|Dutch Control Line Championships 2004|
19-20 September 2004
Having been to the Almere C/L Fly In in Holland earlier in the year and attending the British Nat's in some rather unpleasant weather, I decided tempt fate and use the last of my spare cash and visit the Dutch C/L Nat's. This was made possible, in part, by the availability of cheap flights from Eastmidlands Airport to Shiphol, plus the kind offer of transport and somewhere to stay by Herbert and Erika Garritsen, to whom I am eternally grateful.
My hopes of travelling across the 'Kanaal' as they call it in Holland, in under an hour, where rapidly dampend by a security alert in the departure lounge. No one, was going anywhere in a hurry.
Two hours later the flight for Shiphol was allowed to board through an alternative departure point. Forgetting to remove my watch as I walked through the scanner and being frisked was a little embarrassing. However, even with all the delays it was still a lot more pleasant than a seventeen hour coach journey, and cheaper!
Saturday found us sitting outside the entrance to the flying site. Confusingly the timetable stated the events starting at 10:00. This turned out to be that on one was allowed onto the site until 10:00.
It took awhile to get used to the laidback easy going nature of this event, as everything slowly moved into gear. But everything did get going in it's own time. The size of the event was small by British Nat's standards, and reminded me at times of some of the Area Centralised Meetings I flew in in the past. I wonder how big a control line only nationals would be if it were held in England? It was probably the smallish size of the event that gave it a very friendly relaxed atmosphere.
It's impossible to write about every event as no one can be everywhere at the same time. Most of my time was spent around the Stunt circle as that is my main interest, as well as helping Herbert at his first competition, which happend to be the National Championships.
With a quite strong, but not impossible to cope with wind, Herbert ended up deciding not fly his 35 powered Slow Motion, there was just not enough time to sort out the problems before the official flight. Next came the 19 powered Mini Coach that he was more confident with. A hard landing dislodged a wheel, which was repaired using a screwed collet. This turned out to be a bad move as during takoff on the last attempt official flight the screw dug into the wheel causing the model to stick it's nose in the ground breaking the prop.
A hastily soldered on wheel (dangerously over a gas hob!), that night, nerves, and other problems, eventually ended with hard impact on the runway during practice the next day. Exit one Enya19 crankcase.
Then came a hard task; trying to encourage someone to try to put in a flight with a last model when they are on the point of giving up. Fortunately he did fly, came last in the beginners class, but at least went home with a score, but then so did I in my first competition. I was facing the other way when I heard a gasp from the onlookers early in his flight. Apparently the wheels touched the runway at the bottom of a loop.
Although the whole thing was a bit of a traumatic experience for Herbert, if he takes notice and leans from the experience, it will be invaluable come the next comp. For any competition let alone one involving model aircraft, a methodical discipline is needed, if anyone thinks they can get away without this approach, they are in for a rude awakening; the people at the top of their class didn't get there overnight by just wandering in to a comp one day and winning.
It's nearly an impossible task to sum up in words what the event was like. The high pitched scream of combat models mixed with the occasional, thwack! sound of a collision: Jan Odyen tail dancing a carrier model on the runway and hovering it like a helicopter as the sun went down: Rob Mekemeijer doing 274.8 km per hour with an FAI speed model, and everyone running for cover as a 10cc speed model took to the air: Luc Dessaucy's last seemingly effortless flight in F2b stunt: Robert Jan van Poppelen, on the last flight in 1/2F2B getting a lot of encouragement and praise from everyone including the judges, for finally managing to preform every manoeuvre in his schedule: it will all stay with me for a long time. Even the weather was reasonably kind for two days with only a few spots of rain and the wind within tolerable limits.
I was the only English person there, and getting caught between three languages can be a bit daunting at times (I only know a few words and sentences in Dutch). But don't let that ever put anyone off that may be interested in going, most Europeans can speak some English, and some exceptionally good English, I live with one such person. If push comes to shove there is always the universal sign language of pointing and gesturing.
It's no use denying the fact that I am hopless at remembering peoples names. So I am indebted to Bruno van Hoek for supplying me with some details and names. Sorry I didn't get a better picture of your model Bruno, I will try harder next year, when I will be returning if at all possible.
The Pictures, with notes where appropriate, should give some sense of what the two days were like.
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|I know very little about the combat,
and trying to catch an image of anything flying fast with my limited digital
camera. is just about impossible.
Of all the pictures I took, the image on the left was the only usable one.
|Closeups of some screaming power units used in the event|
|[Right] Jan Odeyn (Belgium) Absolute master of free style CL, winner of the carrier event. Jan convincingly hovers his designs and launches straight into a wingover.|
|Two photo's [left]
by Herbert Garritsen.
Photo [right] by
Robert-Jan van Poppelen
by Herbert Garritsen
Winfried Holle fueling the model.
|[Right] Rob Metkemeijer dashes for cover as this 10cc beast takes to the air.||[right] Han Esselaar (Holland) Upcoming promising F2B pilot, now also trying his luck in his first ever speed contest.|
|Two photo's [right] by Robert-Jan van Poppelen|
|[Right] Cobra, Christoph Holterman (Germany)
Next right Chrisoph about to make his flight.
|[First left] Hexagon, Stephan Raetsch
[Second left] preparing for flight.
|[Left] Bluegrass Bird, Bruno van Hoek.|
|[left] Cap-13, Luc Dessaucy (Belgium) winner of
F2B and very smooth flier.
[Far Left] Luc discussing some finer points of his model.
|[Left] Pato, Wolfgang Nieuwkamp, the most unusual model I saw flying, and it seemed to fly very well.|
|[left] Bert Metkemeijer bracing for a line pull test.||[Right] The unfortunate result for a entrant in the beginners class.|
|A refreshingly young Niels Meerdink, on his way to winning the beginners class.|