27 May 2009

British Open Series - Round 2 - The Dales

Pilots and Crew
The Results HERE

Pete - our 'new' Meet Head

The 2nd round of the British Open Series took place over the Bank Holiday Weekend in the Yorkshire Dales 22 - 26 May 2009.

Unfortunately due to not so good weather there were only 3 tasks - which was lucky for me as they happened to be on the days I was able to be there!

There were 4 flyable days out of the 5 – but only 3 were taskable. Task’s 1 and 3 were hampered by the fact that it was so windy. Task 2 was one not to miss!!


The first task was from a SW site called Tailbridge which is a very easy top landable but small site with boonies over the back for miles so we had a small turn point which dragged us slightly crosswind before heading downwind in almost total grey sky – 1 up climbs, 2 if you were lucky to around ‘not very high’ ft asl. Gordon and I were together for the first climb. All I intended to do was get the turnpoint and land as it really did look pants but I got a weak one en route and stayed with it, then a wee glide to a ridge with another weak climb and then an amazingly fast glide toward the goal overtaking cars on the A66. When I turned to land I was still heading towards the goal!! It was windy but all got back on the deck ok albeit with wet feet as it was on the top of the Pennines and bog land.

Shedsy won the day flying 22.9km of the 29km task.

Task 2. Weather fell take off. WNW site but flyable round to WSW which was the 'wave' direction. A few guys took off and it did not look too inspiring as the wind was 45’ off to the hill, windy and they were not high in the blue sky. After a while a few were getting to 2000+ but then back down to low again so this was a sign that something was starting to happen..... It was time to commit to aviation.

After flying around in odd and sometimes bumpy conditions I noticed a few guys starting to speck out pointing 90’ to the hill at the N end of the valley where it opens out. Bar in and get there and low and behold a climb of 200ft-250ft pm that didn’t stop until 8200ft was reading on the alti. The views were amazing with both coastlines in view and the few cu 3-4000 ft below BUT and NO camera!

Photos by Justin Needham

After being so drunk on the view I almost forgot we were on a task and the last clock was coming up so off I went following the edge of the valley in super smooth air then a little down air to 5000ft then the next bar. I couldn’t make out if it was thermal or wave at first as it was a little choppy compared to what we had. You could see small rotor clouds forming then disappearing just as quick below so maybe I wasn’t in it proper? This went on for another 3 climbs and then I had company with Gary Wirdnam and Dave Shields (Shedsy). We glided together up to the A1 where we were now into thermal flying with very little cloud. It was amazing to see the fields of young green crop swirling away below and the air steaming in on all sides as the lift kicked off. I can’t remember ever seeing this so frequently in this country? We got a climb to 4500ft and started a glide over the top of Leeming airspace but for some reason Shedsy decided to go S following the A1. Maybe he thought he could not get over the airspace? Gary and I carried on and by now I was higher and in front by a couple of km or so heading toward my local SW site, Sutton Bank where I knew it would be working. As it turned out I didn’t even stop to ridge soar as I was 2000+ above the top so searched around down wind and found a crappy little climb which I tried to stay with but the ground falls away for a few miles and pulls the air down with it so I had a glide in very sinky air and in need of a climb I went and was rewarded just short of Helmsley with a 4up where the land once again goes flat and things start to go back to normal. This I took to 3000 and then it was an easy glide into Goal at Wombelton airfield which was built during the 2nd world war. Gary came in a few mins after followed by Shedsy. A super super day only ruined by a speeding ticket on the way back to score.

T2 - Goalfield



Gordon and Dave

Task 3 was a frustrating day!! We couldn’t use the preferred nice hill as the club forbid more than 6 'things' flying at any one time so we went to a redundant flying site down the valley with a not too bad carry up but a crappy cliff launch with another cliff out front! The forecast was for light wind but we had strong wind. We even had to lay our gliders flat as there was so much rotor!

