F3B Örebro Open 2024

F3B Örebro Open 2024

A huge thank you to Thomas Schorb for updating the scoring for Kulmbach and Örebro competitions!

Örebro 2024 – A long journey, but worth it!

When the competition area came into view on the drive there, I just thought: oh my God, this is going to be complicated! Large open areas with partly empty fields, alternating with small rows of trees and, to the south, a large forest area. There are countless places where thermals can form and break off. As soon as I arrived, a few powerful dust devils flew past the area.

Steffen arrived soon after and we started setting up the winches. We definitely wanted to do a few test flights. And that was a good thing. We quickly found that the thermals were as strong as we had previously estimated. Great! Unfortunately, the downdrafts were much stronger and larger than we had expected. Sometimes you couldn’t fly away fast enough to escape them. On top of that, the take-off heights were rather moderate due to the changing winds, sometimes from behind.

Saturday surprised us with easterly winds instead of the wind direction changing to south-west as the weather reports had unanimously predicted. The organizers of RFK Ikaros obviously already knew this and so the competition began without changing the wind direction. (There is only room for one winch direction)

The briefing and first flight began extremely punctually at 8:30 a.m. with a duration flight. The sun had been shining here since 4:20 a.m., but the first group was still able to fly the full time quite successfully. In the following groups, however, it was clear that the conditions were increasingly changing. Most of them were still able to fly the full time. However, it became increasingly difficult to fly somewhere else in time to catch the next thermal. Fortunately, the updrafts are still available close to the ground and this saved some pilots, and sometimes the entire timed flight group, from drowning over the weekend.

Interestingly, the speed flight was fairly evenly. The light wind definitely limited the maximum take-off height. Herman Stahl shows us what we can expect this weekend: 14.99s best time in the first speed in his first international F3B competition! Steffen was just behind with 15.18s.

There was a full 4 minutes working time with individual working times for each pilot to reset the timing system. This increased the necessary time a little, but it corresponds exactly to the official FAI rules and makes it possible to wait out a bad weather spell on this terrain. So it makes sense. Hardly anyone really takes advantage of it anyway.

During the distance flight, the pilots were always given enough time to prepare. Sometimes a little too much, but with 28 participants, your team was constantly getting involved. Changing ballast and preparing the winches had to be done in the short time in between.

The thermals are difficult to predict and rarely last the full four minutes of flight. Whoever finds one first will attract the competition, but they only sometimes find the thermal. We were caught cold during Steffen’s flight. He gave it his all (including an A-turn behind a tree), but some legs were still lost to Martin Weberschock. Christian experienced the same result against Joakim Stahl. Holger Au, who flew with us here, didn’t fare any better. Phew. But we’re confident: the others will get it too!

It was similar with the second distance flight. However, for the speed flight, the wind slowly turned to the predicted direction. With a tailwind of 180°, the organizers called off the round for safety reasons. As we only had a little time left before the time limit set by the nearby manned airfield, the competition was ended for the first day and the winches were converted to the other direction. About 1.5 hours later, this was completely done. But it could have gone much faster! Nobody was in a hurry here.

This take-off direction was also used on Sunday. There was a bit more wind and the take-off heights were better. This enabled good results in the morning duration trial. However, the downdrafts were already strong again.
The speed flight that began on Saturday naturally had to be repeated in full. Holger was able to defend a great 16.4Xs almost to the end. Steffen slightly undercut it with 16.40s. Unfortunately, Christian missed the second B-turn: 18.5s, which still looks absolutely OK but is also quite annoying. But that’s what happens when the pilot thinks he’s going faster than he really is.

The third distance flight was interesting again. Our strategy worked well with Steffen. But it was surprising that he managed to beat the next pilot by 5 with 16 legs. We had felt good, but not that good during the flight. But we’re slowly getting used to the conditions and are starting to develop our first strategies. It worked well for Christian, but for Holger the thermals disappeared too quickly before he could really catch them.

The third duration flight at lunchtime was pretty bizarre. Very good climbing enabled great heights. But then these suddenly disappeared again. Steffen and Christian were able to land the models, which were already getting smaller in the meantime, after a full 10 minutes, but without actively reducing the altitude. 300m altitude and only 3 minutes left mean nothing!

Third speed with decent times, but no models circling into orbit on Sunday either, as Christian had feared. Problems with a launch rope breaking when released slightly damaged Christian’s model. The flight worked out after all, but the conditions and the resulting time were not quite so great.

Since there was still some time, another discipline was to be flown. Distance was cancelled due to a lack of helpers. A coin toss (smartphone toss) decided what happened. As one pilot said: The gods were with us and we were allowed to fly one more speed flight in the end.

This brought hardly any surprises except for one: Pascal was able to pull off a perfect flight. (He’s always been good anyway.) From the start on the high-start rope, which was groaning under the stress, to the good altitude management and the extremely tight turns with little loss of speed. The result also reflected this; at 13.6s, the fastest speed time of the competition and in round 3 more than a second behind the second fastest! Great performance.

Finally, Herman Stahl (as a youth and in his first international F3B competition) was able to take first place. Followed by Steffen and Herman’s father Joakim in third place. The youth ranking also went to Hermann, of course, followed by Mikkel Krogh-Petersen and Pascal Mestermann. A total of 5 youths (up to 23 years) were present. Great!

The speed cup went to Pascal Mestermann with the absolute fastest individual speed time of the competition.

The team ranking was won by the Swedish team: Herman and Joakim Stahl with Jack Björnberg-Krantz. Second team place went to Peter Hubbertz, Armin Hortzitz and Christian Thuinemann; closely followed by Team Foo with Steffen Besemer, Christian Rieger and Holger Au.

All in all, a competition with a perfectly functioning competition facility, very good competition organization, great helpers and a great atmosphere. The pilots helped each other out a lot and when a rope broke, someone was there straight away to bring the model back or offer a winch. This makes competitions even more fun. The „locals“ were able to show that knowledge of the course helps a bit. But it was still crucial to put this into practice. The many pilots that you rarely see otherwise also brought a lot of uncertainty, as you didn’t know beforehand how good each of them was. Very interesting and a nice change. The catering was also well organized with burgers for lunch and a BBQ on Saturday evening. Very tasty!
I hope that the Örebro Open will take place again next year or the year after (possibly alternating with Denmark). If my schedule allows, I will definitely make the long journey again and can only recommend it to everyone else. The Swedes themselves also want to try to get to a few more competitions in Central Europe. So we’ll probably see a few of them again soon!

Translate »