We have been spared from rain pretty well all week but today we woke to the pitter patter of light rain and it continued through breakfast and after we got to the field just enough to make everything wet. The forecast said it would go away after an hour or two so we began preparing lines and equipment for the last day of competition. We are to fly just one round today – round 8. Our team score shows us in 3rd position on 51184 points with Austria on 51489 in 2nd and Germany 52323 in 1st.
We need to have a solid speed and distance task for all three pilots to maintain or move up to 2nd.
The individual positions with a round to go are David in 5th, Tom in 7th and Darrell who has had some rotten luck with air in 31st.
The contest began at 8:30 in slight drizzle with Rd 8 distance. Tom was first up and never looked like losing from start to finish. As he rounded base B at about 10 feet with energy to add to his tying lap his model connected with the Spanish pilots model and Tom’s model fell to the ground. This was like ground hog day as we once again one the round but had a midair which had broken the model in a way that couldn’t be repaired and for us to change models we needed to request a new working time. The rule is a shocker and needs to be changes at he next CIAM meeting.
Darrell was next and unfortunately he spent too much time on the inside while his competitors worked better air on the outside. He went out late in his time and had to do a miracle pull up at Base A to clear the trees on his 2nd last lap. Darrell finished with 19 to the winners 22. Not a good start.
Dave was next and he didn’t like his first launch so he came back to restart and the relaunch started him significantly lower than the others. Behind in height from the start made it difficult and by the end we were 2 laps down on the 1000.
Toms reflight was the last group and it with huge relief that we watched him set the ship straight with a brilliantly executed launch and precision laps to take the 1000 points without mishap.
The Swiss had also a bad round with Huggler falling three laps short so the damage suffered was only about 164 points keeping the USA Team in 3rd position.
Duration was next and Thomas launched as slight drizzle was falling and went west over the trees. The air was barely enough to make 10 minutes so everybody gradually descended in lazy circles with Tom taking no risks with his last and only fly-able model. This made his ability to fly in good air very difficult as he dodged and weaved between the other models jockeying for scraps of buoyancy. He finally returned to the field with just sufficient height to do a wide pattern but once again had to take avoiding action in the base turn and finally finished up running out if energy a few meters short of the 100. Tom’s time was 9:57 – 60 which will become his drop and his final accumulative duration score will be just 1.5 points short of perfect.
David was next and he hooked a thermal early to be joined by the pack as they worked it out downwind. The sky as still overcast so visibility was not the best and David began watching the wrong model. His FS4 went into a dive and then as David started controlling the wrong model it spiraled down vertically before he finally sighted it again, pulled up and went straight back up into the thermal. It was a scare but David completed the flight for a perfect 10:00 – 100 which he will remember for a lifetime.
Darrell’s flight went perfectly for the first 5 minutes until circling at a good distance downwind with two or three other pilots he had a violent midair with the Japanese. Darrell’s model clapped hands and spiraled vertically in while the Japanese craft began a long wide turning descent seemingly fly able but out of control. It was easily a minute later before it also struck the ground beyond the end of the airport.
David Klein raced off to find the model as Darrell prepared another for his reflight. The reflight was much less eventful with Darrell staying well away from everybody else to finish with a 10:00 – 95.
With just speed Rd 8 to fly I set off in a car with contest organizer Reinhard Dylla to retrieve/ find Darrell’s Fosa.
After looking briefly where we thought the model went in we came across the Japanese Team Manager carrying Darrell’s model. He impacted the other model on the wing just outside the joiner bar. It sheared the wing off completely and attached only by its entrails it clapped hands and stayed with the fuselage. There was no other damage to the model upon retrieval which is amazing since it went in vertically.
Darrell flew his brand new model in speed and and registered a stellar 17:52.
It was a long wait till David and Tom flew and as a result of Toms clean slate and David’s loss in distance Tom was now moved up to 6th with David in 8th.
With the reverse order this meant that David flew 8th last and we held our breath as he took his launch and made his run. It was clean, it was fast and oddly enough it was so smooth it did not look fast but his time of 15:20 was the fastest so far. As we finished applauding Dave’s effort Andreas Bohlen stepped up to the line and laid down a 15.14 to eclipse Dave’s effort. Next was Tom and once again we were on tippy toes watching him launch and then relaunch to enter the course and fly the speed run of his life to secure his 6th place position with a 15.21. This was the third time this week that both Tom and David had almost matching times and the whole of USA should be so proud of their efforts and commitment in practice and here at the contest.
The final five speed runs were Polzl 15.71, Dylla 16.01, Martin 14.91 and Andreas 15.11.
A great relief was felt at the conclusion of Andreas run as we new it was over. I sat down to quickly crunch the numbers and I believe the USA Team has won 3rd place by 101 points over the Swiss.
It is exciting right now that we have done so well but also sobering to know we could have done so much better also.
No time for celebration until we have packed up and the result is official. Just after the final speed run was complete the heavens opened with light raining continuing to fall as Glauco and Don began the thankless task of packing equipment up. A special mention must go to these two guys who have been stellar workers for two weeks here in Germany. Don was the turnaround whore and did this lonely job every day cheerfully and without complaint. His assessment later of comparative launch heights of our pilots models was also valuable. Glauco toiled also from start to finish, preparing, maintaining, repairing and managing the equipment and doing a faultless job of calling the lights in distance. Great job Glauco and Don – this would not have happened without you.
Due to the rain the presentations were done in the team tents after it was announced we must get out of our space completely so the furniture could be re arranged. The juniors were honored first with Gerhard Flixider of Austria the new World Champion junior, Johannes Krischke of Germany 2nd and Sergei Teterin of Russia 3rd.
The Teams were then honored and we walked up as a group to stand on the podium in the 3rd position under the US Flag with the winners Germany to our right and the Austrian team in 2nd. For me it was a very proud moment to represent my adopted country as Team Manager and I felt very honored to stand on this podium with my Team mates. The pilots Tom , David and Darrell put out a huge sacrifice and countless hours of practice to reach this level. A level where they are finally in a place where they can say “We are good enough to win this too!” There is no doubt that the future for F3B in USA is strong. The individual placings were last to be honored with Andreas Herrig retaining his World Champion title, Martin Herrig once again the runnerup and their new teammate Thomas Dylla in 3rd.
Tomorrow we will be going to Dresden on a sight seeing tour arranged by the Organisation.
We will know shortly