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

F3B Qualifier #2 results

The weather conditions were described as cold & windy - a front had moved in across South Africa the previous day, scratching away the warm conditions we had enjoyed for a few weeks. A small group of people met at the BERG field, shivering against the icy breeze as they contemplated the day ahead.

As per Evan: "Despite the inclement weather the day was actually very good for F3B. There was a nice wind all day straight down the winch lines, so launches were very good and lots of height available for fast speed runs. Some really scintillating speed times were set up with the fastest being a 15.62 second run by Craig. Not to be outdone, Michell clocked a 15.97 second run shortly afterwards. All in all there were 18 sub 20 runs on the day! 5 rounds were completed. The day started off quite late because we had to reset the speed sights into wind. This delayed the start by 1.5 hours so we only managed to finish off at around 10 past 6. The most surprising thing was that just about everyone managed to fly out the full 10 minutes and the last flight were completed way after the sun had set in fast fading light."

Pos, Name, Ave

1, Michelle Goodrum, 2858.89
2, Craig Goodrum, 2848.97
3, Paul Carnall, 2531.89
4, Dion Liebenberg, 2505.09
5, Herman Weber, 2340.31
6, Stephane du Ponsel, 2275.48
7, Alan Smith, 2183.53
8, Derek Marusich, 2036.00 (4 rounds flown)
9, Wolfgang Steffny, 1967.68
10, Rodney Goodrum, 1720.45 (2 rounds flown)

Well done Michelle! Look-out for Paul, he may be an expert thermal duration pilot but he is becoming an accomplished multi-disciplinary pilot too. Dion also recorded a 16.75 speed-run, who together with Craig & Michelle, are all posting sub-17 second runs! This places ETB & MMS as the clubs fielding the top F3B pilots at the moment.

I predict that the team qualifiers are going to be very, very close.

Fly Safely

Notice of PSS Weekend - 11 & 12 October at Volksrust

The organisers would like an indication of who will be attending the planned PSS weekend at Volksrust on 11 & 12 October 2008. Please send your entries via the MGASA forum.

As a SAMAA registered site, SAMAA & MGA safety rules will be applicable.

Fly safely

F3B - 2009 team qualifier #1 results

As published previously, the first F3B Team Qualification round was held during the 2008 National RC Gliding Championships hosted by ETB. The F3B results from this are:

1. Craig Goodrum; 11641
2. Michelle Goodrum; 10815
3. Dion Liebenberg; 10380
4. Paul Carnall; 10151
5. Peter Eagle; 10099
6. Herman Weber; 8908
7. Wolfgang Steffny; 7740
8. Conrad Klintworth; 7647
9. Derek Marusich; 7427
10. Piet Rheeders; 7206
11. Lionel Brink; 6938
12. Rudi King; 6442
13. Johan Bruwer; 5628
14. Ian Lessem; 5311
15. Simon Tladi; 4134
16. Rodney Goodrum; 3697
17. Ryan Nelson; 2639

The full list of results (by task) is available from the MGASA files section, 2008 Nats

Notice of #2 qualifier for 2009 F3B team te BERG, 17 August 2008

Hi everyone,

Please be advised that the #2 qualifier for the 2009 F3B team is scheduled for Sunday, 17 August 2008 as advised in the MGA BLOG & MGASA forum during February 2008 (http://mgasa.blogspot.com/2008/02/2009-f3b-team-selection-notice.html).

The entry fee is R50 (juniors & seniors) which includes lunch & a cooldrink catered for by Martie's fabulous traveling diner!

To permit a full day's F3B flying (i.e. multi-task) the first slot starts at 08h00 for 08h30. All entries will be pre-matrixed - which implies that you need to email your entry to Lionel Brink before Thursday, 14 August 2008. Late entries will cost an additional R50 per day extra! No entries after Friday will be accepted. Please provide me with the following info:

Name, helper team, model(s), primary freq, alternate freq., SAMAA number

Please be advised that as this is a team qualifier, only in-date SAMAA members who have registered or received an application for glider SOLO may participate.

Fly safely

2008 F3J World Championships - part 2

After being blown away upon our arrival by the field we soon moved into our section of the “TENT”. This three storey high structure of almost 200 metres length was just one of the many aspects demonstrating an extremely well organised World Championship. During this time we experienced our first “issue”; 6 pilots, 2 team managers & 3 helpers do not fit easily into a space designed for a team of 4 people. Some organisation amongst the group soon had all these issues sorted out & we set about getting “acclimatisation” practices in.

