Uncle Sydney’s World Champs
Gossip - July 2008
Bene clinches Feigl triumph in Turkey
/bigger>/bigger>/bigger>Sloping roof leads to tightest of
Benedikt Feigl is the new F3J world champion. David Hobby lost
his chance of a hat-trick of championship triumphs by only by
15.3 points in ninth place! After a six round flyoff in which
any of the eleven pilots could have won, Benedikt and Jiri
Duchan were level with 4,997.30 each, the German pilot winning
the crown with a better score in the preliminary rounds.
So the 2008 and best organised FAI F3J championships ever brings
yet another success for the Feigl family and NAN’s Xplorer. With
new world champion Bene, his brother Sebastian who is 2007
European champion, and father Peter - no mean F3J pilot himself
- you wonder what is left for the Bavarian Eagles to achieve.
The Gallizia family from Italy is also returning from Turkey
triumphant, Giovanni Gallizia came from eighth place in the
preliminary rounds to win the flyoff and become junior world
champion. Father and senior pilot Guiseppe Gallizia had a hard
time with penalties in the senior contest, but he chased hard
with his three sons Giovanni, Marco and Carlo to take the
Italian juniors to fourth team place, a terrific achievement.
The cheers for Giovanni’s top spot were heard all over the field!
Team champions in both seniors and juniors are Germany, both by
wide margins, the three senior pilots having dropped 60 points
out of 33 flights, less than two points per flight. The juniors
dropped 370 points, again after 33 flights, which is also
remarkable. The team wins prove the strength in depth of the
German F3J league and also the thorough preparation and
leadership of team managers Karl Hinsch and Tobias Lammlein and
their lusty towmen.
Team Gallizia with proud junior F3J world champion Giovanni (centre
rear) just minutes after the flyoff results were announced.
Grandfather Gallizia, who had brought the whole family to Turkey
in April for the Eurotour contest, had to stay at home “working”
this time and missed his grandson and family’s triumph.
Uncle’s merit awards
With 122 pilots challenging for world title recognition,
there can only be two individual winners and two teams of three
for the podium. The reality is, of course, that many others’
achievements merit recognition. I mention just a few.
Tobi Lammlein, junior world champion in Lappeenranta and
in Adapazari senior pilot and German junior team manager, had
perhaps the most successful week in Turkey. Due to pressures of
work, Czech Jan Kohout had to drop out, and since he and Tobi
were my favourites to win the top prize, I found myself rooting
In the precontest F3J Spor Yapi Cup, he did not do so well with
21st place. In the WCs he improved with third place in the
preliminaries and again third in the six round flyoff, three
points below the champion. Not bad. Nobody was busier on the
flight line for Tobi was coach and spotter for Philip Kolb and
as team manager for the juniors, he was out there helping
Johannes Weber and Reinecke brothers Christian and Manuel.
In the surprise Multiplex Easyglider competition, held after the
first two flyoff rounds on Friday, he missed a place. Then in
Saturday’s final event, the ASC Cup where the top five seniors
and juniors had a 20 minute flyoff competition, he won with his
High End. At the end of it all, he apologised for letting me
down in the WCs. No need - he gave us all a treat.
Sven Zaalberg was on my flyoff shortlist and apart from
the New Zealanders and Colin Lucas, UK’s team manager and Sven’s
flying mate when he lived in England, most observers saw him as
a rank outsider. Two very young children, his lovely wife Coral
and a recent house move had prevented too much preparation. But
he flew his socks off and taxed the air reading capacities of
Joe Wurts to find himself leading in many of the preliminary
rounds, and winning fourth place in the flyoffs. If he had not
slid a few centimetres too far to score 95 in the sixth round,
he would have been champion. What a week to remember!
Another busy man was Joe Wurts, between US and NZ
nationalities and excluded as a WC pilot until next year, he
came fourth in the preliminaries of the Spor Yapi Cup and ended
up in fifth place. In the champs he was on the line far more
than most, team manager for the New Zealand pilots, spotter for
both Daryl Perkins and US’s gifted junior “AJ” McGowan, who with
his long hair and furry “keep cool” hat, came third junior.
Anyone who doubts the requirement to have a gifted coach if you
want to win, need only check on Joe’s input for the week. For
the record, when NZ needs clashed with US, then his new country
allegiance had priority.
Daryl Perkins was the “contest brute”. He flew Supras and
in practice before the event, he’d broken a tailplane on launch
and needed a replacement. I took out my spare from England but
he’d already got another one. Then in Round Eight in gusty winds
with Cody Remington stretching the line to breaking point, he
tried another rocket launch and the tailplane burst company at
the start of the zoom. He landed the wing safely and quickly,
model two was ready, another rocket launch and the zoom resulted
in a flurry combining loop and roll. Another broken tailplane
with over nine minutes to fly and two launches gone.
This time the tailplane stayed on with the right hand tip bent
down 20 degrees, the fold slightly askew. Amazingly the abused
Supra was still in control. Daryl coaxed it to the trees and
rode the waves, eventually nursing it into kinder air and even
gaining the odd 50 metres to fly out the slot. The flightline
manager ran over and followed the flight to check that all parts
of the plane were still attached before landing. Flight time: 9
minutes 15.8 seconds and one relieved pilot flat on his back.
