The Kulmbach Open is a 2 Day World Cup contest we are entered in as a practice before we travel to Nardt Germany.
The Kulmbach contest began at 8:00 am sharp with scattered cloud and a sun warming an elevated slope to the North west. The wind was light at about 2 to 5 mph all day out of the south. Winches were laid out toward the SouthWest so most launches required hooking right for the best result.
The contest began with 2 rounds of distance and the first casualty on the US Team was Tom who after taking a look around on his first launch came back for a second launch which turned out to be a shocker with bad air and the result was a 5 lap hit. Glauco made 18 laps against 19. Don Sciegel flew well to get 17 of 18 and Darrell Zaballos gave us our first 1000 with 20 of 20. David Klien began with a great 21 after a 2nd launch matching the winner for another 1000. I was last to fly getting 17 against the winner 18.
The second round of distance began with David adding another 1000 to keep his slate clean. Daryl couldn’t find the best air during his 2nd round and took a beating with just 17 laps against 19. Glauco flew his 2nd distance superbly to make 18 for a tie for a great 1000. Don managed 18 of 20. Gordon had great callers during his flight and managed his first 1000 ever in distance with a great 18 against 16. Tom completed the second round of distance with another 1000 really kicking butt with a 17 lap win against 13 his nearest.
The contest continued with Round 1 of duration. Glauco started out first up but he went west and did not find air then finished landing on the winch lines for a 300 penalty to leave him short on time as well at 5 mins 19 secs. Tom did what he does best hitting the 100 target right on time for a 1000. Don Sceigel followed with a great 9:56 – 95 and Darrell also found great air for a 10:02 – 100.
The day had begun with scattered cloud but as the duration round wore on we had some serious heat creating some crazy strong air to see pilots even losing sight of their models after climbing too high. Roman Vojtech called Jan Kahouts model for over a minute while the pilot remained unsighted trying to get it down.
After visiting some very high clouds Gordon missed his landing badly to make a 10.00 -75 while David Klein took 1000 with a 9:59 – 100.
2nd round of duration once again saw David warming to the task with a perfect 10:00 – 100 Followed by Don hitting A 9:54-95 and Mr Perfect Tom Kiesling making another 10:00 – 100. Darrell also was on the money with a 10.00 – 100 and Glauco made 995 points with a 10:00 – 95. Gordon’s flight concluded Rd 2 duration as he scored 998 with a 9:58 – 100 after making a good save from around 150 feet 5 minutes in.
The day had warmed considerably and as the afternoon wore on the local Europeans were really suffering in the mid 90’s heat. Though it was very hot it wasn’t really as bad as our very humid Florida summers so I for one didn’t find it too intolerable.
Round 1 of speed was announced next by Andreas Kunz the CD and it was a pretty exciting afternoon to watch 80 pilots fly consecutive runs with a constant running clock of 3 mins prep. Most pilots launched immediately after the previous pilot completed his last lap so often the next aircraft was already in the air before the previous one had landed. Some pilots did delay their start until the air was deemed appropriate but in any event the working time of 3 minutes for each pilot began automatically as the previous pilot completed the course. This system ensured that the 80 pilots would get their flight in as rapidly as possible.
Glauco was first up and he made an excellent run with clean turns to post a 17.73. Tom was next but took a cut and made a 21.11 and then Don Scegiel made an amazing run to record 17.58. It was Darrells Rd 1 speed that shook us all up a bit as he cut twice and crossed the safety line to cap of what was already a mess and leave him with a 30.48 and a 300 point penalty. The good thing was that Darrell who is “Mr Consistency” got all his bad stuff done in one go! David managed to fly a safe line and post a 16:05 and I finished the first round with a 19:16.
Davids second run was a great exercise for the Team as he relaunched for better air and then after breaking a line on the 2nd attempt had to complete a 3rd launch and fly the course with just seconds to spare. But just to complete three launches, retrieve the model twice and complete the course inside of three minutes required great teamwork and shows the US Team is up to the task. David was first of the Team to fly speed in rd 2 his 15.92 earned him 938 points against the round winner Andreas Herrig who managed a very fast 14.94 in mild conditions. Round 2 of speed saw Darrell redeem himself with a “safe” 17.42 while Glauco put in a solid time of 19.20 in tougher conditions which varied a lot during the round. Speed is a bit of a lottery with a field this size as it took over 2 1/2 hours to fly all 80 pilots and there was no way that each got to fly in even similar conditions. Don kept up his good form to post a 19:52 while I put in a shocker all over the place to make 22:86. Tom was last to fly and in very weak conditions late in the day still put in a respectable 17.38.
A halt was called by Andreas Kunz and we began packing our gear up for the day in preparation for another first flight on Sunday at 8:00am.
At the end of the 1st day in Kulmbach Open with 71 pilots completing 3 rounds, the leader was Andreas Herrig with an amazing David Klien in 3rd place about 129 points back. Don Sceigel was in 24th, Gordon Buckland 30th, Tom Keisling 32nd, Glauco Lago 48th and Darrell Zaballos 49th.