Day “-1”: the preparation :
On Thursday, a group of 10 pilots where already on the slope, for some free flight on the slopes. The wind was North, with variable lift and wind of 6-8m/s. The organization team started installing all the bases on both slopes to be ready for any conditions during the next three days. By the middle of the afternoon, the wind had switched to south (light) with some foamies and light F3F runs. The weather forecast on Windy.tv was expecting that condition for the day, it was consistent; let’s hope their forecast for the next 3 days is right also!
Day 1: Light conditions, slow start:
The welcome of all the pilots started at 09.00 on the slope, with coffee, tea and croissants. People got all their number assigned, some free flights on the south slope (3-4m/s) as allowed until 10. Unfortunately, all pilots were there and ready by 10.00, but the wind was too weak. We had to wait until 15.00 on the dot to start round 1 on the South slope, with light wind (5m/s) which quickly went up to 7m/s average. We managed to validate 4 rounds in those conditions, and finished the flights at 18.15.
Michael Krebs did great flights all day long and was at the end of the day leading the competition.
Day 2: South slope as we love it:
On Saturday morning, pilots started arriving at 08.00. wind was already blowing at 6m/s, south. Tende South slope: welcome back!!! The weather forecast is expecting some growing conditions, with up to 10m/s in the afternoon. Most of the pilots were there by 09.00 as we had asked at the end of the previous day, but unfortunately some pilots were not there during the announcement (packing in the cars) so we had to wait until 10.00 (initial “website” time) to get everyone ready. The round 5 started at 10.00 with a nice 7m/s wind. Flights were very fair between pilots, thanks to the clouds covering us and limiting the thermals. We managed to do 7 more rounds until the fog covered the whole area at 15.17. Only 5 pilots were left to race, but the interruption lasted more than 30 minutes and we had to cancel that round. Luckily, we managed to start one last round at 16.45, with lighter conditions as time passed (going down from 7+ m/s to 5m/s), yet still within local rules (4m/s minimum and average during the run, wind orientation less than 35deg off).
At the end of day 2, Pierre Rondel did get back on the lead after that total of 12 rounds, followed by Philippe Lanes and Andreas Bohlen.
But the time was for some good local fresh made cuisine at the restaurant “La Margueria”. Everyone enjoyed their drink with appetizer (Pissaladiere and Barbajuan), Dinner appetizer (Mozzarella di Buffala from Cuneo with grilled red peppers, pesto sauce and pinions, Main course (Oven baked Lamb with baby gnocchi and girolle mushrooms) and choice of dessert. I have to actually really thank the restaurant team for their efficiency in serving our large group with such great and tasty products.
Day 3 : Stamina:
Last day, wind is already blowing like the previous day. Lift is not as good (slightly off) as people do some free flights with foamies before the beginning of the competition announced at 09.00.
Wind is blowing at 6m/s, we start the race but the pace is much slower, both in the bases but also to leave the slope to the landing area (pilots have to climb as much as possible before walking in front of the Bunker and land by the front of the slope, it is impossible to walk through the usual path). Rounds are taking a little more than 1 hour. We still manage to validate another 5 rounds, and as it is only 14.48, we can even launch one final round before the end of the competition. Last flight was validated at 15.51. Time for computing the new rounds that got us to a total of 18 valid rounds and discover the ranking.
End of Competition:
As the times were computed, an Aperitif was offered to all pilots.
After almost 500 runs during the weekend, we really all wanted to thank all the judged, who have been standing in the wind and sun, and yet stayed concentrated and very efficient all weekend.
We also want to thank the sponsors without whom it would not be possible to make this competition happen: BlueBird Servos, la Ligue d’Aeromodelisme, La région PACA, Lindinger, les commercants de Tende (Hotel du Centre, Boulangerie des Merveilles, Restaurant la Margueria). This year was very special for me with my baby born only a few months ago. I would like to thank my wife Nicole for supporting me in still making this 10th Edition of the Lemoncello Cup happen.
Regarding final results: Best time was made by Michael Krebs (36.32 sec on round 9), the final podium is:
- PIERRE RONDEL (FR)
- PHILIPPE LANES (FR)
- ANDREAS BOHLEN (CH)