Saturday 29th April - Open Weekend

A very relaxing open day, nice but less visitors than previous years, maybe the Bank Holiday is not the best as there are lots of other events. However, it was a success with smiley faces and hopefully some new members - we will see!

The wind was a pain, one minute easterly and then westerly so a change of ends was initiated early on by the CFI. Blustery approaches but fantastic views and some good soaring was had by all who flew. Club flying of course did not take place today but the members all rallied around to provide 39 visitors with a great experience, thanks to all that contributed and gave up their flying time in aid of the Club.

Tomorrow's weather not looking so good - let's hope the forecast is wrong. - Lisa Humphries

Thursday 27th April

It was a lovely bright start with the light wind just to the west of north, and all the kit and several private owners were ready to go with the first launch just before 10:00am.
But after just 7 launches, the wind had picked up and become a quartering tailwind and had made both launches and landings difficult, so there was a swift change of ends before continuing.
We managed another 10 winches and aerotows into good soarable streets before the windsock swung round yet again. So there was a call for a quick lunch to see what would happen in the next half-hour. In the event, the wind had now stabilised back to the North west and the upper frontal cloud had filled in all the gaps. So after another rapid change of ends we continued launching with everyone feeling the increasingly cold wind. Amazingly we managed a total of 35 launches with all the changes, and several quite reasonable local soaring flights.- J&P

Wednesday 26th April

Another good Wednesday, (not quite as exciting as last week), but nevertheless very soarable up to 4,000ft.
Ron was debating  if the weather was suitable for a cross-country, Pete Startup decided it was and also Eric and Paul Medlock decided to rig, in the event it was a good decision - Pete 230  flew to Mendip and Wells followed by a swift Club 100.
Plenty of cloud streets (John Street)
Most of the time it was possible to get away from a cable, if you were in the right place at the right time, at other times there was ferocious sink about that managed to deposit you back on the ground in five minutes.
John Sillett preparing to fly a Trial lesson (John Street)
There were two Trial lesson flights and JB took his daughter Alice up for a long flight in the DG505. - John Street.

Sunday 23rd April

With only a few members at the club early Ron Johns (DI) soon had the launch point set up in the NE corner, and proceeded with some challenging cable breaks in the very light cross wind, good experience for all!

By lunch time the first signs of lift started to appear as Mike Sloggett took over from Ron, with this a few private syndicates brought their gliders to the launch point and soaring began!

Pete (230) Martin ( KMV ) and Simon (SM ) headed off to the East with Pete turning Crewkerne  followed by Tiverton (Club 100K ), Martin also turning Crewkerne then enjoying the sea breeze before returning to North Hill, Simon continued to Dorchester and returned for 120kms (ish).
Nice looking clouds at Dorchester (Simon Minson)
Congratulations to Ellie for adding another 5 solos in the Junior. Mark Wallis and Rick Andrews enjoyed ~1½ hours each in the Juniors. Robin W-F in JPT had the longest flight of nearly 3 hours. There were a total of 28 winch launches and 7 aerotows. We welcomed Manos and Neil who had soaring trial lessons.
Opportunity for a photoshoot - Best of British (John Burrow)

Thanks to Guy for driving the Pawnee today, and all who helped out on the field! - Simon Minson

ICL at Halesland - Day 2 
The day started cool with little signs of sun and RASP's optimistic outlook for an 11:00am start was not going to happen. Team North Hill was depleted to just Wyn Davies LS7 Intermediate, Task reduced to Halesland, Trowbridge, Lyneham,Devizes, Halesland 132km.

Michael Fawcett came along to crew and was rewarded with no field landings to deal with plus a flight in the Rotax  Falke with Ian Mitchell.

(Reduced) team photo (Matt Williamson)

We all waited patiently for signs that the improvement would come, and there were mermerings at 1pm that the task would be scrubbed if there was no improvement by 1.30,
A quarry is always worth a try for a thermal (Wyn Davies)

The improvement came - the tasks were reduced and the grid quickly launched. With us all setting off fairly close together it was fun to be flying with 2 or 3 other gliders to help find the best lift. By the end of the task there were very strong energy lines which made for a reasonably brisk  flight, with a few of us landing straight in from the final glide. - Wyn Davies
 

Preliminary Scores are:
Novice: 
MGC  - 1 point
Wyvern - 1 point

Intermediate:
MGC 67.1kph - 6 points
Wyvern 66.2kph - 5 points
DSGC 62.8kph - 4 points
DGS 174km - 3 points
BWND  161km - 2 points

Pundit:
BWND 70.4kph - 6 points
Wyvern 59.7kph - 5 points

Overall position after Round 1  (Halesland)
1st Wyvern  26 points
2nd BWND 18 points
3rd  DSGC 17 points
4th MGC 16 points
5th DGS 6 points

Well done all. 

