What a weekend. Dry, bright and for the most part, warm weather, Radioglide hasn’t had it so good for many a year. Maybe it was the cross border hop into Buckinghamshire with the county trying to prove its supremacy over neighbouring Oxfordshire but whatever, our three days on Tudor Farm, just a couple of miles from the old Marsh Gibbon site proved to be a great success.
A new site was required after the farmer at Marsh Gibbon decided to plough up and crop the old field. Peter Allen, ferried around the skies over Bicester by Gary Binnie in a Tiger Moth, spotted two superb fields and Peter made contact with the farmer.
Saturday was a day of competitive contrast with one of the most traditional classes, 100s being contested on one side of the road, whilst concurrently the newest electric comp F5J, ran on the other. Due to some late drop outs, only 10 people flew in each.
As usual, Neville Warby provided and along with Alan Morton and others, set up the facilities for 100s, with Chas Dunster acting as CD. Trackers were much in evidence though John Hulett continues to plough his own furrow with a developing line of traditionally built models, which are every bit as competitive. It was good to have a first time competitor in John Shenstone on the flightline, who took some slot wins and narrowly missed out on a fly off place. A lot of the slots were flown out in the light winds with lift marked clearly by a number of Kites and Buzzards resident on the farm. But still some managed to miss the landing box.
Six rounds flown and it was time for the fly off. Mark (Fozzy) Devall, John Hulett, Alan Morton and Cengiz Philcox, stepped up for two, twelve minutes slots, launching on the buzzer each time. Moving to different parts of the sky, they made use of the lift with varying degrees of success with Fozzy and Alan in particular climbing to great height at huge distance. I’ll not name names but again some managed to miss the box on landing. The eventual winner and not for the first time, with a supreme display of mastery of these, not overly manoeuvrable machines was Fozzy Devall, with John, Alan and Cengiz taking the other places.
Meanwhile, across the way F5J was being run by CD Bernie Jones, to whom BARCS is hugely grateful. Bernie had been working away from home in the days up to the competition and had persuaded Colin Lucas to act as chauffeur to get him up from the south coast for the day, thanks guys.
Similar in many ways to its winch launch brother F3J, there is the added spice of reading the conditions to try and launch below 200 metres to maximise score. Models are pretty familiar too and we saw a mixture of Explorers, Clusters, Pikes, Storks, Supras and Maxas plus others but often with much lighter construction and less substantial spars producing all up flying weights below 2kg despite motors, batteries and the other electric paraphernalia. Again we welcomed newcomers to RG, Phil Hayward and Jason Burns
Seven rounds, with one dropped score but no fly off was the format for the day. In the beautiful conditions, virtually every pilot managed a slot win but equally some were plagued with technical issues which marred their day and reduced their scores. Given the format, a consistent performance was called for to win and less than 300 points covered the top 3 places, with Colin Paddon taking top spot, followed by team mate Kevin Beale and stalwart of the electric scene Brian Austin in third.
The day concluded with all pilots convening on the main field for prize giving. With the support of Easy Composites and donations from both Acemodels and West London Models, vouchers, modelling goods and glues accompanied the trophies, wine and certificates.
Day two again dawned bright and if anything a little warmer for another day of interesting contrasts. This time two classes with international status, F3K and F3J and therefore the potential for pilots to make progress in securing places in the British Teams travelling to championships.
F3K is quite a diverse competition format being made up of a number of different tasks. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be in two places at once, so I hand over to Simon Jones for a very comprehensive report.
Radioglide was only the second F3K competition flown this year, with the first two being cancelled due to bad weather. F3K Eurotour was the first event flown in Lawford and although all 12 rounds were flown over the 2 days, conditions were very windy and several models ended up in trees or damaged.
Radioglide was a complete contrast with sub 10 mph winds, sunshine and good thermic conditions. The field itself was excellent with short grass and plenty of space, and with enough boundary features to potentially kick off lift and make downwind returns interesting.
15 pilots took part, and it was the first competition for Chris Brain. 8 rounds were flown in 3 slots of 5 pilots with a different task in each round. The tasks were planned to give a mix of ‘turnaround tasks’, which rely on fast turnaround times to split pilots in good (max) conditions, and ‘max’ tasks where it is possible for multiple pilots to score 1000 in good conditions.
Task flown were:-
Round1: Best 3 flights, 6 launches only, 3 mins max
Michael Stern was the only pilot to max this task in slot 2, although Chris Brain started with 2 x 3 min flights as the opening round of his first competition!
Round 2: Increasing times 30, 45, 60, 75, 90, 105, 120 secs
Tony Hickson and Michael Stern both achieved 120sec maxes in slots 1 and 2 respectively.
Round 3: Best 3 flights, 320 sec max
Michael Stern achieved best result in round 3 dropping only 6 seconds over 3 flights in slot 3.
Round 4: Best 5 flights, 2 mins max
Michael Stern again achieved best result dropping only 10 seconds over 5 flights in slot 3.
Round 5: All up, 3 flights, 3 mins max
Nobody managed to achieve 3 x 3 min flights but Chris Brain had the best time overall with 8 mins 6 secs.
Round 6: Last 3 flights, 3 mins max
Richard Swindells was the only pilot to max with 3 x 3 mins in slot 1.
Round 7: Poker – 5 self nominated flights
The love it or hate it round! A few pilots tried an ‘all or nothing’ big nomination to try and get away in good air and not have to re-launch. This meant flying a long way downwind and there were several land-outs in this round as a result. This really split scores and only 1 pilot in each slot achieved 5 nominated flights, all winning the slot as a result with ‘conservative’ nominations of around 1 min 30 secs.
