Monday, 29 March 2010

Champion of Champions 2010

What a weekend! It’s hard to remember the last time I left a slope with such a smile on my face! Despite the dire weather forecasts for the Bwlch, the only interruption was the change of slopes from the Ice Cream slope to Micky’s half way through Saturday - and our pit bull CD Mr Philips (Sir to you) wasn’t going to let a little thing like that get in the way of our racing - just fly until it’s dark.

It’s always great to meet up with old friends and meet new ones on a race day. Combined with the pleasure of watching the top pilots from the UK’s winter leagues give an object lesson in how to squeeze the best from all conditions you just can’t go wrong.

After a quick sight seeing tour of the other slopes available on Saturday morning it was credit to the ‘race crew’ that by the time I’d finished off giving out goodie bags and dragged myself up the hill, the pilots' briefing was about to start and the racing began in short order. Watching some of the racing you could have been forgiven if you forgot that the wind was increasing along the slope.

A change of slopes was called for and again this was done at a remarkable speed to make sure that 9 rounds were flown on Saturday. The forecast of rain on Sunday and John’s unique motivational style spurred everyone on to one of the latest finishes I can remember. A quick check of the course computer leader board and the tussle between Redsell and Thornton was clear - but let’s not tell, might make them nervous.

The prospect of a wet Sunday, combined with the clocks going forward, may have been responsible for the bleary eyed start to Sunday. Even the normally reserved Abbo and Frank managed to take advantage of Bridgend’s delights until 4am. The only thing missing from Sunday was the rain and so 9:30 sharp (GMT) we were off again, Scott Ravenscroft filling his Wizard F3F so full of lead it was a toxic health hazard just before putting in consecutive sub-40s and pilot after pilot putting in some great times.

Too many great flights to mention them all, too many top pilots to do them all justice. Perhaps Adam Richardson and his Strega should have received a new-comer award? The quality of the weekend’s flying and piloting really showed up those of us who hadn’t braved the cold to practise this winter but was most demonstrated by the voodoo lord Mr Dakin, who was forced to take the gloves off and fly his Race MX! Only Ian Stewart couldn’t stay awake long enough to see the end (pity he was buzzing at the time!).

Congratulations to Mark on his win and fastest time of the competition - Mark with a Strega for the summer will be a sight to see. Huge thanks have to go the "Crew" (a motley one) led by John Philips on loud speaker and John Edison on Course Keyboard and supported by Andy, Frank and Abbo - basically on the lash!

Thanks also for the support from RCRCM, Multiplex, Punctilio Modelspot and the BMFA for helping out with a fantastic array of prizes.

Ian Mason

1 MARK REDSELL 13012.16 Freestyler
3 MIKE EVANS 12688.41 Kyril
5 JOEL WEST 12548.93 Kyril
6 GREG DAKIN 12352.29 Race MX/ Tanga
9 MICK WALSH 11981.26 Ceres
10 PAUL MIDDLETON 11955.78 Vikos/ Skorpion
11 RICHARD BAGO 11832.15 Vikos/ Xenon
12 MARK PASSINGHAM 11677.61 Freestyler/ Kyril
14 PAUL GARNETT 11489.40 Vikos/ AIRONE
15 JON EDISON 11441.26 Sting/ Skorpion
16 ZIM SMITH 11430.46 STREGA
17 SCOTT EDWARDS 11418.85 New Sting
19 ANDY BURGOYNE 11123.46 Ascot
20 MARK ABBOTTS 11069.78 ACACIA2/ Caldera
21 IAN STEWART 10601.47 Ceres
23 JOHN PHILIPS 4219.94 Falcon

Here's a couple of slideshows of Zim's photos of the event. Do click on the full screen icon at the bottom right of the slideshow - it's worth it for the full effect.

And now Mark Passingham's photo tutorial on how to launch an F3F model - with a smile! Note the boring launchers before Mark's awesome demonstration of cheddar!

And some more pictures from Ron Russell - thanks very much Ron!

And even MORE photos now!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Electric Typhoon flies!

The prototype has flown - the most versatile model that we do, and now you don't even need a hill or any wind to fly one! I really like the way it's been designed, with the tail servos either in a little hatch just behind the wingseat, or with the elevator servo in the tail if you're putting a bit more muscle up front and need the balance. The fuse is designed to take anything up to a 35mm outrunner, which of course makes it very easy to get a seriously grunty geared inrunner in there, or even a cased outrunner like those lovely ones from MVVS.

