Friday, October 08, 2004

Claude on Aerobatics

Just a thought about the Nationals & the Masters Aerobatics events

If our sport is to go anywhere, I think we need to become professional about our competitions. By this I mean, what we should do, is do as Chris suggested - move the main comps around each year, or Louw Smit’s suggestion that it be held at a central point ……Dam in the OFS on a full size airfield that can be hired for the time that we require for the comp to be run… a sort of “Oudtshoorn” for pattern.

The problem with this is the fact that, irrespective of where such a comp may be held, not all of us are cut out to be organisers, especially me ….as Louw puts it, I cannot organize a pi**up in a brewery. And I know that I’m not alone in this. So what to do? I want to suggest that the Nats & maybe the Masters be organized by the “Professionals” .

Lets take the last Nats at Helderberg, done by Jean Vos & his team. All and sundry that attended this event, agreed that it was the best organized Nats for a long time – ‘The Donn’ gave it world-class status in his de-briefing at the prize giving event. All the expertise that was used and/or developed for this event, will now be lost until maybe the next time when the Nats come to Cape Town again, which may still be a few years down the line. What I would like to suggest is that those people who are capable of organizing the Nats, or any other big comp, be roped in do so on a semi-professional basis…

Just having been to the last few Nats it seems that Danie P. Snr always does the Line Control; Ivan O. is in charge of Judging, & the local/resident Joe Bloggs, who is good at catering, will do so… get my drift…?
Now lets say Durban has to “do” the Nats: What will happen is that Ivan & his team of judges will rock up at the venue a day or two ahead of time to check the field, flight lines etc…. The registration will be done by Digby, who has been at this job for years, and is well versed in the art of registration (the point here is that the Registration Officer does not have to be attached to the host club) who on the day of the comp will do the all the duties associated with the registration process. There can also be a commercial angle to this if a commercial interest wants to have his brand displayed – he/they may do so at a price & profits made out of such a venture could help to pay for our National team’s expenses going to the World Champs, or even help in some ways to spread our hobby to more youth at schools….
The setting up of the field would be done by the host club.
I think that MASAA… will then have its hands free to promote the sport, as well as have an annual showpiece where it can generate funds.
The crux of the matter is that if the Nationals as well as the Masters will be done in this way, then this will also let people into the organization of the Nats who are not necessarily pattern pilots, but who may want to be part of the “thing” and at the same time, may bring skills that we, the pattern fraternity, my not have… We may be good at pattern but that does not necessarily make us good at running a successful event… as shown by the last Nats that was run by Helderberg - they who hardly had a pattern pilot in their ranks – Louis counts for two, but that doesn’t count - but did a totally brilliant job nonetheless…

What I think should happen then is that we should get a blueprint of what an excellently-run Nats & Masters event should look like (ask Jean Vos to do this as the last Nats were great), split it up into its various categories, and ‘employ’ the most capable people who are willing to do the job.

This sport is becoming bigger by the day, so I think we need to re-think some of our old traditional ways & let our thought processes fly outside the “Box” a bit…


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