Sunday 27th. A moderate W’ly brought a soaring day, with georgraphically variable conditions providing a challenge to those competing in Day 2 of the Northerns and to YGC pilots flying cross countries. 40 ATs were flown in total as the Northern’s competitors were set a 211 km task with turn points at Pontefract, Ripon and Fridaythorpe. Mike Armstrong won the day in his Ventus 2cT being one of 6 finishers. Andy Wright flew a 295 km polygon with turn points at Bridlingon, Masham and Langtoft, having to resort to a climb to 8,500′ in cloud get across a big blue hole on the way to Masham and then finding the return to Sutton from Langtoft somewhat tricky. 16 of the day’s 22 ATs outside those for the Northern’s pilots resulted in flights of over an hour, with 9 YGC private owners taking launches and the club fleet well utilised. Peter Crawley had 3:34 in his DG800 while Paul Whitehead was oneof the instructors kept busy with 6 First Flight pupils, with one, M Charnock having 1:12 off his Mile High flight. Soaring was available well into the late afternoon/evening with John Marsh and Mark Walton taking K21 KLW for a flight of 1:13 off the last flight of the day. The club’s solo pilots seemed to have decided to limit flights to around 1:30 with Nigel Gregson having 1:33 in Astir GBK, Conrad Thwaites 1:32 in the Discus, D Lodge, 1:30 in the DG303 and Tim Stanley with 1:27 in Astir GBK. This statistic was only spoiled by Nigel Gregson’s earlier flight in the DG303 when he stayed up for 1:56. In addition to all the above flying the Falke had a single sortie and there was even a flight on the simulator.
Monday 28th. The wind had reverted to become a light NE’ly, the air mass providing some very good soaring conditions, albeit with a relatively low cloud base to start, although this improved during the day to peak at over 5,000′ asl. Flying commenced at around 1000 hrs and continued until 1800 hrs the good conditions allowing some long tasks to be flown. The Northern’s pilots also profitted, with all completing their 224 km task with turn points at the Tontine, Wetherby South, Ripon and Burn. Graham Morris won the day in his ASW 27 with a speed of 101.9 kph and, as a result headed the competition after day 3 with 2182 points, although only 93 points separated him from John Tanner who was 3rd with Mike Armstrong in 2nd place. The best placed YGC pilot was Bill Payton flying the club DG1000. Steve Thompson, flying his Discus, flew the Northern’s task off the back of the grid, while Derek Tayloy in his ASW22 and Paul Whitehead in his Ventus 17.6 m both flew a 511 km task, with TPs at Alfreton, Catterick and Chesterfield. Derek continued flying after returning to Sutton, adding Carlton and Burn to his day’s TP list and covering 663 OLC kms. Paul decided to call it a day at Sutton after having flown his 511 kms at 93 kph, while Rob Bailey flew a 318 km task with TPs at Market Raisen, Gainsborough and Bakewell finding superb conditions on the leg to Bakewell and then getting low near Sheffield. His return to Sutton was made a little simpler by Leeds Bradford ATC who allowed him to cross the SE corner of their airspace. The 20 ATs flown outside the Northern’s resulted in 9 flights of over an hour, with Derek Taylor’s 7 hrs being the longest of the day. K21 JVZ returned from having its wheel brake repaired to join the other 3 two seaters in use on the day, Chris Gill taking one of the 3 First Flight pupils of the day, Nigel Lister, for a Mile High flight that lasted 1:05 . 8 private owners launched to contribute to the day’s total and congratulations are due to summer tuggie Liam Watts who flew the club Discus to Burn and back to claim his Silver Distance in a flight of 2:45. Amid all this excitement, Joan Wilson flew K21 solo for 1:20.
Tuesday 29th. Tuesday dawned with a light to moderate W’ly blowing but with uncertain soaring conditions, these never improving enough to allow the Northern’s grid to be launched. 24 ATs were, however, flown, but this included only 2 of the club 2 seaters while the prospect of wave tempted 11 private owners to add their names to the launch log. Martyn Johnson flying his DG600 flew for 3:50 but was unable to contact the wave but Peter Crawley in his DG800, Jesper Mjles in his newly acquired DG400 and Northern’s competitors Bob Bromwich/Chris Bowden in their DG500 did in the late afternoon, all aided by their engines. Peter motored out to the Pately Bridge area and eventually reached around 10,000′ asl with Bob and Chris reaching around 11,000′ in the transponder free zone that currently exists for YGC wave pilots. Jesper prefaced his wave climb to around the same height with 5 take offs and landings under the watchful eye of Paul Whitehead in order to be signed off as a fully fledged SLMG pilot. Day course member B Strathern gradually lengthened his flight times over the day, with 20, 30 and 54 minutes under the watchful eye of P1 John Marsh. The only club solo flight of the day was by Colin Troise who flew K21 KLW for 48 minutes while 4 First Flight pupils were introduced to gliding.