Wednesday 12th to Wednesday 19th August.

Wednesday.  The second flying day of Task Week brought a light to moderate W’ly and the promise of more wave.  The set task was any 3 turning points west of the A1 and although the wave didn’t extend to great heights a number of pilots visited 1 or more of the required turning points with the day’s winner being Sam St Pierre in his DG200 courtesy of getting to Garforth as one of his 3.    Task Week director Phil Lazenby flying with Sue Aherne in the  club DG1000 were second.    In all 31 AT’s and 2 winch launches were flown by 15 private owners and most of the club fleet.  Conditions were not entirely straightforward with David Ryall in the club 303 and C Stothard in his Vega landing out.  19 flights exceeded an hour with Dean Crosby having 4 hrs in his Standard Cirrus, Stuart Heaton/Albert Newbery just over 4 hrs in their DG1000t while Frank Wilson had 1.7 hrs in the club Astir.

Thursday.  A very light NNW’ly  initially generated a splendid looking , Cu dotted sky but this quickly turned to virtually complete spreadout.  However, lift was  still to be found and the task of visiting gliding clubs in Yorkshire, or alternatively a 300km task was attempted by a number of pilots.  Phil Lazenby/Stuart Heaton flying their DG1000t completed the gliding club task with multiple Sutton/Pocklington, Sutton/Rufforth legs as well as a visit to Burn and would have won the day except for the rule that no one can win more than one day.  Consequently, Jon and Alex May won the day in their Duo Discus having attempted the alternative 300km task and were on the leg home over Scunthorpe when an engine deployment was required.  37 ATs were flown by most of the club fleet and 17 private owners with the longest flight of the day by Bill Payton in his Ventus who ventured down to Wales but had to resort to numerous engine starts to return the whole flight taking 9.25 hrs.  The tricky conditions led to Geoff Harrison landing out in his Ka6, while Mike Wood and Moyra Johnson, YGC’s 90+yr old President, had 1.25 hrs in the syndicate T21. 

Friday.  A 5-15 kt SE’ly airstream that slowly veered into the SW brought cloudy skies, some light rain/drizzle after lunch and no soaring opportunities.  Consequently, no task  was set.  5 ATs were flown, all in  club gliders, the highlight of the day being Colin Troise’s conversion to the club DG1000 solo.  Well done Colin.

Saturday.  A 15-25 kt SW’ly that veered into the W was punctuated by the passage of a cold front around midday and a secondary front around 1630 hrs each with their complement of rain.  The strong winds and fronts meant that no task was possible so the winners of Task Week were the DG1000t syndicate with the Duo Discus Syndicate 2nd and Sam St Pierre in his DG200 3rd.  Solo pilots better buck their ideas up!!  In spite of the interuptions due to rain, 11 winch launches were flown but only in the club 2 seaters and by 2 private owners.  Jon May/Steve Ball, the Duo Discus team had 3.7hrs aloft with Colin Troise having 1.2 hrs in the club K21, 2 of the 4 flights to exceed an hour.

Sunday.  With the wind staying  in the W’ly quadrant and of a similar strenght to Saturday, hill soaring was again on offer with 23 winch launches flown by the club K21s, DG1000, DG500 and DG303 while 6 private owners also took advantage of the conditions.  Conditions were generally cloudy with high cover early and late.  9 of the flights exceeded an hour with Bill Payton/Dean Crosby haivng 3.4hrs in the former’s DG1000t and David Hodgson having 2.5hrs in the club DG303. 

Monday.  With wind strength and direction similar to Sunday the winch was again in use with 22 launches flown.  Thermal conditions were good with a few sprinkles of rain during the day.  All the club 2 seaters, Astir and DG303 were flown as well as 6 privately owned gliders and 10 of the flights exceeded an hour.  Jesper Mjels flying the club DG303 and Dean Crosby flying his Standard Cirrus each had 3.2hrs soaring, while Stewart Black a visitor from Buckminster GC, flying his DG300 had just over 5 hrs.  There were 3 trial lesson flights and Nick Gaunt/Steve Briggs had the longest 2 seater flight of the day at exactly 1 hr.  The last flight landed at just before 2100 hrs.

