National Postals results for 2007

Herewith the Postal Scores for 2007.

Ranking, Club, Score
1, Durban Model Aircraft Club, 20359
2, Silverton Gliding Club, 19595
3, Midrand Model Soarers, 18183
4, Black Eagle Radio Gliders, 18143
5, Eastern Thermal Busters, 17533
6, Southern Soaring Club, 15204
7, White Hills Radio Flyers, 6499
8, Groengoud S&EFC, 6180
9, Klipriver Model Soarers, 3916
10, Travelling Mulberries MGC, 3727
11, LHGC, 2052

Ranking, Individual, Club, Total
1, A. Sneedon, DMAC, 6834
2, C. Adrian, SGC, 6814
3, P. Carnall, ETB, 6802
4, B. Conlon, DMAC, 6757
5, M. Stockton, BERG, 6746
6, D. Bird, DMAC, 6717
7, I. Theron, ETB, 6643
8, C. Goodrum, MMS, 6638
9, V. Klintworth, SGC, 6571
10, T. Potter, DMAC, 6556
11, C. Klintworth (jun), SGC, 6529
12, M. Goodrum, MMS, 6524
13, L. Brink, WHRF, 6499
14, D. Slatter, DMAC, 6232
15, M. Siebert, GSEF, 6180
16, H. Weber, ETB, 6169
17, K. Stockton, BERG, 6133
18, P. Rheeders, BERG, 6115
19, P. Boswarva, DMAC, 6016
20, W. Steffny, MMS, 5923
21, E. Shaw, BERG, 5689
22, B. Fanning, DMAC, 5616
23, J. Bruwer, SGC, 5511
24, N. Smith, DMAC, 4633
25, J. Coulson, DMAC, 4402
26, R. Goodrum, MMS, 4359
27, J. Coetzer, SGC, 4317
28, E. Valperga, SSC, 4295
29, B. Mulder, SSC, 4177
30, J. Lightfoot, SSC, 4067
31, R. Nelson, DMAC, 4025
32, D. Marusich, BERG, 4014
33, M. May, BERG, 3911
34, P. Joffe, BERG, 3905
35, H. Edmunds, TMMGC, 3727
36, S. Valperga, SSC, 3358
37, P. Munn, DMAC, 2961
38, S. Nelson, DMAC, 2217
39, D. Liebenberg, ETB, 2161
40, R. Nevin, KMS, 2044
41, I. Lessem, MMS, 1976
42, R. Henderson, DMAC, 1962
43, D. Bird, DMAC, 1957
44, P. Rheeders, BERG, 1927
45, A. Smith, BERG, 1916
46, S. Tladi, MMS, 1907
47, R. Nelson, DMAC, 1873
48, J. Nevin, KMS, 1872
49, F. Wittstock, DMAC, 1815
50, W. Tavill, SSC, 1812
51, E. Shaw, BERG, 1705
52, T. Roberts, BERG, 1542
53, L. Thomas, BERG, 1523
54, D. Denly, DMAC, 1354
55, C. McNiel, BERG, 1335
56, H. Nothnagel, BERG, 1294
57, J. Wright, DMAC, 1203
58, P. Munn, DMAC, 1114
59, H. Nothnagel, MMS, 1024
60, T. Roberts, BERG, 884
61, G. Prahm, BERG, 589

Please note the final part of the "Comments" about changes for 2008.

The MGA have sanctioned the changes I proposed.

I repeat below the justification which I sent Evan and which he posted on the MGA blog, for the benefit of any who may not have seen it ...

I have since had the idea of separating into A and B Leagues, so that the clubs which can't field four pilots can strive for the top of their own heap ...

  1. Allow only one attempt on any day of the month ---
    Clock running on first flight means committed to that day's score.

    I have had so many comments about pilots not being able to fly on the official day(s) that I started wondering about why two attempts at all? The idea is to fly the Postal! So why not allow pilots to fly when they can? But then allowing more than one attempt would make it all too easy, so only one attempt, decided when the clock is running on the first flight.

