Saturday 30th August

All day the sky was overcast, this didn't hamper spirits or the lift!
The ridge worked well all day, with regular thermals making things interesting. Pete St had the longest flight of the day with over 2 hours, staying up through the shower that brought most down.
Considering the sky there was a surprising number of private gliders, Pete St in 230, Andrew L in his K6, Martin and Stu in their LS3 and Mike F in the Pik.
John P pressed on through the huge flying list in the morning, with help from Lisa. In the afternoon Ian was helped by Stuart, Martin, Robin and Roly all instructing! Thanks to all the members today for generating so many smiling faces and happy students! Plenty of people were also picking up the required skills to help out on the ground.
Welcome to the brothers, Rory and Owen, and James from the Portsmouth naval gliding club.
Just on queue, as the hanger doors closed the sky brightened up revealing plentiful lenticulars! - Matt W

Cross-country week - not!

Would anyone believe that there can be a whole week of non- cross-country weather in August-  well it is the West country!
So having carefully watched the weather every day for any potential small slots, we called it a day. 
The Club would like to thank Justin and Gillian for devoting their week to our budding cross-country pilots, we are sure that the briefings on Monday will have helped to some extent.

Thursday 28th August

The kit was readied, but due to the low cloud, we took the opportunity to spend time doing groundschool for much of the morning. George was invited to do a notam and weather brief for the day. The forecast showed cold front clearing midday with low cloud and showery afternoon. By the end of the briefing, when we put the blinds up, the cold front had been almost non-existent and more than an hour early and the cloud was clearing.
The launchpoint was hurriedly set up and the afternoon saw a good amount of local soaring, with 3 two-seaters, 2 Juniors and 4 private owners, however it was just local as even Matt couldn't get beyond Cullompton in the strengthening wind.
R37 was rigged, thanks to Ian M and helpers for completing annual inspection, minor woodwork repair and nose and tail wheel assemblies.Well done to Paul M who passed his Bronze exam at the first sitting.
The sun always shines on North Hill

Monday 25th August - Cross-country week

Not the best of starts, low cloud and / or rain most of the day and just after most people left the sun came out - standard for North Hill.
Anyway, with Justin leading,  we got some basic introductions and aims sorted out, and talked about the various preparations needed for successful cross-country flying.

Sunday 24th August

It looked like a so-so day with a fair amount of top cover, so most of the members stayed at  home. Nevertheless, the remaining hearty crew took advantage of the quiet day - with spare Gliders and Instructors and organised extra Trial lessons to the three already pre-booked, and sent everyone home with a smile on their face. Andreas stayed up in the Junior for an hour, and all the members wanting flights got their fill. Thanks particularly to Paul S., Simon J. and Peter W. for going the extra mile. - Tom

Saturday 23rd August

A good forecast, but the heavy frontal clouds had to clear the south west first. By lunchtime the sky looked really promising with a light but gusty north westerly wind and streeting cumulus.
Training flights had started early and the two-seaters and the Junior were busy all day. The cross-country pilots covered most of Devon and Dorset with various tasks following the energy. The visibility was spectacular and we could see the smoke trails from the Red Arrows and other displays at the Dawlish Air Day.
The Red Arrows join the circuit at Exeter
Matt in M5  had the longest flight, went East first but managed to catch up the rain, so after turning Sherborne completed a zigzag of 346km.

6 flights posted to the BGA Ladder by North Hill pilots

Two seater Comp - Pocklington - Friday

A day with frustratingly poor conditions in the direction of the task meant Arnhem was recreated with even the big wings scurrying back. BBB was one of those looking for a relight. Time for a tossed salad with JBs own dressing and a rethink.
Yellow Eagle suits
To stay ahead in the battle of the wooden gliders, a launch was taken and with my daughter Jane in the back we set off. What followed was a climb and a final glide out to a field near York. Time for father daughter bonding... Yellow Eagle suits at briefing to get the best wood prize - 1 km the winning margin!  - JP

Friday 22nd August - Course week

It was quite misty first thing , but it soon cleared as the wind picked up and the cold front moved further away.  The Course members were treated to Pete B providing a Notam and weather briefing.

Course flying got going, and congratulations to Douglas who, after resoling earlier in the week, converted to the Junior and then soared for nearly an hour on his second flight. 

