Thurs 30th July

The sky was a vivid blue from the start with the wind south south easterly, and the launchpoint was set up in the north west corner. 
Vivid blue sky (Jill Harmer)

Mike Sloggett was flying the booked 2-seater training with first Reuben Buss who resoloed and then Toby Butler.
Reuben Buss back from Durham (Mike Sloggett)

Meanwhile Pete Harmer was putting Ashley Thomas  through final checks before his First Solo.
Congratulations Ashley Thomas - first solo (Mike Sloggett)

Longest flights of the day were from aerotows with Chris Wool and Wyn Davies in Perkoz  who patiently soared the South ridge (45 mins) and George Sanderson in Pegase  (28 mins) who found a little weak wave. 
North Hill in the sunshine (Mike Horwood)

37 flights in all with most only 4-5 mins, thanks everyone. - J&P

Wed 29th July

A small group of Wednesday regulars to start with, but whilst we were setting up the launch point quite a lot of private gliders were getting ready, so it looked as if we were to have a busy day.
Grid setting up (David Clements)
John Sillett and Peter Field were instructing in the two-seaters and Peter was also tuggie for the day.
The days soaring was quite mixed with some periods of reasonable lift and other times no lift at all.
K21 on approach (David Clements)
Pete Startup (who else) had the longest flight - over two hours - the rest of the soaring was quite mixed and when the sea breeze set in, the soaring stopped.
James Smart in ASW19 (Trevor Russell)
Well done to James Smart and Trevor Russell for both converting to ASW19 their new acquisition.
We had over 30 flights but it was not a cross-country day as Pete Startup nearly found out, well done to Sandy Harrop and Malcom Vest for re-soloing after the lock down. - John Street

Sun 26th July

A few of the regulars turned up early, ever hopeful of flying. By 10:30 the equipment was out and ready and the two-seater booked training flights were taken by Tim Powell with Guy Adams and Matthew Howard with Mike Sloggett. James Flory and daughter Emma then took the Perkoz for training. Training continued while dodging between the showers!
Moody sky (Hans Jenssen)
No-one had particularly long flights, but Dave Perriam and Dan Hender both flew the K21 solo. Ruth Comer managed to get airborne with duty instructor Ian Mitchell after her rained out  booked training yesterday.
Some bright bits (Mike Sloggett)
Then the afternoon booked training slots were completed, for Ollie Butler and Charlie Broderick. Peter Warren also got a couple of two-seater flights with Ian. 

With quite a few other solo flights completed in the Junior (sorry can’t remember everyone, so won’t offend by trying and missing someone out!!). Everything was packed away by 6:30pm for another successful day at North Hill, 32 flights with some limited soaring. - Sally Hender

And in the evening - After a break from Condor for a couple of weeks, tonight’s task was chosen by Geoff Lawrence and planned and hosted by Matt Howard. HHL - CCX - TIE - HHL We were joined by Dave Clements and Stewart Henshall, and last but not least myself John Davis. We took to the sky (some more successful than others) in a NNW wind 13kts. Matt was the first to get to the first turn point at Cadbury Cross, while the rest of us were gaining height in very narrow thermals even Stewart commented on them. Dave got some really good height as did Geoff who turned Tiverton East in second place, Matt who was piling on the pace got fairly low at stages was taken by Geoff but managed to finish second.
John Davis Discus 2a (Condor)
The results are 1st place Geoff in a Discus2 in a time of 31.30 minutes 94kph, Matt finished 40 seconds later but had handicap penalties as he was flying a EB29R so Dave took second in a DuoDiscus  4 minutes after first place. Stewart and John finished 5 minutes apart to complete race. - John Davis

Thurs 23rd July

The day started brighter than expected  but with concern for an early finish,  the two booked training flights  Rob Rand and Brian Knight were shared by Peter Smith and Pete Harmer.  Well done to Rob for resoloing. Peter then checked out Malcolm Vest  for resolo, as he had missed out on his booked training yesterday, and Pete flew with Ashley Thomas and John Davis.
Overcast skies, a change from the last few days (Jonathan Skeggs)

Wooly flew in the Perkoz with Harvey Skeggs, and Wyn Davies, and the Junior was kept busy all day. Most flights were extended with the help of some weak wave in phase with the ridge. 21 flights in all before the drizzly rain set in. - J&P

Wed 22nd July

The brilliant soaring weather that was enjoyed on Monday and Tuesday continued for Wednesday. 

