Chairman - Jan Sime : Vice Chairman - Gordon Browne : Secretary -Caretaken by Jan Sime & Gordon Browne : Treasurer - TBA


HTL - Gordon Browne : Bill Voss - Dennis Bird : Postals - Jan Sime : F3B - TBA : F3J - Ian Sime : F3K - Shaun Mileson : F5J - Ivan Williams : 2 Meter/New Commers - Shaun Mileson : Slope - Izak Theron (Gauteng) Kevin Farr (WC) Rus Conradt (KZN) : Cross Country - Chris Adrian

Calendar: Jan Sime & Gordon Browne

19 August 2008

2008 F3J World Championships - Report Part 3

Our champion

The master at work - another perfect spot landing during practice
“There are 11 places in the senior’s fly-off”

These were the words of the Contest CD, Serdar Süalp & were acknowledged by the chief judge, Tomas Bartovsky, president of the jury during the managers meeting. In other words, out of the 77 pilots representing 25 countries, only 11 would be eligible to contest their individual ranking in the fly-offs.

F3J is interesting in this respect: that 12 preliminary rounds are flown which constitute the “team” or country, event, then only those top pilots who qualify get to fly again in 6 rounds against each other – man-on-man to contest the best individual of the event & ultimate world champion for two years! No carry-over of scores, no matrixing, 15 minute slots, everyone launches, flys & lands together. High stakes, big stress, all-or-nothing stuff. This is what F3J World Championships are all about, where not only do you have to be a world class pilot with a superb team, but you also require nerves of steel & bags of tactical experience. If you don’t have these qualities, then perhaps F3J World Championships are not the place for you?

The 2008 WC participants
However, after 12 rounds of prelims – South Africa had a pilot in the senior fly-offs; Craig Goodrum. Craig has achieved fly-off status before & was narrowly pipped to third place in Red Deer in 2004. During the 12 rounds of prelims, I had been on the flight line for each of his flights, counting each agonising second down to the launch, holding my breath as he bent the gliders wings under the massive tension the towmen produced & heard the glider snap through the release as it shot skywards! Watching Craig fly in challenging conditions is always special, as I believe he possesses one of the finest skills of conserving energy & probably can read air better than most, this combined with many years of tactical knowledge & understanding of the other pilots. In fact, I would not hesitate to state that 2008 was the finest I have ever seen Craig fly, his every flight was simply goosebump filled for the full 10 or 15 minutes!

But I am getting a little ahead of myself. The first slot approached & Craig was just so incredibly relaxed! Michelle afterwards said that “he has done this all before”, but I am constantly stunned by the professional approach he adopts. He is a fantastic example of “big match temperament”, and is capable of lifting his game as required. I was a bundle of nerves when we walked out onto the field – proud of being part of the team representing Craig, and stressed out of my mind with the responsibility of throwing his model(s) during launch. I knew from Slovakia in 2006 that we could not afford a call-back (any model deemed by the judges to have left the hand of the helper, before the launch tone, is penalised by immediately landing & relaunch – which is effectively “game-over” in the high stakes of WC finals). I simply could not look back to the crowds who had all gathered to watch – even they were noticeably quieter than usual. Was the wind quite too?