Cloudbase rose and Pete B soared the K6 until the seat got the better of him. Matt in M5 and Pete St in 230 took spare cables and completed a quick downwind dash to Dorchester and then a rather slower push up wind to Dulverton for 178km. Adrian in FDX, Eric in G29 and Pete & Jill in OL also took spare cables for local soaring.

Course flying continued all day, with Andria, Richard and Rob all getting close to their personal goals of going solo, and Josh moving forward with his training and taking the prize for the most flying in the week.
Course photo
Thanks to the Instructors - Ian assisted by Pete, Mike, John and James and the Helpers - Richard, Ian and Dave, for a really good bumper bundle week of flying.

The new online Purchase and booking system for Trial lessons is now available on the DSGC website, thanks to Jill, Rob, Mark for getting it sorted after many months of toil, and to Paul for proof-reading.

Thursday 21st August

There was a lot of cloud this morning, although it was slightly soarable beneath it. But with very little sun, it was rather chilly, and the wind picked up westerly. Peter B had his first solo aerotow in the K6. Ollie flew the K13 solo.
Ollie does another star jump

There were 80 winch launches today with the Course and Thursday club working well together.

Wednesday 20th August

All available gliders were out early and the second August course was soon under way followed closely by the the Wednesday club. 
What a fantastic afternoon! after a changeable morning with little soaring the weather changed quickly and dramatically after lunch.
Cloud streets as far as the eye can see, and IS28 returned from travels to Belgium
  Pete St in 230 followed the NW/SE streets downwind first to Beaminster and then back and forwards for 217km,  Eric in G29, Jeff T in 380 and Peter B in K6 all had long local soaring flights. Pete & Jill in OL enjoyed the purple heather on Exmoor turning Wimbleball and Barnstaple.
There was the usual quota of trial lessons.
The cloud streets set up giving easy soaring up to over 4,000ft the two course K21s were still soaring until after 6.00pm.  - JSt

Junior Nationals - Lasham
Day 5, a 300km task was set, and at the start this seemed very possible. Cloudbase was at 3200ft by 11am and rose to about 4500ft throughout the day. The first 50km to the first TP took far too long as my pda decided to fail on me and I wasted a lot of time getting it to work. The next 70km to the north went well with some good lines of lift, but by the time I had turned the TP,  it had all died and gone south - so back into scratching mode... I got up to cloudbase eventually and went all the way back south and then cut west to avoid a big blue gap near Upavon. By this time all the decent climbs had gone, I was on glide to base but was told to push back north to complete the 80km remaining of the task, after some very long glides and weak climbs I decided to call it a day, but I left that decision a bit late and just couldn't get back on glide so ended up in a field about 15km to the north of Lasham. - Liam

Pocklington - Day 4
JB and Nick Jones launched into a promising sky and headed west to York en route for Sutton Bank (first TP) .  However, having being lured into a big blue patch  by one dodgy looking cloud we found ourselves on base leg for a nice stubble field when the vario perked up and we spurned the approach in favour of a climb back to cloud base! (E by gum, that were one 'ell of a climb!)
On to Sutton Bank and from there headed to North Allerton arriving in the rain:-(
We thought we were dooomed so headed off on track anyway -nothing ventured nothing gained - and after half an hour of scratching finally won the sympathy of a passing buzzard who kindly showed  us where the thermal really was! We managed to climb back to cloud base and headed for home to learn that we had achieved the accolade of 'Best Wood' and 4th overall. 
Barbeque weather
After derigging we were treated to the culinary delights of J P's BBQ Kung Poa Chicken - an awesome concoction despite his consumption of a bottle of red during its creation. - JB

2-Seater Comp Pocklington Part 1

Some may say its grim ooop north and the weather has been playing its part unlike the warm welcome from the locals. The first day was blown out as was team BBB's tent, thankfully the Northern convoy had included a caravan. 

