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!
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.