More than 100 entries were received and after much deliberation, 11-year-old Matilda Fuller was crowned winner by the three judges – Falmouth Harbour Master Mark Sansom, Mayor Geoffrey Evans and Falmouth Pilot David Barnicoat.
Falmouth Harbour Commissioners invited primary school pupils to design the official poster to promote the Blades, a leading display team of former Red Arrows pilots renowned worldwide for flying close formation aerobatics to the highest level.
Weather permitting, the aerobatic display team will be bringing their daredevil performance to the skies above Falmouth for the first time thanks to sponsorship from FHC.
Matilda, a pupil at St Francis School, will watch the Blades display in VIP style with her family, meet the commentators and win a Blades goodie bag – as well as seeing her poster across Falmouth advertising the event. The judges chose 11-year-old Emma Dunn as runner up.
Mayor Geoffrey Evans said: “Matilda obviously put a lot of thought and effort into her poster. It stood out among the others because it features some of Falmouth’s main attractions, the Maritime Museum, Pendennis Castle and the sailing boats. It’s a wonderful advert for the Blades.”
David Barnicoat said: “Everyone made such a fantastic effort and the standard was very high. It was a difficult decision but we feel we’ve found a worthy winner in Matilda – after all, she featured a Cornish pasty and even some sunshine in her poster.”
The Blades are set to perform on Wednesday, August 15 at 1815 as one of the highlights of Henri Lloyd Falmouth Week. It is hoped the full display will include some of the Blades signature formations including high rising looping manoeuvres and dynamic 10g formation breaks, to high-speed opposition passes and breathtaking solo aerobatics.
Blade pilot Mark Cutmore said: “Congratulations to Matilda for winning the Blades competition and thank you to everyone who designed a poster and entered. The quality of entries was superb and it was a difficult decision to pick the winner. We’re very excited about our display in Falmouth in August and we’ll do all we can to put on our best display.”
Some of the country’s most experienced display pilots, The Blades are experts in aerobatics. The team started 2012 as world record holders after setting the world record for flying 26 consecutive formation loops at the end of 2011.
Since their debut display at the Beckhams’ pre World Cup party in 2006, The Blades have performed at some of the most prestigious events in the world, including the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, T4 On the Beach, Cowes Week and the Cannes International Advertising Festival.
The four-aircraft display team flies at a height of between 200ft and 2,000ft and will be best viewed from the same vantage points as the Red Arrows in previous years.
It is hoped record crowds of more than 30,000 people will flock to the town to watch them, bringing significant economic benefits to the area.
Harbour Master Mark Sansom said: “We were absolutely thrilled with the response we’ve had to the competition and would like to thank all the children who took part for their hard work. We are all looking forward to meeting Matilda at the event on August 15 and congratulating her on her winning poster.
“FHC is committed to working closely with the community to make the most of this exciting opportunity, and we hope that involving local schools will promote the event and help form positive relationships for the future.
“The competition gives children the chance to learn a little more about our role within the harbour and sea safety, whilst getting involved in the build-up to the Blades.”
The posters will be on display in the window of the FHC office in Arwenack Street.
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