Day 2 was flyable though a challenge and JB needed all his years of experience to keep the Eagle soaring through the rain. Skirting the showers we made the Tp at PCT and a  stab at return. Steady sink led to setting up an approach into Burn gliding club but this morphed into a save as an unexpected climb spoilt the approach but under a dead sky it was only a matter of time. The new trailer proved its worth especially with the best four by four by far pulling it.   BBB won the day for wood.
Eagle trailer with Supacat engineering
Day 3 looked more promising and there was an early grid. It proved a false start as the comp director held til the sky supported better local soaring despite a booming sky on track. The forecast showers then appeared and the day started to slip. A moment of improvement  triggered launch of half the grid before rain stopped play. By late afternoon another moment of improvement allowed us stragglers to launch....into rain. A similar start to the previous day skirting the rain and a brave plunge across the blue meant Tp1 was ticked off but as I crossed a power station on track P2 did point out the chimney was technically the same height as us... 
Checking the height of the cooling towers

An ensuing low climb was only a temporary reprieve but satisfying as a Bocian was left to land beneath us. Another field and 2nd wood glider for the day. 
Big fields in the Wolds

BBB is still just ahead for the class with day 4 hopefully the day of the week. - JP

Tuesday 19th August - Course week

The second day of the course week saw the launch point set up in the South East corner of the field in anticipation of a forecast North Westerly wind.
With a promising sky and a good forecast the course flying was underway soon after 9:30 and then apart from a lunch break it was flying from start to finish of the day with thermals providing good lift to a cloud base of around 3000' but as ever with strong sink in between. 
The ridge was also working 'here and there' to allow gliders to 'hang around' waiting for the thermals to arrive. Despite evident heavy showers passing by to the North and the South of the airfield the day's flying was not interrupted by any rain.
Alongside the course flying, Tom and Pete St had some flying fun in their private gliders, Ian took the opportunity to fly the Junior whilst both K21s were airborne and Matt took the DG 505 to show his daughter Maddie various local landmarks from the air.
Paul C and David C took the Falke off for a flight to North Devon and back using the engine for just 45 minutes of a 3 hour flight which reflects how good the lift was in various parts of the sky.
By the end of the day each course member had had a lot of flying and all are making good progress with their individual goals for the week. - MS

Junior Nationals - Lasham
I got around! But my logger failed... 175km was set and the forecast was good. I struggled to the first turnpoint, getting low for a while but after that I had a really good run into Blandford, aided by the seabreeze front with some fantastic 7 knot climbs above the cloud to about 5200' QFE. Then the first 20km back was a bit trickier with the seabreeze gone and most of the climbs gone. I scratched around for a while, letting the wind bring me closer to the turning point and climbed about 700ft back to 2000ft over the top of a field with 4 gliders in it.  I managed to float to a decent amount of sky and found a booming 7 knot climb back up to 3500ft which put me back on glide and managed to finish just before a rain shower over Lasham. 
Fantastic day out - but no trace, so no score but oh well if my trace had worked I would have came in about 20th. - Liam

Monday 18th August - Course week

The second August Course started bright and sunny and full of optimism, but after the course introductions  a patch of moist air came through producing orographic cloud and drizzle, but it soon cleared to an overcast 2000ft cloudbase, enabling flying to get going.
After lunch, the sky changed yet again  the top cover broke and there was a couple of hours of 6 knot thermals up to 3000ft.  All the course members made a good start towards their personal objectives.

Junior Nationals - Lasham
Once again lots of rain, 175km tasked. Conditions were hard but I was feeling confident, I followed a gaggle of some of the better pilots for the first 30km up to the edge of the showers, but at this point I was about 60 degrees off course. We all went through  a tiny gap in the showers and just  got through to the other side - sort of climbing - but then my wings got wet.
I was really hoping that the rain would have cleared the air behind it and thermals would have been popping but I got the timing a bit wrong, I had lost everyone by the time I went through the shower, so had noone to follow, so I headed off to Newbury that had the sun shining on it, but was unable to get any lift so into another field I went, slowly getting further  from home and came 22nd out of the 46ish entered. - Liam

Sunday 17th August

The morning started with low cloud and drizzle and after the usual optimism that it would clear by lunchtime, most members had given up and gone home. But the Trial lesson booked for 12:30 decide to hang on and her perseverance paid off as by 3pm, the sky had a cleared and thermals were popping. 

Pete W,  today's tuggie - and keen as ever to go the extra mile - got the Pawnee out and Guy, today's Duty Instructor gave Elizabeth a fantastic half-hour Trial lesson for her 70th birthday. Elizabeth came down beaming  from which she loved being able to take the controls and was so enthusiastic that her partner Peter also decided to experience gliding. 
Visitor Peter being tempted by the wonderful sky
 Elizabeth and Peter were over the moon that we were able to give them such an enjoyable afternoon. 

By 16:30, the wind had strengthened and the kit was put away.

