Visiting contests is pretty much fun and excitation in itself. Nevertheless I’ve always tried to make it a perfect package: a happy combination consisting (hopefully) of a nice place, beautiful area, good hotels, excellent meals and wine, and - last not least - nice people. Choosing by these criteria you’ll never go wrong by going to an Italian contest. This year it was Cirie’s turn.            
    CIRIE is a small town close to Torino, Northern Italy. The street atlas suggests six and a half hours driving time from my home in Southern Germany. Knowing European traffic I decided to make the trip in two days, thereby enjoying a great voyage across the “Alpen”, that great European mountain range. The first overwhelming surprise was the VIA MALA canyon. This route was already built by the Romians some 2000 years ago. Because of its difficult and dangerous construction it was called the “Via Mala” (= bad road). The whirlpool shaped rocks give a hairraising imagination about what water can do !    
    Going South I happened to find a wonderful hotel at Lago di Como, one of those beautiful lakes in Northern Italy. I rate this as one of the most beautiful places on earth. ( no wonder the rich and the beautiful live here; it’s a special feeling to know you are neighbors to prominent people like George Clooney and the likes).
Crossing Alpine passes is not only a driver’s delight, it’s also a pleasure for aesthetic eyes; a very seldom case where human work is perfectly included into primordial nature.    
Okay, back to Cirie. The local club owns his own field, consisting of a perfect asphalt circle, a grass field, plus adequate grass area to serve as pit area, parking lot, and recreation space. The contest was scheduled for three rounds, two on Saturday and one for Sunday. This proved to be a good decision since weather was not very reliable. Saturday evening allowed a pleasant dinner in a most lovely garden restaurant for the Swiss and (one) German visitors. By Sunday noon the FAI contest was finished. While the competitors were having a delicious lunch under a large canvas roof, the organizer computed the results. So price giving could be held very early (very much in favour for long distance travelers). For local competitors an “Old Time” contest was added.
Too bad that the weather didn’t cooperate. The expected Italian sunshine seems to have been disturbed by global warming. So it was a fast 8 hour non stop drive through pouring rain back to my home.

The top results:
1) Alberto Mggi Italy 2101
2) Marco Valliera Italy 2068
3) Gilbert Beringer France 2030
4) Carles Mas Spain 2016
5) Lauri Malila Finland 1974

This button will get you to some pictures of the contest. There were quite a few Yatsenko airplanes on the site. After shooting several of them, my camera automatically switched into the "Non-Shark-Mode" !