First to find the thermals under a blue sky was the dynamic K6 trio of Josh Funnell, Charlie Stuckey and Dan Hender who between them kept the K6 airborne most of the day, after the lead set by the K6 all subsequent flights found good lift at the top of the launch, with a cloud base of 4500ft - all had good soaring flights.
A promising sky (John Street)
 Once again Peter Smith manned HCX for the training flights, Robert Lee was in charge of the tug but the lift was so good that it was not needed.
Wells Cathedral (Stuart Procter)
John Sillett CVV, Paul Medlock HMS and Eric Alston G29 flew there own gliders, Phil Morrison and Stu Procter followed the energy lines in  DD3 to Wells and MUD.  - John Street.

Tues 21st July

Another great day of soaring with the Chairman's call for ad-hoc day. The main task was set as NHL-Candover Church - Crewkerne - Chilbolton - NHL for 505kms.

Achievements include: JB completed his Diamond Distance  which makes his 3rd Diamond. The 500km  flight was also completed by Phil Morrison and John Pursey in DD3 and Pete Startup in 230 - was this the first 500k from North Hill in a Standard class glider?.
DD3 after a 500km task (John Pursey)
Eric Alston G29 completed his Diamond Goal O/R to Candover Church and Pete and Jill Harmer OL also completed 300kms in their fastest ever task speed of 100kph.
Passing Salisbury (Phil Morrison)
Andy Davey KCM completed O/R to Salisbury South 218Kms.

Paul Medlock HMS soared for  5 hours to complete his Silver badge.

Alongside this was some local soaring  with Robert Lee in DKU flying the Club100, Steve Westlake in FER, Nick Harrison in JDD, and Gordon Hutchinson in JDP.

Congratulations to all - 47 hours soaring in all, thanks to Mark Courtney for tugging and Nick Jones and Mike Harris for running the launch point. - J&P

Mon 20th July

Another call-out  by the Chairman for an Ad-Hoc day saw a number of private owners line up at the west end of the airfield. Pete Startup set a task of NHL - Didcot - Mottisfont Station - NHL
First off was Ron Johns and Tom Sides in 711, but he decided to go into Cornwall first and turned Launceston  and Candover  falling back from a 519kms to 416kms task. 

Next up was Pete Startup 230, completing the task 354kms in 84.7kph,  with DD3  with Phil Morrison and Nick Jones for company at 78.6kph and JB?
OL missed the grid but enjoyed an afternoon womble (Jill Harmer)
Pete and Jill Harmer in OL completed 175kms (with a trip round Yeovilton) The Park - Iwerne Minster.

"The Badges" (Nick Jones)

A number of gliders enjoyed local soaring including Chris Warnes in FZF, Robert Lee in DKU, Eric Alston in G29, Gordon Hutchinson in JDP (who posted a small task on the ladder), Martin Woolner KMV, Andrew Logan FMS, Mark Layton 477, George Sanderson HES, Andy Davey M, Andy Williams FUN, Mike Fairclough DFK Paul Medlock HMS made a good attempt for Silver Duration but was 40mins short. 
Excursion to the seaside (Nick Jones)
Thanks to James Flory for driving the Pawnee, Dave Perriam for driving the winch and Tim Petty for operating the LPV.