Will this four-time F3B world champion learn to temper his
strengths? Good news is that Daryl is determined to be back at
the next WCs in France. He has a burning ambition. He wants a
fifth world title, preferably in F3J.
Cody Remington returning to the pits with Daryl Perkins’
wounded Supra, tailplane askew, still able to score 9 minutes
plus after relaunch.
Jaroslav Vostrel from the Czech Republic made the flyoff
along with team-mate Jiri Duchan, both flying in their first
WCs. But Jaro makes my merit list because as part of the Samba
team, it was the Vostrel family who produce the Pike Perfects
which were by far the most numerous at the event. Managed by
Jana Vostrelova, the Czech team also placed second in the team
champs with outstanding performances by Jiri and Vitezslav
Sterba. We might yet see the Czech national team comprising
exclusively of Vostrels, Vlastimil and Jana getting ever better
pilots and placing 33rd and 35th in the Spor Yapi Cup.
Mathew Goodrum, (aged three I think), is on my list for
allowing mum and dad to fly for South Africa and only once or
twice interfering for the needs of nature. His dad Craig was
another of my long shots for the flyoff and made it, taking
fifth place finally, less than six points behind the winner, but
with a complete model write-off in the second round after
brushing with Primoz Rizner on launch and losing radio control.
Primoz was lucky and flew out. Craig must regret losing the odd
second per flight because he scored 100 point landings otherwise.
His time in most rounds was 14.55 plus.
President of the organisation committee for the 2008 F3J WCs,
Serdar Cumbus, a pillar of support for Istanbul’s Soarist Club.
Serdar Cumbus, the gentle giant, was for me the unsung hero
of the WCs. He also spent much of the time sat on the flightline
counting down in a lingo which I should have learnt by now and
backing Larry Jolly’s coaching for Turkish seniors and juniors.
Everybody’s thanks should go to Serdar for chairing and leading
the organisation of the whole event over the past couple of
Towards the end of the contest, a memento book was passed among
the 25 competing teams, and team managers contributed their
comments, mostly in languages which I could understand. Almost
all ranked this championship as the best organised to date.
France has a hard act to follow in 2010, but my bet is that they
Alex Wunscheim and Marin Kordic were the flightline
managers, pristine in their red shirts, ever patrolling the
lines for early launches and late landings, the first time that
I have seen this as a separate dedicated task at any
championship. It proved to be a welcome and effective innovation.
Their duties were not simple because they were required to
police low flying and inflict 100 point safety penalties.
That leads me to the one criticism of the whole event - a
serious one. It was caused by the positioning of the super
tented hangar which provided lots of comfortable space for the
competing teams, for storing models, for relaxing when possible,
for meeting rival competitors and exchanging information. But
the long roof ran parallel and alongside a line of trees, ten
metres or so higher, producing a highly efficient slope for
soaring whenever the afternoon winds were drawn across the field
from the north.
This lift generator became the “get-out-of-jail card” for many
if not all the pilots. Having lost their lift far downwind and
struggling to make it back for seven or eight minute flights,
they could then play the ridge, and more often than not, they
flew their slots out. For other pilots, it was even more of a
lifeline. One pilot in the flyoff, who shall remain nameless,
reckoned he spent seven minutes navigating along the top of the
tent, and others did the same.
Adrian Lee, who led the UK efforts, rarely needed the slope lift
and when he did he tried and succeeded a couple of times in
getting away again to comfortable height by catching one of the
thermal bubbles which flowed through. Ian Duff and Brian Johnson
reckoned the risks were too great, they were untutored in the
tree technique anyway, and it wasn’t cricket!
It was this lift generator which caused troubles for flightline
managers Alex and Marin. Even before the contest, the slope lift
was well recognised as a rescue haven. At the first team
managers briefing, they emphasised that tent and tree sloping
would be watched, primarily because it could have been a safety
hazard. At times as many as ten gliders were dodging and weaving
a few metres over the tent, and it was potentially dangerous.
The “whoops” and “aaahhs” of the spectators proved how
entertaining and fascinating the antics proved to be.
So it was made clear that penalties for overflying safety areas
by less than three metres would be applied strictly although it
was going to be difficult to judge. If gliders came over the
tent directly for a landing, then that would be OK. But if they
were utilising the slope lift and came below the sight line from
the safety corridor to the top of the trees, then they would
have 100 point penalities.
On the first afternoon six pilots were penalised. Later in the
week several more suffered the same. The judges were reluctant
to punish, they were conscious that they were not
infallible.They did not want to spoil the chances of any pilot.
They tried apply the rule consistently.
The escape card was sad for everyone, and it diminished the
quality of the competition, so perfect in every other respect.
The team accommodation and official tents and the line of trees
which produced reliable slope lift whenever the north winds blew,
which sadly was most afternoons.
