The club dinner arrived, the night we would find out who won what and would move up to represent the Club at the Central Region. After a nice meal and an interesting talk from our guest speaker (a former RAF Phantom and Tornado pilot), Club President Phil and Club Captain Michael arose and took the stand to read out the list of prize recipients. The usual method is to call out the three individuals who placed in no particular order and then once they are presented to the audience they read out who placed where.
The first competition where I was called up was the Ray Cartmill Memorial Trophy for Liferaft Dropping. I knew that I had not done as well as I might have, but was surprised when I (and my dispatcher Chris), won second place.
The next competition I found myself at the front was the Runnymede Challenge Cup for Senior Landings. Imagine my astonishment when I was announced the winner! I was up against some seasoned pilots who have a history of bringing home the trophies. I was kind of numb with shock to be honest, but the night wasn't over there. Barry (aka NZ Propellorhead), if you are reading this, you had your chance mate, looks like a nice cold Stella is coming my way. You can get your revenge next year.
Next came the Pacific Aerospace Shield for Gentlemans Circuits, where I placed second. After my performance I really didn't think I had a hope of placing, so a second place came as a big surprise.
I thought I'd had a decent haul, so imagine my surprise when I was called up once more as a finalist in the Alan Daysh Trophy for Senior Forced Landings Without Power. When they announced me the winner it didn't quite register.
The two wins and two second placings qualified me for the J A Harper cup as Senior Champion. In some sort of daze I numbly went up and received the trophy and handshake. This really is a big deal. I look at the past winners who have their names engraved on the cup, and there are some big shoes to fill.
Here's a photo of my haul:
The broken propellor is quite rightly, the Alan Daysh Trophy for Forced Landings, the smaller trophy back left with the V Tailed Bonanza on top is the J A Harper trophy for Senior Champion, and the big silver cup is the Runnymede Challenge Cup for Senior Landings. The two certificates in front are for the second place finishes.
After that concluded, CFI Roger read out the names of our team to contest the Central Area Rally to be held in November. I will be representing Waikato Aero Club in Forced Landings and Senior Landings. The Senior Landings part is especially important because it is part of the hotly contested Wigram Cup (Senior Landings, Junior Landings, Non-instrument Circuits, Instrument Flying). If Waikato Aero Club can win them we will represent the Central Area in the Nationals which will be held early next year.
Time for me to get out there and practice those landings!!