2009 HTL #3 - Results

Sunday, 5 April 2009 saw a group of 26 competitive RC glider pilots gather at the immaculate BERG field for the 3rd 2009 HTL competition of the year. I arrived a little later than usual & found more than 3/4's of the teams already set up & raring to go! Whilst the "usual" crowd were in evidence, we also welcomed newby Anthony van Zyl to his first HTL event.

The early morning conditions provided a relatively light breeze blowing from the north down the field, with some cloud suggesting high humidity in the moderate conditions. The field's grass had just been cut & was superb - the good rains from the 1st quarter 2009 has provided for an ubandance of green all over Gauteng and especially for this time of year as the seasons begin to change. The wind gradually changed to become more westerly during the day & increased in strength somewhat, with thermals sometimes swinging landings around by more then 180 degrees.

Whilst the first slots were not difficult, conditions proved challenging through the remainder of the day with a number of rounds yielding very low scores for the majority of the field. Landings were especially critical during the early rounds, and although we used the F3B/Postals approach of 5 points per metre, there was evidence that the new F3J (1 point per 20 cm for the first 2 metrefrom the spot) may have made a difference. We were fortunate that we could fly all 6 rounds - these starting later than the optimistic 09h00, and we finished just after the Malaysian GP - but that was more due to the GP's poor weather, as the timing between slots & rounds was maintained (12 minutes working time, 3 minutes preparation & a 30 minute lunch break).

The results were very close for what was rather challenging conditions - although I suspect this was not due to the "normalisation" of slots that tends to reduce the impact of alternating conditions, as all rounds always had at least one person who "maxed" - hence I conclude it must have been the ability of very closely matched pilots. The top 10 are within almost 97% of the winning score - which was Michelle Goodrum, flying her brand new F3B Ceres model. She was just ahead of Craig Goodrum (hubby) also flying a Ceres F3B model - both in preparation for the upcoming F3B World Championships in the Czech Republic later this year. By the narrowest of margins, Paul Carnall was 3rd - flying an XPro. Alan Smith flew into 4th, also flying an Xpro. First Junior Jason Weber, showed the rest how to fly his XPro/Shadow combination into 6th place & 99.4% of the winning score.

Derek Marusich flew his trusted Sagitta into a very credible 11th in trying conditions - in fact, his 4th round was surely the flight of the day - working a very low bubble on landing approach (less than 5 metres) & more than trebling his time in the air. Piet Rheeders flew his "stretched" Tsotsi into 13th overall. Due to round normalisation, they both achieved 1st place for the RES100 event. Derrick Fish & Johan Geldenhuys flew their 2M Flings into 3rd & 4th RES100 places respectively.

Flying their 2M Flings, Johan & Derrick Fish flew into a normalised 1st place, with Juanita showing good form in 3rd. Derek Marusich flying his Sagitta, and although placing well in Open, was penalised due to the pro-rata scoring for his 2M & placed a credible 4th.

Whilst Anthony appears last on the leaderboard, he did not participate in the last 4 of the rounds - so Robert "BJ" Davies is the recipient of the wooden spoon award this time :).

Thanks to all who flew, and especially the support from family, spectators & friends. Thanks to Martie who made sure we had sufficient food & drinks the entire day.

Fly safely