Saturday 22nd April

Having spent the morning at home catching up with housework, occaisonally looking at spot the gliders,  I decided to deliver eggs to the club and have a cuppa. The conditions on arrival looked very inviting and as there was a K21 parked up I thought a solo flight was well overdue. A winch launch with very little wind to 1000ft QFE straight into a 4 knot thermal and soon I was at cloud base 3700ft QFE. As it was an unexpected flight I didnt take my phone so no lovely pictures but just under an hour and had to land as I was well overdue my time for the ‘short trip to the club’
Turned out nice in the end (Stu Procter)
There were few members around today (with the ICL leg at Mendip GC)  but  Rowan in the morning and Steve W  in the afternoon were  kept busy with training flights, Stu and James hankering after aerotows and several private owners flying the Club 100.  Thanks to everyone for keeping the show running. 43 flights in total with Pete Startup turning  Yeovil  - Mudford Gate during his 3 hour flight.
A really lovely afternoon, let's hope the weather is as good for open weekend! - Lisa Humphries

ICL at Halesland
Our team for Saturday was Matt Williamson ASW20 Novice, Pete Bennett K6 Intermediate and Wyn Davies LS7 Pundit. There were  good conditions with tasks:
Novice Halesland - Mere - Trowbridge - Halesland (99 km)
Intermediate Halesland - Frome - Badminton - Trowbridge - Halesland (125 km)
Pundit: Halesland - Kilminton - Badminton - Longleat - Halesland (151 km)
Party time at Halesland (Southwest Soaring Community)
Pete Bennett ended up in a field, Matthew and Wyn made it around.
Preliminary Scores are:
Novice: 
DSGC 50.5kph - 6 points
MGC 49.1kph - 5 points
Wyvern 48.9kph - 4 points

Intermediate:
BWND 67.5kph - 6 points
Wyvern 57.4kph - 5 points
MGC 56.8kph - 4 points
DGS 55.7kph - 3 points
DSGC 79.2km - 2 points

Pundit:
Wyvern 74.8kph - 6 points
DSGC 54.5kph - 5 points
BWND 117.8km - 4 points

Overall position after Day 1
1st Wyvern  15 points
2nd DSGC 13 points
3rd BWND 10 points
4th MGC 9 points
5th DGS 3 points

Well done all.

Thursday 20th April

What a difference a day makes......! with a similar synoptic situation, yesterday was wall-wall cross-country conditions  and today a weakening tail end of a warm front in the high pressure left us under cloud all day and with no wind to speak of  - it didn't move. 
The morning consisted of discussions and replays of yesterday's flights and some words about the weather, and in the afternoon we were able to get some winch launches to 1200ft. In a carefully monitored moment, we were also able to fly one of the Trial lessons (although not to the MIle High level.)

At the end of such a rubbish weather day, there were masses of Instructors around as they had gathered for an Instructors meeting. - J&P

Wednesday 19th April

A day of much promise, with a lot of early private glider rigging activity, the field was set up for an Easterly with much enthusiasm, all the club fleet taken out of the hangar and walked up to the southwest corner.
The sky looked good with high cumulus forming quite early, but the first few flights had difficulty staying in the lift and were soon on the ground.
All eyes were on Ron Johns and Phil Morrison who had 711 ASH25 on the aerotow line early and was forecasting a 500k day.
Nice cumulus clouds (John Street)
The winch launched gliders started contacting good lift about 11:30am after that most gliders found lift without difficulty as there were good strong thermals at the top of the launch. Just about the time that the Lashamites started arriving to turn Hembury Hill and beyond!
The cloudbase topped out between 4,500 and 5,000ft with silver height easily obtainable for those who needed it. Congratulations to Ray Dodd for his Silver height.
There were few members left to run the field, with four two-seaters  and both Juniors all in the air at the same time.
And some wave late afternoon (John Street)
Robert was kept busy with all the aerotows, helped later on by Pete Warren and Stu, there was some interesting landings when the wind suddenly decided to do a 180 degree reversal with the sea air.
It was nice to see Dave Reilly flying again with JB who managed a short cross-country along the convergence, it was a very successful day with a lot of happy pilots. - John Street.

