12th International F3B Cup Jesenik F3B 2023

Jesenik 2023 – von Christian Rieger

A huge airfield, a relaxed contest managing style and perfect weather sound too good to be true? Then you have not been to Jesenik this year. You missed something!

This was my first trip to Jesenik. Some research ahead of the competition showed that flying conditions can be quite challenging and that that it is quite a trip from southern Germany.
The first thing applies to everyone, so it doesn’t really count and the second became much better during the Corona break with several new autobahn kilometers in the Czech Republic. It is still a long drive but it is possible in one drive. If possible,I can highly recommend an additional day trip to Prague on Thursday. You can find accommodations in the city center for a good price, enjoy the city and get to the competition absolutely relaxed. (Wrocław, Dresden, or Brno could be other good options. Next year…)

The landscape around Jesenik is absolutely stunning. Huge spaces with big fields, forests and scenic mountains nearby. It’s just a perfect spot for an F3B competition. 
I arrived early on Friday and the training started a little late so there was some time to get up to speed with everybody and do some last-minute shopping. Some test flights allowed me to test the launch settings with a helper and have a look at the thermal situation around the field. There were little surprises, but the thermals were already strong, resulting in quite suddenly changing conditions directly at the field. In the evening I experienced one of the apparently many good dining options. So, add good meals to the list of positives.And don’t forget a nice camping field (or very affordable housing in the area), showers, restrooms and even a kitchen that we were allowed to use!

Saturday started at 8:15 with the briefing and shortly after with the competition.
First task: Duration. The first groups had some trouble finding the best spots to make the full 10 minutes. Later in the competition Andreas described the conditions as pleasant or enjoyable stress that I completely agree with. Duration was not a walk in the park, but it was usually doable when you have a plan and adopted quickly after launch. Additionally, the strong thermals started in very low altitude. You could find a strong thermal in 30m altitude regularly to still make your time. Wind was medium to strong on the first day, resulting in good launch heights. Those were definitely needed in the following distance task. You never knew what you will get and very good groups were followed by very low leg numbers directly afterwards. Now I knew a bit how the last F3B WC must have felt for the pilots. Speed completed the round with some low times but with less weather dependence than I expected.

With only 30 pilots and four people in the team it can get a little stressful, but Jan Stonavsky managed the competition excellently. There was no hurry between the groups and whenever your team was not ready, he waited a little bit extra to give everyone the best and equal chances. After the disciplines there was always a short break to get everything recharged (Batteries and Pilots).

The following second round was very similar. The thermal situation resulted in regular downwind flying (that I am not a big fan of) during duration to stay in the thermal, but they were always strong enough to ensure a safe travel back against the wind. In the evening we started round three with Duration and Distance. Unfortunately, I had a mishap in the first launch resulting in a damaged aircraft and missing most of the flights to look for some parts in the field and helping the team during distance. So, I will skip this round here.

Sunday started a little later at 8:30.
The wind was much calmer resulting in lower launch heights. Additionally, the thermals had much more influence and travelled slower. The speed round three showed this already. Speeds were much more reliant on the current weather conditions. And this intensified over the day. 
Round four started with Duration. If you found a thermal and stuck with it you were golden most of the time. You just had to react fast after launch to not stay in some sinking air with little altitude reserves.  
Distance and speed were of course influenced more due to the little wind and a lot of sun all day.
Some speed pilots had the possibility to circle and make incredible entry altitudes (but not always managed to convert it to good times), sometimes the launch was low and the air felt more like honey. Even top pilots had some times over 18s without a missed turn!

The final speed five was done in opposite order of the ranking. Again, due to the relaxed managing style this was no problem even if your teammates were stacking up closely.

In the end Andreas Herrig won ahead of Hans Rossmann and Berhard Flixeder.
If you look at the results there were quite some point differences even in the top 10. This allows for some errors without being completely off the ranking immediately. In my opinion a very nice thing.

