2008 Junior World Championships

Courtesy Gerhard Woebbeking via Bill Vanderbeek

Complete results and additional information can be found at: http://www.jwffc2008.com/news  

Chinmay placed sixth in F1P (highest placing U.S. Junior team member) and Cody Secor started the fly-offs with three other flyers (2 from Poland and 1 from Germany. Cody is now tied with one other flyer for a fly-off tomorrow morning for first place.   The team placed third overall in this event (Poland first, Ukraine 2nd).

July 30th, F1A-Day
A huge high pressure area covering Ukraine promised a nice flying day. Northerly winds of just 1 to 2 m/sec made towing easy – it couldn’t be better for Junior’s competition. The layout of the starting line in combination with the positioning of the tents and boxes of the teams showed the experience of the organisers – it was very unlikely that competitors would ever be hindered while towing.

 
Precisely at 9 the flying started with computerised signals announced via loudspeaker system. First out were the Koreans with their single F1A participant after the second lost his model during practising. 9.15 h the first big thermal lifted more than a dozen models like a cloud of colourful birds to safe maximum times; the dethermalising model aircrafts landed less than 200 m downwind.
 
During the day retrieving became trickier. After 10.45 h high flying gliders almost refused to come down after dt’ing, adding 5 or even 10 minutes to the maximum of three minutes which was decided as standard during the rounds of the championships.
 
Most competitors commanded a perfect circle tow; just a few juniors preferred to wait for a good moment with the model in the hands of the Team Manager. Not to help their rivals by marking of good air the best young pilots went downwind waiting for rising models or finding the lift on their own. This was not that easy as the good weather seemed to promise. 15 of 46 made the flyoff, which was scheduled at 19.00 h. Six o’clock, after the seventh round, the three best teams already enjoyed their wins – leaving Slovenia with three full houses in the top.
 
For the classifying flyoffs, Team Manager Roland Koglot faced an uncommon problem. He had no helpers to launch his three participants and had to borrow them from other teams! At seven, the air had cooled down already. Eight flew flyers made the five minutes, even a very good launch was no guarantee in the now even trickier air. All models were back in time, and 19.45 h the second flyoff took place. Most launched more or less immediately after the signal.
 
Tomaz Slokar (SLO) towed quite a while and launched after about five minutes looking with his 294 sec like a happy winner. Now Guy Zach (ISR) was the only one to fly. With about 30 seconds left of the ten minutes round he performed a perfect launch. His well trimmed glider moved slowly in air which was almost totally calm despite of the slow drift, landing after 297 seconds. A perfect win and a worthy end of possible the best glider day which juniors was given in the history of their international freeflight champs.
 
July 31st, F1B-Day
Weather forecast was different to the day before, with more wind and possibly some rain. The flightline had been moved towards the organiser’s tent offering a very concentrated competition area, comfortable for everybody. Little wind from Northeast was expected to shift to the North and Northwest and it occurred that the direction remained never constant over the whole day.
 
Round 1 the German team started on pole one with the wind down the line. It employed an advanced system for thermal picking with two measurement points equipped with sensors for windspeed and temperature. It happened, that immediately after the launch of Philipp Seifert, Christian Fux and Daniel Seifert the whole bunch went up. The three remained “clean” including round 4.
 
In the meanwhile the drift had turned to the North – perpendicular to the flightline – making pickypacking more difficult. Despite of strong thermals some models landed almost in the starting area, some drifted far away in different direction – quite a task for the retrieving teams. In the very height dozens of storks enjoyed the good air circling far over the climbing models, which reluctantly returned to earth when the three minutes were over they were allowed to join their lively relatives.
 
Who would have bet, that the three boys from Germany with 12 consecutive maxes would not win the F1B-Team-Price? The weather. In round five, at 15 h after the lunchbreak the wind blew from Northwest, clouds covered almost the whole sky, and in the very distance rain evaporated of dark clouds. Endless 35 minutes no visible thermal went through – and one competitor after the other dropped. Of 15 flyoff-candidates just four survived, the German favourites found themself on place 4!
 
But there were still two rounds to go. To avoid an interruption caused by a storm, the Contest Director prolonged the next break from 5 to 25 minutes. More and more of the dark clouds disappeared, leaving a wind of 3 to 5 m/sec and pleasant but tricky flying conditions. Oscar Findahl (SWE) lost 13 seconds, leaving Simon Evans (USA) with only one dropped second and Paul Coutineau (FRA) in the lead. All three maxed in round seven and an unbelieving Paul won with seven maxes without any rival for a flyoff.
 
Ukraine won the team classification, to be followed by very happy Germans. The Polish team came third. It showed an electric driven motorwinder, helpful especially for the handicapt Bartolomiej Skibicki who became Vice Champion in 2006. Most teams used to winding outside the fuselages, but the extra turns while waiting for the launching moment appeared to be the main rubber killers. The new World Champion nearly missed his last launch because of two inside bursts! Almost all of the 28 young competitors showed very good skills in the handling of rubber and models, promising a healthy future for F1B.