Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Bottesford revisited and the perils of littering


The perils of a discarded tissue!

One of the models showed the possibility of a good flight so despite the gathering rain clouds I set off for BOT and CBN. Unfortunately after a bit of a shower I had to "relight" and have another go. Having restarted the day just got better and better. Unfortunately I discarded a tissue half way up the first leg and it stuck to the TE tube rendering it useless. It did make locating the good cores a bit difficult.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

A nice XC day

Shack Roberts and A9 over Milton Keynes

The forecast was not that great, but fortunately conditions were significantly better than forecast. Several pilots set off on Newbury/Peterborough 310kms and enjoyed some good 4-5kt climbs to 4500' amsl. The 20kt wind made coming home a bit slower, but the good streets helped compensate. John Herman visited a field near Grafham Water and by all accounts needs to tell the tale of the aerotow retrieve!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Booker wave

The brisk northwesterly produced some tantalising wave clouds this morning, before the front arrived and we retired from the rain. If we get anything like this on our expedition to Aboyne in October we will be well pleased. As it was, we had a couple of hours of strong thermals - and equally strong sink. T6 went off to explore the ridge and had a bit of fun before the rain.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Booker Rules 2011 Competition - Concludes

The Booker Rules 2011 competition has successfully concluded having met its objectives of rewarding speed and distance flown as well as allowing a wider range of pilot experience and glider performance to complete. 5 competition days were achieved under Contest Director Jim White's excellent efforts. Jim did the initial ground work to define the rules and build a scoring system as well as setting challenging and varied tasks for the conditions (as well as competing himself). There were finishers on all but one day when everyone landed out.

Contest Director Jim White checking the weather

Jim was ably assisted by Met man Nils Wedi who gave daily masterclasses on the weather, forecast conditions and likely daily situation. He also gave a more simple "good/bad/maybe" of the conditions - what is uncanny though is how accurate his forecasts proved to be.

Nils daily weather briefing

The last day of the competition had everyone land out (either genuinely, photo land out or engine start land out) and whilst it was possible to work out the final results, the prize giving had every possibility of being a Marie Celeste affair.

The potential Marie Celeste prize giving

Fortunately thanks to turbos, aerotow or road retrieves enough competitors were around to enjoy the delights of Marnie's barbecue and for prize giving to occur.

First place went to Denis Campbell (again - he does seem to be making it 'his' competition!), second place to Alan Johnston and 3rd to Jim Pengelly. Congratulations to them and all the other competitors.

There had been a daily prize for the best team pair of pilots and it was unanimously agreed that the best "team prize" for the week should go to Shelagh and Hilary who had undoubtedly assisted all the pilots as some point in the week.

Follow the link to the Competition Blog on the panel alongside for details of the tasks, results and which also has links to a number of fabulous photos from various days of the competition.

A great week flying all in all - watch out for the Booker Rules Competition 2012.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Spanish Plume - Booker Rules Competition 2011

The Booker Rules Competition 2011 has been underway this week and has resulted in 4 contest days so far for the 20 competitors. The weather has been challenging with strong winds and blue skies but this hasn't dampened down the enthusiasm of those taking part.

The days have been 'bracketed' with Marni's excellent barbecue breakfasts in the morning and burger and beers in the evening - several pilots have been seen weighing themselves to check out maximum cockpit loads just in case.

Competition Director Jim White has set interesting and varied tasks and as things stand Denis is in the lead with his starship 370 and the rest of the field hoping the "Spanish Plume" won't wash out the rest of the weekend and their chances of gaining first place overall.

Marnie has posted a load of excellent photos from the week on Flicker (check out the link in the Competition Blog site).

Booker Gliding Club also gets a mention in Pilot Magazine after one of their reporters came down to fly with Graham Saw and find out why glider pilots make such good pilots.

Competition Director with his wind resistant hat

All action at the launch point

Gridded up waiting for the 'off'