Welsh Winter League Rd.4 2nd Feb '15
Report from Clayton Landells
That was an interesting day!
On arrival at the Bwlch 12 of us were greeted by departing clag and a breeze that would have worked on the Wrecker. It was starting to swing south as the forecasts had predicted so we made the decision to move to the Crest as this should give us the best chance for getting the most rounds in. It is probably the longest walk on the F3F circuit, made even longer by going all the way around to the SE slope after stopping at the usual spot to watch the wind cease to blow, which was a little disheartening.
The weather couldn’t make up its mind and after a false start was spoiled by low cloud we were treated to some epic sports flying Dakin style and I had a bit of a play under the fluffy ceiling too. Tony Livingstone got us back under way with a cracking, round winning, 44.45. Tony wasn’t overly pleased at being first off today (no-one ever is, strangely!), but I’m sure a round win in the first round made it feel a little better. After a superhuman effort to come over from Switzerland for todays comp, Stefan Bertschi found himself planeless after suffering some control issues resulting in a heavy landing. He was to sit in the middle for rounds 2, 3 and 4.
Round 2 had the best conditions of the day with Simon Thornton taking the win and fastest time with a rapid 38.06. I also got my fastest time of the comp in round 2 with a blistering 49.15 and my only sub 50. Not my best day, more work required.
Tony smashed everyone in rounds 3 and 4 taking the fastest times for both but the chasing pack wasn’t ready to give up. Simon was still hot on his heels and Martin Newnham is never too far away. Greg Dakin and Graeme Mahoney were also well and truly in the mix too.
The wind started to properly die during round 5. That didn’t stop Graeme from taking the first of his round wins. Les Wood was starting to come to terms with the Crest after a nervy start and Stefan had managed to organise a ‘time share’ wing joiner to replace the Radical one he had left in the warmth of his humble home. I’m sure there is a massive thankyou to Andy Burgoyne for the loan and a collective sigh of relief that it took 3 rounds to organise as he was never too far away from the fastest time of each round.
Round 6 was horrible. Ian Mason and Les suffered the brunt of the cruddy air with scarily slow runs that unfairly stayed legal with regards to wind speed and we had a short break after Ian’s flight to let the breeze regroup before completing the round and letting Graeme take his second round win.
Andy Burgoyne finally got some decent air under the wings of his glider and posted a very respectable time that was pipped at the post by Martin Newnham with the round win a Graeme with second in the round. I flew straight after Andy and got the post thermic, dead air for yet another slowest time that was nearly 30 seconds slower than the fastest.
Stefan took the 8th round and did some grounds keeping along the way with a trouser-browning moment removing some grass from the slope edge! Made me giggle like a nervous schoolkid! John Treble had his best round with a very well flown 48.27 and his fastest of the day, getting right in the midst of the usual suspects and leading pack.
The penultimate round saw Stuart Wallace take the cake with a brilliant 48.48, a miserly 2 tenths ahead of Martin with Simon in third and the conditions were starting to deteriorate somewhat. The final round saw the conditions fall to almost nothing by the end and 12 grateful pilots called it a day after Les had his best round result with 3rd and Martin took another round win.
Massive thank you to everyone that helped to get the competition to run smoothly, especially those that helped with the course carriage and er… ere….. erec…. Putting up and down, everyone for buzzing more than their fair share, Stu for taxing everyone and to Martin and Stefan for helping out in the centre.
Huge CONGRATULATIONS to Simon Thornton for the narrowest of wins over Martin Newnham and Graeme Mahoney. A very deserving top three.