BMFA F3B League - Round 4 - Report

Hello! I am reviving the f3b UK blog. Thanks to Chris Jubb.

The first post is a report from League 4, 2013. With the recent "heat wave" (aka summer) that we have been experiencing it was possibly a relief that the weather for Sunday was overcast and fairly mild (with even a few rains spots at times). Personally I didn't fancy lugging the gear around in 30 degree heat all day.

However, the overcast conditions and the fairly bright light made for a sky that was difficult to pick out models in, and was a challenge all day when flying at duration distance. What was generally reckoned to be a wave was fairly consistent from the east at a considerable distance beyond the winch line. With the general lack of obvious thermals, the best tactic for duration was to push out in front and carefully ride the wave in combination with the slight slope lift from the right of the field. In spite of the difficulty in seeing models, there were few low scores in duration with most people achieving good times. A good launch was very helpful, giving you the chance to range out to find the lift.

Conditions for launching were quite decent, with a moderate wind. If you could steer your model off to the left and swing back in to the wind a decent launch was definitely possible. Not too much score separation happened in Round 1 of duration. A few people dropped a minute or two or messed up the landing, but there were no real clangers. Mike Holtby's Cobra again showed it's ability to pull big tension on the line and float very well when required.

Distance conditions were reasonable but not epic, with the lift again being most consistent to the right of the course, with most people choosing to fly that direction. I think Bob had a go on the other side and did okay. In fact Bob was unlucky as he had a huge launch it to great air on his first distance round, but the round was cancelled when a parachute being wound down in a cross wind knocked down base B (sorry Bob)!

Clive put in a good stint scoring a very respectable 23 legs in round 1, which was the best score of the competition. Young Simon put in a good performance scoring 21 legs in both rounds and only dropping 45 odd points. Clive, Steve Haley, Mike Challinor and John Whittle scored the maximum 1000 points in both rounds. Distance scores were fairly close without most people dropping or gaining too much over the field.

On to speed where times were generally in the high teens for a good run, with the exception, again, of Steve Haley who took a couple of seconds out of the best of the rest following a good launch and consistent flying (15.xx seconds). This took nearly 130 points out of his nearest rival which would prove critical in the final scoring. Bill wasn't quite back to his usual self, but it was good to see him flying again. Round 2 of speed followed a similar pattern to the first round with times of about 17 seconds being competitive. I put in a new personal best of 17.31, which to my surprise, took the 1000 points for the first time, beating Mike and Steve by few tenths. Happy days! Brian dropped quite a few points in speed, which I am sure he will be looking to improve with his Ascot, which seemed to be showing good potential - it's a well proven model of course.

Round 2 of duration followed a similar pattern to the first with mostly high scores. Unfortunately Clive was not able to fly the round due to technical problems with his electric model, which was a shame as he had scored well to that point. I enjoyed a fun round against Steve were we both gently rode the wave, indicating lift and sink for each other and swapping heights and position throughout the slot. Eventually I came out just on top with a 10.00 / 100 point flight that was a nice way to end the comp for me.

So all in all another very enjoyable round. I don't think there were damaged models. Perhaps Clive's prop blades took a bit of a beating when he tried to repay the farmers kindness in helping get Steve's esoaring model out of the tree, by strimming the grass for him. Kudos to Steve, as it takes a top drawer flyer to truly park a model in a totally inaccessible place. The model only being retrieved thanks to Bob's slightly disturbing expertise with a chainsaw. Whether he just carries it round in the back of his car in case of emergency, I don't know.

Special mention must go to Phil Goddard who flew most, or all, of the competition with his transmitter set to the model memory of one or more different models, which may or may not have had something to do with f3b or even gliders. The word on the flight line seemed to be "Wot4," which we can only assume is a model that doesn't have the same trim settings as a ceres lift. The winner was Steve Haley, with his round 1 speed score proving to be decisive over 2nd placed Mike C. Simon Haley came in third having flown consistently all day. He narrowly pipped John Whittle, who lost a few crucial points in the final duration slot. I was fifth, follwed by Bob and Mike Holtby. Dave Worrall and Brian Johnson scored good points and will be looking to the nationals no doubt. Clive and Phil suffered non serious "technical" problems and Bill was still feeling his way back after recent ill health.