Monday, 27 April 2009

BCC Round SE Wales Sunday 19th April

Not Shropshire.

Various unfortunate events combined and resulted in the team being pulled out of Sundays, round in Shropshire and instead entered in the round hosted by the SE Wales club, with Pandy or the Blorange as likely venues. However somewhat embarrassingly the LMC PG round switched from Corndon to Malvern late Sunday morning, leaving the round being run on our site without the home team. Unfortunately by the time the round was switched we were all stood in Waitrose car park in Abergavenny whilst the organiser decided the site for the day(OK some of us were in the cafe having a fat boy breakfast but don't tell anyone).
At this time the wind was still pretty much NE so we found ourselves yet again heading for the Blorange, although rumour has it after the event that Pandy was better, but not until mid/late afternoon. As usual open XC was called but with one turn point allowed as it was felt that the sea breeze would limit distances (if only), so with that in mind pilots slowly took to the air as the inversion lifted.
Conditions were marginal with some early birds ending in Castle meadows but things slowly improved as the afternoon wore on. The great thing with comps is the number of wind dummies it provides. I know you are suppose to stand staring into space spotting circling buzzards, flocks of feeding swifts or bits of straw or thistledown or whatever, marking the thermals, but personally with my eyesight these days a gaggle of paragliders is a lot easier to see and a lot more convincing. Gavin and Nigel went for early attempts up the valley towards Crickhowel whilst I managed to launch into a gaggle and climbed out over the back. For a while I thought I had cracked it, climbing slowly through 700 ft ATO drifting over the back with a small gaggle with the first wisps of a cloud starting to form above. At this point just as I began to think things were going well the lift disappeared and gliders dispersed in all directions trying to find something before sinking out on top. As I joined a string of pilots walking the track back to take off someone skied out over the valley, typical!
A team status check saw Gavin, Nigel and myself back on takeoff ready for another go with Ian and Noel in the pub, with Ian recovering from the shock of an involuntary SIV course. As time was now getting on, Alan drove down, Gavin flew back to the car and Nigel and I made a last dash up the valley towards Crickhowell. I made Govilon, just scoring whilst Nigel improved on his earlier flight by getting considerably further.
Prompt retrieves by Alan and Gavin saw us all back in the pub in Abergavenny soon after 18:00 where Ian regaled us with his SIV adventure, which required several pints to steady the nerves and that was just me listening too it.

All in all another pleasant day out with the BCC, with everyone flying and having a good time, Alan grappling with his first British thermals climbing out to his delight, and although the epic day anticipated at the briefing didn't quite materialise there was plenty of flying for those who wanted it, three of us scored and we all made the pub.
Post Script,
I would just like to scotch the rumours and point out that the reason for desperate dashes up the valley towards Crickhowel by some team members, including myself was not in any way competitive or against the Malvern Team ethos, but meerely an attempt to get to a decent pub as the Castle Meadows hostelry has now closed. In the end the efficiency of our retrieve drivers meant we never got the chance but thankfully Ian and Knowl's dedication to the cause turned up a new venue 1/2 mile away from Castle Meadows which turned out to be even better, serving fine ale and good company, well if you call the BCC crowd good company, I know I do.


Chris H

No comments: