Wakefield International Cup
1983 Lothar Doring, 28, FR Germany
This year's host for the Free Flight World Championships: The New South Wales Free Flight Society, headed by Peter Lloyd, set the dates of September 28 to October 4, 1983, at Goulburn, Australia. Attendance was down, with only 47 contestants from 17 nations entering F1B. The 1981 Wakefield Cup World Champion Lothar Doring from Germany had his box filled with "Espada" Wakefields, and he was ready to defend his title. Attending with Lothar were the members of the FRG team including G Klemke, B Siltz who was on the team in 1981, and A Busch. The USA team was there including Walt Ghio, who made the team in 1977, '79, and '81 when he was fifth in Spain, Steve Beebe, and G Schroedter. Jack McGillivray was the Team Canada veteran leader having been on the team in 1959, when he placed third, '63, and '65; with him were B Condon and D Andrew. Itzhak Ben Itzhak, the 1979 Wakefield WC was there with Team Israel including Z Bar and G Hertzgerg. From China came J Lu, W Zang, and G Wang. Anders Hakansson, a WC attendee in 1955, '58, '59, and '63 (he came in second in 1955 and 1963) was back with Team Sweden, with him were L Hansson, and B Elmar. From the host nation was Paul Van Leuven and Paul Lagan, both at the 1981 WC,and J Lewis. The seventeen nations in attendance were (D), (PH), (B), (OH), (4X), (C), (G), (I), (VH), (JA), (N), (OE), (LV), (SE), (YU), (ZL), and (CX), a recipe for competition. Sunday, October 2, 1983, was F1B day.
ROUND 1: At dawn as the sun rose the round opened with the usual warning horn. Not waiting, most contestants cranked on their winders: whirr-whirrr-whirrrrr! Team USA had two maximums, but Schroedter did a miserable 50 seconds. In all 33 maxed the round, including the defending Wakefield Champion Lothar Doring.
ROUND 2: The wind became a factor now, gusting up to 15 mph, not exactly thermal conditions. Despite this 26 contestants maxed the round.
ROUND 3: The wind was gusting to 18 mph, picking lift was now entering the realm of artistic decision making, yet, 26 contestants maxed the round.
ROUND 4: The winds were now oscillating between 8 and 10 mph (?). Lothar maxed again. So did 23 other contestants, including Steve Beebe who now had five perfect rounds. At the USA pole position Schroedter launched only to encounter what looked like a black swan! (IK: or magpie). Down he came in a tight spiral, hitting the ground in 112 seconds. Walt Ghio got a bad reading from his recording thermal detector, because he landed with only 125 seconds.
THE CONTEST WAS ABANDONED FOR TODAY BECAUSE OF HIGH WINDS! A first in 55 years!
ROUND 5: Tuesday, October 4, 1983. Let's see where were we? Oh yeah! At the Wakefield Cup Contest! It is now 7:20am, the wind is gusting up to 17 mph! With rain! Steve Beebe dropped the round with 125 seconds. Lothar Doring had a 180 second max, as did 26 other contestants.
ROUND 6: The rain and the wind were relentless. Doring (D), Klemke (D), and Zen (PH) had the best chance now, but with this weather anything could happen. Doring and Zeri maxed the round. ROUND 7: All eyes were on Doring now, and as is usual with him, he studied his instruments, watching for wind speeds, and temperature differences. Now he suddenly began to wind-up his best "Espada"! Done, he set up his back-up F1B onto the stand, and went back to his instruments. Now he picked up his previously wound "Espada", and launched! But... something went wrong! "Espada" looped! And crashed! Official time? 19 seconds! One second less than that allowed for a delayed flight. Lothar began winding up his back-up F1B, now was when all that previous preparation counts. Lothar ready, stepped up and javelin launched the back-up, straight-up! As it climbed everyone could see it was high enough to max the round. So it did! Lothar Doring was the first person to have back to back wins since Aarne Ellila in 1950.
|Access full results|
NFFS Oct/Nov 1983, WC results
NFFS Mar 1983, WC location
Model Aviation, Jan 1984, F1B Rubber Wakefield
Music: "Beat It"; Literature: "Growing Up"; Cine: "Tender Mercies"
Photo caption: Lothar in the rain; Lothar Doring's Wakefield