39th Ljubljana Cup Report


Ljubljana... time to hunt those Dragons!

39th Ljubljana Cup for Space Models ~ Ljubljana, Slovenia, 6-8th October '17

by Stuart Lodge


WORLD CUP Finale.Ljubljana is where you come, if you're in the mixer for an end of season World Cup podium. A total of fifteen nations and nearly eighty competitors featured this time around, including.a team from India, fronted up by Prathan Ambla! This report focuses on the S7-Scale World Cup event, attracting some twenty entrants from Bulgaria, Belarus, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania & Slovakia and a wide array of prototypes. Bedřich Pavka (CZE), Andrej Vrbec (SLO), plus Stuart Lodge (GBR) - Judges' President, had serious work to do, deep into the small hours of Saturday morning!

Static Judging...background ~ lack of prototype diversity had caused this elite class of Space Modelling to stagnate. Far too many Arianes, Saturns and Soyuz had been finding their way onto the judges' table and entry numbers had been dwindling. Novel rules went live in 2014, changing the way competitors approached the considerable challenge of producing a super model that flew well. Much more emphasis on the flight scores, previously judges scored the Documentation Packs and layered this into the comprehensive array of Degree of Difficulty, Adherence to Scale and Workmanship. These days, scale documentation is scrutinised for completeness, but not marked, with Static scoring adding up to lower totals. Most revolutionary was the introduction of an 'Originality' bias, where a prototype unique in a judging hall was awarded 40 points; if only two, 20 points each. However, in the way of rules' changes in all sports, there have been unforeseen issues.

Ljubljana attracted the usual array of prototypes, including Arianes 44LP & 44L by Martin Pavka, Zdeněk Kolář (both CZE) and Florica Sercaianu (ROU), Soyuz' by Aliaksandr Lipai (BLS) and Dimitar Vachkov (BUL). A super Saturn 5 moon rocket by Viktorie Tržilova seemed a contender too, especially when 40 'Originality' points were layered into her static score. Plenty more prototypes, on the table, including lots of simpler sounding rockets, to keep us judges busy, notably Meteor-1s by Ewa Dudziak-Przybytek (POL) and Ladislav Kůra (CZE); Black Brants by Michal Filas and Krzysztof Przybytek (both POL); Taurus Tomahawks by Kiril Zhabravets (BLR) and Pavel Tilev (BUL). These models attracted 20 points Originality - two of each - which brought their scores closer to the complex Arianes and Soyuz. Stoyan Vranchev (BUL) entered a novel Eridan 007, which delivered a good score in the hall. Possibly the most notable model on show was a Sonda S1-S2, by Jaromír Chalupa (CZE), oh yes, this prototype was 1:1 scale.full size!

One thing that made this event unique, was that it formed the championships of the Czech Republic! This had been carded for the Tessin Olza Cup, two weekends before, but heavy rain and wind meant that S7-Scale couldn't be flown. As a result, we had more entries - including Juniors - from Česká than any other nation. At the end of static judging, more than half of the scale entry were potential winners and it would all come down to the flying.

S7-Scale...flights ~ multi-staging, special effects (SFX), number of motors, parachutes and streamers. Then there's flight realism to consider, who would get it right? With the weekend weather superb, the flights were carded for Sunday. Roman Čižnár (SVK) was late arriving, with a seemingly simple Athena 2, but with 3 stages, multiple SFX and super launch and boost profiles, 235 points set the standard for the rest. Milan Kučka (CZE) delivered a competent flight with his Ariane L-01 to complement his high static array...this was a good one, despite being the smallest Ariane on the planet! Viktorie Tržilova's Saturn 5 suffered a DQ in round 1 and the choice of a single-staged boost in the second round ended her podium chances. Florica Sercainanu struggled to launch her Ariane 44LP succesfully, but managed a round 2 multi-stage boost for a likely podium place. Dimitar Vachkov looked to do better with his Soyuz TMA, but with a 2-staged average launch/boost and a lack of SFX, always short of points. Jaromir Chalupa's Sonda S1-S2 flew realistically, trailing compatriot Roman Čižnár, who came 5th. Aliaksandr Lipai failed to bring his Soyuz out to play - perhaps winning S4A-Boost Glider & S9A-Gyrocopter was enough! ...and things looked interesting, with more of the simpler models on show, scoring well. Almost lost in the haze, was the boost of Czech, Martin Pavka, whose Ariane 44LP impressed immensely...3-staged, plus SFX, lots of parachutes et al.but seemed a likely DQ with the main body only partially retarded by a malfunctioned canopy. However, Range Safety Officer Andrija Dučak called it legal and.245 points, for the Golden Dragon! Plenty of questions for us judges to contend with later, but the final podium looked like:

1 Martin PAVKA                          CZE            Ariane 44LP  495 + 245 =  740pts
2 Florica SERCAIANU               ROU            Ariane 44LP  497 + 188 =  685pts
3 Dimitar VACHKOV                  BUL            Soyuz TMA 22  507 + 176 =  683 pts

Conclusion ~ Ljubljana Dragons are always very hard to catch! This was a world class entry in S7-Scale World Cup and the flying came up to expectations, in super conditions. In addition, the Czech national champs went to plan: 1st Martin Pavka; 2nd Zdeněk Kolář; 3rd Jaromír Chalupa. For 2017's World Cup, Florica Sercaianu came 2nd and Dimitar Vachkov 3rd ...Vladimir Čipčic had nailed the Gold the previous weekend, in Belgrade. Is that 'Originality' rule delivering the goods? In terms of entry numbers, the answer is Yes, but maybe 40 and 20 points bonuses are just too much...the debate must continue!

Across the classes, S3A-Parachute, S4A-Boost Glider, S6A-Streamer & S9A-Gyrocopter Duration, plus S8E/P-RC Rocket Glider, S7-Scale and Show Models, there were ~500 launches throughout the weekend! Contest Director, Tone Šijanec, must have been pleased with the whole event - there had been some serious issues regarding the accommodation at nearby Terme Snovik and even the availability of the flying site. However, everything went to plan and thanks are offered to the whole Team at ARK Komarov, the organising club. Thanks are also offered to Prathan Ambla and his team from the Indian sub-continent, the term 'World Cup' is starting to mean something. This was an awesome Ljubljana Cup...2018's is the 40th and we can't wait.


16th October 2017

ARK Komarov 2017