Thursday, 19 February 2015

Welsh day out

Sunday’s race on the Crest was a bit of the throwback and for all the right reasons.  Perhaps it was the small number of us or the fact that it seems a relatively long time since many of us had met up but as we headed off to the Crest the atmosphere was more like a stress free day’s sport flying.
  The wind wasn’t exactly ripping up trees, there’s be no risk of your wing blowing passed you after a slope side crash.  But this was the crest and there was enough wind to have the laminated ballast cards being thumbed through various types of metal being inserted into models.
  I’ve been loving my Merlin lately, a lack of flying time just hasn’t let me set up the willow 2 properly but the Merlin’s solid feel meant I was very comfortable to be putting 800g of lead in.  Once the clag had cleared the breaze dropped off to around 7-10mph and pretty well stayed there all day.  Normally this would make ballasting easy, 500g (1/3) and off we go, but the wind swinging to the south meant that the lift could pretty well stop.
  It was clear that the conditions could quickly change from low 40s good to mid 70s bad and back again.  The Merlin’s short boom and forgiving nature managed to compensate for my poor thumbs.  With a little look from the conditions everyone knew they could take a round but bad luck and you were gone.  I had a bit of both, including a top 3 round finish.
  With laminated ballast cards being sacrificed in the hope of wind those who like a good blow were starting to get twitchy, Whilst the Lord Dakin just needed some dark magic cantations.
  Thanks to Skip for making sure the day went so well.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Finishing off the southern winter league

  There always seems to have been a reason why I haven’t been able to make any races or even sports fly this winter.  But Sunday’s southern winter league gave me a chance I wasn’t going to miss.  I decided to fly my Merlin in the first few rounds, partly because it was the new version with the half yard joiner but because I just love flying it.  My Patched up Willow 2 was waiting in the wings for it’s call.
  As the brisk wind settled down to the forecast NNW, flying on Whitesheets’ WNW slope was always going to be a challenge as my comeback race.  The extra ballast capacity of the Merlin wasn’t used, mainly because of my lack of practise with 4.5kg models but plenty of other pilots were starting off the day at that weight.  I was soon wearing a wide grin, whatever model I chose, they’re just good to fly but I feel like I’m letting them down.
It’s on crossed days like these which show the improving standards of F3F pilots and the whole southern league.  This isn’t a soft option league any more.  A variety of styles and techniques were tried during the day as conditions changed.  When the air did occasionally square up and the times come down the good old reversals still seems to be the default setting of most pilots as things get fast.
  Although there were plenty of Needles, Baudis assemblies and Freestylers I think that Mark Treble and his Toxic deserve a mention.  When it comes to knowing the model and getting the most from it Mark has put the time in and is getting the rewards.
  Well done to Grommit for running the league in his uniquely relaxed- Baffled dad at his daughter's wedding style- an excellent day for everyone.
Now if I can just get the pictures to up load....