2004 - the final verdict...
Well, we didn't quite beat last year's incredible total of 4759km but we did manage a pretty respectable 4188km, and apart from March and August every month this year has been better than last year. And we've actually had more pilots than ever enter the league this year - 36! How many other clubs can boast that!
So the 2004 roll of honour reads like this:
1st place XC league - Alex Coltman (379km top 6)
2nd place XC league - Jim Mallinson (372km top 6)
3rd place XC league - Gary Sandell (277km top 6)
Longest flight - Gary Sandell (101km)
Longest DHV 1/2 prize - Ken Wilkinson (60km)
Most improved pilot - Nick Farley
Best newcomer - Mark Norley
2nd best newcomer - Mike Humphries
3rd best newcomer - Morgan Nicholas
Dave Yeandle Memorial Trophy (Easter Cup) - Rich Harding (52km)
(all photos - Wombat - thanks!)
So congratulations to them, and all the pilots who entered flights this year, be they sky gods or xc virgins!
And lastly, a big thanks to our sponsors, Windtech, Ozone, Alpine Ascent and System X for continuing to sponsor us most generously!
Tim P 20/12/2004
Thursday 23rd - Friday 24th September
Selsley working well with flights from Robin, Hugo, Richard Miller and a first xc from Tim Dent - congratulations!
Monday 2nd August - Friday 18th September
Too many excellent flights to mention individually at the moment - I hope to catch up soon!
Friday 30th July - Sunday 1st August
On Friday, only a few days after the birth of his second daughter (congrats to you all) Staff is out there getting his site record back for Westbury (east) - 54km - nice one! On Saturday, Alex did 42km from Llangollen during the Nationals. On Sunday at the BPC Pete D flew 17km from Bache Hill, whilst further south at Pandy (BCC semis), after a long wait Staff, Rich Z and Morgan got away to do 30km, 16km and 13km respectively. Ken and I bombed out after only a few km having left the hill too early :-( However as a team we came 1st and are through to the finals in Derbyshire on the Bank Holiday weekend.
Monday 19th - Friday 23rd July
After yet another crap weekend Monday 19th was a great day - Jim flew 45km landing near Brize Norton due to airspace. It sounded quite an eventful flight "Got pretty close to a Cessna, a Hercules and...wait for it...a Stealth bomber. The latter did three big circuits around Brize Norton as I was getting near the airspace and came closer to me each time. On the third it can't have been more than 300' away. I'm not sure if the pilot waved back as it had tinted windows". And I thought you couldn't see them :-) Ken and Pete D were at Mere and flew 31km and 23km respectively.
On Tuesday the Airtopia boys (Robin, oward and Hugo) were out flying 27km, 25km and 18km respectively. Ken was at Mere again and clocked up another 25km...
Friday was breezy, but Jim made the most of the conditions flying 90km from Cherhill (speak to Jim about getting permission to fly this site). As far as I'm aware no-one else managed anything... (Unfortunately Jim flew airspace on this flight so it has been removed...)
Saturday 10th - Friday 16th July
After yet another crap weekend Tuesday 13th was a nice day for some with some small but fun flights from Merthyr. But it was the only decent day all week...
Monday 5th - Friday 9th July
Westbury was the place to be on Monday - Jim left the hill at 4pm and landed three hours and 79km later at Swanage! He's smashed my old site record (57km) and is now the first pg pilot to reach the coast - congratulations Jim! Tony managed a 13km flight earlier in the day before the conditions got better...
Garry was out on Tuesday and Friday, either side of the atrocious weather, adding another 44km to his already impressive total...
Big Friday 25th June
Garry flies 100km from the Malverns, but a little bit further north and west Kai Coleman flew just over 200km to break Nigel Prior's two week old record. In fact Neil Roberts flew 210km from Long Mynd on the same day but unfortunately made a small airspace infringement so it doesn't count - he must have been gutted! Closer to home Alex and Robin Brown flew 34/35km from Frocester, and Paul Guilfoyle flew 15km from Hay Bluff in his first UK xc. Tony and Cathy were at Merthyr - Tony flew 40km - the highlight of his flight was, and I quote, "busting for a piss, unzipped all, got me knob out, leant forward but just couldn't go..." (This had me laughing out loud at work when I received this email - it conjoured up a highly amusing image in my mind!)
