Sorry this is a day late but I have just returned from the Challenge Cup competition at Husbands Bosworth. The comp doesn’t really end until Sunday but the weather for the rest of the week looks unflyable so I came home early. Driving home I was thinking about gliding competitions and why they are a good thing to do for cross country pilots. Firstly everything is organised for you. You get up, put the glider on the grid, have breakfast, and go to briefing. At briefing they tell you what the weather is going to do, if there any notable NOTAMS, what the task is and even what time you are going to launch. Apart from setting up your nav device and drawing on your chart it is pretty much all done for you. All you have to do is fly the task. Then of course you are flying against a huge range of experience and skill from first timers to nationals pilots. It is a brilliant way to compare your skills against others and a chance to listen and talk to successful winners to learn what they did that you didn’t. Then of course you are flying from another airfield in a different part of the country so you are navigating around what may be a strange landscape and finding your way back to the airfield. You have to get used to using the radio and listening out to calls from competition control and may need to talk to controlers at other airfields, to cross an ATZ for instance. Then, after flying, there are all the social aspects of meeting new people and sharing a drink over exchanging gliding tales. also you learn how to fly with a large group of gliders, sometimes in the same thermal. This is a skill that has to be learned but is well worth the effort. Sometimes there may be fifty gliders in a single thermal though this rarely happens. On scrubbed days there are often workshops, discussions and lectures on aspects of gliding that are always useful and educational. So I recomend comps to everyone, but think about starting with something small like Rockpolishers, our interclub league, and move on to Task Week where you can compare your skills against your friends in a friendly atmosphere, then do a Regional and eventually try a Nationals. It really is great fun and makes you a better pilot.
Talking about Task Week it is not far away taking place between 17th – 25th August with Monday 26th August in reserve. Details on the website. I shall be flying the Duo KA during the week and will have a seat available on some of the days so if you are interested in sharing a day and learning a bit about how you prepare for and fly a competition day send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will compile a list, first come first served, and let you know in time if there is a chance to fly. Julian Fack will also be flying his Duo and there will be opportunities to fly with him. Get his email from the office and tell him you are interested.
Your duty teams this weekend are:
Saturday: Walter Bauman (No 2), Charles Carter (TLs), Geoff Dailey (winch), Laurant Duval (LD)
Sunday: William Brewis (No 1), Walter Bauman (No 2), Geoff Dailey (winch)
Tomorrow evening, Saturday 10th August at 1700.