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2012 F3F Nationals, Hole of Horcum

23 - 24 June 2012

Simon Thornton (3rd), Paul Upton (winner), Rich Bago (runner-up)

Paul Upton wins fine Nats

This year's Nats were held at the Hole of Horcum. Seeing the flooded fields on the way up from London, I couldn't help thinking that it was going to be a lost cause. But we've been surprised before, and we were surprised this time too - it turned out to be a (mostly) splendid weekend with some great conditions and minimal rain.

Day 1

Saturday saw us at Levisham facing a stiff SW breeze. There was some thermal influence, but also some fantastic energy around if you could find it, and several pilots broke their PBs. Thanks to slick organisation by the CDs, we managed to complete all of nine rounds before packing up for the day. Heading the leader board was Paul Upton followed by Rich Bago, Simon Thornton, and Dave Wright. All were flying Needle 124's, a slightly unusual state of affairs which merited a photo call.

Day 2

Sunday saw us chasing a constantly shifting breeze, and after a long hike across the moors and various stoppages we only managed to complete one round. The top four table remained unchanged, so Paul Upton was declared the new Nats champion after flying superbly all weekend. Paul also achieved the fastest time of 34.07 seconds.

Some thoughts

The hills are alive with some pretty advanced machinery these days - the Needle, latest Freestyler and Radical being three top-end airframes which are finding favour. At the other end of the scale, the Willow F3F is also proving popular as a relatively cheap yet fast model.

The amount of ballast that some models are carrying would have been considered reckless only a few years ago. Pilot skills are improving too, and it was interesting seeing the different flying styles in particular energy management ('EM') turns and 'pumping' to gain height during the climbout. These are interesting times for F3F!

My thanks to Martin Newnham, Jon Edison of the NYRSC, to the CDs, and the helpers. Last but not least to T9 Hobbysport for their generous sponsorship and their ongoing commitment to our great sport. You can show your appreciation by wandering over to their web site.


Pilot           score    normalised
==============  =======  ==========
1 P Upton       8298.33  1000.00
2 R Bago        8236.81   992.58
3 S Thornton    8116.38   978.07
4 D Wright      8108.95   977.17
5 G Dakin       7920.60   954.48
6 M Abbotts     7911.81   953.42
7 M Shellim     7888.23   950.58
8 A Richardson  7882.37   949.87
9 M Redsell     7808.95   941.02
10 D Watson     7650.86   921.97
11 M Evans      7614.83   917.63
12 R Lampe      7582.74   913.76
13 P Gunning    7549.64   909.77
14 M Newnham    7387.99   890.29
15 P Middleton  7357.16   886.58
16 K Wood       7327.60   883.02
17 T Foreman    7317.10   881.75
18 F Hulton     7161.83   863.04
19 T Mcpherson  7149.76   861.59
20 M Treble     6702.78   807.72
21 M Freeman    6543.21   788.49
22 P Stubley    6475.77   780.37
23 E Lewin      6151.68   741.31
24 J Edison     2969.04   357.78
25 J Treble     1322.90   159.40

Full results with link to Excel spreadsheet are here


High res images are in gallery on SmugMug.