Sun 19th July

There were a few hopeful faces at the club, first thing. With both Guy Adams and Mike Sloggett ready for their booked two-seater training students. RASP was checked numerous times by a number of pilots, ever optimistic! Whilst waiting  for the frontal cloud to clear, Dan Hender was taught the art of water divining by Guy, which he had never heard of, but seemed to get the hang of very quickly!!
Water divining (Sally Hender)
New grass is green  at North Hill (Mike Sloggett)
Gliders were got out up to the west end after lunch (which was fortunate as the DLM didn’t turn up, you know who you are!) After a delay due to a bow in the cables, which would have resulted in the cables crossing (good spot Dan Hender) the first launch was taken at about 1pm by Mike Sloggett and Dave Perriam. After having his checks flights, Dave then went solo in HCX. Meanwhile, Jonathan Erskine was back in the air, under the guidance of Guy Adams.

Roly Clarke (DLM pm but managed to get in the air!) and Peter Warren took their turns in the Junior, Peter outflying Roly considerably!

Guy and Mike then flew with Nick Redfern and Adam Niemcyzk respectively. Dan had a couple of flights in the Junior. Charlie and Andrew Broderick managed to squeeze in a couple of flights, and a good day was had by all!!! Thanks to everyone for a successful day x - Sally Hender

Sat 18th July

Another cloudy start, but the cloudbase slowly rose and broke and the first flight was just before midday. 

James Flory was looking after the two-seater training with Ashley Thomas and Tim Petty booked in. It was Ashley's first training flights since March and after the initial rusty patch he got back in the swing of it. 
50 years since Tim first soloed in power (Jill Harmer)
Tim was after refresher aerotow training and completed successfully followed by a solo aerotow which was 50 years to the day after his first solo flight in a power plane at Thruxton.
Pleasant local soaring conditions at North Hill (Jill Harmer)
The afternoon turned into some pleasant soaring conditions with Stu Procter in LS3-17 having the longest flight of 1hr 45. Andrew Logan in ASW15, Robert Lee and James Smart  in Junior all enjoyed more than 1 hour soaring and Andy Williams and Peter Smith flew the ASW20. Tom Sides and Trevor Russell shared the winching with the small group of members present - 14 winch launches and 3 aerotows in total.- J&P

Thurs 16th July

It was cloudy to start with, but with the wind nearly on the ridge there were some extended circuits. Peter Smith was doing the booked training flights with Rob Rand in the morning and John Davis in the afternoon. 

Pete Harmer and Chris Wool decided to also do some training in K21 and Perkoz, George Vojtisek passed his check flights and Charlie Broderick made further progress.
Pete Harmer clears Dave Perriam for solo (Mike Sloggett)
Congratulations to Dave Perriam who resoloed some 40 years after his previous solo flying at the Albatross GC at Davidstow. 

Mike Sloggett enjoyed some FUN (Mark Courtney)
With a Junior and 6 private gliders having mixed fortunes in the changing skies, it was Gordon Hutchinson JDP having the longest flight of over 1 hour. 41 flights in all, thanks all - J&P

Wed 15th July

All the kit was ready to fly by 10:00am, but the cloud base was considered too low so there was a slight delay to the start of flying. We had both K21s and a Junior taken to the launchpoint in readiness for the first launch. The weather was quite cold for July and although quite a lot of members turned up in shorts they soon changed into warmer clothes even two winter woolly hats were worn, by Glenn Turpin and John Street.
A bit grey to start (John Street)
The wind was northwesterly and about 8-10kts so there was a fair chance of a bit of ridge flying with the occasional boost from a thermal, and this proved to be the case for most of the day. With the high launches, many of the flights were over 30min, John Sillett in CVV and Chris Warnes in Junior managed nearly 1hr. The only private glider to be flown was the B4 which John, Tim Petty and David Clements made good use of.
Peter Smith briefing Mike Meatyard (John Street)
Peter Smith flew both pre-booked training flights  Mike Meatyard and Charlie Broderick in HCX.

