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September 2003 - Part III
Sunday 28th September 2003
Report from Adrian Leppard
What a great Sunday at Bell Hill toward the end of the season. Worth the 2 hour drive from Surrey. Punchy pitch and roll on the hill but sticking with it was worth it in the end. Large gaggles of gliders managed to get away from about midday, which was great for me as I hate crowded skies. It was 1.30pm ish by the time I managed to find a good core all to myself in front of launch. Climbed out to about 3,500ft then went on a glide until picking up another moderate climb to about 4,000ft as myself and few others tracked south east. At Whatcombe saw a few gliders going down way out in from of me and decided to head more south west where a kindly red tandem showed me some good lift (Thanks) near Milborne St Andrew which led to an impressive 9up (ft) to 4,500. Another glide, this time heading south east where the tandem had found some more gentle lift. From here a straight glide to Wareham (very picturesque) landing at Stoborough after about 1hr 10mins in the air.
A truly enjoyable little flight and my first XC from Bell. I watched the tandem going over me a few minutes later.. well deserved.. I hear a few made it to Swanage. Maybe next time.
Report from Dave Daniels
Wow! What a day! 40+ cars on the hill and goodness knows how many XC kms clocked up. Once the first gaggle left the hill at about mid-day (Sean L, Gary P, ++), another gaggle seemed to leave every half hour or so. With so many people
Adrian Coombe and Brian Metcalfe both notched up their first XCs to Durlston Head XCs, as did Sean's second XC of the day. Neil Hutch, Peter Stud and a couple of others reached the same destination - Richard Mosley, seeing the sky full of paragliders as he set out from home for Bell HIll, diverting and collecting 5 pilots! I believe there were 8 Durlston Head XCs today! That alone is a total of 320km!
Stuart M managed one uneventful tandem flight with Sean Staines' partner Andrea. Then, non member - Mark Pryce - who doesn't quite have his CP and had been practicing ground-handling in the top field, asked if he could have a tandem flight "with altitude", since all he had done in training was some low hops and glides. Hooked into the tandem they launched in light winds not expecting much. "Much" became 3,500ft and 26km, landing just short of Corfe Castle. Mark was mightily impressed!
There were another 20, or so, XCs today - ending up at various points between Bell Hill and the coast - including Nicole B, Paul K, Mike C, Mike A, David F, Mark R, Phil S, Peter R, Craig B, Vicky P .... and many others..
There was no less fun on the hill for the non-XC pilots with several low air-time pilots (on both HGs and PGs) venturing out into the busy sky. Bob D also flew his HG.
Photo by Luigi
Thursday 25th September 2003
Report from John Funnell
Ballards was flyable and thermic! Had a good couple of hours soaring along the big cliff wondering what was could be causing unusual patches of lift. Must be those Cu forming a mile or so out over the bay and drifting across, sucking as they came. Luigi caught one of these elevators and was soon a couple of thousand feet asl (my guess - he didn't have his vario) - enough to glide over Swanage and still be very high. I tried to do this, tracking the next thermal as it drifted West along the cliff and up over TO but at 400ft ato a helicopter came steaming over from Bournemouth seemingly intent on stealing my thermal. A skygod (with vario) could possibly have got away from the hill in one of these [thermal that is, not helicopter!] - the drift would likely have been south of Poole Harbour. Three sweaty walks back to TO with several Wessex business cards handed out (do we get commission?)
Also enjoying the excellent autumn conditions were Russell, Martin, Luigi, Brian and a couple of others (apologies for my bad memory). Some had been at White Horse earlier.
Sunday 22nd September 2003
Photos from Lawrence Toogood
VMC at Ringstead?
You mean VMC doesn't mean Very Murky Conditions? Ooops!
Saturday 21st September 2003
Report from Simon Jones
Only a brief note to say thanks to all for a great few hours at Ballards on Saturday.
Conditions were far from epic but most managed some good soaring to the end of the ridge and back and the real bonus was Dave Moores taking Anna for a 30-minute flight on the tandem, earning me some valuable credit points for cashing in over the coming weekends!
