Plovdiv, Bulgaria was the location for the thirty-second reunion of the Wakefield International Cup since the first time it was held in London in 1928. This year we shall sample the hospitality of Bulgaria for the first time. All of the stops were pulled out by the hosts to make this a memorable Free Flight World Championships, including special banners, and posters heralding the events. The opening ceremonies were held in the Olympic Stadium, with 49,000 cheering Bulgarian spectators on hand.
The press, and television anchors were on hand, to interview foreign aeromodellers, not just the usual aeromodelling press, who often concentrate most of their interest on the aeromodel; these reporters wanted to know who you were, why you flew in international contests, where you were from, for heavens sake! The Bulgarian people were excited! It was a big deal! It was a festive occasion, and on hand to add to the joy of this gathering were twenty- nine national teams fielding seventy- six Wakefield contestants. Three past Wakefield Cup Champions were entered this year, they were: this year's defending WC Joachim Loffler (DDR) 1963 and 1973, Albrecht Oschatz (DDR) 1969, and Josef Klima (Czechoslovakia) 1971.
Getting to Bulgaria was another matter. Take the travels of the team from Great Britain as an experience. They came on the "Orient Express"! Agatha Christie could not have written a better plot for what happened to the twenty-four team members, their aeromodel baggage, and their supporters. The journey took 55 1/2 hours, and according to Michael Woodhouse who wrote to me "I can still see the Team Manager (travel arrangements were managed by Paul Masterman, who I know will never forget his experience) explaining, arguing, in fluent German (?) our case to half a dozen Yugoslavian Railway, (and) Military Police Officers. Martyn Cowley adds "never will the Team submit to the inconsistent Yugoslavian Customs demands again. This Country has written itself out of any hope of attracting travelling modellers ever again." Well Martyn "ever" is not a very long time for you to hold a grudge, judging from your glowing refrains, following the 1985 WC at Livno. The GB Team included Bob Wells, who got sick from food poisoning on the "Orient Express", and had to be hospitalized, Ron Pollard, and Michael Woodhouse.
Meanwhile out on the flying field the USA team including Jon Davis, Willard Smitz, and Bob White had their own problems. Bob's "Twin Fins" got snagged by a long mylar ribbon on a test flight under full winds, and simply thrashed itself to pieces. The preponderance of "stuff' scattered around the field was becoming a concern to many, but how to control it? The other problem was the weather. It was just too good! Most of the complaints came from the Brits who were worried that their aeromodels' performance was too difficult to judge, due to the preponderance of lift. Oschatz and Loffler flew together. They wound-up together, discussed the meteorology together, they launched together, and then they evaluated the performance of their Wakefields, together!
The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea waited until they had arrived in Plovdiv to hold their team selection trials! All nine entries were required to wind-up together, and on command from the "Leader" to launch en-mass. This allowed the "Judges" to determine effectiveness of the climb, and the glide of each entrant's F1B. Then after each flight, a conference was made to determine who was eligible and who was not. This went on for three days, and eventually the team was selected. Now the team test flew together, still launching on command from " The Thermister Man", all this in very disciplined military fashion, and dress, including team uniforms! Alas, I do believe that some of this had a positive influence in the minds of some, judging from the "Nationalistic" trappings that remain to this day (1995)! Colored uniforms, and matching colored Aeromodels, with bunting, flags, and bumpershoots? Indeed! Anyway Tuesday, August 19, was Wakefield day, and the weather so far was perfect.
ROUNDS 1-7: The start signal was given promptly at 8:00am, and the perfect weather persisted. In fact by the end of the round, 56 contestants had maxed the round. At the end of round two only three Teams had perfect scores (N), (YU), and (L). The heat was suffocating by midmorning, and the Pirelli rubber was becoming gelatinous, the stuff wouldn't take full turns now. By the end of the sixth round only seventeen remained with perfect scores, a testament to picking lift, as opposed to lucking out. Round seven closed with only fourteen having survived with perfect scores.
ROUND 8: A heavy cloud layer had moved in, and rain was a possibility. This would be the 240 second round. Only seven were able to select the lift to get them into the 300 second round.
ROUND 9: All of the remaining seven wound-up, waited, and launched together. They all maxed the round. My, my, talk about piggy backing!
ROUND 10: This would be the 360 second round. Bob White was having problems getting Pirelli rubber, flying now with a knotted motor, it was all he had left! Bob also had a cheering section, who at launch had taken up the USA battle cry of" Go Baby! Go! Go! GO! So it went, but Bob got second. The 1975 Wakefield International Cup World Champion was Paik Chang Sun, of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.
|1||P C Sun||DPRK||1260||240||300||303|
|4||K I Sul||DPRK||1260||240||300||243|
|5||A Oschatz(1969 WC)||DDR||1260||240||300||235|
|Access full results|
|1975 Team Results for Penaud Cup|
|Place||Country||Abbreviation||Total||Team member places|
|propeller||23.6 dia 29.5 pitch||600 dia 750 pitch|
|rubber||30 strands 6x1 Filati 360 turns|
Aeromodeller, Nov 1975, FF WC, Martyn Cowley
Aeromodeller, Sept 1976, The FF Scene, M Dilly
Music: "Jive Talkin"; Literature: "Shogun"; Cine: "Jaws"; Jimmy Hoffa dead (?)