World Junior Championship 2014

World Junior Championship starts tomorrow afternoon in Vichy, France. 33 young teams from all over the world will compete for the title during 5 days and 9 planned flights. The event director is Zoltan Palhegyi.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon after about 6 hours drive from home. We did two training flights so far, one on Saturday evening, the other this morning. The weather is expected to be good, except during the evenings where windy conditions are forecast. First official flight is planned for tomorrow evening. I am looking forward to it!

We will try to keep you updated, however, we do not have a great Wifi connexion, so do we will do our best 🙂 In case you want to follow the championship, you will find all task sheets, meteo sheets and results on the official Electronic Notice Board. There is also a blog for the French Team, updated by Jean-Marc Lequime, the French coach.

Official Website (Event Director) : http://balloon.hu/new/?p=1554

Blog French Team : http://vichy2014.blogspot.fr/

Le championnat du monde Junior débute demain après-midi à Vichy. Trente-trois jeunes équipages venus des quatre coins du monde vont concourir pour le titre de champion du monde Junior (moins de 27 ans) durant 5 jours et 9 vols de compétition prévus. Le directeur des vols est Zoltan Palhegyi. 

Nous sommes arrivés samedi après-midi après 6 heures de route. Nous avons fait 2 vols d’entrainement pour le moment : l’un samedi soir et l’autre ce matin (avec en prime survol des 2000 triathlètes qui nageaient dans l’Allier). La météo sera à priori bonne, sauf peut être les soirs qui seront venteux avec des rafales attendues parfois jusqu’à 15 noeuds. Le premier vol officiel est prévu demain soir, j’ai hâte !

Nous allons essayer de vous tenir informés chaque jour du déroulement du championnat, malheureusement nous avons une connexion wifi pas terrible donc on va faire au mieux 🙂 Si  vous voulez suivre le championnat, vous pourrez retrouver toutes les feuilles d’épreuves, feuilles météo et résultats sur le site officiel du directeur des vols (http://balloon.hu/new/?p=1554). Vous pouvez aussi consulter le blog de la French Team, mis à jour par notre coach J-M. Lequime : http://vichy2014.blogspot.fr/

French Nationals / Final Results

French Nationals in Sablé-sur-Sarthe is now over. The weather was good and we did all 8 potential flights for a great total of 25 tasks. We finished at the 2nd place for the second consecutive year with a total of 18906 points! Our objective which was staying in the Top 5 is therefore greatly achieved. General ranking is very tight and we missed the first place this year, being only 200 points below the champion Thomas Merceron (19111 points), a very nice guy and talented pilot who deserved the title! Well done Thomas! We truly fought until the last moment, but unfortunately we did some mistakes on the penultimate day, which made us loose our slight advance… and the first place unfortunately. Congratulations also to Nicolas Schwartz, who took the third place.

Good news is: thanks to this good result, I am now the first French pilot, which means that I will be selected for the European Championship in Hungary (2015) and World Championship in Japan (2016) ! It is strange to think that 5 years ago during my first championship my basket banner was n° 44, this year it was n° 7 and next year, I will have the banner n° 1! Incredible! I am not even sure I will give the banner back after next year’s championship!!

Thanks to all competitors and officials, especially to the event director Zoltan Palhegyi who proposed us nice tasks to fly! A special thank also to my amazing team : my co-pilot Guillaume Jouaville, my beloved girlfriend Carine Lallemand and my best friend and driver Clovis Masson. My friend Sean Kavanagh, the developer of OziTarget also deserves a special acknowledgment for all the work done on his great software. Last but not least, thanks Kubicek Balloons both for designing the best Racer balloon ever and for accepting me as a member of the Kubicek Team Factory. I am very proud to fly for you and to represent the Kubicek brand around the world.