Fully focussed on flying
Craig indicated he required his Pike SL (“super lite”) & we pre-tensioned the line with Michelle signalling to our towmen. With 30 seconds to go, I started moving back to the launch corridor – probably adrenaline pushed me right to the back of the line & Craig cautioned against overstepping the line. 10 seconds to go, the towmen were at full tension & I was fully focused on the clock. Craig was standing somewhere behind with Michelle to his left as always. The countdown was called – 5 seconds to go, and an eternity to 4 seconds. 3 seconds & I was aware of the breeze pulling towards the right of the field. Another eternity passed. 2 seconds, FULL TENSION, everything alert, body & model are tensed for explosive release. 1 second, time is flowing, & no longer a constant measure with discrete units. 0 seconds, the buzzer hesitates, but at the first sound I throw with everything that I have & push upwards. Craig’s Pike is now in ballistic launch mode – under full line tension, the acceleration from ground zero to flying speed is achieved almost instantaneously. Barely 3 seconds pass & he dips the model slightly to accelerate with the stretched line, zooming away from the line at around 4 seconds. The model climbs & climbs for ever, then just as you think it has to start sliding back down again, the nose eases over & he starts for the last known thermal area.
To be honest, I barely remember any of the flight details, but I do recall that after 13 minutes the “2 minutes to go” warning was sounded. At 30 seconds Craig is over the field and has lined up perfectly, ignoring the other gliders all milling around for their respective last second landings from over the tents & everyone is aiming for that little spot at their feet. 10 seconds & full flap is deployed, the nose of the model is steeply angled down into the breeze. 5 seconds & Craig speeds it up a bit to bring it in, then slows it for the final 2 seconds, hovering in the path to the spot. Between 1 second & buzzer his model touches the spot for a perfect landing. I immediately compare times with the independent time keeper – 14 minutes 55.2 seconds is agreed with a full scoring 100 point landing! The next slots starts in 5 minutes, so we have no time to find out that Craig was 3rd overall – even though he is flying against 4 past world champions. He simply focuses on the next slot & we continue forward.

Round / Group : 1 / 1
Pos;Country;Surname;Name;Flying Time;Landing;Score;Remark
1;GER;Feigl ;Benedikt ;14.57.80;95;996.6;
2;GER;Lammlein ;Tobias ;11.54.20;100;817.3;
3;GER;Kolb ;Philip ;14.27.00;100;970.7;
4;TUR;Esibatır ;Murat ;13.59.80;100;943.4;
5;RSA;Goodrum ;Craig ;14.55.20;100;999.0;
6;SLO;Rizner ;Primoz ;14.56.10;95;994.9;
7;USA;Perkins ;Daryl ;14.55.00;100;998.8;
8;AUS;Hobby ;David ;14.53.70;100;997.5;
9;CZE;Vostrel ;Jaroslav ;14.54.60;100;998.4;
10;CZE;Duchan ;Jiri ;14.55.70;100;999.5;
11;NZE;Zaalberg ;Sven ;14.56.20;100;1000.0;

The pre-recorded announcer booms, 30 seconds to go! Launch flap set by Craig. Michelle is to his left. I walk the Pike SL back to the launch corridor, & Michelle signals for more tension on the line. An eternity passes as the towmen do there best to slowly pull the model from my hands. Even the tow hook groans under this level of tension. I use both hands top ensure that the model is lined up with 10 seconds to go. Again adrenaline starts to flow, and the last 8 seconds slow down to the speed of cold syrup oozing from a spout. The breeze is more pronounced on my face – the left side is drawing – indicating a possible thermal. I saw 2 birds earlier over the right side, but they have disappeared. The wind is a little stronger than the first slot. 7 seconds pass by in the syrup river, a small bubble perhaps? I step towards the back of the launch corridor to increase tension even more – even my left arm is feeling the strain now. A 6 second bubble dents the rivers surface as it slowly draws past. Time starts to accelerates towards the buzzer, as the stream thins. The buzzer sounds again just after the “0” on the clock & I throw with everything that I have got – the wings of the model are forgotten & the javelin arches upwards.
Horrifyingly, the Pike clips the Slovenian Xplorer to our left & suddenly all the Pike controls lockout. There is simply no control – Craig frantically moves the sticks, but the model is already arching over the top, still under full line tension as our towmen race forwards. At around 3 seconds the model is in a screaming dive & hits the ground with sickening destruction before most of the other models have even left their lines. The Pike’s nose embeds itself a full 30 cm’s into the ground & the remainder of the model disintegrates into carbon shards as the energy tears through the fuselage, wings & finally the tail set. Nothing remains. We are devastated.

