I have been wrestling with this ever since we left the forest in Virginia. These are my personal thoughts, and not a representation of IARU Region 2 or the IARU as a whole.
The change in venue from Serbia to Bulgaria doesn’t really change the fundamental reasons that attendance is expected to be very low for the World Championships this year. Teams and athletes were not planning to attend or not attend just because it was being hosted in Serbia. Region 3 societies (esp. China and Japan) are still going to be constrained by pandemic travel limitations. There will still be no suspension of participation by Russian and Belarusian teams, by the IARU, the BFRA, or the Bulgarian government, so those teams and athletes who would not attend in protest to the war will presumably still not attend because nothing has changed in that respect.
When I was in Virginia, I was leaning toward attending the championships if only because of my position in the IARU. I was also holding out hope that maybe the suspension of the SRR and the BFRR would still happen. There’s also the worry that I may never make the team again, given how strong our athletes are.
As I’ve had time and space to reflect on the decision, however, I can no longer see myself attending with a clean conscience. As of now, I am not planning to attend the 2022 World Championships unless something changes with regard to the status of Russian and Belarusian athletes and teams in the sport, or maybe the war comes to an end.
While I am impressed at the Bulgarians’ enthusiasm to host the event on short notice and potentially at a financial loss, I am sure that the results of such a meet will forever be demarcated with an asterisk in the annals of radio orienteering history. I personally think we should not host a World Championships this year at all. That said, I will faithfully pass on whatever position the ARRL ARDF Committee arrives at to the Region 1 Working Group.
73 de Ken WM5R