24th Ljubljana Cup


Ooh la la Ljubljana… World Cup Space Modelling
24th Ljubljana Cup ~ Kamniski Polygon ~ Slovenia
25–27 October 2002

by Stuart Lodge

Author of the article. (Photo: Šijanec)

“MR LODGE, YOU Have the passport of James Bond...” So said the Slovenian immigration official at the border, eyeballing the stamps and visas. Ljubljana is always the World Cup Finale and a party from start to finish, this year with participants from Croatia, Serbia, Czech Republic, Poland, Latvia, Russia, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the hosts. Eurostar to Brussels, onward to Koeln, then a couple of hours supping Franziskaner Weizenbieren with old friend Oliver Missbach, at Muenchen Hauptbahnhof. Then overnight in a couchette through Austria, before the dawning seduction of Lake Bled and arrival at Ljubljana at sunrise.

The 24th Ljubljana Cup featured the spectrum of FAI Space Modelling disciplines; S8E/P-RC Rocket Glider Spot Landing, S6B-Streamer Duration, S7-Scale, S4B-Boost Glider – all World Cup – plus S3B/2-Parachute Duration and Show Models. We was sure gonna be busy! Most classes featured current or past World & European Champions and the standard promised to be shattering.

S8E/P-RC Rocket Glider Spot Landing World Cup Big field and good from the off – Polish stars, Jerzy Kolodziej, Dawid Zaluski & Pawel Janisiewicz, were to have their work cut out against the rest of Europe, including top Swiss, Turi Hunziker & Daniel Studiger, as well as Vladimir Cipcic (YUG), Jaromir Chalupa (CZE) and Borut Lendaro (SLO). Objectives are to score a predetermined 360s flight time in each of three rounds – points docked for being early, or late on arrival – and to spot land on a target line for 100 points bonus…less for further out in the target box. The fliers boost off in “flights” of five - spectacular formation boosting – before riding the thermals and being counted in by a “caller”. The winner of a particular flight scores 1000 points, with the others commensurately less, following algorithm calculations. At the climax, the top five flew a tie breaker round to decide the medals. The target line got a battering throughout, leaving the top three shown – Danni Studiger getting his first Ljubljana “Dragon”...

1 Turi HUNZIKER SUI 998 1000 998 = 2996 + 1000 = 3996pts
2 Jerzy KOLODZIEJ POL 978 996 1000 = 2974 +   963 = 3937pts
3 Danni STUDIGER SUI 1000 1000 892 = 2892 + 1000 = 3892pts

S7-Scale World Cup The scheduling of the 14th World Space Modelling Championships, in recent days thinned out the traditionally strong S7-Scale entry at Ljubljana somewhat. Notwithstanding this, Arnis Baca (LAT) rolled out his wonderful – and fully functional – Soyuz-T. Compatriot Edgars Zvirgzdis lined up alongside with a pleasant and topical Raytheon Patriot surface-to-air missile. Your scribe’s obsession with former Soviet launch vehicles continued with a refurbished V-5-V Vertikal-1 and looking to get on the S7 podium again, after scoring at September’s 2nd Ruma Cup, in Serbia. Spectators love scale models and the qualification flights on the Kamniski Polygon drew the usual cheers and applause. The Vertikal did just what it said on the tin; Baca’s Soyuz-T a bit more wobbly than usual. But there were no surprises on the podium, Stuart Lodge pretty happy in the Silver slot behind the Latvian wonder..

