26th Ljubljana Cup Report


Chasing the Dragon! …26th Ljubljana Cup
World Cup Space Modelling
26th Ljubljana Cup ~ Kamniska Polygon ~ Slovenia
17-19 October 2004

by Stuart Lodge

The Dragon bridge in Ljubljana.

THE DRAGON forms the City of Ljubljana motif – the former Roman settlement of Emona. Ancient mythology describes Jason – of Argonauts fame – pursuing and slaying a fierce winged serpent of fiery breath & scales. The last quarter century has seen a continued pursuit of the Dragon…Gold, Silver & Bronze replicas for success at Ljubljana!  2004’s edition promised to be stellar - Teams from Spain, Croatia, Romania, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Russia, Serbia & Montenegro, Switzerland, UK and the hosts, sharpened their swords!

EasyJet is fast becoming the Space Modellers’ favourite airline…”Scuderia Interspace..” – Paul Clark, Andy Slinn and your scribe touched down at Ljubljana-Brnik airport on Thursday afternoon. Staying over in the now legendary Hostel “Celica” - an expensively converted former House of Correction! …followed by two nights in a traditional alpine residence at Kamniska Bistrica, promised to be fun.  Now 26 Ljubljana Cups…2004’s comprised a classic array  - S8E/P-RC Rocket Glider Spot Landing, S6B-Streamer Duration, S7-Scale, S4B-Boost Glider, S9B-Gyrocopter Duration – all World Cup – plus S3B/2-Parachute Duration and Show Models. It was just a shame the heavens opened on Saturday’s events - but never any chance of a wash-out… Sunday’s programme was just super.

S6B-Streamer Duration World Cup   Simple arithmetic…Toni Mazz + S6B = GOLD!!  Throw in Zivan Josipovic, Radojica & Zoran Katanic (SCG), Vladimir Khokhlov (RUS) and 40+ others and we had a a start list to rival any World Championship. The sodden conditions blunted the scoring – soggy airframes & mylar descend a lot quicker! - with the podium placers taking full advantage of a weather window when the thermals were rampant during the latter stages. Slovenia’s Luka Svajger looks like tomorrow, finding Bronze after a consistent series. A classic World Cup in challenging conditions:

1 Antonio MAZZARACCHIO    ITA               212            212            121            =            545s
2 Zoran KATANIC                  SCG             196            200            137            =            533s
3 Luka SVAJGER                 SLO              154            152            186         
  =            492s

S8E/P-RC Rocket Glider Spot Landing World Cup   A good World Cup field and the flying good from the gun –  Polish stars, Jerzy Kolodziej & Pawel Janisiewicz, flattered to deceive against top Swiss, Turi Hunziker & Daniel Studiger and a melange of Slovenians and Serbs, including Blaz Grgic, Alexandar Gerasimovki, Igor Striceli and Ivan Turk. The objective is to nail a flight time of 360s 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…results: 

1 Borut LENDARO    SLO      1000            948            1000           1000          =           3948pts
2 Turi HUNZIKER      SUI     
  885            1000           1000           998            =           3883pts

3 Danni STUDIGER  SUI         1000          1000            889            783            =           3672pts

S7-Scale World Cup
   A favourite of spectators and with Sunday’s weathergauge promising a feast of spectacular boosts and special effects. Florica Sercaianu (ROM) – Europe’s premier lady S7-Scale modeller – looked to have the favourite with a 1:50 Ariane 3. Great Britain’s Paul Clark – WAC-Bumper, Stuart Lodge – V-5-V Vertikal 1, and newcomer, Andy Slinn – Nike-Smoke, looked to ruffle some feathers. Paul Clark’s massive WAC Bumper crashed spectacularly, letting in Andrej Vrbec (SLO) for a bronze Dragon with a competent two-stage qualification flight. World Cup debutant, Andy Slinn nailed a good 4th with a faultless shot. But Florica Sercaianu’s Ariane entertained with “full bells & whistles” and Loggi’s Vertikal…well, once more did what it said on the tin! Velika Britannija scored Team Gold in this elite World Cup classic – just brilliant…Another Day; another Dragon!

1 Florica SERCAIANU         ROM            Ariane 3                   700+85          =            785pts
2 Stuart LODGE                 GBR            V-5-V Vertikal 1         547+85          =            632pts
3 Andrej VRBEC                 SLO            Dragon III                  519+110        =            629pts

S4B-Boost Glider World Cup   This one was trashed by the rainy weather and truncated to two rounds. No one really impressed apart from the hosts’ Miha Kozjek, Blaz Grgic & Rok Zunic: 

1 Miha KOZJEK                  SLO                240            240            ---            =            480s
2 Blaz GRGIC                     SLO                219            204            ---            =            423s
3 Rok ZUNIC                  
    SLO                195            174            ---            =            369s

S9B-Gyrocopter Duration World Cup  Debut category at the 26th Ljubljana Cup, this one was fascinating…and looked to be a Serbian benefit. Russians, Elena Kurkova, Vladimir Khokhlov & Sascha Zdanovich looked to spoil the party in a contest of wildly fluctuating scores. Results so:

1 Zoran KATANIC                SCG              240            240            240            =            720s
2 Radojica KATANIC            SCG             138            420            240            =            618s

3 Sascha ZDANOVICH         RUS             164            182            157            =            503s

S3B/2-Parachute Duration   Boosted on 2.5Ns motors, parachute duration was super. Ljubljana is where this most classical Space Modelling category is flown to its zenith. Similar personalities contested this one as S6B-Streamer Duration – Luka Svajger & Rok Zunic and the Catalonian duo of Ester Roura Misse & Nuria Crusellas Martinez showing their prowess. A good Open International – no World Cup points for this one:

1 Luka SVAJGER                         SLO   253        420            420            =            1093s
2 Rok ZUNIC                
                SLO   194        420            420            =            1034s

3 Nuria CRUSELLAS MARTINEZ   ESP   420        191            420            =            1031s

Then there came Show Models – the dreaded OddRocs.. – to round off Sunday, with weird & wonderful models of Mobile Phones, Coffins, Lighthouses, rocket-boosted Teddy Bears and the like, amusing the assembled crowd. Romano Suti, Kristian Crnoja & Stuart Lodge filled the podium slots.  

Ljubljana…sans pareil!  They’re banning foxhunting – but still bad news for the Dragon…some 20 Dragons were successfully hunted down over the weekend!!  Ljubljana attracts the very best; lays on the best hospitality; delivers the best organisation. Contest Director, Tone Sijanec and Range Safety Officer, Marian Cuden deserve the biggest thanks for stoic calm throughout. FAI-CIAM’s calendar is burgeoning with World Cups, but Slovenia’s finest remains La Doyenne… 76 Trombones make a big parade - 26 Ljubljana Cups make an escapade!! Hvala, Astronavstko-raketarski klub Vladimir M. Komarov.

ARK Komarov 2004