ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: FAI Aerobatics Trophies/Sport Aerobatics
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Thread: FAI Aerobatics Trophies/Sport Aerobatics
Message: FAI Aerobatics Trophies/Sport Aerobatics
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From: cks at sos.net (Carlys Sjoholm)
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 21:47:24 UTC
Greetings: The following is an article on the FAI aerobatics trophies which is scheduled to appear in the April 1996 issue of Sport Aerobatics magazine. Be sure to look for it in the magazine, where photos will accompany the text. Regards, Carlys Sjoholm ___________________ U.S. AEROBATIC TEAM NEWS: The FAI Trophies for Aerobatics by Carlys Sjoholm U.S. Aerobatic Foundation Executive Secretary When aerobatic pilots commit themselves to strive for the titles of World Aerobatic Champion and Men's or Women's World Team Champions, they are truly world class amateur athletes competing for the honors, just like the Olympic Games. The winners are awarded medals and diplomas. Their names are engraved on the appropriate trophies. They earn the right to exhibit the trophies in their country for the two years until the next World Aerobatic Championships (WAC). But no prize money is at stake. Much is made of the honor of "bringing home the trophies". These perpetual trophies are as unique in their own right as the aerobatic pilots to whom they have been presented. Each trophy is a one-of-a kind work of art. All the trophies have been donated to the FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) by individuals or by national aero clubs. The FAI and CIVA (Commission Internationale de Voltige Aerienne) do not have a fund for the creation of trophies. The FAI does, however, create and present gold medals and diplomas to each WAC champion. Presented to the overall World Aerobatic Champion, the Aresti Cup is the centerpiece of the collection. Donated to the FAI by José L. Aresti, he commissioned its creation in Spain in the early '60s. The first World Champion to be presented the Aresti Cup was Tomas Castaño of Spain in 1964. Without question, the Aresti Cup is the most valuable and coveted trophy in international aerobatics, not only because it is awarded to the pilot earning the highest possible honor, but also because of its intrinsic value as precious piece of art. The trophy was crafted from silver with gold embellishments. In the interest of producing a truly international trophy, each of the FAI member nations were asked to supply a gold coin and a gold emblem of their national aero club, which adorn the body of the cup. The trophy is topped with a golden globe and surmounted by a silver model of Aresti's favorite aerobatic plane, the Bücker Jungmeister. The names of each of the past World Champions are engraved on the trophy. The gold epaulettes at either side of the cup were at the time of it's creation valued at $22,000. Although it's appraised value was not known at the time of this writing, when the trophy was last held in the United States in 1988 it was insured for $50,000. The Royal Aero Club Trophy was donated by Great Britain's Royal Aero Club to honor the Women's World Aerobatic Champion. It was first presented in 1986. Prior to that time, there was no trophy presented in recognition of the title. The Women's World Aerobatic Championship Team receives the FAI Challenge Cup. Donated by the USSR in 1988, it was first earned by the United States in Red Deer, Alberta, that year. This trophy is of a contemporary design. Again, prior to this time the Women's Team Champions were not recognized with a trophy. The Nesterov Cup is presented to the Men's World Aerobatic Championship Team. In commemoration of Petr N. Nesterov, the famous Russian aerobatic pilot reputed to be the first human to perform a loop in September 1913, the USSR donated this trophy to the FAI in 1962. It is an antique piece, featuring intricate silver work and a depiction of Nesterov on the side. This, like the Aresti Cup is an extremely valuable and beautiful piece or craftsmanship. The winner of the 4-Minute Freestyle program receives the Manfred Strössenreuther Trophy. West Germany donated it in 1988 in commemoration of Strössenreuther who, until he was killed in the mid-80s in a mid-air collision, was the German National Champion and a consistent medal winner at the WAC. Since the 4-Minute was his forte, the German Aero Club chose to offer the trophy for the winner of this event. Jurgis Kairis, who won the 4-Minute in the 1994 WAC in Hungary, currently holds the trophy in Lithuania. In 1990 the Swiss Aero Club donated the Eric Müller Trophy to the FAI. This trophy is presented to the overall winner of the Unknown Compulsory program. The Swiss contributed this piece in memory of Müller, their national champion for years and another regular top medal winner at the WAC. Müller won the Unknown in Red Deer in 1988. He died of a heart attack just before the 1990 WAC in Yverdon, Switzerland. The trophy was first presented in its completed form at the 1994 WAC in Debrecen, Hungary. Photographs were not available of all the FAI trophies at the time of this writing. However, all the trophies will be on display in Oklahoma City this summer. Come to the WAC and see them for yourself. They are magnificent pieces, befitting the honor they represent. Contributions in support of the U.S. Aerobatic Team's participation in the World Aerobatic Championships may be directed to: U.S. Aerobatic Foundation, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086.