Scene inside THE TENT
We unfortunately “lost” two of the juniors models during this practice session – we believe that interference was the culprit for both of these incidents. The juniors however, displayed maturity beyond their years & soon had their second models flying. We had our first teams meeting around this time & it was clear that the crashes had upset the organisers to the extent that they were willing to take drastic steps to curtail any future occurrences – whereas they only intended to collect Tx antenna’s, all Tx’s were immediately placed under pound control. I think it is fair to point out that the collection of 170 antenna's was a reasonable measure - the individuals who switched on causing the interference were the exception & had nothing to do with the organisers.
At this time we also had our formal “managers” meeting & a number of points were raised. Interestingly the questions centred around interpretations of FAI/CIAM rules, but it was made very clear that the proposed 20cm landing would only come into affect in 2009 – however, we did get permission to have both a team manager & caller to support the pilots during the event – in the case of the pilot being the team manager a suitable proxy “manager” would be designated & accepted. The officials indicated that they would not tolerate any deviations from the rules & I am confident that this adherence was strictly observed for all calls, line judging & consideration of all formal objections. This may appear a little harsh, but in my opinion, they were always fair & unbiased in their application of the rules, making for a far more enjoyable championship by eliminating inane “tactical” measures which may have detracted from the superb event our hosts had clearly planned.

Team photo after WC opening ceremony
The pre-event was our first taste of competition, but the Spor Yapi Cup was only four rounds! I was up in the first round, first slot whereupon a disastrous launch & re-launch in the early morning soggy conditions saw a terrible result. Fortunately this appeared to spur the rest of team into top gear & the next few rounds saw everyone flying comfortably & settling down to the rhythm of competitive RC Glider flying. By setting up a list of caller, pilot & towmen for each round, we were able to physically prepare lines, models, & all the necessary equipment up to 4 rounds in advance.

I am especially pleased that we did not miss a single slot – this for all 9 pilots participating, calling, & towing! It is a tribute to everyone working together as a team that made this possible. It was also during this time that it became obvious that the tree line & tents provided subtle ridge lift – with some gifted pilots able to ride out the lift for some time & maxing flights in otherwise still air. The Spor Yapi Cup ended rather quickly in 2 days, with 170 pilots competing in four rounds. It is a tribute to the organisers that they were able to host this & discussing with a number of team managers & towmen, this is often their highlight of the world championship event. I am sure that this “helpers” cup tradition will be continued in future F3J events, where everyone has the opportunity of flying with the best in the world!

The prize giving for the Spor Yapi cup was held on Spor Yapi Cup Champions - prize givingthe afternoon of 29 June 2008. It was a somewhat interesting affair, as the outright winner was the German "junior", Christian Reinecke, yet the organisers elected to award junior & senior’s separately. I was impressed when the Senior winner (who was “unofficially” 2nd overall) Daryl Perkins, requested that this “junior” stand alongside him on the podium – I understand that the organisers eventually rescinded under pressure & named Christian the outright Cup winner later that day. Strange indeed. Of course this late afternoon silliness was soon forgotten upon the opening of the Jack Daniels’ road show truck, with rather pretty waitrons providing free vodka & Jack’s to all & sundry.

One of the sponsoring companies was Jack Daniels – clearly a rather civilised & strategic move on the part of the Turk’s to lure the visiting countries into a false sense of sobriety. We naturally did not yield to the temptations of liquor, and instead left the field to enjoy one of many traditional Turkish suppers at a local restaurant very close to our hotel. The interesting aspect of these suppers was the usual pre-meal snack – a pita-like bread that is blown up like huge balloon during baking. Due to the high work loads of the competition, we generally always ate everything placed in front of us by our hosts, and also because the food was typically of very high quality & reasonably priced. After the Cup our team settled down for the night, some dreaming of flying, some wondering if the Jack Daniel’s truck would return....

The day after the Spor Yapi Cup was a formal practice day & we soon had the bungies out to perfect landings & a couple of setup tweaks noted during the Cup. During this time those people that had lost aircraft also completed rebuilding or acquiring new models – noticeably all three of the juniors had lost one model before the start of the World Championship! Johan Bruwer & Chris Adrian also started on there mission to acquire as many models that they could carry. I was rather attracted to the new Explorer from Nan models, but the quoAll I want for Christmas: a Nan Explorer, pleaseted “around 1,000 Euro’s” was so far out of my already blown-to-pieces-budget that I could only afford to gaze at the airframe longingly. Approximating a Pike Perfect in wing loading, I reckon it is one of the sexiest models around - & note that we were literally swamped by Pike’s, Xplorer’s, Supra’s, Shadows, etc. One fortunate individual from Canada (I think) won an Explorer from the German team in a raffle (cost him 40 Euros). For the record, the Explorer achieved rather good results in both the Spor Yapi & World Championships. Expect to see more of this model in the future when production & world orders start in around 6 months time.

