Report on the F2D World Championships in Sebnitz

By Guido Michiels, combat chief judge.

This seems to be one of the best WC's in F2D ever and certainly it was the biggest. To deal with 86 competitors did not only require a smooth running organization but also the cooperation of all competitors. They all deserve a big thank you. The spare (excursion!) day on Thursday was planned as a contest day for F2D and proved to be fully justified.

Except for a mishap with the engine marking the processing of the models was hard work but could be achieved within reason. There was a discussion about the national identification mark and individual indentification mark on the wing of the models of each competitor. Ref. Sporting Code section 4 volume ABR 4B Annex 2 and section 4C, para2.3.8. It was agreed with the member of the FAI jury present that all models should not only carry the required IOC code but also the individual competitor number clearly visible. If necessary a felt pen marker was made available to add this identification mark (~25 mm high).
This item needs clarification for the future by the CIAM.

On the site all ran smoothly because sufficient dedicated helpers were available all properly briefed for their duty. It has proven for the second time (cfr. France 2000) that the 'import' of well trained foreign people to perform timekeeping/scoring is well worth the trouble. Experience has shown that it is sometimes difficult to find in the same country trained people to work together on an individual base without influencing each other. Nevertheless human errors are always possible but there was no sign of 'national bias' and only few remarks were made on the scoring itself. The slightly sloping of the flight circle had no influence on the contest. The layout was well made with the reserved areas properly fenced. There was ample provision for shelter in case of bad weather. Snacks and drinks could be purchased on the spot and a separate stand with seats for the spectators was installed. Upon an earlier visit to the place the organizers were advised if a public stand would be erected some kind of net should be made to protect unaware spectators against flyaway models. It took a cutaway model hitting a beer can in a competitors' hand near the stand to have as yet this high net installed at once.

The planned timing was strictly adhered to. Only the first day - first round, after flight 41, was stopped due to an imminent thunderstorm preceded by static electricity on lines and handle. The next day a short delay, caused by rain, could easily be bridged by continuing till 19h00.

The high number of flyaways in this championship is a fact to be highlighted. At present the models are fast and powerful. The danger involved with flyaways for both competitors and spectators needs full attention of the C/L subcommittee. Several competitors said that bad quality lines (composing strands!) are around.
The line checks however gave no indication about this problem. The equipment in use was based on the pulley/weight system and hence independant of individual operator force with a spring-balance.
It is time for an open discussion and workable proposals. A few ideas are already floating around.
-Automatic shutoffs do not seem to be the answer because rather unreliable.
-Increase the pull test with 35% to 200 N is another one. Overstressing individual strands can happen! This has to be checked.
-Reduction of venturi inlet diameter and appropriate exhaust muffler outlet diameter will not only reduce the speed but diminishes the noise, a much wanted issue... This could be an easy way to go.

In general the competitors behaved in a sportmanslike manner. Nevertheless 'attacking a model with only string left' became apparent and the FAI jury explained at the teammanagers meeting that the application of this rule (4.4.15.p) would be stricly adhered to resulting in disqualification of the offender. The circle marshal warned the competitors individually for 'dirty flying' to good result. In spite of all this in the semi-finals a competitor was eliminated on this rule.

As an apotheosis to end the contest the organizer wanted to have the final flights on the main site. The safety of the spectators was discussed and the high protecting grids of the combat site were in the accessible areas for the public installed.
The final flights attracted a large crowd and put an end to a great contest.

Maybe a final note is appropriate here. It is important that the NACs and coordinators-teammanagers inform their competitors of the availability of the rules and the applicable updates at the FAI website. It is sad to see a heat lost because a pilot or mechanic do not know the latest rules. It is regularly heard that local translations do not always reflect exactly the rule as written in the Sporting Code.

Many thanks to the Sebnitz organizers and the DeAC for the effort to offer all participants a worthwile F2D world championship and congratulations with the excellent results.

Guido Michiels