Round 4 of the bmfa leage was flown in fairly windy and variable conditions. It didn't start well for me as I broke both my winch lines on practice launches before the contest began and broke a 3rd one on my first launch in the first slot of duration. My 4th launch of the day didn't snap the line but it was very tentative and I started the slot badly, flew it badly and only managed a 5.53/90. I was very lucky that Simon Haley only flew a 6:08/100, as he looked well set in the slot.
The conditions in the second slot were also tough with Steve Haley wining it with a 9:39/100. Both Brian and Clive were over two minutes off Steve's time and lost points. The third slot was won by Dave Worral With a 10:04/90. Jon Whittle had a rare bad round and did a 7:50/00, which hurt his score. The condtions were challening for all three slots of round 1 duration, with only Dave reaching the 10 minutes.
Conditions for distance round 1 conintued to be mixed, with myself beating Bob 12 to 8 in the first slot. In the second slot Jon Whittle took 5 laps out of front runner Steve Haley and 6 out of Clive, scoring 22 to their 17 and 16 respectively. Steve therefore lost over 200 points in distance which would be interesting going in to speed, where Steve is usually dominant.
Dave Worral continued to fly well, scoring 16 legs to Brians 12 in the 3rd slot of the round. In the final slot Simon took 4 laps out of his grandad Bill (kids nowadays - no repsect!).
Soaring conditions started to improve a little in the 2nd round of duration and in the first slot 24 laps were flown by myself and John Whittle to share 1000 points each. Simon Haley won the next slot against Dave and at this point was in the lead, having dropped no points. Steve took significant laps out of Brian in an all electric contest and Clive put a few laps on Bob in the final slot.
In speed round 1 started with an 18.50 from Jon. Simon continued his good form and flew a 17.81. However Steve flew a blazing 14.09 to recover his lost points in distance. I tried hard to do a good time and flew well, but only managed a 17.08 in response.
As such going in to round 2 of speed the scores were fairly even between myself, Steve and Simon. I kicked of the round with a 17.47, followed by a very smooth 16.62 from Jon, a 17.77 from Dave, an 18.67 from Bob and a 17.80 from Simon. However Simon and I were confounded again by Steve who flew the fastest time of the 16.27, flying last.
Going into the final round of duration Steve held a small lead, but all 3 slots were uneventful, with the sun having come out and only one pilot failed to fly the 10 minutes. It was interesting to see team Haley adopting a more aggressive down wind approach taken from their increasing participation in f5j. I enjoyed chatting for Bob and Dave, both of whom showed their air reading skills.
Steve took the contest win, with Simon 2nd, and myself somewhat fortunate in 3rd having been given a let off by Simon in durataion 1. Dave Worral flew consistently to score strongly in 4th.
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