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7

Jenny Naughton for permission to use

their flying field.

F3K gliders are small aircraft with a

wingspan of up to 1.5 metres and a

maximum weight of 600 grams. As the

name suggests the gliders are hand

launched by pilots before being radio

controlled in flight.

Competition is based on a selection

of flight tasks including completing

as many 30 second flights as possible

in a certain time or attempting to

reach a single flight time of up to three

minutes. In official competition there

must be a minimum of five rounds of

flying and points are awarded based on

times achieved for each task.

The RCGA Open was held on the Friday,

following a practice day on Thursday,

and was won by reigning World

Champion Alex Hewson with Joe Wurts

and Peter Williams taking second and

third respectively, making it a clean

sweep for New Zealand.

The Asia Pacific Open kicked off in

earnest on the Saturday with the early

preliminary rounds concluded on the

Sunday morning. The top ten pilots then

went on to complete in the fly offs on

the Sunday afternoon.

The weekend drew 100 spectators

who watched as competitors battled it

out for team and individual honours,

witnessing up close the thrilling

spectacle of F3K glider flying. It was

a very social event with tales of the

day’s competition shared over evening

meals at various eateries around the

Strathbogie Shire.

The individual results had a familiar

look with New Zealand once more

taking top honours led by Alex Hewson

in first and Kevin Botherway and Peter

Williams taking second and third

respectively. New Zealand won the

team competition with Australia in

second and Singapore just beating

China for third.

The F3K Asia Pacific open is a relatively

new competition for this class of model

aircraft and was first held in China in

2014. It was the brainchild of glider

enthusiasts Thomas Lee from Hong

Kong and Jon Day from Australia who

wanted to promote the sport, offer

more international competition and

give pilots a chance to further develop

their skills in the year between World

Championships.

Event co-founder Jon Day was delighted

that Australia was this year’s host.

“It was an honour to be able to host

this event and I sincerely hope that this

competition continues long into the

future with the same level of intimacy

and good sportsmanship,” said Jon.

The next Asia Pacific F3K Open is

billed for 2018 and with both New

Zealand and Singapore voicing an

interest in hosting it, it looks like

this event will continue to be a

mainstay of the F3K competitive

calendar for many years to come.

IMAGEs:

All images courtesy

David Hannah Photography

Jon Day, co-founder of the APO executes a perfect

turnaround.

Thomas Lee (Hong Kong), co-founder and

organiser of the inaugural APO.

Father and son team fromThailand

has a good practice session.

Cai Xuming launches right at the edge of the

marked field.