I want to thank Jan and the entire organization and helpers crew for their great work and I can only recommend to everybody to come here next year! A big thanks to Marek Pavel and Roman Vojtech to help Jan with additional money and support to make this competition a reality.

Of course, the low number of pilots were a topic at the competition as well.  Everybody wants to see more people again. Some new participants from Poland already made it to Jesenik, including a junior. We might also have to have some discussion about going back to smaller and cheaper model airfields (some of the readers might still remember Herten? It worked as well…) or adjusting the participating fees. Our hobby can be expensive sometimes, but if you compare the aircraft, gear, travel and accommodation costs, a few € for the organizers go a long way and could help keep these events in perfect locations running. 

It is such a great hobby with thrilling winch launches, challenging flight tasks and electrifying teamwork. It is up to everyone of us, active pilots, teams and organizers to get all the people back into our fantastic sport after the pandemic.And get some new pilots interested as well. After all, there are a lot of pilots out there that already own a F3B model…  

18. KirchheimOpen F3B 2023

Links zum Wettbewerb:


Bericht von Christian Rieger zum 1. Tag in Hülben:

Eager F3B pilots already know the first competition of the year for its unpredictable weather and often a competition day without flights.

But every year it is the perfect opportunity to get an early start into the competition season. And of course, meet all the fellow crazy people that we missed for so long.

Friday (no competition day) started with a lot of precipitation. Only a handful of pilots came to the airfield to prepare their gear (mostly) during some rain breaks.

Finally, in the evening the rain stopped and we were rewarded with a wonderful sunset. Some pilots used this for a few flights, but overall there was very little flight operation.

Saturday started off with cloudy but decent weather. While the field was still quite wet, we did not have any rain all day. Great!

To avoid problems with the low cloud ceiling the competition started with Speed.

The speed run was interrupted several times in the beginning due to incoming low clouds. But due to medium winds they passed quite quickly. And soon the clouds were high enough for all tasks.

Immediately after the first speeds it was clear what „first competition of the year“ really means: Someone must have made the distance between Base A and B longer!
At least a lot of pilots and helpers were sure that the downwind leg must be way shorter and then had to turn around for a second attempt.
The strong wind at higher altitude, turbulences in the flight area and several non-optimal launch altitudes definitely were a challenge.
The fastest time was achieved by Steffen Besemer with an incredible 13.70 and very sharp turns. Followed by Andreas Böhlen with 14.58.

Distance was next. At least now you could wait for the signal to turn… 😉
The first group started promising with 31 legs by Jens Buchert, most later groups had between 20 and 25 legs. In the last group the 1000 points was achieved with 17 legs by Bernhard Flixeder, showing how quickly conditions can change.

Duration was surprisingly without surprises. Most pilots had no problem with the 600s flight time. The biggest differentiator was the landing.

Cloud conditions were well for round two, even giving us some time in the sun. While the wind turned more towards north, as predicted, fortunately the wind speed was noticeable lower than predicted by most forecasts only shortly before. 

For distance even the decision which slope you should use was tricky since sometimes the supposedly blown northern side was not working out due to stronger thermals in the south. The author is currently not aware about the detailed results, but expects bigger deviations within and in between groups.

The second speed showed that with some training the base distance was shrinking again 😉 , resulting in mostly better results. The best time was performed by Thomas Kübler (14,50s).

Duration round up the day. The time still was no problem, but the northern wind direction resulted in more turbulence and some trickier approaches for landing.

That’s it for the first day. Tomorrow will be the same all over again. no surprises…
Hold, stop. Not quite. We are still in Kirchheim and it is still April! Let’s see what the organizers prepared for us tomorrow.

Bericht von Christian Rieger zum 2. Tag in Hülben:

The second day of the competition started with a change of wind direction to East/North-East. Meaning that all teams were changing their winches to get the new winch direction up and running. The wind was a little bit stronger too. While the weather was very nice, the temperatures were a bit lower than on the previous day.

