Tuesday 9th to Wednesday 10th August
Posted: 11/08/2016 17:27
Tuesday 9th. With the depression moving away to the NE and the Azores anticyclone moving in from the SW, a moderate and unstable NW'ly flow covered the site, this going into the NNE towards the end of the flying day with returning pilots landing on 02. The initial AT from runway 02 proved problematical, so operations were switched to runway 24, all but one of the day's 20 ATs taking place from there, the majority of these being for the competitors in YGC Task Week. The first day of competition had a Tour de Yorkshire cycle race theme, with pilots asked to visit TPs associated with the event which took place earlier in the year. 21 TPs were available to visit, with Thirsk and Helmsley near by and Scarborough, Settle, Conisbrough Castle and Beverley for those with longer distance aspirations. Chris Gill in his DG202 departed before the first of the day's showers arrived at site, while the rest of those competing took off an hour or so later. As well as points for distance and speed, there were bonus points for each designated TP visited, and also for the King of the Thermals, the fastest climb of at least 1000' terminating below cloud base. A bonus was also available for the winner of the sprint finish, the fastest final glide from at least 25 km out and starting below cloud base. As well as deciding how best to fly the task, pilots had to contend with a frequent showers, the unstable air providing some fast climbs, George Rowden in his LS8-18 recording an average of 758 ft/min over 1000' but failing to be crowned King of the Thermals with the title going to Chris Gill who averaged 795 ft/min over the same height. Chris went on to come 3rd on the day, flying 171 km and visiting 7 TPs. Jon May and Steve Ball flying their Duo Discus came 2nd after visiting 4 TPs and flying 181 kms, while John Ellis in his DG800 won the day, flying 218 km, visiting 5 TPs and also wining the sprint title with a 25 km final glide at 153.4 kph. Jon Hart, flying the club Discus had the shortest flight of the competition as more showers threatened, taking 37 minutes to fly 49 km and bag 2 TPs, while Steve Thompson and Roger Burghall landed out, Steve at Burn and Roger more locally. The day produced 10 flights of over an hour and 4 over 30 minutes, with most of the Task Week entrants having 2-4 hours, while later in the day some interesting convergences formed to the E and N of the site which were used by those flying locally, including Andy Parish and Alex Constantin who had 1:06 in the DG1000.
Wednesday 10th. The high pressure to the SW had moved in closer, so the wind, again from the NW, was lighter. Cumulus started to appear quite early and those taking early launches found it a little tricky to remain aloft, but the day developed quickly and very good soaring conditions became established, cloud base reaching around 5,000' asl and consistent clouds producing good climb rates. The Task Week competitors were sent on a River Ramble, visiting TPs on Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Rivers, with bonus points for each river and TP visited. Chris Gill in his DG202 won the day, covering 307.5 km as he went as far south as Cottam while also visiting 6 rivers and 12 TPs. Chris was closely followed by John Ellis, who, flying his DG800 flew 262.9 km but made up the shortfall in km by visiting 11 rivers and 16 TPs. Phil Lazenby, flying the club DG303, came 3rd with 235 km and 9 rivers and 13 TPs. Phil experienced battery problems that resulted in no audio vario and radio, the otherwise peaceful situation being spoilt by a high pitched whine. Later investigations revealed this emanated from a low battery warning on his hearing aid. John Hart, taking off late in the club Discus landed out at Pocklington but still came 6th with 191.7 km, 12 TPs and 3 rivers. After 2 days of competition, John Ellis led by 32.6 points from Chris Gill with Steve Ball and Jon May third some 112.4 points further adrift. The day started to die in the late afternoon as a warm front advanced from the west, but the day's 19 ATs had delivered 11 flights of over an hour. The Task Week competitors provided all but one of the flights to exceed 4 hours, the exception being Graham Taylor who had 4:41 locally in Astir DPO, the deteriorating conditions late afternoon leading to a landing 19 minutes short of his 5 hour goal, so commiserations Graham. Andy Parish and Alex Constantine set the best club 2 seater duration with exactly an hour in K21 JVZ, while off the last flight of the day under an unbroken grey overcast, Andy and Geoff Turner somehow found some lift that enabled them to climb back from 1000' QFE to 2000' QFE in JVZ and join the 5 other of the day's flights to exceed 30 minutes, their contribution being 37 minutes.