Alright Kelly and I are now at the airport awaiting the flight to Cape Town. She is shopping, I am blogging :-)
Yesterday’s blog was delayed by the fact I really didn’t have any opportunity to write it as we watched the finals, updated info via the team Facebook page, participated in the closing ceremonies, drove home to shower the dust off, change and drove to the banquet 44 km from our accommodations. Just no time :-)
We had our usual great breakfast served to us by the staff and chef of the Village Guest House then did some packing. Some of the eight planes were disassembled and placed carefully back into their respective boxes for shipment back home. We didn’t rush around much today as we will be spectators at the final day of competition.
We headed out to see the 1st flight of unknown’s (these are the schedules that each pilot must fly cold ie; no practice with the plane permitted before the flight) These are a harder sequence of maneuvers and can really consume the 8 minute flight time limit. Your caller has to be ahead of you as a missed element can spell a scoring disaster :-(
|1st Unknown Schedule|
|2nd Unknown Schedule|
|Judging Panel for Unknowns :-)|
|Andrew's Proteus airframes|
|Robin Trump's Hera|
|CPLR awaits his turn.|
|Oxai Galactik... An Axiome variant on steroids|
Now two minutes is plenty of time if things are going right but throw in an issue and your team has to move quickly. After one minute of “Oh crap” time our procedure is to call “Back Up” and swap to our other airframe.)
Gerhard had no such backup and was left to trouble shoot his only plane. The plug was armed and it looked like the motor was now working but the two minute start period had run out. This ended his round and he was effectively relegated to 10ht position unless someone else had a similar event. Lots of people wanted to see the plane fly and whether you like his style of flying or not it was interesting to see it go so slowly... such a departure from the norm. Would his battery have lasted? We will never know.
|Gerhard packs up his gear following the DNS|
Only one major error observed by Onda that stood out in an otherwise good flight. They finished up the 1st Unknown round and broke for lunch. I took the opportunity to look at the various airplanes as I am secretly on a shopping trip for my next airframe. Spoiler!! Do not tell my wife! Lots of options here to watch and assess. :-)
|Chad chats with Christophe|
The next round of F went right on time at one o’clock and everyone had good flights. No time issues or the like. As there was only 9 pilots flying now it did speed things up a bit. The second F scores are being posted over at the main facility but no one is over there except the odd TM that speeds over. My spies have Tetsuo Onda ahead by one point... yep very close!
The last round consisted of the #2 Unknown sequence and the demo was flown by USA’s Brett Wickiezer with the retract equipped Alferma Bipe. I thought he did a great job! The other contestants quickly followed and everyone was watching for slips or mistakes. Some over rotation in snaps and sharp radiuses stood out in an otherwise good battle for top spot. It’s only my opinion but the contra setups just seemed to not have the vertical upline speed that made for consistent flight speeds throughout the flights.
|Seba awaits his turn.|
|Pretty good shape considering.|
|The US guys watch CPLR's last unknown.|
The crowd quickly moved over to the main building and in a flury of smart phone calculator button pushing, the pilots knew it would close for CPLR and Onda but the #3 & 4# spots would await TBL calculations to determine the outcome. Que Jeopardy music!
And here are the scores...
|These guys are hungry!!|
|Chad & Agnes|
|Father & Son|
|Darin, Andrew, Jason and Kevin with the hardware. Congratulations guys.... not sure where Brett got too?|