I am too shocked to know what to do – so I turn to the time keeper & immediately call “reflight”. He appears equally shocked & raises his hand for the line judge – I see Alex Wunscheim running towards us long before I see Craig. His shoulders are slumped, his Tx is in his left hand – reflecting its uselessness. Michelle is also standing still, her stop watches still in her hands. The entire field is stunned in silence. Craig walks forward & motions - get the #2 model ready for the reflight. He calls for Chris to bring out his #3 X-Pro as a backup model to the flight line. I am just too devastated to talk. I am worried that I threw the model skew or did not compensate enough for the breeze. But Johan Snr assures me that the model went straight up – the Slovenia model (Xplorer) had moved to the right after launch. I still do not feel any better – Craig has a serious disadvantage in the refly – as everyone else will be going-for-broke with nothing to loose.
Round / Group : 2 / 1
Pos;Country;Surname;Name;Flying Time;Landing;Score;Remark
1;CZE;Duchan ;Jiri ;14.56.60;100;999.5;
2;NZE;Zaalberg ;Sven ;14.55.30;100;998.2;
3;GER;Feigl ;Benedikt ;14.57.00;100;999.9;(Low Score)
4;GER;Lammlein ;Tobias ;14.55.30;100;998.2;
5;GER;Kolb ;Philip ;14.57.10;100;1000.0;
6;TUR;Esibatır ;Murat ;14.55.50;100;998.4;
7;RSA;Goodrum ;Craig ;00.00.00;0;0.0;Refly (4/1/7)
8;SLO;Rizner ;Primoz ;14.55.20;100;998.1;
9;USA;Perkins ;Daryl ;14.55.40;95;993.3;
10;AUS;Hobby ;David ;14.56.90;85;984.8;
11;CZE;Vostrel ;Jaroslav ;14.55.40;100;998.3;
The orange, white & blue Pike Perfect now in hand, we pretension & wait for the countdown. The Yellow X-Pro (V-tail) lies on the ground, hoping no to be used. The syrup sensation returns as the seconds ooze past. At 30 seconds I walk back to the launch corridor, my senses are blocked way beyond any level of achieved thorugh an adrenaline rush. Everything I have is focussed on this launch. Craig has set the launch flap. Michelle is to his left. The line tension mounts as I move towards the box. At 21 seconds to go I am inside the corridor. Is this earlier than before? The towmen have already begun to hunker for their blast-off. I watch the clock. Craig momentarily twiddles the sticks – just confirming control, his only sign of letting the previous round affect him. He is utterly focussed. My stomach is pitted & knotted. I am sweating from the tension. He looks ahead, visualising the lift. The breeze is pulling ever so slightly towards the right. He places all the lift markers, and visualises a lift map. He is so focussed. Eternity passes. My stomach knots & un-knots. The announcer booms that “working time will start in ….” – we are all focussed now, the digital clock slowly changes to 4 seconds, I imagine each line of the massive LCD illuminating separately. 3 seconds to go. I have visualised the point I am aiming for, Craig is ready, he knows where he wants to go. Time oozes forward, the digital clock now the only point of reference. The breeze is forgotten, I stretch backwards putting my full weight on my right foot.

It's up there, somewhere - speccing out
At 0 seconds, the buzzer sounds almost immediately! I am ready, & push with my feet, my legs, & my back as my arm throws the model. Time reverts to a primordial sense and we become hunters. Instead of a model, a deadly club shoots forward towards some unseen prey & the launch is near perfect, albeit a little bit longer than 4 seconds for risk management purposes. I remember nothing of the flight, I focus on the stop watches, twice confirming this with the time keeper. Craig remains so focussed – I am not even sure he hears Michelle telling him what the others are doing. The 15 minutes pass by as the primordial gives way to present. My sense of sound returns too, first hearing the gliders whistling back to the field, and then the rustling of leaves caused by the wind. The announcer is counting down – with Michelle’s voice also calling Craig down on time. It’s been a long flight, with extremely tough conditions – Tobias, one of the top Germans lands short at only 8 minutes. Only the best pilots are involved with nothing to loose & everything to gain by beating the finest RC glider pilot I have ever known. Craig has to make this one count – he lands a touch early but it is on the spot – a good score, but will it be good enough? We pack up the models to make way for the junior fly-offs. As we walk past the TV screens, the scores flash up, it’s a 996. Will it be good enough? 4 rounds remain.
Round / Group : 2 / 2 ( Group Refly )
Pos;Country;Surname;Name;Flying Time*;Landing;Score;Remark
1;CZE;Duchan ;Jiri ;14.57.20;100;999.4;(Low Score)
2;NZE;Zaalberg ;Sven ;14.55.40;100;997.6;(Low Score)
3;GER;Feigl ;Benedikt ;14.57.80;100;1000.0;
4;GER;Lammlein ;Tobias ;08.26.10;95;602.4;(Low Score)
5;GER;Kolb ;Philip ;14.56.80;100;999.0;(Low Score)
6;TUR;Esibatır ;Murat ;09.56.20;100;697.7;(Low Score)
7;RSA;Goodrum ;Craig ;14.54.20;100;996.4;Reflied (2/1/7)
8;SLO;Rizner ;Primoz ;14.56.80;95;994.0;(Low Score)
9;USA;Perkins ;Daryl ;14.56.10;85;983.3;(Low Score)
10;AUS;Hobby ;David ;14.56.40;85;983.6;(Low Score)
11;CZE;Vostrel ;Jaroslav ;14.55.70;100;997.9;(Low Score)