Of course, it takes the wings and tails straight off a regular Typhoon so if you already have one and just want to get the e-fuse, no problem.

We'll get more info on the main site in due course, but we figured that we could get it on here now and let you know a little earlier! Email us at if you'd like to know any more about it.

Our pics aren't the best resolution this time around, but hey, these are spy sneaky peaky pics after all!

Monday, 22 March 2010

DS Artillery, Wizards and Foam Tomfoolery...

Life seems to be getting in the way of flying lately. Thursday saw the largest gathering of Sloperacer DS models anyone can remember on Rushup. Dynamic 80s and 40s took their place next to Opus MCTs and various other ‘specials’ – this was an expensive hike in the Peaks! Combined with the good conditions PBs were soon falling- congratulations to George Pilkington and Will Deighton- who were both just shy of the magic 200mph mark with their D80s, pushing Adam all the way. Special mention to George for managing 199mph on his first day DSing this model. Steve Hobday’s Opus made an unfortunate trip straight to the scene of the accident (2 ft below the hillside). Why weren’t you at work lads? Thanks to Will Deighton for the photos...

All this talk of speed had both the Midland and Southern arms of Sloperacer deciding to cash in their remaining brownie points in search of some much needed last minute practise this weekend. But both were the victims of distraction!

Buoyed by last week’s fun, Zim returned to his local slope but forgot the wind. Not to be deterred he remembered his mission and launched the Strega into what he promises me was flat calm. The Strega’s light wind abilities kept him up for a while before the model’s strength was tested AGAIN on the bottom of the hill- and (with the help of the Richardson servo tray) passed with no damage.

After a trip home to do the washing up, Zim was allowed out again. The wind had picked up, so a little F3F practice was fitted in – including George and his Predator, but they were soon distracted by foam. Perhaps feeling worried by those sparkling thumbs Adam Richardson managed to persuade Zim into combat- the big kids played all afternoon! The nearest to a mouldie Zim got for the rest of the day was stroking the excellent Dreamflight Alula and Weasel Evo of Malcolm Tie- where was the Typhoon Malcolm?

The Southern arm of Sloperacer was joined by our Junior team at Whitesheet. The team arrived to a beautiful day and light but steady breeze managing to blow precisely between the 2 slopes. The Wizard F3F was duly maidened - that nervous feeling and double checking of everything was followed by a feeling of anti-climax as the Wizard sailed straight and true into the lift and was soon scooting up and down the edge. Junior Sloperacer’s not great for using the camera for things other than digging worms so you’ll have to take my word for it.

I think Adam must have bribed my lad to keep me away from setting the Wizard up too much, what with kite flying and then being dragged to Whitesheet’s famous Hunter Lodge for lunch keeping the flying time down. But huge smiles right until we told the missus about the Sunday lunch she missed!

As ever, click the full screen icon when viewing the slideshows...

Monday, 15 March 2010

Stregas over Leicestershire

As it’s only 2 weeks to the Champion of Champions race, Zim and partner in F3F (Adam) decided to spend this Saturday following in the turbulence of Slope Guru and personal hero Greg Dakin. A trip to their local slope of Burrough on the Hill to tune their Stregas and stand where their hero stood to learn how to extract the most possible from any hill.

A responsible adult was provided by top British EPP cutter and race designer Ron Broughton, flying his new Copycat design - although Ron’s been suffering with a bad back in recent months it’s not stopped him. It’s going to be tough for Ron to do better than the run-away victory achieved by Mark Abbots and his Polecat in last year’s EPP league but Ron doesn’t like to stand still.

Aimed at lighter days (surely not in the Summer league), the Copy cat has a longer nose and straight LE. I can’t remember the last time any of Ron’s models were not superbly designed thoroughbreds and the Copycat looks smack on the money.

Conditions were variable (as with a fair few races) but the air was consistent enough to make some set-up tweaks as well as working on those up wind and down wind turns. The Strega certainly likes to be thrashed and really hit the turns hard - Zim’s flights in the Champion of Champions race could be worth watching 

Adam and Zim were seen walking off into the distance looking to check out a potential DS site and prove that you don’t have to travel across the country to have a great day’s flying.

As ever, click the full screen icon to view the slideshow...