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Aerobatics comp success for Joel and Will

There was success for Joel Hallewell and Will Blackburn in the first Pocklington aerobatics competition last Thursday as reported below by Competiton Director (and this year's National Champion at Ultimate level) Paul Conran

Winners comp

Joel Hallewell (left), winner, Beginners, Paul Conran (centre), Competition Director, and Will Blackburn, winner, Sports

Paul's report:  https://www.aerobatics.org.uk/contest/result/36

Pocklington , 2015 results

Preparation for the Pocklington competition started a year ago when Charles Baker and I ran a training course there. Come the day, the home club, Wolds GC, put up the two winners for both the Beginners and the Sports competitions.  Not surprising really until you notice that the winners ages are 14 and 16 respectively. There were nine competitors altogether and two aircraft types,  2 x Pilatus B4 and 2 x ASK21. Two pilots, Charles Baker and David Gethin both stepped down from Intermediate to compete at Sports HC. Pocklington was chosen as a venue to avail the northern gliding clubs of a Glider Aerobatics competition closer to hand.  It worked out well and we are all hoping that the event will become a permanent fixture.

After a couple of training days in strong winds we got used to the box position, sandwiched tightly between the villages of Barmby Moor and Pocklington. It proved to be an ideal location as the judges could remain on the airfield and normal club activity was able to proceed as usual.

Although not completely as forecast, the weather on the first competition day allowed us to get started at about eleven o’clock and the first nine flights were flown before lunchtime.  After a timely break the remaining flights were completed by mid afternoon and the competition was officially over. This unexpected turn of events left us wondering what to do with ourselves for the remains of the day.  It was decided to turn our time to good use and put the younger pilots on the judging line for a mini judging school.  Rod Herve (Judge) and myself (CD) would fly the two competition sequences in front of them while Brian McCartney (CJ) and Chris Cain (Judge) would score out loud and explain the downgrades. This exercise was completed to the benefit of us all.

With still a day in hand, it was decided to make the Friday a training day with the option of flying a scored unknown program, albeit outside the main competition.  By the time the rain came in at lunchtime, all was complete and everyone satisfied.

Many thanks to the three judges, Brian, Chris, Rod, and their scribes, all of whom had travelled vast distances to be there. Huge thanks also to John Hunt and the host club, Wolds GC. who went to great lengths to make us feel welcome. John has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the local gastro pubs by the way, and much good use was made of it!  Not only did the club make two of their ASK21’s available but also put at our disposal their Pawnee and Super Cub tow planes.  The towing incidentally was exemplary with Eddie Room, Bob Fox and Chris Price showing exactly how it should be done.  

As to the flying itself the two names to watch out for are Joel Hallewell and Will Blackburn.  Joel, who has only just turned 14, won the Beginners prize with not much more than a dozen aerobatic flights under his belt.  In fact three days earlier had had no intention of even entering!  Whilst Will, a 16 year old veteran, flew with great poise and precision as well as running the flight line and doing much else about the place besides. Peter Gray (Camphill CFI and aerobatics ab initio) put up a spirited performance in the competition in spite of having turned up a few days earlier to ‘only do enough to get his basic badge’.  I hope we will see more of him at future competitions. Trevor Dale, I am sure, will do much to promote aerobatics in the North now that he has a sparkling new B4.   I expect and hope we will see a lot more of Chris Noon, who also sports a new B4, now that he has made the switch from power to glider. And of course I look forward to seeing all those who can make it at the Saltby Open, including Michael Corcoran, current Sports National Champion, who, in such gentlemanly fashion, went the wrong way deliberately to let through the youngsters…. (errrmm – I don’t think so Michael)!



Tom flies in 70 years on
Pocklington glider aerobatics competition


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