Cross-country flying
Ron & Phil completed their 529kms - Launceston - Candover - Didcot in 5hr 34, Wyn Davies W7 completed 322kms O/R to Lasham in 4hr 50, and Pete and Jill Harmer (leaving a bit later followed the energy lines) for 253kms Salisbury - Longleat - Tiverton in 3hr.

Sunday 16th April

On a day when many chocolate boxes across the country were being opened to celebrate Easter the day was a bit as Forrest Gump would say - 'gliding (life) is like a box of chocolates, you do not know what you are going to get'.

During the morning in particular, and to be fair like any other gliding day, one glider would find itself launched straight into some lift whether thermal or ridge and the next glider would find itself launched into heavy 'sink' and be almost immediately into circuit.
Lift and heavy sink in the circuit (Jill Harmer)
The morning had started with a very limited flying list but steadily and surely the number of members on site increased with Michael Fawcett and Andreas Kramer making welcome returns after extended periods of time away from North Hill.

After careful consideration by John Sillett (Duty Instructor) re the best way of protecting the field in setting up the launch run for the present/forecast wind direction, flying was under way mid-morning with the K21s and a Junior in use. Cloudbase was only around 1500' initially, evidently thermic in places but with suspected wave interference and ridge all mixing up the odds potential for soaring flights.
Wave clouds and an empty launch point (Jill Harmer)
Matt Williamson (ASW20 611) and James Flory (ASW19 877) both rigged and then launched looking to make the most of the conditions and Dave Clements and John Sillett shared the flying in (B4 CVV). Good progress was made with the flying list during the morning but with a limited number of members, and particularly those able to winch, flying was stopped for a lunch break.
Typical Devon countryside and clouds (Mike Sloggett)
Meanwhile Ron Johns and Daniel Johns had rigged (ASH25 - 711) and with wave clouds all around the Club, albeit at distance, after lunch the ASH was aerotowed to the East of the airfield with a plan of getting into the wave which they achieved to the base of the airway, albeit the wave was not as  good as it looked.
Ron & Dan in ASH getting above the clouds (Ron Johns)
After lunch the soaring conditions improved with successful completion of the flying list during the afternoon ahead of increasing cloud cover late in the day - and with the last few flights of Easter Sunday enjoying wide areas of 'straight line' lift all over the sky.

During the day a trial lesson was completed together with several family and friends flights, with the Pawnee in regular use.

All in all a pretty enjoyable box of chocolates today, if you launched at the right time... - Mike Sloggett

Sun 16th April - Talgarth

An early start with threat of Welsh heat haze later in the day saw the Eagle first on the line. New arrival Stirling was the nominated rear gunner and had his first experience of being towed straight at the mountain. 
Stirling Melhuish in the back of the Eagle (John Pursey)
 With increasing top cover the Ventus and Eagle worked away on the local slopes with a wave starting to set up and tease just as the approaching "heat haze" started making things more exciting. 
Cloud on the hill (John Pursey)
JB landed but the Talgarth K13 launched and joined the Eagle dodging the cloud which was by now on top of the hill. Within a couple of beats the cloud was starting to march down the hill so both gliders retired to the ground. A very pleasant 2 and half hours in the air followed by several hours in the best 4x4 by far as JB gave a guided tour of the Pandy ridge. - John Pursey

Saturday 15th April

After a slow start waiting for the weather to improve flying was underway just after elevenses, a reasonable list and enough to keep Mark, Stuart and Rowan busy. 

There were also various aerotows with a couple of trial lessons and the landings improved in the Pawnee as the day went on, we have some score cards on order for our entertainment.  (Ed: the undercarriage bungees and shock absorbers were changed on the annual, - suspension is a bit stiffer than previously.) 

Conditions were very blustery in the brisk northwesterly wind and the approach proved exciting for most of us. There were some longer flights during the afternoon as the sky  became  very soarable. Pete Startup did his usual disappearing act (3hrs 32) under the cloud streets and completing  Club 100km Crewkerne - Tiverton. Several other private owners flew, Robert Lee DKU, Andrew Logan FMS, Dave Clements CVV (birthday boy!) and the Faircloughs DFK. 
Late afternoon streets (Jill Harmer)

Flying continued until the early evening and a nice Easter Saturday with 40 launches. The first swallows are back at North Hill (a few days later than usual - must have been a headwind!) - Lisa Humphries