BMFA F3F Nationals and Stage 1 Team Trials
South Wales, 25th / 26th June 2011

Result breakdown here soon
F3F report by Martin Newnham

Updated 28th June 2011

Hi All,

I would like to thank SWSA for kindly holding this year’s 2011 BMFA Nationals on their local slopes. It is a fantastic location to spend a couple of days out of your life and never fails to impress me, whether I fly or not. Any club that is happy to share and support the league/competition events provides fantastic opportunities to all that participate in the sport of F3F or general slope soaring.

In addition to the slopes,T9 Hobby Sport and Overlander very generously sponsored the event this year, providing prizes to the top 5 pilots.

With the weather sites predicting high south-westerly winds and blue sky for the first day, I was hopeful for a good start for the 2011 BMFA Nationals and our first ever World Championship qualifying event. This is to select our top 3 pilots to represent Great Britain in Germany next year. This was very quickly changed when we turned up on the slope at 8:30am to driving rain and fog. Looking at the mountain forecast it was due to lift but by 3pm it was clear (or not as the case maybe) that we would have to call the day off and hope for better weather on Sunday. The meet was again set for 8:30am in the hope the weather would be on our side, to get in as many rounds as possible.

I arrived on the slope at 7:45am to be greeted by more fog. Thankfully blue sky could be seen and by 8:45am the decision was made to setup the course on the back of the Wrecker and get the rounds started as soon as possible.

Round one was started at approximately 10am and Mark Redsell was the lucky pilot to get the competition on the way. Wind speed was light but legal and Mark started the competition with a 50 second run. Joel West had the fastest time in the round with a 41.51seconds, considering the conditions at this time, just showed how accurate Joel’s flying was when keeping on the edge to gain the most out of the conditions. Martin Newnham missed a good opportunity of gaining a good time in the first round, after a cut at base B and ending with a 46.xx. Simon Thornton flying his new Fosa and Kev Knewton returning to flying the Ceres both got 42.xx times.

Round two got on the way and Mark Redsell started straight off with a 42.xx which set a high standard for the round, only to be followed by Greg Dakin’s 40.65 two flights later to take the fastest time of the round. Simon again kept tight to the leading time. Many pilots remained consistent from the first round posting mid to high forties. Adam Richardson, Keith Woods, Mike Evans and Andrzej Tabero made the most of the air, flying a tight course to gain the best time they could. Not wasting anything!

Round three got on the way, Mark Redsell unfortunately cut at Base A to end the round with a 58.xx second time, Kev Knewton taking the round with a 41.16. Conditions were beginning to stay more consistent and the times recorded through the round were beginning to get closer.

Round four started and after a bad time in round three, Adam Richardson showed good composure to take full advantage of the conditions. Flying the fastest time of the day at that point and the first sub forty to take the round with a 39.30. Frank Hulton taking second in the round with a 43.79 closely followed by a 43.82 flown by Mark Abbotts.

Round five saw Mike Evans take the round with a 39.49, after the first 4 rounds in the mid to high forties. Mike was showing excellent consistency, not wasting any opportunities. Adam Richardson again kept himself in the mix, coming second with a 41.27 and third was Mark Redsell with a 41.55.

Round six saw more sub forties being posted with Mark Redsell starting the round with a 38.33. Not to be out done Simon Thornton stepped up with a 38.13. Peter Gunning however with his trusted Cyril flew a 37.89 which was the fastest time of the day.

Round seven started with Mark Redsell again keeping the pressure on with a 38.22. Rich Bago however after changing over to the Martinet, was close on his heels with a 38.72 and Martin Newnham in third place with a 39.70.

Round eight saw Simon Thornton take the round flying a 38.30, followed by Martin Newnham with a 38.42 in second and Frank Hulton in third with a 40.08. The final round was very tight with Keith Woods, Clayton Landells, Peter Gunning and Mark Redsell all flying under 42 seconds.

Simon Thornton was focused and consistent throughout the whole day, not letting any opportunity pass him by. He showed that you do not need to win every round to win a competition, without doubt the best pilot on the day. Mark Redsell kept his composure after two bad rounds to fly himself to a fantastic second position and not forgetting only 39 points behind Simon. Kevin Knewton who followed Mark Redsell by only 23 points put on a great performance to finish in third place. To have first and third place within 62 points shows how good the flying was by the 3 pilots.

Congratulations to Simon, Mark, Kevin for the top three positions and to Peter Gunning for the fastest time of the day.

My main aim since taking on the league coordinators roll is for everyone to enjoy the flying and improve their flying skills whilst being competitive at the same time. I hope that everyone enjoyed the day and will be returning to compete at the league events. Apologies if I have not mentioned your name in the report, but what I can say is everyone on the day flew exceptionally well, the standard was as high as I have seen at any competition I have attended.

I would like to make special thanks Andrzej and Simon for CDing the day so professionally. Clayton and Frank for running the competition course, your organisation of the bases and safety line was second to none. Also Kev, Mike and Jon for any guidance that was needed during the day. Not forgetting Joel helping with the setting up/removing the course and checking the score sheets. Without everyone’s involvement, including pilots adhering to the rules, the competition would not have been the success it was.

Please do not forget if you have any photos and you are happy to send them to me for potential publication, please do not hesitate to do so.

Many thanks