Mustafa Koc let me down by not finding a place in the
flyoffs, especially after this year’s fine run of successes in
the Euroleague. Maybe the pressure was too great, but I think
not, for he proved as genial a host as ever. He must have been
proud too for daughter Esra who flew out most of her slots and
mixed so happily with many of the pilots. I know he wants to
play down his interests in the sponsors. But for once, I want to
say a warm thank you, and I know all teams will join me.
Before moving on, I want to deal with the Supra tailplane
problem. I happen to fly a Supra from Vladimir’s Model because I
find it the most comfortable (and for me most successful) glider
I have ever flown. I have no vested interest or connection
except that I have known Vladimir for a long time and Barry
Kennedy of Composites fame, the US distributor, for a couple of
years. The reporting of flight times, scores, triumphs and
disasters within minutes over the Internet, which was another
successful feature from Adapazari, portrayed Supra problems
largely undeserved. That was the first topic I was questioned
about by friends when I got back home.
The facts are that Supras rotate on launch very rapidly, and it
is best to launch overarm if you can. If the tailplane hits the
head or shoulder of your launcher, then you are likely to crash.
I know - I’ve done it. Supra can also launch faster and higher
than say a Perfect, if you are a skilled gorilla. But you risk
pulling the tailplane off its platform.
Vladimir, Barry, Joe and Daryl all analysed the tailplane
problem. Next version of the tail will have carbon cloth around
the bolt hole tied into the main spar, and that should prevent
the bolt simply tearing through. That should also prevent the
tail actually creasing with the rapid switch of lift from bottom
to top surfaces in a mega-zoom launch. I am sure that Vladimir
will detail his modifications and retesting shortly.
Serious thoughts for future F3J
Jury members Tomas Bartovsky, Raymond Pavan and Gerhard
Wobbeking had a couple of appeals to reject but were otherwise
left in peace. Chairman Tomas called his technical meeting where
he spelled out changes for next year which most people knew
about already. More interesting discussion followed on flying
below the three metre margin over the safety areas and launch
corridor. Events in the contest had provided ample proof that
such a rule was impossible to measure and administer. How can
you honestly check that a model flew less than three metres
above someone’s head. You do know if it hits him/her!
The significant change, now up for consideration by CIAM’s
technical committee, is whether F3J should follow F3B safety
philosophy. Really punishing penalties should be given to a
pilot if his model actually hits an object in a safety area, and
disqualification if the model strikes a person.Team managers
were in favour of dropping the minimum three metre rule as too
haphazard to apply and the 100 point penalty as insufficient a
deterrent. Anticipate new rules in 2011!
CIAM was also interested to test opinion on hand towing versus
winch launching, or allowing the option for official FAI
contests. I was surprised when a show of hands showed a two to
one vote in favour of retaining hand towing. I expected the
opposite after the rejection of shorter towline length earlier
this year and the fact that most countries run their team
qualifications with electric winches.
One discussion which brought unanimous approval was that towmen
and spotters should receive far greater and deserved recognition
for the vital parts they play. Contest organisers are encouraged
to seek all means to signify appreciation and I hope a sensible
convention will evolve.
Extra curricular activities
As well as the Spor Yapi Open contest which preceded the
WCs, Serdar Sualp and his team organised a series of fun events,
the Easyglider competition sponsored by Multiplex, the ASC 20
minute flyoff event sponsored by Serdar Cumbus and a two man
towmen competition where national team towers had to drag a quad
bike driven by their team manager as far as possible in five
seconds. Much cheating ensued.
The ASC contest proved what had already become obvious: it makes
little or no difference in sunny thermally conditions if you run
a 15 or 20 minute flyoff slots. All the skilled contestants find
it as simple to fly out 20 rather than 15 minutes, even with a
two second launch.
The Easyglider event was an eye-opener and great fun, well worth
repeating given the chance. The ten pilots - five top seniors
and juniors - were given their Easyglider Pro kits. As supplied
they have four servos ready fitted. Pilots had one hour to
install their own receiver and test fly, then had two ten minute
slots launching from a standard cotton covered bungee and 150
metre lines. You could launch as many times as you like with the
last flight counting.
First pilot ready was Jiri Duchan, in about 10 minutes flat, and
he dashed out and gave it a handlaunch, not a throw. Up it
sailed and he clocked over two minutes. Next flight was up and
away over the trees, sky’s the limit. The others were much the
The Easygliders proved well able to hook thermals and fly away.
The two round contest was flown out by several pilots for the
full slot time, the only difficulty was keeping your eyes on
your own white foamie and its size at distance. Yet we all spend
15 times as much to buy our Perfects, Xplorers, Supras and
Espadas etc. I’ve had electric Easyglider and I shall now buy a
plain Pro to follow. Good marketing Multiplex!
Easyglider champions about to start their contest. Most of
the pilots flew out their two ten-minute slots from a bungee
launch. Ex- world champion David Hobby rescued his week by
Uncle’s betting shop
This year my senior flyoff
forecasts were not up to scratch, but my team prize guess of
Germany was right, in fact doubly so if you count the juniors.