Saturday 12th - Tuesday 15th June
Hugo was the only one out on a breezy Saturday with a 13km flight from Frocester.
Sunday was a busy day with Ken and Richard Z flying 37km and 24km respectively during a BCC round from Merthyr, and Alex doing the Hay Bluff to Aber run. Meanwhile in England Garry S flew 44km from the Malverns and Howard flew 11km from the tow site. However all these were totally overshadowed by Nigel Prior's (Derbyshire Soaring Club) 7hr20min 186km flight from Bradwell in the Peak District to Newmarket Racecourse. That's the new UK record - congratulations Nigel!
On Tuesday Hugo did a nice 21km flight from Selsley to Cirencester...
Monday 7th June
Another Jim and Garry double act - this time Jim does 36km from Golden Ball, and Garry 35km from Mere.
Wednesday 2nd June
It appears that Jim and Garry Sandell are the only ones out - Jim flying 40km from Coombe, and Garry 20km from Selsley.
Saturday 22nd - Sunday 23rd May
A good sized Avon contingent headed to Snowdonia for the weekend (and the lucky ones are staying all week, not that I'm jealous :-) Conditions were strong and suited the more experienced pilots... I flew 27km from Moel Eilio on Saturday, and 49km from Elidir Fach on Sunday. Ken and Graham Fisher also had nice flights, likewise Stephen on Friday... Graham Richards had a nice flight from Moel Siabod on Tuesday... See my photos here... Meanwhile down south Alex had a nice 45km flight from Leckhampton to Tormarton, though the sight of Adrian Thomas flying overhead was a bit upsetting especially as he went on to land at the coast at Seaton for 145km! Hay Bluff was good too, with Richard Zaltzman and Mark Norley doing well.
Saturday 15th - Sunday 16th May
Saturday wasn't as good as those of us who couldn't get out thought it might have been with only short flights made from the Blorenge during the BCC against the Southern Club (Ken's 10km was the best), and although Talybont on Sunday wasn't quite as epic as it must have been three weeks ago, it was still bloody good fun! I had a lovely 24km flight ending up near Hay on Wye, Ken did 21km, and various others around the 10km mark. Avon won the friendly comp by a few km!
Monday 26th April - Sunday 9th May
After the epic weekend at Talybont it's all gone very quiet - the only flight entered is another two thermal wonder (17km) flown by yours truely on Friday 7th from Frocester. Weatherjack predicted a 4****, but in the event I'd say it was only a 2**... Still, it was better than an afternoon in the office :-)
Saturday 24th - Sunday 25th April
The world and their wives (except for me and mine!) were at Talybont for a BCC round and were treated to UK flying at it's best... As of Wednesday evening 16 flights totalling 605km have been entered, including numerous PBs (Stafford Evans, Stephen Chiles, Alan Davies, Graham Richards, Iain MacKenzie) and first xcs (Richard Hellen, Mike Rossdale, Mike Humphries, Mark Norley). Alex flew the furthest with an 88km flight taking 5 hours! I assume Avon won the weekend, well done all!
Tuesday 13th - Sunday 18th April
Plenty of flights during the week after Easter, Mike Coupe with 26km on Tuesday, and Ken with 15km and Wayne Seeley with 40km on Wednesday. And on Saturday I finally got off the amrk with 18km from Olivers. However Alex, who left the hill some time after me flew a blinder and reached Oxford (69km) in an hour and a half!
It was pretty breezy - with each circle in a thermal I was averaging 200m, and my top speed on a glide was 72kmh!
Easter long weekend - Friday 9th - Monday 12th April
Rich and Alex head to Combe Gibbet and evidently have better conditions that the BCC teams suffer at Bell Hill - Rich flew 52km, and Alex 32km. Tony was at Westbury and did a 10km flight (not yet entered). On Sunday Mike Coupe flew 26km from Selsley, enjoying better conditions than those parawaiting at Westbury, myself included!
Monday 29th March
Rich has has a stonking flight from Tal-y-bont - read about his 50km flight here...
Friday 26th March
Alex flies 15km from Leckhampton.
Monday 8th March
Howard kicks off the league proper with a 7km flight from the Malverns!