View from the winch glider stack  (Rob Hender)

Thanks to Rob Hender who manned the winch all day and provided all who flew good high launches, Sandy Harrup who looked after the LPV all day and Tim Petty who spent a lot of the day time fitting a new comms box for the S/W launch point. We achieved 27 launches today many of them soaring flights -  John Street.

Sun 12th July

With another good day of gliding being predicted and with a second group of members ‘booked in’ for dual flying the hangar doors were opened before 9am and both K21s and a Junior brought out for daily inspections. A light wind and a forecast of Westerly components saw the launch point being set up in the North East corner of the airfield and the steady activity of private owners preparing their gliders for the day suggested that the launch point was going to be busy.

As the day’s Instructing team, Guy Adams and Mike Sloggett briefed the Club members as to the day ahead and then took the opportunity of some flights to familiarise themselves with the back seat of a K21 whilst wearing masks and to check cockpit communication - and then it was on with the day. Tim Powell and Andrew Broderick flew with Guy, and Adam Niemcyzk and Mark Worsfold with Mike.

With the launch point well-organised by Trevor Russell as DLM, the morning saw Club and private gliders being launched on the winch line whilst there was a steady queue of private gliders on the aerotow line - Pete Stapleton had flown up from Newquay in his Cessna and shared the day’s aerotows with Pete Warren.
Waiting for aerotow (Simon Minson)
With a steadily improving sky most private gliders “disappeared” for the day whilst the Club flying list made good progress - as ever operating from the North East corner with the limited landing area on the North side of the airfield meant some delays during the day whilst gliders were retrieved, but as ever good teamwork on the ground by Club members minimised the delays.
North Hill - leveled areas showing dark green (Mike Sloggett)
The Junior was in regular use with David Cowley achieving his Silver Height and whilst Guy and Mike had their lunch the K21s were used by other members, making the most of the weather and available gliders to continue flying through the lunchtime.

Pete Startup had set a task of 307Kms Stockbridge - Membury with 230, Phil and Nick DD3 and Simon Minson SM  and JB all completing. Eric Alston completed 150kms Yeovil - Knowstone. Meanwhile Jill and Pete in OL decided to explore the many convergences that covered Devon and surroundings -  both coasts and some up the middle for a very enjoyable womble with no turnpoints collected! 
Convergences (Jill Harmer)
Geoff Lawrence  (Pegase) enjoyed his longest flight at 3hrs 35 - maybe the Sunday evening Condor races have helped a little?
And there was another Silver distance for a Mendip pilot arriving at North Hill. John Connor landed in his Discus during the afternoon. After some phone calls and discussion as to whether to get his retrieve crew to drive to North Hill, he took up the offer of a relight aerotow behind the Pawnee and just under an hour later had landed back at Mendip GC.

During the afternoon with the sea air moving in from the South, private owners started to return to the airfield to land and at one stage it was like (the old) Heathrow airport with gliders arriving into circuit regularly!

By late afternoon, with the Club flying list completed it was time to put everything away - thank you to all the members who helped get others into the air today. - Mike Sloggett

Sat 11th July

Red RASP brought everybody out early, and a well organised launch queue with winching and aerotows.
Organised queuing (Jill Harmer)
Well done to Sally Hender running the launchpoint and for checking that everyone had read the Risk Assessment and declared their health on the Flying List for our "new normal" operation. 
Two-seater training resumes (Pete Bennett)
Today was our first use of the "resuming two-seater training" booking roster, and Matt Howard, Jacob Brook and Jack Raybould were the first members to get back into training.  Matt had a good soaring flight with CFI Stuart, and James Flory did four flights with Jacob Brooks, 3 soaring flights and one shorter, they looked at thermalling and revision of Stalling and circuit flying.

Then James flew with Jack Raybould , did five refresher flights including a couple of simulated launch failures and then he  sent him solo again. He now just needs one more solo to get his white card and convert to the Junior. - All in all a very productive day. The COVID precautions worked well with no major problems.

