IMAC Season Closer @ GTown

All the crew

A super end to a great season, we had a good weekend of flying down in G-Town over 3 days.

Friday morning, Lyndon and I set off at half past. Driving through Rotorua it was cold and windy. Hmm … what are we in for this weekend ?? 1 hour later standing on the airfield in Galatea it was warm and dead calm !! amazing how that place has its own little micro climate.

The usual suspects had arrived early, and as well as some practice flights, we got a round of Intermediate in. Back to the lodge to hit the happy hour on the bar for the first time ever, and to warm up in front of 20,000 kw of diesel heater that Bogan had brought down. Mark Newman aka “Moonie” had rustled up another spectacular meal for us … this time a huge dish of mac n cheese, with bacon, beer and wine chaser. Friday night went a little later than we had planned in the Taniwha bar. Last event of the season, why not !!

Friday night antics in the Taniwha Bar

Saturday morning, we had a scheduled interruption to the weekends proceedings. From 9:30 am, approx. 30 full size light aircraft descended on Galatea in the space of an hour, landing on the runway right in front of us. Their mission was a spot landing, then morning tea. About 50 aviators were treated to an IMAC Unlimited demo by John Knox, followed by a Jet demo by Bogan. They were well impressed to say th eleast. A good “PR” opportunity for us, and we scored some really good brownie points on this one. By midday the field was cleared of Cessna’s and Cubs for some real action, and we ripped into what was left of the day, completing 2 full rounds before dark.

Back to the lodge and on the menu tonight thanks to the masterchef Shelly Knox, slow cooked beef, fancy potatoes that look like you needed a jig to cut them on so accurately,  winter veggies glazed with a pesto sauce. Some mushrooms that Lyndon and I both dodged. Oh and how about that Thai Pumpkin Soup !! Where was Baldrick ? Nowhere to be seen. Goneburger. He loves the stuff, and he missed out this time.

Sunday morning, dead calm, not too cold, and at 8:30am everyone was at the field, assembling models and ready for action …. so early really ?? yes, due to the fact we had such a good night on Friday, we decided to try and set a record on Saturday night. You wouldn’t believe it, but by 11pm the lights on the Taniwha bar were out, not a sole could be seen, in fact all you could hear was Rod Chave working on his snoring, in the “non snoring” cabin #1 !!

A bit of a crosswind breeze started to blow in mid sunday morning, and it looked like the day might get really cold and windy, but nope, it soon settled down to a gentle light breeze from the west., and at times, dead calm. Meanwhile it was hosing down in Hamilton and Auckland, and reports from Norsewood were it was gale force.

Derek Whelan ready for action

Onto the flying.

Basic was contested by Mr Fraser Brodie and Chris Charlton “Gerri”. Mr Brodie was only there for one day, so we managed to get 3 rounds of basic pushed through before he left. On Saturday night, after a few of the right refreshments, Chris was soon convinced that tomorrow it was time for him to fly Sportsman !! So he flew the Sportsman Unknown in the last round of the day, with some not too bad scores in their either.

Sportsman, four pilots. Derek Whelan was all smiles after round 1, having scored the 1000 points on his second sequence. A first for him, well done that man. Pretty soon it was an all out battle for the top spot between Jon Berger and Rod Chave, with the season series result on the line.  Great to see this go down to the final round of the season, with a very close result in the end. Baldrick was a Saturday only flyer, so didn’t get to fly the unknown and ended in 4th.

Intermediate, four pilots. These guys made a start on Friday afternoon for the first round. Lyndon Perry was smiling at the bar having won both sequences of the first round. In his practice flight only moments earlier, Kaden Newman aka “The Hairy Gerbil” had a bit of a problem with his motor stopping while having a cheeky end of flight “high hover”, and ended up doing a dodgey cross country dead stick trough dodging landing, causing some minor damage to his model. 1000m of runway from right to left, but he decided attacking it on a 45 degree angle was far more spectacular. Suffice to say he got the “best landing” award for the weekend !! Later turned out to be a tank issue. If you are running an ARF fuel tank, check it out closely, this thing had a split in the brass tubing in the tank, causing it to suck air instead of fuel. So he was on his backup model while Moonie lept into action on repairs duty, moon boot and all. Stinky was up to his usual antics, providing lots of entertainment on the 90 degree rolling turns, that were more like the old roller coasters on Statton Island, up and down and up and down and whoops was that almost the ground ?? John Danks was at Galatea for his first time, all set up with this Caravan, awning, fully plumbed, cups of tea at the ready. Ah the life …. if only he upgraded from Merlot to Shiraz !! By the end of the weekend Kaden had the old blokes well and truly sorted out to take out first place, but the race for 2nd was only 5 points apart in the end, with Lydon just managing to pip Stinky for the glory. JD had some plumbing issues with his big Raven on Sunday, and was last seen asking if there was a model shop anywhere that sold those neat little Dubro 5/32” barbs you solder onto the brass tubing, stops the tygon falling off.

Big Slick ready for test flight

Due to the absence of the Galloway team, and Aunty who’s 120cc Yak is still getting its 10 year anniversary retro fit, we didn’t have anyone flying Advanced this weekend.

Unlimited was flown by John Knox and Bogan. Not too much to mention here, the most exciting thing was Bogan landed half way through a round with his canopy holding on by thread. Fully hinged over to one side halfway through the sequence. The bolts were in, but all 3 mounting points on one side vibrated out. Super lucky, it would have ended up miles away. Out with the 100mph pylon tape !! John managed to win a round off Bogan who had a senior moment on one round, but we are both happy to say the 2023 sequence is behind us. No more figure P with the lazy 2 of 4 on top !!

Sunday’s unknown rounds flown across all classes was actually the new 2024 sequence handed out the night before. Now that the season is over, we start flying the 2024 sequences through out the winter time, and will see them in action when we crank it back into life in October.

Right, so that was the final event for the 2024 season done and dusted. Final series points were quickly tabulated, and the final prize giving was soon underway.

As usual there are some people we need to thank. Mark Newman aka “Moonie” is looking a lot healthier than he was a few months ago, and back to his usual helpful self, doing catering, and runs to the local shop for supplies etc. Shelly Knox who knows what she’s doing more than John and looks after us well !! And a huge thanks to Tony Christiansen who once again went all the way to Galatea and mowed the strip for us, despite not being able to come to the event on the weekend again. Tony you will need to pull finger now, cause Chris is moving up, and Mr Brodie needs you.

Congratulations to the IMAC series winners for 2024:

Basic – 3rd Cormac Galloway, 2nd Steve Collings, 1st Chris Charlton

Sportsman – 3rd Ryan Berger, 2nd Jon Berger, 1st Rod Chave (by 1 point !!!!)

Intermediate – 3rd Lyndon Perry, 2nd Kaden Newman, 1st Andrew Stiver

Advanced – 3rd equal Shane Suffolk, Ruben Woods and Hamish Galloway, 2nd Granny, and 1st was Sean Galloway. (We need more people flying advanced, have a look at the series table, its bleak !!)

Unlimited – 3rd James Farrow, 2nd John Knox, 1st Frazer Briggs

Chris Charlton 2024 Basic Series winner

Rod Chave wins Sportsman series for 2024
Stinky wins the Intermediate Series for 2024
Bogan and John Knox Unlimited

No doubt over the winter there will be some movement as guys start to practise and progress up to the next class.

Ok, here come the rest of the photos … click for the photo gallery and funny captions !!


Results from the weekend follow. Click to enlarge.

About Frazer Briggs 24 Articles
NZRCAA Secretary and RC Aerobatics guy since way back !!