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    • mikef
      Entries were well up this time on the past few years at 18 - we only had 8 in 2016. This trend has been there for all of the first three F3K events this season and is a very welcome sign. Not just more entries but an improving standard of flying across the board with several new names coming in and already flying at a good standard.
      We were all keen to see and try the new BMFA National Centre field and we were not disappointed.  Driving up from London I met increasingly overcast conditions and a fair breeze from the west. The sky cleared during the day and the wind dropped off giving ideal conditions for a contest.  F3K set up camp outside what will be the main carpark for the field with the box towards the south-western corner of the property.  People were able to operate from their cars but the box was constrained by the newly seeded runways which we need to stay off until the grass is established.  Once we can get on there, it will be an even nicer set-up.
      CD Michael Stern had set up 8 rounds of 3 slots to give a relaxed contest and make sure that the newer pilots could always get an experienced timer/caller to help them through the various tasks, which can seem a bit confusing at first.  Everybody enjoyed the way the contest ran and we were treated to some spectacular flying from the top pilots who seem to able to conjure some help from the slightest waft of lift with their modern high performance airframes.
      Some of the tasks require pilots to make fast turnarounds – a tip catch timed to the second followed but an ultra-rapid re-launch – to maximise air time.  We fly to a 10 minute slot for the 1,2,3,4 task.  Here, you need to make four flights as near as possible to the maxes to win – you can do them in any order so you need to think on your feet.  You cannot actually do the full times as they add up to ten minutes and you need to re-launch three times on the way.
      The eventual winner, Michael Stern (yes the CD!) did 0:57 1:58 3:00 4:00 making a total of 9:55 in 10 minutes!  In the 5 x 2:00 round he also did 9:55 but this time with four re-launches making 2:00 1:59 2:00 1:59 1:57.  That’s about one second for each re-launch given that times are rounded DOWN to the nearest second.
      As Team Manager, it was good to see this year’s Team of Michael Stern, Mike Challinor and Richard Swindells finish in that order in the top three places.
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      1 Michael Stern 7000 2 Mike Challinor 6950 3 Richard Swindells 7875 4 Marin M 7273 5 Phil P 7060 6 David P 7006 7 Neil H 6879 8 Carlos DS 6111 9 Simon B 6502 Full results are in the Forum post below

      Nick winds up for a big launch.

      Matt and Phil head out for a flight.

