Our first day of flying was Saturday the 6th of June, which was to be or only practice day before the competition started. We arrived bright and breezy to sort out our accreditation doc’s that would give us the access that we need to get into the various restricted areas. Although when we arrived there was a little confusion as to where we were to set up to fly….
Straight after the briefing, we left to rush to the hotel to prepare for the opening ceremony. We arrived at the center of Turino at about 6pm and the whole ceremony lasted about 3 hours. It was really spectacular, with parachutists landing in the square with very little room to land… the flame lighting and full brass band.
On Sunday the 7th, the local DLG club had arranged a F3K competition for us. This was run like clock work.
On Wednesday morning the 9th, our slot was a little later in the morning and we were lucky enough to have great weather once again. We knew that this time there was no room for mistakes. We had to fly perfect rounds, as we were expecting most of the competitors to max there flights, in which case, they would have taken the previous rounds scores into account. The top 8 were only separated by 12 points.
On Friday the 11th, we once again had really great weather. We knew that we had a limited time slot, but that we would have a couple of rounds, before we would be called to stop. With only 8 of us in the final and the weather being as good as it was, we once again thought that this would be a long long final. It turned out that someone came down in every round until it was just Max and myself. Tony from the UK was the first one out, followed by Oleg from the US, then Vitalijus from LTU, Ricardas from LTU and Richard from the UK. There were a number of close calls for a number of us but we were lucky enough to land just a few seconds after the first plane was down. Francesco from Italy landed next and secured himself the bronze medal. Max and I then flew about 4 rounds and maxed all 4 at times we were doing rolls and aerobatics around one another just to keep the round exciting…….. but unfortunately we ran out of time and we were stopped for that time slot.
We were then told to be back by 6pm, and that we would continue with the final. We were finally called at 7:30pm to start, and ooooooops……………… I landed first. To Max’s credit he found 2 or 3 little bubbles and worked them well. (Mike Stern from the UK/ ex-ZIM received credit from Max for half of the gold, as he was launching for Max in the final)
On Saturday the 13th, we had the awards ceremony, and this was a very special moment for me. It was a very proud moment for myself and Bob Skinner who was there to award the medals to us.