The 2016 RAeC Queen's Air Race Challenge Cup
Her Majesty The Queen approved the gift of the trophy to the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom (RAeC) in 2010 and competitions were held in 2011 (British Aerobatic Association), 2012 (British Microlight Aircraft Association) and 2013 (British Balloon & Airship Club). The trophy is of Irish silver and dates from around 1719 and sits on a wooden base. It has the Royal Arms on one side and the words “The Queen’s Air Race Challenge Cup” on the other, it is believed to be the fourth oldest sporting trophy in existence.
For 2016 this prestigious trophy was awarded to the British Model Flying Association (BMFA) to be awarded to the winner of a specially arranged First Person View Multi-rotor racing competition that was held at Popham Airfield, Hampshire, over the weekend of July 30th – 31st. The FPV racing was organised by the BMFA Specialist Body for the sport, the British First Person View Racing Association (BFPVRA) assisted by Rotor-Racing.com
52 competitors, the largest field yet for a UK FPV racing contest, were put into nine heats, racing over two minutes to get in as many laps as they could in the shortest time. Competitors were ranked after each round and scored using the round-by-round (RBR) system, with each pilot's best three scores used to calculate their overall qualifying position.
The top 24 competitors after qualifying were then seeded into a quarter/semi/grand final knockout tournament bracket, and the remaining 28 competitors were seeded into five (A-E) minor-finals. Minor finals were run in the same way as the qualifying heats. Quarter, Semi and the Grand Finals were run over a race distance of 4 laps.
After a weekend of intense competition conducted in the finest sporting manner, one competitor even loaning his multi-rotor to another so he could continue, Gary Kent emerged victorious and was presented with the Queen's Cup by RAeC Vice-Chairman, Duncan McClure.