Marlborough Mid-Week : February 3rd 2016
stuff.co.nz FEBRUARY 3, 2016, MARLBOROUGH MIDWEEK 3 Bush pilots are set to do battle ASHLEIGHMONK Pilots from across the country will be gathering in Marlborough this weekend to show off their precision skills. The fourth annual Healthy Bastards Bush Pilot Champs will be held at the Omaka Airfield on Saturday, and Marlborough Aero Club chief flying instructor Sharn Davies says this year they’re expecting more than 50 pilots to compete. ‘‘We get a lot of people coming from all over the country to compete,’’ he says. ‘‘It’s quite interesting for the public to come along and see this type of flying. We usually have quite a crowd, and we’re only charging a gold coin donation at the gate.’’ The Bush Pilot Champs took flight four years ago when the ‘Flying Doctor’ Dave Baldwin, of Bulls Flying Doctor Service, decided to sponsor the event and give it a kick start. ‘‘It all started when our club members had a bet going of who could land the shortest, and it all stemmed from there. It got a few people in the club talking, then others got involved, and we set up an impromptu competition just for local pilots just for bragging rights. ‘‘It was decided that it was a cool thing and quite different, so it became a nationwide event. It just so happened that Dave was looking for a way to promote men’s health and so he kind of just latched onto our event and became involved.’’ Dave travels the country visiting pilots and farmers, and encouraging men to seek medical help as they are less likely to get check-ups, Sharn says. The event starts about 9.30am on Saturday and will run until 4pm, with food and drinks for spectators, as well as a few flight shows. ‘‘The standard of flying is extremely high from these pilots. It’s quite a prestigious event, so it’s not as if they just turn up and have a go at it, there’s a lot of practice beforehand.’’ The Bush Pilot Champs will be held at the Omaka Airfield, on Aerodrome Rd, on Saturday. Innes Bint pilots a PA18-160 Piper Cub as he makes a precision landing while being watched by ground judges at the 2015 Healthy Bastard Bush Pilot Championships. PHOTO: FILE In brief WINEGROWTH The Marlborough wine industry is gaining prominence as a key player in NewZealand’s export economy, with latest industry figures showing continued record growth. Statistics released by NewZealandWinegrowers last week showed total NewZealand wine exports for 2015 had reached a record $1.54 billion. NewZealandWinegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said therewas no regional breakdown available but estimated 80 per cent of the total export value would have come from Marlborough. TSUNAMI INFORMATION Aseries of information sessions will be held in Marlborough to educate residents on what to do in the event of a tsunami. The sessions, organised by the Marlborough District Council, will cover what risk exists, what the signs of an impending tsunami are and what to do. Sessions will be held on February 20 at Mariners Mall, Picton, March 3 at Market Pl, Blenheim and on March 5 at the Rarangi Community Hall. All sessions will be held from 10am to 2pm. An orca that was part of a pod swimming close to shore in the Queen Charlotte Sound on Friday. PHOTO: SUPPLIED Orca spotted in Queen Charlotte Sound ASHLEIGHMONK Apod of orca were spotted close to shore in the Queen Charlotte Sound on Friday, much to the surprise and delight of onlookers. E-Ko Tours marine zoologist Bec Baxter was lucky enough to see the orca up close and says the creatures only venture close to shore three to six times during the season. ‘‘The main reason they would come into the Sound would be to feed on sting-rays. The Queen Charlotte is almost an attraction for the orca as we have an abundance of these rays in the Sound.’’ In keeping with the regulation rules for commercial boats, Bec had to stay at least 50 metres away from the orca when she saw them around the Bay of Many Coves, but the orca had other plans. ‘‘If they choose to come over to us, they will, and we were lucky enough that these ones were quite inquisitive and decided to come over to say hello. It makes the experience so much more worth it and morally correct being able to see them perform their wild and natural behaviours. Once you see them roam free, it makes you truly appreciate and respect the life of this wild animal.’’ LESSMONEY Tweaks to theway health funding is distributed are likely to see the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board get a smaller slice of the national health kitty in the upcoming financial year. The results of a reviewinto the tool used to allocate district health board funding were released in December. Changes to the population-based funding formula were likely to result in four district health boards receiving a smaller share of health funding from July 1.A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said tweaks to the funding formula altered howthe total funding poolwas distributed between health boards.
January 27th 2016
February 10th 2016