We must wait 2 rounds for the junior fly-offs, before we can return to the field. The bits of the Pike SL are stripped of servos & other potentially re-usable items - not much remains. The carbon shards that remind us of the model are binned – even the canopy hold-down wire has penetrated the battery pack & these need to be disposed of safely. We watch the air as the wind strength keeps on increasing; reducing the thermals & spreading sink around. The juniors are finding the going tough – but they are all extremely professional & fly without incident.

Final seconds before a 100 point landing
Finally, seniors round 3 arrives. We walk out to the field & perform a text book setup. Line tension is huge again, & the launch is straight. Benedikt from Germany & Primoz from Slovakia (again) are not so fortunate. This time the Slovakian Xplorer does not get off so lightly in the collision & a reflight is called for both pilots. A spot landing, but a slower launch & earlier landing cost 1 or 2 seconds from the score. Craig has 998.5 and is now 6th or 7th overall. We stay on the field for the reflight.

Round / Group : 3 / 1
Pos;Country;Surname;Name;Flying Time*;Landing;Score;Remark
1;AUS;Hobby ;David ;14.55.60;95;995.3;(Low Score)
2;CZE;Vostrel ;Jaroslav ;13.17.00;90;891.2;(Low Score)
3;CZE;Duchan ;Jiri ;14.55.30;100;1000.0;
4;NZE;Zaalberg ;Sven ;13.44.30;100;928.7;(Low Score)
5;GER;Feigl ;Benedikt ;0;0;0.0;Refly (3/2/5)
6;GER;Lammlein ;Tobias ;14.56.70;95;996.4;
7;GER;Kolb ;Philip ;14.55.30;100;1000.0;
8;TUR;Esibatır ;Murat ;14.55.20;100;999.9;
9;RSA;Goodrum ;Craig ;14.53.80;100;998.5;(Low Score)
10;SLO;Rizner ;Primoz ;00.00.00;0;0.0;Refly (3/2/10)
11;USA;Perkins ;Daryl ;14.55.90;95;995.6;

