Cross country flying didn’t seem big locally and I could sense unease behind me as I followed a line of energy upwind of the airfield. Looking around, pointed out a very blue, butterfly shaped lake in the mineral workings just to the east of the site as a navigational aid. There were birds everywhere; I counted 12 buzzards in one thermal.
I experienced a problem I hadn’t met before: as I flew from the relatively cool dry air in the blue into the warm moist air of thermals under the clouds, the canopy misted up – on the outside.
After an hour or so I landed, a slightly higher approach speed than suggested to allow for turbulence over the trees and down onto the emerald green Florida grass. Type fixation from flying the Ventus I know, but it was a big strip with no one else flying and it was indeed bumpy on approach. Back in the clubhouse we chatted. Steve turned out to be a keen and knowledgeable soccer fan, watching the premier league on cable TV. He feels the
Spanish league is better but not now included in his cable package! Gliding, certainly in Florida, seems to be entirely commercial without the club structure and low costs we have. The aerotow, the hire of the glider and instructor and a tee shirt came to about $170 from memory. This does put into perspective how good and cost effective the UK system is.
And the rollercoasters? No problem- father survived them all. Sheikra at Busch Gardens in Tampa was intimidating, but I enjoyed Cheetah – rather like a winch launch but no chance of getting it wrong. How dull!
Revival of the Interclub League for the 2013 Soaring Season
Dave Aherne and George Green have been instrumental in reviving interest in the regional inter-club league.
The idea is that each club hosts one cross country competition over one weekend during the soaring season. The participating clubs then put together a team comprising of novice, improver, and experienced cross country pilots.
So far the two dates confirmed for this year’s ICL are:
- Tibenham 4th & 5th (6th if needed) May
- Wormingford 27th & 28th July
Rattlesden and Wattisham are yet to confirm the dates they will host a competition weekend.
Paul Gould, the overall competition organiser will have updates from these and other clubs in due course.
If you are interested in taking part or in helping with the organisation especially for when ESGC are the hosts in July then please contact either Dave Aherne or George Green for more details.
ESGC Achievements 2012
“On Circuit” thought it was worth reflecting on the achievements of the members and the club over the last year or so and noting them so we don’t forget what it’s all about. The list below is drawn from the “Burble Room” recent achievements thread and so may not be exhaustive. Apologies to anyone who has achieved something notable and who is not mentioned below.
- Spencer Fitch – January
- Graham Banning – April
- Jack Wade – May
- Clive “Gosling” Stacey – May
- Ben Durack – August
- Bradley Soanes – Aged 15 youngest ever at ESGC – October
- Andrew Coleman – September
- Mike Burcher – November
- Jaques Loyez – Bronze Badge completed
- Dave Davies – Bronze Exam passed
- Ken Ward – Silver duration flight (5hrs) May
- Dave Wallis – Silver Badge Completed July
- Mark Butcher – 100km diploma including Silver height and distance
- Adrian Tills – Silver Badge Completed August
- Bruce Grain – Silver 5 hour duration September
- Rob Locket – Wenlock Olympics – Silver Medal
New Assistant Category Instructors
- Dave Aherne
- Dick Skinner
New Full Category Instructor
- Eddie Leach
As if all this were not enough the Club has been awarded Junior Gliding Centre status and successfully applied for and has been given a grant of £10,000 by Sport England.
Well done to Graham, the Committee, the Winch Crew and the Instructors.