Dave D gave me a very detailed site briefing which proved invaluable, and Dave M offered constructive criticism about my launching...both of which meant I got off the deck safely with a pretty good idea of where I was going. After 2 aborted approaches, Dave D finally got me to land and the grin on my face said it all.
Another day when steaming down the M3 from Surrey paid off - see you all again soon.
Friday 19th September 2003
Report from John Alder
MOORES SOARS: Having had his newly acquired Clubman 160 test flown by John Alder and Gary Dear (Oh, yes indeedie!), Wessex's X-rated Stiffie (Let's hope people know what an X-rated Stiffie is in this context!! DD) pilot did a great job on his first ever soaring HG flight at Ringstead - bimbling about for 20 minutes hundreds of feet above the cliffs before successfully completing his first HG top landing. Congratulations, young man, and blame the backache on nervous tension until further evidence accrues to incriminate the newly acquired harness!
Thursday 18th September 2003
Report from RW
An early morning call from Shippo to say he was going home after a flight at Kimmeridge & I thought "Ahh well!! No flying today." How wrong !!
Another 2 calls from John B & Dave M to say they were heading to the office at Ringstead tempted me to put the wing in the jeep. On arrival John & Dave were sat on the hill and it was a tad strong, Dave suggested a trip to "The Hive" at Burton Bradstock via West Bay, just to show John the t/o, and we were away.
At the Hive and it was "just right"!! A site briefing from Dave and it was take off from the Chesil Bank via the mud slope and "WOW" low cliff soaring. Watching the "Master" and enjoying the exhilarating flying in clean air we were away.
I crossed the gap in front of the Cafe and soared the Jurassic Cliffs followed by Dave & John. For good flying they carried on across an even larger gap to West bay & I just watched in "Respect". Dave was wagga wagga over the new harbour and 40' over the works crane and then they headed back to join me for tea & buns, then back to low flying over the Chesil Bank. A little bit of "control" over the beach with attempted spot landings in strengthening conditions.
It was as entertaining for the stalwart holidaymakers as for us. An enjoyable day & quite unexpected. Thanks Dave M.
Wednesday 17th September 2003
Report from Alastair Florence
Flew for 20 mins at Godrevy near Hayle, Cornwall. Its basically a 160ft odd high sand dune sort of thing.
Kernows site guide says 'can be very thermic and turbulent'. No kidding!. Its more like flying in a washing machine if you can imagine what that might be like. Surprisingly its Kernows only official Southerly site and their only inland site, although its only a few hundred yards off the beach. Several nice looking cliff sites though if it turns Northerly.
Eye in the Sky - September 2003 - Part II
Eye in the Sky - September 2003 - Part I
Eye in the Sky - August 2003 - Part III
Eye in the Sky - August 2003 - Part II
Eye in the Sky - August 2003 - Part I
Eye in the Sky - July 2003
Eye in the Sky - June 2003 - Part 2
Eye in the Sky - June 2003 - Part 1
Eye in the Sky - May 2003 - Part 2
Eye in the Sky - May 2003 - Part 1
Eye in the Sky - April 2003
Eye in the Sky - March 2003 - II
Eye in the Sky - March 2003 - I
Eye in the Sky - February 2003
Eye in the Sky - January 2003
Eye in the Sky - November/December 2002
Eye in the Sky - October 2002
Eye in the Sky - September 2002
Eye in the Sky - August 2002 - Part 2
Eye in the Sky - August 2002 - Part 1
Eye in the Sky - July 2002 - Part 2
Eye in the Sky - July 2002 - Part 1
Eye in the Sky - June 2002 - Part 3
Eye in the Sky - June 2002 - Part 2
Eye in the Sky - June 2002 - Part 1
Eye in the Sky - May 2002
Eye in the Sky - April 2002 - Part 2
Eye in the Sky - April 2002 - Part 1
Eye in the Sky - March 2002
Eye in the Sky - 2001 and before