Dartmoor Gliding News-Sunday 20th May 2018

On Sunday 22 April we hosted Ed Clarke and Mark Kennedy for their One Day Courses. The weather on that day was, most by now will fail to remember, grey, blustery, with a weak sun but showers blowing up from the South-west to frustrate our sport. And so, as the third shower crossed the airfield at about 3:30pm that day we gave up, ironically to notice the clearance pass through as we left the car park at about 4:15. So Ed and Mark were advised to consult with 'The Voice of Dartmoor', Dave Downton, to re-book. And both opted for today: what a contrast! A clear sky, bright sun and a southerly zephyr greeted them today, just what was needed to enable us to complete the remaining four flights of their One Day Courses, including a soaring flight for Mark (37 mins to 2,500ft) and Ed handling all three controls together with a degree of confidence by the end of the day.

Ed Clarke celebrates completion of his One Day Course with Instructor Martin Cropper
Mark Kennedy also clearly enjoyed his One Day Course, which included a soaring flight to 2,500ft.
 And for the club pundits the day lived up to its 3.5 forecast on RASP, with Leith Whittington managing 50 mins to a little short of 3,400ft agl in his Dart 17R, whilst Allan Holland kept the K-8 aloft for 33 mins 'in the blue'.

Ed Borlase took this spectacular photo of the K-13 and Zugvogel thermalling in the blue
 With the ground drying out it is easy to forget the days of only a month or so ago, when two consecutive days without rain was unthinkable (as was flying), and we all moped around the clubhouse thinking of things to avoid doing; and so it is perhaps timely to thank Mike Bennett, Steve Fletcher and Dave Downton for their efforts in setting up the new drainage system, which has already proved very effective and, with the additional measures projected, should be even more so. Thanks also go to Robin Wilson, Phil Hardwick, Roger Appleboom and Allan Holland for winching. A good day in predominantly blue conditions was had by all.

Martin Cropper

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