Round 8: Best 4 flights, 1,2,3 and 4 mins
Richard Swindells and Michael Stern were both in slot 1 and both effectively ‘maxing’ the task. Richard only dropped 6 seconds over 4 launches to achieve 1,000 points and Michael dropped 9 seconds to score 994.
Final Top 5 scores were:-
1. Martin Halston = 6,991 (100%)
2. Michael Stern = 6,734 (97.44%)
3. Darius Zibikas = 6,602 (95.53%)
4. Tony Hickson = 6,424 (92.95%)
5. Simon Jones = 6, 400 (92.61%)
Congratulations to Martin for winning 5 slots and consistent overall flying to achieve 1st place. Martin didn’t put a foot wrong all day and came through the difficult poker round with 1,000 points to effectively seal the win.
The prizes from our sponsors were much appreciated and the excellent field choice and conditions on the day made Radioglide 2013 a very enjoyable F3K competition!
For further detail, pictures and comments, go to http://www.flyquiet.co.uk/smf/index.php?topic=3999.45
Over on the F3J field, things started off a little sombrely with a minutes silence to mark the passing of John Shaw, one of the founding fathers of the competition we were about to participate in. http://www.barcs.co.uk/forums/topic/4047-john-shaw/#entry106550
F3J had the biggest entry of the weekend with 22 pilots booked in but some late withdrawals. Many had flown in the 100s and F5J competitions from the day before. As mentioned above, this was a team selection event, along with Interglide and the British Nationals and as such ran over two days to finish on Bank holiday Monday. Also part of the national domestic league, it attracted many of the top British pilots. So was competition fierce? Well no. There was some excellent flying, some top hardware on display, Maxas, Explorers, Clusters etc. but the atmosphere was as usual, warm, friendly and low key. And this was further enhanced by the dulcet tones of CD Sydney Lenssen announcing the slots with a cheery ‘good luck, gentlemen’.
The declared intent was to run a 9 round, one drop, competition, with fly off. On this the first day, the weather co-operated and given the company, as expected, many slots recorded times over 9.50 and 100 landing bonuses. But equally conditions were not easy. Yes the clouds and the birds indicated lift and on occasions the DLG’s in the upwind field gave competitors looking for low level thermals somewhere to aim for. However, different sides of the field gave different results. Some of the upwind lift stayed static and then broke away without warning leaving one circling on the spot in lift for five minutes and then frantically running from sink. Five slots of four pilots meant teams were fairly busy all the time and it took something around one and a half hours to run a round. Nonetheless, with no line breaks or reflights things were pretty relaxed and lines were dogged, scores handed in and a quarter hour lunch break allowed time to engage in more banter. Day one was completed with Colin Boorman sitting atop the pile having dropped just 12 points over six rounds, closely followed by Peter Allen, Mark Devall, Ian Duff and Bob Dickenson. In fact the top 12 places were all in the 90% range of scores.
Day two promised slightly less pleasant conditions and although the rain was likely to stay away, the wind had backed and increased and the whole flightline needed swinging through 90 degrees, so thanks to Ozzie Osbourne and others who helped in relocating everything quickly and allowing us to get started promptly. Conditions were definitely more testing, the wind increased throughout the morning and it was cold, jumpers and jackets pressed into action. In conditions like these, the best pilots show their mettle, with people like Colin Paddon recording two 1000’s and he and Graham Wicks each completing a run of four consecutive slot wins. After round eight and with the wind still strengthening the competitors gathered and voted not to fly round nine and go straight to the fly off. As said before consistency is the name of the game in F3J and with four 1000’s and three 990+ scores Colin Borman retained first place with Ian Duff climbing to second, Peter Allen third and Bob Dickenson still in fourth. Colin Paddon had moved up the table to fifth but missed out on a fly of spot by just 0.5%
Clocks reset to 15 minutes and the fly off began. All four pilots had varying degrees of luck over the two rounds but probably the unluckiest was Colin Boorman, who hit turbulence on his landing approach, resulting in an overfly, penalty and loss of landing point and knocking him down from top.
So winner of the Humbrol Trophy for 2013 is Peter Allen.
One unresolved result during the weekend was the winner of the Lilienthal Trophy for Best Placed Newcomer. There were a number of pilots competing at Radioglide for the first time but only flew one event. We ultimately had two contenders who competed in two but until the ratified results were available, their positions could not be confirmed. So welcome to Jason Burns, F5J and F3K and John Shenstone 100s and F3J and with scores of 149.82% and 157.31% respectively, John Shenstone is declared the winner Best Placed Newcomer, Radioglide 2013.
For pictures of the weekend, courtesy of Phil Hayward, Jason Burns and Graham James
All in all then, Radioglide was a huge success and we hope will continue to be so for years to come. Virtually everyone I spoke to felt we had the balance of the weekend about right. There were some suggestions we might try to get more events in and there is indeed a field free for one day but we need a few factors to come together to improve on where we are
People to help with the organisation. We have asked all year for someone to represent the electric fliers but so far no volunteers.
BARCS is your organisation if you want us to include your class into the committee’s thinking, participate.
Competitors. Those that do compete tend to do so over more than one class, which means we might reduce the field if events conflict.
It is after all the declared intent of RG to be a ‘Festival of Soaring’, so if 100s and F3J pilots will also fly F5J, then that will influence which events we choose to run.
We look forward to continued debate on the subject and some support from the membership in making Radioglide better still.
Thanks once again to all who took part. To Easy Composites, Acemodels and West London Models for their support. To all the CD’s and particularly to Peter Allen for securing the fields, taking entries, organising facilities, erecting signage, finding camp site, buying wine and clearing the site at the end of weekend along with Ozzie, Chas, Al Lipscombe, Neville Warby an others.
A full set of results will be uploaded. Just awaiting F5J.
See you in 2014.