Sunday 17th. A moderate W’ly brought a flying day that provided a mixture of 13 ATs, mainly for the 1st contest day of the Northerns, and winching for club flying. The 21 winch launches generated 10 flights of over an hour for club members while the Northerns competitors were set a 105 km task, SutW/Northallerton/Sut S/Ripon/Helmsley/Sut E. The fresher winds at soaring height and broken thermal meant there were only 2 finishers, John and Lemmy Tanner in their Duo Discus at 77.9 kph, closely followed by Graham Morris in his ASW 27 at 75.5 kph. YGC entrants Reg Watson flying the club Discus was 3rd, Dick Cole, flying the DG1000 with Phil Westerby Jones was 4th and Ian Plant flying Rob Bottomley’s Discus t 5th. Virtually all of the rest of the club fleet were flown on the winch while, in addition, 8 private owners launched, one of whom, Alex Muanke landed out in his ASW 20. John Marsh set the standard for the day, when off the first launch he had 2 hours in the DG303, while later Bob Calvert had 4:32 in his Discus. Apart from the two seaters taking part in the competition, Paul Whitehead and R Denison set the longest 2 seater flight with1:13 in K21 KLW. Among all this activity, 3 Trial Lesson pupils were flown, as was the simulator.
Monday 18th. The wind had dropped to become light and variable and with good soaring conditions forecast by comp met man, Steve Ball, a 302 km task was set, Sut W/Garforth/Catterick/Burn/Sut.N. There were 6 finishers with John and Lemmy Tanner completing at 86.8 kph in their Duo Discus, followed by Graham Morris in his ASW 27 at 82.2 kph and Dick Cole with his P2 in the DG1000 at 81.3 kph. Reg Watson landed out and was 8th, while Ian Plant, although completing the task was deducted 500 points for going through the Durham Tees Valley Class D airspace even though he had clearance from ATC. A reading of the competition rules would have saved him this disappointment, so hard luck Ian. Overall, the Tanners led with 1209 pts closely followed by Graham with 1153 and Dick Cole et al with1012. Club flying was represented by an early dual in K21 KLW to ascertain conditions aloft, a flight by Mike Smith in the DG303 and 8 private owner launches. Mike had 1:05 in the air, one of 8 club flights to achieve an hour or more, with some of the private owners choosing to fly Hors Concord. One of these, Rob Bailey, completed the competition task in his ASG 29 and thereby did his first ever 300 km flight. Well done Rob.
Tuesday 19th. A moderate SW’ly that soon veered into the W saw the competition director Andy Parish set a 260.2 km task, in the same area as on Monday. The task, Sut W/Garforth/Catterick/Burn/Sut N proved quite challenging due to the presence of a large blue area south of Catterick due to wave interference and there were only 3 finishers, Graham Morris in his ASW 27 at 72.4 kph, Dick Cole/Phil Westerby Jones in the DG1000 at 64.4 kph and the Tanners in their Duo Discus at 59.6 kph. Graham found and used bits and pieces of wave and determinedly crossed the large blue hole to be rewarded with a climb near Catterick just when a land out seemed likely. Ian Plant in his borrowed Discus t and Reg Watson in the club Discus were 9th equal. Overall, Graham, 2153 pts, increased his lead over John and Lenny, 2103 pts, while Dick Cole et al moved a little nearer to 2nd place with 1946 pts. Club flying contributed 20 ATs to the day’s activity, 15 of these giving flights of over an hour and there was 1 Trial Lesson flown. Two of the club’s 2 seaters plus the Astir and DG303 were utilised, with Andy Parish taking a rest from his Competition Director duties to fly with Pauline Luty in K21 KLW for 25 minutes. At the other end of the scale Lindsay Mclane disappeared somewhere in his Ventus 2ct for just over 6 hours and Albert Newbery and Mike Smith also disappeared for just over 4 hours in Albert’s DG1000t, one of a number of pilots to exceed 3-4 hours in the air. Ian Johnson didn’t trouble the endurance scorer with his flight in his DG300 during which he decided to overfly his house. Overflying is perhaps a bit of an exageration as a lack of lift meant Ian had to land in the field next to his house, the afternoon tea at home with his wife no doubt providing him with some Brownie points. Back at site, Resh Kodabocus completed his second Bronze C endurance leg with 2:06 in the Astir. Well done Resh.
