Report on the F2C World Champs 2002 in Sebnitz

By Luis Petersen, chairman of the F2C Judging Panel

This years World Championship was blessed with much better weather than expected. The extra day security for bad weather was fortunately not needed, although one heat was struck with a bad rainstorm. With the number of entries in the other classes the time is needed for them to finish. But the F2C action gets "a little thin" with so many days.

The processing was handled ok by the organisers, but teams are trying very hard to go to the limit with tank volume. This caused several teams to be put at the end of the line for rechecks. Some teams were also not prepared with model cards, stickers etc. they were also asked to come back later, rather than letting the next teams wait.

The F2C site was newly renovated and two circles were open for practice. Unfortunately teams were practicing outside the impregnated pitting areas on the official circle dissolving the surface, so it was closed for open practice for two days. The lists for "free" training were quickly filled up, as some team would enter themselves and their team mates' names 4-5 times occupying spaces, sometimes without even showing up. It took some unpopular policing to make people behave in a sporting manner giving space for all.

Unfortunately the lap counting was not working, which took some of the excitement of the racing away for the spectators.

The racing was fast, and in general the piloting has improved on the previous years. Some pilots, when they got in serious trouble, actually cut their engine, rather than smashing them. The call "Stop racing, safety" was only called once. Only few models crashed, the Spanish Hernandez brother team being most unfortunate when being taken down twice without a chance. They still managed to secure the third team price for their country with their last model.

When entering the line check area before the races, all teams are checked and in the heats one team was not allowed to enter the circle.
The rules are:
0,3 mm lines with a minus tolerance of 0, 011mm being allowed. The organisers guide call for a micrometer with a division of 1/100 mm.
This is of cause an on-the-spot check, not something done in a temperature controlled environment.
So if you go down to the limit, you must expect to be caught by temperature, inaccurate measuring equipment, gorillas etc. once in a while. The team made new lines the next day!
The organisers went to the Bosch company and borrowed a backup micrometer, with an accuracy of 2/1000 mm. A measuring repeatability of 0,0001 mm. and a certificate to prove it. Now, this is overkill, as nobody can utilise this accuracy on site. Other teams checked their lines when changing them, several being very close to the limit.
In the third round another team was not allowed to enter the circle, when their lines where found too thin by the line checkers. A check with the reference micrometer showed them to be -0,012mm in two out of 5 places tried. So a protest and 30 Euro later another measurement was made with the same result.
On the spot the lines were to thin!! There is no tolerance on a tolerance.

We saw two new world records in the heats, although both races finished two-up, it was tough going and well deserved times.

In the last semi-final we saw the withdrawal of the Russian team Sourkov/Yugov, allowing the number 13 team Shabashov/Moskalev to enter the semi-final. Having reached a semi-final at a world Championship and being told to step down so that your team mates can have a go must be very frustrating. The reason for this strategic move by the Russian team manager was to clinch the team price. This is based on placings, not the heat times, as was previously the case. the "unlucky" number 13 pushed out the third Russian team to a fourth place and gave Russia the team price.

The final promised to be fast and exciting, and it was. A small mistake in the warm-up proved too much for the fast French team, slowing them down. The very efficient pitting of the Ukrainian team gave them a deserved win.

A video is being made ready for sale telling the tales of how to and how not to fly. Organiser Ulli Forkert handles this.

Look on the official site!

So a great thanks for a very well organised F2C championship.