F3C World Cup Event
The Euro Heli Series concept was first dreamt up in 2013 by Ian Emery a UK F3C pilot after attendance at UK F3C events was dropping. After many discussions with other like minded pilots across Europe who were experiencing similar trends to a lesser or greater extent and with agreement on some fairly simply rules for hosting the event.
The first EHS competition was run in 2014 and is now in its 6th season and continues to enjoy excellent support from pilots across Europe with typically 4 or 5 events per year hosted by various countries. Since the first event in Lendelede, Belgium back in May 2014, 65 different pilots from 13 countries (up to the start of this 2019 season) have entered this increasingly popular event which has now been hosted in 10 different countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK of course) with the record for the most events held going to Holland who have hosted events in 5 of the 6 seasons the EHS has been running and by the end of the 2019 season there will have been a total of 25 competitions held.
The format and concept is simple, pilot entry fees will cover the cost of hosting the event which are capped at €80 per pilot with €40 for juniors and the entry is capped at 20 pilots due to the limited duration of the event and the number of rounds to be completed. Judges travel with the pilots where possible to reduce costs to the organisers and the event is run over two days (Saturday and Sunday) with a practice session available at the contest site on the Friday for those pilots wanting to make sure their machines have made the journey without issue.
The weekend of 22nd and 23rd June 2019 was the turn of the local club in Sønderborg, Denmark to host the event at a wonderful facility on the edge of the town. This particular event had attracted an entry of 16 pilots from 7 countries with one junior pilot (Scott Mayo from the UK).
Due to the travel time to Denmark the UK pilots (Steve Roberts, Ian Emery, Bruce Naylor, Roger Mayo & Scott Mayo) had decided to start the drive to Denmark on Thursday morning, overnight in Germany near the border and then a final push to the contest site on the Friday morning. Unfortunately one of our pilots, Bruce Naylor, was taken ill on Wednesday night and was not fit to travel so there was some last minute changes of plan to ensure everyone could make the trip. Thankfully with a little pain relief and some rest Bruce has made a full recovery and is looking forward to the next event in Holland.
The UK pilots arrived at the site on Friday morning and were fairly soon greeted by a strangely familiar weather front which brought with it some rain and grey skies for a couple of hours. Thankfully in the afternoon the weather improved, the clouds started to break up, the rain stopped and the sun started to make an appearance. By this time some of the pilots were starting to arrive from the various corners of Europe and the practice session was soon underway. Thankfully all of the UK team machines seemed to have made the journey without any issues and the team were soon hard at work practicing. Friday night the organisers had arranged for a BBQ at the field for everyone which we were all ready for and enjoyed.
Saturday morning and the day of the preliminary rounds came and the weather was just about perfect although the wind direction (what little there was) had changed and we were flying right to left having spent Friday afternoon practicing left to right but never mind!
A calibration flight for the judges was completed by Christophe Depruyck and the first round of 3 from the “P” schedule began. All of the pilots were flying well and making the most of the near perfect flying conditions and the scores reflected this with most of the differences in scoring being seen in the hovering manoeuvres with regards to accuracy of positioning, stability and shape. The usual suspects were beginning to rise to the top of the pile in the shape of Stefan Wachsmuth (GER), Steve Roberts (GBR), Ronald van Lent (NED), Stefan Berndorfer (AUT) and Ian Emery (GBR). By the end of the first round Stefan Wachsmuth had just beaten Steve Roberts to 1st place by 4.25 points with a score of 243 (Steve scoring 238.75) and Ronald van Lent finishing in 3rd with 215 points, very close at the top of the board already and still anybody’s victory. With some short breaks for the judges the first round was over very quickly and we were soon moving into the second round with yet more highly skilled and accurate flying making the judges job a difficult one. The same top 3 shone through again in the second round although the scores had gone up slightly and the separation between 1st and 2nd was only 2.25 points!!
With a break for lunch after the second round we all sat down to enjoy BBG Danish style and once again the food was very good. Having been well fed and watered at lunch everyone was ready for the last of the preliminary rounds and the last chance to change positions to secure a place in the finals. In F3C as in many other FAI disciplines the raw scores are normalised to 1000 points for each round The final result for round 3 would determine who would be going through to the finals on Sunday (“F” schedule) after each pilot’s worst round score was deducted the two remaining normalised scores were added together and re-normalised again to 1000. Only the top 10 pilots would go through to fly on Sunday and would be flying the more technical “F” schedule.
Scott Mayo from the UK team was asked to perform a judges calibration flight for the “F” schedule to open the event for Sunday morning which he agreed to do. This was a schedule he hadn’t flown before so was keen to get a practice flight on Saturday evening which he completed incredibly well before we all packed away for the day and left for the meal at the nearby restaurant which was booked by the organisers. The venue, food and company was superb and after we had settled the bill everyone headed back to their respective accommodation for the night.
Sunday morning saw the wind pick just to make things a little more interesting for the finals. Scott Mayo completed his calibration flight quite respectably considering his lack of experience flying this schedule and after a short discussion by the judges we were ready to start. With only 10 pilots in the finals the rounds were completed quite quickly and with only these pilots able to make any changes to their positions the competition was fierce but friendly. After the first of the the finals rounds the positions were unchanged but it was clear to see that some pilots have flown and practiced this schedule more than others.
With a quick comfort break for the judges we were soon into the 2nd finals round and the last round of this event in Denmark. This would also be the last chance for the pilots to improve or defend their positions in the table so everyone was pushing hard and generally the scores reflected this although once again there was a noticeable difference between those who fly and practice this schedule regularly and those who don’t. This fact was starting to impact the positions in the table and this meant that things would stay interesting right up to the wire.
So at the end of 5 rounds of some of the best F3C flying that can be seen in Europe with the top pilots from each country stirring the sticks to do battle for the honours, the final results were ground through the laptop. After the usual and customary thanks to all of the judges, helpers from the club as well as the club itself for hosting the event and the pilots for attending and supporting the series, the results were announced and the presentations made.
Congratulations to all pilots for a good and safe competition but of course to the winners the spoils of war and the top 3 pilots on the podium in Sønderborg were:
- 1st Stefan Wachsmuth (GER)
- 2nd Steve Roberts (GBR)
- 3rd Ronald van Lent (NED)
All flights were completed safely and without issue with no incidents, or mishaps spoiling the weekend. As usual the atmosphere was competitive but always friendly and the organisers had done a great job with this event at what was a very nice facility and the local club were very pleased to have had the opportunity to host the event and have everyone attend.
Massive thanks to Stephan Weiss for organising the event and for the Sønderborg club for hosting the event, grateful thanks also to the judges Rüdiger Spohr (GER), Fritz van Laar (NED) and Paul Roberts (UK) for their dedication, hard work and impartiality and giving up their time to sit in a field for two days!!
The next event is in s-Heer Arendskerke, Holland on the weekend of the 6th & 7th July 2019
.For full details of this and other Euro Heli Series (EHS) events please see the website: