RC-soaring in Denmark
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WC F3J 2004 
The World Championship F3J 2004 was held at Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

This is the Danish team's diary - about our trip to Canada and the World Champs.

Friday, July 23:  
By Peter Mikkelsen

After waiting and preparing for a long time, it's finally the day before the day we go to Canada.

We are 3 competitors from Denmark:
 
Ole Blomseth
Ole Blomseth
Klaus Christiansen
Klaus Christiansen
Peter Mikkelsen
Peter Mikkelsen

The WC actually starts on August 2.nd, but we will arrive a week in advance so we have time to adjust to the conditions and go sightseeing a bit.
 
Model case
Today we are packing our equipment. We each have a large box/case containing 3-4 planes besides our normal luggage. Klaus's and Peter's model case's are made by Søren Helsted (thanks Søren!). They are made of 6 mm plywood and weigh about 6 kg empty and almost 30 kg fully loaded.

We are bringing about 3 km of lines (gives aprox 20 launchlines of 150 meters each).

Saturday, July 24:  
by Peter Mikkelsen

Early saturday morning, we left from Copenhagen to Frankfurt, and further on to Calgary. It took all together 15 hours to get there, witch is a long time, but we were somehow not tired when we got to Calgary at 4 pm local time.
 
West coast of Greenland
Left: the west coast of greenland as seen from the window of an Airbus A-330.

Right: Klaus is entertaining.
Klaus is entertaining Ole and Peter
 

We rented a minivan in Calgary - en brand new Chevrolet Venture - with lots of room for all 3 of us and all of our equipment. We rented the van at "Discount Cars and Trucks". It costs 1300 CAD for 16 days including ensurance and 3000 km.
Minivan

Unlike most of the other competitors, we are staying at a campground (Westerner Campground), in the southern part of Red Deer. Some friends of Ole, Maurice and Gail Bazinet, are kind enough to let us use thier trailer during our stay.

In the evening we had dinner at "Moxie's" with Maurice og Gail.

Sunday, July 25:  
by Peter Mikkelsen

30° and a clear blue sky. This is how the weather has been today and yesterday - the hottest this year so far we were told. But nothing lasts forever and late in the afternoon the temperature dropped and it started raining.

Right: View over Red Deer from a nearby hillside.
 
View over Red Deer

The organizers have not supplied us with very much information about the event, but we tried to locate the flyingfield using the little info we had. We went to the Bluegrass Sod Farms and some of the employees told us to go to "Prop Busters" (a local flying club) located 11 km west of the 11A junction north of Red Deer.

Prop Busters flyingfield
Maybe this is where the
WC will be held?

We only looked and didn't fly.
Prop Busters
Pony Chuckwagon Race  


Until today we had never heard of Pony Chuckwagon Racing. An impressive and exciting type of race held almost right next to our campground. 4 wagons at a time compete against each other.

Monday, July 26:  
by Klaus Christiansen and Peter Mikkelsen

The weather in Alberta changes very often, as we have experienced again today. It started out with cool, cloudy and strong wind, but suddenly it changed to being warm, sunny and calm. For a moment we thought the summer was back - and then it all changed again.



The locals say it is impossible to predict the weather more than a few hours at a time. This could make the championship even more exciting.

Today the choice stood between sightseeing or practice. We spoke to Keith Morison (contest coordinator), who said it was ok for us to practice at the Prop Buster flying field (where the champs are to be held). So we practiced all day.


A view of the flying field -
it most of all looks like a 500,000 m² golf course.

After a hard days work you get hungry. We were lucky to find an "All-you-can-eat" offer on spareribs at "Montana's". Klaus impressed the waitress with his eating capabilities.

Tuesday, July 27:  
by Klaus Christiansen

Today has been a long day. We went to the flying field this morning full of enthusiasm but this ended rather abruptly as the wind so strong that we didn't dare to assemble our models. In stead the day has been used for shopping and sightseeing in Red Deer. We thought of going further away to be tourists but as we already have experienced the weather can change very quickly so we wanted to stay near the flying field.

