The Junior FAI World Champs in Prilep, Macedonia -- Report No. 5 by Bob Stalick
Flash: US F1P team places second in the Jr. World Champs. Alex Stalick secures third place individual
Recap from Wakefield Day: At the time of my last report, the F1B Wakefield scores were not official. Since then, the scores have been posted on the <www.Prilepcup.MK> website. Although it appears some errors are in the results, here are the places as reported: Mekzilamov from Ukraine was the eventual first place winner after posting perfect flyoff scores in the 6 minute and 8 minute rounds. The final 10 minute flyoff was held beginning at 6 am on Friday morning and the Ukrainian was the top of the field at 348 seconds. This was a masterful achievement with excellent competition. Since flyoffs do not count in the team standings, the US team placed third overall. Ukraine and Russia placed first and second in that order. Individually, US Team members were: Jace - Ninth, Sevak, 13th and Troy 22nd.
F1P Power Event Report:
From a weather standpoint, it appeared that Friday would be a repeat of Thursday with weather in the 80’s and light winds variable. As noted earlier, this was to be a seven round event with all maxes set at 3 minutes. The rounds were set at 55 minutes with a five minute break between them. Since there were only 5 teams, there were only 5 pole positions, so we rotated through two poles twice.
The team decided Alex should go first, followed by Cade with Sevak flying last.
With light air, Alex went early in the round flying an Astrostar that was tissue covered. This model had been flown several World Champs ago by Cody Secor and had won the championship for him. It was the most retro model on the field, since most of the designs were carbon constructed with plastic film covering. The Astrostar was of all balsa construction with Japanese tissue covering.
Alex put the model into lift, but needed a bit of flapping help to get his max. Cade was next and put in a solid max. Sevak was having some engine issues, but got it sorted out in time for his max. So far, so good. Six rounds to go!
Round two was another calm one with drift uncertain but not strong. Alex found some strong lift, and got into it well. He had set the Texas Timer to d.t. at 4 minutes (just to be sure), and it got so high that after the d.t. it took another 6 minutes+ to come down. Cade flew net and had a disappointing 134 second flight even though the flapping crew was active. Sevak got his model into another boomer and scored an easy 180. Sevak’s model features an electronic timer and is state of the art.
Round 3 saw Alex give an out of character less than perfect launch and score169, just 11 seconds short. Cade had a shallow launch but the model got into a nice patch of air and got the 180. Sevak did his max.
Round 4, Alex returned to form and had a 4 minute d.t. that was in the air for another 5+ minutes. The model landed on the road on the north side of the field. Good thing Jace, who runs cross country in high school, was there to pick it up, as a local motorist had stopped just as he arrived. Cade was next and once again had a shallow launch, scoring a disastrous 42 seconds. Some speculation was that a cracked pylon might have been the culprit, so the model was retired in favor of model #9, which he flew for the remainder of the contest. Sevak was up and secured an easy max.
Round 5 began with the weather heating up and the thermals getting scarcer. When they came through, they were in short duration but strong. Alex was up and just missed the lift scoring 174. Cade, with model #9, was solid for his third max of the day. Sevak was Mr. Consistency with his fifth max.
I should point out here that Alan Jack team manager for Great Britain had joined the US contingent, as his team had no power fliers. His comments on the US team’s exploits are priceless and full of typical British humor. He was a fun addition to our crew.
Round 6. Alex is solid for another max. So is Cade and Sevak. We are doing well an
d appear to be on target for a first place team award, and Sevak is the only flier on the board with perfect scores in each round. However, the heat and the number of rounds seem to be sapping energy. The fliers on our team are not complaining, but everyone (including this writer) looks pretty droopy.
One round to go.
Round 7. Now, it’s a waiting game. Alex finds a big boomer and scores his fifth max. Team manager, Jim Parker, decides that Sevak should go next as he has a chance to win it all. So, after a long wait some lift comes through and Sevak launches in an off wind direction and the model is off in a shallow climb out of lift for a 63 second flight. This is devastating for all, but especially for Sevak. Cade follows with another max and the round is over.
No flyoffs are needed as no competitor has maxed out. The top three finishers are called to the CD table to have their models processed. While Alex is waiting in line, a Russian team supporter edges closer and squeezes the balsa fuselage of the Astrostar and exclaims, “Is balsa!” Alex’s model makes the grade and he is pronounced the 3rd place winner, as with the previous two placers, he is given a round of applause. Pictures follow.
The final result: Winner was Bogomaz from Poland with a score of1253. Second was Moisiiadi from Ukraine with a score of1249. Alex’s 1243, just 10 seconds away from the lead. Unofficial team placing is Russia for first. Second USA, Third, Ukraine.
The USA had the first place in our grasp, but it got away from us with some uncharacteristically odd launches.
Unofficial individual placings are: Alex - third place, Sevak - ninth place, and Cade - 10th place.
I have been impressed all through this competition at the quality of our team and their supporters. They are a pleasant mix of laid back and competitive young men. I am proud, as should everyone who cares about our future. These are quality human beings, and I was proud and fortunate to be included in the group. One example: After Sevak had dropped his final flight and the contest was over, he called to Alex and Cade to gather around him for a team picture. He didn’t sulk or hang his head, but wanted all of his teammates to be together. He’s a classy young man.
Jim Parker did a masterful job of interceding when needed, but staying in the background for most of the action. He is to be congratulated as are all of the fliers and supporters.
Tomorrow, I’ll include the official results of the F1P scores and a wrap up of the prize giving and closing ceremonies. I’d also like to give some personal observations of the entire operation.