A description of the Australian Model Aircraft National Championships held at Albury/Wodonga on the NSW/Victorian state border, commencing December 2002.
Australian Nationals are usually held over the New Year holiday period, so although this 56th one is called the 2002 Nationals, much of it was actually flown in January 2003. Activity got underway on December 28th with processing of models for compliance with the rules, then continued for 7 more days.
These competitions were originally scheduled to be held in Queensland, but difficulties organising them there resulted in the return to Albury/Wodonga where they were held a year earlier. See below for full results and descriptions of individual events.
Pictured at right are:
1. An attractive logo developed for the Nationals appeared prominently on programs, newsletters, signs and websites.
2.Registration and processing took place at the Albury Sports Stadium. Checking of control line models for compliance with the rules was done in the corner shown in the bottom left of this picture, whilst judging of radio control scale models filled most of the room.
3. Aerobatics, combat, and racing events conducted over grass were all flown at Alexandra Park where the facilities were excellent.
4. At Albury Airport an area of tarmac was used for the speed events, scale flying, and racing events allergic to grass. Modellers on the tarmac were required to wear bright red vests as an airport security and safety measure.
5. When all the flying was over and results tallied up a presentation dinner was held for the presentation of awards. Here is senior control line champion Mark Ellins being presented with his award by control line contest director, Jim Ray.
6. Junior control line champion Murray Wilson being presented with his award by control line contest director, Jim Ray
Advanced and Expert Aerobatics commenced on Sunday December 29th, contending with a stiff breeze at Alexandra Park. One round was flown on each of four separate days throughout the week, and so close was the competition that the winners were not known until the very end. More...
FAI F2C Team Race was the first racing event flown over tarmac at Albury Airport, also on Sunday December 29th. The stiff breeze and 33 degree Celsius temperature provided demanding conditions for the nine team entries contesting this international class event. More...
Class 2 Team Race was flown in the afternoon of the same day with 8 entrants and a stronger breeze. These powerful racers usually have no trouble coping with strong winds, but in the final two of the three competing teams were put out of contention by their models running into the circle and crashing on takeoff. More...
Combined Speed is one of those rare events in which a single competitor can come both first and second, and Robin Hiern did it again with first and second in the piston engined classes! These classes were flown at the airport on Monday morning in overcast and humid conditions. There were plenty of planes entered in the jet classes too this year, making for an entertaining and noisy afternoon. Results and pictures...
Junior 2.5cc Combat was in progress meanwhile, over grass at Alexandra Park. Of the four entrants in this event the bigger more experienced boys held the advantage. 1st Murray Wilson, 2nd Michael Comiskey, 3rd Ryan Comiskey.
FAI Combat was also contested at the park, on Monday afternoon. Although attracting a small entry of six flyers the quality of those flying was of very high standard, with a lot of skill and a little bit of luck giving both spectators and flyers a most enjoyable day. 1st Robert Owen, 2nd Graeme Wilson, 3rd Keith Baddock.
2.5cc Rat Race attracted 7 entries and produced some fast racing at the airport on New Years Eve. Although it was a bit windy the stiff breeze did not worry these speedy machines. Clearly the fastest plane was FZCstyle flying wing of Owen/Justic, but as luck would have it that did not guarantee them a win. More...
FAI F2A Speed competitors found rapidly changing humidity on Wednesday morning made it difficult to achieve their best speeds, producing close results. As Andy Kerr remarked, it was difficult to know just who was the favourite for this event. Results and pictures...
Scale Model competitors demonstrated the flying capabilities of their planes over the airport tarmac on Wednesday afternoon. Some very attractive models were entered, but none flew with kind of abitity demonstrated by some of the control line aerobatics experts. 1st Bruce Hoffman, 2nd Anthony Ogle, 3rd Warren Shurmer.
Junior 2.5cc Rat Race was being fought out meanwhile, at Alexandra Park. Flown in the morning in ideal weather conditions, the three participating teams were given two heats each to gain experience. More...
Swap Meet was a semi-social evening held at the Sports Stadium on Wednesday night. The meet began at 8 p.m. with a dozen or so stalls set up in anticipation of selling all sorts of aeromodelling paraphenalia. Prospective buyers from all categories of aeromodelling arrived and were able to make many happy purchases once they had dealt with the welcoming committee that had set up at the door requesting an admittance fee of one raffle ticket per entrant!
Vintage A Team Race was the first event to be flown at Alexandra Park on Thursday, and it attracted 12 entries. Sunny skies, evenly matched equipment and good flying resulted in a very successful event. John Hallowell was elated to become the winner after ten years of competing in this class. More...
Classic B Team Race followed Vintage A, with fewer entries (8) but a wider variety of models. Queenslander Mark McDermott established the fastest heat time in the first round, but crumbled under pressure in the final. More...
Goodyear on Friday had 9 official starters, making it one of the best Goodyear contests in recent years. 1st Rob Fitzgerald/Greg Pretty 2nd John Hallowell/Mark McDermott 3rd Ric Justic/Rob Owen.
Mini Goodyear for up to 2cc engines had another 9 starters, making for another good race. The final was a very fast and cleanly flown affair. 1st Graeme Wilson/Mark Ellins 2nd Keith Baddock/John Hallowell 3rd Jim Ray/Colin Ray.
Vintage Stunt was one of the best supported control line events with 16 entries. Limited to models designed before 1960, all kinds of planes and engines were taking to the air, ranging from Robin Hiern's Frog 250 powered Frisky to Mark Usher's Veco 45 powered Monitor. Results and pictures...
Open Combat was also contested at the park on Friday. Seven entrants did battle and produced many exciting bouts. 1st Richard Bellis, 2nd Michael Comisky Jnr, 3rd Robert Owen.
Classic Stunt, limited to models designed before 1965, also attracted plenty of entries. More...
Triathlon is an ingenious competition in which a single model/motor is used to to fly three separate tasks, consisting of Stunt, Combat, and Ratrace. Flown on Saturday January 4th at the park, Triathlon was the last control line event of these national competitions.
The ten entrants in this event were all Victorians except for Ric Justic and Rob Owen from NSW. According to contest director Jim Ray it is a great event, and does not take as long as expected to run.
1. Mark Ellins, 27 points. (2nd in Stunt, =2nd RatRace, =1st Combat)
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