The first event for 2016 has been run and won at Camden Valley. This was also the first event flown with the new schedules. This meant that all pilots and judges were on their toes to ensure no mystery manoeuvres were inadvertently flown.
In all, we had fifteen pilots participate in the event. The number was to be eighteen but one entrant lost a model and two others didn't wish to be disappointed by bad weather. Well, the weather wasn't great but it was certainly flyable and we only had two short interruptions due to rain showers. There's nothing quite like a bit of rain to get people scrambling in the pits! ;-)
Prior to the commencement of flying Shayne Lysaght suggested we review the ne P17 schedule so that pilots and judges were able to agree on the interpretation of the schedule. Remember, people have been practicing in relative isolation. Anyway, Shayne came prepared with his trusty stick plane to run through the new schedule. The new schedule must be pretty demanding as it didn't take long for the stick plane to be re-kitted! Fortunately, the host club had a sturdy stick plane hanging in the clubhouse. Shayne put it to good use!
With the schedule review all done and dusted, it was time to get the competition underway. First cab of the rank was Avanced and Expert.
In Advanced, it was clear from the outset who had been putting in the hard yards with their practice. Winning all but one round was Felix Nieuwenhuizen. The other pilot who actually won round one was Philip Tallack. In third place we had the bloke in the "ten gallon hat" Gavin Fitz-Henry.
In Expert we actually had four entries but only three showed on the day. Never the less, all three pilots seemed to enjoy the new Expert schedule which is actually the FAI A16 schedule. Showing a clean set of heels was Brian McGowan winning all three rounds. Brian was very closely followed by Tom Collinge in second place with Brian McFarlane securing third place. Interestingly, none of the pilots achieved a promotiona bit point even based on last years percentage of 35.5% For 2016 them APA has raised the Expert promotion percentage to 37%.
After a full round of Advanced and Expert, we switched over to Sportsman and F3A. At this time the wind had come up quite a bit so an "executive" decision was made to have the F3A pilots fly first.
On paper, F3A was to be the biggest class with six entries. With one "drop out" we were left with five pilots to show us how P17 is done. We had David McFarlane take out all three rounds with Shayne Lysaght in second and Bill Garrod in third place. David achieved a promotion point and Shayne received an F3A retainer. I didn't mention it before but we are now using version 5 of the scoring software. This new software now advises when pilots achieve an F3A retainer. Takes the guess work out of it...
That just leaves the "up and comers" in Sportsman. By the time F3A had finished their thing, the wind had actually calmed down a little. Great! That was the plan... Yeah right. There were five entries in Sportsman with one late withdrawal. For information, it's better to put an entry in as it makes setting up the comp easier with respect to score sheets. Ok back to Sportsman, unfortunately Ray Smith had an undercarriage failure which prematurely ended his day after two rounds. The repair work done earlier in the week was simply not up to the task but I'm sure it will be all fixed in preparation for the next event. That said, Ray finished in fourth place. Securing third place was Chris Tinadall with his Rainbow. In second place and winning one round and receiving a promo point was Kahl Eckersley. Wining the other two rounds and the event overall was Benjamin Burrell. Benjamin also achieved his second prom point. It's fair to say that his next event will probably be his last in Sportsman and I don't think Kahl will be far behind him! Keep up the great flying guys.
Bruce Thrift and Ernie Swanson from the Camden Valley club did a superb job keeping us all well fed and watered. Thanks so much guys! Also a big thank you to the Camden Valley club and its members for having us. Also thanks to the local boys who set the box up and also created the certificates.
F3A-FAI: David McFarlane
Expert: Brian McGowan
Advanced: Felix Nieuwenhuizen
Sportsman: Benjamin Burrell
F3A-FAI: David McFarlane
Sportsman: Benjamin Burrell and Kahl Eckersley
Competition results: HERE.
Judging Analysis: HERE.