All results can be found on the event director’s website: http://balloon.hu/new/?p=1580

Competition Standings For French Nationals

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(VIDEO) Winner Gravity Drop – last Target French Nationals

This video was made by Zoltan Palhegyi, on the last flying day at French Nationals. The general ranking was very tight and we really needed to make a good last flight! Fortunately, we worked hard, we chose the right launching field (quite far from those of the other competitors) and succeed in reaching the middle of this target on the Hippodrom. The task was a Calculated Rate of Approach (CRT) and the closest area was about to close, so the only remaining solution was to put the marker right in the middle (0,63cm)! My heart stopped beating until I heard the “plok” of the marker on the target. It was such an amazing moment!

Cette vidéo a été faite par le directeur des vols, Zoltan Palhegyi, le dernier jour du championnat de France. Le classement général était très serré et nous avions vraiment besoin d’assurer sur ce dernier vol ! Heureusement, nous avons travaillé dur, nous avons choisi un bon terrain de décollage (assez loin d’ailleurs des terrains choisis par nos concurrents) and nous avons réussi à atteindre le milieu de cette cible placée sur l’hippodrome.  La tâche était un RDV à l’heure et l’aire la plus proche de nous était en train de fermer, la seule solution était donc de mettre le marqueur en plein milieu de la cible (0,63 cm)! Mon coeur s’est vraiment arrêté de battre jusqu’à ce que j’entendre le “plok” du marqueur sur la cible. C’était un moment incroyable !!

French Nationals / Flight 1

First flight tonight with 3 tasks : FIN – JDG – ELB. Individual launch point.

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We are waiting for the results but the measuring report of the JDG (2nd Task) is already online on balloon.hu (this report is not readable on iOS).

A little record for me this evening with a crazy climb …

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Championnat de France / French Nationals 2014

Demain commence le championnat de France 2014 de montgolfières à Sablé sur Sarthe. Je posterai toutes les news des vols, les photos et les résultats dans la page dédiée (CDF 2014 / French Nationals) en haut dans la page d’accueil.

Tomorrow will start French Nationals 2014 in Sablé sur Sarthe. I will post all flight’s news, pictures and results on a special page (CDF 2014 / French Nationals) at the top of the home page.

Vous retrouverez également toutes les infos sur le blog officiel du championnat ainsi que les résultats sur le site internet du directeur des vols (Zoltan Palhegyi).

You will also find some news on the official championship’s blog and the results on the event director’s page (Zoltan Palhegyi).

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World Championship 2014 Results Analysis

Now that the World Championship is over, it is interesting to analyse the results in more details. I therefore made an in-depth analysis of the scores and came up with several graphics and tables. As a reminder, you can find the official final results here : Official Final Results WC2014

Let’s have a look first at the top-10 ranking evolution across the championship. What does this graph tell us? We can see here that the 3 winners – Yudai, Uwe and Lupercio – were already in the top-5 after the 5th flight. We see also that 3 pilots started quite badly but came back in the ranking after 5 flights: this is the case for the 2013 European Champion and Vice-Champion Rokas Kostiuskevicius and his dad Rimas, but also for my russian friend Artem Denisenko.  Unfortunately, Stefan Zeberli, a great swiss pilot I had the chance to meet during Swiss Nationals this year, missed the podium after having been very close to be a world medal winner this year.

WC2014 Results Top 10 evolution

Let’s look now at some specific tasks to see which competitors are the best respectively for targets tasks (every tasks involving a physical target and only one marker drop, e.g., FIN, JDG, HWZ, HNH) or FLY-ON tasks.

The following table presents the results only for FON tasks. This inform us on which pilots are the best at choosing a FON and then reaching it of course ! The results of Yudai FUJITA (JAP) are really impressive with a mean score of 15m out of 3 tasks. When you know that FAI loggers have a 5 meters accuracy, this is amazing. You can also see that the top-10 is almost the same here than for the general ranking. The USA team shows a little weakness here with the first US pilot ranking 20th. On the contrary, we see that some pilots who are not  in the top 30 (my friend Roman Hugi #33 or my colleague at the Kubicek Factory Team Michael Suchy #48) are actually very good at FON tasks 🙂

