NATS 2020 F3K Results and Photos

It was an absolutely beautiful day in Muncie today and just about perfect for having a soaring competition.


NATS 2020 F3K

It was an absolutely beautiful day in Muncie today and just about perfect for having a soaring competition. While the guys were over on Site 5 flying ALES, us hand launch guys were at the far end on Site 4 flying an F3K competition. The morning kicked off with a pilots meeting and Don indicated that it was going to be an easy going contest. We had such a great day with low humidity and not too crazy hot temps and winds ranging from 5-10MPH. Everything was running smoothly and had a nice laid back feel to it making it fun for everyone. Looking at the sky, you would think there was lift every where and you wouldn't have any issues making flight times. Muncie air said LOL to that and gave us some really tough air to work with.

Sometimes the lift was longer horizontally than it was vertically. Sometimes it would bump you up hard and then 2 seconds later, it was all gone. The sink brutal at times. One round while timing for Nathan, we were nearly halfway through the working time and I didn't see one person in the group climb in a thermal the up to that point. Sure we had a few boomers that skied out some planes, but you really had to work to make some of the longer 3,4 or 5 minute flights. Man oh man what a day for a contest! Oleg is crushing it with only 1 plane and no practice. I somehow am sitting in 2nd place after several sub 900 score rounds and Joe from Seattle is in 3rd with others nipping at our heals. We ended after round 9 today and the plan for tomorrow is to fly to round 14 and then take the top 6 pilots into a 4 round Fly Off. Look for things to mix up a little tomorrow after the lowest score drops after round 12 and we'll see how everything else shakes out. Making the top 6 is not out of reach for many pilots. More to come. For now enjoy the photos.

Last edited by Jason Cole; Jul 28, 2020 at 07:23 PM..
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Jul 28, 2020, 08:09 PM
The Mr. Rogers of RC soaring
rdwoebke's Avatar
I made a youtube video of some F3K fun:

F3K AMA National Championship 2020 (0 min 50 sec)

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Jul 29, 2020, 09:02 AM
Time for me to Fly...
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I’m looking at the scores. What do you guys think of the new poker? Looks like it was pretty tough. We have yet to fly it here locally but I’m imagining it’s even more of a make or break task than ever.
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Jul 29, 2020, 09:28 AM
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eitanro's Avatar
Originally Posted by Mr. Wiz
Iím looking at the scores. What do you guys think of the new poker? Looks like it was pretty tough. We have yet to fly it here locally but Iím imagining itís even more of a make or break task than ever.
It really depend on the conditions - it can vary anywhere between a single 9:58 flight to a 3X 3:20 (ish) task, looking at the scores, mos of the top pilots decided to go with the 2nd approach

Jul 29, 2020, 09:51 AM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
Yeah but think about it. In tough conditions, a 3:20 isn’t a given. Miss that one time and the task just hammered you.
Latest blog entry: The latest and greatest
Jul 29, 2020, 10:23 AM
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eitanro's Avatar
Of curse... in tough conditions 3:20 isn't a given, if it's marginal, one might try that
Jul 29, 2020, 06:29 PM
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clintc's Avatar
I don’t think anybody went for 3x3:20 in poker. Conditions weren’t that good. Lots of shorter calls. Then some longer ones if you were lucky.
Jul 29, 2020, 07:15 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Man what a day!!! Muncie delivered some more great/tough conditions for a contest. We flew 5 more prelim rounds and then took the top 6 to the fly offs. The Fly Offs were EPIC!!!

I'll let others tell their side of the story and hopefully Nathan will chime in later with his personal take. The fly offs were 4 brutal rounds. Starting out with Poker with only 3 calls in a 15 minute window. Oleg had one shorter flight he made and then called window and went for it, but ended up landing waaaaay out. Joe got a 2 and then couldn't get his next target the rest of the window. I went for a 2 minute on the first call and then a 4 and got them both and waited a bit to read the air. I called a 3 with about 4 and half to go instead of calling window just in case I felt like it wasn't going to work, I could burn in and launch again to try for the 3. I got the 3 and banked 9 total minutes out of 15 in the round. Nathan banked some time and then called a window at the end, but just barely missed it by 8-10 seconds. Noah bested us all in that round and scored 11 some odd minutes for the K.

Next up was the Huge Ladder with a 3,5 and 7 minute max, sounds fun right. I played this one safe, holding for just a bit to see what the air was like and we had some really great thermals come through. On the 7 minute flight, I hit a boomer and everyone else jumped in too giving most everyone a high 900's score for the round.

Then we flew two 5 minute flights. I blew it here with tired low launches and a land out on my first one and then only got a 3 something on the second flight. Oleg and Joe did great in this round and Ryan Jr hung in there too. Nathan and Noah also had land outs to keep things interesting on the score. I figured things were very close at this stage and the final round would determine the winners.

The last round was one flight only with a 10 minute max. Just about everyone launched on the horn, but I held. They went downwind to a read and hit some air. I didn't like the look of it and waited around for several minutes. Oleg bailed on it and came back for a short flight and Ryan Jr also landed with a fairly short flight. The rest of the guys were working WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY downwind. I launched and hit some air and managed to work a couple of thermals to get 6 minutes and some change, all the while having Jim keep me up to date on the other guys over in the next county. They were so far away, I couldn't even see them. They left the field and went a long way, just to be able to see their planes. People were joking and saying they were going over to fly with the ALES guys. Jim tells me there's no way they are making it back. With that in mind, I knew all I needed to do was not land out so I made certain I would be able to land back on the field. Near the end of my flight, Jim tells me Noah and Joe are down and Nathan is crazy low, but circling. He worked it up and ran back to the field and made a 9 something flight I think. I saw him laid out on his back when he made it, ecstatic. That has to be one his most memorable flights of all time. He got the K and we weren't sure if that was enough to get the win or if I had it in the bag.

Last year Nathan took first and I got second, but this year we swapped. I took first for my playing it smart approach. Thanks goes out to Mickey for the coaching on strategy and it paid off. Nathan took 2nd with that amazing final flight and Oleg took 3rd. We had 5 CX5's in the Fly Offs and 1 Falcon. Oleg totally crushed the prelims and flew extremely well. He's still got it! We had TWO Juniors in the fly offs!! That's awesome! These new fly offs tasks are brutal, but they certainly do get some separation in the points as the scores were all over the place and it sounded like the guys watching the show had a great time seeing it go down. We had a great couple day of soaring. Here's the scores and more photos from today.
Jul 30, 2020, 04:15 PM
Oleg Golovidov
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Jason, thanks a LOT for your detailed reports and great pics.

My second day was kind of a disappointment, I am glad I had the 400 point cushion after the first day
My lack of recent contest experience certainly showed in the fly-offs with a few poor decisions, especially with the monster tasks that we had (thanks Don!). I needed some of that Mickey's coaching that you got last year and I did not.


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