    One objection seems to be that some clubs like to make an outing of the postals, with everyone flying together. No problem --- a club is welcome to add its own rules within the framework, but the guy who can't manage the (club's) scheduled day is not prevented from flying on another day (and counting his score in the team score if it's good enough)!

    The idea is to get out there and fly the Postals --- the fewer restrictions the better!
  2. Have four pilots scores count for the Team Total. (I originally thought 'five' but ...)

    The idea behind this was ---
  • To give more members of each club the opportunity of feeling that they have contributed something
  • To try to persuade the top pilots in clubs with relatively few members to encourage and coach their less experienced pilots in order to get four (or more) pilots eligible for the Team Score. Isn't coaching one of the more important aspects of development?

Having just finalised the 2007 results, you might find the official scores of interest, (only showing the top contenders) compared to counting the top four scores (easy enough to do in retrospect) ...

(3) (4)
1 DMAC 20359 26874
2 SGC 19595 26112
3 MMS 18183 21966
4 BERG 18143 24669
5 ETB 17533 17533
6 SSC 15204 15204

Note that the only change is BERG displacing MMS from 3rd position,
but more pilots were involved in the official team results!

Does it matter that ETB, SSC and the rest are left further behind?
I don't think so --- it's the order that counts!

If it turns out that some part doesn't work, it's easy enough to reverse the change, or maybe move forward with a modification or two.
All you have to do is talk to me!

All the best for 2008 ...Cheers

2007 Highveld Thermal League - Review

The 2007 League is arguably one of the most successful RC thermal gliding leagues in South Africa. A total of 9 clubs from the Gauteng & surrounding provinces were represented with 64 pilots competing in three classes (FAI/Open, RES100, and 2M). Our congratulations go to the winners, and also to everyone who participated & enjoyed themselves in this developmental competition run by the MGA.

The post 2006 F3J World Championships review suggested that more regular competitions were required to establish a stronger thermal competition basis within South African RC pilots. To achieve this, the MGA agreed that the Highveld Thermal League (HTL) could be comprised of 12 individually scored events, each one held on the first weekend of each month. The MGA decided to continue promoting the National Postals & National Championships, so that the HTL would not supersede these, and rather incorporated these competitions as individual events as per their traditional calendar months. This resulted in 7 individual HTL competitions organized & flown, 4 individual National Postal events & the National Championships (only the thermal portion counted towards the HTL). Typically 5 – 6 rounds were flown per pilot, with normalized scores accumulated to each event’s overall score. The format of these events comprised a duration task (10 minutes for the Open class models) and then a spot landing as per the FAI "onion ring" approach (max points for a spot landing with points deducted for each metre away from this). Each events results were accumulated per pilot within the league table. For 2007, only 2 throwaways were permitted – which naturally were comprised of the 2 lowest scoring rounds flown. Most of the top pilots flew each event within the twelve months, with 86% of their approx. 70 flights flown counting towards the league results. Whilst consistent attendence & performance, the standard established also required excellence to achieve a top ranking.

With the format of the 2007 League flown, a close battle emerged throughout the year between the top 4 Open competitors. In the end, Paul Carnell consistently performed superbly well , winning 5 of the twelve individual events with his Experience Pro V-tail & became the deserved 2007 HTL champion! Within 98% of the winners score, fellow ETB club member Izak Theron showed his mettle flying his Eish! cross-tail for the greater part of the year & then last few events with a Experience-Pro cross-tail. A slim margin behind them also within 98% and a very close third position, MMS/BERG member Mark Stockton flew a combination of Eish!, Supra and Experience Pro’s during the year. Conrad Klintworth was 4th overall and first Junior, with Kurt Stockton second junior and 6th ranked pilot overall. In total 38 pilots competed in the Open class during the 2007 HTL season.

The RES100 competition started strongly with Gordon Prahm creating a virtually unassailable lead flying his Ava, but work pressure reduced his availability in the second half of the year & Alan Smith, who only began flying RES100 in the second half of the year, provided an excellent performance and achieved the class win with a relatively comfortable margin. In total, 9 pilots competed in RES100 during the 2007 HTL.

The 2M class saw 18 pilots competing, but his outright dominance flying a Sagitta, provided Derek Marusich the class win after a long sabbatical from the sport. Second place went to Heinrich Nothnagel even though he was unable to fly during the latter half of 2007.