WC2014 Results FLYON tasks

This table now presents the results only for “physical targets” tasks. The spanish pilot Jose-Maria LLADO was the best at throwing single markers with an average distance from the target of 86m. Here we see also that the US team is much better at this exercise than the  FON with 3 US pilots in the top-10 for physical targets tasks and 7 US pilots in the top-20! I know that US pilots are used to these target tasks and experience brings a lot of success 🙂 Similarly, there is a legend saying that the amazing German pilot Uwe Schneider throws hundreds of markers every year during training flights… Looking at his ranking (9th) on target tasks, this might actually hold true! Finally, it is also impressive to look at the mean score for all competitors on Task #22 (HWZ) : only 18m on average. I assume that it was really raining markers that day on these targets!

WC 2014 Results Analysis Target Tasks

Now we have analyzed results and tasks, we can look at the penalties and their influence on the general ranking.  Please note here that some penalties are estimates based on distance infringements. For example, Mark SULLIVAN got a 50m distance penalty due to marker not unrolled completely.  In this case, I looked at how many points this pilot would have got without this distance penalty and calculated the difference between his score with and without penalty. We can see here that the penalties for some pilots have consequences on the ranking. My friend Artem Denisenko was quite unlucky here with some logger handling penalties making him loose 2 places at general ranking! I also estimated that Stefan Zeberli loosed approximately 600 points and Ralph Fasler approximately 400 points by entering wrong coordinates to declare the FON of the task #21. It’s not a penalty but I think it’s interesting to see the impact of a wrong logger handling.

WC2014 Results Analysis Penalities

Regarding penalties, I also have noticed that sometimes not unrolling your marker will make you loose more points (about 850 points in the case of Mark SULLIVAN task #22) than impacting another balloon during a midair collision (500 points for Andrey KULKOV task #5). Unfortunately, the rules are the rules!

Finally, I also calculated individual graphs for the top-20 pilots with the ranking evolution, the evolution of mean score for each flight, their ranking for FON tasks, ranking for physical targets tasks and finally the impact of penalties on their ranking. In the case some pilots not in the top-20 are also interested in having their individual graphs, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Individual graphs look like this:

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Please find the .pdf files under the following links:

Yudai Fujita – Uwe Schneider – Tod Isley – Stefan Zeberli – Sergey Latypov – Nicolas Schwartz – Paul Petrehn – Rhett Heartstill – Rimas Kostiuskevicius – Rokas Kostiuskevicius – Nico Betzen – Marc Blaser – Lupercio Lima – Jose-Maria Llado – Joe Heartstill – Alexander Dultsev – Andy Baird – Artem Denisenko – Fabio Passos – Gerald Stuerzlinger

Coupe d’Europe Espoirs de Montgolfière

Le weekend prochain aura lieu la Coupe d’Europe Espoirs de Montgolfière à Vouzailles, qui rassemblera 30 pilotes de toute l’Europe. Vous trouverez toutes les informations concernant la compétition sur le site internet officiel.

Next weekend will start the European Cup (Coupe d’Europe Espoirs de Montgolfière) in Vouzailles, with a total of 30 pilots from all Europe. You will find all the informations about this competition on this official website (French only).

Bien que je ne participerai pas personnellement à la compétition, certains pilotes m’ont demandé de calibrer la carte de compétition. J’ai donc calibré la carte sous format .RMAP pour TwoNav, .MAP pour Oziexplorer, et .IMP pour Compegps. Vous les trouverez toutes dans ce dossier Google Drive.

As I will not compete here, some pilots asked me to calibrate the competition map. So I have calibrate it into .RMAP for TwoNav, .MAP for Oziexploer, and .IMP for Compegps. You will find all this files in this Google Drive folder.

Veuillez noter que cette calibration n’est pas officielle, de plus le fichier image comporte des irrégularités qui engendrent des erreurs de précision (environ 20m) ! Bon courage et bons vols à tous les compétiteurs !

Please note that this calibration is not official, moreover the map file is not perfect and give some accuracy problems (approximately 20m).

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