Round 1 of the 2018 New Zealand IMAC Series was held in Galatea (or “G-Town” as the locals call it) on November 25/26, 2017.
The previous weekend the glider tow guys used the same site, and the weather was dismal with strong wind and rain. They never cranked wing bolt in, it was that bad. However luck was on our side, the front soon moved through, and the unusual calm November weather with a “3 week high” planted right over the North Island continued to bake us all dry. About bloody time, considering the wettest winter on record I can recall. Anyway, enough about the weather, all you need to know was it was dead calm all weekend, and bloody hot. And dead calm too. And hot …
In the lead up to the comp, numbers were looking low, but Baldrick soon rallied a few more, namely Rodney Ford and Ewan Galloway. Ewan fresh back from Argentina, where he and Hamish had just been for the F3A World Champs, along with other kiwi’s Andrew and Suetonia Palmer, plus Brian “Hooley” Dooley.
Also back on the scene Jack Mounsey, fizzing at the bung to get some stick time. He stood close to Baldrick for long enough on the Friday, that eventually he was handed a TX and told to programme up the 100cc Sukhoi 29 !!
By Friday night a number of the usual suspects had made it to Galatea, Baldrick, Ewan and Rod who travelled up from the deep south together, Ian Hill from Wellington. Some of these guys managed to get some practise flying in during the day, as well as sorting out some mowing that was needed on the strip.
I cracked out of bed at 6am on Saturday morning, finished loading all the gear into the Van, and made my way down from Hamilton. Via Bunnings Rotorua …. where I purchased the new “G-Town” IMAC BBQ. Amazing what $200 gets you these days, 4 burners and a hood.
Arrived mid morning to find the guys all getting setup. Gavin Madsen and his mate Steve Sherbourne were there (Gavin and Stacey). Plus Tony Christiansen all set to have a go at Basic with his 50cc size Yak. Ross Heald from Wellington was holidaying in Tauranga, and was given a permission slip to sneak down to G-Town for the day, but unfortunately his motor would not play the game. By lunchtime he was headed back to the beach. Bugger !!! As he jumped in the car he asked me if anyone out there had a DA-200 or a DLE-222 gathering dust ? I dropped a few names of guys that we haven’t seen for a while.
Young Jayden Malloy and his Granddad Mike Shears had driven up from the Hawkes Bay that morning, and Jayden was all set to fly Sportsman with a 50cc size Ultimate Bipe. The thing has got some welly too !! Jayden flew well over the weekend. Keep an eye on this one. He will be giving “Dad’s Army” a run in Intermediate before long.
Steve Gene “aka” Ditcho was there on Friday night, but he hit the road early on Saturday morning. He got news the night before that his old man, Peter, had taken ill, and was not doing too well. So he raced on down to Fielding to see him, and be with the family. Unfortunately for Steve his dad passed later that week. Many of the guys from the old Rumble Days will remember Peter at Waharoa, he used to fly up in his Jodel, and he had been to G-Town in his Jodel not long ago too. A real character. Our condolences to Steve and his family.
We got underway with rounds of Known. With Ditcho being absent, John Knox dropped back to fly Intermediate with Ewan, Rod and Baldrick. This was a good contest between these guys, with John not having it all his own way, Ewan and Rod took the odd round of him. Baldrick providing plenty of entertainment !!
I was on my own in Unlimited, Hamish just having been to Argentina was busy catching up with work and family life. And Jarrod was off Jet Skiing at the beach in Waihi !!! Yep, ask me at the nats …
While all this was going on, the new G-Town IMAC $200 BBQ was being assembled. Ross Heald and Ian Hill got stuck into it, and lunch was cooked up as soon as the final bolts were tightened.
Saturday night – now here’s were it gets good. After a full days flying (I think we flew right through to 6:30pm), it was time for “G-Town Master Chef”. Shelly Knox vs Rodney Ford. And the result was fantastic, I’m serious it was xmas dinner worthy. Shelly had been marinating all sorts during the week, and Rodney cooked an eye fillet on the new BBQ. We had a few guys that left early on Saturday afternoon, and they missed out on the best Saturday night dinner yet. I’m not sure how we will top it next time.
Sunday – still dead clam, and still hot. With a few missing we got through the Unknown and Known rounds pretty quickly. By about 2:30 we were all done, and melting. Amazing weather considering this time a year ago the contest was blown out.
Once again another superb weekend flying IMAC. Yet again zero fullsize traffic all weekend, its worth the drive just to soak up the big sky, make full use of the notam ceiling, and not have to worry about random 172’s approaching the box. Huge Props to the guys from Wellington who continue to travel the furthest to support IMAC.
Results are posted below. Next contest is the Nats in Clareville. IMAC starts on Day 4. Get out and practice the new 2018 sequences !! We will be back in G-Town Feb 23/24/25, so get your “full” weekend leave pass submitted for approval now.