Stress management!?Competition day. We arrived at the field somewhat earlier than usual. Water canisters were all fully charged & batteries were all filled, or was that that the other way around? I did not imagine the sense of nervousness, as most people were far more quite than the previous days & went about their preparations in a far more subdued fashion. It was interesting to see everyone’s “defence” mechanisms. Michelle became extremely chatty with the other teams & looooong time friends, Craig became super efficient in organising the tent area, whilst Chris finished rebuilding Conrad’s #1 Pike fuselage & managed to connect to the internet (yes, wireless internet connectivity on the field – virtually broadband when compared to our local drivel). The juniors were also affected – Conrad was clearly worried about his model & was especially concerned about what his dad would say. Simon Tladi (or “lightning” as he became known) simply slowed things down, and began his focusing for the event ahead.

Lionel 'Tigger' Brink & Ryan 'Chuckie' Nelson share a momentOnly young Ryan was an enigma, not having flown as much with the rest of the pilots often, he stuck with his dad, Simon Nelson, during this time, hiding behind his dark glasses & scaring even a number of top pilots in the process – I understand from his mom that “Chuckie” was a changed lad after this event (I have no idea why?), & I am proud that gliding could have such an positive affect on anyone. The towmen were always exceptionally professional & busied themselves with checking equipment & getting everything (& occasionally everyone) ready. The managers were the only individuals left to worry – which I can report that I managed to achieve with some considerable success.

We began flying the WC rounds, Michelle was up first amongst the seniors & had to land short following a trip through a seemingly never-ending patch of sink – requiring a relaunch of her #2 Pike. I think this was a pop-off as she did not achieve a good score for her first round. Chris was up next & provided a solid score which pulled us back again. Craig was up third & was very close to a max with a good time, but if I cannot remember getting the 1 metre landing. We flew 2 rounds of seniors, then 2 rounds of juniors – the idea being to alternate this pattern through the remainder of the 12 rounds. The light breeze & warm conditions soon had the South African’s moving up the ranks, & Craig was soon placed very strongly in the top 10. Michelle was also fighting back with amazing determination & Chris too was consistently placing well in each round & they were both placed in the mid 20’s / 30's ranking.

During one of the rounds, the weather decided that we were all having too much fun & arrived with vengeance & some pay-back when a strong breeze & vicious sink set in. If I recall the juniors were flying during this time & the carnage was devastating. Out-landings became the order of the day with numerous destroyed models as a result. In fact it began to resemble a demolition derby very quickly as the carnage spread to more than 50% of the field per round. Similarly the seniors experienced a torrid time & Chris also succeeded in out-landing his model some considerable distance (approx 800 metres) from the field – this after spending what seemed like ages just trying to get back!

The next morning the organisers announced that the juniors would fly in the morning for 4 rounds & seniors to follow afterwards, obviously concerned about the high level of destruction – particularly amongst the junior pilots. The weather naturally played along in the morning, but just after lunchtime the wind returned & brought similarly challenging conditions – dissipating available thermals & removing the bubble generators we identified previously during the Spor Yapi Cup. However, in their defence, the carnage did seem to subside & the teams’ rhythm was not affected. Due to the back to back rounds, Johan Bruwer Senior & Chris Adrian were also called upon to tow for the Juniors, providing Johan Junior & myself with a bit of a breather on the Junior side. The seniors towmen saw Ian &Johan Jnr providing the majority of launches, with Johan Snr also assisting in quite a few too. On the flight line, the structure was Michelle called for Craig, Conrad calling for Chris, and Craig calling for Michelle, and myself as second caller/time-keeper, providing the basis for the senior’s “rotation”. Juniors had Ian as second caller/time-keeper/landing coach, with Carig calling for Simon & Ryan, Chris calling for Conrad.

