The report will be continued with reports on F2D and the closing and banquet in the next issue.
Note that the views here are my personal ones.
Since I was part of the organization last year, I went as a supporter, to enjoy seeing the organizers sweat. (Just joking.) Next year in Kiev maybe if my equipment is OK...
The weather was quite good, an not nearly as hot as expected (and
feared by a Northerner). Mornings were even chilly, and temperature
rose to maybe 30 deg C (86 deg F) in the afternoons. It was mostly
sunny. Humidity was low, and winds were light to very light. One night
a huge thunderstorm passed over the city, causing flooding of the city
streets, but no problems at the flying site other than that the circles
had to be wiped dry next morning.
As you know, the rane in Spane stays manely in the plane.
The permanent C/L flying site was excellent, and it was clear that a lot had been invested by "Junta de Castilla y Leon", the district authority. There were concrete circles for F2A, B and C, and a well kept grass field normally used for F2D. It was decided, however, to run the F2D contest at a rugby field at about five minutes walking distance. This field provided four flying circles and was more adequate for a contest of this size. The finals were returned to the main site to allow all to watch them.
The concrete circles were top class, and had the outer portions ground to absolute flatness. The concrete was sectioned, with joints narrow enough to be no problem whatsoever. At a few kilometers distance was an asphalt area allocated for practice.
The organization worked well throughout, headed very ably by Yolanda G. de Fuentes, a young lady, also CIAM delegate for Spain. The final results problems have already been mentioned, but during the competition the results were announced and/or posted without delay. The organizers had invited and paid for also the reserve judges, who were available to strengthen the organization.
The FAI Jury consisted of Andras Ree, Hungary, Pietro Fontana, Italy, and Ian McIntosh, Spain. Unfortunately, this jury opened itself to criticism, and acted at times in conflict with the official FAI Jury Guide.
Due to the demonstrations that were held nationally in response to the ETA terrorist action, the organizers had to cancel the opening ceremony. Instead, a gathering was held with the Team Managers and the Mayor &c.
Below I'll focus on "my" category, F2C. If any of you readers who were also on site and followed the other classes more in detail would care to write something, and send it to me, I'll be glad to make it known to all internet readers in a future issue.
The drag of the longer lines should, according to my own calculations, cause a speed reduction by around 10 km/h for the same flight power. The thinner air causes a reduction in drag, but also a reduction in the air the engine can pump, and it's not clear which effect will dominate.
The result was, as you know, a supreme victory for Luis Parramon, almost 10 km/h ahead of 2nd place Gordon Isles. The next ten places were only 5 km/h apart. Parramon didn't have the full advantage of home ground, since he is from Barcelona, at sea level.
I took a brief look at Parramon's equipment and it looked very simple and straightforward, but on the other hand, I never looked inside the engine! His Profi engine had 9.5 mm venturi diameter. I don't know how this compares to others, but it sounds huge to me.
The Swedish single entrant Göran Fällgren was pleased to finish ahead of two Russians and three Italians!
All fliers entered a time, including the 10-year old Polish junior Michal Ordon, who managed 201 km/h and three timed flights, getting cheers from the crowd. (How fast did YOU fly at age 10??)
I saw one flier that had made his adaption to the longer lines the easy way; Just linking 1.77 meter pieces to the old lines! I grabbed for the rule book, but apparently no rule forbids this!
On the practice day it was clear that the speeds were a little slower than in previous years, probably due to the high altitude. Few were faster than 18.0 s, and most in the high 18's or even 19's.
Some were quite disappointed, going in the high 19's when high 17's were expected, like Heaton/Broadhead and Samuelsson/Axtilius. They regained some speed by opening the venturi, following the example of Ross/Turner, who went at 17.7 with their own design engine developed from a Nelson.
Both Fischer/Straniak and Bondarenko/Lerner were content with their speed at around 17.6 with 42 laps range! F/S have Suraev engines and B/L belong to the Mazniak co-operation.
The Russians looked very confident and never bothered for anything faster than a very safe 18.0 s setting. Shabashov appeared with a new mechanic, Sergei Moskolev, in place of his old mate Ivanov, who was said to have quit F2C and turned to F1C instead. Moskolev, a very thin man in his fifties, looked a bit unsteady, and later made mistakes in every heat, like missed catches and so on. Titov/Yougov were as safe as ever, with all models going the same. Their spare model was in use already at their first international appearance. Its canopy looked like a Swiss cheese, from lots of experiments. They used their own engine as usual, with the head and cylinder in one piece and barstock+steel front crankcase. They were also developing a new engine for possible future marketing, based on the Vorobiev side exhaust crankcase, own internals and cylinder/head. This engine was used by the third Russian team Andreev/Sobko, and by Belgians Dessaucy father and son. The Italians Pennisi/Rossi and Magli/Pirazzini also looked good, as usual, timed below 18. The Metkemeijer brothers were among those lacking speed, and were also troubled by Rob getting his left hand injured as he fell during a pull test in the F2A circle. Dutch fellow pitman Peter van Gemert also had a hand injury! Among the surprises were Mortinho/Goulao, POR, with two 17.8 Vorobiev models.
Titov/Yugov were first out with what was to become the fastest time of the competition, 3:17.0. Third heat saw Andreev/Sobko do 3:21.0. In the fourth heat Pennisi/Rossi got a DQ by three warnings at lap 90. The Italians filed a protest, which resulted in a reflight being granted. The reason was that the F2C jury had noted down one warning as being for "high flying, one lap", where three laps are required.
