Wow, what a great event. On the Queen’s birthday long weekend, VMPRA hosted the 2015 AMPRA Championships and F5D Australian team trials. This event was held in Munro at Barry Murphy’s superb purpose build pylon racing field.
Arriving at the field a few days early, it was obvious that a lot of hard work had gone into getting the field prepared including flags, banners and even a winner’s podium that was fitting of any high class event. Ian Rickard took his annual leave holidays to prepare the grounds for pilots, campers and spectators. Preparations of the field were spectacular!
Thursday night saw competitors starting to arrive with most participants from the four different states arriving during the Friday. After some fairly dubious weather earlier in the week, the weather Gods turned up on Friday and really turned it on for perfect conditions over the weekend in Gippsland one of Victoria’s famous regions for veggie growers and cattle. Friday consisted of setting up of aircraft and campsites and plenty of test flying. Most pilots camped for the long weekend enjoying a real country felt environment. After some pre sunset electric flying, we were treated to a fantastic dinner put together by Toni Axon and also contributions by Lydia Arapakis and her legendary meatballs and fed the 30 campers and visitors. Dessert consisted of plenty of cold beers and mash mellows around the camp fire.
The AMPRA Championships are a once a year national event that is held in different states where pylon racers from typically VIC, QLD, SA and NSW come together to compete. This year it was decided that this would be the F5D World Championships team selection. F5D is a pylon racing class that uses electric powered motor flying a very similar speeds to F3D. As it was a selection event, this class would take priority to ensure 8 rounds are flown.
After some early test flying and setting up the course and timing system, first up was 2 rounds of F5D. Early pace and consistency was set by Alex Davie, Barry Murphy and Bruce DeChastel.
Next up was F400 of which 3 rounds where run. With 14 entrants, it took a while to get through each round. Shaun Jacobsen set the bench mark with a (62.45) in the first round and consistency flew with great times all weekend and also recorded the fastest times on both days. With prefect conditions for flying with a 5km/h westerly and 18 degrees, saw more rounds of F5D and lunch to follow.
Lunch consisted of hamburgers and pasta carbonara also organized again by Toni Axon. Straight after lunch, there was another couple of rounds of F5D with all pilots on the money. Beau Murphy pulled out a ripper and flew the fastest time (57.53) of the event.
Next up was Q500. Lots of cuts for the 1st round but Caleb Chipendale putting in a nice fast clean time
. with his PB of (98.08) and the fastest time of the round– truly a great effort as this was only his second pylon race event! The 2nd Round Jim Orenshaw recorded the fastest time for the weekend of 90.81 and he put in a nice fast time for the 3rd round. The sun was now setting so racing was stopped for the day. Surprise entrant Austin Omann (Curley) in his very first event was flying very tight circuits and positioned really well for the start of the weekend.
At 5:30, the AMPRA AGM and general meeting was held under the cover of a huge marquee
Sunday Morning, dawned with beautiful clear conditions yet again. Racing started a little earlier as there was no resetting of the course required. First up again was round 7 of the F5D selection races. This time Daniel Arapakis was also racing giving him an opportunity to be selected as a junior representative. In this round, Beau really hit his stride, with another sub 60. Unfortunately for Allan Swift, he managed to hit the #3 pylon during this race which ended his racing for the day prematurely. The ever reliable Barry Murphy yet again on his game with our friends from QLD Tony and Bruce flying great with only a few seconds apart between them.
Next up was the final round (round 8). Beau again recorded a fast time of 57.56, only 3/100s off the fastest time he recorded the day before and pipped Baz finishing in top spot and only 5 seconds separating the next three places. Dannmann also flew his PB ripper in round 8 with a (60.15).
Next we went straight into FA1 racing with a view completing all 8 rounds that day.
