2 day Pre Contest the team competed in prior to the Worlds. Sunday morning dawned overcast with storms nearby and some spitting light rain. We were all able to set up our lines and winches but soon after we had to cover up as it began to rain a little heavier. A 45 minute delay saw us starting with the remainder of the distance groups from round 2. Glauco was the only pilot remaining to fly and with his first launch the model disappeared into the low cloud. It was a full 15 seconds later before it finally reappeared about 50 meters away from where it vanished as Glauco flapped it down. The CD called the pilots to stop and delayed flying a further 15 minutes until the cloud passed over. When Glaucos group finally flew with great piloting and the expert calling of the team he knocked down 19 laps – (2 more laps than his opponents) to take the 1000.
Speed round three in reverse order was next and with a very slight crosswind breathing on the field the pilots began launching west and running their 4 laps. It wasn’t the best launching conditions with only a slight help from the wind, so times were once again fairly slow gradually getting faster as the long list of around 100 pilots was worked through. By the time we got to Darrell 47th in he laid down a 16.24 second time with very tight turning to take fastest and that time remained fastest for more than 25 pilots before better air developed and they began to launch higher and fly a little faster.
David had an uncustomary slow time of 18.92 with bad air causing a low launch and his relaunch was worse and though he flew a very pretty and tight run the air really was a shocker.
Tom flew 7th last and was looking really good until he cut Base B for a 22.42. This was the only cut made by the Tom on this trip in Germany bar one in practice, so it was a little unfortunate to happen at such a critical moment dropping Tom from 7th place down the order to around 18th as it was tight at the top. Duration Rd2 was announced by Armin as next and also this would be the last Task of the contest. There was no problem finding air in the light (though now fairly warm) conditions and everybody on the team for their times and shot for landings. The scores were as follows: Don 10:03 – 95, Darrell 9:59 -100, David 10:00 – 100, Gordon 10:00 – 100, Tom 9:59 -100. It was sort of an anti-climatic ending to a fun Pre contest as we started preparing for the actual Worlds staring tomorrow.
The final positions saw Daniele Amici of Italy winner with Steve Hansoulle of Belgium 2nd and Andreas Herrig 3rd. Martin Herrig was 4th and Thomas Dylla also of Germany 5th. The final positions of the team out of 102 starters were Don in 66th, Gordon 65th, Glauco 54th, David 35th, Darrell 25th and Tom 18th. Toms final speed cut on 2nd turn at B cost him dearly dropping from 7th to 18. David’s performance was really awesome and would have yielded 8th place without a silly 300 point penalty for landing in the turnarounds on Saturday. Darrell had one round of distance on Sat where he was late to relaunch and popped off leaving only three minutes to do his distance. Without that forgettable round Darrell would have been in the top 5.
Highest Average speed was won by Danielle Amici and the highest in the USA team was Darrell in 6th place.
The contest was a great opportunity to iron out the mistakes the team could make and the performance of the team was awesome enough for each of us to know that we have the boys who can do it.
After presentations to the winners the Worlds opening ceremony was conducted with the Teams being presented to the sounds of the various anthems. Girls dressed in traditional clothing led each team on to the field in front of the flags of the 17 nations where we assembled and listened to the opening speeches. Master of ceremonies was Martin Weberschock as he introduced local dignitaries and Officials to open the championships.
It was a fun times we took photos and made new friends amongst the many pilots and supporters gathered together.
After dinner was over I attended the Managers meeting in the Nardt hangar where we discussed many issues until after 11:00pm. It was a very long day and bed was a welcome place once we returned to the hotel.
Tomorrow dawns day 1 of the World Championships and we are ready!