Eastern wind directions in Kirchheim mean that the wind is blowing down the Swabian alb.
The hillsides that provided the stable lift conditions on Saturday now became potential strong sinking areas.

The competition was started very punctual at 8am with duration of round three. Today there was a lack of flight time and only four pilots managed to fully make the 10 minutes. Most groups resulted in 8 to 9 minutes for the 1000 points. In strong contrast to the previous day, the flight time became the important factor for duration points. Most pilots basically flew towards the eastern plains to get a little less sink speed, trying to make as little mistakes as possible and get the best sink speed out of the model. Maybe a weak thermal every now and then emerged. There were even some reflights with an attempt to get a better time on the second try.
Fortunately, there was no more wind shadow or vortex from the hill today. This meant that the higher wind speed was already present directly after lift-off and not only at 60m altitude or more.

Speed came next, again in opposite order of the current ranking. With the changed wind direction, the first leg was now with the wind. There were very little premature turns on B due to the high ground speed. On the other hand, the last leg sometimes became very slow when the altitude reserves were used up already due to long flown distances or suboptimal energy management. The fastest time was done by Frank Thomas with 13,49s, while most flights were within 15s  to 17s.

The distance flight came with similar problems. But while the hillsides were not as reliable as on Saturday, the thermals close to the airfield were stronger and more frequent. Most legs were obtained by Lucas Günther (27) and all but one group stayed above 20 maximum legs. The biggest challenge were the downwind turns at Base B. Precise turns made a big difference with the strong wind.
In retrospect the conditions were much better than initially expected after the difficult duration flights.

After a lunch break the current standings were calculated and a final speed round four was started. 
The conditions started similar to the previous round, with some fluctuating thermals and a slight reduction in wind speed towards the end. Andreas Böhlen made the fastest flight with 13,55s. The three ranking leaders got slightly worse conditions resulting in higher speed times while only changing their podium positions.

In the final ranking Andreas Herrig won ahead of Jens Buchert and Steffen Besemer. The Speed trophy went to A. Herrig as well with an average of 14.76s.
Team price went to IG F3B 1 ahead of Foo 1 and Badesalz #1.
Best rookie was Norbert Kolb ahead of Sebastian Siegert.

This concludes the 18. Kirchheim Open 2023 with great weather for two full days of flying while still providing some tricky conditions. 
The contest organization, the helpers at the line as well as the catering were again top of the line and deserve the biggest gratitude. It is the small things that help the pilots during the competition like getting some quick and easy lunch or planning the working times in a way that the low clouds did not interfere. Thank you very much and we are looking forward to come back for the 19. Kirchheim Open!
The next competition will be Jesenik in 26 days. Don’t forget to sign up early and make the work of the organizers a little easier. Jesenik (CZE) and Büllingen (BEL) are already open for registration!

Personally, I would like to thank team foo for all their help, advice and fun I got on and off the airfield. I had a great time with all of you and look forward to the next competitions together!

Termine F3B 2023

18th Kirchheim OpenHülbenGER29.-30.04.2023FAI World Cup
12th International F3B CupJesenikCZE26.-27.05.2023FAI World Cup
14th SonnenwendpokalNardtGER17.-18.06.2023FAI World Cup
1st East Belgium F3B CupBüllingenBEL08.-09.07.2023FAI World Cup
Pre Contest for World ChampionshipRødekroDEN22.-23.07.2023FAI World Cup
F3B World ChampionshipRødekroDEN21.-29.07.2023WorldChampionship
Hohenstoffeln-PokalBinningenSUI26.-27.08.2023FAI World Cup
25th Lippeweiden Pokal – 13. Deutsche MeisterschaftLünenGER16.-17.09.2023FAI World Cup
46th Oktoberfest PokalMünchenGER23.-24.09.2023FAI World Cup
3th. Nortel CupGöppingenGER07.-08.10.2023FAI World Cup