Graham Phipps won the day flying 34.8km of the 81.1km task.
Nappa Scar

Task 1 – Tailbridge to Eccleston Abbey – 29km
1 – Shedsy
2 – Tony Stephens
3 – Graham Phipps
4 – Rich Lovelace
5 – Paul Harvey
6 – Bruce Kavanagh
7 – Dave Matthews
7 – Gary Wirdnam
9 – Grant Crossingham
10 – Neil Atkinson

Task 2 – Wether Fell to Wombleton – 79.5km
1 – Rich Lovelace
2 – Gary Wirdnam
3 – Shedsy
4 – Justin Needham
5 – Bruce Kavanagh
6 – Myles Kynaston
7 – Tony Stephens
8 – Dave Matthews
9 – Graham Phipps
9 – Gordon Rigg
9 – Paul Harvey

Task 3 – Nappa Scar to Colywell – 81.1km
1 – Graham Phipps
2 – Steve Penfold
3 – Wayne Thompson
4 – Stewart Reid
5 – Dave Matthews
6 – Rich Lovelace
7 – Gordon Rigg
7 – Tony Stephens
9 – Bruce Kavanagh
10 – Tim King

1 – Rich Lovelace – 1869
2 – Gary Wirdnam – 1795
3 – Graham Phipps – 1602
3 – Bruce Kavanagh – 1602
5 – Tony Stephens – 1568
6 – Dave Matthews – 1533
7 – Gordon Rigg – 1449
8 – Grant Crossingham – 1355
9 – Shedsy – 1305
10 – Stewart Reid - 1264

Cheers to Gordon - Why is Gordon happy? He's going to Laragne!

22 May 2009

Green Porno - its not what you think ;-)

If this vid of Davis 'talking dirty in the tow paddock' made you laugh like it did me then CLICK HERE to learn more about the sex lives of insects and marine animals!

British Open Series - Round 2 - The Dales

The 2nd round of the British Open Series starts today (22 - 26 May 2009).

I have managed to take a few days off work and whilst I am unable to attend the full comp I hope to be there (weather depending) for 3 of the days.

The Results will be published HERE

British Hang Gliding Nationals 19-25 July '09 - Spain

More info here

Striking for Safety - same could be said of Sprogs?

In Italy this week the peloton went on strike

Maybe at the Worlds a similar thing may happen with all the top guys? Click here to see what I'm talking about - skip to about 4.45

Quotes from the video:

“As a group of professional athletes …...... have to have a fully independent riders organisation that represents our interest .....… so we as riders get to have the right to say this is safe or this is not safe or this will do or this will not do …. Without a unified front we will have this problem for ever.”

.....Ring any bells?

So, do ‘we’ really want a 'company' telling us what we can and can't do - paying the extra money in competitions to have people measure our gliders and say "you are .2 of a degree out, you're dsq'd today"? At the moment it seems only the main comps ie the Worlds and Europeans which are affected but for sure if the DHV get its foot in the door which it seems it is trying to do in what I feel the wrong way then maybe our competitions will be very poorly attended, if attended at all.

I feel it is the pilots responsibility and with the correct education I am sure we will not have the stupidity like we've had in the past of pilots having ridiculously low sprogs. I feel a good percentage of the accidents certainly that I have witnessed in competitions are due to conditions that we fly in (not just sprogs) and yes I know people can say "you don't have to fly if you don't want to fly" and that's fair enough if you are at the end of the field but if you are leading or at the top of the field and have spent a lot of money/time/commitment in getting there you are not going to be sat on the hill - that is what a competitive nature is all about!

Got a point?

More on Sprogs here:
Oz Report

12 May 2009

British Open Round 1 - The Movies

Markus Kinch has put together movies from the First Round of the British Open Series - thanks Markus.

You will be able to see from the movies the type of conditions that us Brits fly comps in, shame I couldn't be there.

Round 1 - Day 1

Round 1 - Day 2

Round 1 - Day 3

5 May 2009

British Open 2009 - The Results

Congratulations to Dave Matthews who won the British Open after 3 decent tasks with an impressive margin.

Shame about Grant who lost a score for a day after making goal – very unlucky.

From the feedback it sounds like it was a real good fun competition. Shame I missed it I would have loved to be there.

2nd - Tony

3rd - Craig

It’s the first time there has been a Sports Class and it seems it was a great success with some doing their first cross country ~ Congratulations to Craig Ennis.

