Fenland, McAully, Cavendish & Nathaniel Alony Trophies, 2017 results

Once in a while, seemingly against the odds - the weather ones anyway, a BAeA competition comes together to such good effect that one is bound to wonder how to extend the vibes into the Monday onwards work regime ... the July 9-to-11 weekend at Fenland this year was one of these, and clearly a good number of treasured moments and fixed grins travelled back to many places after the presentations each day.

The McAully weekend is usually a pretty intense event, for 2017 providing the opportunity for pilots at every level to come and strut their stuff. Fenland's oh-so-hard-to-find airfield is now the adopted host venue for this particular competition, in 2017 gathering together four major trophies from British Aerobatics' range in addition to a Club class for first-timers to parade their skills before the BAeA's judges. The entry list was extremely impressive; a less than favourable forecast however was most likely the cause of a few early withdrawals, which still left us with almost thirty pilots covering all five categories. By the time of Friday's first briefing almost everyone expected was present and correct, including even some of the Sports brigade whose McAully responsibilities would start the next day. While the cloud-base was a short term problem the somewhat challenging wind was not, the east Anglian blow maintaining a steady 18-25kts from the south-west quadrant for the whole event. For Friday we elected to run the judges at the southern location so that everyone had a significant off-judge component to tackle, and pole-sitter David Hall got the Intermediate Free Known under way after an hour or so as the cloud-base rose above the magic 2,800ft. The plan for the first day was to complete the Free Knowns and first Unknown at Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited and this proved a fairly straightforward management task, though for one of two pilots flying 'new' (to them) machinery the troubles proved to be a little more acute. Highlight of the day just had to be the extraordinary effort from Phil Burgess to encourage his diminutive One-Design around the two unlimited sequences, even if a couple of extra breaks were needed to refill the energy bank at appropriate moments. By the end of play Chris Brook, David Heard and of course Phil headed their respective categories, with Saturday's second Unknown still there to concentrate their attention.

With some connivance from the weather gods Saturday's scattered cloud and less than comforting wind continued in good style from the previous day, and after only a short delay the three intrepid Club drivers had their first outing before the judiciary. Next followed the main event of the competition, the somewhat curious McAully sequence where Sports pilots fly their Known sequence with three extra Free figures added to a max of 30k. This relatively benign exercise is intended to provide a mild introduction to the construction of Free sequences at Intermediate and above, requiring a little more attention than usual to the rule book and a quick dip into the world of Aresti figure design. This year the 15-strong field included no less than four pilots flying Hors-Concours for one reason or another, one of whom was sufficiently troubled by Fenland's green-on-green patchwork appearance to be offered one of those old "I found Fenland!" tee-shirts with a suitably negative adjustment ... certainly not the first pilot to be visually trashed by this lovely place.

The wind had shifted southwards by the time Sports had finished their somewhat lengthy McAully +3 sequence, the judges thus relocating to the west for a very full afternoon session. It had become clear quite early on that the whole programme would not fit into the time available, so a gathering of the Sports pilots approved a move to Sunday for their remaining Unknown and by 18:15 the results for all other categories could be announced. By now Mark Thomas had managed to head-off Maciej Kulaszewski and Sam Hewitt in the Club trio, David Heard had risen above his Intermediate compatriots to take the Fenland Trophy and Chris Brooks had secured the Cavendish Trophy with his lovely Extra-330SC. A great conclusion to day-2, one more to go. At this point the Sports category was clearly led by Matt Morris, though if only Sharon Wang could have parked safety-pilot John Taylor on the ground it might just have been rather closer ...

Unfortunately one pilot had other unavoidable duties for the last day but the remaining 14 pilots were quickly briefed, by unanimous decision the judges located back in the south, and all was ready to go in good time. This time Sharon managed an identical score to Matt in the Unknown, but overall it was G-TWOO that ruled the combined programme scores and thus Mr Morris emerged the delighted winner and recipient of the venerable Elwyn McAully Trophy.

We do have a number of memorable venues for our aerobatic competitions, without doubt Fenland being among the best. Huge thanks as usual to Katie and her staff in the restaurant, Ray and his colleagues for their calm handling of ATC duties, a big round of applause to Leif's not too sunburned judging panel and JB's deft handling of admin and scores at the computer, and to all who flew - memories of a remarkably pleasant and rewarding weekend.

I enjoyed it too!

Nick Buckenham

Club Class Final Results

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Known #1 Known #2 Totals O/all %
1 Mark Thomas Extra 200 G-UIII 566.23 573.19 1139.42 82.567
2 Maciej Kulaszewski Extra 200 G-EEEK 534.20 563.82 1098.02 79.567
3 Sam Hewitt Slingsby T67M G-CIKS 395.98 563.81 959.79 69.550

Contest Director: Nick Buckenham, Contest Chief Judge: Leif Culpin, Scoring Director: Jen Buckenham

Judges: Leif Culpin, Martin Sandford, John Scott,

Judges Assistants: Ruth Scott, Eric Marsh, Ian Scott

Other key staff: Neil Spooner - caller, John Royce - caller, Martin Sandford - caller, On-line catering, JB, John Scott - caller, Ian Scott - caller

