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Old Sep 23, 2008, 01:53 PM
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Switzerland, GE, Genthod
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Some thoughts on Kiev

After the joys of the official hotel for the 2008 F5B&D WC in Kiev, my wife and I decided to spend one night in the centre of the city before we flew out of the Ukraine. We chose the Hotel Rus from the web. What a difference! A good room, heating, HOT water, lifts, Internet access, and best of all - a HOT BUFFET breakfast featuring edible food! And what did this luxury cost.... 115Euro for the night. Compare this to the 90Euro paid to the organizer for the "official" hotel (70E single), which featured a location next to the E40 freeway racetrack, no heating possible until 15th October (no matter how deep the snow was), small rooms with very limited cupboard space, precious few lights actually turned on, “hot” water at 30C available generally only from 08:00 – 16:00, and the food that defied description most of the time. The promised Internet connection did finally appear at the hotel, but only well into the event, and then with limited capacity. There were regularly some 20+ people gathered in the lobby (just about the only place that you could gain access to it), and even then it was hard to see the keyboard as the hotel only turned on around 25% of the available lights at any time presumably to save money. The hotel was reasonably clean but that was just about all that could be said for it. It was also some 40Km from the field where the event took place.

One could well ask what happened to all the funds gathered from the participants for the 2008 WC? It does not appear to me that they were substantially used to benefit the event itself which featured only really basic facilities for the competitors; two wooden toilet boxes covering a shallow hole in the ground for the ~150 people present, and never moved during the 10 days of the event; a tent for serving food that held around 30 people, but was so old that it did little to fend off the constant rain; no visible medical facilities in case of accidents, shelters for the competitors (at a cost of 45Euro each) that blew down after a couple of days as they were totally inadequate for the conditions, etc.

Despite all this, and the bad weather that accompanied the event, the ambience amongst the competitors was excellent and the local people were very friendly and helpful despite the evident language difficulties. We do, however, need more control over when and where such events are held. Electric flying at the WC level is a highly demanding and costly activity. Facilities and accommodation best suited to boy scouts are NOT appreciated! It is well past time that the FAI updated its specifications for such events to take account of the requirements of competitors in what have become highly technical areas, and although it is understandable that the FAI would like WC events to take place in as many different countries as possible, it is also essential that these countries have the ability and knowledge to run such events successfully.
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Old Sep 23, 2008, 02:16 PM
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Verenigd Koninkrijk, Fareham
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Well put Bruce!

Any pictures?

Joe
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 01:32 AM
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Scotland
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Bruce is right, the ambience was, as always, great.

But the great killer for me was the drive from the hotel to the flying field. I noted this problem right at the beginning but even then underestimated it. The first 5km were into Kiev past a motorway junction, round a cloverleaf and back to opposite the "hotel". This took half an hour or more in the Monday morning rush hour. Then 30km along the main Kiev-Warsaw road in heavy traffic.

This used up most of the time and energy which usually goes into the social and technical interaction which is, for me, the best part of the world championships. There were things I wanted to see and never did. I had Tony Sabbe's video of Lommel and Arnhem to show. I wanted to demonstrate my Unilog analysis program. The miserable conditions on the field precluded any of that there.

One day we had to do the drive twice (four legs there and back) ! It was just a case of lots of driving, three cold wet flights, then home with a bad cold!
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 01:59 AM
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San Mateo, Ca , USA
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Did FAI post a minimum requirement list for each type of WC? Like certain basic requirement should be met before the club will allow to bid for the honor to host the WC? Like medical facility, food, knowledgable helpers on the event and field condition. Not just having an open field and a handful of unskilled helpers are good enough to host a WC. Contestants spent lot of time and $$ to come to the WC only to find out the field would damage the planes every time they land. That is not good.

Just thinking out loud.

Brian, an EAJ
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 03:24 AM
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More photos of the WC at http://picasaweb.google.com/bruce.flockhart/WC2008Kiev#
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 04:59 AM
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Great shots, and thanks for the swiss chocolate too.
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Old Sep 24, 2008, 06:15 PM
Tragic case
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Sydney Australia
Joined Feb 2002
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I feel the FAI were the victims of a "bait and switch" strategy. Originally the event was to be held at Odessa where it would have been warmer, the field was much closer to town and we would have had more choices in accomodation.

Then apparently the Odessa field was unavailable (ie the airforce wanted more money for renting it) and so we were switched to kyev. The organiser should have had more certainty over the field before submitting the original bid and should have been penalised for changing the location. As it was contestants were penalised in many ways.

A higher budget is needed at the outset, and not withstanding the Ukraine was the only offer on the table, a higher standard is required.

The problems wouldn't have mattered so much if it had been dry but that doesn't alter the fact that the organisation was unsatisfactory. The rain was unpredictable but the freezing cold wind was not. Denise Hines actually pointed out to me months ago how cold it might be as one of the reasons why they weren't going, and so fortunately I took a number of warmer clothes. Not enough though.

