F3D World Championship 2015 – AUST/NZ News

Final Team Places

  • Team AUSTRALIA – 2nd Place

Individual Places

  • Chris Callow – 5th Place
  • Leigh Hocken – 8th Place
  • Tyler Mees – 12th Place
  • Bea Murphy – 14th Place
  • Daniel Arapakis – 3rd Place (Junior Competition) & 22nd – Senior Place
  • Tom Wetherill – 32nd

More photos added to the below gallery.

Places to find More info:


09/07/2015 – Day 2

Sounds like a tough day flying over 12 hours with stops for excessive wind to make up rounds from day 1. See below for Tom’s Day 2 report.

Tom’s Report – Day 2

Hi everyone:

After 5 days of practice is very hot conditions – racing started yesterday.  The goal is to complete up to 15 Rounds over 3 to 4 days.

The racing started yesterday, but only one round was completed due to heavy rain.  Most of the afternoon was spent inside the very impressive pit area marquee sheltering.

We started racing again at 8 am this morning and continued until 8pm tonite.  However, the conditions today changed from mild in the morning – to be very windy and cold in the afternoon.  There was another break as the storm passed through and then racing continued.  As a result, we have seen many extremes in weather – which makes a big challenge for tuning engines and racing.

In addition to the challenges associated with the weather, we are racing far from home and things are sometimes “different” from what we expect.  The timing system takes some time to get used to, the cut judges are very diligent and other penalties are handed out to pilots and callers who step outside the designated pilot box or are perceived to launch before the flag drops completely.  Lastly, there has been a fairly high rate of carnage due to mid-airs.  Stuart Inoue from Japan had already lost two models by Round 4.

So what does it all mean…  I have not had enough time to look at all the details, but here are some initial observations:

Italy – Carol Perella was in first place after four rounds.

Venezuela – Good friend Gabriel Tahan was in second place after four rounds.

Czech – The Czech team appear to be the first place (team) at present with some very impressive performances from their interesting looking models.

USA – Gino Del Ponte from the USA set a new World Record in Round One and backed it up in Round Two.  However, since that time cuts and other factors seem to have come into play.  Former World Champion from the USA Randy Bridge scored 2 x 200’s in the first two rounds, but has since been flying very well.  The other USA team member, Gary Freeman, was also experiencing some initial problems but appears to have got on top of the issues.

Australia – Chris Callow has been pushing very hard, but does not seem to have the pace advantage that he experienced in 2013.  Leigh Hocken, Beau Murphy, Tyler Mees and Daniel Arapakis are doing well – but the Australia team are not dominating like they have in the past.  Very hard to come over here to compete with the locals…

New Zealand – I had a good run in Round 1, but got two cuts.  In Round 2 (on the first day) the rain came down – so we got a refly today.  During the refly the muffler in the pipe broke after about 4 laps – perhaps due to the stress of the high temperatures from the practice time.  I was able to manage to limp around and get a score – better than a 200!  My Round 3 flight was immediately after Round 2, so fortunately I had a backup ready to go.  However, 1 cut hurt the score.  The engine ran perfect – so a prop change was made (thanks AD) for Round 4 to get some more speed.  The weather was stable for Round 4 but the wind got very strong in Round 5 so I flew conservatively and posted times.  The weather front that came through caught many people out – but I changed the compression and posted two more scores.

In summary, a very challenging WC so far.  We are only half way through the competition and a decision will be made tomorrow morning on how many rounds will be flown. There are many issues that the organisers have to deal with – including having enough fuel on hand to complete the competition.  I was able to sell back the excess fuel that I had J.

It is a lot of hard work, changeling – but is very rewarding when things work out.  We finished the day with a very enjoyable dinner at a local Italian restaurant near our hotel.


08/07/2015 – Day 1

Only 1.5 rounds ran due to rain.

Australian Team Photos

Daniel & Andrew Arapakis

NZ News – 07/07/2015 – Tom Wetherill

Today was the official opening ceremony – that included a very impressive air/aerobatic show courtesy of full size a Red Bull air race plane – just for us.  It was a local Czech hero and after the show, he landed and chatted with people.  When he left – he took off – and then flew banked at 90 degrees at a very low level between the control tower and a hangar with the smoke system going!!!

The weather has again been very hot and well into the 30’s and today each team had allocated timed sessions on the course.  This gave the opportunity for both the teams and the course workers to get their systems sorted.  The timing system is different to what we are used to – it was not fully automated.  There is a countdown clock, then the flagman waves you off and the timers start from the flagman.  The complex system that was trialled previously in 2009 that included cut lights has been abandoned.

The Australian team was first up (as it is run in alphabetical order).  However, on the first flight of the day, current World Champion Chris Callow crashed, which was a big surprise to everyone.  The  rest of the Australian team did quite well but times were not posted.

We did not get to run until later in the afternoon and 2 of 3 models ran well.  One did not like the heat and stopped after a few laps.  However, this proved to be a common problem and others including current Junior World Champion Emil Broberg, some of the Dutch team, Japanese team, USA team, etc also had DNF’s during practice.

Tomorrow is the first day of competition, and there will be a big change in the weather as rain is forecast and cold weather should arrive on Thursday.  Many challenges and hard work ahead.