Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Champion of Champions

The rubbish weather over the winter and the demise of all the Scottish Winter F3F League events meant that my 3rd place for turning up to seven out of the eight 2010 Summer League qualified me for the Sloperacer Champion of Champion event at the Bwlch in South Wales.

Peter Gunning picked me up at 9:30 and we headed for Cumbernauld to collect Dave Watson for the long drive to Bridgend and the Bwlch. We passed this wind turbine blade (and two others) on the Perth bypass. Big!

After missing the turn-off for Dave's house we had a detour almost as far as Stepps before we could get off the dual carriageway and head back to Cumbernauld and Dave! The weather on the way down was brilliant and made the journey very pleasant.

We stopped at M6 services and again at Ross-on-Wye on the M5. The first people I saw when I got out of the car at Ross-on-Wye were Richard Bago, Jon Edison and Keith Wood! I had to do a quick double-take to be sure I was right! This was extremely fortuitous because Richard had the Kong Fu DLG kit I had ordered and also Peter’s new Alliaj. A quick unpacking and repacking of cars meant Peter and I had new toys to play with in our rooms that night!

Friday night we met-up with Joel West, Simon Thornton and Martin Newnham for a curry and a few beers and great start to the weekend.

Saturday morning was bright and sunny and the light wind was blowing onto the Crest which meant we had a bit of a trail to the slope but no real climbing to do. Dave Watson was first up and was looking quick but cut about turn 8 and lost time in the recovery. Peter Gunning was also going well and looked like he would do well. AJ’s flight looked great with full reversal turns and almost “big” air. Yes!

Mark Redsel launched my Vikos out into the void (it is a big hill) and into some smooth air. About lap 7 the wind started to die and the last few laps were poor. The wind continued drop after I flew and the competion ground to a halt. A few others flew later in the morning but the slight increase in wind now and again didn’t last. We trailed back to the cars early afternoon and onto the back of the Wrecker and a few more flights were flown but the round was never completed. Frank Hulton and Mark Southhall never flew a race.

Some sport flying took place although I was never tempted to try the back of Wrecker with no possibility of landing out. I was happy to sit and watch the brave fliers and the DLG antics and listen to the banter!

Saturday night was a repeat of Friday with more curry and beers and the six from the night before were joined by Adam Richardson, Mark Southall, Mike Evans, Mark Abbots, John Phillips, Frank Hulton, Andy Burgoyne and Scott Ravenscroft. Much more banter and many laughs! The “sensible ones” (me included) headed home early (bearing in mind we were about to lose an hour’s sleep), some others went on for more drinks and highjinks!

Sunday morning saw a good breeze but low cloud and mist on the hill. There was a lot more wind in the Wrecker car-park but this was a result of all that Bridgend curry! The sun came out and we set-up on the Wrecker but with the warmer air the wind dropped again and the competition never got going again. 1:30 saw the CD call it and the competitors with a long way to go packed up and headed home.

So only one flight for me but I had a great weekend. One good thing was that we were home before 10 pm instead of the wee small hours.

Thanks to Peter and Dave for their company and particularly to Peter for doing all the driving and putting up with me gabbing more or less non-stop there and back! (If nobody is talking I will!!) I bet Peter was glad when I sat in the back for the last leg before dropping Dave off and he got a change of company!

Thanks to all who helped organise the weekend and to Zim and Sloperacer for sponsoring the event. I have a new hat now!!

I’m looking forward to my next visit to South Wales.

Dave Watson took some great pictures. There are also some from Zim on the Sloperacer Blog page and also some from Mike Evans here.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

East Lomond 19 March 2011

The last of the Northern F3F League event was cancelled today due a forecast of very light winds. The forecast for east central Scotland looked a little more promising and with charged models ready to go I headed for East Lomond to meet up with Peter Gunning. The wind was blowing a pretty steady 15-20mph bang on the slope. Brillant!

With no Scottish results for the winter league Zim from Sloperacer decided that the 2010 summer league results would provide the three Scottish entrants for the Champion of Champions event next weekend in South Wales. I was in third place so qualified for the final. Yippee! Gulp!! FFS!

This would be my last chance for some fettling of models before heading for Wales. I was keen to fly my Vikos using my recently acquired and refurbished Futaba 9ZAP transmitter. After a quick flight with my trusty Race M I heaved off the Vikos and it was going pretty well. Having flight conditions on the 9ZAP is a real bonus compared to my trusty FF8 so time to move on. Less switch flicking in the future!

Models tested and tweaked we headed home looking forward to the long drive south on Friday:o/

No fish and chips in Whitby today :o(

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Saturday 5 March 2011 Hole of Horcum

The poor winter weather finally relented and I got to fly in an F3F competition! The first one for me in over 5 months.

An early start at 03:15 saw Peter, Mike and I heading for the North of England winter league event at the Hole of Horcum. Refreshments at the Purdy Lodge and again at Sleights and we arrived at HoH about 9 am where Dave joined us and we were ready to go!

The long lay-off didn’t affect Peter much and he flew well all day (and set FOTD) to finish in third place close behind Richard Bago in second. Mark Redsel was the one to watch and he flew smoothly all day to take first place. The full results will appear on the NYRSC website.

My flying was rubbish and I never got my Vikos moving but at least I got some practice and did manage to get my times down a little by the end of the competition. I even managed to fall on my arse as I walked back to land but kept my eye on my Vikos and landed ok. I had trouble landing all day and twice had to fly through and have an second attempt. Just rubbish!

14 rounds flown saw me pretty knackered as we headed for Whitby and an enormous fish supper in the Magpie chippie! An excellent day. Oh and we had to stop in Berwich for McFlurries for the three weary travellers and coffee to sustain the driver!

It was all too much for Mike and he had to rest his eyes on the way home!

Thanks to Peter for doing all the driving. With any luck we can do it all again in a fortnight!