23rd Ljubljana Cup


Spaced out in Slovenia
23rd Ljubljana Cup 12-14 October 2001, Kamnik, Slovenia


ANTONIO MAZZARACCHIO and ARNIS BAČA have something in common - they both make you wonder why you turn up… They're both great guys; both delivered definitive performances in S6B-Streamer Duration & S3A Parachute Duration and S7-Scale respectively, at the 23rd Ljubljana Cup: And both are in the pantheon of all time greats in the sport of Space Modelling.

Ljubljana is the biggest and longest lived of the FAI Space Modelling World Cup internationals - 23 consecutive years, not even the cataclysmic schism of the old Yugoslavia came as an interruption. The Astronavtsko Raketarski Klub Vladimir M. Komarov is to be credited with yet another great event. Specifically, Jože Čuden and Anton Šijanec put this one together and did the impossible…morning fog on both contest days wiped out nearly a day's flying and yet the event suite was completed with the record entry hardly stopping for breath ! Thanks are due to Range Safety Officers, Marjan Čuden and Lubomir Jurek who kept things dynamic, safe & legal. Competitors from twelve countries battled it out - more than at the European Championships in Turkey a month earlier - the medals flying as widely as the rockets…

S6B-Streamer Duration - World Cup
Few things are as predictable in a discipline sometimes described as a "lottery". Antonio Mazzaracchio came 4th in his first World Cup S6 event at the 1993 Ljubljana Cup…two weeks later he stuck Gold at the Swiss RAK Cup. Since then, nobody on Earth has come close to matching his imperious World Cup record. The 40-strong field contained some real stars, including Slovenia's Drago Perc & Igor Štricelj, Slovakia's Mikki Szabo & Vasil Pavljuk and Poland's Bartosz Boniecki & Przybytek Krzysztof. Conditions were perfect for a firmament full of fluttering streamers and the scoring with the 2001 rules models was prodigious. Your scribe salvaged something from the wreckage by coming second in the Team classification with Mazzaracchio and Lucian Sercaianu (ROM) - Equipe TransEurope, but the heavy metal dragons were dished out as shown...

1. Antonio MAZZARACCHIO ITA 240 187 208 = 635 s
2. Igor ŠTRICELJ SLO 178 137 172 = 487 s
3. Bartosz BONIECKI POL 154 156 169 = 479 s

S4B-Boost Glider - World Cup
Another big 30-odd strong class, dotted with World Cup stars like Czech Jaromir Chalupa, Poles Bartosz & Jerzy Boniecki and Slovenes Tomaž Kogej, Predrag Hluchy & Miha Kozjek. Conditions were buoyant, calm and perfect…the scoring somewhat patchy, with a lot of "technical" zeros. Stuart Lodge happy in the end with 10th place - if a little frustrated - after a frazzled motor streamer disqualified his opening shot. Most gliders on show seemed to be contemporary "folders", although the winner was a traditional Czech "rigid". The medallists came in holding hands…

1. Jaromir CHALUPA CZE 120 240 240 = 600 s
2. Predrag HLUCHY SLO 140 218 240 = 598 s
3. Pawel JANISIEWICZ POL 183 218 240 = 590 s

S8E/P-RC Rocket Glider - World Cup
Brilliant !! A big field and new 2001 rules resulted in real spectacle…rocket gliders boosting away in quartets and landing sometimes in formation ! The scores ebbed and flowed with the top five chopping and changing continuously. Canterbury Cup stars, Danni Studiger and Bartosz Boniecki had a problem or two, but Turi Hunziker did not, getting the title by the scruff of the neck and keeping it..

