MAAA Wingspan

18 WING SPAN NOVEMBER THE ALICE SPRINGS MASTERS GAMES IN A SIGNIFICANT FIRST, AEROMODELLING WAS OFFICIALLY RECOGNISED AS A SPORT AT THIS YEAR’S MASTERS GAMES In a thrillingmilestone for our community of active aeromodellers, our much-loved hobby was officially recognised as a sport at the prestigious Alice Springs Masters in October. Organised by both the Alice Springs Radio Modellers and the Alice Springs Fun Flyers, the aeromodelling aspect of the event, which took place from October 13-20 - saw approximately 40 attendees congregate to Australia’s Red Centre for a thrilling flying competition, full of classic aeromodelling fun and camaraderie. Event organiser, John Oliver, has spent over a decade championing for aeromodelling to be recognised as a sport at the Masters Games. Supporting his case was the fact that the federal government had already accepted model aircraft flying as a bona fide sport. “I’ve been trying for over ten years to get aeromodelling accepted into the Masters Games by the organising committee,” said John. “I think across the board, the fact it’s the first time that aeromodelling has ever been recognised as such, is important for the sport itself- hopefully leading to bigger and better things for the hobby fromhere.” Aeromodelling facets flown over the duration included scale aerobatics IMAC, F5J electric gliders and vintage old timers. The event concluded with a runway dinner attended by 50 people, which had to be hastily relocated to the pit shelters due to an approaching storm. “Our wives called it the ‘runaway dinner’ – and it probably was in the end because we had amassive stormand we had to quickly clear the runway,” said John. “It was pretty exciting – unfortunately it sort of ended the night but we all enjoyed ourselves nevertheless.” Overall, John said the aeromodelling event at Alice Springs Masters Games was highly enjoyable and amajor success for all that attended. He looks forward to welcomingmore people in a couple of years when the event is held again. “It was a pretty good event and I’d like to thank everyone who helped out, including our club for getting behind us and also to the MAAA for coming on-board and helping usmake this a reality,” he said. MAAA president Neil Tank, who attended, alongside MAAA secretary Tyson Dodd, said the event positively showcased all the important elements of our time-honoured sport. “The camaraderie between all competing pilots demonstrated what aeromodelling is about, having fun, learning fromothers and socialising,” he said. To learnmore about the Alice Springs Masters Games click here