Thursday 20th. Another soaring day in an initially light NNE’ly saw Cu blossom early over the North Yorkshire Moors, Wolds and Pennines with the surrounding and intervening Vales of York and Pickering remaining cloudless until after midday, by which time the earlier Cu were showing signs of overdevelopment. As a result of the forecast, the day’s task provided a change of scenery with 172.8 km around Sut W/Market Weighton/Rufforth/Fridaythorpe/Sut N. Sea air penetration as the wind strengthened and veered into the ENE provided some tricky conditions and there were only 2 finishers, John and Lemmy Tanner in their Duo Discus at 77.2 kph just pipping Graham Morris in his ASW 27 at 76.4 kph. Dick Cole with P2 Resh Kodabocus in the DG 1000 was 6th covering 129.7 km, while Reg Watson was 8th and Ian Plant 10th. Overall scores were now Graham 3041 pts, John and Lemmy 2994 pts and Dick Cole et al 2508 pts. Club flying contributed 26 ATs to the day’s total, K21 KLW, the DG303 and Astir KRN being flown. Lindsay McLane again disappeared for the longest flight in his Ventus 2ct, 5:44, while a number of the club pilots attempted the Competition task, at least one, Rob Bailey in his ASG 29t, completing it, albeit with a number of low points. Steve Ball accompanied by Steward Heaton went off on the task in Steve’s Duo Discus to see how his forecast was shaping up, but although having 2:27 in the air found the conditions on task too challenging. Derek Taylor in his ASW 22 and Andy Wright in his Nimbus 3t both attempted similar 300 + tasks with Andy abandoning his after turning Northallerton and Derek abandoning his attempt to get to the last turn point at the Humber Bridge at Pocklington due to sea air incursion. Phil Lazenby completed a declared 180 km in his Pegase, Sut/Tontine/North Duffield/Masham/Sut, finding the conditions, good lift and a 4000′+ asl cloud base, “one of the better days of this season.” Richie Toon completed a 201 km Sut/Market Weighton/Northallerton/York/Sut task, having to glide out into the sea air to turn Market Weighton and being saved by a thermal off Hood Hill when a landing at Sutton seemed inevitable on the leg to York. George Rowden completed a declared 253 km task, Sut/Masham/Durham NE/Garforth/Sut, finding blue conditions around Masham and transient, weaker lift with a 3000′ asl lid NE of Catterick, necesitating a westerly diversion after rounding Durham in order to get into the better conditions over the Pennines. John Marsh found himself the only available instructor on site so, instead of flying the DG303, added more dual P1 hours to his log book, including 51 minutes with B Smith in K21 KLW. He continued to provide his services to the club when flying had finished for the day by cutting the grass on ruway 20. Mike Cox completed his 2nd Bronze C endurance leg with 1:15 in Astir KRN. Congratualtions Mike. Les Rayment provided some moments of excitement towards the end of the flying day by abandoning a marginal return to runway 20 and doing an engine start as he headed towards the fields to the west of the main ridge. With a number of members running to the edge to witness what happened next, the engine of Les’ Ventus 2ct fired enabling him to do a more conventional approach to a safe landing. As if that wasn’t enough of exciting flying, the end of gliding for the day saw a display of model flying including jet powered flight and an incredible display from a large model helicopter that commenced with an sudden take off into an immediate transition into inverted flight. The display also included the flying of a model tug and model ASW 27, the take off and climb characterists of the combination being such as to gladden the heart of Dick (Eurofox) Cole if only he had been there to see it. Northern competitors, sponsors and organisers then retired for the course dinner provided by caterer Brian.