You have to be here to fly........ Heather

Junior Nationals - Lasham
There was lots of rain as the cold front came through, but it was forecast to be soarable in the afternoon. So by 3pm, we were briefed and ready to launch into a 25knot headwind on a 85km into-wind task. 
I struggled massively in the start zone and climbed to the base of 3500ft and pushed off into the distance. I had a choice of 2 streets to follow, one was very overdeveloped and raining in places and about 5km to the north was one that looked much less overdeveloped, as if it was just starting with nice white puffy cumulus. I decided that the latter was the better option and so pushed to the north. By the time I got there, I was really low, and I just got lower and lower and ended up in a field about 20km away. - Liam

Saturday 16th August

It was a good forecast, but not many members, and the promising looking start soon changed to spreadout. By lunchtime, the north westerly wind picked up a bit, and blue sky reappeared with the sunshine producing some decent thermals, tempting some private owners to take a launch. The ridge was working reasonably well, and at times the sky got quite black, but it turned out to be soarable underneath to 2000ft.  Pete St had the longest flight with 2:34.

Congratulations to Mike K on his first solo, and soaring on his second flight. 
Mike enjoys his first solo
Thanks to Mark and James for helping out on the afternoon Instructing slot. 

It was good to see Nick today - he was out of hospital on a day release for good behaviour! - but he looks forward to more visitors next week.

Junior Nationals - Lasham
First Briefing
There were two tasks set, one 200km and the other 150km with one of the turnpoints brought in by 25km. The forecast was good, but with top cover sure to come in at about 4pm giving us 4 - 5 hours of flying. But as the story always seems to go the top cover came in early, getting away was easy and soaring locally for the hour before they opened the start line flew by (pun intended) but the jump north over Basingstoke was tricky.  It was soarable at Lasham and it was soarable about 15km north, I restarted twice - just trying to get enough energy to cross the gap comfortably, but in the end when I went for it along with several others we all ended up in odd fields around Basingstoke. 
Field no. 1 - looks plenty big enough
I think about half of the Juniors landed out... I'm not alone! - Liam (ed: Happy Birthday Liam -solo 3 years ago)

Thursday 14th August

There was a slightly dubious forecast, so all the kit was prepared, however before the launch point could be set up the sky became rather black and  the first downpour arrived. This was followed by another and another and another.....
Not wanting to sit around drinking too much tea, the Thursday regulars decided to renew both winch cables, but getting the timing right between the heavy showers proved impossible, and most had to dry out in the Clubhouse.
Many hands make light work

Wild West

Initial inspection
The Junior trailer received a springclean? from Liam and Ollie, and then the Junior was prepared and derigged for the trip to Lasham for Liam flying in the Junior Nationals. The resplendent new Eagle trailer arrived, and was checked for size, getting ready for it's adventure to Pocklington and Sutton Bank. - Regular reports are expected from both trips please.

By lunchtime it was clear that the frequency of showers and by now the state of the field was not going to play ball so the kit was all dried and put away.   

After a day when the DSGC website became increasingly unavailable after the intermittent problems this week, it looks like it might have been recovered this evening.

Met Office evening #2 - Wednesday 13 August

The weather was looking good and the BBQ was on track to feed the hungry.

Despite a last minute reduction in numbers an extra two employees were found and eventually 12 people flew with 3 having a second flight.
Some of the Met Office posse!

In total, this year Met Office evenings have flown 25 people. Thanks to the DSGC organisers, instructors and helpers for providing their assistance.
View from the DG-505 above the ridge

"Watching the gliders take off is fun, but nothing can prepare you for the acceleration on take-off, the amazing views of the Devon countryside and excitement of actually taking part in a flight."
Adrian Wood - Met Office

Wednesday 13th August

A dull and damp start but with a reasonable forecast of a brisk northwesterly wind with a good prospect of thermals, the flying list was huge.
Met. flights at about 10.30 indicated a cloud base of 900 ft so a good time for card check flights, soon we were getting full height launches with good lift on the ridge and extended flights.
Roly flew all the visitors and John St and Pete W worked their way through the flying list, the wind gradually picked up to blue card making the two-seater list longer.
With the prospect of good conditions Matt, Eric and Pete St all flew their own gliders and had long flights, we managed to get through the list.
Waiting to launch
 The ridge lift and thermals were very strong making for a very interesting and rewarding day, we handed over to the Met Office  for their trial lesson evening. - JSt

