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Welsh Open F3F

15 - 17 September 2017

Watching the action on the Wrecker

Two out of three

I always love competing in the Welsh Open - it's a big event, attracting some of the best pilots in Europe and the slopes are some of the best you'll find anywhere. However my expectations this year were somewhat dampened by the weather forecast.

As it turned out, we had two pretty good days of competitive flying, with eight rounds flown by the 48 competitors.

Day 1

Proceedings started with the usual pilots briefing ("all point to Base A...") courtesy Kev Newton. Flying took place on the 'VR' slope, so named for its association with the 1998 Viking Race. The slope falls away steeply from the road, making it tricky to set up camp and move about, nevertheless it's a fine slope for F3F.

Wind was dead on the slope, around 5 m/s. Iñaki achieved fastest time in Round 4 with 35.59. At day's end, it was Fernando in the lead, with Inaki in second place, and a sizzling Mark Abbotts in third. Sadly the Scottish party had to return home early.

Day 2

The second day started with very little wind and everyone reaching for their Alulas and Ahis. At midday we decamped to the Wrecker in anticipation of better conditions. Unfortunately the wind gods hadn't read the script, instead a big black cloud parked itself directly overhead and dumped all its contents on the hapless pilots. Not exactly a fitting reward for our patience! Fortunately the memory was soon erased by a splendid curry back in Bridgend.

Day 3

The final day commenced with glorious sunshine, and continued more or less as it started. The wind was very light to begin with, picked up during the first round, then dipped again in the middle of the final round, only to pick up suddenly for the last few runs. So a day of ups and downs. There was drama in the 7th round when Mark Abbotts damaged his Caldera following an encounter with the ridge. In the true spirit of F3F, he was able to continue after Jason Bioletti lent him a spare model and he eventually finished 7th. With competition over, Inaki was the well deserved winner, Fernando was runner-up, and Rich Bago third.


Sincere thanks are due to Kev Newton for organising and CD'ing - and making the trip down from Scotland. My appreciation also to AJ, Joel, Mark Treble and all the other helpers for keeping things running smoothly, to curry organiser Stefan Bertschi, and last but not least to Rich Bago/T9 for sponsoring the event through MKS. It's easy to take these comps for granted, but it takes a good deal of effort to organise and run these events.

The Welsh Open is a great tradition as well as a showcase for F3F - roll on 2018!


 1 Iñaki Elizondo         1000.00
 2 Fernando Moro González  975.32
 3 Richard Bago            962.16 
 4 Mike Shellim            943.66
 5 Joel West               933.00
 6 John Phillips           917.24
 7 Mark Abbotts            915.29
 8 Alvaro Silgado          910.68
 9 Greg Dakin              909.98
10 Kevin Newton            909.27
11 Arjen van Vark          909.18
12 Mark Treble             899.23
13 Graeme Mahoney          894.22
14 Stefan Bertschi         891.47
15 Andy Burgoyne           882.65
16 Jose Luis Alvarez       882.23
17 Stefan Fraundorfer      877.92
18 Paul Stubley            876.00
19 Daniel Schneider        869.74
20 Peter Aanen             869.25
21 Dave Rumble             868.86
22 Thomas Deinert          866.38
23 Keith Wood              860.39
24 Jose Ramon Azcona       856.29
25 Mark Passingham         853.98
26 Klaus Brettner          853.35
27 Stefan Bernardy         850.53
28 Martin Drewett          848.12
29 Bernardo Gomez-Mayan    844.61
30 Mike Evans              837.14
31 Jason Bioletti          833.01
32 Martin Ulrich           828.80
33 Tony livingstone        823.53
34 Martin Overberg         818.84
35 Rick Ruijsink           818.41
36 Nigel Witchalls         809.35
37 Stuart Wallace          808.59
38 Michael Walsh           801.59
39 John Treble             800.62
40 Tony Robertson          785.23
41 Jon Edison              776.38
42 Les Wood                775.22
43 Allen Elliott           771.84
44 Pete Burgess            767.63
45 Scott Ravenscroft       492.46
46 George Young            391.78
47 Peter Gunning           391.66
48 Dave Watson             233.15

Fastest time: 35.59 by Iñaki Elizondo in round 4

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