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Old Jul 27, 2012, 10:06 AM
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SNOJMO 2012 Czech GPS Race

The SOARIST group with which I fly , is now branching out from F3J and have decided that the new GPS Scale Racing class is very exciting, and will support and compete in the Eurotour league for this classification. On July 12 I flew to Istanbul to join my team, and then flew to Vienna which is 90 kilometers from Snojmo, Czech Republic. Philip Kolb my team mate and I drove one of the vans across the Austrian country side. As we drove the weather looked impressive and as inviting to a thermal pilot, as a sky could be.............
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 10:17 AM
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We arrived in Znojmo checked in and had some lunch. We got word that the team coach had arrived which meant we could head to the field and get started preparing the models. The contest site is a privately owned model field owned by Peter Maisenberg. Many competitions are held here, with competitors able to rent small cottages, and take meals at the Model City bar. This is a really nice place with an excellent spacious, flying area. Friends Marco Mani and Martin Holub stopped by to greet us and tell us about the expected weather conditions which were getting more obvious by the minute.
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 10:24 AM
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Those of you who saw me athe JR Aerotow know that I was transporting my new Orange Antares to Istanbul to fit it out and prepare it for this contest. I ended up removing the retract and trading out the supplied gear for an all carbon unit from Germany. I was able to use the original gear support so I did not have to trade out the ballast boxes or disturb anything inside the fuselage, it was a total bolt back in modification. The Turks have been working on some new products at Weatronics and Philip chose to install one of the dual 2.4 Weatronics receiver in the model. We ended up getting the model ready with lots of help, it seemed that the orange color was the topic of much conversation. As the day came to a close Philip and I had the Antares pretty much ready to go. as the sky got darker and the clouds got lower.
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 10:40 AM
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Friday dawned dark and wet as a cold front was heading our way from Bavaria. It was cold in the low 50's and I was not prepared with cold weather gear. The rest of our team arrived around 3:00pm and they joined us watching the sky hoping for a break to get some flying in before the competition started Saturday morning. Finally around 5:30 it looked like the wet would let up..But the ceiling was very low. It seemed like this was our only chance so We joined others on the line and soon we were towing. Since Philip had done all the work on the radio set-up, I suggested that he handle the test flights. I reasoned that since he was familiar with the system that he would be able to get all the flight modes comfortable in what looked like a pretty small window to test fly.
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 11:20 AM
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We brought the models to the flight line. Aykut Suavi prepped the 33% Frisch Wilga. While Renhard Vallant prepped Mustafa Koc's White Antares, and Philip and I prepped ours. Conditions were just good enough with super low ceilings.
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 11:45 AM
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Reinhard Vallant and Mustafa Koc took turns getting aquainted with the new equipment in the Antares. At the same time Philip was fine tuning all the flight modes on our model. We had an interesting development when Mustafa inadvertantly flew between two cloud layers. One of the features of the Weatronics system is an artificial horizon. I was handling the towing chores with the Wilga and was not aware of the invisible Antares flying over our heads. I looked over at Reinhard and Mustafa and was alarmed to see one looking one way and one looking the other. Reinhard had the PDA in his hand and was coaching Mustafa flying blind. IN the ned the Antares broke through the cloud and the flight continued as if nothing had taken place.
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 12:26 PM
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Just before sundown Philip thought the new Antares was pretty close, and suggested that I take a turn. Thankfully I have plenty of time on my White Antares and Juri makes a really sweet model. The Antares fly's fast and sweet.I greased the landing and suggested we were ready for the contest.....
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 12:32 PM
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Saturday July 14. The pilots briefing was held at 8:30. The weather would remain questionable through out the weekend, and we would just cope as best we could. Philip was still doing some last minute check outs , when the first task was called. It would be a Thermal task which is as many laps as we could do around the 1.44 mile course in 30 minutes. We used a 500 meter start gate and a speed of lower that 120 KPH with a landing in the prescribed area for max points. Lift was not expected for this round so , we knew the lap count would be close and We must fly as fast as possible.
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 12:38 PM
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Heck of a field, even a Mig 21 (I believe), sitting there.
Great pics, thanks.
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 12:59 PM
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After 2 rounds of pretty uneventful flying the rain set in and decided a good soak was in order. Philip had been getting some lock outs on his data stream, which was frustrating. Reinhard Vallant proved why he the all time cool guy on the team. He decided that he would walk the model around the course, in the rain to verify where We were getting the signal drop......Of course it didn't drop out which led us to believe We were getting zapped by another model.
I was glad he walked it, I was freezing. Around 7:00 pm the contest director announced one more round would be flown....We got the announcement in the bar where I had just finished a JD..What the heck, at least I was warm....
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 01:07 PM
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In GPS racing if there is no lift you need to fly heavy and guage your start. The Orange Antares was loaded to 16.2 kilos and we went pretty quick. You can see the brass ballast loaded up against the retract box. The Shark is a very pretty model. Radim Horky is seen below with his own built Schempp Hirth Arcus.
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 01:20 PM
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Finally Saturday came to an end....The Antares was perfoming well , and I was just glad to be in the car heading to the Hotel... Oh well it was a nice sunset.
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 01:22 PM
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Sunday morning came and the weather was still questionable. The CD wanted to get 5 rounds in so the throw away could come in to play. The first task would be Speed. This where the models are allowed to be ballasted and are flown one time around the course...The same 500 meter altitude and 120KPH gate rules were in effect. I have to say that the heavier you fly the Antares the more it comes in to it's own. For those of you who have seen the Sun Ship Game you will understand Philips comment. As I rocketed around turn 3 and crossed the finish line below one meter Philip said "Good Finish Double X"....I was getting hooked on racing scale sailplanes....This is what I have been waiting for, a real simulation of full size glider flying.
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 01:23 PM
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Some good shots of the models being checked for weight. Radim is loading water in to his Arcus. My Slovenian friend Matej Rozman is always smiling...
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Old Jul 27, 2012, 01:23 PM
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The 5th and final round was called a thermal task. We were a little short handed as most of our team had returned to Turkey when it looked like it was likely to be a rain out. We found out that it is unlikely that 3 guys can work together in one 30 minute window. I was 2 laps in to my flight when the lift turned to pretty reasonable with a slow moving thermal positioned on the leg from turn point 1 to turn point 2. I could see the guys who launched after me were having a good time above me as I worked every bit of lift to stay with them. In the end I recorded 7 laps with Marco and Andrej Vrecer recording 10 laps each. Just as I landed the CD closed the gate. Philip had not flown yet, and asked the CD if he could fly for practice. Philip easily recorded 10 laps never circling. The Antares is a very competitive model, and is sweet to fly. We were pretty pleased with the experience gained at this competition and look forward to further involvement with GPS racing. The Czechs are great hosts and I look forward to going back to Snojmo, hopefully with better weather, and a jacket !
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