DSGC Website

We are currently experiencing technical difficulties with the DSGC website. Technical support advise us that the intermittent fault should be cleared during Saturday 16th August. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Saturday 9th August

Despite the weather forecast we had a good day today. Mark C, Stuart, Eric and myself were kept busy flying most of the day. 
Ruth showing good lookout
In the afternoon we had some good soaring flights and flights I had with Ruth, Mike and Andreas had to be air-braked down as the lift was so good.  
Andreas following the Tug
 Chris C turned up early and in his capacity today of DLM kept us all in order. Also a couple of trial lesson flights which went very well. Several solo pilots also had nice flights in the Juniors.  - Lisa

Long Mynd - Friday 8 Aug - Last Day

Paul S, Dave C, Andrew L, Adrian P, Chris C and Jack C-W (after one last game of pool with Vincent) had all left by this morning.

After 50 launches and 40 hours flying, Mark C and Steve W decided to have a relaxing day prior to the long jaunt Costa hopping back to Devon. In the morning, a quick trip to Church Stretton for coffee, pastry and a browse around Mark's favourite antique shop found even Tim P and Matthew W drinking coffee in celebration of an amazing week! We then headed back to the airfield to de-rig the DG505 and Discus. Steve splashed out on a guitar! Standing outside the shop he played a few tunes, if only we had a hat on the floor!

Once the morning mist had burnt off and conditions looked more promising, Henry and Paul set off - Paul for an hour or so, finding himself at 0 ft QFE with a field picked. It was at this point he realised that Matthew W would have been hopping up and down getting all agitated at not having flown since yesterday afternoon. Once the seriousness of the situation had sunk in, he sorted himself out and got home. This meant that Matthew could finally stop badgering Tim P to fly the K23.

Henry had a couple of hours and also got down to 0 ft final glide with a field picked. Later, he practised 20+ km glides back to the airfield to test his trust in his flight computer.

Matthew W followed Paul L in SF27 and after an initial struggle, had a couple of hours touring the local area searching in vain for wave.

By this time Mark C had converted Tim P to the K23 (a K21 minus 1 seat) and sent him off for a couple of short flights.

Once everyone had returned and packed up, the inevitable journey home began.

We've had an amazing week so many thanks on behalf of everyone to Mark and Steve for making it happen and working so hard, and of course the weather gods. Thanks also to the Long Mynd staff - Helen, Jane, Dave, Vincent, Simon, the winch driver (Rich?), Clive, Roger (T21) plus anyone else we've forgotten.

The veterans say it was the best Mynd trip ever. Staggering!

Friday 8th August - Course week

The forecast for Friday had changed several times this week and this morning was going for 4-5 hours of soarable conditions. However, we did have a good day with increasing top cover and very little soaring to detract from circuit training.
The course members all progressed well during the week despite some lost time on Monday and Tuesday. It was a good  friendly group of Junior members and a couple of Dads, supported by their families.
A special mention for Pete B  - having achieved his Silver height on Sunday, and not quite 5 hours on Thursday, completed his Bronze flying skills test and passed most of his first attempt at a Bronze paper. And well done to CFI Pete for passing 6000 instructional flights today (over 39 years).
A pyramid of fun!
Thanks to Chris and Pete for Instructing and William, Aston and Jill the  Course Helpers and to Richard H for being a patient Driving Instructor for the youngsters.

Congratulations to Ian H for completing his cross-country endorsement with the field landing exercises in the Falke today with Stu.

Long Mynd - Thursday 7 August

Today started well. So well in fact, that it has been possible to confirm yesterday's unconfirmed rumour - Adrian smiled.  In fact today at breakfast he was smiling, singing and laughing - all witnessed by a large number of people.
Matthew W SF27 had an hour of 'hard work' local soaring in the morning. Meanwhile everyone else hung around like vultures bothering him on the radio to assess conditions. Eventually Henry F, Paul S, Steve W, Paul L and Adrian P all decided the time was right and went off on separate cross country missions. Steve went into Wales ventured past Oswestry and back followed by Newtown and back - approx 160 km. Paul S went to Newtown and back followed by some bimbling around the valley enjoying the view - around 3 hours in total. Henry F did a 96 km out and return. Paul L fell out with both his available GPS systems and followed his nose home after almost reaching Carno, later he discovered he'd achieved silver height! Dave C had a few launches and failed to stay up before being nagged/encouraged by Matthew W, who pointed out his chances of staying up were slim while stood on the ground. He then managed a more successful flight despite not 'getting away'.

