Sunday August 27th and Monday August 28th 2017

Posted: 30/08/2017 17:51

Sunday: Almost ideal conditions were forecast for the first day of the Slingsby Week Rally. Very light winds from the south with gentle thermal activity generated 60 launches in the day, about a third of which were by vintage gliders. Conditions were not inviting for x/c flying, even for the white plastic gliders, so the flying was generally confined to an extended local area.

The vintage pilots were set a task for the week of visiting as many places of historical interest as possible such as abbeys, castles, monuments or anything else thought to be worthy of a claim. A special prize would be given for visiting the ex Slingsby works at Kirkbymoorside, especially for such a flight in a Slingsby glider.

Club President, Nick Gaunt, felt priveledged to fly the iconic Ronbuzzard belong to Justin Wills and landed after an 80 minute flight with a smile on his face expressing delight at the experience. Justin then flew his glider and true to form set off to explore greater Yorkshire eventually landing out to the south  of the club. Our own Mike Wood clocked up over two hours in two flights in the club K8.

So it was a great start to the rally and a group of contented pilots enjoyed a meal in the clubhouse cafe provided by Liz and Brian. Needless to say this was followed by a great deal of gliding and nostalgic chat in the bar afterwards.

Monday:   At briefing the Slingsby Rally attendees reviewed the previous days events with the crew of Capstan BPV awarded wine for a valient attempt to reach Kirkbmoorside resulting in a landout east of the club.

The forecast was for a lively SW wind near certain to lead to good wave conditions. And so it turned out. Early launchers had to contend with extensive low cloud cover on the hill until things opened out around lunchtime to reveal tempting gaps with lenticulars above. From then on wave contact ws frequent. About half of the days launches were on the winch giving great satisfaction to pilots who made wave contact from the ridges. Darren Lodge showed admirable stamina by spending about four hours on the hill before eventually reaching around 7000ft. Three club members - Martyn Johnson in his DG600, Jasper Mjels in his DG400 and Lindsey McLane in the Ventus all reached the permitted max height of FL195 still going up. Martyn recorded the best gain of the day having made contact from a low point on the hill. Other club members had gains in the 5 - 10000ft range.

Several of the Slingsby week gliders were seen at considerable height, a great sight for those on the ground. Mike Armstrong in his Sky had a gain of over 14000ft allowing him to visit a few Abbeys and the Slingsby works. He landed with a stiff right arm having flown the flight without a working trimmer! John Castle in his SB5 reachedover 8000ft on each ot his two flights totalling five hours. "Corny" Cornelious in the K6CR reached a similar height flying for just under five hours. His duration was eclipsed by Nick Gaunt who flew four minutes longer taking the Rhonbuzzard also to c8000ft ( a record height for that machine?) and clocking numerous points of interest too numerous to mention, the furthest of which was Ripon Cathedral.

In summary a cracking day for all whether flying shiny plastic machines or old and slow wood. Needless to say it was another evening of good food and happy chat in the bar.


This blog describes a snippet of life at the Yorkshire Gliding Club. Why not take a flight and try it yourself, or we can teach you to fly as a full club member.

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