The annual programme is the first item to tackle. A Cohesive Competition Season is the aim, so the new competition season will run as follows:
Feb/Mar – Victorian Championships
April – NSW Championships
June – QLD Championships
Sep – SA Championships
Oct/Nov - Australian Championships
Why? Because people tend to think and plan in calendar years. Think New Year’s Resolutions etc. With a competition season that starts in Jan/Feb with the Vic Champs and finishes in Oct/Nov with the Nationals, our season is well defined annually and something members can commit to for each year.
Skills can be refined through the competition year with the objective of peaking for the Nationals. This applies to both pilots and ground staff. This altered season also ties in nicely with the international schedule. After our Nationals an Australian Team will have 8 months to train, organise a coach, sponsorship, find or ship aircraft etc. prior to the relevant World Championships.
Rules: The CIVA rules are amended at the end of the year. We (the AAC) also usually amend our rules at this time. So now we will have a series of State Championships to learn, apply, and bed-down any new changes before the Nationals. This will remove a lot of the pressure of getting judges up to speed with recent changes and having the Nationals bearing down on us. (Note: we are currently doing a major revision of the AAC Regulations for release in 2012, until then 2010 Regs will be used with Supplementary Rules as appropriate).
Sequences: CIVA issues the new ‘Q’ sequences at the same time as the amended rules, for Advanced and Unlimited. We can now do the same – Known sequences will come out with the amended AAC Rules, and we’ll fly the same sequences all through the calendar year. Also, to eliminate committee time spent on Known sequence discussions, and to negate accusations of bracket-creep (either up or down), we will rotate Knowns from a pool of past-flown sequences. (Note: We will continue to fly 2010 Knowns for the rest of this year).
Presentation Dinner: This will be held after the Nationals, as usual, and can now be a celebration of the whole competition year. The Australian Team can be announced, the location of the next Nationals, and of course the hardware handed out. A true occasion.
Yearbook/Magazine: To complement the year’s activities an annual yearbook-style magazine can be produced. Complete results for all the domestic competitions as well as Team results from overseas, along with articles and pictures, to serve as a historical document of the Club’s activities complementing the website. Publish it for release and sale at the Showcase - see below.
Public Showcase: Competition aerobatics lacks public exposure – fact. Many beers have been drunk while discussing this topic. I don’t think it can be changed, and don’t think it needs to. Maybe I’ll write my views on this later. For now though, let’s envisage a day where we showcase the Australian Aerobatic Team to the public, media and potential sponsors (when - Australia Day?). An Australian Team going to a World Championship hopefully has some pull and we can use it to fundraise and gain a little exposure that we can leverage into a little sponsorship.
Annual General Meeting: Traditionally has been held at Easter prior to the Nationals, and should be held within 3 months of the end of our financial year (Dec 31). I suggest it now be held along with the Showcase. Get the new Committee on deck early in the year so they have time to plan following events, particularly the Nationals.
Something to chew on.