21st Ljubljana Cup

21st Ljubljana Cup
Ljubljana/Kamnik 16.-18.10.1999

By Joze Cuden
Photos: Nina Cuden, Stuart Lodge, Anton Sijanec and Joze Cuden

After the European Championship in Novi Sad was cancelled by FAI due to the war circumstances in Yugoslavia large number of the participants was expected at 21st Ljubljana Cup at the end of the contest season. The organiser relied upon many well-known modellers whose names matter in the space modelling world. In spite of the predictions even the optimists were surprised by an outsized attendance. Almost 70 competitors from 12 countries raised their launching devices at Kamnisko polje airfield, which can be considered as a unique record. Participants from Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Yugoslavia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Great Britain and Slovenia took part at the competition. Such colourful attendance couldn't be even found at the recent world championships, not to mention the WC competition. For the organiser ARK Komarov it was undoubtedly an eloquent proof of the popularity of their competition. So the perfect organisation of 21st Ljubljana Cup was the main event of the year in which ARK Komarov was celebrating its 30th anniversary.

For all the competitors there was the last opportunity in the current season to show their skills and form as compensation for the missed chance at the European championships.

Optimal weather conditions, which can hardly ever be seen at Ljubljana's competition, helped the modellers to accomplish all six events and the show program.

Large number of competitors who entered S3A class proved that WC categories are not the only ones that attract the modellers as it was the opinion of certain FAI officials. The parachute duration class is one of those that will be most likely sharing radical rule changes in future, and it attracted some real masters of this event. Eight of them finished the match with maximum score and entered the fly-off. For the local competitor Andrej Vrbec of ARK Komarov it was the day of triumph he was hardly expecting for. One of the best Slovenian modellers in S3 finally stepped on the highest step, followed by young Spaniard Jordi Roura Misse and Italian master Antonio Mazzarachio.

Boost gliders are considered as specific class in space modelling with some specialists mostly placed on top positions. Among them Antonio Mazzarachio proved again his high form with best score. Next to him was Slovak Michal Zitnan, while Jordi Roura Font of Spanish team placed third. It was probably the first appearance of Spanish team at some WC competition beside world and European Championships. Strong Spanish team entered the competition with ten male and female competitors, all of them experienced modellers. Slovenian veteran and S4 specialist Egon Engelsberger kept out of the range of medals this time. Despite his announcement of his final retreat from space modelling, claiming it was his last contest, no one really believed him. However, being an experienced competitor he remains a strong support to Slovenian national team in future.

The final world cup competition in S6A class completed the first day of the competition at Kamnisko polje airfield. Who else could be the winner than the actual world cup winner Antonio Mazzarachio? No one of the rivals had the reason to envy him for his success. This time Antonio was invincible. Lithuanian Vladimir Mosin won the silver and Slovenian Ivan Turk the bronze traditional dragon.

As the contest went on at the airfield, scale judges did their job measuring and getting points for S5 and S7 scale models. Milan Jelinek of Slovakia, Srdjan Pelagic of Yugoslavia and young promising referee Primoz Kuhar of Slovenia decided that highest points - 787 go to Arnis Baca from Latvia for his wonderful Soyuz, while Joze Cuden and Mateja Kozjek took the lead in S5 achieving 604 points for their Nike Cajun sounding rockets.

After the fly-off in S3A on Sunday morning, first round of S8E class started promising a tough race. RC pilots of rocket gliders performed several perfect flights. There wasn't any distinctive favourite among the masters of this class. At the end only three seconds separated the winner Michal Zitnan of Slovakia and young Slovenian Ivan Turk at second place. Excellent performance helped Slovak Stefan Mokran to reach third place close behind Turk.

Scale models are considered as royal class in space modelling, true miniature astronautics. Large number of spectators had always admired their realistic flights. Arnis Baca could not defend his first place from the previous Ljubljana Cup. Slight malfunction during the flight stopped him to gain the medal. It was a chance now for Slovak modellers to win the highest trophies. Mikulas Szabo, Lubica Samelova and Vasil Pavljuk carried out valid flights with their Ariane scale models and placed to pole positions. An outstanding appearance of British Stuart Lodge cannot be overlooked. It is evident that he is slowly becoming a strong rival to the rest of the gang in S7.

Scale altitude competition offered some perfect two stage flights performed by Slovenian modellers. There was a close final result when Andrej Vrbec overpassed Joze Cuden by only one point, while Matevz Dular already lagged behind. The crew at the tracking devices once again proved successful with no tracks lost. We only wish to have such well-experienced personnel at the world and European competitions, which is rarely seen.

After two days of straining competition 21st Ljubljana Cup ended with show programme where some strange odd rocket flights could be seen. It is always a practice to award best show models whose construction sometimes technically exceed some contest models.

Impressive start of RC rocket glider in S8E class.

Joze Cuden placed second in S5B with his Nike Cajun sounding rocket.

Mikulas Szabo and Lubica Samelova of Slovak team inspect their Ariane 1 scale model before flight.

Highly detailed boosters with several exhaust nozzles of Arnis Baca's Soyuz.

In spite of his youth Alberto Roura Misse of Spain is already an experienced competitor.

Stuart Lodge (GB) is attaching clips to the igniter of Vertical 1 scale model.

Three medals of Antonio Mazzarrachio from Italy made him the most successful participant of the contestt.


(c) ARK Komarov 1999