The local organizations in the community are preparing a cultural exchange activity, in the form of letting each team member share their stories with local secondary (primary) students with in the campus. Each team will be assigned to a school. We are requested to bring prepared cultural material to share with the students (e.g. National history, photos, stories, gifts, etc.) We don’t know when this will occur now as it was supposed to be this morning. We will see. Our first full World Championship contest day started with an opening ceremony and short speeches by local and CIFA officials. The teams lined up together with the flag of their country and were addressed by the dignitaries. (Tomorrow we will go to the Aerosports Fiesta after lunch for the official opening.) The contest got under way with the 1st round of duration. Dave was in group 1 and he launched early and headed east initially in a big wide circuit over the river to finally end up over the Buildings to the west where he found enough bouyant air to make a perfect 10:00 – 100. Tom also found fairly easy air to the west where there are a series of buildings and roads. Tom made a great approach to score a perfect 1000 also with a 10:00 – 100. Kyle was 3rd up in Group 4. Once again the air was truly smooth with plenty of places to be that were not sinking. Kyle got his time and finished with a 9:58 – 100. With duration round 1 out of the way we immediately began distance after a 15 min break. First up for USA in Round 1 was Dave. Dave launched 1st and headed to the west over the buildings followed by Kuntzy to thermal for a couple of minutes before both entered the course with about 3:58 to go. It was a great race with Dave staying wide longer and Kuntzy coming back to the field to beat Dave by 1 with a 28 to Daves 27. Tom was 2nd up and he launched and entered the course just above the road area west of the field. He worked out with the first few turns but the air sucked and at 2:00mins in he was clearly in trouble. Everybody else who followed him re-launched with Craig Goodrum last heading in the opposite direction away from the mayhem. Meanwhile Tom did a superb job of using the air that was available to post a remarkable 17 laps. Now we just needed to watch the others. All those that relaunched fell out also with less laps than Tom but Craig with his wily move to the east came up with one more lap for an 18. Our final pilot in Rd one Distance was Kyle and he launched first after a short wait for air. He got a great launch and worked some air upwind of the course to the East while Martin Herrig launched and joined him. with a bit over 4:00 mins of working time to go they both hit the course side by side and matched laps for 2:00 mins. Kyle continued to appear higher than Martin but didn’t accelerate quite as fast and Martin was edging ahead slightly. Than the unthinkable occurred with Kyle making a cut at B and having to go back was now more than a lap behind Martin. Around 2:06 Kyle turned away to the west and separated himself from Martin for 3 or 4 laps. For some reason he slowed down and fell behind and when he rejoined Martin on the air to the East he was down 1 1/2 laps. It was an exciting race but Kyle finished with 26 laps to Martins 29. We think more than likely based on the way the planes reacted in this great match race that Martin was a little heavier.
Speed was commenced immediately afterwards in the reverse order of the standings. Air was just OK and certainly not near as bad as it was about to get later in the day. It was very hazy/smog conditions with little in the way of lift indicators to choose launch air. I spoke to Martin H before he launched in speed and he admitted he was nervous as we waited for his flight. It seemed rather incongruous that the world champion with such experience and skill would be so nervous before the start.
Once again though the Herrigs seemed to read better air in their working time and Andreas posted fastest time for the round with a 15:28. Martin was second quickest with 15:95 and the Japanese pilots really stepped up with Naito Sakurai posting a 16:15 for 3rd in speed. Andreas Kunz was 4th with a 17:26 and Kyle 6th with a 17:40. Tom Kiesling got a really great launch and flew a tight first turn at blistering pace to cut the 3rd turn and finish with a 20.63. It was a great run and would have at least been in the 16’s. David had a series of things just not go quite as planned in his poor first 2 launches required a 3rd and then he cut his 3rd turn also to end up running out of working time for a zero.
The second round of speed commenced immediately and clearly the air was getting poorer as everything appeared to heat up to the same temperature and there was no lift. Combined with no wind and a lot of particles in the air it seemed that a good launch was about 230 meters. The resultant speed runs were not easy.
Kyle launched first of our pilots and waited out his working time for decent air but it wasn’t going to be. His launch was low and the model just seemed listless in these horrid conditions. Kyle made great turns as tight as can be and still finished with a 17.90. He wasnt happy but clearly as the afternoon wore on 17 secs was a reasonable score.
Michael Seyfang from Germany laid down The fastest time of the day with a15.22 but in fairness to everyone else he was the only pilot to get a thermal in Rd 2 speed. 2nd fastest 16.51 was once again a Japanese pilot with Yoshida Masahide flying a Hurricane. Martin Herrig was 3rd with a 16.79. Naoto Sakurai from Japan 4th 16.94. John Skinner of Australia 5th 17.12. Andrea Herrig was 6th with a 17.65 Tom K 7th with 17.80 and Kyle 8th with his 17.90. David flew a clean safe run this time to score with a 18.96. The air was probably the worst launching air I have ever seen for RC sailplanes.
The second round of duration commenced shortly after with the sun setting in a dull orb through the smog.
The air was still quite buoyant to the west over the buildings and that’s where nearly everyone headed to get their ten minutes pretty easily. Only 2 groups were completed before a tired Roman called it a day and we began to pack up.
Final positions after the first day were the two Herrigs on top with Andreas on 4860 and Martin 4858. Susumu Kodo 3rd on 4858 points. Tom was our highest place US pilot with 4540 points in 6th place. Kyle was in 8th on 4448. David had his throwout in the 1st and sits on 18th.
Looking forward to tomorrow as we are going to fly in the morning and then go to the Aerosports Fiesta in the afternoon.
Have a good one