To start off, the 1st round saw half the field record DNS’s including Daniel Arapakis who uncharacteristically recorded 2 DNS’s for rounds 1 &
Before lunch was ready, we had a trophy presentation for the F5D event as the QLD competitors needed to leave that afternoon to catch flights back. Well done guys and big efforts recognized by all…..
The places where:
1st place: Beau Murphy, Caller – Barry Murphy
2nd place: Barry Murphy, Caller – Beau Murphy
3rd place: Tony Singleton, Caller – Bruce de Chastel
Place getters received a very nice glass trophy and both pilots and callers received AMPRA mugs with the appropriate and place and position. The podium really made a great feeing of an official presentation and memorable pictures for the album.
After lunch FA1 was up again. Round 6 saw Beau Murphy, record a fastest time for this class for the weekend of 58.82sec. This rounds also saw an unfortunate post race collision betweenGary Davidsonand Brian Steele. Andrew Davies struck some bad luck as well destroying a new piston and withdrawing from the event. Tom Jacobsen flew his best time of the event with a (62.33) but found the ground in the last round tearing a cannon in Bazza’s bowling green. So the last race of the day saw Beau and Dannmann. Both pilots flew their WC models neck and neck which was truly a spectacle to watch as neither pilot gave an inch. Both Dad’s obviously nervous but very proud to watch their sons on top of their game and Beau’s unquestionable character mentoring Dan with final World F3D Championships preparations. Both pilots pushing hard resulted in cuts and show time thankfully was over, never the less both pilots and callers had a ripper time and high fives all round with both planes safe on the ground.
Next up was Q500 and racing continued till dark. James Hurley and John Schmidli recording a string of sub 100’s placing them in top positions. It was also becoming evident that a young first time racer, Daniel Arapakis’s best mate and protégé
, Austin Omann has been practicing behind the scenes at Munro going really fast even though he had recorded a cut in most rounds. Dark horse Jimmy cut himself out of the event after the first 6 rounds scores were posted. Consistency of Ian Rickard also positioned well after 6 rounds and flying really well. Great to see all pilots having a go and Matt Young also back flying.
After another great night and now into the left over’s saw plenty of laughs and beer around the camp fire and a reasonably quiet night, the morning kicked off starting with F400 (round 4). It was in the 1st heat that John Schmidli and Jim Oreshaw had a mid-air (link to Youtube clip) putting them both out of the competition for the rest of the day. The rest of the F400 races went without incident and there was some very good and fast flying. Shaun recorded the fastest time for the class in the 7th round and ended up securing 1st place. Great to watch the Jabobsen crew from the side line as all three guys had a great weekend flying!
As the F400 race drew to a close, the wind had really picked up which had been expected. Q500 had only 2 rounds to be completed but Glenn Matthews, the contest director, declared it too windy so Q500 was to only be the 6 round already flown.
Great call as the weekend ending with a BBQ lunch. The field equipment was then packed up and then trophies presented at the contest podium (see results below) which drew what can only be classed as an absolutely awesome weekend’s flying to an close.
In closure, the weekend was one for the history books with contributions by all pilots, spectators, visitors and helpers being truly outstanding. Special mention to the Munro ground crew and the interstate visitors who made great efforts to travel significant distances to participate in this year’s event!
Results – F5d
1st Beau Murphy
2nd Barry Murphy
3rd Tony Singleton
Fastest Time: 57.53 – Beau Murphy
No. of competitors: 8
Course – 10 Laps
Results – FA1
1st Beau Murphy
2nd Glenn Matthews
3rd Barry Murphy
Fastest Time: 58.82 – Beau Murphy
No. of competitors: 10
Course – 10 Laps
Results – F400
1st Shaun Jacobsen
2nd Andrew Davies
3rd Tom Jacobsen
Fastest Time: 62.37 – Shaun Jacobsen
No. of competitors: 14
Course – 10 Laps
Results – Q500
1st John Schmidli
2nd James Hurley
3rd Austin Omann
Fastest Time: 90.81 – Jim Orenshaw
No. of competitors: 11
Course – 10 Laps
Special Q500 Encouragement Award.
