Monday, 24 January 2011

The Sacrifices that have to be made

  Picture the scene, you’ve been told of a great new flying site just 5 miles from this week’s rugby fixture and the forecast was wind dead on the slope. Surely an opportunity to extend my Lift Ticket to Devon should not be missed- The suggestion of the missus visiting her parents whilst I had a boys day seemed very sensible to me!

Working on the principal of say it fast and then run I was in the car and away by 8:00am with dog, gliders and boots all packed. Although I’d left a cooked breakfast on the table, best turn the phone to silent ‘till she calms down! Arriving at the almost deserted car park, the view was stunning and conditions about perfect (plus or minus 20 degrees). A brief stroll along the peninsula’s track to find a landing spot and the Air One was soon away. Tracking straight with the light but reliable sea lift giving more than enough to play with the set up and Air One's excellent energy retention- just how high the half pipes could be pulled. I’m really starting to like this model!

Laziness kept me quite close to the car park for the first few flights but after a quick brew and swapping for the Compact it was easy to take a stroll down the track (main road in Devon) for what must have been the easiest cross country ever. To those walkers who didn’t spot the Compact I was a strangely slow walker who just wouldn’t look at them as we spoke My walk revealed some excellent possible Ds spots along the peninsula’s spine but my head was in too calm a place for DS.

Rugby and beer later it was time to turn the phone on and return home- she’ll be talking again in a few days (win win really) and a flying spot to return to when the lovely 3m Air Ones arrive or Ds mates come a visiting.


Sunday, 16 January 2011

Do you mind going flying for a couple of hours whilst I bake you a cake?

Yep I wasn’t dreaming but I wasn’t going to hang around long to check, now all I needed was a 30mph south westerly and enough charge left in the Air One and cross tail Compact I tested last week in Wales.

The Compact was in need of testing as I’ve replaced the rudder with a fixed fin, remarkably this has saved over 150grams. Back to the flying and as I drove along the Exmouth prom dodging the kite surfer’s being dragged up the beach it was clear my weight saving wasn’t needed. Yep 35mph wind and it was time to make sure the Air one’s new fus mounted ballast had done it’s job and made it heavier (by around 1kg).

A 2 handed launch tested the Air One’s stability as well not going backwards in a gale. ‘Corse she passed! and a few flights later the Air One had ripped up the cliff edge and generated a huge smile on my face- Can I claim any credit for the Air One?- Probably not. I hadn’t long started flying the Compact and Phil Taylor arrived with the aim of beating the assembly time on his Fletcher. Although Phil’s clearly spent most of the excess time on his hands with solar trim, he did manage to reduce his Fletcher assembly time to under 87 minutes!

My time Watching the Fletcher was cut short as I had a lunch time Curry and Beer to be bought for me- Sorry- some days you’re just spoilt.


Monday, 10 January 2011

SlopeRacer goes racing

More pictures

After what feels like months of snow, rain, fog and family putting pay to both flying and racing, the prospect of sunshine, wind and a race on Mickies was too good a prospect to miss. So after days of supporting the missus’s self proclaimed allergy to Pledge and trips the in-laws it was 5:30am and I was heading off.

As always, the Wizard Compact was in the car with me but alone this time, as my favourite model ever it was the perfect choice to get the most fun out of a day’s racing. Arriving at Mickies to find the gate open- It must be my day! My enthusiasm was only slowed when I opened the car door and felt the icey Westerly- perhaps time for a drink and let give the sun time to get on the slope before venturing out.

By the time the other 14 pilots arrived and Knewt had but long trousers on, it wasn’t much warmer but definitely time to head over for a test flight (no practising on course). Test over and thumbs warming as I returned with my camera I realised just how cold it was as I scraped the ice from my wings.

6 hours and 9 rounds of the kind of excellent racing and fun atmosphere that the winter leagues are renown, saw the like of Martin Newnhan, Golden Balls and Knewt slug it out at the top of the field with Extremes/Freestylers and Cere’s (Ceri?) showing there’s not a fag paper between them. I had a blast carving the Compact around the sky to record a number of low 40s times with my only my thumbs keeping her above the magical 40!

All but 1 round was won with a sub 40, including Scott Edwards’ new sub 40 PB to join the 5 other round winners his day was made! Martin was the clear winner at the end of the day after performing consistently all day.

1 weekend and a completed round at each of the leagues- a fantastic start to 2011 and the run to the Champions of Champions race. I’ll be posting the unofficial scores and league positions very soon, with your assumed leagues. Please remember to let me know if you would like to change.

The prospect of my family growing very shortly after the Champions race means you’ll be in the hands of Zim this year on finals day- be Gentle with him!