30th Ljubljana Cup…Coppa d’Emona…Cuppa runneth over…
by Stuart Lodge
VLADIMIR KOMAROV is Dead…Long live Vladimir M Komarov! And thirty Ljubljana Cups! ..the longest tradition in Space Modelling. This event a tribute to Vladimir M Komarov – the first Cosmonaut to lose his life, the space capsule’s recovery sytem failing on the return to Earth, during the early 1960s.
In the preamble, Ljubljana’s - the former Roman fortress of Emona - Joze Cuden, was awarded FAI’s Paul Tissandier Diploma for exemplary services and event organisers, Astronavsko raketarski klub, Vladimir M Komarov – which Mr Cuden set up in 1969 - the Honorary Group Diploma, for being well…ARK Komarov! For your reporter, this was fifteen Ljubljana Cups, his first foray in 1993! Slovenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Serbia, Bulgaria, Germany, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Russia and the United Kingdom set out to do serious business, before a very serious party at the nearby health spa of Terme Snovik!
The favourites in S4A-Boost Glider seemed hard to pick. The whole family of Andi, Gabriel & Gica Contantinestcu (ROM) seemed to have the birds to beat; Gabriel having become World Champion only a couple of months previously. Brits, Mike Francies, Trevor Seabrook and Nige Bathe looked to do well, flying innovative composite birds, with the rest of the World in the mixer. Designs now vary widely from the traditional ‘rigids’ – epitomised by Slovenians, Boris, Jaka, Uros and Marjan Jenko - through folding designs flown by much of the entry, to trendy flying wings, collapsed down and stuffed in a rocket tube…the Romanians going this route. Scoring was good in the super warm and calm conditions, although all but the winner failed to make a full-house of maximum times. The Constantinescus have enjoyed a marvellous 2008, branching out from their traditional focus of S7-Scale. And Gold and Bronze Dragons for Romania, with Vladimir Khokhlov (RUS) scoring a super Silver, leaving Mike Francies a frustrated 4th in a spectacular event.
1 Andi CONSTANTINESCU ROM 180 180 180 = 540s
1 Jerzy BONIECKI POL 117 145 99 = 361s
Another massive entry of >50, with the stars twinkling but indistinct. Spaniards, Nuria Crussellas, Mama Neus Misse and Esther Roura started confidently, Szymon Byrtek, Krystof Przybytek, Jakub Jaros and Jakuk Fialkowski (POL) were in with a shout. The Serbs, including Radojica & Zoka Katanic, Zika Josipovic and Vladimir Cipcic + 14 year old son Miodrag V. Cipcic gagging for a good one. The flying standard was a high as anyone could remember, but to medal needed a good start. Overdue it was to observe very few Zero scores in a world class competition. But the big surprise were the performances of Jaraslav Chmelik (CZE), Dimitar Dimitrov (BUL) and Jonas Buechl (GER). A super class, with the Serbs in torment, with the podium in doubt right to the death.
1 Jaraslav CHMLIK CZE 180 180 180 = 540s
Ariane, after Ariane, after Ariane! Some would say this regular convention of the ‘appreciation society’ is not good for S7-Scale. But wonderful stuff there was, Geeks, Gabi & teenage son, Andi Constantinescu (ROM) fielding Ariane 44LP and Ariane 3s respectively; well proven performers in 2008. Wojtiech Krzywinski (POL) came to the event with an Ariane 3 with electronic systems control, programmed before flight; compatriot Jerzy Boniecki had a nice Ariane 40. Czechs Bedrich & Martin Pavka and Pavel Brony offered superb Ariane 44LPs. What of the rest?!? Your reporter’s V-5-V Vertikal, Jan Srsen (CZE) with a Taurus Tomahawk, Zika Josipovic’ (SRB) Nike Tomahawk and the remainder were all chasing shadows in the judging hall at Terme Snovik.
No real surprises in the static judging and for once, the flying – in awesome conditions – came up to expectations. The air shooshed with spectacular boosting, staging and recoveries under a colourful mosaic of parachute canopies & streamers. Everybody had a marvellous time with the crowd resounded with each successful launch…just an honour to be in the mix. Congratulations to the Czechs who did wonderfully for a full house of Dragons.
1 Bedrich PAVKA CZE Ariane 44LP 713 + 245 = 958pt
Super class, with an entry from all over Europe. Swiss, Turi Hunziker and Michael Lehmann have always impressed on Kamniska Polygon, but Poles Edward Wowry, Pawel Janiesievicz, Krystof Przybytek and Jakub Fialkowski seemed sure to feature. Scoring was high in the five-strong qualification groups and Nige Bathe (GBR) paid very dearly for an errant Round 2 effort. The object seems simple, score a 360s air time landing precisely on a target line for bonus or deduction…but not so simple to achieve.
The flyoff comprised Blaz Grgic (SLO), Vladimir ‘Chirpy’ Cipcic (SRB), Fialkowski, Janiesievicz and Wowry, with the latter prevailing in super event:
1 Edward WOWRY POL 1000 1000 996 + 1000 = 3996pt
Late Sunday, conditions perfect, near-50 entry, massive 300s max time and serious lack of time. These were the challenges for the organisers in an event with dense fog delaying the starts on both days! RSOs Marjan Cuden & Andrija Ducak take huge credit for rattling through near-150 qualification flights in much less than two hours. Zika Josipovic grabbed his chance to post an FAI World Record claim of 15m 45s. We were all busy, cornering timekeepers before boosting and the chase to recover for the next round – S£A this year was truly fantastic.
S3A-Parachute is the slowest game in the World in these conditions, the sky black with a panoply of canopies, in suspended animation. The flying standard was intimidating – lose a couple of seconds and down ten places! But then the wondrous sunset intervened, leaving no time for the flyoff – leaving the joint winners so:
1st = Vlada ‘Chirpy’ Cipcic & Miodrag V Cipcic jnr (SRB), Pawel Janiesiewicz & Jerzy Boniecki (POL), Jakub Kacha (CZE), Geeks Constantinescu (ROM), Ivan Miskovic & Jozo Ivancic (CRO), Michael Helmert (GER), Uros Jenko & Simon Urbas (SLO) and…your reporter, Stuart Lodge (GBR)
“These people are MAD..” ..goes the song on the TV commercial. Not as mad as these Space Modellers. Junior Kiril Srokov’s Moscow Kremlin Tower was as massive as it was amazing…and surprised everyone by flying as good as it looked! Romano Suti’s (CRO) Flying Border Post was amazing and wowed us all. But no one was close to Moscow, with John Jacomb’s fishy Octoroc disappointed in 4th:
1 Kiril STROKOV RUS Moscow Kremlin Tower 100 100 100 = 300pt
Just awesome and a tribute to the organisers, ARK Komarov –especially Joze Cuden, Tone Sijanec and Marjan Cuden. A shame the flying was delayed ‘til noon because of fog, but we managed (well nearly..) to squeeze everything in.
Round up.. 30 Ljubljana Cups! Three decades! and twenty years as Contest Director, Tone Sijanec! The FAI Jury of Srdjan Pelagic (SRB), Jiri Taborsky (CZE) and Joze Cuden sat back and enjoyed it as much as the rest of us. Accommodation at the Terme Snovik health spa – with bathing and other facilities laid on was amazing. The party on Saturday night defied belief, but maybe most important was the presentation – by Vladimir Minakov and Gennady Poltavets of the Russian Modelling Federation - of yet more awards to Joze Cuden and Tone Sijanec of ARK Komarov. This was quite the best 2008 had to offer.
ARK Komarov 2008