Another one in the books … the 2022 season of Aerobatics in NZ is rolling on.
North of the wall, this time the venue was Highbrook MAC, deep in the heart of Auckland. I had a 12 hour temporary visa, and I headed north. Last day of Day light saving too. Left Hamilton at 8am just as the sun was coming over the horizon, dead calm, looked good. Got as far as Huntly and what’s this … thick fog !! Had my nose almost touching the windscreen to see where I was going (no cheeky comments !!). Eventually over the Bombay hills, passport stamped, and the fog was in my rear view mirror.
We had a pretty good turn out for this one. 6 guys ready to have a go at Clubman. 3 ready for Basic IMAC, plus a few in Expert Pattern and some helpers to get it all judged and done. Lucky those guys showed up !! You know who you are.
We started with Basic IMAC. Three of the guys who last year competed in Clubman, took it up a step to fly Basic IMAC. Chris Miller, young Kaden Newman (sporting a fine trimmed mo I might add, we might be nicknaming him Burt Reynolds unless something else substantial eventuates soon), and Corey Westhall who was fresh back from the recent comp in the Waikato. These 3 guys duked it out over 4 double sequence rounds, each winning at least 1 round. All 3 fliers looking like they are nearly ready for Sportsman too, looking at the scores.
Onto the new “Chocolate Fish Challenge”. The tweaked Clubman format seemed to be working great. CD’s tip … always get the photo before they start flying !! In the first round, Malcolm Court had a visual problem in the early stages of his take off and unfortunately gravity was the eventual winner. The show must go one, I’m sure he will be back. Antony Wright fresh off the Pylon circuit was fizzing at the bung to GO FAST AND TURN LEFT !! He needed to be reminded a few times, Aerobatics is all about flying straight lines, and not too fast !! Technical problems with his model put him out of contention. Markus Hakala had a 90 inch Laser, with a Zenoah G62, and at his first event was very excited to have been involved, and very happy to have left with model in one piece. But I don’t think he’d secured a full days leave pass and had to exit stage left before the final rounds were flown. The attrition rate in clubman was high !! Berham Bajan with a Calmato flew in his first contest, and placed a credible 3rd. “This is so much fun !! When is the next event ???”. Clive Mathis from Hamilton braved his passport visa stamps, and travelled north of the wall too. Another one flying a Calmato, and after the first two rounds Clive was in the lead having won both rounds !! A seasoned champion, at only his second event. Unfortunately in this instance old age and treachery didn’t manage to over come youth and enthusiasm, young Amy Vongsaly, the local clubs shining star, won the last two rounds flying her electric “Stick” model, handling the sun in the eyes, and ultimately walking away with first price. Plus some vouchers from Hobby City for the “Most Improved Flyer” of the day.
Adam Butler is back. CARF Models Impact, dusted off, and batteries charged. I think it also got a fresh model memory by the looks of things. Along with Rod Chave, these two guys flew 3 rounds of the Expert class. More power !! Make stuff bigger !! step it out to 150m, were the calls from the judges. A 45 degree crosswind and then sun burning directly from the centre of the box right into your retina’s did not help. I must say judging in that direct sun is no fun at all.
The day was rounded off by a few flights from the John Knox and Paul Tomlinson classic models, and the DA35 powered F3A model getting a bit of a workout.
Onto the prize giving … everyone gets a prize !! Big thanks to Mark Newman who was cheif Chef and severed up lunch for us.
Roll on the next event !!
(Photos by Bogan, Phong and Antony … thanks guys)