2013 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP
by David LEVIN
The European Championship has just concluded in Wloclawek, Poland. www.europeans2013.com. The competition area was mostly flat rural farmland and had plenty of good roads and fields available for targets and launching. The Competition Center was at a small airport with Parachuting and Gliding schools. Gliders and parachutists were busy on most days. It was a perfect location with plenty of room for launching , targets and landing after a goal on the airport. The official's offices were on site and the Direction office was in the control room with an excellent view of the field.
Eighty competitors from twenty-five countries participated including defending champion Stefan Zeberli of Switzerland and many of the world's top pilots. Mathijs deBruijn was the Director. Assisting him were Eugenijus Komas as Deputy Director and I was Steward. The CIA loggers were used.
The event started with a three part difficult morning flight. Winds of 6-8kts on the surface with a right turn and 20-24kts at 500 ft. made conditions very difficult. Only three tasks were called so competitors could land before surface winds picked up. Local pilot Bartosz NOWAKOWSKI won the first task and nineteen year old Dominic Bareford (son of David Bareford) was in first place after the flight.
Tuesday morning started off clear with good winds and a five task flight was called. Shortly after the briefing ended fog started to develop and the Direction team headed out to observe the weather. Dense fog caused the cancellation of the flight.
Tuesday afternoon brought good conditions and a three task flight was called. Two HWZs and a 3D 'pie' kept the competitors busy.
Wednesday morning's briefing was cancelled but the afternoon brought good flying conditions and a four task flight was called ending with a MDD "pizza" on the airport. Shifting winds made the flying difficult and only sixteen pilots were able to score on the MDD. Several top pilots made excellent drops on the MDD but a few blew it when they got greedy and overthrew the division line by inches.
Thursday morning brought dense fog once again and after delaying the briefing several times, the flight was finally cancelled at 9:00am. Thursday afternoon brought good conditions again and a challenging three task flight was called. A HWZ followed by a very interesting XDD maximum distance double drop. The scoring area for the XDD was a banana shaped area formed by the intersection of two circles with 4km radius (see TDS at http://www.debruijn.de/bscoring/pnlk/enb/TDS_Flight4.pdf) Competitors achieved point A when entering the area and point B when exiting. Stefan Zeberli flew just ten meters below the ceiling of the scoring area to win the task.
The last morning had a fog forecast and the briefing was delayed until 0700. Conditions were expected to improve so a five task flight was called and a supplementary briefing was held near the Fly-In goal to insure conditions were good enough for the flight. Competition was fierce in steerable winds and thirty-eight competitors scored within ten meters on the first goal.
Friday afternoon was rainy so the final flight was cancelled and Jury President Moniek Vande Velde of Belgium conducted a debriefing. The pilots said they enjoyed the competition and were very satisfied with the tasks called. All in all it was a very successful event. Scores were not published until Friday evening and when the final results were posted, the winner was Rokas KOSTIUSKEVICIUS of Lithuania and his father Rimas was in second. Ivan AYALA ALCALDE of Spain finished third and young Dominic BAREFORD was in fourth, only twenty-six points out of third. I'm sure you will hear more from Dominic in the future as he is an excellent competitor.
The event concluded with an Awards Ceremony at the airport and a banquet in town. It was truly a heart warming experience to see father and son on the podium.
E-notice board with TDS: http://www.debruijn.de/bscoring/enbfiles.php?event=pnlk