17-18.march 2012 - First international F3J of the season

North Cyprus is a place that obviously attracts a lot of Nations because this year 13 Countries and 54 pilots sent their registration in and wanted this early event in the season..
Official page HERE

Thursday 15.march - Practice day
The North Cyprus pilots have been practicing for a little week now and are filled up with work on the flying field. They had prepared a new field but the National aviation said it was in a flying corridor so they had to rework and use the "old field" that actually are excellent for our use. International pilots keep coming in at Ercan airport every day now and we had a nice day in partly summer time midday and over to spring temperatures in the evening. Conditions had lots of thermals in the "thermal corridors" but some sink in between if one was not observant. Wind was 2-4m/s increasing throughout the day. Evening for some of us was spent with Turkish and North Cyprian pilots in a local restaurant. Thanks Eser for bringing us together!

Friday 16.march - Another practice day
We woke up to rain but by the tim we had settled on the field the sun was coming out slowly and temperatures got up to summer standards (in norway atleast). It was windy all day and bungees broke and thick 1.5mm lines broke. Lets hopw we can get a ladder for entering the field downwind tomorrow as there are many parachutes there now... ;)
Lunch was served on the field with drinks and coffee and occasional drinks for those that needed.
Heavy ballast was the most easy way to handle things though some like the idea of hanging on top after launch and maybe go sideways. Thermals came thru sometimes with huge areas of good air with occational small ones that was dangerous to follow downwind. One had to pick the right one to be safe if you wanted a long flight. In the evening we had dinner at the hotel though some of us almost forgot the whole thing thumping our fingers at our laptops... Tomorrow we start early with breakfast 06:30 and departure with bus at 07:00. It is hard to be an F3J pilot (unless you like to go to bed early then... ;)
Have some movie but it takes time so took out a few shots first.

Saturday 16.march 2012 - First competition day
A long day with all kind of wind conditions from 8-12m/s in the morning and dead calm in the afternoon. The last flight was done while the sun disappeared under the horizon. All launches were done in sidewind and it was clear that lots of pilots needs to go home and practice to go around and come up against the wind.
The organizers had a lot of work changing sides and it was not an easy task as themals changed the wind direction from 70 degrees to 110 degrees making some launches even downwind.
Less than expected landed out or/and crashed on launch (only one incident I think) but some hooked the line and some got some hot approaches. Lines were a pain as they all laided over each other and runners did a fantastic job today. Most had to take their turn and teams were lucky to have 5 or 6 members i think. I don't think they have ever been running so much with so little tension.
As it sometimes is in these conditions the spread of scores is high. 11th place (the last final place) is now almost 600 points from perfect score after 5 rounds. It was thermal conditions but hard to sometimes know when to circle and when to just use the lift and take the next one coming.
Results after 5 rounds are HERE


Sunday 17.march 2012 - Last competition day
It feels like summer!!! Red feet and hot ears is the feeling after a long day in sunny Cyprus.

We had 0-4m/s winds and 25C all day on the last day of the competition. Some were happy and some were not but in the end all were smiling I think. A funny matter is that we competition pilots sometimes tend to let our frustration go to the contest director in what we think is the right solution. But in the end we might not even know our own rules so well and we might get irritated because we did not do well or someone we know had some issue with something. We try to not put in a protest because we might feel that it will be bad for what people think of the reason for it. We hope that others do it for us. Maybe it is best to file a smiling protest just to shed light on it. Anyhow this was a little thinking outside the box and apply for future events this season. I feel the organizers here did everything possible to let us feel happy and their reason for doing this event is a pure dedication to get friends from all over the world to be happy.
This morning we did 2 more rounds to finish of the preliminary rounds (7 in total). Nothing really changed in the top positions because the conditions were a bit easier and calm weather does not spread the scores that much. We had a good break for lunch and started finals with 11 pilots.
First final the sound signal sadly was missing (maybe we stepped to much on that wire?) but we all launched on what we felt was fairly on the beep and themals were spotted well before the working time started by most. There was a protest but it was refused by unknown reasons at this time. Some were doing fairly short launches but all but one (linebreak) got their time.
Second final was again fairly easy but the thermals here in North Cyprus tends to disappear or break of in small parts so circling low can be a challenge as one have to either be with it when it gets loose or cruise fast for the next one. The very light models some have might make it difficult to reach them but also to have speed to complete a circle when only half of the circle is working. So there is good sides but also bad sides about having a very light model for short towing.
Third final was difficult again for some and a timekeeper error was called for after 10minutes. This meant that the CD called down every body and granted all reflight. Most finished the round still and made ready for a reflight (allowed by the rules). In the reflight many took some big risks and myself (Jojo) went of after maybe only a second and zoomed into 2 lines!! on the way up and ended with 30m altitude. Only 4 pilots flew the time out I think.
Philip Kolb was the fantastic winner of the finals with first place in both preliminary rounds and finals.
Winner of juniors was Manuel Reinecke. They also announced team results by averaging the pilots scores in each team. A new and cool idea. The team event was won by team SoaristA. Congratulations to all.
Pricegiving was held in front of the tents in usual fancy manners and lots of photos were taken. We also had a lottery so that all pilots could get their diplomas and a small price.
Thanks for a wonderful weekend in sunny North Cyprus.
After some thinking on the way home (were we stopped for very good coffee in Nicosia) I have come to the conclusion that no.way can i get so many volunteers and smiling guys to do a similar event in Norway.
Results preliminaries HERE - Results finals HERE

Planes flown were: Philip Prestige, Larry Prestige, Thomas Explorer, Salahi Perfect, Gockan Explorer?, Jojo Pike Perfection, Joe Supra/Maxa, Jaroslav Pike Perfection, Alexander Maxa?, Mustafa Prestige, Eser Explorer2. Mind me there can be mistakes in list.

See you next time . . or first eurotour in Istanbul next month...
Thanks to all my team mates and friends for a great weekend
Jojo (that will stay for another week ;)