Arrived back home yesterday evening and have now recovered from the trip so it's time for the last entry.
The closing ceremony was a typically OTT affair. Speaches in Romanian from the local mayor as well as FAI officials, Emil Geisendaner, Robbie Robrecht and Sandy Pimenoff (excuse spellings for each fo these!!). The winners all received cups, certificates and medals. We then had the Romanian National Anthem and the FAI anthem which ended the 11th Electric World Championships.
In the evening we were gathered in one of the nicer hotels outside the city for the banquet. I didn't take my camera but maybe someone who did can add a few photos here. There was unlimited beer, wine and vodka and I'm sure many will have woken up with sore heads. If the alcohol didn't cause this some of the local talent might have!! We were 'treated' to some traditional singing and for most of our western ears it was a painful experience. Midway through the show we had a shockflyer interlude when one of the young German F5D pilots took centre stage. I'd imagine this was quite nerve-wracking, flying in a relatively small space with everyone watching. He didn't show off but did some hovering, torque rolls and a few knife edge passes before catching his model to finish. The singing then started again and most of us hoped he had another battery on charge - but we were to be disappointed!
My trip home was a little bit of a drama. We got lost in Bucharest and spend over an hour trying to find the airport. The flight home was without incident and all the bags and model box arrived back in the UK. However, when I opened one of my bags to phone home I found that my mobile phone and Raybans had been stolen. I registered my loss with BA and asked if it was rare for items to go missing from checked-in baggage to be told 'it depends where you're flying from'. I assume this means he was not surprised that something had gone astray.
During the championships there was an FAI meeting and a couple of items were on the agenda. One was the venue fo the 2008 world championships and the Ukraine have offered to host it if no-one else puts in a bid. This resulted in several counties wondering if it was time for them to step forward with an offer. Italy, France and Canada are three countires who have not hosted an event before and I think we would all prefer to go to one of these instead of the Ukraine. Hopefully someone with a bit of clout will put something together soon and perhaps we can all apply a bit of pressure too ;)
The second discussion point was the current power levels and associated danger. We have all seen a lot of failures that could have resulted in very serious injury. Fortunately the only casualty was Jeff Keesaman who suffered minor burns when his pack exploded, but it could have been a lot worse. The uncontrolled missiles that regularly hit the deck when the battery exploded in flight could have gone anywhere. We also have several stalled launches with the model heading straight back towards the pits including one which 'landed' in front of Rudi's mobile home and props shearing off followed by the nose breaking free. I believe that there was broad agreement that the power levels are too high and that something must be done to make F5B and F5D safer. This means that we should see some new rules in place by 2008 instead of having to wait 4 years (2010) for a rule change. We'll have to wait and see but 2000W for F5B and 700W for F5D are likely with some form of power limiter being fitted to the plane. This will clearly require some development but if it happens we will have a class of competition where the battery plays a less important role in deciding who wins. I think everyone will welcome this move so we can then pit our flying skills againts one another instead of our battery maintenance skills.
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