WORLD FLYING CHAMPIONSHIPS – 2004
Incorporating the 14th World Rally Flying Championships,
and the 16th World Precision Flying Championships
Herning, Denmark – 14 to 24 July 2004.
By Chris Booysen
Part 2 – The Rally Flying Championship
Friday, 16 July
We have 3 teams in each group. Both groups fly under similar weather conditions and do reasonably well. Dale and Nigel plot a photo incorrectly (100 points) and with one photo missed they end with a total of 176 points. They have only 6 timing penalties. Barry and Mary are our second team with 536 points after missing a number of photos. Their timing points were 46. Hans and Ron also do well with 44 timing points and a total of 664 points. Frank and Quentin end up with 810 points after missing a checkpoint, Jan and Hugo with 918 and Ernie and Mike with 1596. In the overall rankings we are 6th, 27th, 28th, 36th, 37th and 45th. There are fifty teams competing.
The Czech team of Filip and Filip are lying first with 22 points, followed by another Czech team (Cihlář and Fiala) on 102 points and the Polish team of Wieczorek and Sketowicz on 146 points.
Saturday, 17 July
Today was the second official competition day. The teams swopped around so that those that flew in the morning fly in the afternoon. With the luxury of long days the organisers have stretched out the competition. The first aircraft of group one normally takes off at 9:15 after being parked on the side of the runway since 8:15. The afternoon group arrive at the airfield at approximately 11:45, park their aircraft at 13:30 (after a lunch) and only start taking off at 14:45. This means that the last pilot takes off at 16:00, al long wait.
Our teams have had mixed results for today. Once again Nigel and Dale have done well with a total of 122 points, 2 for timing and 120 for the landing/two missed photos and 6th place for the day. They are followed by Mary and Barry (25th) with 404 points, and Hans and Ron (31st) with 630 points. Frank and Quentin have not had a good day as they cut the start gate before their run in and miss a check point. They end up with 1 334 points in 41st place. Jan and Hugo also missed the finish. Luckily the finish is cancelled as the false photo was only 0.6nm away from the finish so instead of 1 389 points they have 789 points and are in 35th place. Ernie and Mike miss two points and end with 2 196 points. Our teams are still finding the photo recognition a problem.
The leaders for day 2 are the Filip brothers (Czech) on 22 points again followed by Darocha and Chrzaszcs (Poland) on 56 points and Opat and Rajdl (Czech) on 70 points.
Sunday, 18 July
Prior to the take off it is announced that the cloud base is below the minimum of 1 000 ft as required by the rules. All teams are given the option to fly but two teams decline. After more animated discussion it is decided to go ahead with the flying and those not happy can protest after the event. As soon as the decision was made the cloud base started to lift and by the time the first aircraft took off it was within limits. The afternoon group is also happy with the results for the day
Our teams have generally done better. Nigel and Dale end up with an unbelievable total of 20 points in second place for the day – only beaten by Darocha and Chrzaszcz with 4 points for the day. The only penalties Nigel and Dale received were for landing approximately 1 ft out of the bingo box. An enormous effort. This means that they could be in line for a medal but it is too early to call. They are followed by Mary and Barry with 246 points (20th), and Frank and Quentin with 467 points (30th). This could have been much lower if it was not for a misleading sketch on the clue sheet. Hans and Ron have 546 points (36th) followed by Jan and Hugo with 552 points (37th). Ernie and Mike get their timing points down to 82 but still battle with the photos and end up on 972 points (45th), a huge improvement.
The evening is finished off with the Chilean Pisco Sours evening. The Pisco Sours had such an effect on Mike that he and Ron did a party trick in a gay bar. I am sure the full story will come out when we are back in South Africa.
The manager job is getting harder. Despite all attempts I could not get everybody on to the bus by 6:45 and Mike, Mary and Quentin have to hitch to the airfield. It is raining again but the landing practice will go ahead as planned.
There is only time for a barrier and a flapless glide as we have to be back in town for the rally closing ceremony. Nigel, Jan and Ron hit two bingo’s which immediately raises the spirits that had been dashed by news that the Polish team (once again) had protested and one of their teams had overtaken Nigel and Dale in the final results.
The closing ceremony was held in the city square in perfect weather. The final results were announced by the Chief Judge, Heinrich Linkogel. The Czech team of the Filip brothers are first with 120 points over 3 days. An incredible result. They are followed by another Czech team of Cihlář/Fiala on 226 points and Wieczorek and Skretowicz on 298 points. Dale and Nigel end 4th a further 20 points behind. Barry and Mary in 21st place join Nigel and Dale as our representatives in the team results. Their combined points make us 4th in the team event after Czech, Poland and France. Full results are available on theFAI site.
The navigation trophy went to the Polish team of Darocha and Chrzaszcz who have only 32 timing points and 0 observation points over the three days. Thank heavens they did not land well (310 penalties) or we would be another position down.
South Africa and Chile get a special mention at the ceremony as teams who travel long distances to take part and always add some life to the competition.
We will all be taking the afternoon off so that we are ready for the Precision Championships that start tomorrow. We probably also need to get some sleep before the function tonight.