With being back home for a few days it has given me time to reflect on the IMAC World Champs.
The whole event was organised very professionally, it ran so seamlessly the whole week and the only stoppage during the rounds was the slight shower of rain in the last round on Saturday and that was only 10minutes. Wayne, Curtis, Richo and the whole team did a superb job.
The competition standard in Unlimited was very high, the top three pilots Kurt, Nicolas and David flew to a tremendous standard all week and it would have been very hard to choose between, I think Kurt was the most consistent and deserved to take the honours. To be part of the UK team was an honour, collectively we did very well for using unfamiliar equipment and this should be commended.
From a personal perspective I was very privileged to be flying the Prototype Hangar 9 Sukhoi which Mike McConville designed and had built by the Hangar 9 factory as his personal IMAC aircraft. After Mike flew it he decided it was worthy of general release and I think a lot of IMAC flyers worldwide have benefited from such a superb design in ARTF format. Although the aircraft was the prototype and had about 500 flights on it, it was in superb condition and Mike had recently got DA to service the engine so it was all running/flying great. From the moment my Dad & I arrived in Monticello, we were made to feel welcome and nothing was too much hassle from anyone. We had 3 superb days at Eli Field and got a lot of flying under the tutorship of both Mike McConville and Peter Goldsmith. Peter had the benefit of being a Mode 1 flyer like myself, to have a TOC pilot take the transmitter show you certain things in the sky in front of you, is a unique experience and privilege. The Sunday was probably the most learning I have done in my IMAC career in one single day, knowledge that I will be able to take with me into future comps and practise. Both Mike & Peter sing very much from the same hymn sheet, their advice/eye for pattern flyer is in a different level to anything I know and the experience of many many TOC’s and the dedication it took for that event shows, even many years after they have retired. I was also privileged to received a great gift from Peter, his TOC stick plane, a Breitling crafted replica of is CAP232.
The competition itself was a high pressure event, the title of World Championships certainly lived up to its name, it was the toughest 4 days of flying I have ever experienced and my Dad would certainly agree with that. The pressure of the event was high enough, but factor into that the 30-deg temperatures with little or no shade and any shade there was, felt like an oven, just lifted the toughness up a level. The format of the comp also made it tough, the unknown wasn’t handed out until flying had completed that day, so around 6.30 most days, then unknown was then the first round the next day, so if you were first up, you’d be up at before 6am to get on site for the start of the round, 4 days of this took its toll.
Although it was tough it was very enjoyable and no one said the World’s was going to be easy. I can take a lot of positive’s from the event, I was comfortable with Mike’s Sukhoi and after a nervous start for first few rounds, I settled into it and was happy with how I flew. My unknown’s were all good and scored well, with only one mistake in the final toughest unknown, that was my only zero all week in 390 judged manoeuvres (13 rounds, 10 manoeuvres, 3 judges each round) , I even nailed the Tail slide with if I say so myself one of the best I saw, it slid at least 12 feet, dropped the correct way and came out nice and straight. My highest unknown score was 471 out of 500 and my highest known was 962 out of 1000, as I said before, the ability to score highly is there, I just need to work on my consistency. The techniques I learnt from Peter & Mike will help towards this. I was in a tight group of 5 pilots all within 100 points of each other, with scores out of 7500, a missed snap here or there would cost you 2-3 places. To place above a TOC legend namely Ivan Kristensen is also something to be proud off. To even fly with TOC pilot’s is a rare thing, we managed 4 in one week.
I would again like to thank Mike and Peter for their time and effort early in our trip and off course for the plane, parts and all the little things we needed. To all my sponsor’s who have been a great help all year as usual, Horizon Hobby UK, Desert Aircraft, Optipower, Carden Aircraft, Powerbox Systems, Truturn, Model Fixings & Detect Alarms thanks to each and everyone. My good friend’s Phelim & David for their help before the competition, my wife Lisa for making it easy for me to go to the field to practise and finally to my dad for all that he does, too much to even list, it is very much a team effort and it would not be possible without his huge effort behind the scenes, I get to do the easy bit and fly.
Thanks for reading, I will do a mass photo upload soon.