First problem was Jan Kohout not turning up (and I took my
drums). Flyoff places were set at 11 not 12, so that evened
matters for everyone who named Jan. One of my certain bets was
Cody Remington who up to Round 11 was well in, even after a zero
in Round 5.
Round 12 spelled disaster when he landed out. He sat down on the
flight line in despair, head in hands, hardly believing what had
happened. Half an hour later, all was well again - almost anyway.
He had given his flyoff place to Daryl Perkins, a slight
consolation. Cody’s mum, down to earth as ever, told me that it
was as important to learn to lose as well as win.
Back to the betting, my score this time was five from 11, many
readers scored six and joint winners with seven are Margaret
Pettigrew from Australia and Larry Jolly from the US who was
there all week trying to fix the results. I hope for more
entries next time around, and by then I hope I shall have
delivered the two prizes.
Roll on next summer for the Polish Eurochamps and in 2010 to
Jura in France for the seventh F3J world champs!
16 July 2008.
End of Gossip
Sydney Lenssen sydney.lenssen (at) ntlworld.com
Larry Jolly timing for Murat Esibatir
3 of Team New Zealand
Jiri Duchan CZE
TM Jana Vostrelova, pilot Jaroslav Vostrel and helper/pilot
Vitezslav Sterba CZE.
Team Australia with David flying
TM Karl Hinch and Tobias Lämmlein
TM Jim Monaco, Cody Remington and pilot Daryl Perkins
Jim Monaco holds a Supra up to show the 3 meter rule
over the corridor
Philip Kolb and Stephan Lämmlein
The couple Goodrum's Craig & Michelle
Sydney's gossip column - June 2008
Adapazari beckons F3J would-be
In two weeks F3J pilots from around the world will meet to find
the next world champion, this year held for the first time in
Asia - to narrow it down, in Adapazari, Turkey, about 150 km
east of Istanbul.
How the ten years have passed in a flash since the first F3J
world champs in Upton upon Severn, England. How two or three
significant shifts in F3J glider design have raised model
standards to levels which would have been scarcely imagined at
Upton. How pilots from continents around the world have honed
their skills in thermal reading, high speed launching and
accurate landings on the dot to make this simple form of model
competition more demanding and unforgiving than any other.
So what's in store? Which teams and pilots will climb the podium
after six days of contest flying on 5 July? Before reviewing
prospects and guessing results, first let's look at how and why
Turkey has been chosen to host the sixth F3J world champs.
I first met Team Turkey at Lappeenranta in Finland in the summer
of 2002. Semin Kiziltoprak was "team mother" looking after every
need of the Istanbul Soarists. She also saved my bacon by
letting the UK team use their van after we'd tried for two days
to rent our own! Team Turkey was flying at an FAI F3J
championship for the first time, and already their friendship
was there for all to share.
The real story of Turkey's model soaring enthusiasm started a
year earlier. Mustafa Koc and some friends were visiting
Dusseldorf for an exhibition - looking at boats? He had heard
of the HKM Sharon Pro and its success on the contest circuit. So
he decided to visit Willi Helpenstein in his Odenkirchen shop,
near Monchen Gladbach, 40 km away.
In the shop he asked: these are good F3J models, but how good?
Willi closed the shop, took them his local flying club, and
spent the afternoon demonstrating just how good. The Turks took
an unknown number of models back with them in the plane, and
others followed soon after. Willi took a trip to Istanbul and
the Soarists became Sharon pilots.
The Turks were ambitious. Mustafa contacted Philip Kolb, nursing
a broken leg at the time, asking for details of his Sharon Pro
set-up. Give me your e-mail address and you'll have all the data
tomorrow. "No, no that's not what we need. Which airport do you
fly from? Come out here and show the club how to do it!"
Philip's first vsit to Istanbul was in March 2002, for a long
weekend flying at Riva, everyone keen to gain greater skills in
what had become an addiction - F3J thermal soaring. He remembers
a crowded city, a lot of people taking wonderful care to make
him feel at home, and a serious determination to do well in this
Five months later, in Lappeenranta F3J WC 2002, Team Turkey came
Disheartened? Not at all. They went on to organise the first
Istanbul Open, they gained Contest Eurotour status, they turned
up in force ever more regularly at Eurotour contests, they
showed the world how to attract wide sponsorship and to run
contests with unrivalled enthusiasm, facilities and
entertainment. They appointed Thomas Rossner as team coach for
Canada in 2004, and at Red Deer amazed soarers worldwide -
including themselves - placing second in the team championships.
Contest success alone is not what endears all pilots and
visitors to Soarist hospitality. It's the effort and
determination of all the hosts, timekeepers, caterers, officials,
helpers, family supporters and not least toilet cleaners, to
ensure that everybody has fun. They create a magical world of
F3J friendship and "F3Food." They fully deserve to host F3J's
Contest director and supremo - Serdar Sualp
Serdar has been an integral part of the Soarists since day one,
and to this day I do not know if he flies model aeroplanes. But
he does fly, all over the world as part of his job. As we all
left Adapazari in April this year, tired and satisfied after a
one of the most exciting flyoffs I have ever witnessed and a
demanding Eurotour contest, Serdar rushed away to catch a plane
to China. It is not all play!
