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International air racing spectacle coming to Beccles this weekend

PUBLISHED: 11:16 01 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:16 01 September 2017

The Royal Aero Club Records Racing and Rally Association will host two races at Beccles Airfield in Brock Road, across Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3. Photo: Royal Aero Club.

The Royal Aero Club Records Racing and Rally Association will host two races at Beccles Airfield in Brock Road, across Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3. Photo: Royal Aero Club.

Archant

Air racing fans in Beccles are preparing for a weekend of action as an international aviation tour visits the town for the first time.

The Royal Aero Club Records Racing and Rally Association will host two races at Beccles Airfield in Brock Road, tomorrow September 2 and Sunday, September 3.

The event will be the penultimate weekend of air racing on this year’s Handicap Air Race Programme.

Having already visited airfields in Holland and France, the club are now bringing the free event to Suffolk’s only licensed airfield.

A Royal Aero Club spokesman said: “This is an exciting sport for pilots and a great spectacle for spectators.”

Eight pilots compete in each race, taking off from Beccles Airfield, they will complete a roughly 25 mile circuit towards Southwold four times.

Whilst the races take place at 700ft, aircrafts dive to 100ft over the finish line.

Handicap air racing comprises many different types of fixed wing aircraft including Vans RV, Robins, Bulldogs, Pups and Grummans.

As each has different capabilities and top speeds the race start is staggered - with the slowest taking off first and the fastest last.

Such procedures ensure an exciting end to the race with all aircrafts often finishing within a minute of each other.

John Kelsall, clerk of the course, said: “We are very much looking forward to coming to this new venue.

“It’s a good day out for people to come and enjoy with many different types of aircraft on show.”

Saturday will see racers bidding for The Airborne Trophy which was presented to the club by Noel Edmonds and The Airborne Trust.

It enables disabled and underprivileged UK children of all ages to experience the pleasure of flying and to acquire the necessary skills and qualifications to operate the flying controls of an aircraft.

The following day will see the competitors fight for The Merlin Trophy, formally known as The Rolls Royce Merlin Trophy.

A practice race will take place between 12pm and 1.30pm. With tomorrow and Sunday’s races occurring at 2.30pm and 12pm respectively – each lasting approximately an hour.

For more information on the weekend and the Royal Aero Club visit www.royalaeroclubrrra.co.uk

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