Monday, September 1, 2008

F-09 and Team Canada 2009- (Updated)

Hi folks

Ok lets bring you all up to speed on the final day of the Team Trials……

After our breakfast we loaded the vehicles up with the awards, freshly charged batteries and headed North West to the flying site. Weather was pretty much perfect with clear skies and a very light breeze. Mark and I traveled along uneventfully on our now familiar route with virtually no traffic to speak of. Hey it’s a holiday.

Both Dan Venables and Harry were also driving up together just behind us when Dan, doing a mental check of airplane parts, realized he had left his wings back at the farm! Harry pulled over and called Rosemary, whom was following all of us, and had her go back home and pick up said wings. Thank heavens for cell phones. Dan’s heart resumed beating.

We all eventually arrived at the field and the competitors started to assemble their planes. There was much discussion on the scores and the carry forward going in to today’s F-09 sequence. There was such a tight race for the last spot that it was really going to be interesting. Further was the fact that both Mark and I had really concentrated on the P-09 sequence and the F-09 had not been flown nearly as much... especially by me. This of course is not the position you want to be in but we would do the best we could.

Ivan has his demo plane sound checked.

Harry had Ivan fly a demo round for the judging panel and I personally was most impressed with Ivan’s flight. In my opinion, had he signed up for the team, he would have made it. Not bad for a guy out of pattern for several years!

The panel was then treated to another demo that they now scored except that Ivan threw in a couple “wrong” maneuvers that I saw. Nice guy! With the demos completed & judges debriefed, the planes were measures for size and the competition flights began.

Ivan briefs the judges following his flight.... all this under the watchful eyes of some competitors.

Chad was up first and put in a very solid round after his noise test. I followed him and put in probably my personal best round of F that I have flown. (This according to Mark) The others followed suite and we all watched the flights progress. We had lost one flyer in Richard Vigneault as he decided he had no chance and headed home so only 8 pilots flew.

After each flight the planes were checked for weight compliance and unfortunately Paul Hepworth was well over so his score was zeroed. He knew he was not going to make weight but flew for the experience anyway.

Marks plane on the scale
The second round commenced after a short judges break and panel change. The flight order was also changed and things got going again. You could see the pressure in the flying as everyone had a few rough areas. Once again Chad flew a pretty solid F although not as nice as the first… I suspect the pressure was off him :-)

With the last round completed, we all gathered around and took some photos of the competitors. We also took a couple flights to burn down some packs and took some pictures with the Canadian flag that Paul had brought.

group shot.

The scoring was taking quite a long time as they had to make sure the results were correct. The score was so close for the last spot on the team that they went through all the raw score including P and double checked the math.

I think this process took its toll on Harry and after and hour of scrutinizing the scores simply put the result sheet up on the board for all to see. Ivan jumped in and read aloud the results. Chad, Dezso and Dan were announced as the team with Xavier as alternate. The scoring difference between third and fourth was only .28 of a point so that’s why they did a recheck.

Does it get any closer? Wow!

We all congratulated the winners and then they posed for the traditional group shot. It was time to pack up and head back to the farm to start breaking down the planes and start the road home to Victoria.
The 2009 Team ..... Chad Northeast, Dezso Vaghy and Dan Venables

It was a pretty well run event and although there were some lessons to be learned I think the club members and Harry did a great job in putting together a combined Nationals. It was a lot of work for them and at times can be a thankless job.

I congratulate the winners, all the competitors whom spent countless hours practicing (as well as hard cash!) and the event organizers whom made this event possible.

Special thanks to Rosemary and Harry Ells for taking us into their home this past week and making us feel so welcome.

More pictures added.

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