I watched with delight as we all began to solidify positions towards the fly-offs, in particular I have never seen Craig so focussed & his awesome display of flying was equally recognised by other competitors & judges alike (specifically I received statements of support from both Sedar (our CD) & Sydney (Uncle Sydney), with lots of encouragement from various other teams including USA & Australia). Craig needed a position in the top 11 to make the flyoffs, towards the final day of the preliminary rounds it was becoming very, very tense. During this time I was launching for him & was worried that I was costing him an extra second on launch due to waiting for the buzzer – however his words of “wait for the buzzer, as a relaunch is more costly” served as a good guidance to ensure that each launch was “legal”. There were claims made that the line judges did not pick up all the early launches or late landings, but those that I saw were swiftly penalised & the continuous line checking etc., created a presence on the field that prevented any opportunities for anyone taking a chance.

Chris & Michelle had solidified their positions in the middle 20's (out of 74 pilots) following some absolutely stunning flying, but the initial round setback & Chris’s out-landing were not throwaway’s they wanted. The tension became incredible during this time, but the teams (juniors & seniors) took this head on & everyone performed with the utmost professionalism & dedication. I sensed that something special was growing as more & more we began focusing on the fly-offs. By round 9, both Craig & Conrad were amongst the top contenders. Then disaster struck. Conrad was flying in very tough afternoon conditions & elected to stay with the group that meandered through horrid sink. Only one pilot gambled & broke away from the group, hooking the only non-sink in a 50 mile radius and maxed the slot, whilst the rest struggled to a devastating 7 minutes. The result was harsh – with only 3 rounds to go, Conrad, who already had a throwaway due to a relaunch (I think), dropped from 3rd to 17th – just ahead of Simon in 18th. The look on the his face was indescribable as he realised the virtually impossible task of achieving the junior fly-offs. But, what was amazing is that he scored 1,000 during his next slot - just to show everyone what an awesome competitor he is. This to me was one of the defining moments of the competition – as I saw this young man assume full responsibility & came back from intense disappointment. If that is not “big match temperament” then nothing is, & I am incredibly proud of his maturity & actions.

Craig also experienced some challenges towards the end of the prelims & excruciatingly dropped from 7th overall to 10th. However, is a show of sheer determination & excellently timed landings he maintained his position for the last 3 rounds. I realise that the discussion forum back home was going wild – but the pressure of competing was such that few of us had time to respond to emails. I believe that everyone was fully focused on the event, but also know that each & every sms, email or voice message were shared amongst the team as the unbelievable support from SA just mounted & mounted. In fact, we were all rather humbled by this level of support & would like to thank everyone for showing such interest.

Enough blabbering for now, the final report will cover the fly-offs. If you ever thought the prelims could be tense, then you have never experienced a fly-off! It is simply what makes F3J so utterly amazing & challenging. until next time ....

Fly safely

2008 HTL #5 - Henley report

Leaving home at 06h00 in the morning, the sun had not even started to rise above the horizon. My dogs looked up at me as if I was completely nuts, then turned around & simply went back to sleep! A 200km round trip lay ahead, a completely unknown field - but after the last great HTL at BERG, I was soooo keen...

Sunday, 2 August 2008 & the HTL competition was on. Almost 3 months previously we had attended the Henley Aeromodellers Open day, where the second World Air Games (WAG) qualification round was succesfully flown for Discus Launch Gliders (DLG). During this impressive Open Day, we chatted to representatives of the local club committee who expressed an interest in us demonstrating the "thermal duration" gliding event too. Since we need a venue for the HTL #5, the scene was set & Derek Marusich kindly assisted by liaising with the committee whilst I was away in Turkey. Not only did we get to use the exclusive use of the field for the morning, but I counted more than 50 people from the Henley club came to look at the gliders. I had to smile at one of the early morning questions from one of the Henley members - "I thought that there was going to be a glider competition?" - but such is the relaxed atmosphere of HTL, with everyone chipping in to help one another, and everything running relatively smoothly with extremely little effort, that anyone could get confused about this fiercely competitive event with some of the top RC Glider pilots in SA participating.

After a rebuild required after a "hot" landing at the World Championships in Turkey, my X-Pro glider needed a maiden - some of the mechanical settings had been changed, but the first throw was "straight off the board" stuff, & it remained as such for the rest of the day (bliss!). The early morning breeze was North-Easterly which suited the layout rather well - plenty of space for a long flight line & lots of landing area. We only needed to walk about 50 metres or so into the rougher scrub for the last portion of the turnarounds, but thios was not serious at all. Unfortunately the dry African winter had been rather harsh in Henley & the ground was incredibly hard. All the stakes also had to be tilted back by 45 degrees for safety, as no moisture was present to provide even moderate retaining friction. Coolish in the morning, we were soon all running around & jerseys & jackets were promptly removed as the sun rose up high & provided yet another glorious African day, perfect for thermal soaring. This also provided a subtle reminder for the use of sunscreen for the season ahead!