1 Arnis BACA LAT Soyuz-T 753+135 = 888pts
2 Stuart LODGE GBR V-5-V Vertikal 1 516+ 78 = 594pts
3 Edgars ZVIRGZDIS LAT Raytheon Patriot 500+ 65 = 565pts

S6B-Streamer Duration World Cup Always the most fiercely fought of the classical Space Modelling disciplines, a magnificent fifty-strong field contested Ljubljana, with intimidating scoring throughout. Slovenian World S1-Altitude Champions, Tone Sijanec – senior – and Miha Cuden – junior – looked confident from the off. Fellow Slovene, Igor Stricelj, has enjoyed a vintage 2002 season and was the favourite, but would still have to face down the strong Polish contingent of Krzysztof Przybytek, Jerzy Boniecki & Jerzy Kolodziej, flying probably the lightest S6B models in the World just now…and there were lots of others. The increasing wind saw the loss of many models in the opening rounds; the World Cup metal was smelted so..

1 Igor STRICELJ SLO 195 156 240 = 591s
2 Jerzy BONIECKI POL 154 235 159 = 548s
3 Jerzy KOLODZIEJ POL 163 155 148 = 466s

S4B-Boost Glider World Cup Should have been as good as S6B – but the more windy conditions made the standard a bit patchy, with lots of eccentric boosts and zero scores for an event of this magnitude. Innovation reared its head with an amazing new S4B “flying wing” concept from Vladimir Khokhlov (RUS). For years, many boost gliders have folded up their wings for the boost phase of the flight; this one folds down completely and is stowed into a rocket/motor tube, being spat out at apogee : All very clever, all very legal, all very winning... Contemporary convention prevailed elsewhere, with some participants preferring the simplicity of rigid gliders. Front runners were always the Russians Khokhlov and Vitali Mayboroda, cahsed hard by Slovenian whizz kids, Igor Stricelj, Blaz Grcic, Tomaz Kogej & Miha Kozjek, together with the Poles. Results so..

1 Vladimir KHOKHLOV RUS 240 240 189 = 669s
2 Jaromir CHALUPA CZE 200 204 222 = 626s
3 Vitali MAYBORODA RUS 105 240 215 = 560s

S3B/2-Parachute Duration Flown on 2.5Ns – half power – parachute duration was brilliant. 2001 Sporting Code rules amendments threatened this category – the new 5Ns “big” models boosting much too high with inevitable losses – and S3-Parachute re-established its credibility at Ljubljana. Practically the same personalities contested this one as S6B-Streamer Duration, with many of the same hard luck stories filtering back… But well done, Miha Kozjek of ARK Komarov! A great class..

1 Miha KOZJEK SLO 420 265 420 = 1105s
2 Vitali MAYBORODA RUS 251 420 420 = 1091s
3 Igor STRICELJ SLO 336 298 420 = 1074s

And that was it !?! Not quite…Ljubljana always features exciting Team competitions for trios of participants in each class – your scribe managing a couple more diplomas. Show Models – the feared OddRocs.. – rounded off Sunday, with weird & wonderful models of Mobile Phones, Torpedos, Ejector Seats and the like, amusing the assembled crowd. Space Modelling is meant to be FUN!

Ljubljana l’affaire d’Amour... Ljubljana is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities - super weather – and a day’s chilling out was an inevitable joy. Fantastic hospitality from the ARK Komarov Club’s Joze & Alenka Cuden comes as a standard feature and if it’s possible to compress a week’s holiday into a day…well, this was it. Thanks to all at ARK Komarov, setting me up gloriously for the ride home and…cancelled Eurostars at Brussels meaning a coach & ferry ride back to the UK!! My four 2002 pan-European World Cup adventures have featured London Underground strikes (three times) and Ljubljana coincided with storms & gales washing North Sea water into the Tunnel and shorting-out the overhead catenary. Is Loggi “the Albatross”, or what!?! ..Maybe, but 2002 was his best ever season…

24th Ljubljana Cup…amazing; 2003 will equal Twenty Five and TEN forays for your scribe, should he choose to attend! There are many World Cups to choose from these days, but Slovenia’s finest remains La Doyenne. The event was fiercely contested, but always very social and friendly…how all Space Modelling should be.
Well Done…the Astronavtsko Raketarski Klub Vladimir M. Komarov.

ARK Komarov 2003