Sunday August 26 and Monday August 27th 2018
Posted: 30/08/2018 21:06
Sunday -- Slingsby Rally Day 1
Briefing for this first day of the rally was suitably brief - it was about to rain and it would do that for much of the day. It did just that. Attendees from a variety of clubs from Portmoak down to deepest Kent assembled to hear Phil Lazenby, rally coordinator, welcome them to the event. He was glad to see many familiar faces who return year after year as well as some VGC members who were sampling Sutton Bank for the first time. Nick Gaunt, club President, welcomed the attendees on behalf of the management team, emphasising his empathy with the aims of the VGC and his enjoyment flying the older machines when the opportunity arose. After an entertaining anecdote concerning his exploits at a Gliding club in Eire when he was a teenager he declared the event "officially open". In view of the weather those present took the opportunity to settle in at YGC and and renew old acquaintances or make new ones.
A much better day. A fresh to moderate west wind meant the ridges were working well under a mostly grey sky with occasional gaps that gave a tantalising glimpse of wave above. Of the 55 launches on this day the majority (41) were on the winch with the rest choosing aerotows. Fifteen vintage gliders took to the air, some having two flights. All were soaring flights with most in excess of an hour and others considerably longer than that, Corny Cornelius having the longest flight of just over five hours. Pilots were attracted to the wave gaps as they occurred but a climb into the gap was inevitably followed by a hurried descent back down as the gaps snapped shut. Club member Martyn Johnson in his DG600 did venture above the cloud reaching 8300ft for a gain of 7400 and descending back down in cloud, any gaps having disappeared. The home based T21 flew on a couple of occasions as did the K8 with the highlight being a flight o4 hrs 14 mins in the glider flown by Mike Collins. This was a valiant five hour attempt thwarted by the hill lift dropping off for a while due to wave influence above. Bad luck to him but a great effort. At times there was a veritable swarm of gliders in the sky over and around Sutton Bank with a maximum of fifteen visible at one time for spotters on the ground. All agreed that the flying discipline in these somewhat crowded conditions had been exemplary.