 

Yesterday evening our Finnish guests Janne and Niina showed up, so the day's weather have made a great opportunity to chat and get to know them better.
 
After having done nothing for long enough we went out for dinner and as we sat eating the wind just calmed. Thanks to our optimism all our equipment was still in the car so we hurried to the flying field where we had a little more than an hour of flying in very calm conditions until it was too dark to see the models.

Wednesday, July 28:  
by Peter Mikkelsen and Klaus Christiansen

"Today has been a very nice day, today" (quote: a well know Danish modelling pilot). Sunny and warm - the nicest day we have had so far. We got up early and went as usual to the local diner for some breakfast. Afterwards we went directly to the flying field and spent all day there with lots of flying.

During the day more and more of the participants showed up (from Holland, UK, Australia and Japan). The Dutch and English guys did a good deal of training, but it was the Japanese who caught most attention. They immediately upon arrival started flying with micro-DLG's and laughed a lot.
 



Left:
Adrian Lee (UK)

Right:
Japanese team member

Since Red Deer is located 1000 meters above sea-level, a lot of people have been wondering if the height will be an issue. Maybe... But at least we now know that cancelling the trainingsession at Denmarks highest point (160 metres high) is not too big a problem.


Klaus is flying assisted by Ole.


Finding and taking use of the thermals is a different story. There's lots of lift and lots of sink. Sometimes the thermals are so powerful and concentrated, it results in dust-devils.

All in all, we find the Canadian people friendly and helpful, so we feel happy about being here.

Thursday, July 29:  
by Peter Mikkelsen

Today was our last day of training, since we want to take the day off tomorrow (friday). Once again we came early to the flying field and practiced for 5-6 hours.
 
It turned out to be a very warm and sunny day, so we used lots of sunscreen and water. All day through, you could catch thermals easily. So we focused mostly on launching and landing.

Left: Peter is the pilot - Ole is the helper.

Right: The English team.
The Australiens showed some impressive launches. The combination of fast and strong runners, a lot of tension in the line and throwing the plane correctly results in maximum height in about 3 seconds.

Most of Europe (also Denmark) uses 35 MHz equipment and not 72 MHz as the Canadians do. Up until now, it has been discussed wheather or not it would be possible and safe to use 35 MHz. We have checked for distortions in the frequency range using Ole's Multiplex 4000 transmitter which has a built-in scanner. We experienced Klaus's Escape going into fail-safe once during a flight and Adrian Lee (UK) crashed a plane - maybe due to interference.

On our way home from the airfield we made a frequency check at the local MC Donalds. We had been told that some drive-in restaurants might use 35.020 MHz (channel 62) for their headset. When the voice in the loudspeaker said: "Welcome, can I take your order?", we switched on the transmitter on channel 62 and waited for a loud scream. The visit only resulted in us feeling sick.

Friday, July 30:  
by Peter Mikkelsen and Klaus Christiansen

No flying today. We took at trip to the mountains (Banff National Park) and the pictures speak for themselves.

Please note: Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of the bear we almost ran over when it jumped out in front of our car.

Saturday, July 31:  
by Peter Mikkelsen and Klaus Christiansen

Day 1 of the Canada Cup - a "practice contest" prior to the World Championship. 89 competitors have entered the contest, witch is scheduled to consist of 5 qualifying rounds and 2 fly-off rounds in 2 days. We only managed to fly 1 complete round today, so we have to speed up things tomorrow.

The weather was mostly overcast and a bit cool with calm wind.

Until now we are doing ok. Ole is at the moment sharing the first place with 10 others. Peter and Klaus are a few points behind Ole.
More info will follow tomorrow...
 



Klaus is watching out for thermals before the first flight.




2 large tents for storing our planes, provided by the organizers.

Sunday, August 1:  
by Peter Mikkelsen

When we woke up at 6 o´clock this morning we thought for a moment that we were back in Denmark again - the rain poured down and the sky was very grey all around the horizon. At noon the rain stopped and suddenly we had the most beautiful sunshine and so the contest was started again.
 