F5B flying is arguably at an exciting point and given reasonable locations could expect an increase in numbers. Let's give the world championship a location and cultural support that it deserves.
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Old Sep 27, 2008, 03:59 AM
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Hillerød, Denmark
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Thanks too all for great company and help in Ukraine

Especially we have to thank the Italian team for helping us to push the car in the mud race

Congratulations to Guntmar for winning the title after great flying under difficult conditions

And sorry for all, who had a bad round, and didn´t get the 4. round on the official reserve/spare day


But I still wonder why:

-The spare day (Saturday) was not used for the 4. round, when it was announced in the program, and the weather was quite OK

-The hotel rooms had no heating in September??? (not easy to get all the wet stuff dried over night)

-No hot water in the rooms in the morning???

-The standard of the "food"???

-We had to wait for officials comming too late in the morning???

-I did´t see one single limiter control (F5B) during the competition???

-No weight control of models and battery packs during processing and competition???

-Transmiter inpound and frequency control was almost a joke (was told to turn on my transmiter while my team mate already got his transmiter on the same frequency ).

-The "road" to the flying field was not taking care of after some rainy days???

-No "normal standard" toilets on the flying field???

-No "line" in when it was OK to fly or not??? I made 3 full flights in 2. round, and the round which was counting was the round with the really bad weather


-Etc.


Somehow I had expected almost everything to be on a much higher standard at a world championship, than what we are used to at our local danish -and Contest Modellsport competitions in Europe - but that was unfortunately not my experience in Ukraine.

I know the answer from everybody will be: "then do it your self in Denmark if you are not satisfied" - well may be we will some day.

Tommy
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Old Sep 27, 2008, 08:02 AM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
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When I was in Boy Scouts, we were taught how to build a latrine...it was better than the one pictured.

Further, the accomodations are just about what I would have expected....the WC WAS held in Kiev after all...KIEV!!... What were they (The FAI) thinking?!

On the other hand, if I had attended, I would have been a trooper, not a whinner. It is, after all, about the flying and meeting new and old friends.
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Old Sep 27, 2008, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkens4
On the other hand, if I had attended, I would have been a trooper, not a whinner. It is, after all, about the flying and meeting new and old friends.
Yes, but the driving problem and hotel facilities cut down the time for meeting old friends, and the flying field condition cut down the flying, only three rounds, not all attributable to the weather.

If no one complains it will only get worse, probably not next time if it is in USA, but in the future when we go to Kazakhstan in November.
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Old Sep 27, 2008, 08:31 AM
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Sydney Australia
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George

The we for Kazahkstan in November will not include me. No more Siberia in January. Despite all the problems I've come back to warm and sunny sydney full of enthusiasm, 4 flights since I've been back and hoping for more tomorrow.
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Old Sep 27, 2008, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Persson
-No "line" in when it was OK to fly or not??? I made 3 full flights in 2. round, and the round which was counting was the round with the really bad weather
This was the fatal error, though I say so with hindsight. Like you we were annoyed at coming out early and doing flights in poor but not disastrous conditions, then when the "high flyers" came on finding the round aborted due to "low ceiling". In the round that counted I lost sight of the plane on the turn in for landing, but was assured that it was just the heavy rain, not cloud!

This lost us the Wednesday so that on Thursday Emil felt we needed to fly whatever the conditions. We all, fliers and course officials, became so sick that there could be no question of flying on the Saturday whatever the conditions.

If we had flown on the Wednesday and declared Thursday a rain day, then a round in Saturday's better conditions might have been entertained.

For the future, before aborting a round, the forecast should be consulted to ensure that worse will not be in store. This is not the first time this has happened. At least in Denmark and Scotland we do know that if the weather is not good it is perfectly capable of getting worse!
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Old Sep 27, 2008, 08:54 AM
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A major part of the problem with putting on a world championship event is that it is a thankless task.

There's not enough income from the entry fees to compensate the organizers for even a small part of the time and effort they put in. An event that goes badly will be criticized by the competitors, even if the problems are due to uncontrollables like the weather.

It's no wonder there are few bids for running an event.
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Old Sep 27, 2008, 03:13 PM
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United Kingdom, Dorset
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkens4
On the other hand, if I had attended, I would have been a trooper, not a whinner.
I think that those attending were troopers and the comments that have come out since the event are merely stating the facts which are that things could have been better.
At the events I've attended I have always been amazed that the organisers all go throught the same steep learning curve because it is clear that they have not spoken to previous organisers or competitors.
And as for charging 70E for a single room without hot water? That's outrageous! The UK is one of the most expensive countries in the world and for 70E you'll get a cooked breakfast and hot water.

Mike

BTW, can we have the next one in late July or August so that I can take part again?
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Old Sep 27, 2008, 03:32 PM
turn, turn, turn.
Athol, Massachusetts
Joined Oct 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Seale
I think that those attending were troopers and the comments that have come out since the event are merely stating the facts which are that things could have been better.
At the events I've attended I have always been amazed that the organisers all go throught the same steep learning curve because it is clear that they have not spoken to previous organisers or competitors.
And as for charging 70E for a single room without hot water? That's outrageous! The UK is one of the most expensive countries in the world and for 70E you'll get a cooked breakfast and hot water.

Mike
I should have been more clear because my post may have been taken to say that people should stop complaining about the conditions at this WC.

My post was meant to say that the facilities were horrible...all of them.

Also, my post was meant to say that if I had gone there, I would have been a trooper just like all the rest of you.

There is no comdemnation here, meant for any of the competitors.

I appologize for the misunderstanding.
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