The Duxford Challenge Cup Meeting - 2009

CD's Report
The Imperial War Museum at Duxford is a wonderful location for an aerobatic competition and the British Aerobatic Association was very pleased to receive an invitation from Mick Martin (Airfield Director) to return to the airfield to run an Advanced and Unlimited level contest in 2009. Jen Buckenham worked with Mick and Esther Blaine (Public Relations Manager) at Duxford over the winter and spring to set an early June date for the contest. Jen works tremendously hard on behalf of the BAeA throughout the year and it is thanks to her dedication setting-up the Calendar of events for each season that we are able to enjoy contests at such fabulous locations as Duxford. The final set-up meeting was held on the Tuesday before the event, with Duxford bathed in glorious sunshine and a Spitfire flying a practice display in a cloudless blue sky. It is easy to see why this is a dream destination airfield for pilots. Unfortunately, the BBC’s five day forecast suggested that the weather would not hold for the weekend and we could be battling rain, low cloud and thunderstorms during the contest – not a great prognosis, but we would have to adapt our plans to accommodate the weather over the weekend.

Saturday morning arrived and so did the bad weather, with rain and low cloud affecting much of England, although at Duxford the rain gradually eased off so by the first briefing at 0930 we had a workable cloud base and very light rain. Nine pilots had managed to get to Duxford, although a number of competitors, including Eddie Goggins from Ireland and two visiting Dutch pilots were blocked by poor weather en route.

The two Unlimited level pilots, Mark Jefferies (Extra 300SC) and Kester Scrope (Edge 540) flew their “Q” programme first. Both pilots put in good flights and are clearly benefiting from the expert critique provided by Eric Vazeille at the British Team Training Camps organised by David Cowden (British Aerobatic Foundation). Kester scored 70% for this flight, but Mark edged into the lead with 75%.

Seven Advanced pilots contested the Duxford Challenge Cup and after the “Q” programme, Gary Ferriman (Extra 230) had established a strong lead by posting an impressive score of 76% for his flight, although Nick Richards (Extra 300L), Paul Tomlinson (Edge 360) and Simon Johnson (Pitts S1T) all scored more than 70% in the sequence to keep the pressure on Gary for the Unknown sequence.

The judges and their assistants had a quick break to warm-up before resuming with the Unlimited Unknown – a challenging sequence that Mark managed to fly cleanly with no zeros. Kester unfortunately rolled the wrong way during a rolling circle to collect a Hard Zero to give Mark the victory in this sequence. It is very clear that both are flying very well, their accuracy and technique improving progressively as the season and the training camps progress. This bodes very well for both pilots who will be flying for the Mazda British Aerobatic Team at the World Aerobatic Championships that will be held at Silverstone in August this year.

The Advanced pilots were next to face the challenge of flying an unknown sequence and the judges saw some excellent flying with the top four pilots posting scores of more than 70%. Gary consolidated his lead with an impressive 75% in the Unknown, closely followed by Paul Tomlinson, who again showed that he has the ability to make-up ground at a contest by putting in improving performances in successive flights during the day. Nick Richards flew very well to come third in the Unknown, pushing Simon Johnson into fourth place, despite Simon scoring 70% for his flight in the Pitts S1T.

Kester then flew a Free Programme training flight while the judges had a lunch break. Mick Martin printed off a weather forecast for Sunday, which made grim reading – low cloud, with persistent heavy rain for most of the day. There was enough time left to run the Masters Competition if the Advanced pilots were prepared to fly again on the Saturday. The pilots agreed that in view of the forecast we should make use of the good weather, then close the event before the bad weather arrived, so that everyone could leave on Saturday evening and get home safely.

Ian Scott gave an excellent briefing to explain what the judges would expect to see flown during each compulsory figure of the Masters programme – not many pilots had worked out that a 1/8th Clover Leaf required starting on a heading offset 45° to the main axis! The embellished Derry Turn also led to a detailed debate about how many rolls were required at the central point of the figure – but finally the judges and pilots seemed to know what was expected and five pilots took on the Masters Challenge! The Masters programme is really a great flight to watch. The rules allow each pilot to embelish each of the compulsory figures by adding twists and turns of their own, so long as the fundamental geometry of the basic figure is respected. Richard Buchan put in the most spirited performance to win the title.

