The final NSW Pattern Flyers event for 2015 was to be our State Championships at Richmond RAAFMAC. This is the second time that RAAFMAC have hosted one of our events and it must be said that the venue is great for aerobatics! The club had done a beautiful job preparing the field for us once again. We had entries from as far away as Tasmania and Cairns. With a very healthy entry list of 26 pilots the event was sure to be a success. The number of entries necessitated the use of two flight lines. Both Sportsman and Advanced were grouped together to form a group of twelve pilots. That left F3A and Expert with fourteen pilots. Both groups were split evenly between the two lines which worked very well.

The weather reports earlier in the week weren't looking too favourable. Pretty crappy actually... The prediction was scattered showers and moderate winds. We were fortunate in that we only had a couple of very light showers which failed to interrupt proceedings but we did get the wind. The wind picked up to a moderate pace from the south at about 11am on Saturday morning. This coincided with F3A and Expert starting their first flights. This proved to be quite a challenge for many pilots but in the end we had no incidents or damaged models at all. Great stuff!

It should noted that the flys were unbelievably persistent in bugging pretty much everyone. The use of Aeroguard only seemed to attract more flys. The boys from Nowra had a secret weapon against these marauding pests. The name of the product evades me but it's actually a white cream used to keep flys off horses backsides. It works amazingly well is all that can be said!

Once again we had a few newcomers participating in their first pattern event. This is very encouraging to see for the future of pattern in NSW. By grouping F3A and Expert together the Sportsman pilots had the opportunity to have an Expert or F3A pilot call for them. This presented a great opportunity for them to learn a great deal from the experienced callers. It's very much like playing golf with a better player than yourself. Your scores will naturally improve.

Seeing Sportsman and Advanced flew first (when there was no wind) we'll start with them. :-)

Sportsman was the second largest class with seven entries four of which were participating in their first ever pattern event. The standard of flying was very good and improved as the event progressed and as the pilots received more coaching and feedback from their callers and the judges. Proof of this was evident by two promotion points being achieved and a third only just missed. Fantastic! Kahl Eckersley managed to snare third place in his first event and even won a round. Second place was wrapped up by Rob Greenwood winning two of the six rounds and also achieving a promotion point. The eventual winner Benjamin Burrell actually won three rounds and also achieved a promotion point. This was Benjamin's first pattern event. He normally competes in Scale which was quite evident in his ability twiddling the gimbals. There is no doubt that if he persists with pattern his scale flying will benefit immensely.

It should be said that competing in pattern or precision aerobatics is a two tiered challenge to ones abilities. Not only are you competing against other pilots in your class, you are also competing against yourself to achieve a promotion point. To many participants, achieving a promo point is worth more than actually winning...

Advanced class saw five pilots vying for the spoils of victory. All but one pilot won a round (Felix, what were you doing!) and at one stage two pilots were tied for first place. At the close of proceedings Ben Bird (the young fella) stole victory from David Tiernan (the old fella) in second. Third place was awarded to Phillip Tallack. Unfortunately, no promotion points were achieved this weekend. Must have been the wind....

Ok, by the time that F3A and Expert had their opportunity to put their first flights on the board, the wind had come up reasonably strongly from the south. This means blowing straight in.

Expert class was the smallest with only four pilots having it out for line honours. There would have been five entries only that Tom Collinge had a "better offer" and subsequently withdrew his entry. It must have been a bloody good offer... :-) Overall all four Experts flew very consistently in the conditions. The points spread from fourth to first was less than 300 normalised points. Every pilot won at least one round but no promotion points were achieved. The eventual winner was Brian McGowan flying his "resurrected" MythoS 2M model with Joseph "the Italian stallion" Costa taking second from third placed Queenslander Shane Austin.

F3A was the largest class with ten pilots strutting their stuff in front of the judges. We also had the pleasure of having David McFarlane back for his second contest in a row. Most pilots started off a little slow but as the event progressed so did the scores. Round wins were shared out amongst the top three finishers as were the promotion points. David McFarlane was the winner from Shayne Lysaght by just 0.58 of a normalised point! Third place was secured by Jason Arnold. The latter managed to snare his very first Masters promotion point. Awesome!

The RAAFMAC members did an outstanding job looking after us in both having us as their guests and keeping our hunger at bay. I think all who attended will agree that the event was a resounding success and very enjoyable. The event flowed very smoothly due to the assistance of all participants helping where required. Proceedings were concluded around 3pm with plaques being handed out to all first, second and third place getters in each class.

The next event for NSWPF is at Camden Valley on Saturday the 23rd of January 2016. It's time to start practicing the new schedules for 2016. Bring it on!

Competition Results:

  • F3A-FAI: David McFarlane
  • Expert: Brian McGowan
  • Advanced: Ben Bird
  • Sportsman: Benjamin Burrell

Competition Promotions:

  • F3A-FAI:  David McFarlane, Shayne Lysaght & Jason Arnold :-)
  • Expert: Nil
  • Advanced: Nil
  • Sportsman: Rob Greenwood & Benjamin Burrell

Competition results: HERE.

Competition promotions: HERE

Judging Analysis: HERE.

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