It was my first time entering CQWW VHF Contest from 1800 UTC Saturday, July 16, 2016 until 2100 UTC Sunday, July 17, 2016, and as I was back at my home QTH in Westport at IO53GT I used the opportunity to take part in this contest, the callsign used for the weekend was EI5IX in IO53 for this contest.
Propagation for this contest was very bad, 50MHz has not been great in July this year unfortunately and maybe it's a sign of the times who knows, anyway I entered a Single Op entry on 50MHz (6m) and there was very little Sporadic E propagation around on the Saturday evening with just high levels of Tropospheric ducting available on the band into the night, nothing really worked QSO wise but I just kept hearing some distant pings of EU stations come in via Meteor Scatter propagation, then on the Sunday afternoon things began to pick up a small bit on the band with QSO's around EI & GI via Tropo conditions and then at 15:00UTC conditions opened via Troposcatter into Sporadic E towards more southern EU areas with it QSO rates peaking into the late evening around 19-20:00UTC. I would have liked if there was more sporadic E conditions around for that weekend but I think I may have been a bit too far North West for this years conditions on the band as this contest is very well supported within EU I was surprised with the lack of activity in Ireland and the UK. I did hear late into the Sunday night after the contest was over some stations in Canada and the United States on CW via Chordal propagation or multi hop E's but unfortunately didn't get to work them this time around as I was taking the station apart... typical... maybe catch them next time.
Anyway I did the best I could in the contest but it wasn't great. Thanks to all the stations that persevered into completing QSO's in some very difficult conditions, I'm looking forward to working you in the next contest.