One thing you will quickly recognise, if you don't know him
already. He has a memory of an elephant, mention your name once
and it's fixed in his mind. He is the driving force behind the
competition computer systems. A fair contest is safe in his
hands and he'll always be there with a smile, help and a strict
but sympathetic attitude.
Serdar Sualp - "Memory-Man"
Serdar will be helped by Alex Wunscheim as flightline manager,
one of the driving forces behind hand launch gliders worldwide
and former F3K Contest-Eurotour manager, occasional F3J flyer
and friend of the Soarists. Other vital helpers can be seen on
the WC website. Official FAI Jury 2008 will be led as usual by
Tomas Bartovsky, helped by Raymond Pavan from Luxembourg and
freeflight fan Gerhard Wobbeking from Hamburg, F3J juryman for
the second time after Osijek and a CIAM vice-president.
We're promised a host of innovations, scoring systems, videos
and weather forecasts. There's a threat to hold a football
tournament after hours, and by that time the UEFA European
Football Championships will be over. Which F3Football team will
triumph at international level?
National teams who's who
How to list the national teams? Previous Gossip columns have
used alphabetical order or registration date order. This time
it's random order and you, dear reader, must search for your
We should start with hosts Turkey. No surprise to find team
manager Serdar "Gentle Giant" Cumbus leading pilots Mustafa Koc,
Murat Esibatir and Dr Ilgaz Kalaycioglu forming the senior team
as they have done for the last six years. Make no mistake,
today it's not as easy as in previous years to gain a team place
with more than 20 pilots challenging in the qualifications. But
the three are on hot form, Mustafa and Murat forging neck and
neck in the Euroleague, and the doctor making the flyoff in the
home Eurotour and in Italy. The trio should also benefit from
the canny eyes of flight coach Larry Jolly, the man with an
endless stream of jokes to tell, tailored for every occasion.
Turkey also has three juniors, Diren Ustundag, Ali Ersu and Esra
Koc, all them coming on leaps and bounds and in with good
chances. It's another tribute to the Soarists that they can
field a full junior team when so many long established F3J
countries, particularly UK, find it almost impossible to
persuade juniors to fly at all. As hosts, all the pressure will
be on Team Turkey. Of course, like everyone, they want success,
at the same time they will want to be welcoming. If you are
neutral, then wish them luck.
Next out of the hat comes Switzerland, and no strangers in the
team with TM Ernesto Weber looking after Koni Oetiker, Rudi
Baumgartner and Reto Baumgartner, with probably the best
tow-team of the champs. Koni started the season well with second
place in Turkey, a flyoff place in Belgium, just a foretaste of
what he hopes for July.
Taking population and number of F3J pilots into account, Israel
fields a team which usually scores far better than you'd expect.
Eldad Manheim will combine pilot and TM with Uri de-Swaan and
Arik Meir making the seniors. For the first time they will have
full compliment for juniors, Yair Lange, Elad Mazor and Tom
Dagon, all wild cards ready to make their mark, and if the winds
blow, they could surprise everyone.
Holding the world champs in early July has caused a few
problems, particularly for Italy where high school and
university exams clash with hobby hopes. Giuseppe Generali, oft
described as Italian F3J boss, has a host of family and work
problems and hands over TM duties to Francesco Meschia. Marco
Generali is another victim due to his engineering studies,
always with a shy smile and buried in his laptop studying at
every spare moment at many contests.
Filippo Gallizia who is now 18 has his final high school exams
and might not make it, in which case his father Giuseppe will.
Amazingly the Gallizia family makes up the entire Italian junior
team, Marco aged 9, Carlo aged 14 and Giovanni eldest at 16
years old! Italian F3J flyers have probably improved most over
recent years, keenly competitive and noisily shouting on the
flightlines. Expect seniors in blue Marco Salvigni, Massimo
Verardi and Fillippo or Giuseppe to get close to top place.
The Russians turned up in force at Adapazari in April, relishing
the chance to test the field and eager to crash a few models in
the process. It is so good to see the enthusiasm but so
difficult to talk over the language barrier.
Some of the pilots flew longer in time and distance from their
home towns in Russia to Moscow than the flight from Moscow to
Istanbul. They are keen. Again a full team of seniors and
juniors is led by the looming serious-faced TM Alexey Schegolev,
seniors Ildar Sultanov, Dmitry Statkevich and Andrey Volikov,
and juniors Dmitry Gashnev, Vladislav Frunze and Mikhail Lobov.
Fingers crossed for them all.
Ukraine is a country which has been into F3J since the
beginning, and TM Vladimir Gavrylko continues to be a leading
light in competitive gliders and one of the world's significant
producers. His association with Barry of Kennedy Composites and
Dr Mark Drela has made the Supra probably the most popular F3J
model in the USA and Blaster 2 ranks second to none
internationally in commercially produced hlg's.
