20th - 27th August 2023 - Warwick, Australia
First started flying in 1977, after I saw model aircraft being displayed at the local town show, stop flying of a few years like we all do and chased women, until I married, went back to flying and never stopped since.
Joined the GBRCAA to call for Garry Peacock, who suggested I take part while at the comps helping him, my highest achievement to date would be winning Masters League, and winning the BMFA Nationals Masters.
I am also honoured to be BMFA examiner and to help others enjoy this great hobby and sport.
I was UK Team Manager in 2017 in Argentina, and how in again this time in another long haul flight.
18 times UK F3A team member in world & European championships, and 2 times UK National
The 2023 RC Aerobatics World Championship is being held in Warwick, Queensland, Australia.
The UK team is Thomas David, Kevin Caton and Garry Peacock, with Eugene Anker as Team Manager.
The team made the long trip “down under” early last week and the pilots spent the first few days getting over the jet lag and practising their manoeuvre schedules in the late Winter weather in Australia, which has been generally sunny, with some very windy days, with temperatures varying from almost freezing in the mornings up to 24C by mid afternoon. There are 57 competitors and over the first four days of competition, each pilot will fly one flight per day of the preliminary manoeuvre schedule for 2022/23.
The team pilots have completed two rounds so far and the current standings are Thomas David in 24th place, Kevin Caton in 31st and Garry Peacock in 46th. There is still plenty of chance to improve our positions and on Friday the top 30 pilots will go on the fly two further flights of the semi-final manoeuvre schedule, which is much more complex than the preliminary schedule.
The top ten pilots from the semi final will fly a final set of three flights on Saturday, two of which are unknown to the pilots until the night before the competition, with no opportunity to practice. Here are some pictures from our first few days, with more updates to follow.
Here is the second part of our report from the 2023 F3A RC Aerobatics World Championship in Warwick, Queensland, Australia.
The second two days of the preliminary rounds provided mixed fortunes for the UK team. Thomas David and Kevin Caton continued at their normal level of performance but Garry Peacock was unfortunate to pick up an eye infection which resulted in one eye being almost closed - not good at all for RC flying. With treatment he was able to continue flying and he improved his flight scores over the last two rounds to pick up several places in the rankings - good for the team results.
At the end of the preliminary rounds Thomas had qualified for the semi-finals (top 30) in 26th place, with Kevin just missing the cut in 31st - by an agonising 2 points in 2473 - and Garry finished 40th.
After the reserve day the semi-finals were held. Kevin was one of the judge calibration pilots at the start of these two rounds - a consolation prize for those who have just missed the cut. Two rounds of the more complex F-23 schedule were flown by the remaining competitors and Thomas was able to improve his placing up to 20th - the best result at this level for a UK competitor for several years.
The final three rounds were flown on Saturday 26th August by the top ten pilots. Two different unknown schedules were used for rounds 1 and 3, with a further round of the F-23 schedule in round 2, with all scores added together to determine the final placing. The standard of flying was incredibly high and the results were close. The winner and new World Champion was Lassi Nurila from Finland. Andrew Jesky from the USA was second and his team mate Jason Shulman was third. The USA won the team trophy and the UK team placed 8th, a good result for us.
Nine times World Champion Christophe Paysant-Le Roux from France finished fifth behind Gernot Bruckmann from Austria. It may have been the end of a long tenure as World Champion for Christophe but he had the great consolation of seeing his 17 year old son Antonin take the Junior trophy - clearly he will be a pilot to watch for the future.
So what does it take to be the World Champion at RC Aerobatics? Winner Lassi Nurila had been preparing for the championship almost full time for the last five years. He admitted he hasn’t spent much time on the “day job” over that period. Many of the other finalists have a similar level of commitment, though thankfully some do have “normal” full time employment away from model flying!
The organisers in Australia put on a great event and in spite of the travel distance, the entry level was good, though it has be said that some countries with top level pilots didn’t make the trip. Whatever the model flying discipline there are always a few take-aways from a World Championship and these will be analysed on our return home.
The team wishes to thank the BMFA for the contribution towards our entry fees and UKF3A for help with the travel and accommodation costs. The pilots also have their own support teams back home and their contribution to making the trip possible is gratefully acknowledged.
That’s all from “down under”. We will recover from “inverted flight” soon and be back in action on home soil over the rest of the season. We will miss the Queensland Winter weather though!