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19. juli 2011

North England-Wales trip

The background for this trip was the Eurotour F3F at Hole of Horcum hosted by North York Moors Ridge Soaring Club. I flew in to Birmingham Airport and Greg was there to pick me up. When we drove back to his place I discovered a slope near Greg's house which he had not seen himself. The reason for this was that it is a man made slope recently made. Well we had to test it and Greg found his aerobatic model Vector III from RCRCM. The slope looked OK and the wind seemed to be fine but there was not many places to land. Anyway Greg got some air time until the wind died and an emergency landing had to be done. A little damage to the leading edge and that was it. I doubt Greg will fly there again at least for some time.
Next day we drove up to Pickering and the Hole of Horcum only to be sitting in the car at watch some other model fliers get extremely wet in the massive rain. After some time Stefan Bertschi, Dieter Perlick, Peter Kowalski and Torsten Herman came up from the main bowl.
So no flying for me and Greg this day so we went to our hotel which was a pleasant surprise. We got installed for the next 3 days and had Internet, TV and a pool table. So if the flying did not go well we could always play pool.....
First day of flying did not promise well. We only managed 2 rounds in rather uneven conditions. Again this type of conditions showed the need for an automatic weather station as the one our club has made(more info about the device is here in the blog somewhere). Typical problems that occurs is wind direction is off and very hard to measure manually, the same goes for the wind speed. The contest director had a very hard time to keep track of this and extra personnel was needed to try to monitor this. From my point of view we must make a rule change to get rid of this problem. Our experience is that pilots trust a machine doing these measurements. All the CD has to do is to read out the results after the run and give the pilot a reflight if conditions was under the minimum criteria for the day/slope.
Next day was similar but I must admit that I thought we could not even manage a complete contest as we experienced in Denmark 2 weeks earlier. Luckily I was wrong and 3 more rounds was flown and we saw some good rounds flown by pilots further down the lists which actually had some impact on the total results. Dieter Perlick did the most out his DP-Air and won clearly with me taking a lucky 2nd. place. I say lucky as Joel West should have swapped his third to a second or first if he did not make a big mistake in very good air in the last round. Results can be found following the link to the NYMRS club. Many thanks to NYMRSC and their sponsors MKS Servo-tech, T9 Hobbysport.
Since we had no plan to leave the area before next morning Team Tea Swillers took a trip to visit Whitby for a meal so Greg could get his well deserved Fish and Chips. Nice trip indeed and we rounded off the day with some pool with me and John struggeling to give Greg some competition in this game. We could not!

Next day we drove over to North Wales to visit an old friend of mine, Nic Wright. We met Nic in his home (which he built himself as you would expect from a guy that used to build all of his models himself and the fact that he is a building engineer). After tea and lots of catching up (we met last time in South Africa in 1999) we decided to go to the Llangollen slope an hour from Nic's house. It turned out to be a very nice afternoon and some gentle flying were I tried to show Nic the new Dynamic flying style. I could not help noticing that even Nic has not been seen doing competitive flying for more than ten years he was more than enthusiastic about me and Greg showing up and also how our models were performing.
After the flying we drove down to Llangollen and Nic knew a good restaurant and again we got some good food. A perfect end to a perfect day except one little thing, Greg had to drive 2 hours to get us to our hotel in fashionable Llandudno.
Next morning I was out early to get a good look at Llandudno and it was much bigger than I thought. Clearly a place a lot of tourists chooses to go to with many, many hotels and nice beaches.
Anyway we had a little bit of bad luck as the air was moist and fog was present. So I am sorry that we did not get the chance to check out the big slope The Great Orme.
We headed over to Nic's place again and we hope to get out and fly again with the Legend. But due to lack of wind there was no chance and we took a walk up to one of Nic's local slopes facing North-East. What can I say, there is many, many nice places to fly from and scenery in Northern Wales is very pretty. No doubt this is a good place to be if you are interested in the sport of slope flying. Here you can combine beautiful nature and the thrill of Radio Controlled Sailplanes and not to forget the local pubs and resturants. Perfect!
Going back to Swadlincote was for a change an easy ride as summer traffic was not so bad and Greg and his SAAB did a good job bringing us home. A quick sleep for 4 hours and we had to get up at 04.00 for me to catch my flight.

Pictures from the trip can be found here
Espen



12. juni 2011

Norway Open 2011, Eurotour F3F


This years Norway Open, the 9th. turned in to be the best since the start 10 years ago. The competitors list had names from 7 different countries and we were 25 pilots in total.
All pilots did a super job helping us to gain 16 rounds over two days. Friday was cancelled due to lack of wind but the forecast indicated around 8m/s from northwest the following days so we were not worried. Well, the forecast was wrong, in the end of the day it was around 15 m/s! 10 rounds was flown and hill record was achieved by Helge and Espen with 36,7 seconds.


