Lauchie Onslow has picked another trophy out of the clear blue sky after competing in the Reno Championship Air Races in the United States.
Onslow took out the Jet Silver class, the final race that commentators described as “the best of the day”.
While he told Fairfax Media he was pleased with the win, he waved a hand towards a tableful of trophies and said there was “years of it all there”.
Onslow began competing in sky racing or, as he calls it, the fastest motor sport on Earth, in 2009.
He competed for two years in the formula one class and then moved up into jets.
Travelling to the US to compete in an adrenaline filled sport at almost 700km/h was obviously something Onslow liked.
“How could you not like it?” he asked.
“You get to show off in front of 300,000 people.
“All racing is about exhibitionism, to get the crowds in – but it is serious racing, though, and when it all works out that you have a really exciting race for the crowd, it is even better.”
Onslow said airshows were the most attended events in the USA and Reno was the only place where aircraft raced in that fashion.
“They are working on new venues and the Formula Ones have a world series, but they have got a much smaller course; they’ve got a three-mile course,” he said.
“We’ve got a little bit under a nine-mile course.
“So to find somewhere that’s a big centre that can house lots of accommodation, where there’s a big airport that you can fly around, is hard.”
Onslow said his body was constantly subjected to anything from 4 to 6 Gs throughout every race, but he did not use a G-suit.
It's hard work when you're battling somebody for all that time- Lauchie Onslow
“I don’t like a G-suit because when you are in close proximity to another aircraft and the G-suit comes on, it moves you,” he said.
“I don’t like the fact that you involuntarily move when the suit squeezes when you’re close to somebody.”
Onslow said it tended to be a costly sport.
“That’s why I race for a team over there: it’s not my jet, I’m just a hired hand.”
According to Onslow, air racing was in the blood and he would not stop competing until he was told he was too old to race.
At 45 years old, he expected that would be a little way off just yet.
“Unlike other sports, it’s the experience,” he said.
“Young guys don’t have the experience, where the older guys have gained the experience.
“When you’ve got really good reflexes, you don’t have the experience – so you need the really fast reflexes … as the experience grows over the years, you can actually see situations coming earlier.”
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