Sazena, Czechoslovakia August 18 to 24, 1997 had been selected by the FAI/CIAM for the World Championships. This had been the same flying site that was used for the 1967 WC where 17 rounds had been flown to determine the results of the power championships. Preceding the main events, on August 15 to 17, the Czechs were also hosting the open International World Cup on the same flying field as the World Championships. The most notable news is the number of contestants that were entered: there were 181 in F1A, 107 in F1B, and 40 in F1C!
The flying field certainly got a good trampling down prior to Wakefield day in the World Championships which was set for Friday August 22. The field itself is farm land which was cut to provide a clear area in the north-south direction. Lying on the west side is a housing estate. This is where Randy Archer realized a case of severe deja vu in the seventh round of the F1C Power Championships when his plane glided down into a two story house in the housing estate. Randy was clocked down, and out of the Championships at 171 seconds. This is the second World Championships in a row that Randy has had to face pure bad luck. So many things happen to defy even the best of the best during these championships.
There were four Wakefield World Champions registered to fly in this years World Championships: Itzhak Ben Itzhak from Israel (1979) whose country was tentatively selected for the 1999 WC; Eugeniusz Cofalik, Poland (1989); Alexander Andrjukov (CCCP 1991, Ukraine 1993), and the reining 1995 Wakefield World Champion Jeremy Fitch of the USA.
Team GB came without Dave Hipperson because he gave up his place on the Team to Bob Cheesley. Dave felt that his while his Wakefield earned him a place on the team, it was not competitive enough to compete in the WC, and he would be letting his country down.
There were 97 Wakefield competitors ready to do their best for: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bosnia Herzigovina, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, USA, and Yugoslavia.
Friday, the 22nd of August began with a slight ground mist, it was calm, with a drift of 2 mph maximum, from the east-south-east. The sky was clear, with a light scattering of cumulus clouds. A perfect day within which to fly a Wakefield International Cup World Championships!
ROUND 1-7: This would start with a 210 second First round, beginning at 07:00, 87 contestants made it into the second round. From the looks of the weather those who did not make it, may as well pack up their flight bags, and spend the rest of the day shagging their teammates Wakefields. For all intents it looked as if picking good air was no problem, but 16 dropped the second round! Round 3 also shook up the competition, because 22 dropped the round, including two Wakefield ex-champions: Itzhak Ben Izthak and Jeremy Fitch. Jeremy was flying a new Wakefield, which (he told me later) had been flying well under severe testing conditions; but this model had developed strange characteristics, that occurred in the climb under power. It tended to turn left, under power. In the third round of this contest, it climbed out in the burst, but afterwards, again, slanted left, and then fell off into a corrective stall, and regained itself for only an 80 second flight! Jeremy's crown fell off as well. He would not repeat his 1995 victory this day. By the end of seven rounds there were 41 contestants remaining with perfect rounds, including the two remaining Wakefield Champions: Eugeniusz Cofalik and Alexander Andjukov.
ROUND 8: The 300 second fly-off round. The weather was still perfect, with a light drift to the ESE, and the scattered cumulus. The round opened at 17:45 with a 10 minute launch window. Twenty six managed to make the 300 seconds. This included one Wakefield Champion. Eugeniusz Cofalik had come down in only 42 seconds, and would be just a spectator now.
ROUND 9: The 420 second fly-off round began at 18:30. Alex Andrujkov launched at precisely three minutes after the horn blew to open the round, along with a "covey" of other Wakefields. These all made the 420 seconds. Twelve were left.
ROUND 10: The 540 second round. At one minute after the horn sounded to open the round Alex was wound, and ready to launch. This time the "covey" were caught still in the preparation stage. Alex was flying the clone of "AA 26", the "short" version of his 1993 winning Wakefield with a 62.6 inch span. The same Wakefield that was used as the basis for the 1995 winner. He was using 26 strands of FAI Tan Rubber, which had been alchemied in the spring, into which he poured 525 knots. Alex's Wakefield climbed under power for 53 seconds, and just simply got higher then anyone else's. Still using the open glide pattern we saw at Lost Hills in 1993, he was the last one down in 464 seconds. Alexander Andrjukov would become the first person in history to win the Wakefield International Trophy three times!
|Place||Name||Country||Round 1-7||Round 8||Round 9||Round 10|
(1991 & 93 WC)
|Access full results|
|1997 Team Results for Penaud Cup|
|Place||Country||Abbreviation||Total||Team member places|
Aeromodeller, Jan 1997
FFn Sept 1997
Scatter no.76, Aug 1997
Sacramento Bee, Encore, p.16, 23/2/1997
Music: "Funki Porcini - Love Pussycats and Carwrecks"; Literature: "Lefty"; Cine: "Jerry Maguire"