There was only time for two rounds today so the contest only had a total of three qualifying rounds and two fly-off rounds.

The winner: Joe Wurts (USA), Second: Philip Kolb (Germany), Third: Tom Kiesling (USA).

10 pilots flew in the fly-off. Our Danish pilot Ole Blomseth placed as no 11, only 2 points from entering the fly-off.
 

Left:
Joe Wurts (USA)

Right:
Philip Kolb (Germany)

Monday, August 2:  
by Klaus Christiansen and Peter Mikkelsen

Today was the first official day of the World Champs. The schedule didn't say flying - that's tomorrow - but "processing", which means registration, inspection and approval of models and team members. We all had our models approved without problems. These are the planes we are going to use:

Ole: Escape, Escape Extreme and Pike Superior
Klaus: Escape K, X-21 and Escape
Peter: Corrado 2000, Corrado and Pike Superior

Thank you Henrik Nielsen and Leif Mikkelsen for kindly lending us spare planes. We will try to get them home in one piece.
 
A team managers meeting was held in the evening at the Red Deer Lodge. Peter had been assigned as team manager and went to the meeting which mainly consisted of practical info and clarification of questions. Unfortunatly, Russia will not attend so now we're down to 60 pilots from 21 countries in the senior contest and 24 pilots from 11 countries in the junior contest.

10 to 12 preliminary rounds are expected to be flown along with 4 fly-off rounds.

Contest director
Keith Morison

Tuesday, August 3:  
by Klaus Christiansen

Today was the first day of flying at the World Champs. We got up early as usual and was out at the airfield at 7 am. The transmitter impound was at 8 am and afterwards the openening ceremony took place. The speaches were short and few, so that was done fast.

Right: The Brasilian team at the opening ceremony.

We started out with a round zero - a kind of test flight that doesn't really count. It was interesting to see how difficult it was to fly today. There were lots of relaunches and many planes didn't land within 75 meters of the landing spot. It's also quite unusual to see only 1 person having 2000 points - the current World Champion Arend Borst from Canada.
We (the Danes) did both good and bad. Peter started out with a good flight but in round 2 somthing went terribly wrong. His plane crashed during the launch and frequency interference could be the cause. While he got a spare plane ready, the contest director tried to check the frequencies for interference in the middel of the working time. It took a great deal of time for the CD to check and meanwhile Peter was waiting for the go to fly with his spare model. We "lost" several minutes on this account and asked for a reflight. It was immediatly granted. The case isn't closed however, because a protest was submitted to the jury, requesting to cancel the reflight.
 



Ole flew 2 good flights - Klaus's were not quite so good. Right now Ole is placed as no 24, Peter as no 25 og Klaus as no 53.

See the results HERE.

Back at the campgound we had gotten visitors: Ole's daughter and son-in-law, Malene and Bo.

Wednesday, August 4:  
by Peter Mikkelsen


We woke up to a grey and dull morning. We only managed to complete 1 flight at the airfield and then it began to rain a lot.

At noon, so much rain had fallen and we had to cancel for the rest of the day. The grass field would also be damaged if we tried to use it after the heavy rain.


In the evening we went to Montana's once again and got "all-you-can-eat" spareribs. Guess who didn't find it embarrasing to ask for 3 refills of spareribs.

Thursday, August 5:  
by Peter Mikkelsen and Klaus Christiansen

Today we managed to complete round 3, 4 and 5. The weather was really nice - sunny and lots of thermals. But during the evening it changed - more about that later.

Malene, Gail, Mourice and Bo came by the airfield to see what it's all about.

All in all we have flown bad. Really, really bad. We won't even get close to the fly-off.