Now, what would become of this? If you get three warnings, always protest in the hope that there are formal errors in the F2C jury notes? Pennisi/Rossi's reflight gave them 3.25.
Other round 1 highlights: Shabashov/Moskolev did 3:25 in spite of a cold setting and slow second pitstop. Heaton/Broadhead managed 3:28 in spite of moderate speed and three-flick pitstops.
In the first heat Allen/Janeiro took off too high causing another team to underfly. This team had a DQ for exactly the same in round one, and in round three they never showed.
In the fifth heat all three teams did well, with Fischer/Straniak reaching 3:26, the best time of the round, followed by Borer/Saccavino and Bruguera/Olive.
In the eight heat Ross/Turner had to make a wingover to avoid a Polish model taking off high, followed by a cut-off. They continued the race but protested later. Pennisi/Rossi again got a DQ on three warnings. They protested, claiming they too had been obstructed by the same incident. Both protests got through and reflights were granted. Here the F2C Jury stood on their heels, since the FAI jury took this decision without even consulting the F2C jury! There was a long delay while the situation was discussed in the jury tower. Fortunately there was a video uptake that could be consulted. This showed that Ross had cut off voluntarily after the incident, and Pennisi/Rossi weren't involved at all, so the reflights were revoked.
All this was explained at a TM meeting the same evening, where the FAI jury did not bother to be present.
To my opinion, the F2C jury must be commended for claiming their rights to their verdict over flying offences and thereby saving the contest from further protests over three warning DQ:s.
This round went without any big mishaps, and no reflights were called. Improved enough for the semis did Mortinho/Goulao, 3:24.9; Bondarenko/Lerner, 3:25.1; Magli/Pirazzini, 3:25.4; and Gilbert/Gilbert, 3:26.8. Pennisi/Rossi were already qualified, but improved in the same heat as G/G to 3:23.6.
1. Gilbert/Gilbert, Pennisi/Rossi, Shabashov/Moskolev
G/G did 18.5 and finished in 3:24.3, P/R did 18.0, got a DQ, and S/M, who did 18.1, broke the prop on 2nd pitstop.
2. Mortinho/Goulao, Titov/Yugov, Magli/Pirazzini
M/G did 18.8 and finished in 3:26.8. T/Y did 18.2 and finished in 3:20.9, good enough for a final spot. M/P did 18.0 at first, overheated and backed off compression twice.
3. Andreev/Sobko, Fischer/Straniak, Bondarenko/Lerner
A good race. A/S did 3:20.9. B/L had an engine cut-off on take-off after 2nd stop.
4. Pennisi/Rossi, Bondarenko/Lerner, Andreev/Sobko
The heat that brought disaster for A/S. They got a DQ for not giving way to B/L landing on 2nd pitstop, continued to fly in disregard of the jury calling them to land, twice in English, once in Russian. The F2C jury guide tells that in such a case the jury should inform the FAI jury with a moval for a DQ from the contest. Said and done. P/R did 3:17.9 to qualify for the final.
5. Magli/Pirazzini, Fischer/Straniak, Shabashov/Moskolev
M/P had slow stops for a 3:36, F/S retired at 2nd pitstop (broken prop?). S/M did 3:24.4 with slow pitting.
6. Gilbert/Gilbert, Mortinho/Goulao, Titov/Yugov
M/G had set the engine too hard in an attempt to improve, and spent a lot of time on the ground, giving the others an easy way. G/G took the opportunity and did 3:21.9, at this point one second away from the final. T/Y did 3:24.0.
7. Reflight for Bondarenko/Lerner, with stand-by teams
Langworth/Campbell and Heaton/Broadhead. B/L did 3:25.1, L/C did 3:30.8, and H/B a slow time.
Later came the jury decision to DQ Andreev/Sobko from the contest, moving Gilbert/Gilbert into the final, together with Pennisi/Rossi and Titov/Yugov.
Pennisi/Rossi have Suraev equipment in top condition, able to do 17.9 - 18.1 very steadily, Pennisi's piloting style being their main problem. Titov/Yugov, a little slower but with excellent pitstops. Gilbert/Gilbert with Shabashov/Ivanov equipment, slower, around 18.5, good pitstops and rock steady engine setting. P/R and G/G had already met three times in the competition, two of which P/R got three warning DQ:s.
The final got off with all teams having a good setting. Suddenly there was total disorder in the circle. Pennisi cut off and landed, the other two continued with Gilbert in big trouble, far behind his model. The jury called them to stop flying. After five minutes of consideration the jury announced that they had stopped the final for safety reasons, that they couldn't identify anyone causing the incident, and that the final should be restarted. Much a repeat of what happened in '92.
In the second final attempt all got off well. P/R were fastest, but not enough to overtake T/Y. G/G were slower, and were frequently overtaken by the others. Each time Pennisi overtook Gilbert, the Frenchman got into trouble. All of a sudden, he was half a lap behind in the centre, with Pennisi's left arm forming a fence. Not before long Pennisi had two warnings. At around 150 laps he got his third one for the same offence. At that moment T/Y had a small lead, due to faster pitstops.
Titov/Yugov were very worthy winners, and Gilbert/Gilbert, in their twenties, represent the future of Team Racing. It is strange that Pennisi is unable to change his flying style, knowing that he has two warnings. The team's equipment is worth a better fate. I watched the final through a 200 mm lens, and was able to study and document what happened. If the pictures come out good, I'll put them on my web site. - Now my Gallery is open.