Dave Fry and I attended the Moscow International this year – primarily because I was not available for the usual Piennes trip and, with them not having a September meeting this year, there was going to be a lack of international that were easy to attend. We have not tended to have and F2C presence at this event before but Gordon Isles has regularly attend the F2A event here.
The site used for this event is in a public park and sports area - on University Hill and is a single circle that is shared between F2A and F2C. Weather for this trip was rather unfortunate with the Friday (practice day) and the Monday being excellent but the Saturday and Sunday bringing fairly heavy rain. Luckily there was virtually no wind so the competition was able to proceed.
The competitors consisted of 12 Russian Teams, 2 Ukrainian, 1 French, 1 Singapore/Australian and just us from the UK. Roland Surugue had been going to pit for Chris Wee but took a place on the Jury instead and allowed Chris to Pair up with Paul Stein from Australia.
The recommended hotel is just 500 metres from the site and this proved to be excellent for us with no transport problems to solve – just a strong arm for the flying kit ! – Facilities in the hotel were also excellent with a good choice of restaurants and a number of different forms of entertainment.
A “free for all” practice session was available on the Saturday morning following the all day availability of the circle on the Friday and racing began around midday with the first two rounds being held that afternoon sandwiching a round of speed.
In the first round it was Bucci/Perret (FRA) that led the way with a 3:20.1 – the only other “quickie” being recorded by Averin/Marchenko who put in a 3:23.2. A couple of other teams just about broke the 3:30 mark but it was, overall, fairly slow.
In the second round Chabachov/Ivanov came into the reckoning – posting a 3:19.8 – and Bucci/Perret put in an excellent run to retake pole position with a 3:18.7. There was only one other sub 3:30 time recorded in this session. We were a little put out as we were in the race with Chabachov who only overtook us once in the actual flying portion of the race. Giving him the benefit of say one lap at each pitstop and half a lap at the start (although we had two flicks at the start and first flick at each stop) this meant we may have been 3.5 laps down so a time of 3:25 was on the cards. Chabachov landed at the end of the race and our motor cut about a lap later – Because the timekeepers said keep going Dave pulled the model round for a couple of laps before landing but we were then told we had still only done 95 laps. I went to see the counters but it turned out that they had none and that lap counting was being done in their heads ! – They had, clearly, lost 10 laps as (if we had only done 93 on power) we would have cut before Chabachov had finished his race and not still been circulating after he actually landed. Anyway – It was pointless arguing so we lost what would have been our best time of the meeting.
The third round was held in rain on the Sunday morning with the fastest time recorded being a 3:27.7 by the Ukrainian pair of Besmertniy/Fulitka – All teams were struggling to get any airspeed through the heavy conditions and we were fairly happy with a 3:41.4 in that round.
It was good to note that there were, unusually, no reflies whatsoever needed during the heats !
The first round of semis saw Bucci/Perret record the fastest time of the meeting with a 3:18.1 and Averin/Marchenko put in a 3:24.3 to claim second spot. Chabachov/Ivanov were disqualified with pilot trying far to hard – he seems to have gone this way in recent years. The usual chaos then erupted with a number of reflies being required and we were eventually brought in from 12th position to fill in. We recorded a very poor 3:55.9 which, believe it or not put us in third place at the end of the first round of semis as only three teams managed to record times. Dave cut the model at one point taking evasive action in a ruck caused by Victor Yugovs new pilot who is a “big” guy but needs a bit more experience of racing.
The second round of Semis saw Chabachov put in a 3:22.4 to claim his place in the final. Nobody else affected the standing although there were a cluster of times that came fairly close – posting times under or just around the 3:30 mark.
The final was a bit slow but a fairly close affair - Bucci/Perret looking good at the start but then overheating and needing setting adjustments and it not being clear who was going to take it between the two Russian teams. We were not sure who had won when the race finished but it turned out to be Chabachov/Ivanov with a time of 7:04.0 just two laps ahead of Averin/Marchenko who finished with 7:07.7. Bucci/Perret came home in 7:26.6 – 10 laps adrift.
It was an enjoyable competition but the general organisation needs a bit of critical attention. Roland Surugue did a marvellous job of trying to get the Jury into gear and ending up having to act as the main contest director but they did not have a proper circle marshal and no visual signals were given during warm up and start during the event.
The lack of mechanical lap counters is a big issue I feel as this automatically removes any large scale errors and enables pitmen to refer to them during racing. I talked to a number of folks at our domestic event a week later and asked the question “If you had to count laps in your head every time when acting as a timekeeper – how often would you get it wrong ?” – Very few folks reckoned they could do it accurately and consistently and it was generally felt that an error would be made at least once in every 20 timings. The other issue is that there is no method of redress because competitors can not ask to see the counter.
Another error they made was in the second round of semi’s when a team withdrew. They immediately brought in a refly team to make the race a three up instead of moving the race to the end of the round – at which time they may not have needed any extra teams. It only because of this that we had another chance to fly (which we screwed up anyway!)
The result sheets are another issue – at no point during the event was a decent “position sheet” on show for either participants or spectators. Then, after the finish, we did not see a final position sheet and had to wait for Roland to send us a scanned copy nearly a week later. This sheet also had errors in that :-
a) They did not show all disqualifications (but they do show some !) – Chabachov’s Disq in the first round of semi’s was a good example of this.
b) They did not get all the refly teams times recorded correctly
c) They did not position all of the teams correctly taking into account the “refly times”
I have since had correspondence with the organisers and the attached results have been updated as a result – note that they will still not be totally accurate as their records from the event are not full enough.
Please don’t let these comments put anyone off attending this event – it was a good (although a wee bit expensive) weekend and you are made very welcome out there. One excellent benefit for us is that we got to meet up with Oleg Vorobiev again (who we have not seen since the early 1990’s) and also a few very famous names of F2C from the past including Boris Krasnorutski.
Thanks again must go to Roland for all the effort he put in on everyone’s behalf
|F2C - Team Race Results|
|Heat 1||Heat 2||Heat 3||Semi 1||Semi 2||Final|