Overnight Darrell repaired his Fosa and we all hurried to the field so he and David could test fly their models before the contest began. The cool front which approached yesterday afternoon had blanketed the sky in low cloud and made launching a little hazardous so the contest starting was delayed. meanwhile after we strung the winches David launched his repaired model from Rd 1 where he broke the nose in the sunflowers. On the way up the model started to enter cloud and then started oscillating up and down and turned back toward the winches diving at the ground to finally pull up safely and get off the tow line. The model flew erratically for a few moments and then smoothed into a few circles before David brought it in for a catch. The problem had been that when David put the fuselage servos back in and plugged them into the receiver he reversed them both which reversed his up and down on the TX. he launched that way, realized the error and with some amazing stick management safely controlled the model and landed it. He said later that he just imagined the model was inverted. Wow!
Darrell’s model flew fine with the smoothed out repairs and after approx one hour delay the contest began with Rd 4 speed in still heavy overcast conditions.
Clearly the conditions play a huge part in the results of speed as Danielle Amici probably one of the fastest speed pilot in the world had to fly second in the reverse order and the most he could extract out of the air with a clean run was 17secs. Niklaus Huggler (the junior from Switzerland) set a good time of 16:17 as the 6th pilot to fly.
Darrell was the 29th pilot up and launching in virtual calm conditions he unfortunately cut B in the slow thick air to make a 24 second run. Not a good start at all but with low launches and slow air the model travels slower than expected and Base B judgment can be difficult.
Tom was next of our pilots the 40th to fly in reverse order and David was two pilots later. Tom didn’t like his first launch and the second was similar but he flew a clean run that was reasonably tight to record a 17:03 which was significantly faster than the high 17’s that the few previous pilots had flown.
David’s speed flight was also flown while the sky remained overcast and the air heavy. His time of 16.99 was much faster than the next seven pilots after him and it took the sun to come out for the final few pilots and start some active air and Andreas Herrig as third last pilot to post the 1000 with a 15.11.
Round 4 duration was next and the air was just starting to work which created little challenge for most of the pilots and the difference as the last few seconds and landing points. Darrell made a 10:01 – 95, Tom another 1000 with a 10:00 – 100, and David a 9:59 – 95.
A reflight group of yesterdays Rd 4 distance was flown next and this being David’s group gave him a great opportunity to improve his 20 / 22 loss to Thomas Dylla in the first go around. The reason for the group to be reflown was Carl Strautins protested a Base A signal which clearly was not working.
Dylla launched first and chased a thermal downwind away from the course. Meanwhile David launched also and seeing he was significantly lower than Dylla he relaunched and entered the course in line with Dylla’s thermal and began making hot laps. By the time Dylla joined the course Dave was three laps up, making fast tight turns and still nearly as high as the others. They never did catch him and David took the 1000 with a fine 28 to Dylla 27. It didn’t hurt Dylla because he carried yesterday’s 1000 but it was definitely a moral victory and set the mood for the day. Next was Round 5 speed and with the sun finally doing its work the course promised some reasonable times. Once again like yesterday it was nice to gauge the speed of the air with Amici flying just third on the reverse order list. He flew tight from a meager launch and could only post a 16.79.
As the lower ranked pilots made their attempts – most were flying 19’a and 18’s with an occasional 16. Heikki Astikainen of Finland got the first decent thermal on course and with the sultry conditions the movement of the thermal slowly down the course was quite obvious. His time of 16:02 could have been much faster with tighter turns but it stood as fastest time until Tom flew 23 pilots later. Darrell was up shortly after Heikki and managed a pretty decent time of 16:54. By the time Tom flew we were eager for some good juju and we got it with the two preceding pilots flying in a strong thermal to record a 15:64 for Petr Fusek and a 14:24 for Roland Hoffman. Tom launched immediately and floated back into the thermal to record another blistering 14:24 to march Roland for the fastest time. The time stood with the Herrigs flying at 15sec pace and Martin cut to take 18.73.
It was a huge victory for the US team as Tom took the 1000 and we all gave him big congratulatory hugs for his first 1000 in speed at a world champs.
It was sort of anticlimactic to do duration after the excitement of the speed round but Tom started things off well with a 9:59 – 100 and Darrell followed, flying a thermal way downwind to easily make his time at the extremity of his vision. He recorded a 10:01 – 100. David never managed to get higher than launch height as he ambled around for the ten minutes an finally plonked it on the spot for a great 10:00 – 100 and another 1000 for the team.
Final task to complete round 5 was distance and we started with Tom in pretty warm conditions and a 6 to 7 mph breeze.
Tom was up against Jiri Baudis and Danielle Amici and Roland Hoffman of Swiss origin and he accounted for himself in fine style just missing the final lap by about 50 feet to finish on 20 to Baudis 21. Very close but no cigar.
Darrell’s group included Gerhard Flixider of Austria and Andreas Bohlen and the Russian Dimitri Konovalov who finally won it with 24 laps. Darrell was two short on 22 after a costly cut on Base B where he had to do a 360 to get the buzzer and never caught up again from there.
David’s flight was a hum dinger as he trounced his opponents to take the 1000 with 25 laps to Jeroen Smits 24.
The CD announced we would continue with distance Rd 6 and Tom was up in the first group immediately.
Tom launched in the middle of the pack and commenced lapping in reasonable air. He was ahead of Carl Strautins by a lap and they were matching speed and height when at 15 laps in – Tom’s Fosa kicked sideways as it mid aired another model traveling in the opposite direction. Toms model was impeded a little but he never said a word and his model kept on going. The other model pulled flaps and landed and 12″ of Toms Fosa right wing fluttered slowly into the sunflowers. It was as if nothing had ever happened as Toms wounded bird kept lapping and building a lead the others couldn’t match, to finally take the 1000 triumphantly 7 laps after the accident. Carl Strautins of Australia had also made 22 but he applauded Toms effort with a baudy yell that only Carl could produce.
It was a fitting end to an excellent day for the USA team leaving Tom in 8th position individually and Dave in 6th with Darrell in 20th. The team score with the drop already in effect shows USA in 5th place just 130 points from a podium.
Tomorrow is an important day for us to consolidate our good performance today.
We moved our winch position from 5 metres from the start to 40 meters away at the end of the day. This is a mirror reverse for the second half of the contest required by the Cd.
CU all tomorrow