I learnt so much about the tactics of this critical aspect of F3J. With nothing to loose, it is critical to go for fast launches & as late a landing as possible to maximise the score diferentials. The winning time is 14:56.4 – a launch of 3.5 seconds for a 15 minute max! Spot landings are essential. In terms of the results table, competitors can only carry one of the rounds score – across the event – so Jiri Duchan scores a low score in the refly, as his initial Round 3 was also a full 1,000 pointer! Craig scores a 999.4 – which is only 0.6 seconds behind the Czech! He is lying between 5th & 7th places. But we cannot leave the field to verify this as we must fly round 4.
Round / Group : 3 / 2 ( Group Refly )
Pos;Country;Surname;Name;Flying Time*;Landing;Score;Remark
1;AUS;Hobby ;David ;14.54.50;100;998.3;
2;CZE;Vostrel ;Jaroslav ;14.54.40;100;998.2;
3;CZE;Duchan ;Jiri ;14.56.20;100;1000.0;(Low Score)
4;NZE;Zaalberg ;Sven ;14.55.30;100;999.1;
5;GER;Feigl ;Benedikt ;14.55.10;100;998.9;Reflied (3/1/5)
6;GER;Lammlein ;Tobias ;14.56.50;95;995.3;(Low Score)
7;GER;Kolb ;Philip ;14.55.80;95;994.6;(Low Score)
8;TUR;Esibatır ;Murat ;14.55.90;95;994.7;(Low Score)
9;RSA;Goodrum ;Craig ;14.55.60;100;999.4;
10;SLO;Rizner ;Primoz ;14.55.40;100;999.2;Reflied (3/1/10)
11;USA;Perkins ;Daryl ;06.09.30;0;370.7;(Low Score)
The wind has sprung up again. Conditions are becoming very challenging, and we know the competitors are close. We have seen that the launches are incredibly fast, flight times are all being maxed & landings are all spots. We are placed at the furthest left end of the field – closest to the car park. I can feel the thermals swirling past – but no birds or clouds anymore – the sink is everywhere. Everyone is flying conservatively, nobody can risk taking chances, so the gliders all fly in tight – we only know what is happening in a very limited space. Pre-tension, Ian has run back a spare line following the double (reflight) launch on the primary line – we have 2 good lines ready. Pre-tension is completed with around 2 minutes to go. Everyone is looking around. Even the tent roofs appear to be dented from the sink. This round is going to be close. Probably a fast launch again & in very tough conditions.
At 30 seconds Michelle signals the towmen for ready. The breeze is directly from the front. I step back towards the launch corridor. My arms are burning with the repeated throws. My hands are slipping from sweat. I use my left hand to hold the tension against the nose, whilst my right grasps the fuselage just in front of the wing, wrapped with the chute. Craig rocks the wings a little to double check something. Michelle signals the towman to get ready. 8 seconds & I move into the back area of the corridor. At 1 second Michelle drops the signal & the towmen lunge forward. I do not feel the line stretching as I wait for the buzzer. The 1 second slowly morphs into a zero on the display, and as the buzzer sounds I throw. Again the javelin arcs straight up – Craig making minute corrections as he needs.

Another (Pike) Perfect landing
The extra breeze bends the wings even more than before & Craig slams the model off the line as he slingshots it into the stratosphere. We synchronise our watches with the time keeper – Michelle is focussed on calling air for Craig – I try & look elsewhere to feed her with the info that she cannot see. Two groups have formed – one over the left of the fields’s tree-line & the second is closer to the line of turn-arounds, and is clustering around the middle/right of the field. Neither group appears to be going up. Michelle is trying measure the rate of decent for both groups to give Craig a comparison. Not easy when half of the models are overhead. The rearward group begins to split – some nudging left, the others pushing forward. Craig stays with the nudgers, choosing the lower risk. He is dangerously low – and we are only a few minutes into the flight. Then the worst happens. The breakaway group begins to pick-up lift & the furthest left hit big sink – they all scramble for the right side, but Craig is still very low & has to try to work what he has to get sufficient attitude to move forward. He moves towards the left of the field, sensing bubbles being shot past by the wind. He seems to be increasing in height, but suddenly massive sink again. He calls for a relaunch.

We rush to get positions, the towmen are already at full tension position & I drag the line back to Craig in the launch corridor. Bad mistake! It costs us a second or so to connect the line. Craig steps backwards to give me space to throw – I am off balance, my arm is not straight. But no time – Michelle signals the towmen to go. They hurl themselves forward & I barely feel the line stretching as I try to throw straight. I do not get my head out of the way – the left wing cracks the back of my head & Craig has to correct for a now down-wind launch. The model flies terribly, the launch was not good. A control arm has broken during the impact. The tape holding the flap servo cover splits has split apart & this is creating additional drag affect too. Craig heads for the tree line, but the lift is marginal & a 3 minute flight is all he can get. We hope for a reflight – but after a few close shaves, nothing emerges. Damb. Double damb!
Round / Group : 4 / 1
Pos;Country;Surname;Name;Flying Time;Landing;Score;Remark
1;SLO;Rizner ;Primoz ;14.55.60;100;998.2;
2;USA;Perkins ;Daryl ;14.54.90;100;997.5;
3;AUS;Hobby ;David ;14.55.10;100;997.7;
4;CZE;Vostrel ;Jaroslav ;14.52.90;100;995.5;
5;CZE;Duchan ;Jiri ;14.52.70;100;995.3;
6;NZE;Zaalberg ;Sven ;14.54.10;100;996.7;
7;GER;Feigl ;Benedikt ;14.57.10;100;999.7;
8;GER;Lammlein ;Tobias ;14.57.40;100;1000.0;
9;GER;Kolb ;Philip ;14.55.90;90;988.5;
10;TUR;Esibatır ;Murat ;14.08.80;100;951.3;
11;RSA;Goodrum ;Craig ;03.18.10;95;293.9;

