Monday, 27 April 2015

2nd round of the BMFA F3F Summer League 2015. Whitesheet (VR Slope). 26 April

After much deliberation and consultation by our trusty League co-ordinator, the excellent decision was made to shift the 2nd round of the 2015 BMFA Summer League from an unflyable Whitesheet to the Bwlch in Wales. The forecast looked very promising with clear skies and a decent blow on the VR slope.

We were greeted at the Bwlch by drizzle and a very week breeze. Where did that come from?!?

Fortunately the drizzle didn’t stick around for long and 20 pilots got the competition underway in what we hoped were 'building' conditions. The first round was a bit pedestrian with only a handful of pilots carding times under 50 seconds with Mark Redsell making the best of the tricky conditions to take the round with a time of 48.28. The ground in the valley hadn’t warmed up yet, so a spread of 11 seconds across the 20 pilots was as close as the gap from first to last got. The thermic influence was yet to come!

When it came, it came with a BANG!! I’m not sure if I have seen such variability in a comp before. In most rounds, the gap from first to last was around 20 seconds but the biggest gap was 53 seconds.

Round 2 saw Simon Thornton take the honours from Graeme Mahoney with 41.05 and the ground was starting to warm up a little, giving us little ‘love puffs’ to play with and tease us with regards to ballast. I chose to leave mine in all day, except for one round, which was empty. The thing about CD-ing is, you just don’t get any time to adjust anything! I can’t remember which round it was, but I popped a flap servo out and Simon Thornton took my place in the centre to enable me to glue it back in and a massive thanks to him for that.

Mark Redsell took round 3 from a hard charging Ronnie Lampe. Both their Freestylers were looking fabulous all day. The Thermals still hadn’t really materialised and we were yet to see a sub 40 run with 41.39 taking the round.

The 4th round saw the first evidence of a proper thermal with Mark Redsell scoring a 36.74 to take the round from Simon, Graeme, Mark T and Martin Newnham. Martin had a bit of a day to forget really. He was in obvious discomfort with a sore back, didn’t get much luck with the thermal lottery and was stuck in the centre too! His Freestyler looked great though!

Round 5 saw Martin Drewett and his Pitbull take the win with a brilliant 36.41 run beating Neal Shead and his PB of 38.07. Andy Burgoyne had a fantastic run with his Drops 277 to take 3rd in that round. I think it was this round that I had a booming thermal and managed to cut about half way through the run and perform the world’s worst recovery to kill all the speed and ruin a potential PB by at least 10 seconds.

Round 6 started with Martin Drewett getting another blistering time and setting a 36.17 as the early benchmark. Tony Livingstone fell just short with a 37.42 then up stepped the irrepressible, undeterrable John Treble. I was walking back to the pits after another mid 40 run to see Johns Pitbull being sucked straight out of Mark’s hand into the stratosphere in the mother of all thermals. Everyone’s eyes were glued to the spec with fingers crossed in nervous anticipation as John slammed the Pitbull through its paces and scraped the bases for a beautifully flown 31.67 seconds of screaming ecstasy!! The cheer that erupted for John after that flight was immense and I won’t forget it for ages. That was the flight of the day for me. It must have ignited the afterburners under Mark Treble too.

No Son likes being beaten by their Dad. It’s a man thing. Mark bounced into the centre of the course as a juicy thermal arrived with fire in his eyes and set off in pursuit of a time better than 31.67. He came so close and squeezed what he could out of his Toxic and the thermal to card a personal best 33.31 and win the 7th round from Martin Newnham and Tony. Martin almost smiled after that flight! Graeme Mahoney had been having a stellar day at the races until this round. He had to use some antigravity magic to keep his Jedi Space Lift aloft for the 87 seconds it took to complete the 1km course.

Mark Treble tried again in the 8th round. He took the round win from Tony and Ronnie but 34.08 wasn’t fast enough for him. Tony and Ronnie were rocketing up the leader board with some excellent flights! Andy Burgoyne copped the brunt of the dead air before a thermal in this round.

The 9th round was to be our final round. The winning time was 40.18 by Simon followed closely by Martin Drewett and Mark Redsell. The air had died for the start of the 10th round and it was pretty uncomfortable watching Stuart Wallace fighting to stave off a dreaded land out and the unanimous decision to call it a day was made. I had no idea who had won overall as so many different pilots had good flights and bad flights.

It was awesome to see Vic Eldridge at an F3F comp. I hadn't seen Vic for ages and was chuffed to see him throwing his Elita about the place! It was also a shame to see him park it early on in the comp and sit the rest of the day out. A special mention goes to Neal Shead for popping his ‘Bwlch F3F’ cherry. He flew his Strega very well and went sub 40 for the first time with a new PB of 38.07! I’m sure he won’t forget this event for some time! Ian Falconer managed to caress his Jedi around the course in 42.94 in his second F3F outing to the Bwlch. Mark and John Trebles PB’s were a highlight for me and it was great to see a bit of family rivalry on display. The determination on Mark’s behalf to beat Dad was visible, and he came close too!

Massive thanks to Martin Newnham for organising and running the competition through the pain of a back in spasm. Thanks to John Treble for organising the buzzers, all pilots for buzzing when asked and a huge thanks to all the guys who tirelessly launched all day.

Congratulations to Simon Thornton on winning our first completed Summer League competition for 2015!! He flew his Shinto brilliantly all day and made the most of the air he was given.

Mark Treble got close at the end of the day but had to settle for a fantastic 2nd place in front of the superhuman Mark Redsell who managed to finish the day in a valiant 3rd place.

Looking forward to our next F3F event which will also be held in Wales in the middle of May. The BMFA F3F Nationals. Entries are open now, so get them in!

The final results from the second round of the BMFA F3F Summer league are below. The spreadsheet is available on the GBSRA website. Hopefully someone, somewhere, took some pictures or video as I didn't get a chance to.

S Thornton
M Treble
M Redsell
M Drewett
T Livingstone

R Lampe
G Mahoney
M Newnham
C Landells
S Wallace

M Abbotts
J Treble
A Burgoyne
I Falconer
N Shead

M Evans
F Hulton
M Shellim
P Burgess
V Eldridge


Mike Shellim took some fantastic photos and has let me show you some here! Thanks Mike!

Check out Mike's other photos in his Zenfolio albums here

No comments:

Post a Comment