Throughout the year, the club event was highly competitive. With the superb Goodrum / Stockton pilots providing the mainstay of MMS, the loss of their field due to massive radio interference and work pressures, resulted in a distinct drop in their club performance. ETB and SGC were consistent, with ETB showing gradual improvement of their individual pilots over the course of the year and eventually clinching the HTL club trophy with the narrowest of margins. BERG (also a dominant RC glider club) took the opportunity to take the coveted third place just ahead of SGC. In terms of individual entry clubs, WHRF took top honours in 5th position overall amongst the nine clubs represented.

Well done to the pilots & clubs – as always we trust that you enjoyed yourselves, and had fun flying in this wonderful league. The final 2007 HTL results can be found in the Yahoo Groups section: mgasa\Files\Highveld Thermal League.

Our thanks also to the various clubs that hosted the individual events. A mainstay of the HTL is the fact that each month, the competition is held at a different location, so local knowledge/advantage is nullified to some extent across the league. It is my opinion that the level of organisation at the events during 2007 was a significant step up from previous years, but still remained at the “informal” level were one or two individuals could comfortably manage proceedings. For 2008, the digital timing & “MP3” countdown was proven during 2007 and will likely be used exclusively, as this significantly reduces organisation overheads. The MGA upgraded the competition box which is rented to these events, and at present count, the costs for this upgrade have been paid for & then some.

For the first time in 2007, we started “branding” the league. A logo was produced by Charles Flee for the league & this has been applied consistently with the various club’s logo's to create a sense of League identity. Although I tried to get medals & badges produced, poor supplier commitment has resulted in two cancelled orders for 2007 & this initiative will likely stand over to 2008.

Another vital aspect that emerged during 2007 was Martie’s travelling diner. Providing boiling hot coffee in the mornings, ice cold drinks throughout the day, and freshly cooked lunches for the hungry teams created a new level of organisation & most pilots will agree that the overall quality & prices were always excellent!

To me the most important part of this league has to be the people, pilots, helpers, officials, spectators & families that endure our passion. So many times during 2007 we witnessed acts of unselfishness, and of assistance provided across competitive lines even to the detriment of those individuals providing the help. We joked, we laughed, we even occasionally shed for tear for departed models, but the support we received & provided to each other creates the essence of this league & what makes it worthwhile. From raw beginner to seasoned veteran, from wooden spoon recipients to the champions, everyone plays an equally important part in making the Highveld Thermal League so successful.

The changes that will be applied for 2008 represent only the "accumulation" format. The task rules shall remain the same: a developmental competition that is hosted by multiple clubs during the course of the year, flown as a RC thermal duration event with a duration & landing task counted towards the overall score. The only changes will be to add another event (making this a total of 8 competitions), and removing the National Postals & Championships from the table, changing this to become an exclusive league. In addition, the work commitments of individuals are recognised & three throwaways will be permitted. The only impact this has is to permit those individuals with other commitments to remain more competitive throughout the season, no-one is specifically advantaged or disadvantaged as the same rules are applied equally to all. To compare, I have setup a “what if” table where the impact of throwaways are seen against the 2007 season and then compared against the 2008 format using this year’s results. In general the greater the number of throwaways, the more emphasis is placed on individual excellence, whilst the reverse is rather towards consistent good performance. The numbers for this discussion are also available in the Yahoo! Groups section: mgasa\Files\Highveld Thermal League.

In all, I reckon we had a good time this year. We did not nedd to cancel a single event due to poor weather conditions (in fact the SA Weather Bureau even got their predictions spot on a few times), we flew lots of really great flights (we will ignore those flights that were less than wonderful), we had no noticeable safety incidents, and we encouraged new people to fly in the league. Hopefully we increased the standard of flying amongst everyone, giving the top guns the opportunity to improve their skills thorugh regular practise & providing us lesser mortals with a new standard to aspire to.
To one & all, a huge thank you.

