BBQ and Fun Fly 21 July
By Jon Couldridge
The day started early, I had decided to arrive at Strawberry Field at 8.30 am thinking I would be the first there. Well I was wrong as on arrival 1 gazebo was already up with a BBQ under it. Several people were bustling around setting out flight lines marker tapes etc. Then it was all hands on deck to put up the second gazebo and dust off the club BBQ to go under it. Thank you Trevor Hewson for supplying the second gazebo even though it did require a degree in engineering to assemble! At 9.45 am club members and family were already starting to arrive and for once the weather was perfect which was a big bonus.
This year the committee had changed the format of the day slightly and decided to have a powered fixed wing class and an electric glider class. Participants would only be allowed to enter one or the other, not both.
After a pilots briefing at 10.30 the day kicked off with the Powered Fixed Wing competition. This would consist of take-off and fly for 1 minute, doing as many loops as possible. The watch will then stop and you must land back on the strip. A tape was on the ground and participants would be expected to land as close as possible to the board at one end of the tape. The tape had distances so more points were awarded the closer to the board you were and no points were awarded if the landing was too far away. This was then repeated only this time stall turns were required.
Next up was the Electric glider competition. This was flying solo and would consist of 20 seconds of power from a hand launch, then cut the throttle and carry out as many loops as possible in 1 minute. Use power again to gain height and land as close to possible to the marker.
The following challenge was for all the contestants to take off together, using 20 seconds of power, then trying to glide for as long as possible. Last one down scored the most points decreasing the earlier the competitor landed.
The competition finished at about 12.30 and the prizes presented by Terry Antell. It was then time for the BBQ. Whilst the competition was going on a troupe of Club members and wives had gallantly been cooking burgers, sausages and onions and thanks has to go to the person who provided the potato salad accompaniment. The desserts were also much appreciated which were provided by Geoff Collins from the Wessex Soaring Association.
It was altogether a superb day and credit must go to all those that competed, helped or just came along to be part of the whole event.