Back in January this year, the VMPRA was involve at Sandown Race Way as part of the Sandown F1 R/C Air Race. As part of this, we had a Great Planes Viper Q500 racer kindly donated by Dawn Trading (http://www.dawntrading.com.au) along with a Thunder Tiger engine (TT 46 PRO), also kindly donated by R/C Headquarters – Werribee (http://www.rcheadquarters.com.au/). This aircraft was used by the VMPRA for flying demonstrations at that event.
The VMPRA committee decided that this donated aircraft should be awarded to someone that would benefit from the use of such a model in the pursuit of getting started in pylon racing.
It was with great pleasure that the VMPRA awarded the prize of the Great Planes Viper and Thunder Tiger TT466PRO to first time Q500 competitor, Austin Omann. Austin has been going flying and practicing pylon racing under the encouragement and guidance of Daniel and Andrew Arapakis and was flying using their aircraft. By awarding this aircraft to Austin, we feel that it will assist him in his Pylon Racing ambitions. Congratulation Austin and we look forward to seeing you at future events.
For 2 out of the 3 classes, the championship has finished for the 2014/2015 season.
1st – Daniel Arapakis
2nd – Glenn Matthews
3rd – Barry Murphy
A big congratulations must go out to Daniel for clenching this championship at the age of 14 and only 3 years after coming long to his first pylon race armed with a Boomerang Trainer. This not only has happened as a result of a huge effort and commitment from Daniel but also by his caller and dad, Andrew and coaches and mentors, Barry and Beau Murphy.
Congratulations also goes out to Glenn Matthews for coming in 2nd place and also last year’s champion, Barry Murphy sneaking into 3rd place in the last event for the season.
1st – Andrew Davies
2nd – Glenn Matthews
3rd – Brian Steele
A big congratulations goes out to Andrew Davies for gaining the winning position at the last event for the season displacing last year’s winner, Glenn Matthews who has come in 2nd place and then Brian Steele has come in 3rd place.
This class has still got one more event to go before places will be confirmed. Current placings are:
1st – John Schmidli
2nd – Jim Orenshaw
3rd – James Hurley
In actual fact, the winner can’t change as John Schmidli is 25 points ahead with a maximum of only 10 points available to the winner of the next race.
F3D World Championships
Between 6-11 July, 2015, there is the FAI F3D world championship being held in the Czech Republic. We wish all the Australian team and defending world champ, Chris Callow, all the best. In particular, our fellow VMPRA members, Beau Murphy and Caller Barry Murphy, Leigh Hocken and caller Vern Gibson and Junior representative, Daniel Arapakis and caller Andrew Arapakis. We wish you all the best.
Also we wish our Team New Zealand represents, Tom Wetherill and his caller Jim Orenshaw, all the best too.
To all supporters and family travelling over for the event, have a great trip and a good time at the world champs.
As mentioned in the Season Championship section, we have a Q500 and Sports pylon race on at the Werribee Club Field on July 5, 2015. Hope to see many there and anybody keen to try pylon racing, you are welcome to come along with a sport or trainer plane.
After that, there is a full 3 class pylon race at the Marong field near Bendigo on August 1-2, 2015. This will be the 1st event for the new 2015/2016 championship season and there will also be our AGM on the Saturday night which is usually held at the caravan park. More details will be posted closer to then.
Event Report – John Schmidli and Andrew Arapakis
Photos – John Schmidli and Andrew Arapakis
The written content in this post is accurate to the best of my/our knowledge at the time of publishing. It is written from my perspective and reflects how I have experienced this event.
Photos published as feature images are selected purely for their quality, general interest or topicality. They are chosen from a pool of photos taken by myself and others when time permits.
If a perspective is not being represented, I am more than happy to publish any written content or photos that are supplied to me provided it is fair and reasonable.