25th Ljubljana Cup Report


Ljubljana's Silver Jubilee…just Stellar Space Modelling!
World Cup Space Modelling
25th Ljubljana Cup ~ Kamniska Polygon ~ Slovenia
17-20 October 2003

by Stuart Lodge

S. Lodge old guest and friend of Ljubljana Cup with A. Šijanec contest director enjoy at anniversary party.

LJUBLJANA remains "La Doyenne" of FAI Space Modelling. Naturally, the biggest tradition - 2003 marked the Silver Jubilee 25th edition - also your scribe's 10th pilgrimage and his Golden Jubilee 50th international event! The Astronavstko raketarski klub Vladimir M. Komarov (ARK Komarov) had laid in very special preparations - this trip had PARTY written all over it from the start!! Teams from ten nations - Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Russia, Serbia & Montenegro, Slovenia, Switzerland and United Kingdom - set out to do battle in a sensational World Cup finale...


Thursday midnight saw your scribe touch down at Ljubljana-Brnik airport in his budget Adria flight from Gatwick. Booked overnight in Hostel "Celica" - Europe's most exotic and international hostelry -despite being an expensively converted prison! …followed by a morning's chilling out with charming Alenka Cuden in one of Europe's most historic and beautiful cities, then an afternoon in nearby Logatec with Zvonka, Bogdan & Alja Makuc. Twenty five Ljubljana Cups…2003's featured a classic array of FAI Space Modelling categories - 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. All these and then the Silver Jubilee banquet…would two days be enough?!?

S6B-Streamer Duration World Cup Fifty went to the rampa for this classic…always the most intensely fought of the duration categories. Antonio Mazzaracchio (ITA), Jaromir Chalupa (CZE), Igor Stricelj & Miha Cuden (SLO), Jerzy Boniecki & Krzysztof Przybytek (POL), Zivan Josipovic & Zoran Katanic (SCG), Vladimirs Khokhlov & Menshikov (RUS) - more World Cup winners & World Champions than you could shake a stick at! …lots of others in the frame too. Skyhooking an ultra-lightweight projectile under a fluttering ribbon is an art-form, few flyers ever really achieving a mastery. The scoring was intimidating throughout, with Saturday's capricious wind playing its part, making recovery a lottery. In a phenomenal class, the World Cup metal smelted so..

1 Zoran KATANIC SCG 240 224 185 = 649s
2 Antonio MAZZARACCHIO ITA 214 158 146 = 518s
3 Vladimir KHOKHLOV RUS 163 179 164 = 506s

Stuart Lodge did OK - after finding himself a frustrated fourth - but was to cheer up later, his Scuderia Interspace.. winning the Team S6B award with Antonio Mazzaracchio and Jaromir Chalupa.

S4B-Boost Glider World Cup Should have been as good as S6B - the windy conditions made the standard patchy, lots of wild boosts and zero scores for a World Class event. The innovative S4B concept from Vladimir Khokhlov was once more in evidence, the "glider" resembling a UK toyshop "Zing Wing", which folded down into a rocket tube for a prodigious launch apogee - clever, legal and winning! Many used conventional folders - another Russian innovation…though twenty years old now! Major players looked like the Czech Republic's and Europe's top space modeller, Jaromir Chalupa, Slovenes, Igor Stricelj, Blaz Grcic, Tomaz Kogej & Miha Kozjek, Croatians, Mate Sakic, Romano Suti & Mihael Pavlovic, together with the Poles. The podium as follows..

1 Sascha ZDANOVICH RUS 215 160 240 = 615s
2 Jaromir CHALUPA CZE 240 120 240 = 600s
3 Mate SAKIC CRO 122 162 182 = 466s

S3B/2-Parachute Duration Flown on 2.5Ns - half power - parachute duration was brilliant. 2001 FAI Sporting Code changes threatened this category - the new 5Ns "big" models boost much too high and float too long, with inevitable attrition. Ljubljana is where this most classical Space Modelling category re-established its credibility…and popularity too. Similar personalities contested this one as S6B-Streamer Duration, with Croatia the jokers in the pack…this year with Jozo Ivancic, Dorde Dobrovic and Davor Istvanic as their front runners. The wind formed the basis for the same hard luck stories as S6B earlier! But well done, Igor Stricelj of Slovenia..