Tuesday.  The soarable W’lies of the last few days were replaced by a cloudy, SSE’ly airstream that went into the SSW following a marked pressure fall around 1300hrs that was accompanied by brighter conditions with strong thermals.  22 ATs were flown by 2 private owners and all the 4 club 2 seaters and the Discus.  6 of the flights exceeded an hour with John Hart having 2.3 hrs in his Vega, David Watsham 2.1 hrs in the club Discus and Les Rayment/Brian Walkden 1.5 hrs in the club DG1000.    5 Trial Lesson Pupils were flown.

Wednesday. A light SSE’ly that strengthened during the afternoon before diminishing towards evening, brought good wave conditions with associated thermals, although contacting the wave was not that easy. 39 AT’s were flown off runway 20 with accompanying turbulent approaches.  All the club gliders with the exception of the Astir were flown and there were 13 flights by private owners and 16 of the flights exceeded an hour.  Mr King flying Kestrel 49 had 6.9 hrs touring North Yorkshire, one of several pilots to get to around 10,000′.  John Ellis and Dave Ashby attempted a wave based 300km (Sut/Poc/Staindrop/Pontefract/Sut) which Dave completed although some of the flight was in thermal.  John, on the other hand, was one of several pilots to fail to contact the wave while Robin Strarup landed out.  Chris Teagle did a wave based 284 km flight that took in Thirsk/Selset Res/Pateley Bridge/Leyburn & Pontefract, the visit to Pontefract being his first time there in wave.  Andy McCann had 4.2 hrs in the club DG303 while Andy Parish/Martyn Johnson flying the club DG1000 spent a great deal of their1.4 hr flight repeatedly first ascending in wave and then descending in a spin in preparation for Martyn’s forthcoming Ass Cat Instructor course.   6 Trial Lesson Pupils enjoyed their first flights with some contacting the wave and the day was rounded out by an evening visit by members of the Guisborough 41 club, with soaring being possible at around 1000′ QFE along the South ridge even though the wind was by this time not that strong.

Saturday 8th to Tuesday 11th August.

Saturday. A ridge moved in giving a light SW’ly that slowly veered into the W and good soaring conditions, although a weak front brought in high cover later in the day.  A 302.6  km task was set for Northern’s and in the ensuing race, Dick Cole, flying P1 in the club DG1000 came 4th.  In addition to the Northerns there were 27 ATs for club members with 14 private owners taking advantage of the good thermal conditions and the club’s K21’s, Astir and Ka8 being flown.  Andy Wright in his Nimbus 3 and Dave Latimer in his Ventus both flew over 500 km while Derek Smith in his LS7 did 275 km.  22 of the day’s  flights exceeded an hour with Lindsay McLane having just over 8 hrs in his Ventus.  Rob Bailey, flying the K21 solo had just over 2 hours while the best 2 seat club duration was also in the K21 where the Beck/Brewer combination had a 1.4 hr flight.

Sunday.  The ridge stayed in place giving another good soaring day although there was some overconvection and spreadout at times.  An initially light S’ly slowly veered into the W and with high cloudbases,(~5k) the final contest day at the Northerns generated some high average speeds.  The  best placed YGC pilot on the day was Chris Teagle in his LS6C who was 7th, with Chris also being the highest placed YGC pilot overall,  finishing up in 4th place just ahead of Dick Cole.  31 ATs were flown in addtion to those of the Northerns, with 14 private owners and the club K21s, Astir and DG 500 flown.  Andy Wright covered around 360 km having to abandon a longer task to the south due to clag and a lowering cloud base, while Jonathon May/Steve Ball had a 2.6 hr flight in  their Duo Discus.  John Carter had the longest flight solo in a club glider, the Astir, but landed out, having a wing rocking Vulcan fly below him as he started his approach from 800′.   Les Rayment/R Gleave had 1.7hrs in the K21 while Mr Parr a visitor from Burn GC returned from whence he came during the afternoon.  15 of the 31 flights  exceeded an hour and there were 4 Trial lesson pupils.  Late in the day, Steve Briggs had his first 2 solo flights in the K21.  Well done Steve.

