Hamilton, March 2007

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The VMPRA 2007 racing season finally got underway for 2007 with an event that was held at the Hamilton Model Aeroplane Club on 10 and 11 March 2007.  March proved to be a tough month to schedule an event – as this is a long weekend and some had previously made family commitments.  While the attendance was down – enthusiasm was high, and 9 rounds were flown each day.

 Following the usual practice – QM and Q500 were flown on Saturday with FA1 and F400 being flown on Sunday.  Each event was flown over 10 ˝ laps.  Glenn Matthews had continued work on refining the timing system, which now provides digital readouts at the start line.  Now callers can see exactly what lap is being flown, etc.

 Saturday was sunny and hot with light winds.  QM attracted 4 entries and it proved to be a battle of attrition.  Brian Steele took first place with a score of 450.6 and posted the fastest time of 62.39.  However, his engine expired.  Terry (the last man standing) O’Connor took second with a score of 604.7.  Jim Orenshaw finished in third place, having to withdraw after experiences glitches with his radio.  If there was to be an award for the fastest touch and go – he would have won it after making contact with the ground between pylons 2 and 3.  The landing gear was “retracted”, but he did not scratch the prop.  Glenn Matthews finished in fourth place after experiencing difficulties with a new model.

 Q500 drew 3 entries, and Tom Wetherill finished in first place with a score of 608.6 and fast time of 85.36.  Jason Sagaidak finished second with 650.7 points.  Local club member Phil Niewand finished in third place with his sports model – improving his times throughout the day.

 Sunday’s weather was considerably cooler at about 20oC and winds were gusting to 26 kts.  FA1 attracted five entries and there was some intense competition and good racing.  At the end of the day, Terry O’Connor prevailed and he finished in first place with a score of 471.3.  He also posted the fastest time of 64.56.  Glenn Matthews finished in second with a score of 478.0.  Barry Murphy, who was experimenting with his set up for the upcoming World Championships, finished third.  Unfortunately, he pancaked a model into the ground in round 6.  Lee Hocken finished in fourth with 495.1 points and Brian Steele was fifth.

 F400 attracted three entries and Tom Wetherill finished in first place with a score of 560.9 points.  He also set the fast time of 75.57.  Jason Sagaidak showed very good speed, but collected many cuts, and finished in second with 576.6 points.  Jim Orenshaw placed third with 619.4 points.

 The VMPRA would like to extend its thanks to the Hamilton club for hosting the event, providing course workers, and for providing great food throughout the weekend.  Their field is excellent - the landing area comprises an entire paddock and the buildings provided good shelter from the sun and wind.  We look forward to next year and will make sure that there are no schedule conflicts so we can maximise our attendance and participation.

Report by Tom Wetherill.