Bendigo 2016 – Event Report

Each year in July, the VMPRA head off to Bendigo, a regional city situated in the gold fields of central Victoria. It is also the start of the new season championship and we hold our annual general meeting at this event each year. Traditionally, this generally being in the middle of Winter, we can have some pretty cold and wet weather. Luckily, this year we were blessed with quite good conditions and Sunday felt positively Spring-like.
Hot Stuff Model Fuels
As we gathered out at the Marong Model Airfield, conditions were a little foggy but this soon cleared and test flights were carried out. The challenge for the weekend came when setting up the pylon course and in particular the #1 pylon cage. Both the trailer and car towing it dropped into a particularly soft patch of earth as there had been quite an amount of recent rain. Next Tom Allen’s 4-wheel drive ended up stuck while trying to extract the car and trailer. It took another 4-wheel drive of James Hurley’s and some harder ground to start extracting all the vehicles and the cage. As a result, it was just before midday before racing got underway.

First up was Formula 400 with the aim to run only 3 rounds due to the very late start.
Next up was Quickie 500 to also fly 3 rounds. As this class has a relatively easy and quick turn-around time (with only 6 competitors), we refueled out on the line. 3 rounds were quickly completed and we had lunch.

After the late lunch it was time for FA1 (F3D) to race. There were unusually low numbers with only 4 competing so the races where over quickly but model prep/turn-around was slow. Even still, 4 rounds where completed before the end of racing for the day.

During the day, I took the opportunity to test out Facebook Live to film and televise a Q500 and FA1 race. It worked quite well with some well known names from around the world of pylon racing, coming online and viewing the video live. You should be able to view these from the VMPRA facebook page.

In the evening a group of us went off to the Marong pub for dinner. For the size of the town of Marong, the pub is excellent. After dinner, we headed back to the Marong caravan park for our AGM and general meeting. The main change to come from the meeting was James Hurley being elected as our new President of VMPRA taking up the vacancy left by Glenn Matthews after many years as president. I know all the members will join me in thanking Glenn for all his hard work in the past, of which we are only now really starting to get a real appreciation of what he has been doing and congratulating and supporting James in taking up this position.

With Saturday being a rather grey, cold and threatening day, It was a real pleasure to come out to the field on the Sunday morning to sunny still conditions which continued all day. It became warm enough for a few of us to end up stripped down to t-shirts.

Test flying was supervised by Toni Axon in line with our new safety requirement as discussed at the general meeting the night before (these will be published and communicated before the next event).

Racing for the day was the same order as Saturday with F400 and then Q500 doing 5 rounds each with Q500 gaining another competitor in local, Shaun Powers. It was good to see him there having raced with us 2 years prior. FA1 started fairly late and only ended up flying 7 rounds for the weekend whereas F400 and Q500 flew 8.

With this event being one of the 1st with Glenn & Nerida being way, it was good that we had people chipping in to help run the event. In all it went fairly well with only one glitch with the new laptop which had the old version of the timing program loaded, so we had to manually drop the extra round. This will all be sorted for future events.

Check out the event photo gallery>>>


Class – FA1

1st Brian Steele
2nd Andrew Davies
3rd Leigh Hocken

Fastest Time: 59.75 – Leigh Hocken
No. of competitors: 4

Class – F400

1st Andrew Davies
2nd Jim Orenshaw
3rd Gary Davidson

Fastest Time: 63.93 – Andrew Davies
No. of competitors: 6

Class – Q500

1st Tom Allen
2nd John Schmidli
3rd Jim Orenshaw

Fastest Time: 95.21 – Jim Orenshaw
No. of competitors: 7

Check out the full results>>>

Season Championship

Below is the 2015-2016 Season Championship for FA1 F400 and Q500. Congratulations Daniel, Brian and Jim. It is quite an effort to string together good performances, event after event to be in the position to win the season championship.









Now we have already started the 2016-2017 season championship so let’s see who can get to the top this year. There is nothing like a challenge to made us lift our performance.

Season Championship after 1 event.


1st – Brian Steele
2nd – Andrew Davies
3rd – Leigh Hocken


1st – Andrew Davies
2nd – Jim Orenshaw
3rd – Gary Davidson


1st – Tom Allen
2nd – John Schmidli
3rd – Jim Orenhaw

Check Out Season Championship >>>

Season Fastest Time

We have reset the fastest times with the start of a new championship year. A huge congratulation goes out to Leigh Hocken for taking out the fastest times for last season in both FA1 and F400 and Daniel Arapakis for taking it out for Q500.


Next Race

The next event for VMPRA is a Q500 and Sports/Scanner race down at Crib Point on August 28. The race we had there earlier in the year was great with a lot of new comers to pylon competing. This one is really worth getting involved with. It is also part of the season championship for Q500.














