A week to go till the GB team fly out to Serbia for the European free flight championships.  The team are - Team Manager - Mike Woodhouse, Assistant Team Manager - Simon Dixon, F1A- Phil Ball, Richard Jack, John Williams, F1B - Pete Brown, Russ Peers, Peter Martin, F1C - Ken Faux, Alan Jack, Mike Lester. Just a few more days of our family holiday in sunny but breezy Devon then I am off to meet the team at Heathrow airport.  



Heathrow airport pic
All arrived ok at the hotel, good WiFi, ready for World Cup event in the morning F1A


World Cup event today. - F1A
63 flew, Approx 23 clean after round 5 Unfortunately not Phil or Richard. The field is very large and has a pleasant pungent smell. Unfortunately it is quite uneven in places and has a lot of thistle perfect for snagging glider lines ! Especially on the flight line where it has been cut and left on the surface. Several crashes resulted as a direct result. Temp around 22deg and 9 to 10 mph - almost like a summers day on Salisbury ? Thermals were evident from 8am and were very strong by mid afternoon although it never felt hot as such. All but 2 flyers made the 6 minute first fly off and went for 8 minutes - Koglot makes 473 secs to win, Fric 2nd 456 secs, Dominik 446 3rd. Let see what tomorrow brings - busy day F1B and F1C.......
A tricky day for many, the temperature quickly rose to be noticeably hotter than yesterday, with the addition of irritating flies in certain areas of the field (Mick's bog - "mog" ?). All our F1C flyers dropped in either poor air or system issues, but 11 made it to the flyoff (9 folders, 2 fixed wing) . 5 made the 360 secs and went for 480 secs just before dark, all good patterns, Babenko was particularly impressive and took 1st place by 2 secs with just over 6 mins ( in neutral air ?).
In f1b the only Brit clear was Peter Martin who flew off with 20 others. 15 made the 360 secs went for 480 secs, Bulatov from Russia won with 420 secs, Peter ended up a credible 13th with 304 secs. A great spectacle to the day.
Camera shy Pete Brown
Camera shy Pete Brown
Not so  camera shy Simon
Not so camera shy Simon
Beer monsters
Beer monsters


Team mangers meeting
All relavant procedures discussed and lots of questions answered. Good news is the base camp area will be cleared of loose grass and thistle etc ready for F1A day.  Expected wind speed to be 2 to 3 m/s in the same direction as previous days, oh, and flippin hot. 
Discussed this all with Gb team tonight.


Early Trimming session with Ken, John, Pete B, Rich and Al in the morning (6am) then model processing at 11am. In the afternoon a little  job changing the paper roll on the chart recorder then a lazy afternoon on the patio gathering our thoughts for the first comp day on Tuesday. Nearly there......

Opening ceremony  tonight in the town square outside the hotel. A few short speeches then an enthusiastic dance group and it was over and the competition declared open !


F1A glider day
Rich Jack in fly off going for 6 mins with controversial split flyoff at 6.30 local time !! 42 flew off, 7 made 6 mins in the first group and 2 in the second group, Richard made 237 secs with a nice launch and trim, Well done Richard 36th place. The team gelled and worked well all day. 12 min flyoff at 6am tomorrow (Findahl, Koglot, Moskovicj, Bonchev, Bezak, Hellgren, Biteznik, Pecenkovic, Halbmeier) .Think we will stay in bed, f1b tomorrow so still an early start.
Highlight of the day was Russ Peers looking "exactly similar" to Bolt starting the 100m as he launched for Rich in round 3 ! Impressive whilst wearing winter clothing in 85 deg heat - good old Russ he took the jibes really well !
The bank of Ken "I can do you a deal on your unwanted Dina / Euro my boy" Faux


Peter Brown maxed out then goes through the 6 minute round then does 5.28 going for 8. Brilliant performance. All this just as the sun was setting !  3 did 8 mins and will shoot it out at 6amtomorrow (Burbov, Mark, Skibicki) 10 mins
Massive electrical storm and downpour at lunchtime meant we had to leave the field, no one told the farmer who "tuffed it out" leaning on his staff in a long over coat with the mad dogs who chase our car every morning shielded under - he cast an eerie figure.......perhaps it was Gandalf the grey ?
Russ's little friend


F1C day
A very tricky day - hot and calm - made lift picking very hit and miss, at least for the initial rounds. Many models bunted into what was lift only to be pushed out into sink and sub max flights. An Israele model was unfortunate enough to fly into power lines - the resultant bang and flash instantly vaporised the F1C and must have been scarey for  the close by retrievers by who had to put out the fire. The electronic timer survived and worked apparently but not much else was left. There is a pic above showing the dark plume of vaporised F1C seconds after the bang. 
As you can probably geuss no UK in the flyoff .20 made it through and went for 6 mins. Then 13 went for 8 mins. Winner was Russian and so was 3rd place - they both flew well all day on the next pole to us, the third placer looked particularly young. Martin Larson from Sweden managed 9th flying Stafford Screens fixed wing geared models - when I spoke to him today he was so pleased, careful flying and maybe some good fortune but still a top ten finish. Will update names later today but champs website should have them on by now 


Burdov wins F1B 3rd flyoff at 7am this morning with over 6 minutes, Skibicki 2nd, Mark 3rd.  The Russian team were celebrating at breakfast this morning with a drop of "red" - wonder what state the they will be in by tonight ?!!
Awards ceremony and closing banquet at Hotel Vojvodina all went well.