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19. juli 2011

North England-Wales trip

The background for this trip was the Eurotour F3F at Hole of Horcum hosted by North York Moors Ridge Soaring Club. I flew in to Birmingham Airport and Greg was there to pick me up. When we drove back to his place I discovered a slope near Greg's house which he had not seen himself. The reason for this was that it is a man made slope recently made. Well we had to test it and Greg found his aerobatic model Vector III from RCRCM. The slope looked OK and the wind seemed to be fine but there was not many places to land. Anyway Greg got some air time until the wind died and an emergency landing had to be done. A little damage to the leading edge and that was it. I doubt Greg will fly there again at least for some time.
Next day we drove up to Pickering and the Hole of Horcum only to be sitting in the car at watch some other model fliers get extremely wet in the massive rain. After some time Stefan Bertschi, Dieter Perlick, Peter Kowalski and Torsten Herman came up from the main bowl.
So no flying for me and Greg this day so we went to our hotel which was a pleasant surprise. We got installed for the next 3 days and had Internet, TV and a pool table. So if the flying did not go well we could always play pool.....
First day of flying did not promise well. We only managed 2 rounds in rather uneven conditions. Again this type of conditions showed the need for an automatic weather station as the one our club has made(more info about the device is here in the blog somewhere). Typical problems that occurs is wind direction is off and very hard to measure manually, the same goes for the wind speed. The contest director had a very hard time to keep track of this and extra personnel was needed to try to monitor this. From my point of view we must make a rule change to get rid of this problem. Our experience is that pilots trust a machine doing these measurements. All the CD has to do is to read out the results after the run and give the pilot a reflight if conditions was under the minimum criteria for the day/slope.
Next day was similar but I must admit that I thought we could not even manage a complete contest as we experienced in Denmark 2 weeks earlier. Luckily I was wrong and 3 more rounds was flown and we saw some good rounds flown by pilots further down the lists which actually had some impact on the total results. Dieter Perlick did the most out his DP-Air and won clearly with me taking a lucky 2nd. place. I say lucky as Joel West should have swapped his third to a second or first if he did not make a big mistake in very good air in the last round. Results can be found following the link to the NYMRS club. Many thanks to NYMRSC and their sponsors MKS Servo-tech, T9 Hobbysport.
Since we had no plan to leave the area before next morning Team Tea Swillers took a trip to visit Whitby for a meal so Greg could get his well deserved Fish and Chips. Nice trip indeed and we rounded off the day with some pool with me and John struggeling to give Greg some competition in this game. We could not!

Next day we drove over to North Wales to visit an old friend of mine, Nic Wright. We met Nic in his home (which he built himself as you would expect from a guy that used to build all of his models himself and the fact that he is a building engineer). After tea and lots of catching up (we met last time in South Africa in 1999) we decided to go to the Llangollen slope an hour from Nic's house. It turned out to be a very nice afternoon and some gentle flying were I tried to show Nic the new Dynamic flying style. I could not help noticing that even Nic has not been seen doing competitive flying for more than ten years he was more than enthusiastic about me and Greg showing up and also how our models were performing.
After the flying we drove down to Llangollen and Nic knew a good restaurant and again we got some good food. A perfect end to a perfect day except one little thing, Greg had to drive 2 hours to get us to our hotel in fashionable Llandudno.
Next morning I was out early to get a good look at Llandudno and it was much bigger than I thought. Clearly a place a lot of tourists chooses to go to with many, many hotels and nice beaches.
Anyway we had a little bit of bad luck as the air was moist and fog was present. So I am sorry that we did not get the chance to check out the big slope The Great Orme.
We headed over to Nic's place again and we hope to get out and fly again with the Legend. But due to lack of wind there was no chance and we took a walk up to one of Nic's local slopes facing North-East. What can I say, there is many, many nice places to fly from and scenery in Northern Wales is very pretty. No doubt this is a good place to be if you are interested in the sport of slope flying. Here you can combine beautiful nature and the thrill of Radio Controlled Sailplanes and not to forget the local pubs and resturants. Perfect!
Going back to Swadlincote was for a change an easy ride as summer traffic was not so bad and Greg and his SAAB did a good job bringing us home. A quick sleep for 4 hours and we had to get up at 04.00 for me to catch my flight.

Pictures from the trip can be found here
Espen