Saturday, October 17 saw the third competition of the year and it was our usually popular Thermal Glider event. This time was no exception with eight entrants and many onlookers and helpers.
Initial advice was that the competitors would be, Greg R, Dave J, Richard C, and George C. However Dave J brought along 2 models. One an “own design” and the other an “Algebra” . He then spotted Terry P without a model (Terry always likes to participate through helping) Dave quickly offered the “Algebra” to Terry. Terry jumped at the chance! That brought the numbers to five. Then Gerry de Groot turned up and next Kevin Hay. Earlier in the week I spoke to Kevin H about entering but Kevin did not hold out much hope given that his model, a “Spirit 100” had lay languishing in his roof space at home for many years. However, on Friday evening, the day before the event, Kevin decided to climb into his roof space and have a look at the Spirit. Apart from some dust all seemed well so he brought the model down only to find mice had decided to chew on the servo leads – It didn’t look good. Being the trooper he is, Kevin decided to see what he could do. By 12:45 am! the model was again airworthy. Numbers now totalled seven.
Competition got under way a little late commencing at 11am. I was armed with my netbook and the spreadsheet I had written to automate the scoring and results calculations using “normalized” scores as per MAAA rules. After a pilot briefing it was decided to run a 6 minute timed event (rather than the normal 10 minute). We would also drop the “working time” limitations. After all we are all partcipating for the fun and there are no “sheep stations” as prizes – come to think of it there were NO prizes! This laid back, informal running of the event is what attracts the participants. Too many rules seems to frighten off competitors and this is detrimentental to the hobby if we are to encourage participation in these disciplines.
On to the competition. The winches were set up, gliders and pilots at the ready and the weather was just PERFECT! A slight nor westerly breeze and plenty of sun gave rise (pardon the pun) to plenty of thermals. First round and the winner was Kevin H. I think Kevin was more surprised than anyone! The second round was won by Greg R. Time for a lunch break.
After Kerry had cooked the barbecue, which this time included some well received fried “free range” eggs, courtesy of Kerry’s chickens, we were entertained by a talk on F3B/F3F gliders from Steven Boag of SEAT.
Stephen brought along 3 gliders, a “Pike Perfect”, ex David Hobby (F3J World Champion 2005 and 2006). A “Pike Superior” and “The Machine” which is an own design by Steven and Bruce Nye. After the explanation of the various glider disciplines, Steven gave a demo of the “Pike Perfect” which, despite its weight of a bit under 2kg, seemed to sniff out any thermal that was about. Thanks again Steven.
The third round got under way and was won by Kevin. Would the final round decide it? Well Greg won the fourth round, 459 to Kevin’s 458! The result would be decided after dropping the worst round. And the winner was …….. Kevin H! Second was Greg R, and rounding out the placegetters was George C. The results were largely determined by the landing scores, which in Thermal are very generous if you get close to the mark. 100 points Landing bonus if within 1 metre of the “spot”. A great day was had by all and the laid back atmosphere even had Steven Boag looking forward to dusting off one of his 2m models for a go next time. Thanks also to Andrew Mc & Kerry C for “manning” the turnaround and retrieving the chutes and to all the other helpers on the field. Full scores are below and some photographs from the day are below. Thanks to my wife Kerry for taking the shots while I competed.