We break for the juniors. Craig checks the models making small repairs. We walk out for the final rounds. The wind is swirling again. More than half of the launches have been downwind so far. That’s mostly 4 second, hand-towed launches in downwind conditions! I think back to people who claim that towmen don’t make a difference! I feel pity for them. How can I ever get them to understand that this makes F3J so incredible, that this is one of the finest expressions of team work in aeromodelling? I recall that the evening before our towmen were crowned the best in the world! Does that make a difference to the armchair observer? I feel bitter, that we do not have better recognition for this, and resolve to address this amongst the Manager’s, already having lobbied with a number of teams.

We focus on Craig. He is so bloody calm. I simply do not know how he does it. I am sure Michelle can sense his nervousness, but he does not show it to anyone. He is machine, dedicated to one task. He is a human, completely passionate about flying. He is a man, an awesome RC pilot. I am humbled, in fact, we are all humbled by his presence. Finally, he is Craig, our team mate & friend.

Round 5 launch is fast – approx 3 seconds before snapping off the line, albeit downwind. Craig locks into lift & soon the others drift over to his position. A number of pilots follow a small bubble downwind which eventually becomes a massive thermal. Those 3.6 metre span wings are soon only mm’s in size. The wind is so strong. The pilots have to land from the turn-around side. Craig asks me to signal when the model is vertically over the launch corridor. His landing is text-book perfect again! He moves up to 5th position. We stay on the field.

Landing from the launch side
Round / Group : 5 / 1
Pos;Country;Surname;Name;Flying Time;Landing;Score;Remark
1;TUR;Esibatır ;Murat ;14.55.40;95;993.6;
2;RSA;Goodrum ;Craig ;14.55.50;100;998.7;
3;SLO;Rizner ;Primoz ;14.56.60;90;989.8;
4;USA;Perkins ;Daryl ;14.55.20;100;998.4;
5;AUS;Hobby ;David ;14.56.20;95;994.4;
6;CZE;Vostrel ;Jaroslav ;14.53.90;100;997.1;
7;CZE;Duchan ;Jiri ;14.56.20;100;999.4;
8;NZE;Zaalberg ;Sven ;14.56.30;100;999.5;
9;GER;Feigl ;Benedikt ;14.55.70;100;998.9;
10;GER;Lammlein ;Tobias ;14.56.60;100;999.8;
11;GER;Kolb ;Philip ;14.56.80;100;1000.0;

Final round. We are exhausted. I see some of the strain on Craig’s face. We are aware that the people in SA have been following the event – and ever message, every email, every sms is shared amongst the team. The group in the tent support the pilots vociferously, even the line judges & time-keepers are egging the pilots on. The feeling on the field is amazing.

Final round. We are sad. This is the last round of the most amazing world championships ever. We recognise that soon we will be moving away from our friends, old & new, that we have shared the past 2 weeks with. Cultures, languages, etc., do not make a difference. We have all had one goal – to compete in the 6th F3J World Championships.
Final round. Each member of the team has achieved there goal with honour & distinction. We have represented our country with pride, and we know that the country is proud of the team.