Roger was back with the T21 for an all day session. Chris C, Jack CW, Matthew W all had flights - Jack and Matthew both soaring. Thanks to Roger for the amount of pleasure flights he's completed, although he appears to enjoy it just as much as his passengers. Matthew donated a bottle of red to help lubricate his/his gliders joints.

Dave W and Mark C had a good flight of a couple of hours to the mountains just short of Porthmadog Wales.

Tim P and Mark C launched at 4pm and following a 0.6 knot climb above site eventually reached a height where conditions improved and achieved 5300 ft QNH. They headed west and got to just short of Welshpool on a mini cross-country practice - thermalling techniques, cloud picking, etc.  Any spare height got burnt off on a 130 knot final glide back to Long Mynd in the early evening sunshine.  

The evening began with more model flying (obviously), then half the group enjoyed steaks cooked by the amazing Helen/Dave combo and half went to Church Stretton for fish'n'chips/kebabs.

Congratulations to Dave Clements - nominated as 'most improved' pilot over the holiday.

After today's final flight Mark used an alternative word to 'staggering' to describe the day/week so far but Tim couldn't remember what it was. All that matters is it meant the same!

Thursday 7th August - Course week

A bright and early start today with extended circuits before 10:00. Pete B was the third launch at 10:19 in the Junior with an attempt at 5 hours. Conditions developed nicely with cloudbase at 2700 ft and some crosswind streets, however some Cirrus started getting thicker and the Cumulus started to disappear. 
By lunchtime, the Cumulus was all to the East of us although it was still nicely soarable most of the time. 
Pete B got caught by one of the difficult spells and was on the ground after 4 hr 13 min but still with the longest flight of the day. Ollie re-soloed after about a year away at Uni. 
Happy Ollie after resoloing
Ron in ASW20 611 turned Sturminster Newton and Pete St in Discus 230 managed an O/R to Salisbury 212 km making use of the convergence along the south coast to get back. 
Enjoying the sunshine

Once again the Club members only had one two-seater to play with, but with some careful planning particularly around lunch time, John Si worked hard to get everyone flown. We welcomed Dan a visitor from Wittering who we hope will join us in October.
A big party in the snug at the Keeper's

In the evening the Course members, Instructors, Helpers, Hangers on and Families enjoyed a lovely evening at Keeper's Cottage, with speeches and presents.

Wednesday 6th August - Course week

Wednesday started with a bit of drizzle and low cloud, and both Course and Club members were treated to a lecture on thermals by Chris W  but with a good forecast we got the kit out and set the field up for a N/W launch.
As soon as we were set up the cloud was high enough to fly and beginning to get soarable.
Pete B was first to soar at 10:16 and it quickly turned into very strong lift with pilots reporting off-the-clock climbs.
It did over develop a couple of times but good cloud streets set up enabling flights to go beyond the motorway without turning. With the Course members taking priority on the K21's,  the Club members struggled a little without the DG505 which is at the Long Mynd and R37 which was unserviceable and derigged and put in the workshop.
Peter Sm  flew a mile-high trial lesson,  it was soarable until after 6.00pm - JSt

Long Mynd - Staggering - Wednesday 6 August

The weather gods have progressed from smiling to grinning like Cheshire cats. To start the day, a reasonable westerly meant the ridge was providing enough lift for 20+ minute flights. This enabled some 'ridge checks' to be carried out. First up, Mark C with David C for a quick review of ridge rules and the 'new' (to us) circuit.  the flight ended with Mark demonstrating a beat up. Next up Matthew W flew with Mark. Again, further beat-ups were demonstrated.

By late morning the ridge conditions had improved markedly. Almost anyone that went near it could stay up as long as required. Mark C took Tim P out for his first real ridge session to embed the rules and new circuit pattern. A considerable number of beat-ups were demonstrated by Mark. The club instructor Dave Crowson demonstrated how to really work the ridge - he was spotted at 50 ft above the tree tops in the valley (-550 ft), slowly creeping up the face. During later canteen chat he seemed rather surprised that we all found it so amazing.

A quick stop for lunch, and Dave W went off in the 505 with Mark for nearly 2 hours. They ventured 20+ km across the valley and paid a visit to Welshpool. After returning, the flight ended up on the ridge with Mark demonstrating further beat-ups, and a few (nearly) touch-and-gos off the face of the ridge after Dave Crowson suggested it over lunch.

