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Team Australia moves up in Aerobatics Championship
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The World Aerobatic Championships have continued over the weekend in Italy. At the end of the Free flight program Australian Pilots Richard Wiltshire and Paul Andronicou improved their standings to 37th and 39th overall. The hot and hazy weather conditions proved a challenge for some, but the Team were at home in the Australian like conditions.
The Russians continued their clinical assault on the World Championship title and at the end of the Free program held the top three positions overall. However it was French pilot Olivier Masurel who took the Gold medal for the Free, moving up to 5th and into genuine contention for the title. Russian Mikhail Mamistov held the lead overall at the end of the day with a solid 3rd position in the program. Fellow Russian team member Svetlana Kapanina moved into 3rd overall, to be the leading female pilot in the field. France?s Kathel Boulanger, previously the highest placed female in 5th place, showed just how competitive it is at the world level. Only two small errors saw her plummet down the order to 32nd place.
With two flights remaining the competition moves to the first of the Unknown flights. Traditionally it is this part of the program that separates the genuine contenders for the title. The day prior the respective national teams each submit a unique individual series of moves, or figures, of the aircraft that they have developed and practiced. The teams are then permitted to sequence these figures to ensure the necessary speed and altitude. It is termed an Unknown flight as, other than the one team submitted figure, the pilots receive no prior opportunity to practice the actual moves. Mental rehearsal and immense focus during the flight are key to a high score.
With the Australian pilots on the cusp of missing the cut for the final flight program, Team Manager Grant Piper indicated the challenge both face.
"We need to be in the top 75% after the 1st Unknown to go through to the 2nd Unknown. It will be a challenge, but we?ll give it a shot."
The first unknown flights will begin on Monday afternoon EST. Follow the results at www.wac2011.it
Results for the Free program WAC 2011
Provisional Overall standings WAC 2011