South of England Open F3F
16-18 September 2016
Iñaki tames the Long Man
This year's South of England Open ran over three days and attracted thirty five competitors, from UK, Germany, Austria, Spain, Czech Republic and Holland. The event was the last of the Eurotour league.
Our base for each of the three days was NW slope of the Wilmington Long Man. It involved a walk of around 20 minutes each day. This NW slope is characterised by a wavy 'edge', with a distinct mini-bowl at one end. There was also an area of consistently good lift well outside the course. All in all, this made for some very interesting tactical flying!
The landing area was quite extensive, but it was quickly discovered that the top part was afflicted by some pretty vicious rotor. By a process of trial and occasionally expensive error, the 'right' area was identified, the only further hazard being an errant flock of sheep.
Well not much of a good start, really, with pilots sheltering in their cars! A lull in the rain allowed us to make the trek to the top, only to be greeted by a further downpour. Proceedings finally started at 3.00 pm after which three rounds were flown.
Conditions were very blustery. John Treble was an early casualty of the rotor, breaking his only model and having to sit out the rest of the comp. Thomas Deinert ended the day in top spot with Dieter Perlick in second and Eurotour contender Radovan Plch in third. Thomas took FTD with 33.93.
Seven rounds flown, in quite similar conditions to yesterday. FTD went to Iñaki with an amazing 30.65. Taking advantage of some good air, I managed to take round 10 flying my Needle 115. By day's end, Iñaki was in the lead, followed by Dieter, with Peter Kowalski climbing to third spot.
What a contrast! Light winds, and thermic activity made the final four rounds something of a lottery with times varying between the 40s and 80s!! FTD went to Greg Dakin who nailed some good air with a stonking 42.72.
Surprisingly, despite the variable conditions, the top three spots remained unchanged. So after a total of 14 rounds, Iñaki was declared the winner of the comp. His only difficulty was holding all his trophies, as he was also in the winning team, Eurotour winner, and got FTC! Iñaki was flying a Radical Jazz.
Sincere thanks are due to John Phillips, Gary Harrison, Mark Treble, Daniel Schneider, Peter Burgess and all who helped make this such a splendid comp in occasionally challenging conditions (if I've left out a name please let me know). And of course to our visitors from abroad, whose names occasionally addle my brain, but who made this such a special event.
1 Iñaki Elizondo 1000.00
19 Peter Gunning 877.48