Fly safely

2007 HTL - #7 Heidelberg "triathlon"

We finished the 2007 HTL on Sunday, 2 December 2007 with a cracker of an event. Gert Niewoudt ran the competition using that dreaded sawtooth scoring algorythm (basically flight times of even numbered minutes are rewarded, but odd numbers are severley penalised) and even managed to arrange clear weather conditions, albeit windy (but what would the triathlon be without a little wind?). The thermals flew past very quickly, with sink aplenty and few pilots maxed in the first slots. Conditions improved a little during the day, but the occasional wiff of lift was still no easy task to optimise except by the very best pilots.

The event results were based on the scores from 5 rounds (no throwaways) and the top 3 scores per team (of 4 pilots) count for each round. In the end, during the last few slots, ETB crept ahead of BERG with a consistent team performance from one of the top RC gliding clubs in SA. Not to be eclipsed, the BERG results must be viewed in context too - most of the BERG pilots were flying own-design, homebuilt or "spare part" models, so congratulations must go to them in the somewhat trying conditions. With the stiff breeze, as can be expected, the model attritition rate was a little higher then normal - Izak Theron sacrificed his almost new Xpro to what looked like wing-tip flutter on launch, and seconds later I ripped the full-flying stabs off my Nkwazi also during launch. Not to be outdone, Chris destroyed his Pike's ailerons a few slots later, but still managed to thermal somewhat before bringing it down. I have to remark that the launches the F3B pilots achieved were really exceptional; when even hardened F3J pilots gasp at their launch height - well, I think you get the picture.

Our special thanks to Cheryl Burgess for the use of her farm ("Che") & their facilities. The older kids seemed to enjoy the mountain hikes (much to the concern of their parents) and all the farm animals were an absolute treat for the younger city children. Also of note was that they specially cut the grass in the field for us, and provided the BBQ's. The MGA will send her a special letter of thanks for this.

My thanks to Gert, for CD'ing the entire day, keeping us informed of positions on a round by round basis, & then donating his CD petrol money back to the MGA for the 2008 F3J team. As always I am humbled by the nature & attitude of individuals within the HTL...

Thanks to Martie & her traveling diner - from breakfast to BBQ, she kept us fed & watered (kind of like the farm animals?).

Well done to all the pilots for attending this enjoyable event.

Position, Team, Score
1, ETB, 12024
2, Berg, 11974
3, CCIP, 11945
4, 3G, 11942
5, KALaMity, 10763
6, JAWV, 9062

Podium, Pilot, Team, Class, Individual score
1 Craig Goodrum 3G Open 4825
2 Deon Liebenberg ETB Open 4695
3 Conrad Klintworth CCIP Open 4562
4 Evan Shaw Berg Open 4559
5 Mark Stockton KALaMity Open 4227
6 Chris Adrian CCIP Open 4084
7 Anton Coetzee JAWV Open 4008
8 Paul Carnall ETB Open 3954
9 Rodney Goodrum 3G Open 3760
10 Kurt Stockton KALaMity Open 3573
11 Piet Rheeders Berg Open 3535
12 Michelle Goodrum 3G Open 3357
13 Herman Weber ETB Open 3281
14 Ian Lessim CCIP Open 3268
15 Derek Marusich Berg 2m 3033
16 Alan Smith KALaMity Open 2878
17 Peter Joffe Berg Open 2704
18 Volney Klintworth JAWV Open 2582
19 Wolfgang Steffny JAWV Open 2062
20 Johan Bruwer JAWV Open 2012
21 Peter Moore CCIP Open 1828
22 Lionel Brink KALaMity Open 1711
23 Izak Theron ETB Open 1134

As always, please fly safely

National Postals

Although not nearly as well respresented as at the AGM (but that is another matter entirely as this justifies all "national" votes at ther AGM), the decision to change the format of the National Postals has swung around with the narrowest of margins.

Although the single largest option chose no change (48%) , the majority of votes (52% in total) indicate that a change to the format would be acceptable. The biggest portion of this change (46% of the "change" votes) indicated that both a single weekend attempt & the 4 top scores for the club are acceptable.

We now hand this matter over to Master of the Postal's, Mr John Lightfoot, for actioning & updating the "rules" for 2008 to include both changes proposed.

Thank you to everyone that contributed.