To have a competition like this once in a while makes all the effort put in worth it. I have to thank all pilots for showing up and helping us with this event.
Saturday started with 9-10 m/s wind and when we finished it was around 14 m/s. Our timing gear/weather station did a good job and we will present all the weather data soon. Sure we have some variations but if you look at it round for round it may start low and go up but it also go down again in the same round.

It was quite clear even before the competition that it would not be easy to brake into the top 10 in this contest. Everybody was fighting very hard and trying their best. We had two crashes due to pilot mistakes and luckily nobody got hurt. But this was a reminder to us all that it can be a bit dangerous. So the layout of a comp like this must be thought about where to have the depot and make sure there is no people near to the course. Even you do all this something bad can happen but at least you can say that you tried to make it better. Safety lines does not really prevent incidents like this.

On Sunday the wind dropped and we had between 4 and 6 m/s wind. To fly in this type of conditions was a challenge and many pilots mastered this better than others. I have not calculated the results only from Sunday but it would be interesting to see this list for sure.











The final results ended up like this:
1 Espen Torp 13663
2 Søren Krogh 13467
3 Joel West 13425
4 Helge Borchert 13391
5 Kaj Henning Nielsen 13323
6 Knud Hebsgaard 13314
7 Jesper Christensen 12958
8 Arild Møllerhaug 12847
9 Bjørn Tore Hagen 12815
10 Dag Skoglund 12724
11 Jørgen Larsen 12712
12 Andre Austen 12679
13 Peter Gunning 12619
14 Olav Kalhovd 12475
15 Stefan Bertschi 12475
16 Rolf Børge Rettedal 12225
17 Erik Bjørnstad 12085
18 Kjell Sture Johansen 11816
19 Jan Grannes 11670
20 Geir Njaa 11517
21 Erik Andersen 11372
22 Marius Leirdal 10740
23 Tor Bruun 10656
24 Ingio Herrera 10518
25 Kjetil Stensen 5147

I would like to talk a little about the slope we flew on, "Hodne". Hodne is the name of the farmer and is also the name of the place. We are really glad we have a good relationship with them. From the sea to the top of the stone wall it is approx. 24 meters high. We have used the slope since the seventies. From my point of view few other slopes produces this kind of stable and equal conditions. The other thing is the possibility to have a safe depot and a rotating shift of the pilots when organising the starts. We guide the pilots on the backside out to the middle and let one and one pilot come forward when their turn is up. When finished the pilot swiftly moves over to the landing area and next pilot can be ready within seconds. We always have base A to the right side so the 30 second window will make sure the pilot that flew is well out of the way when the next pilot starts.
Take a closer look at the pictures and hopefully this show what I am talking about. The CD and the timing gear is placed 10-15 meter behind the wall for safety reasons.
Next year we will try to have ready our system for counting laps (beeps) and a system for showing the time after each flight. I think this is a must.
Hodne is a perfect place to have a F3F contest!

I would also like to mention the weather station did the job this time also. As seen on the pictures we placed it a few meters behind the wall and it does not show give us the data 100% but more than good enough for indication of the conditions.
The weather data will soon be punched......

Espen











Fantastic!!!!

22. mai 2011

Quiet for a long while


It has been quiet here for a long time. It is not because I have been sitting still and doing nothing. It has more to do with the fact that I have been busy with work.
Even I have been busy with work it has not stopped me from going to contest in and out of the country. Biggest event was of course the Viking Race last year in France(2010). I did well until the finals (6th before finals)and ended up in 11th. spot. I flew my Alliaj in all rounds and was relativly happy with it. Perhaps I should have had more time on it before the contest??
I also went to Vitoria, Spain (2010) with Tomas Eklund. Nice place!
I should have gone to Wales but I had to cancel due to work.
As many of you know I am involved in www.etair-uav.com and this has taken over from producing RaceM and in genaral my modelling business. UAV business is very demanding and also very interesting. We are still going good after 3 years and approx. 35 built Cruiser UAV's. We are currently making a new version which is just bigger....

Last year I did not manage to do much kayaking. I hoping to be able to do a lot more this year. But I had one very nice trip to Oltedal, added some pics further down.

I had to take a trip to Denmark to pick up my mother and her new dog called Fenris. Picture at the top.

Another trip to Slovakia and Czech Republic ended with me getting a Baudis Fosa. It seems to work fine for F3F also....still need to match it properly to find out if it can be a contender against all the Freestylers, the benchmark sailplane.
For the first time in my life I was out flying 2.1.2011 at my local slope(Hodne, stonewall).
This season is very important as it is the qualifying year for next years first ever F3F World Championship. So it is important to do some training even it is January and freezing cold.
Another Picasa album can be found here and here
I promise to be back more often this year.
E
Some pics: