Prologue; Robin Sleight
In some respects, much of the drama associated with this year’s Interglide took place before the event. Only four days beforehand, the field at Marsh Gibbon looked more like a lake than a flying field and, coupled with on-going forecast of further rain, there was real concern that it would be usable for the event. Gary Binnie used his contacts to get permission to use Bicester Airfield (an ex RAF grass airfield) if required but that would have meant sharing with full size gliders with inevitable airspace restrictions. The airfield however is a magnificent very large area of grass and an interesting option for possible future consideration. In the event the Marsh Gibbon field (just) dried enough for use but the weather had the final say in that Saturday was cursed by gales, gusting to 50 mph so forcing cancellation of Saturday flying and the planned on field BBQ which is a popular Saturday night event. Fortunately, with the wonders of email, the UK attendees could be kept in the picture as to the fast changing situation but obviously the overseas participants had a somewhat wasted day with no flying possible on Saturday – the first scheduled day for the event.
Sunday however proved very different in that it was dry, reasonably warm and with winds initially of about 12 mph slowly dropping by late afternoon – fairly ideal for F3J. In spite of the initial uncertainty over the event, only one (UK) competitor dropped out so still leaving a decent entry, one third of which was competitors from Holland, Sweden and Cyprus. Our Dutch friends are faithful attendees of Interglide and it is always good to see them return and support the event. Interglide is the second of the three UK “National” F3J events for team selection so, as one would expect, it was well supported by the leading UK flyers. It is however the only F3J competition run in the UK to use the full FAI rules (rather than UK variations) – the key difference being the use of hand tows rather than winches.
The field itself was still pretty damp so cars were kept well away from the flying area but that proved no real problem and the Sunday flying went well as described by Mike below.
Epilogue; Mike Raybone
As a first time organiser for Interglide, it was a stressful build-up to this event for me, what with losing Friday practice day and the planned first Saturday to heavy rain & relentless high winds.
We eventually got under way at 9.20, a bit of a glitch with lane allocation making us only 20 minutes late! Robin Sleight was our CD, at the briefing he welcomed our friends from Holland, Sweden & North Cyprus, all regular attendees to our event, I too thank them for their support, long may it continue. We planned a 5 round competition with 2 fly-off rounds as the weather had vastly improved from the previous day, wind was 10/12 mph, frequently much less, a bit cloudy, but improving all day. Many discussions were taking place regarding ballast, leave it in? take it out?…
Thermal conditions were best described as “variable”, many pilots being caught out at times, giving plenty of opportunities for the towmen (one of which was me), to improve their fitness levels with relaunch after relaunch, Jeez!
Everything ran smoothly until round 5 slot 1, at which point the power supply for the F3J timing system laptop failed. So, with 4 rounds completed, (more than the minimum 3, which was expected), we went into a 6 man, ALL BRITISH!! 2 round fly-off, with manual timing, ably performed by Robin.
Pete Allen, UK Team member for this year’s W.C.’s in South Africa, proved the worthy winner, 2nd, Colin Paddon, 3rd, Kevin Dart. Sam de Bliek, (NED), was again best junior. Many thanks to Kevin Beale for donating parachutes as prizes, and Acemodel for supplying the towlines which were also given to the top placed pilots.
May I apologise once again for the cancellation of the Saturday night BBQ, but the weather would not have made it the enjoyable & fun time expected and we would all have been wading about in mud!
Refunds for BBQ & camping will be issued eventually, probably at next Southern F3J.
Thanks too to my CATS team, & many others, for their help & support in setting/dismantling the field kit.
|Fly Off Results||Pilot||Country||Score||Pcnt||Roud 1 Dur||Round 2 Dur|
|Rank||Name||Ctry||Score||Pcnt||Rnd 1||Rnd 2||Rnd 3||Rnd 4||Plty|
|14||De bliek, Arno||NL||3418.3||86.38||816.2||759.4||860.5||982.2||0|
|15||De bliek, Sam||NL||3340.6||84.42||792.7||985.6||622.9||939.4||0|