Thursday 13th July 23
Posted: 14/07/2023 16:52
Thursday 13th. A moderate W/WSW'ly blew all day and with Cumulus filled skies, sometimes forming patches of spreadout, as well as hill and wave lift, it was a busy soaring day at Sutton. 29 winch and 11 ATs were flown off runway 24, with 6 of the latter for First Flight pupils and the soarability of the day can be judged by the fact that, discounting 2 simulated cable break launches and the 6 for First Flight pupils, 30 of the remaining 32 launches led to flights of over 30 minutes with 24 of these over an hour. There were a number of thermal only XC's, significant wave climbs and combinations of both wave and thermal XC's, as well as a Silver 5 hr duration flight on a day when there were 15 private owner launches. The longest XC using thermal was by Steve Thompson in his Ventus bt. Setting off on a declared 309 km task, Steve completed 279 km of it, abandoning an attempt to reach his last TP at Ripon after having turned Filey and Langtoft, and having his best climb offshore Filey. Steve's photo of Filey Brigg is shown below.
Steve reported wave influence on thermal strength and this was also a feature of Rob Bailey's 203 km flight around Beverley, Garforth and Northallerton, the Garforth to Northallerton leg being particularly tricky after a booming leg to Beverley. Wave featured in a number of flights, none more so that Bob Calvert's in his Discus 2ct. Using thermal to get to the Ripon/Boroughbridge area, Bob eventually contacted a good climb just west of Harrogate North, climbing to around 9,000' asl, before reaching his peak altitude of 10,800' asl in the Ripon area. Bob then flew to Richmond, the Aysgarth/Leyburn area and Pateley Bridge before returning to site. Fred Brown in his Ventus ct, also had a good wave climb, getting to 9,900' asl 7 km SE of Masham after using thermal to get to Ripon and finding a climb in wave to 5,400' asl there. Staying at around 9,000'+ while flying in the the Masham/Ripon region Fred eventually returned to site after a flight of just over 5 hours. Martyn Johnson in his DG600 contacted the wave over RAF Topcliffe and eventually climbed to 8,400' asl just N of Thirsk and then toured the local area visiting close to Ripon, Pateley Bridge and Northallerton. Chris Teagle in his Kestrel 19 had a series of short but increasing in altitude wave climbs over Topcliffe, Ripon and then the area around Masham, before climbing to his max altitude of 7,500' asl over RAF Leeming. Chris then visited Tontine before returning to site. More moderate wave climbs were flown by Bruce Grain/John Dore in their 1;10 flight in K21 JVZ, reaching around 5,000'asl just west of Thirsk and then flying to just SE of Northallerton, by Steve Scothern in his Libelle on his second flight of the day, by Clive Swain/Peter Newbery in JVZ and by Jim McLean in his ASW24. All the other soaring flights were predominately thermal based, with none more so than Andrew Bedford who, flying Astir DPO, completed his 5 hrs, having a peak altitude of 5,000' asl and a peak average climb rate of 4.5 kts which were typical of the day, so well done Andrew.