Ukraine's seniors are Vladimir Makarov, Alexander Petrenko and
Dmyrto Kharlamov, probably the most youthful of the senior
teams. The junior team has Vladimir's son Jury again together
with Alex Sakhno and Alexander Chekh. Sooner or later Ukraine
will make the podium and perhaps this is the year for that!
Michelle and Craig Goodrum from South Africa have already tasted
the delights of the Adapazari sodfarm, travelling last October
for the championship of champions, a pretty damp experience
after all those thousands of airmiles. And they left "the little
one" behind which upset me! July must be better, and in fact
might be hotter than home.
RSA TM will be Lionel Brink who cut his teeth towing in Martin
2006, and the Goodrums will be joined by Chris Adrian. Junior
team, bursting with confidence, will be Conrad Klintworth, Simon
Tladi and Ryan Nelson. Conrad took second place in the F3J
national qualification, only beaten by Craig, and he will still
be eligible for 2010 Junior champs. Junior TM will be Ian Lessem
who flew as a junior in Finland and Ryan's dad, "cocky chirper"
Simon will be towing mightily.
Brazil also needs to travel far but they bring a sparkle and
colourful shirts to every championship they attend. Combining TM
and pilot is Marion Luz and the senior team is completed by
Marco A Silveira Fracao and Mauro Lopes. There are eight
travelling from Brazil but no juniors. I find it difficult to
track form down there and can only wish them well in Turkey.
The Czech team is the first to be managed by a woman, and
Eurotour watchers will have noticed that Jana Vostrelova is
flying more than ever with improving results every contest. Jana
of course is the English voice of Samba and will have F3J fans
around the world rooting for her senior and junior teams. And
the Norway team is also hoping she'll give a hand.
Brother Jaroslav Vostrel is in the senior team along with former
world champion and guitar-toting Jan Kohout and Jiri Duchan.
Junior team is Tomas Kadlec, Jan Leiner and Jakub Lzicar. Then
Jana's brother Vlastimil will lead a team of seven helpers to
give full backing.
Edit: Jan Kohout steps out because of
business and in comes hot Vitezlav Sterba
I'm sad to see that Jaroslav Tupec, one of the Czech Republic's
most successful pilots, is not listed. He has threatened to
retire from contest flying for several years and at the end of
last year he sent me his FAI Licence as confirmation of his
decision. We shall miss you, and also hope you change your mind.
Australia has a heavyweight team, bolstered by twice-winning and
reigning world champion David Hobby. You have to ask - can he do
it again? - but that should wait for later. The three seniors
are Gregg Voak, Theo Arvanitakis and Michael O'Reilly and it is
pleasing to see Theo as a pilot this time rather than
spotter-in- chief or mighty towman.
David Hobby, twice world
F3J champion, and can he do it again? The Adapazari podium will
be stronger, just in case!
The team is completed by one junior Michael Abraham and three
helpers. I shall miss Carl Strautens who unexpectedly missed a
team place and the Pettigrews who support the Aussies around the
world but won't this time due to a changed cruise plans.
Recent years has seen an F3J resurgence in France with more than
70 pilots competing for the team each year, boosting support for
the Jura Eurotour, now second in numbers to Hollandglide, and
the smiling cheer of Luc Bocquet as TM. Four qualifying rounds
are flown to pick the team and at the end of the third, nine
pilots could have made the final three.
This year's team is completely different from last year's
Eurochamps in Trnava, Lionel Fournier from Burgundy Jura,
Olivier Finck from Grenoble who competed in Corfu 2000 and Holic
in 2001, and Philippe Daumas from Clermont-Ferrand in the
Auvergne, the beautiful mountains which I last visited on the
way to see the Millau Viaduct, one of the newest "wonders of the
world." Philippe is one of that
rare breed who designs, builds and flies his own gliders and
with best hopes for success, I look forward to seeing the valid
proof of this approach.
Both North American teams, Canada and the US have had
significant personnel swaps in the run up to Turkey. Jim Monaco
who was the tough TM in Martin replaces Larry Jolly for the US
and Canada will not field Arend Borst for the first time at a
world champs, although he and his son were orginally due to
compete. Both teams got together in May for a final practice in
Denver in the Rockies. Was it ominous that Daryl Perkins won the
I should also be surprised if any national group other than the
hosts will be larger than Team USA. They have seven pilots
because Cody Remington returns in his own right as the current
junior world champ, this time in the seniors, flying his Espada
and in "deadly form" I am reliably informed. On top of that,
they have six helpers including Phil Barnes (and his dlg?) and
12 travelling supporters. The Americans set an ambitious target
of raising $30,000 in sponsorship to help team costs and at time
of writing, they have 80% in the bag! That's good to see.
Senior team will be Daryl Perkins, eager to win an F3J crown to
go with his four F3B successes. My old friend Ben Clerx is back
on circuit and he's had a taste of Adapazari in April already.
Finally Richard Burnoski who hails from Chicago where you don't
fly too often over winter months, but he's been making up since
then whenever the weather allows.
Daryl Perkins at the
Rockies team practice day. Can he switch classes and do it
again? (Note: spotter Larry Jolly in the background!)
