All 6 operators have now returned safely to their homes after many hours of travelling. We achieved what we set out to do – and this was to put Coetivy Island on the air for the 1st time. Coetivy Island is one of the new 11 IOTA groups that was added in July 2014 at the 50th IOTA convention in Windsor, UK.
Coetivy Island is an active open prison and a rehabilitation centre for Drug abusers. It is 180 miles from anywhere and is only accessible via the IDC (Islands Development Committee) who have full control of the island. We were limited to a maximum of 6 persons and had to use the IDC private airplane charter. The last 180 miles of our project cost over $20,000!
Early on in our planning stages we began a vast sponsoring program. We needed the help of the IOTA/DX community to help to offset these high costs. Many DX Clubs and foundations gave assistance for which we are most grateful. Without the help of all individuals, this project would not have happened. We had a clear vision of what our goals were, we always intended to maximise the number of Uniques to give this New IOTA to as many as possible. 9,808 Unique callsigns were logged!!! We also realised that regular S7 was most wanted on the US West Coast where we maximised our antenna farm to empathise into this area during limited openings. In total, we worked 6,660 North American stations netting 31% of all QSOs. Special thanks to the Western Washington DX Club – the only North American Club to help fund our project.
On Tuesday 17/Nov/15 at 18:00 UTC all 6 stations began CQing altogether. Clive 3B8CW was the 1st into the log on 17m SSB. Our stations were planned to enable us to be QRV with 2 stations per band. S79C went QRT at 02:19 on 22/Nov/15 on 30m CW with AA4BQ being the last in the log. Altogether a total of 21,541 QSOs in 146 DXCCs were worked. The team noted excellent pile-up behaviour from all Continents and maximised our QSO count on all open bands. We encountered daily electricity outages and often had to QRT to interact with prisioners and inmates.
All supporting documentation has already been submitted, so therefore, special thanks to Roger G3KMA and the IOTA committee who have already approved and validated this operation. Our logs are now uploaded to CLUBLOG and our OQRS facility is already buzzing with requests. We hope to begin the initial QSL mailing in early – mid January, just in time for the IOTA Honour Roll update. Logs will be uploaded to LoTW in the coming days once the inevitable few log errors are corrected.
Sincere thanks to all our sponsors, to the DX Clubs and Foundations and to our corporate sponsors. Your help is what made our success – Tnx!
Although S79C is now QRT, our work still continues with publications & presentations and also, for our QSL manager Charles M0OXO, whose work is now just beginning! Tnx Charles.
All information is available at http://af119new.com.
On behalf of EA3NT, MM0NDX, PA3EWP, SP5APW & VK5CE, vy 73. We could not have asked for a better team!
As with all DXpeditioners, plans are already underway for yet another new one! Stay Tuned!
de Dave EI9FBB (S79C Team Leader)
S79C is History
They made 22000 QSOs in combined time of 140hrs of operating. 32% with NA which is exceptional. The Team is now back on Mahe Island and the first ones leave tonight on the long journey home. The Prison Island is certainly unique and we will do a nice write up exclusively for DX-World in the coming days.
The much anticipated Coetivy Island AF-119NEW DXpedition is soon to begin. After 5 months of intense preparations, the S79C team would like to remind you that in less than 2 weeks time, Christian EA3NT, Dave EI9FBB, Col MM0NDX, Ronald PA3EWP, Jacek SP5APW and Craig VK5CE will transit through their national airports en-route to Mahe, Seychelles.
November 1st – PRESS RELEASE #4
We are pleased to confirm that our requested S79C callsign has now been officially issued and all paperwork is in hand. In addition, planning and logistics are now complete.
All six operators, and in excess of 300Kg of equipment, need to fly the final 300Km to Coetivy island and land on the short 500m airstrip. This final flight is by private airplane charter and actually doubles the overall budget. Without doubt, this is a hugely expensive IOTA DXpedition and we are indebted to each and every donor / sponsor. However, we do seek additional funding support. Until November 6th, we still offer a ‘Free QSL’ for advance donors of €5 or more. Your generous contribution is most welcome and helps offset our enormous costs.
If you would like to support this unique activation, please visit: http://www.af119new.com/donate
Furthermore, the team is delighted to inform that 50Mhz will be used – a dedicated station will run 24/7 during our stay on Coetivy. Our suggested beacon frequency is 50.103.5Mhz. It should be noted that S7 is very rare on the ‘magic band’ and we are thrilled to have got this special permission!
This is our final Press Release. Next official dialogue will be whilst our team is en-route and only via our Twitter feed @af119new. Follow us for the very latest updates. (Note: some team members may also update their individual Facebook page as they journey to AF-119).
We wish all very good luck in the pile-ups and look forward to seeing you in our log!
Vy 73 de S79C team.
FIRST FOR IOTA NEWS – DX-WORLD.NET