FairPlay SystemACRO Version 4.2 Build: 03/06/17

The Fenland Trophy

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Fr/Known Unkwn #1 Unkwn #2 Totals O/all %
1 David Heard Extra 200 G-TWOO 1494.75 1816.05 1801.36 5112.16 71.599
2 Jez Burgoin Pitts S-2A N-80035 1509.75 1722.11 1789.80 5021.66 70.331
3 Dave Farley CAP 231 G-GKKI 1385.96 1588.86 1950.11 4924.93 68.977
4 Anthony Walsh Extra 200 G-OLUD 1592.39 1518.46 1666.91 4777.75 66.915
5 David Hall Pitts S-2A G-BTTR 1035.42 1438.77 1766.20 4240.40 59.389

Contest Director: Nick Buckenham, Contest Chief Judge: Leif Culpin, Scoring Director: Jen Buckenham

Judges: Leif Culpin, Martin Sandford, Ian Scott, Eric Marsh,

Judges Assistants: Sarah Hardy, Adrian Cornwall, Ruth Scott, John Scott, John Wicks

Other key staff: Neil Spooner - caller, John Royce - caller, Martin Sandford - caller, On-line catering, JB, John Scott - caller, Ian Scott - caller

FairPlay SystemACRO Version 4.2 Build: 11/06/17

The CavendishTrophy

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Fr/Known Unkwn #1 Unknown Totals O/all %
1 Chris Brook Extra 300SC G-IISR 2771.87 2133.19 2487.89 7392.95 77.171
2 David Kean DR-107 G-IIID 2373.97 1917.83 2439.24 6731.04 70.261
3 Paul Elvidge Edge 360 G-CDDP 2559.72 1920.13 2089.17 6569.01 68.570
4 Phil Massetti Edge 540 G-EDGY 1696.34 1656.12 1691.59 5044.05 52.652
5 David Nichols Extra 330SC G-IISC 63.58 1911.94 2210.16 4185.68 43.692

Contest Director: Nick Buckenham, Contest Chief Judge: Leif Culpin, Scoring Director: Jen Buckenham

Judges: Leif Culpin, Ian Scott, Eric Marsh,

Judges Assistants: Sarah Hardy, Adrian Cornwall, Ruth Scott, John Scott, Martin Sandford, John Wicks

Other key staff: Neil Spooner - caller, John Royce - caller, Martin Sandford - caller, On-line catering, JB, John Scott - caller, Ian Scott - caller

FairPlay SystemACRO Version 4.2 Build: 11/06/17

The Nathaniel Alony Trophy

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Fr/Known Unkwn #1 Unkwn #2 Totals O/all %
1 Phil Burgess DR-107 G-RIHN 3526.33 3236.67 3579.33 10342.33 71.623

Contest Director: Nick Buckenham, Contest Chief Judge: Leif Culpin, Scoring Director: Jen Buckenham

Judges: Leif Culpin, Ian Scott, Eric Marsh,

Judges Assistants: Sarah Hardy, Adrian Cornwall, Ruth Scott, John Scott, Martin Sandford, John Wicks

Other key staff: Neil Spooner - caller, John Royce - caller, Martin Sandford - caller, On-line catering, JB, John Scott - caller, Ian Scott - caller

FairPlay SystemACRO Version 4.2 Build: 11/06/17

The Elwyn McAully Trophy

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Known +3 Unknown Totals O/all %
1 Matt Morris Extra 200 G-TWOO 1366.97 1007.01 2373.98 79.133
H/C Sharon Wang Extra 300L G-IIXI 1305.20 1028.58 2333.78 77.793
2 Duncan Cumberlidge Acro Sport G-TSOL 1243.97 970.55 2214.53 73.818
3 George Haye Pitts S-1T N-697JR 1164.73 1028.57 2193.31 73.110
4 Martin Luton RV-8 G-DAZZ 1195.41 956.16 2151.57 71.719
H/C Maciej Kulaszewski Extra 200 G-EEEK 1182.21 959.45 2141.66 71.389
H/C John Royce Extra 200 G-EEEK 1242.49 884.95 2127.45 70.915
5 Stephen Smartt Extra 200 G-EEEK 1183.91 941.73 2125.64 70.855
6 Matt Kitson Extra 200 G-EEEK 1099.21 1009.30 2108.50 70.283
7 Neil Whitehead Slingsby T67M G-CIKS 1114.97 848.51 1963.47 65.449
8 Mark Larroucau Bisport G-CBGH 1125.57 829.43 1955.00 65.167
9 Simon Wood Slingsby T67M G-BKTZ 950.71 931.30 1882.01 62.734
10 Neil Spooner Vans RV-4 G-IKON 1148.17 676.05 1824.22 60.807
11 Bob Ellis RV-8 G-JBTR 810.75 934.38 1745.14 58.171
H/C Jake Cook Extra 200 G-EEEK 1277.85 1277.85 42.595

Contest Director: Nick Buckenham, Contest Chief Judge: Leif Culpin, Scoring Director: Jen Buckenham

Judges: Leif Culpin, Martin Sandford, John Scott,

Judges Assistants: Ruth Scott, Eric Marsh, Ian Scott

Other key staff: Neil Spooner - caller, John Royce - caller, Martin Sandford - caller, On-line catering, JB, John Scott - caller, Ian Scott - caller

FairPlay SystemACRO Version 4.2 Build: 11/06/17