The pilots briefing started around 09h15 - and the first slot began at approx 09h30. The first round yielded a very light breeze with incredibly buoyant air - virtually everyone maxing the 10 minute duration task in the available 12 minutes working time. Landings were interesting as the usual spear approach would not work against the African "granite" hard surface & the models simply slid along for many metres otherwise. The first slot of round 2 was the essentially same conditions, but the second slot was a little more challenging when the buoyant air was suddenly displaced by a vast area of sink & tiny thermal bubbles. Flight times dropped suddenly to 5 minutes for the group, except Paul of course, flying with his own ultra-smooth style, who managed to conserve energy & by maxing the slot, hammered the remaining pilots. This pattern remained for the rest of the day - one or two slots of buoyant air, replaced by a slot or two of sink - both usually across a vast area. The breeze also picked up smartly & a few whicked dust devils (whirlwinds) had people scurrying to hold onto models & gazebo's. As far as I know, Gert's Supra was the only injury due to this, when a particularly nasty whirlwind shot through far right of the flight line & flipped his model around onto the waiting Tx antenna - which promptly cut a small groove into the left flap's trailing edge. No further damage & all the pilots ran to launch & catch the obvious thermals around.

The flight corridor was marked as a safety area - models touching any grounded object within this area would be penalised by 200 points, touching any person would yield a 1,000 point penalty - all penalties being non-throwaway, but fortunately no incidents were noted. This provided the local club members the opportunity to walk amongst the pilots, who in turn were asked numerous questions about gliding, models, wingspan, setup, radio installations, etc. Their interest was really great & I am confident that we will see some gliders emerging from Henley shortly.

We interrupted the event for a very civilised lunch at 12h30, where Martie provided her usual superb catering for the competition & a number of club members too. Lunch out of the way & we quickly resumed the final 3 rounds before 15h00 saw the final slot flown to perfection. During round 3, Rodney (who managed to avoid that lone tree all day!) ironically saw his Shadow's fin & rudder neatly sliced off above the stabiliser when his model & Dion's tried to occupy the same bit of air space simultaneously. Dion landed without incident, but sadly Rodney was forced to land out & his flying was over for the last 2 rounds. Trevor Austin performed some interesting aerobatics on his first launch Round 1: Slot 1 - which saw his model smacking the hard earth & the nose promptly breaking off a few metres in front of the winch. His backup model was broken shortly afterwards with a rather hard landing, but after a slot was back in the air thanks to the wonders of CA. Not to be outdone, Wolfgang also smote the earth with a resounding thwak - which we measured as exceeding 3.2 on a pre-calibrated Richter scale device. Peter Moore, above all else, deserves a special mention too - he managed to snap loop his model on landing & "gently" touched down on the nose & wing tips for a near perfect 3 pointer. The resident aerobatics judges all applauded him enthusiastically for his artistic interpretation of landing.

The final positions are based on the scoresheets returned to me & scored using F3JScore:

