World traveller Bruce Davidson represents USA in German F3K contest, wins in St. Louis!

World traveller Bruce Davidson represents USA in German F3K contest, wins in St. Louis!

Bruce Davidson launching under stormy skies, St. Louis

Bruce Davidson launching under stormy skies, St. Louis

Our own Bruce Davidson just capped off a few weeks abroad in Europe, competing in the German F3K Open in Dresden – a huge, multi-national handlaunch soaring event. Bruce placed 35th out of a huge field of 94 pilots, and 2nd among all US pilots. Check out more conversation about the German F3K Open on RCGroups.

Bruce and his wife Christine then embarked on a week of sightseeing in Italy, making their way back home just in time for the MVSA’s Gateway Handlaunch Contest! Bruce battled with the ever-stronger St. Louis crew and ended up on top after two days of good flying. Read the MVSA contest report here!

Be sure to read Bruce’s German F3K Open report after the jump!

Another great contest is in the books. First off I want to thank all of the people that were working so hard to make this a must attend event. Christine and I had a big time and the bus tour to Dresden was one of the high points. That place is incredible and providing us with an interpreter was over the top. The contest started tough for me with a bit of bad luck on top of a coupe of bad decisions. By round three my chances were gone. The level of skill in this event is unmatched. My goals changed from getting in the flyoffs to supporting the team and putting the hurt on as many pilots as I could. I was taking a few more chances. As much as we bitch about bad conditions it is situations like this that make a great contest even better at sorting out the best on the field. Friday started with rain and we had a short break around noon for a pilots meeting then one flight group before the real storms came in. Team MMT had a big tent and I had about 8 pounds of snacks so we had some quality time while we waited it out. After three rounds they called it a day and we hit a local eatery for some great food and local beer. Saturday was the day of wind. I had the ballast box full all day and was quite happy with the way the Sirius handled the conditions. I only landed out once and that was mostly due to focusing on the plane and not my position down wind. When the ground came into view it was an oh crap moment! I felt like I could have pushed harder when I left the thermal an made it. I had moved up quite a bit in the standings by Saturday evening. Flying was over around 7 as we made our way to the on field dinner. It is hard to beat the Pole Cat pig roast but these guys did an outstanding job. They put a full champagne glass in everyones hand to kick things off with a toast. The buffet had all of the standard German fare and plenty of it. After dinner the live swing/brass band kept things hopping while the beer kept flowing. The band thought they were done for the night but the crowd was relentless and they could not refuse an encore. Sunday morning we finished the rest of round 9 and only had enough time to complete the 10th round before the flyoffs. I finished in 35th place with 92% of the top score. After my rough start, I was happy. For the finals I was tapped to call for Jonas Ekman. We started with 5×2 and he nailed all but the final transition with a small overflight and a stumble on the catch giving up about 4 seconds to much. Next round was all up, last down. The first flight was an easy get for the entire field. For the second flight we moved to the upwind corner of the field and got a good read before launch. It was forward and way right and as soon he hooked up the entire field joined us for another max. The third flight was dicy and nearly everyone landed in the order they would finish in the standings with just a couple of pilots getting the max. The last task was last flight counts with a 5 min max. On the first throw most went downwind and caught a fast mover with lots of energy. It didn’t take long for everyone to be way up and way out. As we discussed a strategy to get home another thermal popped at the end of the field so Jonas pushed to it for some more altitude on the way home. Big Congratulations to Christoph Mebus for not only winning the big dance but also winning the Junior class. YES HE IS A JUNIOR!

I learned a lot hanging out and flying with my new MMT (Sirius) team mates. That was some impressive flying Mattias and Jonas, congragulations. I have a new set of skills to develop.

Now to get everything packed up and ready for the flight to Rome.

Bruce Davidson

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