Text & Pictures: Régis Rocca   © sbap 2013
Pitts S2, Extra 200 & Extra 260 under control tower orders

Aerobatics at the beach
Every year now, aerobatics aficionados meet on the beach at Ste Maxime, Var, France for the finals of the Free Flight World Masters, organized by Bleu Ciel Airshow.
This year pilot participation was slightly different: the «usual» pilots taking part in the World Aerobatics Championships, held at the same time in Texas (the French national team winning the men’s and women’s individual titles and the men’s and women’s team titles. Well, basically they won everything!).
Still, the airshow remained of the best quality with highly motivated and particularly brilliant pilots.
This was really a complete show, on the ground and in the air, thanks to Laurent Cahuzat's (Bleu Ciel Airshow) perfect organization. The public came en masse (over 140 000 spectators) and had the privilege of watching a most impressive display. Let us just mention the members of FFWM Airborne: Frank Soubrane (Pitts S2) Eddy Dusseau (Extra 260) Philippe Varinot (Extra 200) Frédéric Chesneau (Extra 300LP) and Captains «Bunny» Busque and «Popov» Orlowski  (French Air Force aerobatics team) flying their Extra 330LCs. Also present were Franck Paindavoines's Pilatus P3 with its metallic hues and Vincent Charrier's Stampe. Vincent, a professional landscape gardener, is a passionate pilot who flies his aeroplane like he would a competition Extra and gave us a breathtaking display for this type of aircraft.The skies also hosted Sébastien Carbillet whose parachute descent was accompanied by F. Soubrane's constantly circling Pitts: a real feast for the eyes. The parachutist, carrying the airshow's trophy then executed a perfect landing on a 12 sqm floating platform!!! And all this wearing a dinner jacket of course...
The sky's azure was also marked by the colours of the Patrouille de France, on the Sunday, for its last display of the year. There awas also a duo of French Army Aviation Tiger helicopters, as well as a thundering show by Captain «Tao» Planche, Rafale Solo Display, his aircraft wearing the «2013 NATO TIGER MEET» livery : stunning!

New for this year and a Ste Maxime exclusive : Guy Westagate and Peter Wells' (SWIP Team) choreography, a highly precise bit of flying, very impressive by day and also by night as their microlights are fitted with wingtip flares illuminating the twilight. Simply awe-inspiring!

I would be remiss if I did not mention Pierre Buffet's precious commentary, a fount of knowledge, a specialist and a historian: a great Gentleman for a great show. Together with sports commentator Stéphane Gabarre he kept the spectators spellbound during the whole week-end.

Said spectators also had the benefit of sexy and energetic interludes, thanks to the FFWM Girls and DJ Maeva Carter.
The show went on with giant balloons and also the famous flyboard, displayed just in front of the beach. A fireworks display concluded the week-end, like an August the 15th at the seaside. Finally I would like to thank very warmly Laurent and Véronique Cahuzat, Bleu Ciel Airshow directors and conductors of this superb week-end for their kindness and the care taken of your SBAP correspondent. Their consideration went as far as allowing me to fly in the Hamilton Extra 200 with Philippe Varinot at the controls for a breathtaking aerobatic flight, with positive and negative Gs in very close succession. Thank you Philippe for being such a learned and friendly pilot. Many thanks also to all members of Bleu Ciel Airshow, to the FFWM pilots and to the charming Hamilton hostesses.

«Bunny» Busque, Eddy Dusseau, «Popov» Orlowski, Philippe Varinot, Frédéric Chesneau & Franck Soubrane, the 2013 FFWM pilots

Smoke on
Frédéric Chesneau & Franck Soubrane. rehearsing their figures before take-off
Philippe Varinot, a highly talented pilot

The Extra 200

Concentration
…take-off !
«Bunny» Busque
The EVAA at work, aerobatic art in its purest form
Franck Soubrane, FFWM team leader
Red, polished and glittering, his Pitts S2 in FFWM colours
The Pilatus P3 and its metallic hues
The magnificent Stampe, doing what it can do best
Eddy Dusseau and his Extra 260, the only one in the world
The « Tiger » Rafale, playing with the clouds in the expert hands of « Tao » Planche, Rafale Solo Display pilot for 2013
Tiger ballet with the moon
The Patrouille de France, splendid and perfect, as always


The Patrouille de France, its Commanding Officer, its leader and his « Athos », from n°2 to n°9

The parachutist, the beauty and the trophy
A perfect landing
The Swip team

Perfect by day...

...brilliant in the twilight
The Free Flight girls
Aurélie et Anna, charming hostesses
Pierre Buffet, a commentator without equal
The beach, which hosted 140 000 spectators over the week-end
   
Hamilton watches, the event sponsor The victor's trophy
   
A flyboard demonstration in front of the beach

Poetry in the skies and music on the ground with Maeva Carter

The meet's safety teams

Véronique et Laurent Cahuzat our perfect organizers

The closing ceremony and its fireworks
   


Your SBAP correspondent's flight, just to show the intricacies and the sheer beauty of aerobatics.
A real delight with Philippe Varinot at the controls.
 

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