Monday, 24 September 2012

Brilliant day on East Lomond

The forecast for the F3F competition on Saturday was for light winds and sunny and this was indeed the case. Peter wisely called for a late start and most people gathered at the Pillars of Hercules for coffee and cakes before heading up to the car park about 11:30. I arrived early and went straight up the the car park to check out the weather and fly my Alula from the wee slope to the south of the car park. I decided to skip coffee and cakes and messed around for an hour til the rest of the guys arrived. I only realised when I got home that the text I sent Peter telling him I was at the car park and the winds were light on hill failed to go. Mobiles!!

We finally got up the hill just before lunchtime and found the wind light and well round to the south but quite flyable. I am sure this hill works best when the wind is in that direction and it improves as the wind strengthens (unlike the south west face!). Great visibilty today too with the Bass Rock, Berwick Law, Salisbury Crags, Arthur's Seat and Hillend ski slope all quite visble.

There were only seven of us today (Peter, Ewan, Dave, Mike, Robert, Ian Simpson and me) and we flew eight rounds interspersed by breaks to allow a couple of paracenders to jump off the hill although they ended up at the bottom and had to trudge back up J. Several of the regulars were missing but maybe we will get a better turn-out next month for the last of the summer league. Summer? Whazzat?
I had a really good day out and even managed to win a round after blundering into a nice thermal :-)

I took some pictures with my cheap (very cheap) wee camera and they can be seen here:-

Dave Watson took some excellent photographs and they can be seen here:-

Monday, 3 September 2012

Scottish Slope Nationals weekend

60” EPP Foamies on Saturday and F3F on Sunday.

A group of us keen foamie fliers turned up at East Lomond on Saturday morning to discover low cloud and rain. We hung about for a while before decamping to the Pillars of Hercules for some coffee and cakes and to hide from the weather. After an hour of chat and banter we went back up to the East Lomond car park and found there had been no improvement in the weather  so we headed to  Kilspindie for a sport fly; assuming the lower hill would be clear of cloud which it was. Not fancying another 30 minutes driving in the “wrong” direction Colin Murray headed south of the Forth to sport fly locally on his home slopes.

When we got to the south-west slope of Pole Hill we were able to set up a 60” EPP course and we flew 15 rounds of two up flying which meant everyone flew against everyone else. During test flying Ewan and I has a mid-air which neatly unplugged the battery from the receiver in my Reaper which subsequently hit the ground hard and meant I had to revert to my modified Fastbak for the competition. Mike gave his lovely new Stinger a test flight too and planned to fly it on Sunday at the F3F competition.

After the race much time was spent throwing sticks at David’s Skua which had ended well up a tree where it was firmly lodged.

He and Peter returned on Sunday evening to finally dislodge the poor model which was not too badly affected by spending a day up a tree!


The F3F event on Sunday looked less promising when the farmer decided we could not access the private road to let us park in our usual place at the back of Bishop Hill. Somewhat nonplussed we discussed other options and decided we would climb up from Kinnesswood and still fly on Bishop Hill. A very steep 1000ft climb but all 14 of us made it!! I was well impressed by my climb up the hill because I really feel the benefit of losing 3 and a half stones!

A rest on the way up

The weather at the top looked a bit grim for a while when we first arrived and I wandered about on my own for five minutes looking for the path to the slope when I met up with Tom Foreman who was also “temporarily unsure of his position”! After a minor detour we found the path and joined Paul Upton and Ewan Maxwell at the slope and waited for the rest to arrive. When Peter arrived we quickly setup the course anticipating the weather would improve which it did.
I had a great day and felt I flew smoothly but just not accurate enough. I flew my Vikos which went well in the early rounds but as the wind rose I felt the fully ballasted model was a bit light. My times continued to improve though so how much better my Extreme would have been I don’t know. Still a brilliant day though.

By the time I had descended the hill at the end of the day my legs were trembling. That path is STEEP!!
A brilliant turn-out and another excellent day on Bishop. Great to see support from Tom and Paul who made the journey up from Lancashire to join us for the day.