The forecast wasn't encouraging - massive wet and cold front taking over the State! But the dedicated group in Victoria know the drill - turn up and take what comes! And that was good decision this time.
The early arrivals made it Thursday evening ready for an early Friday start. Unfortunately the early weather was poor, but settled down and some good practice flights were put in. The rest turned up during Friday and we all rocked up to the field with some trepidation on Saturday morning. But nothing to worry about - a bit cool and a cold-ish northerly blowing us out, and showers all around but not on us.
F3A were up first and put in two flights. Scores weren't great with the air being quiet choppy and the blow-out stronger than it felt - drawing out a few mistakes here and there. Then we moved on to the rest of the group (Expert, Advanced, Sportsman) and neatly fitted in two flights for all just in time for lunch. At this stage we could see the cold front approaching, and a call from the locals in Echuca confirmed 50 km/h gusts were on their way. Having had a bad experience a couple of years back with wind gusts - models headed for cover - mainly back in cars or in the shelter shed. Take a look at the front in the photo gallery! We waited out an hour or so and the gusts and rain settled into a lull -- and we got in another round of F3A before the rain settled for the afternoon.
One advantage of the Echuca field for a lucky few is the Falcon Pub - literally 1 km from the field, with a great dining room, and also five motel type suites. So that is where dinner was for most. Portions were not skimpy!
The Sunday forecast was even worse with rain and hail. But reality brought more cold, a light southerly, and some pesky low clouds in the box! Darren Tilnak was first up in F3A and suffered a few partial model disappearances until the clouds completely ate his model on the end of box stall turn. But all was good - and he re-flew the stall turn at the end of the round. Dennis and David had similar partial disappearances during their flights - but then the low clouds cleared and all was good. Things stayed clear through another two rounds of Expert etal, and a fifth round of F3A. And then . . the promised rain came and we declared an end to the competition.
Overall a great competition. A few highlights:
- Peter Bailey getting his third promo point in Advanced - welcome to Expert Peter - well deserved. Go YS power.
- David Creed getting his third promo point in Sportsman!
- Young Ryan Bamford getting a promo point in his first competition in Advanced!
- Dennis showing even our best pilots are human - with almost frozen fingers accidentally hitting a swirch and creating a nervous moment in his last flight - and an early landing - handing David the round!
Congratulations to the winners:
- Sportsman: David Creed
- Advanced: Peter Bailey
- Expert: Chris Henry
- F3A: Dennis Travassaros
Full results are HERE
Photo Gallery (apologies about the rain drops on the lens for the winners photos!)