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2016 Vercelli F3K World Cup / Eurotour Report

A report from Stefan Wahlberg:

As usual, the Swedish Team are starting off the season with event in Vercelli. Coming down from the cold Sweden spring to a warm spring in northern Italy, that’s really kicking us off.
Flying down from Stockholm/Skavsta to Milan/Bergamo and then a rental car for 2 hours, and then we are in place.
Friday morning we was heading out to the field for the normal practice. Whole day just flying.
The day was a bit dull and cloudy, with some small rain drops coming down, but not much.
In the afternoon a lot of other pilots starting to arrive. Participants from a lot of different nations: Italy, France, Schweiz, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Russia and Sweden.

In Vercelli, the focus is on having a nice event with good food and no rushing of the flying. The competition starts off on Saturday with a good barbeque lunch, and after that the flying starts.
This means that before lunch there is a lot of training for all participants.

The weather on Saturday was warm and sunny with low wind speed. The thermal were also good, sometimes very strong really booming and sometimes very light, but still slowly raising.
We were flying 9 pilots in each group, so there were lot of good pilots in every round, so there were no easy points awarded.

The task list were as follows:

Task K Big Ladder – 5 flights only, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00 targets)
Task H Best 4 flights, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 max in any order)
Task J Last 3 flights, 3:00 max)
Task A Last flight, 5:00 max) 7:00 window
Task I Best 3 flights, 200s (3:20)
Task G Best 5 flights, 2:00 max)
Task F Best 3 flights, 3:00 max)
Task B Last 2 flights, 4:00 max)
Task C All up, 3 flights)

Fun to start off with Big Ladder. For most of the pilots, this was the first time flying this task in a competition.
This is a much better task than the original ladder. Here you will get the seconds you fly, but you still have the pressure of getting the times and the increase of the flight times are much steeper.
Really liked this task, and I think that this will be used quite a lot as it’s is as well a QT task.
Most of the pilots were getting their times.

Following was 2 other QT tasks that most pilots were doing good, and we realized that there are some guys that are really fast doing this, and that we need to get tougher air to beat them.

Rounding off day 1 with task A, last flight, then it was time for dinner.

Sunday starting off with even better weather. Temperature was reaching 20 and some above. Thermals were many, strong and weak, and only some few groups having problems to get good air.
In the end it showed that all the normal top pilots was ending up in top with only some few new names coming up.

Pierre Meunier from France is one of the “new” guys. Doing a terrific job and getting a full score in all rounds. Pierre is launching high and is really fast in the turn arounds, that is setting a new standard, as I see it. Of course a lot of other pilots are also very good launchers and quick as well (some of us are a bit slower though).
Paulo Rota coming in in second place and Ondrej Rezler in third.
The top third was decided on their throw outs.

It was a big mixture on nationalities in the ranking, that is good. It’s also nice to see some younger guys coming into F3K and perform well.
Also on the model side it was a big mixture. Snipe was the most common model I think, but we also saw Arctuses, Vibes, CX4, Salpeter, Flitz, Smile, Fireblade etc etc.
It’s hard to say which model was performing best? My personal opinion is that the recipe for this event was light models. In many rounds, there were very slow rising air, and when using a heavier model, you were struggling much more, then the ones with lighter models.

I myself was flying my standard Vibe for the first competition, and I’m satisfied with both the performance and also my result (ending up in 6:th place).
Regarding the Vibe for this event, I should have wished for a lighter one (already ordered), my Vibe is on a flying weight of 275 grams, so removing 30-40 grams on that would be nice.

A great event in nice surroundings. Really some good flying and very tight in the top.

You should all go to Vercelli if you want to have a nice start off in the World Cup every year.

/Stefan Wahlberg

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