2011 Team Selects

This is Team USA 2011 - Kyle, David and Mike

This is Team USA 2011 - Kyle, David and Mike

The 2011 USA F3B Team was selected in November 2010 to represent at the Worlds in China in the fall of 2011. A “Who’s Who” of world class F3B pilots assembled at the California Valley flying site on November 5th – 8th, 2010 to compete for the coveted three Team spots. For the first time in many years the US F3B Team selection contest included a larger array of greats from past and present – all vying to represent their country.

Skip Miller was the first USA F3B World Champion of RC Soaring in 1977 in Pretoria, South Africa, followed by winning the US Nationals Standard Class and Overall title the same year in California. He then flew his Airtronics Aquila, sporting the “Miller Mod”. He has been on 6 USA RC soaring teams, was a pilot on the first USA gold medal winning team in F3B (Miller, Nutter, Payne), a pilot of the first USA gold medal winning team in F3J (Clerx, Miller, Wurts), and pilot on the USA silver medal team (Kiesling, Miller, Wurts.) Skip was also joined at the Team selects by his protege Cody Remington who has to be the hottest talent in RC Soaring that USA has produced in years. Although Cody is not yet experienced at the vagaries of F3B soaring, this first Team Selects may be just what it takes to see him flying F3B a lot more in the future.

Daryl Perkins “DP” also attended the event to attempt another assault on a title he has won more times than any other pilot on earth. DP first won the F3B title in 1995 and then won the next 3 cycles in a row for a total of 4 consecutive world championships. This is a feat that may never be eclipsed. Daryl flew a new model called a Cyril at the Team Selects and demonstrated he has lost none of his legendary speed with a blistering 13.2 second run in speed on the first day of competition.

Rich Burnoski was their to try once more to make the team. Rich has excelled at TD soaring in USA at all levels including representing his country at the recent 2010 F3J Worlds in France. He is a self confessed F3B addict and still has the burn to be the best in this – the most demanding of all soaring disciplines.

Mike Lachowski (an avid F3B afficionado) and Tom Kiesling (probably the most rounded soaring pilot in the country) were also in the mix. Both pilots have represented USA at the highest level in the past and continue to excel at their craft. Mike has kept F3B alive on the East Coast where the numbers of competitive F3B soaring pilots has dwindled alarmingly in recent years. David Klien was also competing at this Team Selects. David has “come out of no where” in a very short space of time and is testimony to the fact that if you really want something and are prepared to work hard at it you can be as good as the best. Dave has been a great student of the craft over the last 3 years.

Altogether 15 of USA’s finest soaring pilots flew a total of 6 rounds of competition to decide the top three. The 15 pilots entered were Glauco Laugo, Steve Condon, Aaron Valdes, Scot Condon, Reto Fiolka, Tom Kiesling, Rich Burnoski, David Klein, Daryl Perkins, Cody Remington, Skip Miller, Kyle Paulson, Tom Watson and Mike Lachowski.

The final winner of the 2010 TS was none other than famous F3F racer and DS’er Kyle Paulson. Kyle is probably the hardest working pilot in the country and really has no peer when it comes to driving a sailplane fast. Kyle practices incessantly both on the slope and off the F3B winch and may be the most consistent F3B speed pilot out there. The guy who has practiced more than any other to make this team “from nowhere” was David Klien and he was rewarded with 2nd place while the talented Mike Lachowski and his Cyril took 3rd place. Mike is hard to beat at this game which he has made “his own” in recent years. Tom Kiesling flying a FreeStyler3 was 4th and is now the 1st alternate and DP (5th)the 2nd alternate.

For a full read including video and photos on the entire TS event you can go to the RCGroups thread.

During 2011 tragically a very busy Mike Lachowski had to pull out of the US Team in order to attend to other things and Tom Kiesling was asked to move up to fill the vacancy. Mike is a great loss to the team – both in experience and depth but Tom is up to the task – having represented USA before and training regularly in CA with the other team pilots Kyle and Dave. The USA F3B Team is a very strong unit with new talent as well as the sort of dedication that winning a worlds requires.

A selection of photos and videos taken at the October 2010 Team Selects contest in California Valley kindly provided by Craig Greening, David Olson and Dominic Baya. These guys deserve a lot of good karma as they took time out to attend the Team Selects, assist as helpers and record photos of what was an epic event. Thank them for their efforts when you see them next. Thanks guys.

Day One was a practice day

Day two was first contest day. Sizzling speed times.

Day 3 was a long day of mostly Distance

Day 4 (Monday) was mostly duration and some speed.