The medals and a collection of prizes provided by the Imperial War Museum were presented by Duxford's Mick Martin to each of the winners. The Duxford Challenge Cup was won by Gary Ferriman, with Nick Richards second and Paul Tomlinson third. Mark Jefferies won the Unlimited contest and Richard Buchan took home the Masters Gold Medal, with Paul Tomlinson second and Gary Ferriman third.

In the end we were lucky with the weather at Duxford and managed to get most of the scheduled sequences flown during the Saturday. This was only possible because of the great way that everyone involved, pilots, Duxford staff, judging team and BAeA officials alike, all worked together to ensure that we got as much flying done as possible. We were also very fortunate to have three American visitors, Phil, Tammy and Corey, volunteer to work on the judging line for the whole day, which enabled us to support four judging teams on the line. I am sure that they had not planned to spend their day at Duxford in quite that way, but it was a pleasure to work with them and they made a huge difference to our ability to run the judging line effectively.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this a very enjoyable, friendly, competitive and safe event. I would especially like to thank Stephen Madle who agreed to be Deputy CD at very short notice and did an excellent job overseeing contest operations. Mick Martin and Duxford were excellent hosts and we very much hope that we will be invited back for another competition next year.

The next Unlimited level power contest scheduled this year is the World Aerobatic Championships at Silverstone, which will be held from the 20th to 29th August. We expect to see 60 pilots from 20 countries battle it out to be crowned World Aerobatic Champion. Please put the dates in your diary, come along to support the event and help the BAeA make WAC 2009 an excellent event. You can find much more information about the Championships at the two web sites and
Steve Green
Contest Director

Advanced Final Results
The Duxford Trophy Meeting at Duxford Museum, 6th-7th June 2009

Ranked by scores    

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Known #1 Unk'n #1 Totals O/all %
1 Gary Ferriman Extra-230 G-ROMP 2196.43 2549.55 4745.98 76.42
2 Nick Richards Extra-300L D-ETTO 2099.05 2433.77 4532.82 72.99
3 Paul Tomlinson Edge-360 G-ZVKO 2006.71 2507.55 4514.26 72.69
4 Simon Johnson Pitts S-1T N-666BM 2063.07 2384.16 4447.23 71.61
5 Cas Smith Pitts S-2A G-ICAS 1926.56 1975.93 3902.48 62.84
6 Richard Buchan Extra 200 G-GLOC 1750.72 2003.92 3754.63 60.46
7 Alex Smith Edgs-360 G-CDDP 1871.76 1800.67 3672.42 59.14

Aerobatic Contest Results Organiser, Version 2.0 build 27-05-09, with FairPlay Scoring System

Advanced Masters Results

Ranked by scores    

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Masters Totals O/all %
1 Richard Buchan Extra 200 G-GLOC 1541.05 1541.05 59.27
2 Paul Tomlinson Edge-360 G-ZVKO 1415.92 1415.92 54.46
3 Gary Ferriman Extra-230 G-ROMP 1403.71 1403.71 53.99
4 Cas Smith Pitts S-2A G-ICAS 1307.86 1307.86 50.30
5 Nick Richards Extra-300L D-ETTO 1248.87 1248.87 48.03

Aerobatic Contest Results Organiser, Version 2.0 build 27-05-09, with FairPlay Scoring System

Unlimited Final Results

Ranked by scores    

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Known #1 Unk'n #2 Totals O/all %
1 Mark Jefferies Extra 330SC G-IIHI 2804.84 3066.49 5871.32 74.04
2 Kester Scrope Edge 540 G-EDGY 2619.52 2656.15 5275.68 66.53
Contest Director: Steve Green. Deputy Contest Director: Stephen Madle. Contest Chief Judge: Steve Green. Scoring Director: Jen Buckenham. Judges: Steve Green, Lynne Westnage, John Wicks, Phil Atley. Judges Assistants: Julie Wood, Bernie Raftery, Andy Leitch, Chris Burkett, Corey, Tammy, Phil Sisson, Fiona, John Wicks.

Aerobatic Contest Results Organiser, Version 2.0 build 27-05-09, with FairPlay Scoring System




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