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2013 League 1 - S. Wales

10 March 2013

Sub-30 smiles: L-R: Paul Garnett, Mark Redsell, Martin Newnham, Rich Bago, Joel West

Is 30 the new 40?

Awesome is an overused word, but March 10 will be remembered as a rather special day in the annals of F3F here in the UK - a goal-post mover, game changer, call it what you will.

It was the day when the British record (set previously by Mark Abbotts) was broken twice, and the fastest time was within a pole's width of the world record. Equally amazingly, the sub-30 barrier was broken sixteen times by five different pilots.

I'll spare you a blow by blow account, as Martin Newnham already has a report on his blog. Just a few thoughts...

Models and pilots

All the key elements came together on the day - pilots, models and conditions.

The top five pilots were flying Freestyler 4's and Needle 124's ballasted up to 2 - 2.5 kg. To put that in perspective, a full complement of steel ballast for my Sting weighs 690g - a good illustration of the improvements in structural and aerodynamic design which we've enjoyed in the last few years. The top pilots are improving too, many honing their skills during the winter league competitions.

The third piece in the jigsaw was the splendid conditions, with a steady 25 mph wind blowing directly on one of the finest F3F slopes in the UK. (If there was a price to be paid for the fast conditions, it was the vicious rotor - carrying the model back to the pits was like wrestling with a gorilla!)

After a crazy day, the overall winner was Mark Redsell. Fastest time went to Martin Newnham with a superbly flown 26.84, just 0.04 sec outside the world record.

Mark, Martin, and third placer Joel West were all flying Freestyler 4's, while Rich Bago (4th) and Paul Garnett (5th) were flying Needle 124's. All of the top five achieved sub-30 times.

Top 10

1 Mark Redsell    1000.00
2 Martin Newnham   989.48
3 Joel West        975.72
4 Rich Bago        953.34
5 Paul Garnett     927.26
6 Mark Abotts      894.77
7 Simon Thornton   890.92
8 Mike Evans       877.47
9 Keith Wood       809.65
10 Frank Hulton    799.77

Full results plus spreadsheet are here

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