There were 91 total scores entered on the 3830 contest scores web site for the latest edition of the K1USN slow speed test (August 18). Of those, eight were QRP entries, a pretty good showing if you ask me. The top station in the Single Op Low Power category made 76 contacts while the top station in the QRP category had 35. These are total Qs not actual scores as multipliers are used to determine final scores.
I enjoy reading all the soapbox comments from these events, but I always keep an eye out for those by N6HI. John lives in Arizona and consistently operates using a half-watt into a 20 foot end-fed wire antenna. His results are eye-opening.
John uses an ICOM IC-705 and his QRZ bio says:
I like to chase DX, contest, and rag-chew with QRP. I have contacted 124 Countries, so far, using One Half Watt and a 20 Foot end-fed wire. I never use more than 5 Watts. I operate mostly CW, with some Digi modes, plus SSB during major SSB DX contests or when 6 meters is open! Most Digi-mode contacts are made operating my regular home QRP station remotely from my cell phone as I travel about.
No matter how you slice it, that’s squeezing a lot of fun and performance from a minimum of hardware and antenna. If you ever doubt that QRP works, maybe look for John and ask his opinion?