Houston. We have lift off!
We pre-tension with 2 minutes to go. The breeze is fickle, but is drawing towards the turn-around again. It will be yet another down-wind launch. 30 second & Michelle signals the all ready. I drag the model back towards the launch box. 20 seconds & the breeze increases on my neck, down-wind launch assured. Craig tests the servos. Michelle is to his left. The announcer booms the countdown. The gladiators are ready for the final battle. Time oozes. I visualise the milliseconds between the countdown seconds, tensing for the buzzer. It sounds almost as the clock turned to zero. The model is hurled upwards, the towmen give everything they have & have given throughout the entire event. Craig guides this missile upwards and very, very quickly he snaps it upwards away from the line. A pop-off? Horrifyingly as his model shoots upwards, he clips the line of Primoz (again!) & the model spins around uncontrollably. He fights the spin, regaining lift over the wings in an inverted position & at approx 30 metres height he flips it over again, he levels out & shoots off towards the thermal he sensed during the launch. A reflight is pointless – he has a very fast launch, but no altitude! I see a line judge moving towards Philip’s team – is something wrong? Darryl has shot backwards after some lift. David has gone left, Sven moves forward & to the right. Difficult air, everyone has their own ideas. Craig hooks lift & soon a few of the other pilots join him again.

The flight is over quicker than the 15 minutes suggest. The landings are unbelievably aggressive – absolute last milli-second stuff. We learn that at least 2 pilots performed 2 second launches! Tobias nails the spot & gets the 1,000 for the round. Craig’s time is almost 2 seconds behind & he scores 998. The scores do not appear on the TV screens. The officials huddle & do not tell us anything. We move back to our tent to wait. Nails are bitten. Tension drains the last from us. We huddle together as a team. Craig hugs Matthew.

Round / Group : 6 / 1
Pos;Country;Surname;Name;Flying Time;Landing;Score;Remark
1;GER;Lammlein ;Tobias ;14.57.50;100;1000.0;
2;GER;Kolb ;Philip ;14.57.60;0;869.8;60 sec penalty
3;TUR;Esibatır ;Murat ;14.55.50;100;998.0;
4;RSA;Goodrum ;Craig ;14.55.50;100;998.0;
5;SLO;Rizner ;Primoz ;14.55.70;100;998.2;
6;USA;Perkins ;Daryl ;14.55.90;100;998.4;
7;AUS;Hobby ;David ;14.56.60;95;994.1;
8;CZE;Vostrel ;Jaroslav ;14.54.00;100;996.5;
9;CZE;Duchan ;Jiri ;14.56.40;100;998.9;
10;NZE;Zaalberg ;Sven ;14.56.90;95;994.4;
11;GER;Feigl ;Benedikt ;14.57.30;100;999.8;

Many minutes pass as the scores are checked & double checked. 2 reflight rounds make the going tough for the officials. The system is validated by hand. There can be no error! Our hosts are meticulous in their audit.
Finally the scores emerge – Benedikt is the new F3J World Champion. Craig is 5th overall, having flown against & placed higher than 4 previous world champions. Over 6 rounds, there is less than 6 points out of a 5,000 that seperate Craig from Benedikt, with some of the the toughest flying I have ever witnessed.
He is my champion. No, he is OUR champion.

Serdar Cümbüş, Craig Goodrum, Serdar Süalp
Final results
Rank;Name;Country;Total Score
1;Benedıkt Feıgl;GER;4997.30 (100.00 %)
2;Jırı Duchan;CZE;4997.30 (100.00 %)
3;Tobıas Lammleın;GER;4994.40 (99.94 %)
4;Sven Zaalberg;NZE;4993.50 (99.92 %)
5;Craıg Goodrum;RSA;4991.50 (99.88 %)
6;Daryl Perkıns;USA;4988.70 (99.83 %)
7;Prımoz Rızner;SLO;4988.60 (99.83 %)
8;Jaroslav Vostrel;CZE;4988.50 (99.82 %)
9;Davıd Hobby;AUS;4982.00 (99.69 %)
10;Phılıp Kolb;GER;4959.20 (99.24 %)
11;Murat Esıbatır;TUR;4941.20 (98.88 %)

2008 WC senior finalists

On behalf of the members of the teams, I would like to thank our generous sponsors, supporters & organisers for enabling Team South Africa to participate in the 2008 F3J World Championships ever hosted. We are proud to have represented South Africa in such a distinguished event.

Fly Safely

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