Pic courtesy of Phil Jones and RC Groups.com
Juniors come from various parts of the country, Jeffery Walter,
AJ McGowan and Brendon Beardsley, all eager to show their
talents. They won't have spotting from Joe Wurts this time with
his wily reading of air, for he will be TM for New Zealand.
In contrast, Canada has only four people notified in their
party, but hopefully a few more will turn up. Kevin Hanson is TM
and his three senior pilots are Joseph Fitz-James, David Webb
and Simon Thompson. I understand that only seven pilots turned
up for the team selection competition - the distances involved
are huge - and due to later squabbles over procedures, three
pilots expecting to travel to Turkey changed their minds. That's
sad. Canadians nearly always punch above their weight, so wait
Bulgaria is home to NAN Models who I reckon manufacture by far
the largest number of moulded models in the world these days,
competitively priced in a climate which has seen cost of
composites soar. This year the new Xplorer has emerged to follow
up the Shadow, Xperience Pro and Vision, all still capable of
wins. The latest model in the series has been helped by Primoz
Rizner from Slovenia in concept and testing, he leads the
current Euroleague and won in Adapazari while the model was
still being trimmed!
Nikolay Nikolov, F3J's
prolific builder from Bulgaria
NAN boss Nikolay Nikolov is a helper for the team as usual and
their most experienced pilot Sotir Lazarkov is TM as well as
pilot. Senior team is made up by Valentin Valchev and Konstantin
Ranov. Junior pilots are probably the youngest in the field,
with Georgy Dimitrov, Filip Stamenkov and Delyan Todorov. I
expect Bulgarian models and perhaps one or more pilots to reach
World and Euro champs would not be the same without the jaunty
language from Finland of Janne Savolainen, sometimes turning up
all alone. This time he might not need help because he is joined
in senior by Tuomo Kokkonen and Teemu Ranta, Teemu also doubling
up as junior pilot. Pauli Ranta will be a helper. I wish TM and
our Finnish friends best of luck, and hope Janne has fully
trimmed and tested his models!
Karl "The Hat" Hinsch is TM for the first time leading the
German team, as formidable as ever, with a reputation for
winning big events, even football. Seniors are Benedikt Feigl
who this year replaces brother Sebastian, Philip Kolb who is now
resident in Istanbul and speaks "restaurantese" with gourmet
skills, and Tobi Lammlein, ex-junior world champ who will
combine senior pilot with junior TM role, which his father
Stephan filled so well previously. Dad will take it more easily
this time as helper and towman.
Junior team is made up with two brothers, Christian and Manuel
Reinecke and Johannes Weber, and they will be backed by helpers
Michael Clauss, Sebastian Feigl, Peter Nelles, Jurgen Reinecke,
Benjamin Rodax and Michael Weber. (Where oh where is Utz?! Who
will finish the beer?)
Croatia always features large at championships and this year is
led by TM Damir Kosir. First pilot to mention is junior Arijan
Hucaljuk who has a remarkable record of wins and for the past
two years has been his country's top pilot. He is joined by
Marijan Balasko a newcomer. No third junior pilot because the
selectors do not consider anyone worthy of WC status.
Seniors are Antun Sikic who was one of the organisers in Osijek
2005 and qualifies as pilot for the first time, Damir Kmoch who
has flown in the national team ten times previously and Sasa
Pecinar another experienced pilot at Euroleague and championship
Long time friend Jos Kleuskens is TM for Netherlands. Junior
pilot, the ever-smiling Lesley van der Laan, is all set to
follow last year's success as junior champion of Europe to
greater heights this time. If anyone can, it should be him, cool
as a cucumber on the sticks. Senior team for Holland is Cor de
Jong, Egbert Fokke van der Laan and Rob Sanders and they travel
with an experienced group of five helpers including two more van
A man who flew in April from Norway to practice in Adapazari is
the ubiquitous ("allestedsnærværende" in Norwegian ;) Jo Grini - he won't know what that means either.
He is TM and senior pilot with Alf Erik Ross flying in his
second world champs and Tor Midtlund at his third. Jo has been
gaining high scores this year and needs to keep his nerve his
Japan has only registered four people so far, led by Yoshihiro
Kurita and senior pilots Hitomi Iwata, Masahide Yoshida and
Hitoshi Ohtaka. Sad to see that Shuhei Okamoto does not look
likely and I hope that the others continue the tradition of
showing off their super simple mini dlg's. Japan has very strong
trade links with Turkey and the week will strengthen the F3J
Ask me to name a team I'm looking forward to seeing most, it
would have to be New Zealand. First, I was in the NZ team by
fluke at Upton ten years ago; second, Sven Zaalberg, a personal
friend who flew for UK in Canada, is now back in his native
country with Air New Zealand and will be in the senior team;
third, I want to witness the influence ex-world champ and new
Kiwi Joe Wurts can bring to the team as team manager. Two other
seniors are Les Stockley and Scott Chisholm, with Paul Chisholm
coming as helper. Will they provide the big shocks?
