By Andre Venter
The Barnstormers Model Flying Club Airfield situated just off the R21 between Pretoria and Kempton Park hosted the Large Scale Aerobatics Extravaganza from 26 to 28 March. Pilots made their way from all over the country to compete in this exciting format of RC flying.
The first LSA Extravaganza was held at Henley Model Flying Club last year and it was decided to make it an annual event. The extravaganza is not only an LSA competition but includes many other events like Aircraft & Transmitter setup, Workshops, Best Landing, Best Take-off, Best Loop Competitions, Freestyle & 3D & Smoke demonstrations, Knife-edge, Snap & Spin Tutorials and of course a full IMAC (International Miniature Aerobatic Club) Aerobatic Competition.
Large Scale Aerobatics is flown to very much the same rules as the full-scale competitions, classes competed for are also very similar and include Basic, Sportsman, Intermediate, Advanced, Unlimited, Seniors and MiniMac. Points were scored out of 10 for each manoeuvre and strong emphasis is placed on presentation, horizontal and vertical lines. Each competitor flies four known sequences and the worst scoring sequence is “Thrown”, the leading competitor is scaled to 1000 points and the others are assigned a percentage of the total worked back to a score.
Friday was a practice day and an opportunity for the pilots that had travelled from far to get accustomed to the flying conditions at Barnstormers. During the day on Friday, some of the locals took the opportunity to get in some flying with their beautiful aircraft one of the notable aircraft was a Stagger wing Waco.
Saturday morning dawned with wonderful weather and the competition was on the pilots were ready to prepare their aircraft from very early some of them were so enthusiastic that they were preparing before sunrise.
The weather held very well throughout the day and the competition was fierce. Sunday saw the second round of the competition also being flown in very good conditions, the Barnstormers Club members must be commended for their hospitality and offering their wonderfully maintained airfield for the Extravaganza.
After two days of very tight competition, which had the judges working hard to score each and every sequence it was time to name the winners.
In the Basic class, it was Marnu Bothma that walked away with the spoils with his XtremeAir Sbach, followed by Geoff Dale in second and the young Juandre van der Schaar in third. A total of 11 pilots competed in the Basic Class.
Sportsman class was won by Chris Parker with an Edge 540, in second was Myles Hasenbroek and third, belonged to Daniel Finch.
Justin Gomersall flying a Yak 54 won the Intermediate class unfortunately only two pilots had entered but Neil Twomey, however, gave him a run for his money.
In the Advanced class, there were also only two entries Calvin Schroll, flying a Yak 54, managed to edge out Ian Edwards to walk away with first place.
In the Unlimited class, there was a three-way battle between Danie Potgieter, Josh Twomey and Roston Dugmore, Danie managed to out-fly Josh and Roston to walk away with the extravaganza title of unlimited champion in his AJ Laser.
All the scores are then combined to find a Seniors winner and a MiniMac for the younger contestants, these competitions were won by Marnu Bothma and Chris Parker respectively.
A great weekend was had by all and everyone left looking forward to the next LSA competition.