1. Arthur HUNZIKER SUI 991 998 998 1000 = 3987 pts
2. Borut LENDARO SLO 1000 996 985 837 = 3818 pts
3. Krzysztof PRZYBYTEK POL 1000 891 1000 882 = 3773 pts

S7-Scale - World Cup
Arnis Baca's 1 : 50 Soyuz-T is a masterpiece. Transported around the world in a briefcase and fitting together on demand with the facility of any of 007's gadgets, before wiping the floor with the opposition! And in Ljubljana, the model saw off a horde of Arianes, by Slovaks Vasil Pavljuk, Mikulaš Szabo & Tibor Gira, Romanian Lucian Sercaiainu and Turk Suat Esmer, in addition to Boleslav Vecera's Bachem Natter and Ibid's Intercosmos. Judges, Anton Šijanec, Primož Kuhar and Andrej Kogovšek completed their scrutineering with a polished aplomb, whilst the balance of Saturday's programme was completed.

The qualification flights had great weather on the Sunday and the crowd were treated to a feast of World class space modelling. However, all were playing catch-up to an amazing early flight of the Soyuz-T, with the Slovakian trio of Szabo, Gira & Pavljuk good, but not good enough. Both Boleslav Večera and Stuart Lodge suffered the slings & arrows of despair, enduring crashes with the Natter and Intercosmos respectively. The World Cup metal smelted so…Latvian legend, Arnis Bača, the 2001 champion…

1 Arnis BAČA LAT Soyuz-T Static 706 pts Flight 176 pts = 882 pts
2 Tibor GIRA SVK Ariane 3 Static 657 pts Flight 158 pts = 816 pts
3 Mikulaš SZABO SVK Ariane 4L4S Static 637 pts Flight 101 pts = 738 pts

A brace of Open Internationals supplemented the World Cup climax, including S3A-Parachute Duration, flown to "old rules", with small 30 mm diameter models and 2.5 Ns propellants and the inevitable Show Programme…the dreaded "OddRocs"…

S3A-Parachute Duration
Sometimes you make life hard for yourself…Stuart Lodge arrived in Ljubljana to fly new rules categories only - S3B…40 mm diameter x 500 mm length models, boosted with 5 Ns Delta propellants. Shame Loggi can't read… "old rules" S3A…30 mm x 350 mm models, powered by 2.5 Ns motors was carded for the event. Ergo, I flew new rules "big" models on A2-4 motors bummed from Mazzaracchio - grazie Toni ! - to modest altitudes. Strange to relate, in the 30-strong World Class field, your scribe finished a solid 12th and possibly showed the way S3 should be flown…food for thought ?!? To rub it in further, another 2nd place team prize with Equipe TransEurope was notched.

Lo Azzurro was untouchable - three 300 s maxes and a strong fly-off performance nailed an S3 & S6 double. World Champion, Drago Perc could only stop and stare, with the podium so…

1 Antonio MAZZARACCHIO ITA 300 300 300 = 900 + 644 s
2 Tomaž KOGEJ SLO 300 300 300 = 900 + 525 s
3 Romano ŠUTI CRO 300 300 300 = 900 + 460 s

Show Programme
OddRocs !! The toughest to judge; the biggest applause; the loudest guffaws ! Jaromir Chalupa brought a "Magic Roundabout Carousel", Predrag Hluchy an "Alpine Mountain Triglav Top...with Missile Silo", Edgars Zvirgzdis a "Fire Extinguisher", Alenka Čuden an edible "Vafel Roc" - we all sampled it later - yummy… Your scribe a collection of "Jolly Hockey Sticks" and a "Teddy-bearing Martin-Baker Seat". The biggest surprise is that most of these funnies actually fly safely and make a qualification flight. The podium (which stayed on the ground..) finished so...

1. Predrag HLUCHY Alpine Mountain Triglav Top…with Missile Silo
2. Stuart LODGE Teddy-bearing Martin-Baker Seat
3. Romano ŠUTI Crkva "Nutterdam"

Tailpiece.. 23 years young and still charging hard ! More countries represented than at the recent European Championships…Ljubljana really is the one to come to. All thanks to the fantastic efforts of the ARK Komarov club… I wonder what the 24th 'Cup holds in store…and then the Silver Jubilee?!?

ARK Komarov 2001