The 2022 Rumble at Awatoto was a mixed bag of stunning Hawkes Bay Weather, with some cold damp and grey skies thrown in for good measure.
Yes, it was so cold, your trusty CD, and scribe, for about 2 hours, had to adorn long pants, socks, and shoes !!! In February !!! But given that all 3 of the previous February weekends were total rubbish, including a Cyclone, in hindsight what we got was actually not too bad.
Flying started on Friday afternoon. Best joke on arrival was who had managed to knock over the most road cones ? Who got held up the most ? Who’d had the worst journey to Awatoto ? Road works on the way to the Bay were abysmal. Plus add in the new reduced speed on the Napier Taupo road, totally bonkers. Words like Nanny State, Cotton Wool, Lowest common denominator, were all bandied about … but enough about politics, lets hear about the comp !!
We flew IMAC on Friday afternoon, in grey skies and light winds. Basic. Sportsman. Intermediate and Unlimited. Pretty much until it was just too dark to fly any more. 7:30pm. Best to get as much as you can in, one Day 1, right !! You never know what’s coming tomorrow. At the end of the day, the unlimited judges who were last on the line, ran to their car with tartan blankets flailing behind them, off to their accom …. and gone burger !!! No fish. No chips.
This years Rumble, numbers were down a little on what we expected. A few people couldn’t make it due to the dreaded Covid causing home ISO, or worse, a few had the excuse that leave passes could not be secured !! Surely by now its engrained that the Rumble is on last weekend of Feb ?
Saturday morning and many have camped at the field overnight. We awaken to the smell of Bacon on the BBQ. Head Chef Andrew “Stinky” Stiver had things under control. Plus what is that … the moon .. wait no, what ? wow …. that’s the bloody sun !! Saturday was a cracker of a day. Thawing out. Light sea breeze winds and lovely sunshine all day. More IMAC. With another couple of rounds on the board, things are starting to change as far as podium order goes. What was within a couple of points last night, is now being blown wide apart as fliers either crumble under pressure, or gain the upper hand thanks to an early night !! John Knox was kept up till pretty late by the CD, Bogan, who was in no hurry to go to bed, now that he was close enough to the gas heater, it was within blanket melting range. Both scores suffered the next day, and the net result was mute.
Those Burgers for lunch were good. Super fresh buns. Baldrick was happy. So fresh. Thanks Inky !!
Classic … what a bloody disaster !! We ran 2 flightlines / 2 rounds of this at midday. We’ve had some great classic comps over the last 12 months but this time it was almost like it was back to square one. With the Galloways and a number of other locals out, numbers were instantly down. Team Jervious Town “Derek and Stinky” were soon knocked out when a quick pre race test flight and U/C collapse rendered their model out of action. Bogan had some issues after round 1 that turned out to be he’d grabbed the wrong fuel !! In the end, Aaron Maitland and John Knox were the only guys to actually post two scores. Classic was like flying Pylon. To finish first, first you must finish !!
An early 5:30pm close off for the day, leaving the field open for fun flying, and those who wanted to could sit back, relax, have a few beers and watch the show. Soon it was off to dinner at the local “Filter Room”. A good night there. Then back to the field / camp site. An early night ? well slightly early compared to the previous night. Lots of joking around the camp fire, and a nighttime show too !! Young Ruben Woods Night Visionaire and Stinky with Night Radian put on a pretty good display. Is it bed time already John ? alright then.
Sunday morning … 4am …. awakened by Rain. Grrrr. Roll over on my comfy bed in the model trailer. Artic Sleeping Bag. Hmmmm. Try to delay the inevitable. Get out to the trailer, stand in the rain for a bit, nature calls when your over 40 right …. yes that’s better. What’s going on with this bloody Hawkes Bay weather ??? Back to bed. Damp. Wake up 7:30 am. Drizzle. Grey skies. Damp. Chef Stinky was soon on the job, and the smell of Bacon wafted down the flightline. Now here was the saving grace … a hot shower on the field. How does 42C sound ? Steaming hot. We’ve got a mobile shower setup now, and it means camping at the field is a luxury. Why rough it in a dodgey motel when you can stay on site, enjoy the company of your fellow modellers, talk BS and jokes till your done, and not have to worry about how you’ll get home in such a state ? Wake up in the morning knowing that a piping hot shower is just a towel and a bar of soap away. Big thumbs up to Derek Whelan and Stinky who worked on getting this setup sorted and working. We will be using the new setup at future events.
Sunday it was time for some lawn dart action. Well … we couldn’t put it off any longer. The weather was a bit pox, but flyable. The Basic guys were happy just to keep flying Basic, but we have a new Expert Pattern schedule that needed flying, and four keen guys … like coiled springs ready for action. Plus two in Masters and 2 in F3A. Box markers in position, by midday a couple of rounds of Pattern had been flown.
Then it was time for the IMAC unknowns, stick planes at the ready, and lots of sequence studying going on. It takes a bit of time to get the unknowns through, but an important part of the competition. It can either make or break your weekend. Keep it together and hold your position. Or zero just one maneuver, and things can change as far as the final standings go.
Ok guys … time for a meeting …. I have zee documents !! Its 2:30 Sunday afternoon. Hands up who wants to go home ? know one ? Ok, one more round then !!
That’s right, after 3 days on the field, no one was in a hurry to leave. So we flew a final third round of the pattern classes.
Well done to all those that were able to make it to this years Rumble. Well done if you made it onto the podium.
Big thanks to all those that helped over the weekend to make it all work, and of course the host club for letting us use their magnificent field … we will be back !! (to apologize)
Results and photos (Most supplied by Aunty Grant) follow.