Wakefield International Cup - A history from 1911 by Charles Dennis Rushing

1985 Reiner Hofsass, 39, FR Germany

Livno, Yugoslavia, this year's scene of the Free Flight World Championships, which was held on September 11 to 18, 1985. Martyn Cowley having finally recovered from his last FFWC at Burgos, Spain, in 1981, opened his Livno dateline with positive rapture: "The Champs that had everything! Truly the biggest gathering in model flying history; the largest most perfect field; the best weather, clear skies, no wind; the largest most exciting fly-offs; the highest individual scores." Contrast that feeling with the feelings after the 1995 FFWC at Domsod, Hungary, where 34 contestants in the fly-offs prompted the FAI/CIAM to change the rules.

This year was an interesting contrast to the 1983 "bash", and I use the word literally. On hand to add to the gushing, were 251 contestants from 34 nations. There were some hard feelings involving the entry fees, but in the main, all was bliss, and peaceful, balmy days, with sunny skies, and minimal wind drift. Friday, September 16, was Wakefield Day. Lothar Doring, the 1981 and 1983 Wakefield WC, was there to defend his title. The German Federal Republic Team included B Silz, who was on the team in 1981, and Reiner Hofsass the designer of the "Espada" Wakefield, an FRG team member in 1969, '71, and '83. Team USA included Walt Ghio who was on the 1977, '79, '81, and '83 teams, and Bob White who was another repeater having been on the Team in 1965, he placed third in 1971, and was twelfth in 1979, and Jack Brown. Team Great Britain had veteran Dave Hipperson, and Bryan Spooner and Ivan Taylor who were on the 1983 team. Aleksanar Andrjukov was there, having attended the 1981 WC on Team USSR, with him were Yuri Gulugonov and Eugene Gorban, who was on the 1981 team with Alex. The 1979 Wakefield WC Itzhak Ben Itzhak was there on the Israeli team, with him were G Hertzberg, who was on the team in 1981, and O Sirkis. Jack McGillivray of Team Canada was another veteran of WC competition having been on the team in 1959, '63, '65, '69, and 1983! The team from DPR Korea was back, not having attended the WC since 1979 including Y B Chang, and J G Li.

ROUND 1-7: Fires burning from grass stubble obscured the sky, and made for a hazy 8:00am start, making for a not-so rosy beginning as some Aeromodeller scribes would have it! Although by the end of the "preliminary" rounds twenty-four contestants were showing rosy smiles. The real Contest for the Cup would begin at 4:30pm.

ROUND 8: This would be the 240 second fly-off round. At the sound of the horn announcing the start of the round a cacophony of clacking gears provided a symphony for the punishment of the remaining, but deteriorating stock of Pirelli rubber. Seventeen maxed the round, not including Wen Ping Zing, and Jifa Lu of China who must have mis-read all of those ribbons on all of those thirty foot high poles!

ROUND 9: The 300 second fly-off round, began at 5:05pm Zhang of China was first to launch, followed by a covey of others. Holding back were White and Gorban. Doring burst two motors while winding his Pirelli past capacity. Hofsass launched with three minutes to go in the round, then White, and then Gulugonov, and Gorban. Twelve maxed this round.

ROUND 10: The 360 second round began at 5:50pm with a steady wind blowing at 15 mph! This is "the best weather"(?) Anyway, Zang wound up and launched at eight minutes into the round, and was again followed by a bevy of others. Alex Andrjukov simply crystallized his last three Pirelli motors, and stood by watching helplessly as the flare rose above him to signal the end of the round. Now only nine remained.

ROUND 11: The 420 second round began at 6:15pm, and Wenyi Zhang led the chorus as he launched first. Doring had lost his best "Espada" downwind, so he waited for its return, meanwhile White went off as the wind dropped. Hofsass studied his instruments, and detected another drop in wind speed, and so he went off into a very high climb. Doring was delighted to again see his number one "Espada", but the center section of the wing had been snapped off on the return motorcycle trip. Lothar now made a peculiar decision, he elected to attempt a repair of this wing (!) even though he already had his back-up on the stand! He applied cyanoacrylate to the broken wing, and began to wind-up. Just as he launched, the red flare appeared in the sky. Only four remained, and Doring was one of them.

ROUND 12: The 480 second fly-off round began at 6:55pm, at the end of a day not unlike many days, but this one had eleven glorious hours of flying, with more to come. Lothar and Reiner discussed the meteorology, as they had throughout the day. Convinced at what they saw, Reiner wound- up, and launched after two minutes had elapsed in the round. There was now a large group of spectators gathered at the perimeter, and they broke into a cheer each time a Wakefield was launched. "Espada" climbed into good lift, getting higher than it had all day. Lothar was next away, but power stalled at the knee of the climb, doing a flat 180 degree circle, then climbed again, but had lost too much altitude, and would not reach the heights he twice had in the years pass. First Zhang, then Chang launched, but neither would catch Reiner, or Lothar. Then Zhang was down, followed by Chang, while Lothar glided just below Reiner. Now Lothar was down, and 11 seconds later, Reiner's "Espada" dethermalized. Reiner Hofsass was the 1985 Wakefield Cup World Champion! "Espada" had won three consecutive Wakefield Cups!

Place Name Country Round 1-7 Round 8 Round 9 Round l0 Round ll Round l2
1 R Hofsass BRD 1260 240 300 360 420 480
2 L Doring BRD 1260 240 300 360 420 469
3 Y B Chang DPRK 1260 240 300 360 420 294
4 W Zhan CHN 1260 240 300 360 420 240
5 Gulugonov CCCP 1260 240 300 360 364
6 A Armesto ARG 1260 240 300 360 354
7 R White USA 1260 240 300 360 352
8 P Fauser AUS 1260 240 300 360 280
9 P Lepage FRA 1260 240 300 360 192
10 I Oh DPRK 1260 240 300 123
Access full results

1985 Team Results for Penaud Cup
Place Country Abbreviation Total Team member places
1 USSR USSR 3780 5 11 14
2 China CHN 3780 4 21 23
3 North Korea PRK 3748 3 10 32
4 Netherlands NED 3723 13 15 43
5 Israel ISR 3712 26 28 35
6 Fed.Rep.Germany BRD 3707 1 16 53


Aeromodeller, Dec 1985, FFWC Martyn Cowley
Model Aviation, Dec 1985, FFWC = Aeromodeller
NFFS Aug/Sep 1985, WC results
Music: "We Are The World"; Literature: "Galapagos"; Cine: "Out of Africa"

Photo caption: Reiner Hofsass; Reiner Hofsass's Wakefield