Geoff ZL3GA, Chris ZL4RA and Mark ZL3AB in conjunction with Andrew Barron ZL3DW the NZART Awards manager, have revamped the rules for the NZ Lakeside Award.

We know there are a number of people keen on portable operation but who, for various reasons, are unable to undertake SOTA activations.  We saw the Lakeside Award as a good alternative and one which we hope will increase participation in portable operating.

In this case the award is for activating or hunting (chasing) lakes as opposed to mountains.

The only restriction on activating is that you must be within 500m of the lake you are going to activate.  Unlike SOTA you do not have to set up away from your vehicle although you can obviously do so if you wish.

The list of Lakes has also been updated and is largely the same as the Land Information New Zealand list.  With 1184 lakes throughout the country there are plenty to activate.

The basic award requires you to activate or chase 10 unique lakes with an honour award for 50 unique lakes activated or chased.  To be valid an activation requires two QSOs – not four like SOTA.

One thing to note:  unlike SOTA there is no alerting or spotting system.  So currently an email to the ZL SOTA list or NZART Members list or a post on the ZL-SOTA Facebook page (thanks to Warren ZL2AJ as the Facebook group owner for consent) is the only way alert and direct spotting on the cluster (if you have cell coverage) is the only way to spot (hopefully the chasers will get in the habit of spotting you as well).

Accordingly we strongly recommend when calling CQ you use the existing SOTA watering holes, to maximise your chances of a QSO.

Likewise there is currently no database to upload logs to so you will need to keep a record of your activations/hunting to obtain the award.  If you wish you can record your activations/hunting here https://ontheair.nz/ (thanks to Matt ZL4NVW).

Rule and list of lakes are attached.  They should be on the NZART website shortly.  Also if you have previously activated or worked a lakeside operator that counts as well.

We hope this is of interest to current and would be portable operators.

The full rules and list of lakes are here