2008 HTL #1 - ETB

I was initially a little concerned that the recent good rains might render the field useless - as most of the veld within the Gauteng region was at least chest high. However, upon arriving early at the field my fears were clearly unfounded as the ETB club, with their usual efficiency, had already mowed the winch & landing areas, and furthermore had already laid out the the lanes & lines markers! The ground was remarkably soft - but that was all due to the rains. In all, the field was well prepared & the lush green surrounds boded well for a excellent day's competitive thermal gliding.
The thermal conditions were somewhat challenging - from early on there was hardly any vertical distinction, but this changed as the temperatures increased into a very hot day with the occasional boomer drifting past. The wind remained N-S'ish for the entire day, with the course flags only changing direction when thermal feeders moved by. Temperatures were in the upper 20's to mid 30's (Celsius) with a very high humidity factor.
The models flown were a rather eclectic mix of commercial Experience Pro's & Pike Perfect's predominantly, with a few a locally produced/built Eish! & Shongololo's. I saw Ian's Supra, Evan's Emoyeni & Gordon's Ava also making good work of the light'ish conditions. I was pleasantly surprised to see Stephen flying what I assumed to be a foam core balsa sheeted glider - to good effect regarding his launches & landings! Towards the end of the day, Herman moved to his Trinity with good results, having experienced considerable problems with his 2.4 Ghz reception in his primary model (XPro).
During the scoring I was surprised to see how close the results were - most competitors' slot scores were all within a 60 second spread, with only the landings differentiating individuals. Even after reviewing the individual scores, I had no idea who was the leader until I printed the total results. Once again we used F3JScore for the matrix & scores with the only issues being the unforgiving score capture interface - hence a lengthy review process. Nevertheless, after 6 full rounds, scores captured & reviewed, prize giving was over by 15h00! It was interesting to see that a large group stayed on until around 18h00 flying & talking - just as well for Paul, who got a little stuck in some mud (Dodge Calibre Recovery Services were rendered with some humour, of course).

Special thanks to our CD for the day (Dave?) - he kept us all on the straight & narrow, with impeccable time keeping & calling. Marti was there again with her traveling diner - that early morning coffee was awesome (thanks), and the cold drinks & burgers were really good throughout the day. ETB were the stars again - I am confident that the 2008 Nats will be well organised too. Finally, a special thanks to all the competitors & spectators - it really was one of the best HTL events in some time, everyone was enjoying themselves, good natured bantering up & down the flight line, & competitors congratulating each other on exceptional performances:

  • Evan's first slot max, out flying everyone with his OD Emoyeni, but flew into himself on landing

  • BJ servo's burnout just prior to the first slot, he repaired these & then lost the stabs of his Shongololo during a deep zoom (fortunately there was virtually no damage to the model due in part to the long grass & very soft ground)

  • Volney catching a massive thermal downwind, then flying back again for no reason other that to just keep the model in sight

  • Chris comfortably sitting under the gazebo, probably munching on a long piece of grass , whilst maxing out his slot

  • The ribbing after Piet "stabbed" into the soft ground for a near perfect spot & the fin a good foot or two off the ground

There was one RES100 model and one 2M model, but the both pilots elected to fly in the Open class as for the rest of the year:

1 Tladi; Simon (Junior) MMS 4894.11288 (100.0 %) R1:1000.00 R2:1000.00 R5:997.24 R6:996.13 R3:900.74 (R4:569.16)
2 Shaw; Evan BER 4870.15484 (99.5 %) R1:1000.00 R3:1000.00 R5:994.65 R6:976.78 R2:898.72 (R4:394.38)
3 Klintworth; Volney SGC 4825.84925 (98.6 %) R5:1000.00 R4:991.81 R3:975.50 R6:962.48 R2:896.06 (R1:530.10)
4 Carnall; Paul ETB 4743.27955 (96.9 %) R6:1000.00 R2:1000.00 R4:997.84 R5:959.94 R1:785.49 (R3:770.61)
5 Lessem; Ian MMS 4731.47251 (96.7 %) R3:1000.00 R5:993.49 R2:978.99 R6:884.50 R1:874.49 (R4:849.40)
6 Klintworth; Conrad (Junior) SGC 4730.32617 (96.6 %) R1:1000.00 R4:1000.00 R5:1000.00 R6:960.44 R3:769.88 (R2:655.85)
7 Bruwer; Johan TRM 4712.89917 (96.3 %) R5:997.09 R6:987.88 R2:941.01 R4:919.42 R1:867.50 (R3:405.04)
8 Liebenberg; Dion ETB 4709.8659 (96.2 %) R6:1000.00 R5:999.43 R3:976.23 R2:969.05 R4:765.15 (R1:613.22)
9 Adrian; Chris SGC 4624.97438 (94.5 %) R2:999.14 R4:998.70 R3:996.96 R5:989.27 R6:640.90 (R1:593.31)
10 Rheeders; Piet BER 4486.38747 (91.7 %) R3:1000.00 R6:1000.00 R4:996.26 R5:869.31 R1:620.81 (R2:401.51)
11 Marusich; Derek (2M) BER 4485.11081 (91.6 %) R2:994.12 R5:969.67 R3:908.12 R6:897.67 R1:715.53 (R4:677.69)
12 King; Rudi SGC 4427.3717 (90.5 %) R4:991.81 R3:976.95 R6:950.27 R2:828.67 R5:679.68 (R1:535.95)
13 Weber; Herman ETB 4310.11183 (88.1 %) R4:998.56 R6:985.43 R5:872.02 R1:730.24 R2:723.87 (R3:275.36)
14 Brink; Lionel MMS 4036.13287 (82.5 %) R2:1000.00 R4:1000.00 R5:803.75 R3:713.69 R1:518.69 (R6:378.27)
15 May; Mike BER 3803.44422 (77.7 %) R4:1000.00 R3:979.66 R5:968.53 R2:495.72 R1:359.53 (R6:306.28)
16 Moore, Peter ETB 3728.06055 (76.2 %) R5:1000.00 R4:852.50 R6:728.11 R1:603.57 R2:543.89 (R3:527.07)
17 Liebenberg; Stephen (Junior) ETB 3157.57468 (64.5 %) R6:971.57 R2:804.32 R3:583.07 R1:426.42 R4:372.19 (R5:317.63)
18 Prahm; Gordon (RES100) BER 2586.85318 (52.9 %) R6:686.87 R5:639.63 R3:537.68 R4:413.22 R2:309.45 (R1:288.07)
19 Davies; Robert MMS 186.09498 (3.8 %) R1:186.09 R2:0.00 R3:0.00 R4:0.00 R5:0.00 (R6:0.00)

The club scores are comprised of the top 3 scoring pilots in Open class:

1 SGC 1,000 (100.0%) Volney, Conrad, Johan
2 BERG 970 (97.0%) Evan, Piet Derek
3 ETB 965 (96.5%) Paul, Dion, Herman
4 MMS 957 (95.7%) Simon, Ian, Lionel

Congratulations to the winners, participants & everyone who made the event so enjoyable.

Fly safely,
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