PETER BRYNER, Event Director
The ASAA National Scale Aerobatics Championships were recently held at the country town of Wagin, Western Australia over three days, between 29th September to 1st October. Apart from providing a successful competition, one of the key drivers for this event was to promote aeromodelling to the wider community and attract public spectators. Whilst some people may think that watching an IMAC competition is like watching grass grow, not everyone agrees, as was evidenced by over 500 spectators stopping to watch 30 of Australia’s best IMAC pilots compete. Some spectators came for the day with a picnic lunch, others stayed for just a few hours and it was evident that many came for the excitement of the freestyle shows put on by Japan’s Inoue Junichi and Queensland’s Aaron Garle, though the precision flying seemed to appeal to many as well.
We were gratified to hear that some spectators were prepared to travel long distances coming from Perth and the regional cities of Albany, Busselton and even Geraldton. “I didn’t know a plane could do anything like what these pilots showed today” was a common comment heard during and after the freestyle shows.
Hosting the Championship event was given to Western Australia late last year and Scale Aerobatics Western Australia (SAWA), quickly formed a planning committee, comprised of Peter Bryner, Bob Chitty, Dave Murdock, Steve Maitland and Mark Easton. The committee worked hard all year to make the event memorable.
The town of Wagin was chosen for the venue due the interest and support shown by the local shire council, through its CEO Peter Webster and the fact that it has an unregistered, full-size airstrip, suitable for using two flight lines.
The Event Director, Peter Bryner prepared an early business plan and succeeded in gaining a grant from the State Government’s Events Corp and Royalties for Regions, mainly due to the emphasis placed on promoting public attendance. Being a public event meant that higher risk management standards and procedures than ever before had to be documented and complied with. This was successfully achieved.
It took a lot of work but was worthwhile based on the comments of spectators, participants, sponsors and some veterans of aeromodelling. The $6000 of corporate donated prizes and goods in kind helped tremendously.
In line with the aim of enhanced community involvement, the assistance of 1st Subiaco Scout group was arranged to facilitate crowd direction and public parking, and first aid. They stayed the weekend, camping at the field along with approximately half of the competitors.
During the days prior to the event the airfield was almost a quagmire with consistent rain. The farmers were loving it, but it the event’s viability became a concern, as the area is low lying. Fortunately the skies cleared for the practice day, and stayed that way over the rest of the weekend. The wind was also reasonably kind, but it was still challenging, depending on which flightline was
The event was opened with a short speech from Hon. Laurie Graham MLC, Member for the Agricultural Region on behalf of Hon. Paul Papalia MLC, Minister for Tourism and Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLA, Minister for Regional Development. He reminded us of the value of support for the regions and for tourism in the regions. The Support of the State Government is greatly appreciated. A minute of silence was observed in memory of James Owen, a NSW IMAC enthusiast, who tragically lost his life earlier in the year.
The Australian Scale Aerobatics Association AGM was held on Saturday night with a new committee elected. The Associations Awards were presented. The recipients were: Meritorius Service: David Garle, Pilot of the Year: Aaron Garle, Junior Pilot of the Year: Flyn Wain and Rising Star Award: Cameron Robinson. Congratulations to all.
Our Scout group helpers collected just over $1200 from gold coin donations and an additional $400 dollars was added by SAWA. Collecting money is easier when you give something away and we handed out over 200 chuck gliders that were provided by the MAAA, which were eagerly accepted by attending children. The RFDS was the chosen Event charity and they were surprised at the size of the donation made.
At the end of the competition, with twelve rounds of known schedules and three unknown rounds flown in each class the results were: Basic: 1st Jeremy Lea (10,000) 2nd Paul Dvorak (8364) 3rd Nigel Molyneux (6540)
Sportsman 1st Christopher Walker (9827) 2nd David Murdock (9682) 3rd Eddie Roux (8794)
Intermediate 1st Cameron Robinson (9000) 2nd Harris Morrison (8300) 3rd Dean Allison (8108)
Advanced 1st Flyn Wain (9000) 2nd Chris Stuart (8211) 3rd Rod O’Neil (6229)
Unlimited 1st Mark Easton (8948) 2nd Aaron Garle (8754) 3rd Inoue Junichi (8019)
Freestyle (3 rounds) 1st Inoue Junichi (1750) 2nd Aaron Garle (1670)