Monday, 23 January 2012

Winter League up date

  With the Champion of Champions race now firmly established as the end target for the winter league season January is always the time where the league places start to take shape.  With the vagaries of the British winter to take into account, every race feels like it’s that bit more critical.
  In the North Mark Redsall has established himself as the man to beat this year but the last 2 places in the fly off could go to any of 7 pilots- you can bet they’ll be keeping a close look at the weather for the next race, as well as pilots like Ronnie Lamp and Dave Wright threatening to come up from behind with a late charge.
  In the Midlands a Brum-away leader in Mike Evans also belies a close battle beneath him.  Ian Webb and his Wizard F3F looking to be fighting hard to make a first trip to the final.  Steve Streatley has been improving his scores constantly over each round of the league a late challenge could be on.  Discards could play a big part in the final positions, pilots like Maria Freeman are languishing down the table but with a solid 940 score, a couple more repeats of that performance could see a late charge.
  In the South, Plan A was for this year to be a ‘friendly’ year of seeing how things went but, as with most things F3F in recent years the attendances and level of competition have surprised everyone.  Wild-card places have been promised for the final to this league and with his Willow win in the last round John Philips has joined Golden Balls himself in the closest battle in the league.  Just 0.44 separates the 2 of them (or about 6 inches) after 2 races.
On to Wales
  The Welsh league has been the most affected by the weather- only 1 race all year that left some surprising names in contention for the fly offs.  Even the prospect of 50mph+ winds didn’t stop a positive turn out of hopefuls for the second race (round 3 to you).  As my little car was being lifted around by the wind I wasn’t totally enthusiastic about getting out, but I’d gone all that way so the ballast from my Air one was left in the car to hold it down and the trip made to Micky’s westerly slope.
  It was one of those day’s when I was glad that the Willow is so easy to fly and that I’d been brave daft enough to fly off my local cliffs in the winter winds.  I am still struggling to make the Willow wing’s flex!

  Round 1 started a trend that would last all day- the most attritional race I can remember.  We lost 2 models in round 1- both to landing incidents Bob’s Willow and Tony Robinson’s Alliaj (I think). We also lost ‘Bear’ to a bad back as he fell walking up to land- to his credit he kept control of his Caldera and landed it safely.

  Simon and Martin were joined at the top of the leader board by the boys from Brum and Joel West.  This pattern would continue all day, as they made light work of the crossed conditions, in my ignorant opinion the Alliaj’s looked the best I’ve seen them race.
  By round 3 we’d lost John Trebble into the woods looking for an Extreme- where he must have had a good view of Bob wrapping his typhoon around the first row of trees and Tony had been blown over after a safe landing and cracked his Ceres.  At the front of the field the usual suspects continued to put in times around the 40 mark.
  As round 5 finished and the wind’s were dropping but swinging around we thought about changing to the Ice cream slope, but a look around the carnage on the hill and a show of hands identified only 7 pilots were in a state to continue.  It was time to head off and help John find his Extreme, unfortunately we could only find a mini dragon.

  There was just enough time left for Joel to maiden his Freestyler 4- yep he made it look good too!

  Looking at the league places in Wales February’s race could be very telling.   With 2 of 3 rounds counting those of us with 800 score’s had best improve to hold on to our fly off places.

No comments:

Post a comment