Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Upper Canada Open Review!

Aerobatics Canada Chapter 3 is pleased to announce the successful completion of the 2011 Upper Canada Open, which occurred the weekend of August 26, 2011 in Hanover, Ontario. Three categories were flown, the highest being Intermediate. Contest Director Larry Ernewein did a superb job handling the legwork needed to put on the first aerobatic contest Ontario has seen in five years! The supporting team from Aerobatics Canada Chapter 3, notably Pat Rebbetoy, Joy McKinney, and Mark and Brenda Bayley were the driving force who made the contest a reality. Without their help, the Southwestern Ontario aerobatic community would still be dreaming of having ‘another’ contest.

Turnout for the contest included fourteen airplanes and fifteen competitors, all Canadians, including two first time competitors in Primary. Congratulations to Mike Jones of London, and Trish Volker of Burlington for jobs well done getting into the competition aerobatics scene. Other competitors such as Phil Sciuk and Desmond Lightbody came from the Oshawa area, and John Wyman came all the way from Montreal in his Pitts S1S, followed by his support team in an Champ! The turnout exceeded expectations, and we were thrilled to see so much support for the contest from Canadian pilots. The results of the contest were as follows:

  1. Trish Volker- Extra 300-  88.61%
  2. Mike Jones- Grob 115- 79.31%

  1. Larry Ernewein- Bucker Jungmann- 89.09%
  2. Phil Sciuk- Giles 202-81.00%
  3. Bjarni Tryggvason- Pitts S2A- 80.84%
  4. Desmond Lightbody- S2A- 80.25%
  5. Natalie McHaffie- 72.05%
  6. John Wyman- 60.23%

1.      Andy Ernewein- Pitts S1S- 88.95%
2.      Hella Comat- Pitts S1T- 88.86%
3.      Michael Tryggvason- Pitts S2A- 87.10%
4.      Bill Lugwig- Pitts S1T- 78.55%
5.      Trevor Rafferty- Javelin- 77.10%
6.      Chris Pulley- S1E- 74.73%

The contest ran smoothly thanks to help ‘on the inside’ from Joy McKinney, Brenda Bayley and Elaine Ernewein who ran the registration, program coordination and scoring from the terminal of the Hanover Airport. To guide them thru the process, renowned organizers Lorrie Penner and Nancy Wright came up all the way from Ohio and Michigan to help out and make the contest such a success. Enough thanks cannot be expressed to our State-side friends who came to support the contest and the Chapter. The Chief Judge for the contest, Carole Holyk, was supported by a panel of American judges including Sandy Langworthy, Hugo Ritzenthaler, and Wayne Buescher. Paul Goyette and Chris Pulley were the two Canadians rounding out the judging panel. The shortest drive for our American friends to Hanover was five hours! Our starter was Josh Pegg, who made a smashing contest debut with next to no idle time between competitors in the box. He was without question one of the day’s MVP’s.

The weather held out on Saturday with only a three hour delay mid-day for a low scattered layer to pick up, and by five that evening, it broke sky clear for the rest of the day. Many locals from Hanover stopped by the airport occasionally to see what the fuss was about, and a few ‘fly-in’ visitors and contest help were present at the field. Riley, the Hanover airport attendant that day, did an exceptional job directing interim traffic to parking spaces that did not interfere with the contest progress. The threat of weather and wind on Sunday from the remnants of Hurricane Irene prompted the decision to complete all the contest flying on Saturday, and every competitor in Sportsman and Intermediate was able to complete a three flight contest. At the end of the day, a banquet was held at Phil Englishman’s hangar on the field, and top placing competitors were awarded. Phil was instrumental in getting the contest underway at Hanover, and we look forward to working with him again for future competitions.

The 2011 Upper Canada Open would not have been possible without the help of local, national and international contributors. Local businesses showed incredible support for bringing the contest to town, including Frankie’s Pub, Optical Gallery of Hanover, Bill Brown of Dundee Wealth Hanover, the Queens Bush Pub, Sobeys grocer Hanover, and M&M Meats Hanover. If readers do find themselves in the town of Hanover for a visit, or a fly-in lunch, we encourage you to support our contributors and let them know that the days are counting down to the next Upper Canada Open! The Saugeen Municipal Airport extended fantastic hospitality to competitors and guests alike, and Brad and the crew at the Hanover Airport restaurant went above and beyond to keep competitors and volunteers in top shape. We highly recommend stopping by or flying in for a Sunday morning breakfast/ brunch buffet.

We graciously thank our Canadian contributors: Brant Aero, Hope Propeller, and Aircraft Spruce for their cash and prize donations. Without your help, the contest would not have been the hit it was. These ‘local’ aviation supporters deserve our best support throughout the year when in need of service, parts, or a Sunday morning breakfast.

Finally, we’d like to extend our gratitude to our international contributors: Skytec Starters and Hooker Harness, who went above and beyond the call of duty to support an ‘international’ aerobatic competition. We encourage readers and competitors to show our thanks to all of these supporters by considering them as select vendors when seeking or advising parts. We are proud to stand behind all of our supporters, who independently represent the highest quality aviation products. Their standards fit hand in hand with what aerobatics is all about: pushing for perfection.

On Sunday, competitors packed up, said their goodbyes and took off for home before the winds began to howl. We as a chapter hope that each of the competitors who came out had a great time, enjoyed the flying, and came away from the weekend having learned a little more than they arrived with. Aerobatics Canada Chapter 3 is looking forward to next year’s contest at Hanover on the last weekend of August, as well as a second early season contest in late May at the Tillsonburg airport. As a club, we will be seeking high profile sponsors to partner with in years to come, as the biggest challenge we will face going forward to future competitions will be managing the event’s insurance budget. We hope that ongoing negotiations with the International Aerobatic Club, a branch of the EAA State-side, result in our Canadian based contests continuing to be honored in their Regional Series points program, and open further doors to International cooperation in aerobatics. We’re pleased to have brought together a truly International team to make the 2011 Upper Canada Open happen, and hope to see our great team return again next year, bringing some more N-registered airplanes with them!

In closing, our final thanks to all mentioned for making an event which was talked about for four years prior a reality. ‘It worked!’ The Upper Canada Open will be held for the foreseeable future on the last weekend of August, in Hanover, Ontario. Stay tuned to the IAC and Aerobatics Canada websites for news about next year’s contest, as well as an early season contest here in Ontario. Safe flying and keep warm this winter (if you’re not heading south)!

Mike Tryggvason
President, Aerobatics Canada Chapter 3

1 comment:

  1. Huge congratulations to Chapter 3 from Chapter 7! We have our event this weekend in Rocky Mountain House and are having the best weather of the year! Hope to someday make it out for your event, even just to volunteer. All the best for the years to come! ~Cheers Kelly Brouwer