Henry F was spurred on by Mark C (fed up with ridge running) / Dave W on a 20 km out and return to the promised land near Montgomery / Welshpool area. (A ridge which had been mentioned at the bar the night before. Neither found the ridge and made a hasty retreat home. Henry continued on his 5h30 flight.
In the meantime Matthew W, Adrian P, Paul S, Andrew L, Henry, David C all had stunning ridge and thermal flights - most extending to 3 hours.

Chris Coville took the K23 out for his first and second flight in this type and enjoyed two, 1-hour long flights (at about the time that Mark C was performing ridge beat-ups with Dave W - see above).

Mark C then flew Vincent (an Italian student helping out at the club). After Mark demonstrated many, many beat-ups, Vincent announced that he'd just experienced the "best flight of his life".

20 people enjoyed an excellent curry in the evening, lovingly cooked by Helen, followed by the now obligatory model flying session on the main ridge. 

In other non-'Mark beating up the ridge' news, Adrian P was heard at the launch point moaning that he'd rather be model flying, however there was a vicious rumour spreading that he may have even smiled at one point today.  It hasn't been substantiated yet… but we're living in hope.

Long Mynd - Tuesday

Non-flying day today - low cloud and rain. This can only mean one thing ... it's a Courtney coffee day. First a visit to Church Stretton and Ginger and Green Coffee House - a rather charming independent little place. Then onwards to Whitchurch to visit the model shop for some geeking, a lesson from Mark on how not-to-get-a-good deal and to purchase some spares. Next up was Shrewsbury for an amble around - more coffee and cake and a replica antique shop that got Mark and Dave W especially excited.

The evening was earmarked for more modelling, following a study of Google maps to identify a suitable site in a southerly. Getting there was a bit of an adventure especially in Adrian's car, but luckily he had the tools in the boot to ease access. Our Googling was successful and the best model flying session yet took place. Even Paul S got to fly! Obviously further entertainment was provided courtesy of Adrian - many a tear (of hilarity) was shed while watching Matthew W (Adrian's model) and Mark C fly an accidental 'synchro pair' head on pass manoeuvre.

Fish'n'Chips from Church Stretton followed by a very interesting talk by Chris C on his adventures whilst working with the Red Arrows finished the day off. Thanks to Chris for taking the time and effort to entertain us and answer questions.

Tuesday 5th August - Course week

Steady rain all morning with a particularly heavy bit at lunchtime meant we spent all morning talking etc on weather, circuits, ridge flying on the south ridge and  wave flying.  

Pik the sheep shelter, before they preferred 19m of Kestrel
The weather cleared after lunch but it took a while before the field drained enough to even walk on (about 20mm so far today). 
A little damp
First launch was just about 16:00 and we thought that we would get 2-3 hours in, but unfortunately the southerly wind brought the orographic cloud in at 17:30. Not before Lizzie and Martin were able to put into practice the soaring on the south ridge (as briefed earlier).

Long Mynd - Monday 4 August

The weather gods appear to have listened - the day started with blue sky and sunshine. Unfortunately the glider gods didn't. The 505 had a flat tail wheel. After an hour of sweating and fly swatting, Dave and Andrew had it fixed. This was mostly thanks to Adrian's stock of a spares which contained a tube (along with pretty much everything we've needed so far this week).

After the delay, we arranged for the use of the club's K21 to expand our 'bandwidth'. This meant as yesterday, everyone flew. Many thanks to the (now legendary) Simon Adlard for agreeing to take Chris C for a launch failure practice, despite only being on site to fly his own glider. Prior to lunch Tim P and Chris C had been cleared to fly solo/club single seaters.

A privately owned T21 was being flown from the site by Roger. 'Bees around a honey pot' was the expression that springs to mind. His flying list quickly became longer than the club's. This was probably helped by the spectacle of some slighly unconventional circuits! Andria M turned into a very excited person indeed, having secured a flight and returned grinning like a cheshire cat.

Roger and Andria in the T21

Into the afternoon, and Henry F (finally), Paul S, Adrian P, Andrew L, Steve W and David C all went off for a fly. Paul and Adrian reported  difficult conditions, and did some 'local bimbling'. Henry ventured further getting away in a poor looking sky for a 2 hour flight. David C had 1hr 40m on his first ever solo flight from the Mynd. Paul L SF27 enjoyed over two hours soaring and Matthew W had a couple of extended circuits. Mark C and Dave W took the 505 for a 2 hour jaunt around the valley followed by some ridge action.

