Monday, 29 June 2015

Regionals Day 2

Yesterday was scrubbed but today the sun shone and a task was set - Silverstone-Didcot-Buckingham. The key to the day was timing, with those setting off early finding it hard going and those who left late having a struggle to get home. The winner was again Stuart Law from Bicester, who is increasing his overall lead. The next two places were also taken by visitors - Ayala Truelove from Lasham was 2nd in a Libelle and Julian Hitchcock from Southdown came 3rd in a DG1000m.

The Javelot made it to a very nice field just south of Bicester and had an aerotow retrieve. George Hunter, flying his first comp after only recently completing his Silver badge, completed the task in the club's ASW19.

All the results, news and some great photos are on Soaring Spot, and there is an excellent gallery of photos here.

Another great day in store tomorrow........

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Booker Regionals 2015 - Day 1

The comp got off to a flying start with all the organisation running like clockwork, thanks to the organising group led by William Parker.

The briefing facilities kindly provided by the Army's Royal Logistics Corps are extremely comfortable - and clean - and our Met Man Nils promised a good day's flying, so a task out to Badminton was set. For the higher performance gliders this meant a distance of 286, with lower handicaps allowing other gliders to turn short (for a fuller explanation of Handicapped Distance Tasks see the Comp page on the Booker website).


Met Man looking a trifle anxious
We were treated to a visit by a Spitfire while waiting to launch.

Passing by

The HDT format allows for gliders with a spread of handicaps to take part on a equal footing, with less chance of the lower performance ones spending a week being retrieved and getting back too late for the bar.


Javelot and ASW27 about to launch

The winner on Day 1 was a visitor from Bicester - Stuart Law in an LS4 - well done Stuart.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Regionals clean up

A hardworking team of 14, under William's direction, turned out yesterday to spruce up the airfield in preparation for the Regionals starting this coming Saturday. The trailer park is now mown almost to bowling green standard, the area round the blister hangar has been reclaimed from wilderness, and a gate into the TA centre (where briefings will be taking place) has been revealed and a path cleared.

Many thanks to the team who turned out on such a grey and drizzly day. All set now for a great Comp!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Klippeneck finale and auf wiedersehen

The last couple of days of the expedition came up trumps. Thursday produced excellent conditions enabling trips to Ulm and other places.
Weighty matters under discussion

Klippeneck ridge viewed towards the south west...

.......... and towards the north east
The sky seemed to be full of insects, the wings were covered by the top of the launch.

Conditions were good until late into the evening......

.....which makes it all the more surprising that Jack L and Jim P made like a javelin for a field by the local equivalent of Chinnor. They were visited by the local constabulary but presumably had the correct paperwork as they did eventually make it back to base.

Smile for the camera
On Friday the forecast was for thunderstorms by early afternoon but in the event the storms held off till the evening, allowing for yet another day of excellent flying.

Evening cunim
The warmth of the evening allowed for al fresco dining at the Schutzenhaus restaurant halfway down the hill which has been feeding us for the last two weeks.

This morning it was time for convoys of trailers to start heading back to Booker.

Many thanks to Richard for all his hard work in organising a fantastic expedition and to him and Doug for making it such a success and ensuring that everyone had a good and safe time. Roll on next year!

Thanks, Richard!!

Thursday, 4 June 2015


Yesterday was a bit tricky, with wave everywhere and a rather character forming approach. However, the flying was fun, and with the temperature rising it was very pleasant at the launchpoint enjoying the sunshine. The day ended with an excellent meal in the garden at the local Italian, and views of the sunset from outside the hotel.

Wave sky
Influence of Black Forest
The Log Dog

Sunset cliff

Moon one day past full

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Klippeneck Monday

Monday offered a variety of amusements. The model fliers went exploring and found the local model launching site and enjoyed slope soaring along the cliff.

Free spirits

The local wildlife came for a look......

Those that stayed on the airfield for the day had a great time winching, others went off to sightseeing to Lake Konstanz where there were plenty of lakeside cafes and restaurants, parks and picturesque buildings to be enjoyed.

Yesterday offered strong thermals mixed with wave which gave fantastic views and interesting xc conditions. Photos to be provided when anyone has time to sort some out.

Sitting outside the restaurant halfway down the hill watching the sun go down and the sky turn to red was a perfect end to the day, completed by a full moon and - for those still up at midnight - shooting stars.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Winching Saturday and soaring Sunday

It's easy to lose track of the days here. First a few more shots from our winching day, which for those used to aerotowing ops seemed to be frenetic activity interspersed with periods of calm.

All hands on deck

Cables arriving

315 heading off

Yesterday the locals were out in force and the 22 launchpoint was a hive of activity, with two winch operations - one on the 22 runway and one on the hill to one side - and a large aerotow grid. We were also treated to the sight of a hang glider aertowing behind a microlight, off to join his friends who were hurling themselves off a nearby cliff.

Conditions were good for xc, though Rolf dropped in on a field, from which he was easily retrieved by Geoff and Prof Bob. As yet no other photos have been provided from the day.

Rolf in his field
The evening sky looked fantastic but by 1930 dinner was definitely needed. We haven't had a food report yet, suffice to say that there will be no problem with min weights. No sign of bratwurst and sauerkraut, but plenty of schnitzel with the local very tasty version of noodles, or chips of course. Also featuring are Italian and Vietnamese/Chinese restaurants. And of course the cakes are fantastic, you can't beat sitting outside a konditorei with a coffee and a slice of rhubarb tart watching the world go by. Other attractions for non-flying family members include walking or cycling (the trails are all well marked) and castle visiting. The museum at the local cement works received rave reviews, unlikely though it seems. The tour ends with visitors being provided with goggles and a hammer and a huge pile of rocks, to find their own fossils.