Flying high above Central Canterbury

GARY MOODY
Last updated 12:45 16/01/2013
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Allan Knox of Blenheim launching his vintage radio controlled SCRAM

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Ninety contestants from around the country launched their model aircraft into the Selwyn skies for the sport's national championship held at Kirwee at New Year.

The event also featured flying contests staged at sites between Darfield and West Melton.


Organiser Barry Lennox said there were 85 different classes in several disciplines, which included pylon racing, aerobatics, scale, free-flight, sub-miniature, ultra-light indoor models, vintage designs and helicopters. There was also a guest competitor from the Czech Republic, Martin Rasjner, and three world champions.


Mr Lennox said the weather was a problem, with one day lost due to wind and rain, but the last three days were good for flying so most events were compressed into that period.

"It is somewhat traditional that late December-early January can be a windy time, however, it is the one time of year that most people can consistently get a week or more off, " he added.


The most exciting event, for spectators and entrants, was the free-flight aggregate, Mr Lennox said.


"There is a 30- minute window to get as much flight time as possible. The catch is the model must be retrieved on foot, then re-launched from the starting line. A few longer flights and a gentle breeze meant that some only got in a couple of flights and an awful lot of running."

The domestic facilities for the event were provided by the Kirwee A & P Association and the Kirwee Combined Sports clubs, "and were of a very high standard".

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