Barkston Nationals August 28-30th 2004

The first day of the 2004 Nationals Champs gave us excellent weather with the sun shining pretty well all day and a breeze that was light enough to allow easy three up races.
Racing got underway at mid-day on the Saturday and it was Smith/Brown who led the way in the first round with a nice 3:15.8. Ross/Turner put in a 3:20.0 to claim second place and Langworth/Broadhead were in third spot with a 3:25.9. Mike Fitzgerald was flying with Mark Thomason for the first time this year and they recorded a 3:29.9 just 0.4 seconds ahead of Swedish visitors Larsson/Gustaffson with a 3:30.3. Derek Heaton had paired up with USA visitor Wallick and they recorded a 3:35.4.
The other two rounds were held on the Sunday and we were greeted with a heavy wind on arrival at the airfield. Discussions were held and it was decided that three-ups were going to be very dodgy and all racing would be flown as two-ups. In actual fact no-one broke the 3:30 barrier on the Sunday and the only changes were in the minor placings.
Monday was not quite as bad (albeit a bit windy) and the semis were held as three-ups. Fastest in round one were again to be Smith/Brown and Ross/Turner with 3:20.6 and 3:21.0 respectively - Fitzgerald/Thomason holding 3rd place with a 3:29.0. Langworth/Broadhead did not take part in the semis at all due to Bernie suffering from a strange virus and not feeling safe to fly.
In the second round Heaton/Wallick had a good run - albeit rather controversial. Wallick loosed his model under the gliding model of Barker/North causing them to stall into the wind and crash in. The GBR/USA combination was allowed to fly on for a tank - then disqualified - then re-instated. Derek Heaton refused to land his model when instructed to do so following the disqualification and the time was allowed to stand. In my mind this was a totally incorrect decision as their take-off under a gliding model had clearly caused Barker/North to crash and as a result they were able to fly the rest of the race virtually solo - resulting in a 3:19.3 which was the fastest time in the semis.
In the final all was going well for the three teams during the first two tankfulls but the Heaton/Wallick model fell apart in the air on the 66th lap (possibly broken wing at the first stop) and the other two teams were able to fly the rest of the race two up. It was fairly close between them but Smith/Brown finished four laps ahead with a 6:51.0 - Ross/Turner coming home in 6:58.9.
All in all it was a very disappointing event this year with many teams reluctant to fly in the rough conditions and resulting chaos for Dave Rudd in handling the draw. He did in fact, on several occasions, have to resort to organising races for "whoever wanted to fly"
Thanks to Dave Rudd for running the F2C event at this years Nationals


  British Nationals - August 28th-30th 2004                    
  F2C - Team Race Results                          
      Heat 1 Heat 2 Heat 3 Semi 1 Semi 2 Final
1 Smith/Brown GBR 3 15.8 dnf   dnf   3 20.6 dnf   6 51.0
2 Ross/Turner GBR 3 20.0 dnf   dnf   3 21.0 dnf   6 58.9
3 Heaton/Wallick GBR/USA 3 35.4 3 48.0 dnf   ret 33.0 3 19.3 ret 66.0
4 Fitzgerald/Thomason GBR 3 29.9 dnf   dnf   3 29.0 dq      
5 Barker/North GBR 3 41.8 3 59.6 dnf   4 00.6 3 38.8    
6 Fry/Whorton GBR ret 89.0 3 32.9 dnf   3 43.1 3 39.7    
7 Holmes/Robson GBR 3 57.2 4 08.2 3 53.8 5 16.2 ret 01.0    
8 Larsson/Gustavson SWE 3 30.3 3 40.5 dnf   ret 99.0 ret 01.0    
9 Walker/Peart GBR ret 01.0 3 52.2 dnf   ret 01.0 ret 85.0    
10 Starkey/Bollen USA/GBR dq   4 37.6 dnf   ret 01.0 dnf      
11 Langworth/Broadhead GBR 3 25.9 dnf   dnf   dnf   dnf      
12 Bainbridge/Metcalfe GBR 3 56.7 4 37.6 dnf              
13 Miles/Yeldham GBR 3 58.9 ret 71.0 dnf              
14 Riley/Robinson GBR 4 06.8 ret 70.0 dnf              
15 Tribe/Bollen GBR dnf   dnf   dnf