Asia Pacific F3C Competition
Day One - Arriving
Early last year, Stephen Fan from Cyberheli emailed me asking if I thought
anyone from New Zealand would be interested in competing in an Asia/Pacific
F3C competition he was wanting to get started. I ofcourse wrote back saying
that at the very least I would attend with the possibility of two or three others
Over the months, the event developed as more and more pilots entered, up to
the maximum of 25 imposed by the event organisers. The organisers also announced
that Jason Krause and Todd Bennett would be attending to do demonstrations and
also conduct 3D Workshops.
Judges from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, China and Indonesia had also been organised to score the competitors. It was shaping up to be a very exciting event promoting F3C in the Asia/Pacific region!
I had planned on taking the Tempest and Don's Sylphide to Bali, however, it
wasn't till the night before that I tried to take the boom off and realised
that the gyro sensor had to come off to get the belt off. To cut a long story
short, I ended up stripping the head of one of the hex bolts and was not able
to get the boom off, so the Vigor had to quickly pack its bags and get ready
for another trip!
At Melbourne airport we met up with Gary Watson who had flown in from Brisbane the previous day and we made our way to the check in counter. You could tell the check in people had seen us coming and were trying to see who would draw the short straw of checking us in.
My strategy of packing every helicopter part I had into my Curtis case, along with just about every tool I have yielded quite a heavy case. 32 kilograms to be precise! The Garuda people weren't overly impressed with this and said I had to remove at least half a kilo. I quickly removed the blade bag from my case of 'static display models' and put it in Andrew's case which brought me back down to 31.5kg. We had just managed to get away with no excess baggage.
The flight from Melbourne to Depensar (Bali) went via Adelaide and was pretty straight forward. I don't think anyone tried any of the 'food' that was served, although Adrian was quite surprised to find a sausage peering out at him from within what he thought was a bun!
Getting through immigration was very straight forward, you pay your money (in US$), and you get your stamp. Getting through customs for us was even easier. By the time we'd made it to the luggage carousel, some Balinese guys with a local policeman and a customs officer had our Curtis cases loaded up onto some trolleys waiting for us! Organising these guys was Lukman, a key organiser of the event, and a man who would be very busy over the next few days! They waited for us to pick out our other bags and the customs officer escorted us out of the airport to the waiting vans and truck that would take us to our hotel. That was it! No explaining the 'static display models' or anything. It became apparent quickly that the organisers of the event had gone to some length to ensure things would go smoothly for the event participants.
With the Curtis cases loaded into the truck we piled into an old van which took us along the narrow ,bustling streets of Kuta towards our hotel. This is where we got our first taste of road rules, Bali style. Firstly there are hundreds of people of mopeds, scooters and small motorbikes, they're everywhere. They weave in and out of traffic rapidly and there isn't much in the way of indication going on. It seems that things work on the natural rules of the bigger you are, the more influence you have.
Jason and Todd had arrived and we were soon joined by Chris, another one of the organisers of the event who hosted us at a dinner on the beach. The food here was spectacular! Easily the best buffet style food I have had for as long as I can remember.
During the course of the evening, three musicians travelled around the various tables belting out rendentions of whatever song was requested. They were actually very good and spent a lot of time at our table.
With dinner over, it was time for those of us with helicopters to go and assemble them, while the others resumed getting familiar with the pool and pool bar.