Modelflight Midway Cup and Victorian State Thermal Championships, 5-6th of December, 2015
The first weekend of December 2015 saw a group of 22 pilots head to Horsham, Victoria for the 2nd annual Modelflight Midway Cup and Victoria State Thermal Championships event. Firstly a big thank-you to the groups that made the event possible.
The Wimmera Model Aero Association (WMAA) with Vic and Rolf and the team providing amazing hospitality over the weekend keeping us fed and watered. Thanks guy for another great weekend!
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Thanks to Modelflight RC and Mike O’Reilly for sponsoring the event. Modelflight has a long history of sponsorship of gliding events throughout the country and support for the Midway Cup was again amazing. Mike supports us so please support Modelflight RC.
Thanks to Gerry Carter for his GliderScore program and help setting this up for the event. The program can now announce pilot names for each round and group meaning the event almost runs itself. Thanks Gerry!!
Daniel Haskell, Jim Houdalakis and Marcus Stent for their help running the event. It was a great RCGA team effort.
Pilots for 2015
This year was the 2nd year of what is now a regular event. It was born out of the Modelflight Cup (an event held at SSL park in South Australia) and the Victorian State Thermal Championships (held in Melbourne). Bring the two together in a Midway location of Horsham (thanks to Ziggy Kusiak’s connections with the town) and you have the Modelflight Midway Cup and Victoria State Thermal Championships. The Midway Cup is a state vs state event with the scores of the top 6 pilots making up the state’s score. The outright winner of the event would take home the Victorian State Champion trophy. The competition was flown to the draft thermal rules, 10 minutes in 12 minute working time with 100 points for landing on offer and no dropped scores.
Last year saw high winds but this year the Horsham crew turned down the wind and turned up the heat. The winds were light to moderate for the weekend and didn’t pose any problems. But it was HOT!! 38c on the Saturday and Sunday. The event started on Friday the 4th December with free practice at the field and a number of people took advantage to practice their launching and landing ahead of round 1 group 1 on Saturday. Defending state champion David Hobby made the trip from the USA where he now lives to fly the competition – thanks David for coming out a great effort. Pilot registration was Friday night at the Exchange Hotel and it didn’t take long for some friendly state vs state banter between SA and VIC to start. All in good fun with both states enjoying this event now slotted in between the Mildura Open in October and Milang F3J International in March. Daniel Haskell did a great job preparing the team kits with scorecards and draw for pickup on Friday night and ticked everyone off with their FAI cards. The Friday night is a part of a gliding competition that I really enjoy. A chance to get out of the city and catch up with all the pilots, swap stories since the last competition and have a beer.
Saturday morning and we were up early to assess the wind direction and setup the flightline. The forecast was for north east moving to north west so we believed the forecast and setup to the north and this proved to be a good call. There were some crosswind launches but most of the day was launching into wind. It didn’t take long for everyone to setup, cars off the field a quick pilot briefing and before you knew it round 1 group 1 was on 2 minutes prep time and we were off. By 9am when we kicked off it was already quite warm but the morning conditions still proved difficult and a number of the top ten pilots dropped time. With no dropped score allowed these days you have to carry all scores with you which makes it interesting. As the day progressed the thermals got big and so did the sink. You were either going up quick or coming down fast!! A lunch break at 12:30 was welcome relief from the heat and the Wimmera club put on a great BBQ for us. Thanks guys!! The day proved to be very hot and a few pilots made the smart decision to sit out the hottest part of the day. 38c in the shade but around 50c in the sun!! The heat brought dust devils that luckily passed to the left or right of the pits. At the end of a very hot day we’d flown our planned 7 rounds and it was back to the hotel to cool off before dinner at a local Thai Restaurant.
Sunday greeted us with overcast conditions and the first heats of the day were again tricky. The day continued to be hard with some groups requiring 10 minutes to win and others 7 or 8 being enough. We returned from another welcome lunch break to fly our final 1 and a half rounds and wrapped up the event at about 2pm having flown 12 rounds over the two days.
So when the dust settled it was Victoria who retained the Modelflight Midway Cup. But South Australia who took home the Victorian State Championships with Nick Chabrel.
Modelflight Midway Cup – Winning state: Victoria
Victorian State Thermal Championships
- 1st Nick Chabrel (SA) – 11987
- 2nd Marcus Stent (VIC) – 11952
- 3rd Bernie Sizer (VIC) – 11816
Nick flew a flawless competition from round 1 and never looked like making a mistake. Well done Nick!!
John Tonks a relative new comer to competition thermal flying flew well all weekend to come home 7th, David Hobby made the trip from the USA and was using some older models with his current ones still in the states and finished 8th, Simon Morris the only person to have flown every Modelflight Midway Cup and Jerilderie LSF tournament was 10th, Bob Wilson and Ian Faulkner sat out some rounds due to the heat on Saturday but both finished with some great flights on Sunday. Bob flew 943, 982 and finished with a 995 and Ian flew 905 and finished with a 965.
So there it is over for another year. Thanks to all those that supported what was a great event. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone from the RCGA committee.
See you next year in Horsham on the first weekend of December – 3rd and 4th December 2016!!
[Article: Courtesy of RCGA and Tom Dupuche]