Monday.  The weekend ridge disappeared leaving the site in a light, cloudy and initially wet S’ly airstream.  The clearence, accompanied by a wind shift into the NW, arrived too late to allow  any flying apart from on the Simulator.  Here, a number of pilots determined to fly cross country on the first day of Task Week, pitted themselves against the clock and each other on a Sutton to Carlton O/R.  The normal challenges of cross country flying faced by the pilots were added to by  the less than helpful remarks of on-lookers and other difficulties including blanking out the view from the cockpit and spurious inputs via the keyboard.  The shortest  flight time was achieved by Andy McCann but this was before handicaps were applied, his being severe due to his knowledge and practice of all things computer simulated and the fact that he had done most of his flying at the Mynd.

Tuesday.  A light WSW’ly with clear blue skies started the day but a low overcast quickly spread in putting the dampers on an early start on the set task for the day, a AAT type task with the designated areas around Beverley, Harrogate North and Carlton Bank.  Skies brightened around lunchtime and then wave set in with some splendid lenticulars in view.  29 ATs were flown, 15 by private owners and  the rest in the club’s K21s, DG1000, DG500, Astir and DG303.   18 of the flights exceeded an hour with Jonathon May/Les Rayment in the Duo Discus being aloft for just over 4 hours and visiting 2 of the designated areas albeit having to resort to their engine on more than one occasion.  Dean Crosby in his Standard Cirrus went on his independent way and tried to visit Barnard Castle and Pateley Bridge but in each case was thwarted by rain.  A number of pilots contacted the wave, which was difficult to sus out low down, with heights from 4 to over 9 k being reported.  Albert Newberry/Stuart Heaton flying in their DG1000t made the best height of the day, 9.5 k and also visited 2 of the desinated areas,   although this meant a couple of descents through cloud.  Frank Wilson, flying the club Astir had 1.5 hrs aloft while task setter Phil Lazenby flying with Sue Ahern (without her striped wellies) in the club DG1000 had around 2 hours but failed to find the wave.

Tuesday 4th to Friday 7th August.

Tuesday.  A damp, cloudy and fresh SE’ly airstream kept the site in cloud for a major proportion of the day with the clearance only arriving at around 7pm.  Consequently there was no flying at all. 

Wednesday.  A light SSE’ly brought generally cloudy skies and some light rain from late  morning to early afternoon.  Consequently, the day was scrubbed for the Northern’s competitors but 8 ATs were flown by YGC pilots, including a single private owner and the clubs K21s and DG303.  There were 2 Trial lesson pupils and 3 of the  day’s flights exceeded an hour.  Bill Payton and Justin Wills had 2.5 hrs in Bill’s DG1000t while  CFI Andy Parish had 2.1 hours in the club DG303 as a relaxation from the pressures of being the Director of the Northern’s.  Andy takes his responsibilities as Director very seriously and tries to share all the highs and lows of competition with the competitors .  However, landing out near Felixkirk on the above flight is probably taking this togetherness too far. 

Thursday.  A very light NW’ly that backed into the SW mid afternoon, brought in some high level cloud at times but did allow a 177.5 km task to be  set at the Northerns, with Dick Cole flying P1 in the club DG1000 coming 4th.  Derek Smith, sent aloft as the thermal sniffer in his LS7, tried the longer Task A but gave up reaching some of the turning points when the high level overcast suppressed  convection but still flew 198.3 km.  As well as the Northern’s competitors, 22 other ATs were also flown, 9 by private owners and the rest in the club’s K21s, Astir and Ka8.  10 of these flights exceeded an  hour with Derek Smith’s being the longest recorded at 3.8 hrs.  2 Trial lesson pupils sampled gliding while Rob Bailey had 1.2 hrs solo in the K21 and Ian Plant/ M Fay had 50 minutes in the K21. 

