Wednesday 9th to Friday 11th May 2018

Posted: 12/05/2018 21:41

Post Script to last Weekend.  Congratulations to John Ellis, Chris Gill, Toby Wilson and Chris Booker who represented the YGC at the local  interclub competition held over the May Bank Holiday weekend.  The anticyclonic weather resulted in 2 out of 3 contest days and mainly blue conditions with the YGC team coming second behind the team from Rufforth.

Wednesday 9th.  A sunny start to the day did not last very long as an approaching Atlantic front spread a high overcast over the area, although it remained thin enough to allow Cumulus development, the wind being a light to moderae S'ly to start before veering into the SW.  The change in conditions led to number of private owners deciding to remain relatively local to the site, with only Steve Thompson in  his Discus and Peter Clay in his Ventus venturing  further.   Steve visited Ripon, Market Weighton and Fridaythorpe, but gave up on a visit to Wetherby as the thicker overcast to the west had killed useable convection.  Peter, on the other hand, stayed in the better conditions to the south east of the site with a visit to Pocklington and Stamford Bridge.  Steve and Peter were 2 of the 5 pilots to have between 2-3 hours flying, the others including Andy Wilmot in his ASW19, Martyn Johnson in his DG600 and George Rowden in his LS8-18, Martyn and George visiting the Tontine, Helmsley and Easingwold. Frank Wilson in the DG303 and Phil Lazenby in the Ka8 both had over an hour in the air.  Late in the day Andy Parish and Bob Symonds had 46 minutes in the DG500, one of the 9 flights to exceed 30 minutes.  The longest flight of the day was by Rob Rose in his Nimbus at 3:49.   In spite of the less than attractive conditions, thermal activity remained reasonably strong for most of the day with the base of the Cumulus rising to around 4,500' asl.  Overall, the day saw 32 ATs off runway 20, with flying coming to an end around 1800 hrs.

Thursday 10th.  A positive soaring forecast for the day resulted in some early activity in the trailer park and a start of flying off runway 24 at 0958 hrs, as a light to moderate WSW'ly blew.  The winch had been positioned in anticipation of some hill soaring,  but the early flights confirmed the softness of any hill lift and increasingly cloudy skies led to a queue of privately owned gliders as their pilots debated the prospects of staying up.  Most downgraded their tasks and set off more in hope than expectation.  However, soaring conditions steadily improved to yield a good soaring day with strong, reliable climbs and a cloud base that reached around 5,000' asl.  By the end of the day 5 flights had covered over 200 km and 3 had exceeded 300 km.  Paul Whitehead in his Ventus flew Beverley/Northallerton/Goole NE and after retuning to Sutton then visited the Tontine and Northallerton to give a total distance of 332 km.  Lindsay McLane, another Ventus pilot, went north to Durham, as well as visiting Harrogate North, Pontefract and Beverley to cover 309 km and Steve Thompson in  his Discus flew 310 km around Scunthorpe, Guisborough SW and Market Weighton.  George Rowden first flew the 100 km club triangle, Northallerton and Sutton on Forest with the start and finish being Sutton Start W and, with conditions greatly improved , then flew Sutton/Beverley/Pontefract/Sutton to cover in total 280 km.  An attempt to visit Harrogate North was frustrated by strong, persistent sink and weak thermals, the result of wave interference, the presence of wave being demonstrated by Phil Lazenby in the DG303 who went looking for wave and found a climb to 8,524' asl over Pateley Bridge.  Phil also visited Masham and Wetherby to cover 111 km, while John Ellis took his DG800 to Masham, Market Weighton and Pocklington to cover 150km, an attempt to add Driffield to the TP list being frustrated by weak conditions.  In all 4 flights exceeded 5 hours and  2 others 4 hours, with all those over an hour totalling 22.  Those flying club aircraft also enjoyed the conditions with Conrad Thwaites having 1:56 in the Discus and  Mark Newburn having 2 flights, also in the Discus, the first of 2:16 and the second of 1:03  off the penultimate launch of the day.  Two seater pilots to exceed an hour included Andy Parish and Bob Symonds with 1:10 in K21 KLW and Andy again in KLW, this time having 1:04 with Martin Selby, a member of the second of the year's gliding courses.

Friday 11th.    A high overcast persisted all day, limiting but not eliminating convection, but the conditions did not temp any solo pilots, so it was a day of 2 seater flying, with only 2 of the day's 19 ATs exceeding an hour, although another 9 exceeded 30 minutes.  Chris Thirkell and Colin Troise shared the longest flight of the day, 1:46 in the DG1000, with Andy Parish and course member Martin Selby having 1:17  in K21 KLW.  Andy and another course member, J Marshall came close to exceeding an hour with 58 minutes in KLW, as did Steve Thompson and Alan Beamish in the same glider.   The conditions, were however, good for the 6 First Flight pupils of the day who enjoyed flight times of between 27 and 44 minutes, the longest flight by Stan and Paul Banister the DG500 also recording the highest altitude, 5,500' asl.

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