Check Out Complete Calendar >>>

Event Report and Photographs – John Schmidli

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/our perspective and reflects how I/we 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.

Quick Reference

Event Result
Photo Gallery
Season Championship
Event Calendar

Hot Stuff Model Fuels

Cohuna August 2013 – Event report

On the 17th & 18th of August we ventured up to Cohuna, a town up near the Victorian and New South Wales border between Kerang and Echuka, for a weekend of pylon racing (classes – FA1, F400 and Q500). This was the first event since the F3D World Championships in Holland that some members of the VMPRA were involved in.

The last event at Bendigo was severely affected by rain and only the F400 class managed to race 4 rounds. This weekend was looking also to be badly effected, not by rain but by very strong winds. Those who traveled up to Cohuna on Friday to do some test flights encountered extremely strong winds. Not much testing was done that afternoon.

In the morning, after even stronger winds during the night, the wind died down and was a lot calmer. Due to the uncertainty of the weather and the fact that there was a forecast for more strong winds on Sunday, we needed to get a good amount of rounds in on the Saturday. We started with FA1 and Q500 together as these classes missed out at the Bendigo event all together.

We flew 5 rounds of FA1 and Q500 during the morning and after lunch, we flew 5 rounds of F400 leaving only a planned 4 rounds of each class for Sunday, weather permitting.

That night, after dinner, the VMPRA AGM was held at a room at the Cohuna Hotel. Members will receive minute of the meeting in the coming weeks.

Sunday morning wasn’t too bad to start with but the winds gradually increased in strength throughout the morning. After 2 rounds of FA1 and Q500, a meeting was held and we agreed to abandon any further racing. We packed up, had lunch, presented trophies and then headed off home early.

Cohuna is a great place for pylon racing and the club provides us with a great deal of support. It was especially good to have enough helpers from the club to man all the pylons including judges for pylon 2 and 3.


1st Barry Murphy
2nd Brian Steel
3rd James Hurley


1st Andrew Davies
2nd Gary Davidson
3rd Daniel Arapakis


1st John Schmidli
2nd Jim Oreshaw
3rd Daniel Arapakis

This event was mostly incident free except for Daniel managing to hit Pylon 2 with his Q500 leaving a trail of polystyrene and balsa strewn across the field. He possibly was followed in his mentors footsteps too closely as Beau Murphy did the same at Munro a short time before the World Championship.

You can view the full result here.

F3D World Championships

In the wrap-up of the World Champs, there has been a lot of information, photos, video etc. added to the official website at

Congratulations to Chris Callow for taking out the championship once again and to all the Australian & New Zealand team members who took part.

VMPRA Season Championship

Tom receiving the FA1 & F400 2012-2013 season championship trophies.

It’s well and truely off and running after a bit of a fause start due to the Bendigo wash-out. You can compete just by attending as many events as possible and working at building the best set result possible. The championship really rewards consistency.

At this event, the previous championship winners were presented with their awards (Tom Wetherill – FA1 and F400 and John Schmidli – Q500).

Check out the table so far.

Next Event

We are off to Swan Hill on September 14-15. VMPRA hasn’t been to Swan Hill in a long time and it’s always great to get a new location to go racing.

In the last couple of years the Swan Hill club has experienced a real resurgence and they are very keen to have us. There is a group of Swan Hill members that will probably camp at the site and they can also provide up to 8 helpers so this event will be well supported.

They have free on-site camping, a hot shower and toilets and there is likely to be big brekky and lunch at very reasonable prices.

The strip is 50 metres from the pits and the runway is gypsum (no dust) and the club can mow a take-off square and roll it if necessary.

So let’s make this a successful weekend and it would be great to see numbers back up to pre-World Champs numbers.

The championship table has been updated and there is also a photo gallery from this event and you check out the calender for future races.

John Schmidli (Report and Photos).


Bendigo – Next Event

Unless you were lucky enough to travel to AMPRA this year, it’s been a bit of a break since the last race. It’s now time to get ready for the next event which is being held at Marong, near Bendigo on July 14-15, 2012. Q500, F400 & FA1 (F3D) will be run on both days (see event calendar).

Also on this week end, is the VMPRA annual general meeting which is being held at the Marong Caravan Park on Saturday night. This is an important meeting as we are electing a new committee and taking care of important business that ensures the smooth running of VMPRA.

Come along and show your support for pylon racing in Victoria. You can even put your hand up for a position on the committee. Without having these committee positions filled, pylon racing in Victoria would not be as strong as it is or may not exist at all.

Look forward to seeing you all there.


Please note that the club has its regular flying day on Friday mornings, and they are generally finished by early afternoon. As such – it is not recommended to practice until after the club members have finished.

Also – the club wishes to remind us regarding leaving wire cuttings around the pits – please clean up after you have finished as there are sheep in the paddock and they do not want to have them ingest any wire.