Sherburn Airfield is airfield host for the north of England weekend of air racing in this year’s Handicap Air Race Programme.
The Royal Aero Club Records Racing and Rally Association, affectionately known as “The 3Rs”, oversees handicap air racing, British and world aviation records and formal air rallies.
2016 race entries comprise many different types of fixed-wing aircraft and include a Lake Buccaneer, several variations of Vans RV, Robins, Bulldogs, Pups, Grummans, Cessnas, a SIAI Marchetti and an Extra 300L.
Sherburn Aero Club Ltd is also offering a fifteen-minute taster flight for £37.25 if booked over the Air Race weekend, and to be taken at a later date.
Saturday 6 August: Ginger Lacey Trophy.
The first day’s competition is for the Ginger Lacey trophy, presented by Sherburn Aero Club in 2010. It commemorates Yorkshire born Squadron Leader James Harry ‘Ginger’ Lacey, one of the few fighter pilots who made it through from start to finish of the war. He became one of the top scoring Royal Air Force fighter pilots of World War II and was the second highest scoring British RAF fighter pilot of the Battle of Britain, behind P/O Eric Lock of No. 41 Squadron RAF.
He once manoeuvred two Messerschmitts to collide and shot down a Heinkel He111 bomber which had been targeting Buckingham Palace even though he’d been ordered not to fly in the thick fog prevailing.
In an interview with Roger Ebert in 1968 Ginger said he’d “rather fight in a Spitfire but fly a Hurricane … as the Hurricane was made of nonessential parts and he had had them all shot off at one time or another and it flew just as well without them”.
He retired from the RAF in 1968 but continued in aviation and was still instructing as Chief Flying Instructor at Bridlington Airfield in the early 1980’s. He died in 1989.
Sunday 7 August: Royal Aero Club Paul Walker Trophy
Paul Walker had a love of all things aviation during his lifetime. He joined his local Air Training Cadets and was later sent off to Harwarden, in North Wales, to spend two years in the RAF for his national service, albeit in administration. He declined the offer of training for a commission and was discharged at twenty years of age from the Service but very pleased to have been taught to fly gliders.
Paul was an air racer, a member of both Sherburn Aero and Sheffield Aero Clubs and District Chairman of the Fellowship of the Services. He supported his daughter Carol in her love too of aviation, earning her Pilots licence in 2005.
Carol presented this air racing trophy in 2009 in dedication to his memory, his kindness and his love for aviation.