Seaplanes’ air race victory makes history

SEAPLANES claimed first and second place in a historic maritime air race in Alderney for the first time in 85 years.

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Hamish Mitchell in his Reims-Cessna F12 came second in the Schneider Trophy event at last weekend’s Alderney Air Races, behind another seaplane. It marked the first time since 1931 that seaplanes had finished in first and second place. (Picture by Ilona Soane Sands)

The Schneider Trophy – properly called the Coupe d’Aviation Maritime – started in 1912 as an award presented annually to the winner of a race for seaplanes and flying boats.

The race, which is now open to all private planes, was staged on Sunday as part of the Alderney Air Races, organised jointly by Alderney Flying Club and the Royal Aero Records, Racing and Rally Association.

A total of 18 aircraft took part in Saturday’s race, the Aurigny Air Services Trophy, and the Schneider Trophy on the Sunday.

For the first time since 1931, seaplanes took first and second place in the latter, with Roderick Moreton in his Lake LA4 Buccaneer coming first and Hamish Mitchell in his Reims-Cessna F172, also a waterborne aircraft, coming second.

Mr Moreton has been air racing for around 10 years.

‘Being the first amphibian aircraft to win the race since World War Two is a lifetime achievement,’ he said. ‘I’m very proud.’