After 20 years of Air Racing on Alderney, the Royal Aero Club Records, Racing & Rally Association (RRR’s) and The Alderney Flying Club (AFC) very much regret that the 21st Anniversary Annual ‘Alderney Island Air Races’ will have to be postponed until 2018, when yet again, the skies above Alderney will once more be filled with the thrilling sights and sounds of Handicap Air Racing.
For what reason has this happened you might ask? Well in a word, safety. Not only for our aircraft, pilots, navigators, officials and supporters, but additionally for those members of the public who attend every year to watch this exciting spectacle.
Since the tragic accident at Shoreham in 2015, various recommendations have been made by the Air Accident Investigation Branch, which, although not for the most part relevant to Air Racing, have to be taken into consideration by all parties concerned, as they will inevitably affect the future actions of both event organisers and airport administrations.
Safety is always the foremost priority in the minds of anyone involved in any form of aviation. Aviation is the safest form of transport, only because of the industry’s strict adherence to its safety culture. But, it does take time to incorporate the needs of all parties into documentation that is acceptable to everyone involved.
We are all pleased to say that following very constructive meetings between the RRRs, AFC and the Guernsey Airport Authorities, most of the necessary work has been completed. There are however still some matters outstanding that need further time to reach mutual acceptance and time was the commodity of which we ran out.
However, the good news is that with time now back on our side, there is every reason to believe that the delayed 21st Anniversary celebrations will take place in September 2018 and bring back to Alderney its reputation as the number one air race venue in Europe.
Although this year will be a ‘No Race – Air Race’, the racing fraternity will be showing their support by still coming to the Island, just to enjoy a weekend of social and leisure activities. In addition to the usual evening events at the Georgian House and the Braye Beach Hotel, planning is already underway for various land and water activities (paddle boards and kayaks with race number could be fun!), as well as giving competitors a chance to visit locations and areas, to see first-hand the Island’s history and heritage, which, for the last twenty years, have just been course turning points or lines on a map.
Alderney has supported Air Racing since 1996. We are indeed honoured that this year, they are supporting us.
For further information, contact:
Alderney Flying Club:
Ralph Burridge – Organiser
Tel: 01481 822297 Mob: 07781 101961
Royal Aero Club Records, Racing & Rally Association (RRRs):
Mike Pearson – Chair
Tel: 01344 777076 Mob: 07785 313171