has entered CQWWCW from West Africa every year since 1994, nineteen consecutive years, nearly two whole sunspot cycles – always in the Multi-Operator category. A group from Arizona first got the wander-lust, setting CQWWCW records from KP2 in the late 1980s. This group expanded and operated subsequently from 4U0ITU, CN5N, C56N, ZC4Z, ZF2WW but then in 1994 came Ghana, signing 9G5AA. This started a whole series of events, building the pile of equipment each year and travelling to different countries. During those 19 years we have been fortunate enough to operate from ten different West African countries and have won the contest six times.
Checking the map will show that we have gone full-circle, anti-clockwise. Our philosophy has always been to operate in a country two consecutive years, then move on. But now we have nowhere left to go! So, this is kind of the End of an Era. Besides, our stock-pile of equipment is falling apart from old age. Is that the end of the group? Certainly not! We will continue to operate CQWWCW but nowadays light-weight equipment and vertical antennas means that we are free to travel with everything as airline luggage – so we are no longer tied to West Africa.
Year Country Call-Sign Plaque
1994 Ghana 9G5AA MM winner
1995 Benin TY5A MM winner
1996 Togo 5V7A MM winner
1997 Togo 5V7A MM winner
1998 Togo 5V7A MM 2nd
1999 Ghana 9G5AA MM 5th
2000 Ghana 9G5AA MM 6th
2001 Burkina Faso XT2DX MM 2nd Multi-Op DXped
2002 Burkina Faso XT2DX MM 3rd
2003 Niger 5U5Z MM 2nd + Multi-Op DXped
2004 Niger 5U5Z MM winner
2005 Mali TZ5A MM 2nd
2006 Mali TZ5A MM 3rd
2007 Guinea 3X5A MM winner + Multi-Op DXped
2008 Guinea 3X5A MM 2nd
2009 S Leone 9L5A M2 2nd
2010 S Leone 9L5VT M2 3rd
2011 Liberia EL2A M2 6th + Multi-Op DXped
2012 Liberia EL2A MM 4th + Multi-Op DXped
‘MM’ = Multi-Operator, Multi-Transmitter
‘M2’ = Multi-Operator, Two Transmitters
Year on Year Scores
Below are the year on year scores made by the Voodoo team.