Nigel WAC13


Nigel Hopkins was the sole South African participant at the 2013 World Aerobatic Championships held in Texas, USA. He managed to place 27th overall in the classic contest, and 4th in the 4 minute freestyle contest. Read his diary entries below.

20 October 2013

I made the cut to fly the Unknown sequence. Unfortunately got a zero for a high-K figure, but managed to finish the championship in 27th place overall. Happy. Also qualified to fly the 4-minute free, a separate contest, and finished in 4th place. Chuffed!
13 October 2013

5 days since I last flew the MXS! Kinda wandering how! Low cloud! Outta Limits! We sit some more! 1pm organisers send up a plane to check the cloud, it's low and the rain is coming..... We wait! This Sucks! Let's clean the plane.....again! Flying called off for the day.
12 October 2013

I wake up to a string of messages and the devastating news that Glen Dell has been in a crash and is being airlifted to hospital! Low clouds! Outta limits! We wait! The tragic news of Glen's passing and the community is in shock! Certainly don't feel like Flying! 12 PM warm up Pilots fly, 1pm rain, we wait! 2pm we fly, 2.30 wind outta limits, we wait, 3pm we fly, 3.30pm thunderstorms..... Day over, 5 pilots flew, That's 38!
11 October 2013

Strong wind! Outta limits again! The morning was spent trying to convince teams that the CIVA rules should be waived for headwind component again, unfortunately no majority so we wait again! Around 3.30 we finally get a pilot up and another 15 Pilots fly! That's 33!
10 October 2013

Strong wind! Outta limits! The morning was spent trying to convince teams that the CIVA rules should be waived for headwind component, unfortunately no majority so we wait! 3pm the first flight is in the box, we get 18 flights for the day! Man the judging is harsh!
9 October 2013

The opening ceremony was short but I proudly stood dressed in Green and Gold with the SA Flag. Rather lonely I must say as the only SA team member! 58 official entries from 16 countries on the start list. At the official briefing I drew number 46 for the known sequence.
8 October 2013

“A week ago I joined Rob Holland and Richard Wiltshire in Coushatta Louisiana for a planned 8 days of training before WAC 2013 in Rob's awesome MXS. We were greeted by a few days of morning cloud, and managed a few flights each, before I got struck down with serious Flu. The local community is small, but very hospitable and very quickly had me through the hospital and on the mend. I sat out for a couple of days training and then got 2 flights in the official WAC Aerobatic Box. Just as we made friends, the MXS and I, Lady Luck struck and the plane has been down with a snag for two days. The contest is starting tomorrow and we still don't have it serviceable. We are desperately running around to get it sorted, particularly for Rob's campaign. Unfortunately for me the event preparation is almost non-existent, mainly because of the illness, but we will do our best regardless. Regards from the USA.”

South African judges who officiated at WAC 2013: John Gaillard (Chief Judge), Laszlo Liszkay assisted by Quintin Hawthorne.