Local pilot Martin Jovanoski won the first task of the first ever Sports-class Racing Series competition in Kruševo, North Macedonia.
The Ozone Edition in North Macedonia takes place from 7-14 May, and is the first of four SRS events on the 2023 calendar. Marcus King reports:
With bad weather forecast for later in the day and the coming days, meet director Jocky Sanderson and the task committee set a 74km race to goal via four turnpoints. The aim was to keep pilots in the hills earlier on with a late move to the flats, but with options for direct lines in the flats if conditions improved.
The field of 104 pilots were quickly in the air and good climbs were found around and above the town of Krushevo ahead of the start. Frustratingly just before the start conditions shutdown a bit, meaning some pilots struggled to maintain their height and were low setting off to the first turnpoint and a large group were forced to push out to the valley where they landed.
For those still in the air, speed was of the essence as spread-out from the building clouds was shading the course in front as the leaders headed for the first gap in the ridge. Most arrived low over the other side. A patch of sun on a village was a life-saver for some, and others pushed into the higher ground. Paulo Silva (PT) and Christophe Hveding (NO) were the first to tag the turnpoint but could not get back to the main ridge. The local pilots along with Luke Nicol, Mike Moore and Ozone boss JC Skiera kept to the high ground where they could stay to take a longer route to the turnpoint.
This proved to be the key with all the other pilots sinking out in the flats. Heading back the North, local pilots took a route way to the west of the track in the back of the hills and Luke retraced his outward route. This proved to be less effective as he arrived low after recrossing the gap and found nothing to the deck. The North Macedonian pilots had more height and could continue north towards the third turnpoint. With rain heading onto the course line the task was then stopped.
Winner for the day was local pilot Martin Jovanoski (MK) flying a Gin Bonanza 3, with Blagoja Grazdanoski (MK) second on his Niviuk Artik 6 and Igor Todeskvi (MK) third on an Advance Sigma 11. Top woman was Monika Takáts (AT) flying an Ozone Photon.
The competition continues until Saturday, but the second day has been rained off and the forecast looks ‘challenging’.
Full results at https://airtribune.com/srs-2023-1/results