1 Carnall; Paul ETB 5000 (100.0 %) R6:1000.00 R2:1000.00 R3:1000.00 R1:1000.00 R5:1000.00 (R4:997.70) (X-Pro/Shadow/Trinity X)
2 Goodrum; Craig MMS 4992.97262 (99.9 %) R2:1000.00 R4:1000.00 R3:999.42 R1:997.85 R5:995.70 (R6:994.80) (Shadow/X-Pro)
3 Marusich; Derek BER 4927.65696 (98.6 %) R5:993.52 R3:991.79 R4:991.36 R2:981.47 R6:969.51 (R1:917.55) (Sagitta)
4 Bruwer; Johan SGC 4866.72743 (97.3 %) R1:998.13 R2:988.22 R4:967.70 R5:966.82 R3:945.87 (R6:604.44) (Pike Perfect)
5 Klintworth; Conrad SGC 4855.76466 (97.1 %) R1:1000.00 R2:1000.00 R4:1000.00 R5:999.28 R6:856.48 (R3:471.05) (Pike Perfect)
6 Weber; Jason ETB 4841.61003 (96.8 %) R2:997.12 R1:978.98 R4:977.12 R3:976.68 R6:911.72 (R5:676.64) (Not sure?)
7 Rheeders; Piet BER 4792.90223 (95.9 %) R4:991.08 R1:963.58 R2:957.69 R3:944.72 R5:935.84 (R6:402.81) (Stretched Tsotsi)
8 Liebenberg; Dion ETB 4683.42678 (93.7 %) R6:1000.00 R4:989.78 R1:986.18 R2:907.05 R5:800.41 (R3:587.62) (not sure, but it was stronger than Rodney's Shadow)
9 Brink; Lionel MMS 4613.11089 (92.3 %) R3:1000.00 R1:1000.00 R4:1000.00 R5:979.26 R2:633.85 (R6:499.56) (X-Pro)
10 Niewoudt; Gert TRM 4606.96959 (92.1 %) R5:1000.00 R1:991.65 R6:978.12 R4:952.91 R3:684.29 (R2:646.70) (Supra)
11 King; Rudi SGC 4532.8627 (90.7 %) R6:1000.00 R5:1000.00 R4:962.17 R2:826.56 R3:744.13 (R1:0.00) (Eish!?)
12 Steffny; Wolfgang MMS 4475.61768 (89.5 %) R1:948.88 R6:909.75 R4:894.71 R5:870.24 R2:852.04 (R3:264.94) (one very strong X-21)
13 Weber; Herman ETB 4364.79302 (87.3 %) R1:994.82 R4:986.65 R3:817.86 R6:811.15 R2:754.32 (R5:693.75) (Trinity)
14 Austin; Trevor MMS 4328.69888 (86.6 %) R3:1000.00 R4:977.98 R5:840.99 R1:778.51 R2:731.22 (R6:570.79) (not sure/Concord)
15 Moore; Peter ETB 4203.78979 (84.1 %) R2:978.88 R6:941.85 R1:852.20 R4:829.69 R3:601.18 (R5:543.04) (X-Pro - aerobatic version)
16 Liebenberg; Stephen ETB 3698.68154 (74.0 %) R3:997.70 R1:933.35 R6:724.98 R2:586.94 R5:455.71 (R4:454.11) (not sure)
17 Goodrum; Rodney MMS 3024.63461 (60.5 %) R4:954.20 R1:860.93 R3:646.32 R2:563.19 R6:0.00 (R5:0.00) (Shadow - half X-tail version)

It is important to note that Derek was flying his Sagitta again - and simply hammered the rest of us flying molded models! The top juniors did well too - with 5th & 6th places.Stephen was flying what looked like a wood vernered glider, but was doing exzceptionally well with this too in a rather close competition. Congratulations to Trevor for competing after a such a loooong time off - welcome back.

Now, simply because I write this report, I also decided to show the top 10 flights too (look, it's not everyday that you manage to score a hole-in-one against the greats!):

1 Brink; Lionel 697.8 9:59.8 (0-1) R:3 / S:1
2 Goodrum; Craig 696.5 9:59.5 (0-1) R:4 / S:1
3 Klintworth; Conrad 696.2 9:57.2 (0-1) R:1 / S:1
4 Goodrum; Craig 696.1 9:58.1 (0-1) R:2 / S:1
5 Brink; Lionel 695.2 9:57.2 (0-1) R:4 / S:2
6 Carnall; Paul 694.9 9:59.9 (1-2) R:4 / S:1
7 Klintworth; Conrad 694.8 9:59.8 (1-2) R:2 / S:3
8 1 Klintworth; Conrad 694.8 9:59.8 (1-2) R:4 / S:3
9 Goodrum; Craig 694.7 9:58.7 (0-1) R:1 / S:1
10 Liebenberg; Dion 694.7 9:59.7 (1-2) R:6 / S:3

It was a stunning day, with reasonably challenging conditions. The pilots all had fun & we managed to show off top class RC gliding to a large group of people. It may have been a long trip, but it definitely was worth it.

Finally, a huge word of thanks to our hosts, the Henley Aeromodellers Club. We were all impressed with your field & we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate RC Gliding to your members. The enthuisiasm shown by the club's members was far more than we expected, but serves as an excellent reminder of how much fun RC gliding can be.

For a great report of the HTL #5 by Derek, please refer to the BERG Blog. Note that his report at least contains some photographs & particularly Peter Moore's landing sequence - I did not have time to take pictures what with us being a team of only 2 & being CD :-)

Fly safely