Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 31st July 2016

In the American folk song “Oh My Darlin’ Clementine” there lived a “miner - 49’er” – who was the girl’s father, a miner in the California Gold Rush of 1849. At Dartmoor Gliding Society it’s the Sunday Soarers who are the “49’ers”, having now missed the target of 50 launches per day, twice…

“Bonjour!” Franco-Welsh Dresser Monsieur Roger Pomme de Boom!
The day began with a reassuringly benign forecast, (240 10 kts plenty of sun and cloud building to 3.5 on RASP at 3pm) and an equally promising turnout, Roger Appleboom being first to launch with One day Course student Andy Brann. Roger, aka Monsieur Rogèr Pomme de Plume, was sporting a super-sized French beret from his latest motorbike trip to France which, coupled with a Welsh rugby shirt, definitely made him the most colourful member on site today (see photo). Other visitors who flew with <> included Garry Foster (see photo), Christian Chourot and Mark Pearce. 

 Visitor Roger Foster flew with Monsieur Roger...
On the trainee side, Ed Borlase and Paula Howarth went to ASDA (if you don’t know what it means, there’s only one way to find out…) whilst Phillip Sellwood, Dave Downton and Adrian Irwin were given less silly things to do. Sadly, today saw the last opportunity for Irish American visitor Peter Flanagan to fly with us. Peter, who normally flies with the Long Island Soaring Association, had planned to fly with three or four gliding clubs whilst on holiday in the UK; in the event he came, saw and remained, with us.

Trainee Dave Downton preparing to commit aviation with Martin Cropper under an interesting sky.
So what of the conditions? Well, after conforming with the aforementioned benign beginning, it wasn’t long before T-shirts and shorts were soon being supplemented by legs and fleeces as the wind veered to the NW and increased in strength. That didn’t dampen spirits, however, for one in every five launches managed a soaring flight and hence the prospect of staying up kept hopes alive (some saw +8kts on their electric varios), even though the gaps between the cu gradually got greater.

Flight of the Day was claimed by Richard Roberts who, launching at 4:30pm, achieved a flight of 1 hr 37 mins at heights between 2,500 and 3,000 ft which took him to Cornwall and back. Significantly, third longest flight of the day, at 22 mins, went to Karon Matten who made good use of her ‘soaring in straight lines’ technique (as later copied by Josef Nobbs in the K-8 for 32 mins).

‘K-8 launch illustrating how cloud became more broken in late afternoon’.
At the end of the song “dreadful sorry” Clementine is “lost and gone forever” having drowned in “foaming brine”. Does the same apply to the Sunday Soarers - not a bit of it! We’ll be there next Sunday searching for that 49-er plus one, or even two, or more...!
Thanks go to all those who ‘facilitated’ today, including Peter Howarth, who ‘endured’ two spells on the winch, and Barry Green who winched without flying.

Martin Cropper

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