After lying in bed most of the night listening to the wind howelling around the house, I got up at 6am and left at 7am in order to meet up at the rendezvouz point , 9am sharp The BWLCH. I had to stop off twice at the services on the way, unsure if my nerves were getting the better of me, or if it was the hot spicy chilli beef I had Saturday night working its way through!
Arrived at the rendezvous point 9am, after 10 minutes or so it was decided we would be flying from ''Mickeys Slope".The gate was opened and we all made way to the car park area ( a loose description) . It was at this point the strength of the wind became apparent. It was unbelievable. We all struggled over to the launch area, assessed the situation and got on with assembling the models...
I reckon I am an ok / average weekend flyer, Joel West launched first with his "freestyler" just to check the conditions. At this point I realised what a good flyer looks like. He threw it around the course with precision/skill and absolutely no fear. The guys then let me have a quick flight to check conditions / landing area . It was 50 plus mile an hour winds off a hill that is nearly in the clouds, it was said for me this would be a "baptism of fire ". It was all a bit nerve racking but the trusty skorpion did its stuff. It flew up and down the course a few times and landed pretty well. It was now time for GAME ON!!
|Joel West prepping the Freestyler|
I don't really remember the order that everyone flew in. Essentially it was all fairly straight forward and well organised. You have a responsibility to be ready to launch as the person prior to you is flying. Once you have flown your run you need to be out the way as quickly as possible. Everybody mucks in, you need to take a turn at the stations ( buzzers at flags) . There is always somebody on hand to launch your model for you. Everybody there was friendly, helpful and made sure the experience was a pleasure.
A Yellow Tragi 704 V. These gliders are amongst the most well built gliders around today. Tragi's are generally quite pricey but the finish that you get is second to none. I know I had one of these, it was beautiful.Mine was the Tragi 705V, unfortunately it met its demise while achieving a height record in 2010. It caught a massive thermal and got to 2800 feet ( Rob only got 2500feet). Problem was I lost sight of it, next time I saw it it was in a field 3 miles away!!..nose down
The willow F3F. This glider was designed in Britain. It will compete with some of the most expensive European gliders but you can get a new Willow F3F for less than £500. It makes you think doesn't it
Alliaj F3F, these are very solid, very fast models and seem to be very popular nowadays
ANOTHER SKORPION F3F... Mark Southall was there with his skorp. Everybody has seen the video on Youtube. It appears after talking to the guys today that the Skorpion is a notoriously difficult glider to set up , a trick little bugger. Marks looked pretty good, but I may use this as an excuse??
Anyway now on to the flying. For my first flight I made my way down t the dug out. This was a small area on the side of the hill that it was actually possible to stand in with relative ease without the fear of being blown over. I gave the nod to Joel and he threw the Skorp off. I gained height for 20 secs ( about 180feet). AJ was counting down, I heard him count down10 seconds and that was it. Nose down, gain speed and enter the course. I did the 10 laps, I tried to keep it tidy but I was clearly turning a mile to late, I was going 20 yards past the markers both ends. Once I finished the 10 laps my time was called as 63 seconds, I walked then to the landing area vowing to do better next run. I landed the glider and then walked back to the paddock. Walking the 70 metres to the paddock carrying a 3 metre glider is no easy task in a 55mph wind.
I decided the next flights I would keep it tidy ( as I felt I had done a good job of this ) but make sure I turn alot earlier i.e be upside down and ready for the buzzer. My next few times were 49secs, 48 secs, 55 secs and 47 secs.
It was thought by all this was a reasonable introduction to F3F comp , although they could of have just been being nice to me. I will definitely do the next one. It is strange, I am not really competitive but I know I can do better, I want to do better and I will do better...
I am chuffed to bits with this result and just as happy with the following comment that was posted on the F3F Yahoo group
Martin Drewett also deserves a mention flying his first F3F in very difficult conditions got his PB down to 48:07 once he started to find the bases.