Lets see, 25th June. That’s three days after the winter solstice, therefore, it is ecologically winter, and didn’t we all feel it.
The sixth competition of the year was held at the Richmond RAAF field. Competitors were greeted by on of the coldest mornings in years with a temperature of about 1̊C on Saturday morning and -1̊C on Sunday morning. The wind was blowing from almost due south, virtually straight across the flight line and with the wind chill factor, it felt about -10̊C. Despite the heavy rain in the preceding weeks, the field was in excellent condition, the only exception being the track from the front entry to the pits which yours truly found to be a little difficult to navigate by becoming, well, bogged. A big thank you to the local members who, with some leg muscles, assisted my cars engine in removing me from this embarrassing predicament.
Roll up for the comp was very good with twenty entrants and nineteen turning up. John Payne came all the way from Yepoon, one mighty effort and Rod Bailey with his wife Faye driving from the Balina region, also a mighty effort.
After the pilots briefing, the competition got underway with Sportsman and Expert first up. Local pilot Benjamin Burrell showed the way in sportsman winning all three rounds on Saturday and the last two rounds on Sunday for a score of 5000. In fact, Ben’s second round was his only round which was below a promotion score but then, only by one point. Well done Ben. Chris Tindall continues to improve and finished second behind Ben with a score of 3328.59. Although only the best three of the first four flights count towards a promotion, Chris’s last two flights were very close to promotion scores so, hopefully, it will not be too long before we see Chris achieving a promotion score. Ray Smith found conditions at the start a little difficult and finished third with a score of 2663.51. Alister also found the conditions a little trying at first which resulted in a damaged undercarriage on this first landing. This resulted in him missing the second round. He finished fourth on a score of 2506.1.
With an very good roll up of six pilots, advanced was the next class to try and impress the judges and one pilot in particular, Rod Bailey, did this with consummate ease, winning the first five rounds but having a shocker in the last round and only finishing third in this round (if you can call a score of over three hundred a shocker) finishing on 5000 points. Kahl Eckersley finished in an impressive second place on 3754.97 points. Kahl is coming to terms with his Epic Contra and putting in some impressive rounds. His last round was the second highest score for the comp and consequently, he won the last round. Yours truly (Gavin) finally finished a comp for this year in other than last place. I actually finished third. My third and last rounds were my best and from what I can remember, the first two rounds for this current pattern above the promotion score. My fourth flight, well, what can I say. One must practice the option manoeuvres during weekly practice, shouldn’t we. I actually thought I could beat Kahl but, with that fourth round??? I finished with 3712.36 points. David Tiernan (Par), travelling from Gunnedah, finished in fourth place on 3658.08. Like most of us, David found the first two rounds a little trying and his last three rounds his best with his third flight scoring above a promotion score and his fourth and fifth flights not far of a promotion score. Phillip Tallack, scoring 3547.57 finished in fifth place. Phil was suffering from a slight lack of recent practice and his scores were a little below par (average, not David) for him. Again, like most of us, his third and fifth rounds were his best. Unfortunately, some one must come last and this time it was Felix with a score of 3287.37. The calmer conditions of Sunday saw Felix improve with a good raw score of 298 in his fourth round.
Unfortunately, Tom Collinge was a late withdrawal leaving Brian McGowan as the only competitor in expert class. As a consequence, Brian won every round for a perfect score of 4000. More important is the fact that Brian was actually quite close to achieving a promotion point. His third flight scored 371 which is promotion material and his fourth flight scored 369.5, only 0.5 from a promotion. As with most pilots, Brian found the wind on Saturday morning a little challanging hence the slightly lower scores.
F3A saw the largest roll up with seven pilots ready to do battle. It was fantastic to see John Payne making the long trip from Yepoon for this comp. It was also fantastic to see Jason Arnold competing again. David McFarlane once again showed the way winning four of the five rounds for a score of 4000 points. In second place was Shane Lysaght with a score of 3939.87. Shane won round five and was only one point behind David in round two. Brian Dooley continued to impress with only one round sub 400, finishing in third place with a score of 3720.14. Brian’s second round of 445 was right up there. Looking at his scores, any one would think John Payne likes flying in the wind with his third round, when the wind died down, being his lowest score. Nevertheless, John put in some good rounds to finish in fourth place with a score of 3634.94. Returning from a longish break, Jason Arnold proved he still has it with one round, his fifth, well over 400 and another two just under 400. His third round, well, oh that half roll after the three spins. Still, we can all make a mistake. (Don’t I know that). Jason finished fifth with a score of 3456.97. Finishing in sixth place, only 19 normalised points behind Jason was Gavin Dark on 3437.12 points. Personally, I feel this was one of Gavin’s best competitions with two raw scores over four hundred and one score of 399.0 and the other two scores over 380. Good, consistent flying. Bring up the rear was Bill Garrod on 3400.85 Points. Bill also put in some very consistent flying with only his first round being a bit below par and his last round well over 400.
Once again, the RAAFMAC is to be congratulated for hosting this competition and providing lunch on Saturday and Sunday and breakfast on Sunday. Our next comp is Wingham, 16th / 17th July.
Report written by: Gavin Fitz-Henry
F3A-FAI: David McFarlane
Expert: Brian McGowan
Advanced: Rod Bailey
Sportsman: Benjamin Burrell
F3A-FAI: David McFarlane & Shayne Lysaght
Advanced: Rod Bailey
Sportsman: Benjamin Burrell
Competition results Sportsman/Expert: HERE.
Competition results Advanced: HERE.
Competition results F3A: HERE.
Competition promotions Sportsman/Expert: HERE.
Competition promotions Advanced: HERE.
Competition promotions F3A: HERE.