Much amusement was enjoyed into the evening with some model flying. This wasn't much to do with the models but more to do with watching Adrian P squirm as Matthew W performed more and more risky manouvres with his model. Egged on by some ever more enthusiastic hecklers, high speed, low altitude inverted fly-bys followed by some touch-and-gos seemed to keep everyone happy.

Many thanks to Chris C for holding a quick WW1 memorial service later in the evening to remind us of the shocking statistics involved.

Monday 4th August - Course week

It dawned bright and clear with a light south westerly wind, and following an introductory briefing the Course was ready to go before 10:00am. There was buoyancy in the air from the first launch, although it took 2 more launches for the two-seaters to get away. Pete B started soaring in the Junior at 10:16 and enjoyed the longest flight of just over two hours. Eventually Matt and Pete St stopped drinking tea and took spare cables in M5 and 230, but they had missed the best part of the day as some unforecast showers developed over the field just before lunch. Matt and Pete headed off to Exmoor, but then had final glides back into the dead air and drizzle. After lunch, the sky was more overcast but allowed some more circuits before the rain set in at about 15:30. 
230 goes west past Tiverton

25 km from home and there is a wall of cloud between us and the club
There was some debate as to whether the evening group should go ahead or not, but a good call from John Si, against the MO forecast meant that nearly all of the Devon and Somerset Microlight Club flew before the misting canopies stopped play.

Long Mynd - Sunday prayers - Sunday 3 August

After two non flying days, Mark Courtney had drunk the coffee shops in Church Stretton and the surrounding area clean out of coffee. Thankfully today the weather was much more cooperative.

Mark C can sniff out a Costa from 50 miles
Everyone that wanted to fly flew ... just! Matthew W and Paul L were both cleared to fly their SF27, Matthew enjoyed over two hours soaring and Paul little had an extended circuit. David C and Chris C both made good progress towards being cleared for Pilatus B4 and the club single seaters, respectively. Andrew L, Paul S, Adrian P, and Steve W all enjoyed good flights in their own gliders. Mark C also snuck a flight in Steve's Discus in between duties.

Long Mynd from SF27

Thanks to Simon Adlard who winched from 9 till 5! Not forgetting (of course!). Mark C and Steve W who spent a large proportion of their day instructing. A rather splendid meal was enjoyed in the club house at the end of the day with more model flying rounding proceedings off. If our prayers are answered, and the weather gods comply, we're about to have an amazing week. If not, we'll just take instruction from Mark in advanced coffee drinking.

Saturday 2nd August

There was no flying today, but us juniors had a lot of fun cleaning trailers in aid of the Ian Beckett Fund!

Guess whose trailer is this dirty?
Everyone got stuck in and after a few buckets of water had been thrown over particular people, a massive thunderstorm began to go through, which we braved through as it made cleaning the trailers easier -  until we chickened out due to the lightning getting way too close for comfort.

After the storm the sky was beautifully soarable, as we enjoyed a bbq and giving a chance for all the Juniors to get to know each other. Thanks to all those who helped us and to Ollie, Liam, Lizz(y/ie), Toby, Pete, Agnus and Oscar! - Liam

Following his big operation on Thursday, Nick is recovering well and has been moved from Intensive Care to the Dart Ward at Wonford. He is doing well, and now feels well enough to receive visitors. Visiting hours are 14:30 – 16:30 and 18:00 – 20:00. Further updates are available on DSGC Google Groups. - CH

Thursday 31st July

There were forecasts of drizzly troughs and cold fronts to come through during the day, but it was a pleasant start setting up with a south westerly breeze. Initially circuits and launch failures under the low cloudbase until drizzle forced a coffee break which dragged into lunch. By 3pm the sky opened up behind the weak cold front and it became nicely soarable to 2000ft. Longest flight was Chris M on the hangar flight with 28 mins - his first solo soaring flight "I could have stayed there all evening".

Update on Nick - "The operation itself went entirely according to plan, and we hope that he will be out of ICU tomorrow. As soon as we know which ward he is on, and Nick feels up to receiving visitors, I will let you know. As you can imagine, he will love to see lots of his DSGC friends while he is convalescing." CH