Thursday 23rd to Saturday 25th of August 2018
Posted: 27/08/2018 21:40
Thursday: Another day of fairly low and extensive cloud restricted flying to the 2-seaters until after lunch when things opened up to persuade a number of Taskweek entrants to try their luck and skills to garner more points. Indications of wave proved to be well founded for Chris Booker, Jon Hart and George Rowden who made contact south of the site reaching heights in the 4500 - 5000ft range. Jesper Mjels, not a taskweek entrant, climbed into the wave out west with the help of his engine and reached over 11000ft for a gain of 8000ft. John Ellis, Jon May and Les Rayment were not so fortunate with the wave and relied on lift along the ridges to collect kms and submit claims. Chris Booker narrowly won the day with messrs Ellis, May and Booker occupying the three top spots overall. Although distances flown were not much over 100km at best it was a pleasant soaring day for everyone who flew - a total of 30 flights in all.
The penultimate day of Taskweek. There are only so many ways of saying it was yet again a westerly airflow offering more or less unlimited hill soaring with a bit of wave and a touch of thermals thrown in. The majority of flights this day were off the winch with Darren Lodge away first and flying for almost four hours. We assume he flew over an extended area mostly west of the site as did all the other solo pilots. For a while thermals perked up giving climbs to >4000ft before showers late in the afternoon stopped play.
The intrepid taskweekers set off to try their luck with George's fiendish task requiring TP's within concentric circles of YGC, the further they went the better their score. Without exception they explored the ridges, several reaching Carlton Bank and Andrew Cluskey going that bit further in his Shark to reach Guisborough. John Ellis was the day winner covering about 120km and reaching over 6000ft in a cloud climb.
No one can say there are not frequent soaring opportunities at Sutton Bank. For days on end pilots looking for time in the air have been able to further their instruction, hone their soaring skills or simply enjoy the views. Minimum flights times during this period have usually exceeded half an hour with normal flight times in the one to three hour range. The advantage of a hill site!
Were we dreaming? Was this virtual reality? No! It was for real; a cold front passed through the area overnight leaving a light NW airflow over a large swathe of the country including Yorkshire. The clear blue sky in the morning allowed the ground to heat up fairly quickly and by mid-morning well developed CU indicated that it would indeed be a GOOD DAY. Just about every x/c pilot made the most of it with achievements too numerous to mention individually. The top two on the National Ladder were David Latimer (318km decl @ 82 kph) and an undeclared 512km flight by Lindsay McLane . Both flew variants of the Ventus. Turning to the OLC records we find Derek Taylor 2nd in the UK flights on the day with 504km @95kph in his ASW22. A further 11 (yes eleven) pilots flew 300's - They were, in no particular order; Steve Thompson, Martyn Johnson, Andy Hatfield, Andy Wright, Chris Teagle, Les Rayment, John Ellis, Andrew Clusky, Rob Bailey and Jon May. See OLC and Ladder for details. In fact thats only ten, Taskweek supremo George Rowden entered three flights on the ladder well in excess of 300km in total. This was the result of the day's task to fly as many triangles as possible from of list of 9 ranging in size from 45.6 to 131.4 km, with each completed triangle providing a bonus of 50 pts. Jon Hart was the most adventurous of the Task Week pilots, but his attempt to fly 4 triangles led to a land out at Fridaythorpe in the late afternoon. This was one of the 3 landouts of the day by Task Week pilots, Toby Wilson landing out some 204 km around the 313 km triangle and Chris Booker landing out at Pocklington just in time to get a tow back to Sutton by one of the YGC Pawnees which had been there on towing duties for the 2 seater competition. Chris was therefore handily placed to retrieve Toby while Andy Hatfield helped Jon Hart's wife Kathy retrieve her husband. I assume Andy and Kathy used the car's satnav from the start of their journey to retrieve Jon it being a pity Andy didn't start his logger until well after he started his very first 300km flight. John Ellis, Andrew Clusky and Jon May were the day's top Task Week pilots but land outs and other delayed submissions of logger traces meant the overall winner could not be confirmed so the day and overall winner presentations are now scheduled for after briefing on Saturday 1st September. So Saturday 25th August will be remembered as a terrific soaring/cross country day that provided a good finish for Task Week and a good start for Slingsby Week.