British Open - Results
Task 1 Merthyr 60 k race Open Distance
Task 2 Merthyr-Hay Bluff- Raglan 68,8 km Race to Goal with 9 startgate(s)
Task 3 Abertysswg to Sherston 73,2 km Race to Goal with 10 startgate(s)

Id Name Nat Glider T 1 T 2 T 3 Total
1 Dave Matthews Moyes Litespeed S - 517 787 895 2199
2 Tony Stephens Aeros Combat - 519 749 522 1790
3 Craig Dolwin Wills Wing T2 - 365 466 872 1703
4 Gary Wirdnam Wills Wing T2C - 401 465 689 1555
5 Mike Armstrong Aeros Combat - 210 415 845 1470
6 David Shields Moyes Litespeed S - 210 405 693 1308
7 Patrick Buxton Wills Wing T2 - 210 383 711 1304
8 Ron Richardson Litespeed - 417 884 1301
9 Justin Needham Moyes Litespeed - 415 719 154 1288
10 Grant Crossingham Moyes Litespeed S - 0 929 242 1171
11 Trevor Birkbeck Wills Wing T2 - 210 599 316 1125
12 Nigel Bray Wills Wing T2 - 406 712 1118
13 Graham Phipps Wills Wing T2 - 420 456 211 1087
14 Jamie Cannon Moyes Litespeed - 237 847 1084
15 Bill Bell Wills Wing T2c - 210 484 363 1057
16 Brett Wright Moyes LitespeedS - 339 389 307 1035
17 Richard Lever Climax C2 - 554 416 970
18 Bruce Kavanagh Wills Wing T2 - 250 376 321 947
19 Barry Woodhead Avian Cheetah - 210 426 281 917
20 Stewart Reid Icaro Zero7 - 210 201 490 901
21 Steve Green Aeros Combat - 340 550 0 890
22 Robin Rhodes Moyes Litespeed - 432 420 852
23 Martin Colclough Airborne C4 - 312 201 260 773
24 Jenny Buck Airborne C4 - 210 201 345 756
25 Tim King Moyes Litespeed - 210 201 341 752
26 Wayne Thompson Aeros Combat - 0 201 405 606
27 Clive Belbin Airborne C4 - 0 414 114 528
28 Murray Brown Aeros Combat L - 210 201 114 525
28 Markus Kinch Moyes LitespeedS - 210 201 114 525
30 James Hogan Icaro Laminar MR - 0 400 114 514
31 Dave Cooper Moyes Litespeed - 0 398 114 512
32 Marek Pisarek Moyes LitespeedS - 0 201 302 503
33 Andy Scott Wills Wing T2 - 210 201 0 411
34 Kevin Winter Talon T1 - 392 0 392
35 Norman Potts Combat 2 - 201 114 315
35 Mark Stewart Moyes Litespeed - 0 201 114 315
37 Jimbo Seward Moyes Litespeed - 0 210 0 210
38 Tony Moore Wills Wing Eagle - 0 201 0 201
38 David Tyrer Wills Wing T2 - 0 201 0 201
40 Steve Penfold Airborne C4 - 0


Task Date Distance
T1 Task 1 Merthyr 30 k race 2009-05-01 12:45 Open Distance
T2 Task 2 Merthyr to Raglan 2009-05-02 12:00 33,1 km Race to Goal with 9 startgate(s)
T3 Task 3 Abertysswg to Chepstow 2009-05-03 13:45 42,6 km Race to Goal with 5 startgate(s)

# Id Name Nat Glider Sponsor T 1 T 2 T 3 Total
1 Craig Ennis M GBR Avian Cheetah Evo 0 654 625 1279
2 Sergey Kataev M GBR Aeros Discus 56 411 636 1103
3 Andrew Hurst M GBR Airwave Magic 3 56 597 232 885
4 Kris Holland M GBR Moyes Litespeed 0 244 579 823
5 Alan James M GBR Wills Wing T2 0 551 0 551
6 David Moore M GBR Wills Wing U2 0 244 250 494
7 Paul Whatley M GBR Wills Wing Sport 2 56 244 29 329
8 James Roy M GBR Aeros Discus 56 0 232 288
9 John Cheale M GBR Wills Wing Sport 2 0 0

3 May 2009

British Open Series : Round One - S E Wales

Whilst I am at work (sad) Round One of the British Open Series is taking place (1-5 May) in SE Wales. Seems that there has been some pretty good (for British weather) tasks over the past 3 days and I am pretty jealous not to be there!

Work commitments mean I am only able to attend Round Three which takes place over the August Bank Holiday (Mid Wales).

Round Two actually takes place at the end of this month on my 'home turf' but …. I am working again!

The scores for day 1 and 2 are now up on the website.

The Top 5 after 2 tasks are:-

1st - Dave Matthews

2nd - Tony Stephens
3rd - Justin Needham
4th - Grant Crossingham
5th - Neil Atkinson

Markus Kinch usually makes a great video of the Open Series – watch this space it will be available soon I am sure…