The main task was set for an Out and Return to Lasham, with Pete Startup 230, Simon Minson SM, Ron Johns with Paul Medlock 711, JB and Eric Alston G29 all completing - well done to Eric for his first 300kms flight, Gold Distance and Diamond Goal. (It sounds like most had a bit of a struggle on the leg between Salisbury and Lasham)

Pete Startup cunningly set Andy Davey (Libelle) a slightly different 300kms Whiddon Down - Salisbury, but well done also to Andy  for his Gold Distance and Diamond Goal despite a bit of a struggle at Whiddon Down.

Pete & Jill Harmer launched a bit later than the others (as usual) and headed off to Whiddon Down but found the conditions looking so good that they continued into Cornwall turning Launceston, Anstey Cross and MUD for 331kms on a really good run out. 
Great conditions over Dartmoor in the afternoon (Jill Harmer)

Well done also to Andy Williams (FUN) who completed the Club 100 twice for his first real run out  cross-country for a long time.

Subject to checking Tim Petty  CVV and Josh Funnell DRE have hopefully got silver heights, so more congratulations.

Congrats also to the Mendip pilots Nick Blake and Andy Harryman who completed their Silver distances to North Hill.

The other thing to mention that the Blue Eagle was flown after its Annual and instrument refit with several soaring flights - instruments must have worked ok then! - Great day for flying and achievements,  and good conditions,  a big thanks to all the helpers on the ground who have yet to fly. - J&P

Fri 10th July

Another Ad-hoc day was called by the Chairman and CFI, after the poor weather on our normal Club days of Wednesday and Thursday this week. 

The promised forecast  weather (apart from the wind) was a little slow to perform, but it turned into a worthwhile afternoon, with several private owners, K21 and Perkoz was out flying after its delayed Annual inspection. 
Stu Procter in Perkoz (Stu Procter)

Pete Startup 230 published his flight to Cerne Abbas but found the going too tough heading back to North Tawton.
Pete Startup ready to launch

"Good air didn't really arrive until late. Tried this, never really low but never that easy either with enough wind to cause some wave suppression and some sea air. Too late and too slow to beat the sea air up the Exe estuary, NTA was never going to be reachable so the offer of beer won out."
22 winch launches  - more than Wednesday and Thursday. - J&P

Tues 7th July

An ad-hoc day suggested by the Chairman on the basis of good soaring weather promised on RASP. 

On the day there was significant high-level cloud which reduced the potential a little - but it was still a very productive day. 

Today was the first day of dual instructional flights following the recent changes in restrictions. CFI Stu conducted a trial following the new guidelines and risk assessment, ahead of the planned two-seater booking roster. First up was  Dave Perriam who has been one of the regular launchpoint helpers unable to fly in the last few weeks.

9 private gliders were flown alongside both K21s and a Junior, with most of the private gliders averaging 2 hours airborne. Andy Davey (Libelle) had the longest flight at 4 hours 20 minutes. Pilatus B4 CVV had 6 flights with all syndicate members flying. Pete Startup had a little struggle with poor thermals west of Tiverton but patiently  managed yet another low save. JB (Ventus) launched a bit later than the others and had an interesting flight - "Saved by the dragons breath"
"Phil said the task was Beaminster Langport and back and while there wasn’t much sun there were lots of little clouds giving gentle lift. 
Mini-Convergence (JB)
 Having tiptoed down to Beaminster, the sky north to Langport looked bleak but a scrappy cloud over Crewkerne saved the day and gradually led me to a mystery ‘mini convergence’ marked by little puffs of dragon’s breath! So I followed the Dragons up to Langport and back south a bit then they just disappeared - probably scampered off to join their mates in the sea breeze front over Chard! Not very public spirited these Somerset Dragons! So I headed west into a bleak sky with the option to divert south to the sea breeze over Chard if nothing else worked.
Dragon's Breath (JB)
 With the Oudie forecasting 500ft below glide to get home it was time to go south and play  in the Dragons breath (sea breeze front) at Chard. Once again the little puffs of Dragons’ breath ahead allowed me to slowly tip-toe west until the Oudie said I’d get back with 1000 ft to spare. Long live the Dragons! - JB"

Also good to see food and drink being served in the Club House albeit with significant changes to ensure social distancing.

