Friday 28th July – Finals – Rounds 1 (Sets) & 2 (Freestyle)

Dave headed down to the practise field with Jamie R at 7am.  I headed out shortly after to fill up the fuel container and get lunch supplies.  Everyone was at the practise site by 9.30am for Duncan & Alex to prepare for the Sets round.  Summer & I went straight to the main site to check that everything was running on schedule…. it was!  Caught the last few F3C pilots – Steve Roberts finished the preliminary rounds in 6th place which I believe is the highest that any GBR pilot has placed at a WC’s at this stage.  An awesome result for him.

The F3N Set Manoeuvres round started at 12noon.  Luca Pescante was first up and scored 4088 -improving on both his prelim sets scores.  Kenny Ko was up next and flew an incredible round scoring 4299.5 – the highest score seen so far for Sets.  Our own Duncan followed and he flew a very solid round scoring 4020.  Nick Maxwell was next & came out with a score of 4068 – 20 behind Luca.  Jakob Grimm Hansen flew next and scored 3883.5.  Everyone was eagerly waiting for Eric Weber who was up next.  He didn’t disappoint & raised his game pipping Kenny by 3.5 points.  This was going to be a VERY close contest.  Jamie was then up and he flew with a few spots of rain in the air.  His score came in at 4156.5 placing him in 3rd place behind Kenny & Eric.  Tillmann followed scoring a very reasonable 3971.5.  As Alex was preparing to fly, the rain became heavier and both he & Rasmus (the last pilot to fly in this round) decided that they would wait until the rain shower had passed before flying.  We had to wait around 30 mins for this to happen, but eventually it did and Alex flew his round.  He was reasonably pleased with how it went but when we got the score sheet back we saw that three of the judges had  penalised him heavily for his final manoeuvre, the Galaxy.  We really weren’t sure why they had done this – they had obviously seen (or thought they had seen) something that they didn’t like.  When Rasmus’s scores came in 15.5 points higher than Alex’s, we had a very unhappy GBR team member on our hands.  Unfortunate but now it was time to concentrate on the next round – Freestyle.

Everyone headed back to the practise site for Duncan, Alex & Jamie to get ready for the next round.  We had 3 hours before we needed to be back at the main flightline and they made good use of the time to prepare themselves.  As a few showers were headed our way, the organisers started the Freestyle round 10 minutes early – Nick was up first scoring 480 – just 4 points higher than his prelim freestyle round.  Jakob followed with a score of 424.  It was then the turn of Eric who pipped Nick by 2 points scoring 482.  The sky was darkening and the threatened thunder storm arrived just as Jamie was preparing to make his way out to fly.  There were rolls of thunder, lightening and heavy rain for about 30 minutes before the sky brightened and we were able to continue.

Jamie flew a great freestyle round scoring 465.  It was then the turn of Tillmann who scored 455.  Alex was up next and he flew a brilliant round, improving on his last freestyle round by 32 points (435).  It was then the turn of Rasmus – it was important that he not beat Alex’s score if Alex was not to move down the leader board – Rasmus’s score came in at 432, close but thankfully not close enough.  Luca was next and he flew a very accomplished flight beating Jamie by just 1 point (465).  Kenny followed and once again flew an awe-inspiring flight scoring 502 – an impressive 20 points ahead of Eric.  Duncan was the final pilot to fly in this round and he finished the day in style scoring an impressive 469, beating both Luca & Jamie to put him in 4th place in this round.

The upshot of the day’s events is that we are still tying with Germany on points (26) meaning that as things stand, Germany will win Gold tomorrow (as their top pilot, Eric, is placed ahead of our top pilot, Duncan).  Nothing is set in stone until the final round is flown and mishaps can happen (though we would never wish to win based on someone else’s misfortune).  We’ll just have to wait to see what happens in the final round (Music) tomorrow.

There are only 6 normalised points (out of 2000) separating Kenny & Eric, though based on the Prelim Music round, I know who my money is on to win. 🙂  There is also a very close battle for 3rd place between fellow American pilots Nick Maxwell and Jamie Robertson with only 3 normalised points separating them.

Tomorrow is going to be a jam packed day and I probably won’t have a chance to update the blog in any detail though I will do my best to post photos on FB.  Our schedule for tomorrow is as follows:

9am   head to the practise site (Duncan, Wayne, Ray & Alex)

12.30- 1.30    Music round

1.30pm   Straight back to the hotel to pack

2.30pm  hand back hire cars

3.15pm  back to the main airfield for the closing ceremony and presentations

5pm??  back  to the hotel to finish packing and change ready for the banquet

6.15pm  head out to the banquet


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