‘Dannmann’ flies to gold in Sweden

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Winning ways: Junior champion pilot Daniel and dad Andrew Arapakis on the podium in Sweden after winning gold. Picture: Supplied

MORNINGTON’S Daniel Arapakis flew his F3D aircraft to victory at the FAI F3D world championships in Sweden, 25-29 July.

The Western Port Model Aero Club member – nicknamed ‘Dannmann’ – did Australia proud bringing home the gold medal and becoming junior world champion.

Daniel is the first Australian junior to win a world championship in any facet of aeromodelling, his father Andrew Arapakis said.

“He was race prepared with the finest aircraft, engines and propellers fastidiously engineered by Barry Murphy, which are world renowned for their reliability and performance.”

Daniel flew his Minute Master racer for 14 rounds over three days to win the junior category. His times complemented the Australian seniors’ outstanding performances, with Australia also winning gold in the team event.

The methanol-burning models, with top speeds of more than 350kph, are flown over 10 laps around a 400-metre pylon course. Three pilots at the same time compete against the clock aiming to finish in less than 60 seconds.

Daniel averaged 59.44 seconds for the event which also gave him ninth overall in the open division. Forty-five pilots from 17 countries and four continents competed with Australia’s senior best performer, Beau Murphy, finishing seventh outright.

On returning home, Daniel was presented with a life membership of the Western Port club for his achievements – an honour for a 16-year-old, Mr Arapakis said.

Australia will host the next world championships in Queensland in 2019. “Our pilots are regarded as the best in the world for their skills, teamwork, support – and having fun,” Mr Arapakis said.

First published in the Mornington News – 15 August 2017

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