Many thanks to Sally Hender who spent all day running Launch Control maintaining a solid flow of launches, 38 in total; not bad for an ad-hoc day. - James Smart

Sun 5th July

It was a very gusty day at the Club, disappointing for those who had hoped to fly, but various maintenance tasks were completed and the North Hill cafe was open for members in a "new normal".

In the evening, the regular Condor race was not upset by the weather, the task was NH2- Eggesford - Lapford - NH2 and a good grid of 6 pilots  in a variety of gliders set off.
Nice sky (Matt Howard)

Boy Racers - Dan Hender (Antares17) and Matt Howard (EB29R) set off promptly and breezed round the task, but Stewart Henshall (fully ballasted Discus2) made a late start but then benefitted from those along the route marking climbs. The first 3 places were very close, but on the final glide, Stewart was just able to get his speed up to beat the two superships on handicap.
The podium winners (Matt Howard)

 In their own race, Geoff Lawrence (Discus2), David Clements (Duo Discus) and John Davis (Discus2) competed at a more sedate pace.....

John Davis passing Forest Glade (Stewart Henshall)

.....with Geoff managing a good save at the EGG turning point, but all misjudged their final glide and had to have a miracle to get home. Good learning points for all. - J&P

Thurs 2nd July

A good number of Thursday regulars turned up to fly today including Dave Perriam and Rob Rand. Although they could not fly Dave spent all day in the winch earning rave reviews for his launching and Rob kept everything well under control in the Launch Point Vehicle, thank you both!

With a Westerly wind it was a relatively easy decision in terms of where to position the launch point and whilst the two K21s and a Junior were brought out of the hangar various private gliders were soon having their covers taken off.
Orderly launch point (Mike Horwood)
With a well-organised launch point by mid-morning gliders were soon being launched towards the West and as ever it was a question of trying to find elusive lift off the winch launch. With cloudbase not much more than 1500ft above the airfield and the ridge only working here and there, as well as the thermals being a tad tricky, no surprise that at times the skies to the West of the airfield were rather busy with a number of gliders. Most pilots had an element of success during the morning until under grey skies the lift mostly switched off meaning a steady stream of landings and retrieves.
Building skies (Mike Sloggett)
After a socially distanced lunch and with the skies looking a little more promising, the afternoon saw Club and private gliders being relaunched - but with the conditions still proving “interesting” and enough lift to ‘scratch around for quite a bit longer than an extended circuit. Andrew Logan in FMS had the longest flight of the day of 1hr43.
North Hill has 'greened up' after the rain (Mike Horwood)
By late afternoon everyone that could fly had done so and it was time to put gliders back under their covers or into the hangar.

A day when the conditions needed focus both to make the most of the lift available and also to maintain a good lookout for other gliders and aircraft - a good day all round. - Mike Sloggett

Wed 1st July

There was quite a bit of interest in flying considering the poor forecast, K21 HCX and a Junior were prepared for flying with just a bit of a delay due to the low cloud.
High launches (David Clements)
We were getting good high launches due to the fresh southwesterly wind. but there was little thermic activity and most of the flights had reasonably extended circuits up to 15min, there was a couple of breaks due to the rain showers.

Everyone who wanted to fly got in the air, then a longer spell of heavy rain put paid to any more flying so we had an early finish.

The Covid19 screen  fitted by George and Andrew in the K21 KEK was much admired by those who inspected and it will be interesting to see how it operates in practice. - John Street.