• Looking for Help as a New or Returning Ham Radio Operator?

    Send an email to hamhelp@sbcara.org and someone will contact you to see how we can help!

    For amateur radio license testing (including fully remote testing), study or cram e-mail testing@sbcara.org.

Sea Otter Classic: Volunteering

Most everything that involves the amateur radio team for Sea Otter Classic this year is the same as the past few years (at last so far). This year it will be October 1-4 (rescheduled from April 15-19), 2020 with most volunteers needed Saturday October 3rd and Sunday October 4th. A small crew we’ll also need on Thursday October 1st.

With the reschedule, we’re still working out details and updating websites and the like, so please be patient while we work these out.

Help from amateur radio operators has been a vital resource for communication in the Fort Ord National Monument back country and the Gran Fondo (“Great Endurance”) Carmel Valley Route. Thank you to those of you who have volunteered in the past.

The Sea Otter Classic attracts thousands of athletes and spectators and is now regarded as the world’s premiere cycling festival. The areas where we assist have little or no cellular or repeater coverage. It is an excellent opportunity for demonstration and practice of emergency communications and help build readiness for a real disaster.

This year help will be needed for the following times:

Thursday 10/1 – Radio/Communication Support – Morning through early afternoon (limited support)

Saturday 10/3 – Gran Fondo Carmel Valley Route Support – Very Early Morning to Early Evening

Saturday 10/3 – Back Country Support – Early Morning to Mid Afternoon

Sunday 10/4 – Back Country Support – Very Early Morning to Mid Afternoon

Camping is available directly from the event or we have the option of camping for no charge in the Laguna Seca paddock. If you’re interested in camping in the paddock, please email me directly.

Ham radio operators will be primarily working radios including ham radios and/or commercial/public safety radios (i.e. You may be asked to coordinate on a public safety frequency to guide in an ambulance while the medic provides care). We’ll always try to pair experienced hams with new hams as needed. First aid and course marshal support will be provided by National Ski Patrol as in the past.

Volunteers receive a volunteer T-Shirt, a pass to the Sea Otter Classic Festival (a $50 value), and a lunch. There may be some other surprise items for the volunteers.

Please note that the times and details are subject to change, but we will keep you updated if you volunteer. Please keep in mind that end times are estimates. In most cases the event will end earlier, but if we have a significant incident, demobilization may go much later and especially in the back country, exit routes are closed to vehicle traffic during the event. Updates will be available at http://sbcares.org/otter (It is still early and this page is still being updated for this year – Last year’s information will be available here for now for reference as to what was done last year).

Somethings have changed this year for process. The event has paperless registration for volunteers that should make things easier – if all goes according to plan, I won’t have to get release forms for everyone, it will all be on-line.

Please go to https://sea-otter-classic.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/?start_over&id=41879 , in the password field, enter the word “Radio” (without quotes) and click on “Submit password.” Please do not answer anything else on the page. On the next page, click on the “+” signs and it opens the day of the event below that. Then, click on the next “+” and you’ll have a check box to click on if you’re available and interested in that volunteer activity. All the events are for the backcountry at Fort Ord except for the one called “Gran Fondo Road Event Radio, SBCARA” for the Carmel Valley Road Event. You can fill out your information and sign the waiver form by entering your name and submit. You’ll receive an email from Jeff Lindenthal to confirm your registration.  This process needs to be done for each volunteer.

Like many ham radio groups, we’re migrating to groups.io for our email system. In the past, we used Google groups and it was fairly difficult to manage. If you’re volunteering this year, please go to https://sbcara.groups.io/g/soc and sign up for our email system so you can get updates. The nice thing about this is that this year, you can see emails, even those before your sign up, and don’t have to store them on your own email system. I send out the information about on-line volunteer registration as soon as it is available.

If you can’t volunteer this year and want to stay connected, please go to https://sbcara.groups.io/g/soc-interest and sign up to receive email for future events.

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