2009 Lundy Island
2nd - 7th July 2009
The legend of Lundy has been bubbling for years, but 2009 marks my first visit. And for once reality really did exceed expectations. Twenty one pilots, various partners, and three day's of F3F competition - all on a ruggedly beautiful little island blessed with steep slopes and smooth sea breezes. Soaring heaven!
Lundy may be famous for its puffins but for whatever reason they were as elusive as a sub-40 on a calm day. Perhaps they knew we were coming. Not to worry, despite being the size of a postage stamp, there's plenty to explore in Lundy including three lighthouses, various ruins, and a beautiful coastline with stunning views. Feeding and watering took place in the Marisco Tavern which also acts as the island headquarters.
Nothing much was planned in advance, but eventually we decided to hold three competitions - one a day over three days. The best two scores would count toward the final result. This would allow one day to be discarded, to give people a day off to explore the island without wrecking their chances. In the event, the flying was so good that virtually all pilots flew out the three days, taking the rainy and blustery fourth day out for other activities.
Thanks to the smooth sea breezes, conditions were unusually consistent, making it possible to compare technique and times between pilots without 'guestimating' allowances for thermals etc. Incredibly useful and instructive. If I came away with anything, it was the certainty that F3F really is mostly aobut good turn technique, and never straying from the lift band.
Best two scores from three:
1 Kevin Newton 11988.56 12 Stefan Bertschi 10218.38 2 Joel West 11481.52 13 Paul Stubley 10137.04 3 Peter Gunning 11407.23 14 Andy Burgoyne 9934.57 4 Paul Middleton 11382.57 15 Warrick Smith 9865.85 5 Richard Bago 11369.56 16 Vic Eldridge 9729.97 6 Adam Richardson 11237.32 17 Lee Morgan 9658.77 7 Mike Shellim 11014.17 18 Phil Taylor 9505.54 8 Paul Garnett 10939.95 19 Ian Mason 6911.07 9 Jon Edison 10828.81 20 Andrzej Tabero 5386.87 10 Keith Wood 10557.18 21 Joe Cubitt 2604.75 11 Tom MacPherson 10523.87
Lundy Island is twelve miles from the nearest land. There are no roads, and everyone and everything has go by a small pedestrian ferry (or helicopter). Models, tools, clothes etc. - all have either to be crated, packed in luggage, or carried by hand.
Organising a holiday of this nature for so many pilots is no mean feat. It involves booking accomodation, organising the crating, purchasing food for the banquet, keeping pilots informed etc. All this takes time and hard work, and for this all the pilots owe Joe Cubitt and Lynda Blythe special thanks.
Thanks also for Phil Tolfree who provided us with a curry so tasty - and plentiful - that to call it a meal would hardly do it justice - it was a banquet!
Finally to Kev Newton who handled the CD'ing in his usual decisive way. The resulting competition offered some of the best pure slope soaring many of us could remember.