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    • Sydney Lenssen

      The Rise and Fall of F3J

      By Sydney Lenssen, in F3J,

      At this time of angst in the Coronavirus Pandemic, many of us are feeling bored and without many opportunities to fly our models, and that means more time on our hands. So here is a chance to catch up Uncle Sydney’ Gossip Columns, running over the years from 1998 through to 2019.
      Before starting let me thank Jojo Grini who has maintained a web diary of all my reports in Norway and sent it round the world. Thanks also the Austin Guerrier who helped me to reach websites in UK and USA and other continents. And other F3J pilots told me that they enjoyed my Gossips.
      To read, type the following address: www.f3x.no/f3j/gossip/index.htm. Be warmed it takes a long time to read it in full.
      Sydney Lenssen

    • PeteMitchell

      BARCS Early Days

      By PeteMitchell, in Articles,

      Recently a thread on the forum sparked an interest about the formation and early days of our Association.
      This prompted correspondence with one of our earliest members, Martin Garnett membership number 5, who has provided the following very interesting information. He writes:
       
      I may be a lapsed BARCS member but I still keep an eye on the website to see what’s going on, and I see from the BARCS forum that the actual formation date of BARCS has arisen.
      I attended the inaugural meeting at Aylesbury in 1972, along with Colin Thompson and became member no 5 only because I was the 5th person to sign the attendance register. I recollect that there were 11 or 12 of us at the meeting, and I think that Dave Hughes was no 1.
      I attach some pdfs, relating to BARCS and its early days, and perhaps the RM Apr 1972 gives the best indication as to the first meeting. Allowing for publication deadlines, I guess this would have been in the March/April time, but I can’t find anything better than that in my archives.
      I went back through those Soarers I still have, and thought you might to see the attached pdf. Although not specifically mentioned inside, I assume that the 11 people on the cover were those at the first meeting. Sadly, many no longer with us, but I have the advantage of having been a uni student back in 1972 so a lot younger.
      I did some lateral thinking and checked my 1972 RCM&E back issues, as Geoff D wrote the thermal column in those days.
      See attached pdfs – the March 1972 edition gives the date as Friday 18 Feb 1972 for the inaugural meeting. This was followed up with a report in May 1972, interesting showing that 22 people attended. Perhaps BARCS membership nos 1-22?
      Martin has provided a few more pdf's dated after May72 which I will post later.
      Any more memories and info will be good to add here.
       
      RM Jul 1968.pdf RM Jan 1972.pdf RCM&E Mar 1972.pdf RM Apr 1972.pdf RCM&E May 1972.pdf

    • Nick Jackson

      eScoring Focus

      By Nick Jackson, in Articles,

      eScoring?
      eScoring  is a way in which a competition pilot or their helper can use a smartphone to upload  their score to a cloud server after each flight. 
      For a longer introduction, have a look at the eScoring explainer escoring_explainer.pdf
      Focus?
      Covid-19
      eScoring is attracting particular attention during the pandemic, as a way to preserve social distancing and minimise risk from handling score cards – no need to approach the CD or pass bits of paper to enter scores. 
      For this reason, BARCS is launching a new Covid and eScoring forum – check it out and post your experiences or questions there.
      Eppler Trophy

      Escoring is a part of the splendid  GliderScore software, developed by Gerry Carter in Australia and used widely in the UK and all over the world. To honour Gerry’s achievement, BARCS was very pleased to award him at its Dec 2020 AGM the prestigious Eppler Trophy.     
      Read Ian Nicholls’ appreciation of Gerry’s work in proposing him for the award eppler.pdf
       
       

    • Baldyslapnut

      Important Information Concerning Radioglide 2020

      By Baldyslapnut, in Radioglide,

      After due consideration from the BARCS Committee we have decided to cancel the 2020 Radioglide Weekend at Buckminster due to be held in
      May.
      It is unlikely we will be able to reschedule. However, we will liaise with the BMFA when more is known about the ability to hold larger gatherings at flying fields.
      We will keep you posted as and when we have more information to act on.
      Sorry to have to write this post.
      I wish you all good health in the coming months.
      Regards
       