This is a short summary of how we have done so far, including comments from the Danish pilots:
Peter:
"I think my performance-curve peaked some weeks ago"... says Peter.
Round 1 - A good flight, 9:53 and 95 landing points.
Round 2 - Crashed the Pike during launch probably due to radio interference. Got 0 points because the reflight later was cancelled by the jury.
Round 3 - Popped off the line in low altitude. The relaunch resulted in 9:12 and 100 landing points.
Round 4 - Crashed the Corrado 2000 during launch because of too much line tension and an akward throw. 8:30 in the relaunch.
Round 5 - Mucho grande windy conditions combined with the remaining model resulted in 6:12.

Klaus:
"No comments" says Klaus...
In round 4 he got a good flight but unfortunately the model hit his leg during the landing.

Ole:
Using his north-Danish dialect, he says: "Helt ærligt, det er set bedre" (means something like he's not too happy with his performance).




So far the Germans are placed 1, 2 and 3.

Here's Tobias Lämmlein (left) and Philip Kolb currently no. 1 and 2.

Karl Hinsch is third.

See the results HERE.

At the end of the day it looked like we might have a thunder shower and so the CD decided to stop for the day ahead of time. Little did we know that a tornado-warning had been issued for the area we were in.
 
While we packed up, the sky suddenly closed around us and the wind changed from almost calm to windspeeds of about 100 km/h.

We barely managed to save our models before one of the big tents collapsed.

This picture is taken right before it happened.

While the weather raged, people fled in their cars while others tried to save as much as possible.


Here we are in the car on our way to the campground.

Please note the spark at the bottom of the picture.

Fortunately the lightning chose another place to strike.


And there was light...


A good thing we were not there...

Friday, August 6:  
by Peter Mikkelsen


After a good nights sleep we are ready to try to improve our results a bit.

It's working out much better for us today - lots of good flights.

After 8 rounds the best Dane is Peter.

See the results HERE.

The weather is hot and sunny - a big contrast to last nights storm.

It's really amazing how much the weather changes.

Saturday, August 7:  
by Peter Mikkelsen

Round 9 (the last qualifying round) was flown after a few hours delay, in typical Danish weather which suited us nicely.

A lot of pilots didn't manage to make good flights in the strong wind, so we advanced a few places.

The best Dane was Peter who finished as no. 43. Klaus ended as 56 and Ole 57.

Se the results HERE.

10 pilots flew in the fly-off which is scheduled to consist of 4 rounds. The first 2 rounds were flown today.


The current world champion from 2002 Arend Borst (Canada) blew it in both 2 flights and has to be very lucky if he is to get back in front. David Hobby (Australia) is in the lead after 2 rounds and is looking more and more like a possible winner. Craig Goodrum (South Africa) is second and Joe Wurts is third. From third and down there's a big gap.

But anything is possible. When the last two flights have been flown, the worst result is discarded and this could change the ranking all around.
 

Arend Borst (Canada)

David Hobby (Australia)

Sunday, August 8:  
by Peter Mikkelsen

The last 2 fly-off rounds were flown today.

The new World Champion is David Hobby (Australia) who flew excellent. He was helped by his team mates and his personal fans.

Joe Wurts (USA) ended second and Philip Kolb (Germany) was third.
 

The winning senior team is Germany. Turkey ended second and Australia third.

Junior World Champion is Thomas Fischer (Germany). Tibor Duchovny (Slovakia) was second and Robert Braune (Germany) finished third.

See the results HERE.

Monday/Tuesday, August 9+10:  
by Peter Mikkelsen

After saying goodbye to Mourice and Gail, we left the campground in Red Deer and startet on our way home.

We drove the 180 km to Calgary and returned the car before we flew to London and on to Copenhagen.

22 hours after we left Red Deer, we were in Copenhagen Airport.
 

We didn't win any prizes, but we have a lot of good memories with us back home.
F3J World Championship  

World Championship F3J 2004 - information here!

The Danish f3j-team was sponsored by RC-Unionen

The Danish f3j-team was sponsored by Electric Flight Equipment

Graupner supplied 72 MHz equipment to the Danish f3j-team
 





 
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