Australian Youth Rocketry Challenge Inc.

AYRC 2017 Victoria – Southern Triumph

AYRC 2017 Victoria - Southern Triumph

AYRC 2017 Victoria – Southern Triumph

It was a chilli start to the day at -1°C and a light frost covering the freshly mown site in Drouin. Dense fog meant it was difficult to see in the distance, however tree tops peered above looking like flack from an old cannon. Whilst the cold was a struggle for the QLD helpers, the Victorians sprung into action and quickly had the range setup. The PA blared out a rocket soundtrack and AYRC 2017 had begun.

Viv and Liam fired up the BBQ and as teams arrived, the aroma of the delicious sausage sizzle floated through the flight line. As the fog lifted, we were left with near perfect conditions of clear blue skies and <5km winds. Karl was anxious to take advantage of this weather, so he promptly loaded a Low Power Rocket (LPR) with a C6 motor. This was a great intro to many spectators who had never seen a rocket before.

Nat and Sascha assisted the teams with last minute preparations and gave demonstrations on motors and altimeters to many spectators. One by one the teams loaded the official eggs and presented their rockets to Marty who was the Range Safety Officer (RSO) for the day.

After a quick flyover from one of the local aviators, the rockets were loaded on the rails. AYRC veteran Launch Control Officer (LCO) Petar, pumped up the crowd with interactive countdowns before watching each rocket blast off. It was a great effort for each team as first time entrants with only one broken egg all day.

As the last competition rocket came to rest, some fantastic demonstration flights were loaded as the judges collated the results. Sascha reminded us all why black powder ‘E’ motors have a bad reputation, however this led to a great photo that looked just like a comet. This was shortly followed by Karl’s Hellfire on a F51 screaming to nearly 1,000 feet. Next were the High Power Rockets (HPR) with Sascha’s Show ‘N’ Off on a H128. Shortly followed by Marty’s QED on a H152. Noel had the final flight of the day with his Red Phenix on a J150 to 4,000 feet. This had an early deployment but landed beautifully near the aeroclub for an easy recovery.

Head judge Ash tallied the scores and all the teams crowded around Petar as he presented the results. In third place was Ballarat Clarendon College with their rocket ‘Hemco1’. Second and First places were very close and both came from the same school. Candlebark’s team ‘Rondondo’ took out the silver and their friendly rivals ‘Are We There Yet’ were ecstatic with first place and their shiny new gold medallions.

It was a fantastic day for all attendees. A special mention to the team from Chiro Christian College who couldn’t make it last minute due to illness, however asked the AYRC organisers to fly their rocket on their behalf. This gave an opportunity for the members of Directive Classified who were spectating, to launch a rocket that inspired the excited group of future participants.

Thank you to everyone that helped make this round a success. Whilst there is a big list of people, an extra big thank you must go to, Marty, Karl and all the Melbourne Amateur Rocket Society Inc. (MARS) members; the Drouin Aero Club; and of course, all the participants and their mentors.

It is a now a short turn around to head to Western Australia for next weekends round, so for now, bon voyage Victoria!

Blake Nikolic
Australian Youth Rocketry Challenge Inc.