Ask me to name the hardest job at the champs, and that is trying
to understand Romanian at registration, but this team is
delightful and ever improving, Team manager again is Serban
Cristinel and he combines that with senior pilot. Other seniors
are Janos Arpad Gocsman and Catalin Milea. They have one junior,
S Norbertcarlat, together with a band of eight helpers.
Full teams of seniors and juniors from Slovenia as always, and
this year confidence must be high. Pavel Prhavc is TM with
Primoz Prhavc is pilot with Bojan Gergic and Primoz Rizner, who
is setting the pace in this year's Euroleague. Juniors have Jure
Marc, Robert Ratajc and Metod Meolic and both teams have five
dedicated helpers. No rivals should underestimate their
determination this year.
Perhaps one other team will be just as determined, Slovakia, led
again by maestro Jaro Muller, true father of the moulded model
gliders, still setting standards on quality of finish. His
strong senior team, all long experienced, is Juraj Bartek, Juraj
Adamek together with Jan Ivancik. Juniors are Jan Littva, Matej
Gorok and Daniel Demecko. Four helpers make up the party.
Last, we hope not least, is team United Kingdom which has also
been fraught with the last minute withdrawal of a senior pilot
and two helpers, who should be named and shamed, but not by me.
Colin Lucas is TM and would not miss a trip to Turkey without
crying into his yellow boots.
His senior team is Adrian Lee, veteran of many champs and set to
fly his faithful red and blue Graphites, with a Supra in reserve
waiting for somebody to learn how to launch it. Brian Johnson is
rushing to build and test new models, confident he can show his
best form this time at Adapazari. Substitute pilot is Ian Duff,
flying for the first time at this level, but undaunted and in
form, winning at Aldershot last weekend. Helpers are Jon
Stanswood and Brian's brother Les, plus Uncle tagging along if
Outstanding national teams who do not appear to be making this
year's championship are Poland who I believe will be hosting the
next Eurochamps, Lithuania who had become regulars recently,
Belgium for some unexplained to date reason, and Austria who
seem to have dropped flat field soaring, and who can blame them
with such enticing Alpine alternatives. But we shall miss you!
Who are hot favourites?
This Gossip column has been shouting the odds over recent years,
and I'm told that the guesses are the prime reason anyone
bothers to read the column. Previous years it has seemed easy to
check on form, but this year there seemed too many pilots who
look likely to reach the flyoffs.
Obvious guide of course is progress in the Contest Euroleague.
This time last year, Philip Kolb was running away from his
rivals and had already won for the umpteenth time. Not so this
year. With half the year still to go, F3J Euroleader is Primoz
Rizner from Slovenia with three scores above 100 but no perfect
score of 103 as yet. Philip Kolb trails in second place for the
moment, nearly two points behind, and Sebastian Feigl who does
not even make the German team this year although he won the
Eurochamps in Trnava, is taking third place with one perfect
score gained at Podhorany at the start of June. Brother Benedikt
must be saving his best for Turkey and languishes far down the
Flyoff places are likely to be limited to 12 and my list to fill
those precious spots is: Mustafa Koc of Turkey, Koni Oetiker of
Switzerland, Marco Salvigni of Italy, Craig Goodrum from South
Africa, Jan Kohout from Czechia, Lionel Fournier of France, Cody
Remington from the US, Tobi Lammlein and Benedikt Feigl from
Germany, Sven Zaalberg from New Zealand, Primoz Rizner from
Slovenia and Juraj Adamek from Slovakia.
There are some notable names missing from that list and more
than one surprise inclusion. Over the past few years I've
averaged seven correct guesses out of 12, but I have also
started with 14 choices which cheats a little. In Martin I was
shouted at by David Hobby when his name was omitted from the
forecast, and he proved me wrong. To give him incentive to win
his hat-trick, he's omitted again. Philip Kolb is an obvious
favourite and to become world champion is the only remaining
challenge left for him. But life is not always about
near-certainties and it only takes two mishaps to stumble in
How easy is it to guess the complete flyoff list? Why not try.
There will be a prize for the person who sends me the most
accurate flyoff list, naming most pilots correctly. If you would
like to enter, either give me your list in a sealed envelope on
the flying field before the world championships starts, or send
it to me by e-mail to arrive before Wednesday 25 June.
Senior team prize prediction is Germany. Next world champion: my
prediction hovers between Jan Kohout to repeat his Corfu success
and Tobi Lammlein, and if forced to pick one, then I guess Jan.
(Edit: At the time of releasing this gossip Jan has stepped
Even harder to predict is the weather. With 17 days to go, the
temperature today is 32 degrees C. This time last year,
temperatures in Turkey reached 40 degrees C plus many times, and
that's a possibility, with humid winds coming from the north or
dry winds from the south, straight across the flying field. More
likely we shall enjoy temperatures between 25 and 35, hopefully
no more than the odd shower of rain. Whatever happens, one
certain bet is that all teams will enjoy a very competitive
End of Gossip, 13 June 2008
Sydney Lenssen E-mail email@example.com
See also earlier gossip HERE