This year’s Interglide over the weekend 24-25 June run by BARCS saw a necessary change from F3J to the electric launch format of F5J which proved to be very popular.
Cracking flying site. Forty-seven pilots booked in. Prizes acquired, particular thanks going to UK KST agents, Flightech and C & M Rapid (Model Glasses) Ltd. for their generosity. The previous week saw fantastic weather. So what could possibly go wrong at Interglide 2017. Well, being the UK in June it’s no surprise, the weather changed for the weekend.
But actually even this couldn’t put a dampener on a fantastic event.
The BARCS team arrived at Hamilton Farm Airstrip near Ashford, Kent on the Thursday evening to find the field that we had previously seen short mown by sheep, now knee deep in grass as the farmer had decided silage was a more profitable use of the land. But no worries, he just cut us an appropriate strip for the launch and landing area. He took down fences to allow us access from the pits, having previously provided the camping area with water and electricity feeds, erected the marquee and generally done anything and everything we asked.
Saturday dawned bright but with a stiffish westerly breeze, a little off the ideal south westerly direction, which meant the treeline running along the edge of the field did cause some turbulence during launch and landing phases. CD Peter Allen called a pilot’s briefing at 9 am and flying got underway by 9.30. In the early slots, most pilots opted for a fast low run into wind, gaining height at the upwind end of the field where there were some trees and the ground fell away a little. Despite their efforts, very few were able to get any real benefit from slope lift and with the slight uphill gradient on the landing approach many were caught out, leaving them short of the spot. This was very much a feature of the weekend and certainly helped spread the scores a little.
In later slots, the braver competitors did start to find lift further out and downwind, best exemplified by Steve Haley who made a very purposeful launch to his downwind right, straight into strong thermal lift, which he proceeded to follow some distance, on occasions appearing to disappear into the low cloud base.
Two rounds in and the rain arrived, unfortunately a little early to take lunch as the caterers were still on route but they did arrive before the rain stopped, so we were able to avoid too much loss of time. Many also took advantage of teas, coffees and cakes supplied from ‘Poppy’ the vintage caravan refreshment shop. Flying recommenced around 1.30 but although conditions improved throughout the afternoon, they remained very testing. Six rounds were completed on day one as scheduled, helped by there only being one reflight, claimed by Bob Tito following a mid-air which left his Supra damaged, requiring him to change to his back up Xplorer.
By 7.30 in the evening, the strains of the days flying were soon but a distant memory as the barbecue got underway and the free beer provided by BARCS flowed. Locally brewed 1606 bitter was used to try and educate the European palate to the joys of a good warm English pint.
Sunday’s conditions were much improved though still windy but bright with a fair amount more thermal activity. A further three rounds were flown prior to lunch, with Brit Steve Haley the very clear leader over the nine rounds, 900 points clear of his nearest rival, made up of five slot wins, three at over 990 plus a drop round.
So Steve Haley, three juniors including Steve’s son Simon, Adrien Gallet (FRA) and Jan-Niclas Weiss (GER) were joined by Frenchmen Peter Franconville, Alain Lehoux, Bertrand Wilmot and Guillaume Gallet, German, Peter Nelles and Bob Tito from Holland in the ten man, three round fly off. The extra challenge of fifteen minute flights required some very skilful and extreme flying downwind, resulting in land outs for some pilots.
The awards ceremony took place back at the marquee with a fine array of trophies and prizes provided by the organisers and Eurotour, including the BARCS Micro-Mold Interglide Trophy. Overall winner was Bertrand Willmot (FRA) flying a Maxa, second Steve Haley (GBR) Pike Perfection and very commendably third Simon Haley (GBR) Xplorer2.
Because of the wind strength throughout the weekend, most models were being flown with ballast and at weights of around 2kg. Xplorers, Maxas and Pike Perfections and a few Optimus were favourites with the competitors. There were also a couple of Muller Egidas and one or two lesser known models. Adrien Gallet very successfully campaigned an Infinity, with the slightly smaller span of 3.5metres making it very manoeuvrable in the blustery conditions. Launch heights were generally no lower than 180 metres, as required by the low lift air.
All in all it was a very successful event, we have had plenty of positive feedback and the foreign contingent are very enthusiastic to return next year.
|3||HALEY (JNR), Simon||2158.6||88.08||2158.6||596.9||1000||561.7|
|4||GALLET (JUNIOR), Adrian||2075.7||84.69||2075.7||557.7||536.6||981.4|
|9||WEISS (JNR), Jan-Niclas||906.8||37||906.8||906.8||0||0|
|5||GALLET (JUNIOR), Adrian||7062.8||88.44||7449.7||883.4||994.6||386.9||973.4||892.9||845.8||604.5||881.4||986.8||386.9||0|
|6||HALEY (JNR), Simon||7060.4||88.41||7234.1||618||173.7||1000||832.3||966.1||1000||994.4||649.6||1000||173.7||0|
|9||WEISS (JNR), Jan-Niclas||6857.6||85.87||7277.2||741.3||884.6||656.8||982.4||699.8||996.4||943.8||952.5||419.6||419.6||0|
|25||SONNTAG, Hans Werner||5784.8||72.44||6151.5||482||874.4||675.2||845.4||713.2||844.4||1000||650.2||366.7||366.7||300|
|35||LABROUVE (JNR), Alexis||5140.7||64.37||5140.7||822.5||1000||619.4||0||288.4||843.1||452.4||558.9||556||0||0|
|45||KRAUSE, Hans Joachim||3997.8||50.06||3997.8||502.4||568.6||699.2||822.8||267||0||490.2||458.7||188.9||0||0|
Many more images in the Gallery