Many activities are underway as planning continues for the Mellish Reef DX-pedition scheduled for March 28, 2014 to April 9, 2014.
Addition to the On-island Team:
Mike Shapiro WA6O
Mike, originally from Moscow, Russia, has lived in the USA for the past 22 years. First licensed as UA3AIW, he operated mostly from UK3ABF, UK3ACL, and other club stations in Moscow. In 1998 he received AD6GY and WA6O in 1999.
He's a member of Northern California Contest Club, and 40m captain in N6RO contest team. Over the years he participated in many CW contests from DX locations - with "Team Vertical" from Jamaica, Fiji, Bahamas as 6Y2A, 6Y8A, 6Y9A, 3D2XA, 3D2OK, C6AAW. He also operated from HC8N, Galapagos. Since 2003 he held a CQWW CW NA record in Single Op/Single Band (15)/Low power category. His non-contesting DX-trips include: CE0Y/WA6O, FO0SHA, and ZK1WAL. Most recently he was part of the Clipperton 2013 DX-pedition team.
In his professional life, he is a software engineer with a Ph.D. degree in computer science. He works for HP Labs in Palo Alto, CA; Mike is married and has two sons.
Addition to the Pilot Team as South American pilot:
Luciano Sampaio De Souza PT7WA
Born in 1942, Luciano entered ham radio 1966, his first call was PY7VNY, and in 1977 he received PT7WA. He operates CW/SSB and has worked all but one DXCC entity on CW, the elusive P5. Luciano is also an IOTA enthusiast having over 975 islands confirmed. He is the QSL manager for Dx-peditions by PS7KM, PT7AA, PT7BZ, PT7NK, PY2XB and PY8AZT as well for PT7AG, PW7T and ZY7C. His many other operating awards include: 5BWAS, IOTA-900, DXCC totals: 360/340 Mixed 357/340 Phone 348/339 CW. He is the IOTA Checkpoint for Brazilian stations, PW7T Contest Station Team Member, QSL Manager for 45 stations and the PT7 QSL Bureau Manager.
Mellish Reef Landing Permission:
A question asked by the ARRL and most all major sponsors is: “ Do you have landing permission? “
We have written approval to land on Mellish Reef from the Australian government. In July we contacted the appropriate agency and asked for permission to use the reef. After about 5 weeks, and a few rounds of Questions and Answers, the agency concluded (in writing) that we do not need a permit.
Our detailed project plan was reviewed and we were asked to adhere to their documented environmental protection conditions to use the reef. Of future interest to DXers: is: on July 1, 2014 Mellish Reef will fall under a new “Coral Sea Marine Reserve Management Program.” Based on what we were told, use of the reef after that date will require a landing / use permit.
Signing on as a sponsor is FoldingAntennas.Com whose “folding beam antenna” will join our antenna lineup. We are also happy to have both Elecraft and SteppIR as corporate sponsors.
We began actively raising funds in October.
We are honored to have received significant recognition from: The Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF), Oceania DX Group – Australia (ODXG), International DX Association (INDEXA), The Mediterraneo DX Association (MDXA), The Carolina DX Association (CDXA), Chiltern DX Association (CDXA), The German DX Foundation (GDXF), The European DX Foundation (EUDXF), The Lone Star DX Association (LSDXA), Southwest Ohio DX Association (SODXA), Northern California DX Club (NCDXC), and other organizations. We also began receiving assistance from individual DXers.
With a total budget of ~$127,000(USD) we certainly appreciate the recognition and look forward to hearing from interested DXers, especially those that need Mellish Reef for an All Time New One.
Donations are welcomed through the web site: vk9mt.com or by check / money order in US dollars to:
Mellish Reef 2014 DX-pedition
Gene Spinelli, Treasurer
PO Box 189
Team Mellish 2014