Sunday, 23 July 2017

Regionals final day

Nils and Richard tried very hard to find some nice weather for a final task but there was an ominous blue blob on the chart heading in our direction.

That blue thing doesn't look good
Richard therefore moved on to prize giving, and awarded the cup to Ken Barker - he had left with his JS1 to fly in a comp at Aston Down so scorer Pete accepted the trophy on his behalf.

Ken's landlord accepts the cup
Joint second place went to Mark Davenport and our very own Denis Campbell. There were also prizes for everyone down to around 8th place, thanks to our sponsors.

Richard then thanked everyone who had helped to make the comp a success:
Chairing the organising committee - William Parker
Deputy Director and Scorer - Pete Wyld
Assistant Task setter and Sniffer - Tim Scott
Met Man - Nils Wedi
Grid Marshal - Bob Sinden
Control -  Bob Smith, Jane Moore
Catering and bar - John Hubberstey
Tug pilots - Bob Davey, Jim Roland, Jack Luxton, Rocky, Pete Wyld, Rob Turner, Dave Byass
Cadets - Anna, Maddi, Michael, Luis, Samuel, Kyle
Office staff - Shelagh and Chris
Capt Blair-Monger and all at the Army Reserve Centre
Two-seater instructors - Andy Monk, Chris Roland, Jim White
...and last but not least, the competitors, and especially the visitors from other clubs

William thanked Richard for running the whole thing and that was it for another year - an excellent week making the best of indifferent weather.

Meanwhile.........after the briefing, Andy Monk got the training operation back on track, with a K21 doing 16 launches. Cadet Michael Otty re-soloed after a year's break from gliding, and Cadet Samuel Husband achieved his first solo. Sam has had a lot of firsts this week, including his first ever cross country and land out. Thanks to Jim Roland for towing (even if a lot didn't get above 400 feet) and John Otty for doing buggy retrieves.

Well done Sam

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Wet Saturday

Briefing was delayed while the Met Man and the Director struggled to find a task through the approaching showers. Finally they came up with a quick nip round Calvert Junction and Oxford South. The sky looked great overhead, although increasingly black to the south, so George decided to fly the task before the comp had even rigged, just to show 'em. He managed Calvert Jct but on the way back got rained out of the sky and landed in what used to be Farmer Brown's field (now Farmer Brian) near Cadmore End - just as John Hubb was firing up the BBQ.

The message was that the field was ploughed and the gate locked so a large team set off. Fortunately they arrived at the same time as the farmer with a pick up truck which towed Z12 - ploughing a furrow -  to the gate where the team watched while George de-rigged. Is there a record for the fastest, most over-resourced retrieve?

The team trying to look busy
The team definitely not busy
Back at the clubhouse the rest of the afternoon was spent on the very British pastime of BBQ in the rain, very efficiently cooked up by John and his brilliant pair of sous chefs.

BBQ weather

J1m at the 15s

Hi all

Arrived at Aston Down. Raining! Follow the competition at



Friday, 21 July 2017

Windy Friday

Nils tried very hard to find some nice weather for a task, he showed us lots of graphs and charts and finally resorted to looking out of the window. In the event the hoped for clearance arrived too late, and in any case the howling southerly wasn't very enticing, so the day was scrubbed.

Meanwhile, here are a few pics from earlier in the week.

Richard making the acquaintance of Jeremy's FES Shark

All out!

Paul getting tied in knots

Team 316

The JS1 has arrived

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

This is why we put wings on tyres

It was wet last night. Very wet. William (LC) had a marathon retrieve from his stubble field, derigging at record speed as lightning flashed around, and the first spots of rain were falling as they pulled out of the field. After that the only storm in the country tracked its way up over Booker, flooding the hangar.

Richard called in on his way home from the Grouse and Ale and discovered that his nice waterproof shoes weren't proof against filling up from the top. It's a lesson in why we put wings on tyres in the hangar though. William had further tribulations getting home after dropping off his trailer, roads blocked everywhere with debris and water.

Today was a scrub, all that water has to go somewhere, evaporating back up into 8/8 cloud cover. We hope for better things tomorrow.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Tuesday - Day 2

Today's task was a finely judged 100k (Headington - Chieveley), squeaking into a small gap of soarable weather. From the ground it looked a bit grim but the field mostly got round, only 944 dropped in at Benson and LC found a nice field about a mile from Hampstead Norris - it's hard to spot the strip from the air though. It looks as though Denis 370 won the day but our visitors are still ahead overall - just shows what a welcoming club Booker is!

It's all a bit of a laugh

Even the pilots are happy

The tug pilot needs his sleep though

Monday, 17 July 2017

Monday, and a task

The weather was not straightforward today. The first task set was a double out and return to the SW involving Avebury and Marlborough, but as the day progressed it became clear that the approaching top cover was going to be a problem - and the snifter reported nearly landing out, which is never a good sign. Task B was again a double shuffle, but this time north/south. The grid launched. and we followed their progress on the live tracking on Booker's website - exciting stuff. The finishers included William LC who was visible from the finish line but went back to turn Huntercombe and then scraped home from the Hambleden valley - good effort! There were some landouts, but at airfields and farm strips, so they were soon retrieved by aerotow.

Results here:
Dr Nils the Weather Man


The K21 dream team
Keeping cool
Retrieve from farm strip at Cuddesdon

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Keeping up to date with the Regionals

If you can't manage to get to the airfield you can follow the action from the comfort of your armchair with these links:

Live tracking on the Booker website:

Results and updates on Soaring Spot:



Booker Regionals day 1 (again)

Dr Nils was more optimistic at briefing this morning, so much so that we had interest from a real aviator. Or maybe it wanted to get in the warm. There was heated discussion about species, in the end the consensus was partridge.

Outside looking in
Anyway, a task was set, gliders were gridded, pilots were re-briefed.....and then the day was scrubbed.

The forecast for tomorrow looks a lot more promising - fingers crossed.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Booker Regionals Day 1

Thanks to lots of hard work by Bob Smith, registration went very smoothly yesterday and today, with competitors walking away with armfuls of goodies provided by our sponsors, Hayward Aviation Ltd. Pete Wyld is all set up to do the scoring, so we are ready to go as soon as there is a suitable weather window. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of Dr Nils Wedi, our in-house meteorologist, who explained lots of interesting graphs and charts at briefing, all of which suggested that it was in fact raining, the cloud didn't clear until the evening. Early days, we hope for better tomorrow.

Richard at briefing in the TA Centre