Monday, 8 August 2016

Competition Statistics

Some interesting statistics about my competition

Days flown: 7
Pilots entered: 29
Final position: 12th
Hours flown (by me): 28:24
Kms flown on task: 1868

Excellent pilots that beat me (in order) :

Thomas Wettemann: 2013 German National Champion and World Championships team member
Michael Eisele:  2015 German National Champion and World Championships team member
Leigh Wells: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 UK Nationals Champion and 2006 World Champion
Tim Scott: Previous UK National Champion and UK Europeans team member
Gary Stingemore: Winner of 2010 Hannweide competition
Owain Walters: UK Club Class Nationals Champion 2004
Paul Crabb: Irish World Championship team member
Dave Watt: 2012, and 2013 British National Champion and European Silver Medallist (twice)
Matt Cook: 2009 National Champion and World Championships team member
Nick Tillett: Twice 3rd in Nationals and previous UK Europeans team member
Aude Grangeray: Current Women's World Champion

Notable pilots that I beat! :

Denis Guerin: French Team Member and currently ranked 82 in the world
Didier Haus: Current European Champion and French team member ranked 5th in the world
Chris Starkey: Previous National Champion and European team member 2011
Ed Johnston: 2015 National Champion and UK Worlds team member 2012

Pretty happy with that

Sunday, 7 August 2016

7th and last day of the competition

Wow, a seven day comp. Cannot remember the last. Today started wet and windy but cheered up a lot after the cold front passed.

They set au a 200 into the teeth of a gale round DEV OXS HNN and LAA. I came off tow and just could not get established. With the strong wind it was difficult to get to the start line let alone there at cloud base! Everyone left without me and I struggled on. Eventually I got a great climb in just the right position and drifted into the start zone at cloud base and set off some 20 minutes after the rest.

Before we launched I had decided to try to go N on the first leg and get onto the high ground beyond RIV. The energy lined up well for this and I had a great run pulling into wind to MAR and then on to DEV where I caught the gaggle. From there it was difficult but I stayed with the others and eventually caught Tim Scott and Leigh who brought me home.

Once again we were given a checkpoint 10k to the E of Lasham and I got there with what I thought was plenty of height but had a few clenching moments getting over the fence to land.

Well, my misfortune at the start and great choice of track to DEV put me in 2nd place for the day. G9 got the win by a substantial margin. My second 15M Nationals podium so I have returned to Booker very pleased with myself. Allow me a little boast:

I write this sat in the Elatchi waiting for a celebration curry. 12th overall is worse than last time but if you take off the 4 Johnny foreigners that were above me that makes me the 8th UK pilot this year, equalling my previous best.

Will have to work out how to do better next year....until then.

Grim start to Sunday

Last night was end of comp BBQ with fireworks, air displays, and live band. Went to bed early!

Having been dry all week it rained last night and now everything is wet! The cold front has passed to the S and it promises to be nice later on but the weather out the window as I write is grim. 8/8 overcast, dull, and drizzly.

I am sat with a dilemma. Breakfast then grid, or grid then breakfast? Haven't got much enthusiasm for either at the moment. Maybe after a cuppa?

Tim Scott and Leigh Wells have established a team lead for selection in the Europeans next year. They will be trying to work out how to maintain it today. They have been pretty consistent all week so I expect they will but they have got Owain Walters and Chris Starkey close behind. Both able to fly well so it is theirs to lose!

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Day 6

After the usual crap met briefing we were set a 400 up to CRO in Norfolk back via Oakham and Newbury. I started early due to gippy tummy but all was well. Good run to OXF then a bit of a blue hole to BIC before climbing to cloud base and a very long glide to Peterborough making very good speed.

Round CRO then a poor decision to go N of the lake losing 400ft or so on 700 to the turn. Now the sky starts to blue out so slowed a bit and did a lot of searching S to Oxford again. Here I met up with some of the 18s. They had the legs in the glide but were whoosy in the climbs so I taunted them on by leaving early then slowing so they could overtake me and show the way!

After a great deal of weaving about got a decent climb just before NEW onto a McCready 0 glide. Took this very slow and cautious until I was able to make a couple of turns around Whitchurch that put me fat on a Mc3 glide to the finish.

In the end I was raped by the team players but well satisfied with the flight. Ended up 15th on the day but gained one place overall.

Tomorrow we should fly a short task before the fronts arrive. More then....

Friday, 5 August 2016

Day 5 Result


Today we got at 3:30 hr AAT round OXF, big sector on OLN, TOW and HUR. Thankfully no checkpoint nonsense around Lasham with a straight in downwind finish. It was a day of three halves:

I started early behind the Frenchies but reasoned that they were being a bit cautious and romped on. 1st half ballistic. Just clipped OXF and right down great but wavering energy deep into East Anglia. Bit of an uneconomical turn but well ahead of the pack.

Fast down track to NOS following some 18M gliders but then a bit slow from TOW going south. I was well happy down to Oxford and well in front of the eventual winners but by WEL they had caught me up. Second half - good.

Now me thinks...can't beat them if I do the same as them. So I goes W a bit deep into the last turn and gets low coming home. A bit of scratch 20k out onto glide gets me home well over time at 89KPH. Good enough for 8th on the day but disappointingly no higher overall.

Happy to have taken some big scalps today. Two more days to come?

Day 4 Update

Shocker...after a few more scores, I am 16th on the day. M2 and G9 turned left at WNW when I went into survival mode and flew straight into MAR and home at a blistering speed. Unfortunately when they got to the BAS area it was raining and after staying up a while gave in to gravity. They would have beaten the field by a mile.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Day 4 Result

Sent off into a very unpromising sky on a 160k racing task with showery sectors at WNW and MAR. Started once then came straight back for a relight. As I sat waiting to go again a whole load of other top competitors landed too!

Back up and a nice climb with worsening sky saw me start straight away on my own again. Pretty good up as far as Harwell but then weak. I could see a way to make the first turn but then had to fly the wrong way to stay up. From now on it was a survival day.

I climbed at DID then headed S for the sun around Newbury where I made cloud base at the start of a street which ran into the second turn. From there pretty straight forward except for a squeaky run into the airfield to land. Really slow but that reflects the distance run. The winner in 2:09 me in 2:28 making me 10th as I write. Several really good pilots landed out so pretty satisfied with the day.

Looks like a better run of weather coming up which may make it a seven day comp. More soon.