MAAA Wingspan

WING SPAN AUGUST 12 ING SPAN NOVEMBER When a family friend gave Chris Callow his first model aeroplane at the age of 12, he never expected it would lead him to travel around the globe and be the youngest person to represent at world level competitions. Chris shared a love of model aircraft with his father Kevin Callow, and it was his dad who continued to stand by his side in the position of coach and mentor, guiding him and supporting him throughout years of training. “Dad started me off on the sport, none of my friends were doing anything like this,” said Chris. “Pylon racing is all about speed and accuracy and the goal is to clock the fastest speed in a 400-metre lap, with up to three planes competing at a time. “Our training sessions have always been a team effort with dad standing beside me, coaching, and letting me know when to turn. “He has been my trainer, mechanic, and timekeeper, it has always been a team effort,” Chris explained. After a few years of practice, Chris entered his first competition in Australia at the age of 16, becoming the youngest person to represent his country and win the title of World Champion. He proceeded to win this title again in 2003, 2005, 2011, 2013 and 2019, which saw him compete in international competitions in Australia, the Czech Republic, France, and the Netherlands. “Mum and dad travelled with me to places like Europe, Japan and America,” Chris said, reflecting on his competitions. “It was only with sponsorship that we were able to travel and experience amazing cultures, learning about the world. “Mum and dad came with me, and because we did this as a family, it really helped to make our family close.” It is still a family affair with Chris’ wife and sons enjoying model aircraft. Now that Chris has retired from competition, he has more time to spend with his young family who love playing soccer, camping, boating, fishing, and the great outdoors. At least he still has coach Kevin to call on whenever he feels the need to take to the skies again. Chris’ local Club is based in Coolum, and he often ventures out to fly in Maryborough, Queensland. Love of model planes leads to international travel