Friday.  A 205.6 km task was set for the Northern’s competitors which most completed, with YGC’s Nick Gaunt, flying the club DG500 with competition met man Steve Ball, coming 4th.    An additional 12 ATs were flown by YGC members utilising the club K21s, Astir and Ka8 while 4 private owners also flew.  8 of the flights exceeded an hour and there was a single Trial Lesson Pupil.  Andy Wright flew  320 km to Millfield and back while Paul Foster had 4.7hrs in his ASW 22 and John Carter 3.1 hrs in the club Astir.  David Cambell, taking a break from his tugging duties in the Northerns, had 1.1 hrs in the K21 in the company of Nick Ledger.

Wednesday 29th July to Monday 3rd August

Wednesday.  A light to moderate SE’ly airstream brought low cloud and 15 mm of rain to Sutton, this only clearing late  on with the wind veering into the SW.  Consequently no flying was possible.

Thursday.  A fresh W’ly provided a good hill soaring day with strong thermals.  31 winch launches involving all the club gliders and 4 private owners resulted.    Flying continued unabated from just before 10 am until  6 pm, with14 of the flights exceeding an hour and 7 Trial Lesson pupils flown.  Joe Westwood, visiting from Gransden Lodge, had just under 7 hours in the club Discus, Albert Newbery/Stuart Heaton had 3.1 hours in their DG1000t while Dave Cambell/Andrea  Causer had a convivial 1.7 hrs in the club K21.  Ian Plant took a break from his ATing, winch driving and instructor duties and had an hour aloft in the club DG1000.

Friday.  A 5-15 kt SE’ly airstream that slowly veered into the S provided some reasonable thermal soaring opportunities that tempted 7 private owners into the air along with 19 flights in club gliders, with all the club fleet again being utilised.  3 Trial lesson pupils were flown and 11 of the flights exceeded an hour.  Joe Westwood/Justin Wills had just under 3 hours in the club DG1000 and Frank Wilson had 3.6 hrs in the club DG303.  Tim Howle, who recently re-soloed, had 1.3 hrs solo in the club K21. 

Saturday.  The  synoptic pressure  situation continued its mobile wandering, replacing yesterday’s good soaring conditions with an unflyable light, cloudy and wet SE’ly with 6 mm of rain falling during daylight hours.  A damp and dismal start for the 22 entries to the Northerns.  However, flying in more conducive conditions was to be found on the simulator. 

Sunday.  A light to moderate W brought reasonable soaring conditions interspersed with dead areas of Cirrus and Altocumulus.  Nick Gaunt flying P1 in the club DG500 was the  highest placed YGC pilot on the first contest day of the Northerns, details of which  can be found on Soaringspot.com. With the Northerns grid  launched, an additional 29 ATs were flown by club pilots including 13 private owners with the club K21s, DG1000. Astir and Ka8 flown.  16 of the ATs exceeded an hour with Jesper Mjels staying aloft for 7.4 hrs in his PIK 20D  and Stewart Heaton/Phil Lazenby 3.1 hrs in their DG1000t.  Andy Parish gave Mr Hoeth, a visitor from Sweden a local tour in their flight of 1.7 hrs in the club K21. 

Monday. A 10-14 kt S’ly initially brought a high overcast and an unexpected light shower, both factors delaying briefing for the Northern’s competitors.  Blue skies and cumulus saw the grid launched around noon on a 151.2 km task.  There were 3 YGC launches before the grid and 10 after, with 4 private owners but only the club K21’s flown as  the club  DG1000, DG500, Discus and DG303 were all flying in the Northerns.  Dick Cole flying P1 in the club DG1000 was the highest placed YGC pilot in today’s task, with a reminder that full details of the tasks, weather and results are to be found on Soaringspot.com with other news on the Northerns tab on the YGC  website.  Bill Payton, who launched prior to the Northerns grid, was aloft for 4.6hrs in his Ventus  while George Rowden, who launched after the grid, flew the Sut/Ruf/Poc/Sut triangle finding some good thermals and a 4-4.5 k cloudbase.  Ian Plant/P Hinyon had 55 minutes in the K21 and Rob Bailey, flying the K21 solo, has 41 minutes late in the day.  On the last flight of the day, Tony Maufe took to the skies in his Kirby Kite which was still gracing the skies as the writer departed for home.