    • Radioglide 2014

      By lorrygreen, in Contest Reports,

      Well yet again Radioglide provided a challenging days flying.
      A flurry of late entries meant we had 14 pilots entered with at least 5 of the usual suspects missing for various reasons.
      The original CD Simon Jones suffered a devastating family bereavement shortly before the event and obviously had much more important things on his mind than model flying at a very difficult time for the whole family. Our thoughts are with them as they struggle to come to terms with their loss.
      Tonk Hickson and the Mike’s (Stern and Fantham) were all on holiday, I hope your weather was better than ours, probably not that difficult in the circumstances given that they are in Corsica, Zimbabwe and Canada respectively. You don’t know what you missed.
      Last year’s winner Martin Halston and custodian of the Radioglide hand couldn’t make it, due to injury I believe.
      The addition of four first time entrants, Andrew Collier, Neil Harrison, Tony Butterworth and Mike Challinor, who made the not inconsiderable trek from a long way north, meant that in the circumstance 14 was a reasonable turnout. Also good to see Kevin Brown fit and raring to go after his winter health issues.
      It was nice to see we had exclusive use of the same field as last year which is just about ideal for F3K with enough features to generate some lift, but nothing that is obviously slope soarable, in keeping with the spirit of flat field soaring.
      The Great British weather kept everyone guessing with the forecast changing at least twice a day in the week before and to be fair I don’t think anyone had the faintest idea what we would be getting. Stiff upper lips all round meant everyone remained optimistic and seemed determined to get some flying done having already lost the first two comps of the year due to weather.
      The day dawned exactly as forecast, except that the sun appeared to be missing and it was raining hard in South Oxfordshire…………..
      Get to the field to find it was not raining and most people already there and test flying, oops CD one of the last to arrive – must try harder or spend less time in McDonalds. However it looks like I managed to bring the rain with me and as soon as we had the field and PA setup it started raining. After plenty of standing around we had a quick pilots briefing in light rain and managed to get the first round under way sometime after 10:30 I think.
      Round 1 was best five flights with a maximum of 2 min’s from unlimited launches.
      We managed to complete all three groups without interruption from the weather. Surprisingly, given that it had just stopped raining, there seemed to some buoyant air around with 32 maximums from 70 scoring flights. Richard Swindells won group 1 while Neil Harrison and Tony Butterworth made good starts by winning groups 2 and 3.
      Round 2, last 2 flights to count with a 4 min max..
      Notable in this round was Richard making a 4 min max and a 2:44 to really hurt the scores of everyone else in his group, thanks…..I was in that group. I think we may have had a bit of a rain delay somewhere in round 2 but we eventually got it completed with Tony Butterworth and Darius Zibikas taking the 1000 in groups 2 and 3.
      Round 3, 1, 2, 3 & 4 min flight in any order.
      Richard again took the honours in group 1 with some very consistent flights, closer at the top this time with Darius not all that far behind.
      A cracking flight by Tony Beckett in group 2 saw him get a 4 min max to take the 1000, sadly I missed it as I was flying in the same group………..thanks again, I sometimes wonder why I bother.
      Group 3 was a much closer contest with the win going to Simon Barker by 6 seconds from Neil followed by Vytautas a further 31 seconds back with Tony Butterworth only 16 seconds behind him.
      Round 4 was poker………..
      A tricky round for the newcomers as there is a lot going on and so easy to get a bit carried away and come unstuck. Looking at the scores consistency and not being overly ambitious were the way forward. Darius showed the way for a convincing win in group 1 with 3 x 1:35 and 2 x 1:40. I fear both Neil and Andrew Collier may have been a bit too ambitious in their first comp. Richard opted for the safe option as well and did enough to secure group 2 with 2 x 1:45 a 1:55, 1:50 and 1:40. There then followed a long rain delay which at one point looked like it might ruin the day with only one more group to fly to make it a valid comp. I lost track of time as trench foot and hypothermia were starting to set in fast but somewhere in there we decided that should we get the last group of round 4 flown then we would call it a day so Mike Challinor, having already flown in group 1, decided to make an early start back north, I don’t blame him and hope he had a safe journey home.
      Some time later we just decided to go for it despite the consistent light rain. Amazingly the conditions were not too bad and I managed to take the 1000 in group 3 with a 1:10, 3 x 1:20 and a slightly sketchy 1:40. I returned to the same little bit of buoyant air 5 times which had stayed exactly where I left it, which was nice. Not sure what drama befell Kevin but Tony Butterworth, another poker virgin, learnt a hard lesson about the tactics of Poker. Don’t worry Tony we’ve all been there and will no doubt all go there again.
      So after four rounds and with a valid comp in the books we called an end to proceedings at about 3:30ish, I guess it was a popular decision judging by the speed with which the field was cleared and packed into the boot of my car.
      A quick, if slightly moist, prize giving followed.
      1- Richard Swindells with a perfect 4000 gets to look after the hand for a year.
      2 – Darius Zibikas just 91 points behind on 3909
      3 – Vytautas Zibikas on 3500
      4 – Maria Freeman – 3442
      5 – Tony Butterworth – 3405
      6 – Mike Challinor – 3402
      7 – Laurence Green – 3326
      8 – Simon Barker – 3182
      9 -Tony Beckett – 3012
      10 – Aubrey Hack – 2994
      11 – Neil Harrison – 2962
      12 – Andrew Collier – 2508
      13 – Andrew Green – 2383
      14 – Kevin Brown – 2127
      So congratulations to Richard on the win, I’m sure Hayley was impressed with the return of “the hand” and to Darius and Vytautas for second and third, well done all. Good placing for Maria in forth and Tony and Mike for fifth and sixth in their first comp. Quite tight from third to seventh with only a 174 point spread. Given the conditions there was a lot of great safe flying being done with no carnage as far as I could see. I think the worst damage was Aubrey loosing his launch blade.
      Thanks to everyone who made the effort to turn up for what turned out to be a damp but enjoyable days flying. It really makes it worthwhile putting the effort in to organise these things when we get a decent turn out even in less than perfect conditions. Nice to see some new faces and I hope poker hasn’t put you off too much and we will see you at some more comps this year.
      Having been “volunteered” at short notice by Mike Fantham to be CD following Simon’s understandable withdrawal I felt rushed and very underprepared to run this, but with help from a number of people it seems to have worked, thanks to Robin Sleight and Graham James at BARCS in particular.
      A big very thank you to Tony Beckett for stepping in and doing the scoring for me, I don’t think I could have done it without you, it really does make it less hassle to CD if someone else can take care of the scoring, also all at BARCS for their efforts in making the field available and making it happen.
      Lorry Green
      F3K CD BARCS Radioglide 2014
      Download the official results below.
      F3K-Results-by-Round.pdf                 F3K-RG-2014.pdf

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