Saturday, 28 July 2012

Regionals 2012 update

So my comp week is finished, I bailed on a short task on Thursday after getting very low and taking an hour to get back to a sensible height. There was just not enough day left to make progress.

Friday we were set a 2:45 AAT Bicester, Broadway, Charlbury, stony stratford, bicester. The first leg was very slow going out to broadway as conditions were improving all the time. I was averaging 40kph so opted to turn early, which I thought, after getting stuck at charlbury for 30mins was a good idea. The run for then on was fantastic, the sky was booming and looking at my trace I can see one period where for 20secs I was climbing at 13.5kts. So I ended up getting back very early which cost me and I really should have pushed much further into the first sector, but hey ho.

Two days to go and it looks as though we will get a full nine days flying which is fantastic. I have learned a massive amount about competition flying and cross country in general, lest I forget that up to the start of the comp I had done one XC flight which happened to be my silver distance. I found that if I had had a landout or two under my belt before I would have made it round on the first saturday where instead I bottled it after getting low.

But probably the most important thing that I learned is that despite all the advice given, and there was tons of it, when flying a lower performance glider on blue days leave near the back and on Cu days go early. Also when you have as little experience as I did find someone with a similar spec machine that is doing well and fly with them to find out why they do so well!

Finally big thanks to Tony Cleworth for lending me tie down kit, being on stand by to retrieve and an all round good guy. Thanks also to the mitchels and BAM's crew for looking after me and Ian harris + 2 scouts for pulling me out of a field at silverstone.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Regionals 2012 day 5

Five contest days in a row now.

Today started out Blue and according to Mel the met man it was going to stay that way although by the time briefing was complete and we were on the grid there were Cu out to the west. Slowly as we lead up to the sniffers being sent the Cu were starting to pop in all quadrants. By the time sports were launching ahead of the opens base was 3k+ with 2-3kt climbs.

The task for the sports was a run north to corby, then Bozeat, down to bourten on the water up to stony stratford and home for 265km. The opens did a modified version of 305km

I started with W20 (strats) ST (steve tape) and KFE ?? and had a good run towards the first turn point, with my Astir not being able to keep up in the long cruises I had to stop to top up before the turnpoint. I was joined by GAM (Cris Emson and George T) and stuck with them from corby to bourton on the water.

Elated to make it round 294km handicapped especially as some big names landed out so thanks to Cris and george in GAM for dragging my arse round.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Regionals 2012 day 4

Mel the met man had the day listed as Eschorchio and Blue with a 2k+ base. The task was a 2hr AAT and the sniffers, Nick Kelly and Derren "beaker" Francis were launched just after lunch.

With them reporting 3000'ft and climbs of 2kts + the opens were launched first with the sports streaming behind.

There were plently of gaggles as people tried to climb in the blue together. After starting I headed into the blue yonder and promptly landed at silverstone. Thinking that starting at 3800 I had plently of height to find the next climb but no and my first "thankfully uneventful" field landing ensued.

Thanks to the guys that came and fetched me as loading an astir into a trailer cooking in the sun was no fun.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Regionals 2012 day 3

No flying for me today as I had other commitements outside of gliding.

The tasks were set and then changed quite quickly when the sniffer had trouble, it went from an AAT to a 103k racing task for both classes.

There were plenty of landouts and land backs today. Luke roberts landed at calvert and the nimbus EHT was seen being reassembled after landing out just short of the airfield in the same field as derek staff in his LS4

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Regionals 2012 day 2

Regionals day 2

Started the day with plenty of medium cover which started to burn off, there were some cu around launch time at 11:30 but it quickly went blue out in the task area to the west. sports had a 196k with the opens on a 250.

I headed back after feeling rough and having been working really hard and I was hearing of landouts while on the way back...

Luke Roberts won day one in the sports and Dave Watt won it in the opens.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bicester Regionals 2012 day 1

The sun is shinning at least as we head into the first day. I am just setting off for the airfield so more updates to follow

Briefed at 09:00 and the opens are going straight after. sports are launching around lunch time.

Well...I didnt get all the way round today, the task was Bicester, Great Malvern, Stour, andoversford, buckingham, bicester. I didnt make the andoversford TP and head to head back under an ever increasing amount of high cover.

137km flown, I think all got round bar one.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Bicester Regionals 2012

Five Days to go!!

We are all closely watching the forecasts for next week, so far the weather looks like being a marked improvement on what we have had recently.

Competitors have started to arrive already and Bob B has been floating around the airfield in his ASG29 and there are a few others I have not matched with their aircraft.

Still some work to do on my chariot (Astir DFR) we found an old switch buried in the back of the panel which was causing the TE issues, so now I only get stick lift when pulling up hard from 70+kts and a leak test on the tubing should point us to the right area.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Bicester Regionals 2012

With a little over a week to go and with Olympic airspace restrictions coming into effect tonight preparations are still under way BGC's 2012 regional competition.

We have ~50 entries in two classes and some of the big names in UK competition are entered. The website is up and running and you can visit it here

The airfield is holding up really well considering the vast quantities of rain that have fallen and the facilities team are making sure all of the infrastructure is in place ready to go.

I will be updating the blog daily from a pilot flying the comp's point of view and the fact it is my first competition should make it all the more interesting.

All we need now is for the weather to play ball, long range forecasts are still decidedly unsure as to what the prevailing conditions will be, but 8/9 contest days last year will be a tough act to follow.