U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Team wins Bronze at WAC 2022

Congratulations to the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Team on earning a third-place bronze overall at WAC 2022. Rob Holland, Jeff Boerboon and Craig Gifford’s scores were added up for Team USA to land them on the podium.

Rob turned in solid performances on the Free Known and the second Free Unknowns earning a silver medal in each flight. Jeff stayed in the top 12 on three of his flights coming in at 26th on the third Free Unknown. Craig Gifford had a slow start in 41st place on his first flight, but consistently moved up each flight and finished the third Free Unknown in 11th place.

The championship was a real nail-biter from the beginning. The Americans started off in high spirits with USA competitors in the top 20 in the first Free Known sequence; Rob Holland in second and Jeff Boerboon in 12th. The French team had six of their ten member team in the top 6 positions after the Free Known was complete.

During the second flight, Free Unknown 1, "Rob Holland is locked in an impossibly close battle with multiple French champions. In round one he earned a silver medal behind Florent Oddon. In this first Unknown program, he put up another superlative performance, but again Oddon prevailed. And now the 2015 World Champion Alexandre Orlowski asserts himself beating out all comers in the flight so far. The race for the ultimate champion’s title will be decided in the final rounds of Unknowns," posted by CIVA NEWS.

When the dust settled, Rob ended up finishing sixth in the Free Unknown 1 behind four French team members and Olivier Masurel of Spain. Jeff finished in 10th and Craig Gifford in 14th followed by Aaron McCartan in 16th. The team flipped from second to third place at this point.

In the third flight, Free Unknown 2, "Markus Feyerabend along with the German Team are in a battle for a podium position with Spain ahead and Luxembourg trailing them. For the team competition, the top scoring three pilots from each team have their scores combined for the team results. The situation is precarious for teams with fewer pilots because a slip from any one pilot spells disaster, whereas larger teams have better odds to have pilots survive the brutal Unknown tests with clean flights.

At this point in the championship, after the Free Unknown 2 was complete Team USA once again was in second place. Rob finished with another silver in second and Jeff was in 6th for this flight. Aaron and Craig place 14th and 15th respectfully while John Wacker had moved up to 18th and AJ was at 23rd.

By the final flight, the Free Unknown 3, everyone watching from a distance was on edge. The individual results were tight between Rob, Olivier Masurel of Spain and French team members Florent Oddon, Alexandre Orlowski. Meanwhile the USA team had been battling it out with the Spanish team for second place.

Still to come will be the Four-Minute Freestyle, which takes place Friday, August 12 from 0900 to 1200 local. (Leszno, Poland is six hours ahead of EST.)

Photos of WAC 2022 HERE: www.iac.org/gallery/wac-2022