Monday, 16 July 2012

BMFA round 5. Scotland

Well who would have thought it? The first BMFA F3F league event to be held in Scotland and we had absolutely fantastic conditions on Bishop Hill. So many sub-40 times that they were the norm and a new UK record time of 30.02 seconds. Incredible!! A truly memorable day and one which we will recall with fondness and a degree of awe!! When the possibility of this event happening in Scotland was first mooted over a year ago the thought of this happening in good weather was an aspiration. To happen on Bishop Hill in huge air was unbelievable. We always knew this hill was (probably) the best in the UK and I believe we proved that last Sunday. To top it all, I was there taking part!! Who would have thunk it?

I left for the hill in plenty of time to meet up with Peter, Robert, Dave and Ian to get up the hill and assemble the course before the competitors arrived. 15 minutes after leaving home I realised I had left my transmitter in the house! A swift “U” turn had me dashing back home to grab the box from my pre-warned wife and I was heading back for the hill 30 minutes late! I did text Peter to warn him. The lack of traffic early on a Sunday morning meant I made up 10 minutes and set what must have been my fasted journey to Leslie ever!! A “dash” up the hill meant I was just in time to help erect the base poles. Phew!! Sorry guysL

Peter’s competition report on the results page says it all. An action packed day when all the good stuff came together. Fantastic hill, perfect weather, and outstanding pilot skills. Praise must go to Peter Gunning and Martin Newnham for joint cd-ing the day. Special mention also to David Loomes and his timer/web broadcast equipment. Brilliant.

All the local pilots did well in the challenging conditions. I was a little nervous before the start when I volunteered (me and my big mouth) to demonstrate how to land in the designated area knowing everyone was watching!! I would have been more nervous if I had realised that several pilots had followed right behind me as I walked over to the landing area to watch close up. I only spotted them when on final approach!!

There was some staggeringly fast and accurate flying to be witnessed all day. The EM style was proven to be quick by those who were up to it. Reversals worked well for some but EM had the edge despite intuition suggesting reversals would be the way to go.

Finally. No, the course was not short!! I watched Peter very carefully double check it!!

EPP 60" Nationals

The BMFA weekend was supposed to start with the EPP 60" Nationals on the Saturday but rain and no wind put paid to that idea. 

We met up in the rain at Craigmead car park but we soon decamped to the Pillars of Hercules for tea/coffee and cakes to wait for the weather to improve. The huge "Hawk Moth" in the Gents caused some hilarity as did Ronnie, Frank and Mark winding up the waitress!!!

The rain did stop and a light breeze picked up so we headed for East Lomond. We did have half an hour or so sport flying on East Lomond before the weather closed in and put paid to thoughts of a competition. Rain followed by dark clouds circling the hill before flat calm put paid to thoughts of foamie flying.

A brief interlude Alula flying from the car park but the persistent rain sent us on our way hoping for better things tomorrow 

Monday, 9 July 2012

F3F Practice. 8 July 2012

With the Foamie Nats and the Scottish round of the BMFA F3F league scheduled for next week Peter suggested that we meet up for a practice session today. The weather had been showery all week and Saturday a complete wash-out but we were promised 5-8mph NNE winds and a dry for the Sunday. What we actually got was virtually no wind and light rain.

We walked up the NNE slope about a mile west of the Craigmead car park and Peter heaved his Needle off to try the lift in the very light conditions. The Needle coped very well but the light lift proved fitful and Peter soon landed after the lift disappeared.

Mike (Ascot), Doug (Mistral?)and Sam Smith(Typhoon) launched later on and found some nice thermally air and had fun until the lift gave out when the rain swept in. Good to see Sam join us for the first time. Once the rain cleared I chucked my Vikos off but scraped around for about 5 minutes blundering through some thermally air before a hasty landing when the lift died again. Maybe I should have taken the wing ballast out? Doug was also flying at this time and had to do the walk of shame when he landed some way down the hill.

Ron pointing out the potential landing areas down in the valley!

I hope we get some flyable weather next weekend.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Foamie race that almost didn't happen!

East Lomond foamie competition

Despite the encouraging forecast it looked like we might get wet! We did. 

Had a great day out and with the absence of several of the top fliers my luck held out and I managed to grab my first competition win. I should cd more often!! My heavy Reaper does go well when the conditions get rough! Thanks to all the guys who managed to make it along because we were able to have competition and a load of fun! The rain and accompanying strong wind were more than challenging and we all got very, very wet by the time we headed home but it was a blast!!

 Windmap promises it will stay dry.

 Ian the pirate demonstrating one of the flags I managed to improvise for the day. 

All change.

Getting ready for the start.

 Mike landing his new Gulp.

Ewan's Swift takes to the air. Briefly. No lift and lots of BIG sink.

Ewan's face says it all. Where is the lift?

A more than a little soggy Mike looks on! If you look closely you can see the rain! Summer?