The Aresti Cup -- the famous trophy that is awarded to the World Aerobatic Champion (Unlimited Power category) -- arrived back in Spain on 2 April 2012 for a full restoration.
The Cup was donated to the FAI in the early 1960's and has been awarded to the World Champion ever since. A magnificent piece of artwork, it is one of air sports' most valuable and recognized awards. During these past five decades, it has usually gone home with the winner and has suffered from wear and tear due to its extensive travels over these many years. The President of the Royal Aero Club of Spain, Jose Luis Olias, proposed that it come back to Spain so it could be restored to its former glory and beauty.
President Olias also created a new traveling trophy that is a replica of the Aresti Cup, though considerably smaller, complete with travel case. This replica will be presented to future winners of the Cup and the original Aresti Cup will reside in various museums in the years ahead so it may be viewed and enjoyed by air sports enthusiasts throughout the world.
The Cup has been in France for over two years after Renaud Ecalle brought it home from Silverstone, United Kingdom, after his victory at the World Championships in 2009. In the photo that accompanies this article, the Cup can be seen as it was in late 1975. Pictured are Charlie Hillard, 1972 World Aerobatic Champion (shown right), who won the Cup at the Championships in Salon de Provence, France. Looking on is Johnny Rutherford, famous race car driver who also is a pilot himself.