      Greg

    • Sydney Lenssen

      JACK SILE - AN APPRECIATION

      By Sydney Lenssen, in General News,

      by Sydney Lenssen
      Any F3J pilot who has competed in contests worldwide over the past 20 years will be saddened to hear of the recent death of Jack Sile. He played a key role in F3J’s birth. Of course many soaring pilots also helped the transition from BARCS Opens to CIAM’s thermal soaring class, recognised around the world and until recently the most popular of R/C glider events. But Jack, in my opinion, came very close to being key.

      Last week, 16 August 2019, Andre Borowski, my wife and I went to the celebration of the life of Jack Sile at the West Suffolk Crematorium. On the very same day in Trnava, Slovakia, New Zealand became F5J senior team champions in its first world championships, the successful three man team Joe Wurts, David Griffin and Kevin Botherway. 
      That excellent achievement would have brought tears of joy to Jack. He was team manager for New Zealand in 1998 for the first F3J world championships at Upton in England, his team pilots Ross Biggar, Andre Borowski and Stuart Grant, helpers Sydney Lenssen, John Barnes, Nick Evans. Sad to say, the Kiwis did not reach the podium, but the first F3J world champion was the legendary Joe Wurts from the USA, who a few years later emigrated and adopted New Zealand citizenship.

      Jack Sile was born in Arkansas, an American citizen with a career in the US Air Force which he joined at 18 years old. Most of his military ca-reer of 27 years was spent in Britain at Lakenheath, and continued more years in non-military roles. He married his second wife  Phyl.
      He never lost his American accent. He had a warm smile and always with an amusing tale to tell. An active “do-er” and achiever with a wide range of interests and activities. When he joined a club or organisation, he gave it extra zest, he would happily accept the job of promoting and organising. 
      In R/C model glider flying he played a large part in persuading the FAI to adopt F3J championships. He enjoyed travelling in Europe and quickly joined the Dutch, Germans, French, Belgians, Czechs and Brits who had started annual Eurotour events, one in each country, with scores added to a league table. European contests had started with F3B, speed, distance and duration flying requiring high skills. F3J being ra-ther easier to fly in and cheaper, this new event grew rapidly.
      How versatile Jack was can be judged by this list: 
      When Romania was chosen to organise the European F3J champion-ships in Deva, he was invited to act as contest director. 
      He wrote for Soarer, the BARCS magazine and a newsletter. 
      He started the technical lectures and demonstrations at the RAF Muse-um in North London where top pilots and designers could give their experiences and guidance. 
      He travelled each year to Lausanne for the FAI’s Aeromodelling Com-mission CIAM sessions writing reports for Sandy Pimenoff. 
      He was a dedicated supporter of Ipswich Town football club and worked as a steward and on the turnstiles for nearly 25 years. 
      He was an expert guide at Duxford and helped with restoration work. 
      When Rui Silva wanted to run the first international F3J contest in Por-tugal, Jack was appointed contest director.
      He was a staunch supporter of the Peterborough Winter Series which was held in all weathers and drew pilots from North and South, East and West on the first Sunday of the month from October through to April. 
      On competition days he would go around the field with a collection box, complete with Neil Webb’s famous feather, to fund the Neil Webb Trophy to be awarded to the F3J World Champion every two years. Donations produced sufficient funds to pay for the magnificent globe of a trophy. The successful champion does need fitness to transport the heavy box and prize back home.
      In those days, Jack was confident that BARCS membership, already close to 900, would soon top 1,000! Sadly that was not to be!
      Over the last ten years Jack found the Masons, carefully choosing which Lodge to join, where he would be active in a reasonable time. At the Celebration of the life of Jack Sile, by far the biggest number of at-tendees were masons and their wives, and just a modest number of model glider pilots.
      Jack and his wife Phyl, married for nearly 45 years, were good people to know and very worthy in every sense of the word.
      SL 20/8/19

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