The 2010 Heli Smack Down took place over 5/6 June 2010 and was mainly organized by Lorenzo Riva, father of Lukas Riva, who won the 3D Masters in 2008. The Riva family (Swiss) had organized a similar event; an alpine Heli Smack Down in 2008 and 2009, where they had almost 100 pilots and, as this was a great success, they had the idea to transfer the event to the beach!
 
The number of pilots was less than for the Alpine events but not so bad remembering that this was the first event of this kind.
 
The event took place on Igea Marina, a village close to the Italian city of Rimini, on the Adriatic Sea. The Adriatic is well known for its sandy beaches with shallow water so ideal to get a model quickly back out in case of an accident!

Taking place over two days with non-competitive flying in the morning and afternoon along with night flying too, I hope the photos demonstrate a little bit of the atmosphere along with the very high skill level of the participants.

Special mention should go to Raquel Bellot from Spain - not only because she was the only female pilot in the event - but also because of her amazing flying style holding the radio behind her - she didn’t fly an easy program either but figures like ‘chaos’ very close to the water.

 

 

 
Safety levels were very good as part of the beach was protected by 5m high nets and the actual flying area (the part of the sea in front of the beach) was closed by barriers guarded by local lifeguards in boats and on the beach.

The organizers where lucky with the weather, it was the first perfect weekend after a long period of bad weather. We had perfect blue sky and no wind in the morning while in the afternoon a slight breeze came in from the sea. The temperature was around 30°C in the afternoon so still not as hot as it would have been in August.

 

 
So how did I know about this event? One of our club colleagues, Luca Invernizzi, who is one of the top Italian 3D pilots has participated in the past, not forgetting my son who is flying helis as well - he started flying 3D recently and hopes to fly at one of the future Smack Downs. (Now you know why my building blogs take so much time - I always have to repair and to set up my son's helicopters instead of making progress with my own projects!)

See www.helismackdown.com  for more info and a list of the pilots participating and click here to see all Vecchio's photos.