1 Igor STRICELJ SLO 420 294 420 = 1134s
2 Luka SVAJGER SLO 270 420 420 = 1110s
3 Davor ISTVANIC CRO 248 420 420 = 1088s


Saturday night's al fresco Silver Jubilee banquet defied belief with hog roast, champagne and fireworks: So good, that none of us will ever remember it!! Your scribe's escapades were not over, being driven back to the accommodation, ARK Komarov's Marjan Cuden spotted a Policije roadblock and rather than risk a breath test, detoured into the country...your scribe waking at 03:00hrs, wondering why he was in a freezing Opel and not a cosy bed!! Arriving at the Kamniska Polygon later on Sunday morning, it seemed likely that he might have to complete his classes in "black tie"…

S7-Scale World Cup Scale is always a major favourite of spectators and with the weathergauge set fair - Sunday's calm weather and blue sky promising a feast of spectacular launches and special effects. Not the biggest entry, the judging hall featured super X-091M sounding rockets, of Russians Vladimir Khohlov & Sascha Zdanovich; Slovenians, Miha Cuden & Miha Kozjek starting with Dragon 3 & Nike Cajun respectively, plus the V-5-V Vertikal 1 of your scribe - looking further to gild his Canterbury Gold Medal, with one of Ljubljana's famous - and much sought after - Golden Dragons. In the perfect conditions the flying was brilliant with the Russians drawing applause from the gallery…but the Vertikal did just what it said on the tin, before bursting and deploying a satellite, with all components cascading to earth under a flotilla of parachutes. Lovely World Cup "Golden Dragon" for Velika Britannije..and more Bolly-Stoli with Sascha and Vladimir!?!

1 Stuart LODGE GBR V-5-V Vertikal 1 491+75 = 566pts
2 Sascha ZDANOVICH RUS X-091M 436+95 = 531pts
3 Vladimir KHOCHLOV RUS X-091M 431+92 = 523pts

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 Ivan Turk (SLO). Objectives are to nail a 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 crunching. At the climax, the top five flew a tiebreaker round to decide the medals. The target line got a battering throughout, leaving an elite trio; Jaro Chalupa - the 9th European Championships' best all-round Space Modeller, Blaz Grgic - European Champion in S4B-Boost Glider and Ivan Turk - Europe's greatest consumer of Zlatorog Pivo…

1 Jaromir CHALUPA CZE 890 874 975 = 2739 + 1000 = 3739pts
2 Ivan TURK SLO 991 1000 962 = 2953 + 868 = 3821pts
3 Blaz GRGIC SLO 1000 1000 845 = 2845 + 963 = 3808pts

That was it !?! Nope…in addition to exciting Team competitions for trios of participants in each class, Ljubljana features Show Models - the dreaded OddRocs.. - to round off Sunday, with weird & wonderful models of Mobile Phones, Coffins, Railway Trains, Ejector Seats and the like, amusing the assembled crowd. Romano Suti, Egon Engelsberger & Kristian Crnoja filling the podium slots. Space Modelling is meant to be FUN!

Ljubljana…c'est Magnifique! Fantastic hospitality from the ARK Komarov Club's Joze & Alenka Cuden, plus offspring Nina & Miha, comes as standard...no thanks are great enough. Contest Director Anton Sijanec remained as imperturbable as ever and laid on a memorable event. There are many World Cups in the calendar these days, but Slovenia's finest really is La Doyenne. Ljubljana was fiercely contested, but always very social and friendly…how all Space Modelling should be. Well Done…the Astronavststo raketarski klub Vladimir M. Komarov…here's to your 50th!!

24 October 2003

ARK Komarov 2003