The forecast for the week of the main body of the comp in August was not good, but the accommodation and facilities at Derbyshire and Lancashire Gliding Club between Bradwell and Eyam are second to none. The best weather looked like being the day before, so quite a few people made the trip to Eyam on the Friday and some good distances were done free flying.
Once the registrations were done and the organisation completed Sunday (2/8/15) looked like it might be usable so the group went to Rushup Edge. Conditions looked like they might blow out at any time so a short (8km) cat's cradle along the ridge, past Mam Tor to Lose Hill, back along the ridge and into the valley to goal was set as an elapsed time task. A fair proportion of pilots made it round. Quite a few didn't make it at all, though, so the task was well set if a bit short. The weather then got really bad for a few days and the organisers said "go home, come back Thursday".
Thursday didn't look usable either (except for coaching, Pilot exams and a pub quiz…), but Friday came good on Mam Tor for another elapsed time cat's cradle, this time a 21km out-and-return over to Edale, out to Stanage Edge and back. Again quite a few pilots didn’t even get away, but the majority who got away got all the way round. The task was won by Ed Cleasby, although fastest around the course was Mark Luscombe, who unfortunately decided, having arrived over goal with loads of height, to fly back and land at the glider field where the comp was based. This was right inside the exclusion zone established to avoid conflict with the sailplanes. That infringement cost him a lot of points.
Final task of the week on the Saturday was a 45km race to goal from Eyam - first person to a 3km cylinder just south of Pontefract wins. Dave Thomson led out on his Mentor 3 but was soon chased down and overtaken by Alan "Chinny" Ford on his Boom 9, and Chinny didn't even stop at goal but went on to the coast for a 140km flight. Quite a few made goal (including me) and quite a few more were dotted along the course, which made for a high-scoring task (Chinny got 978). David Thomson's consistency over the week was rewarded with first place overall, with Chris Blanchard and Tony Blacker second and third. Special mention needs to go to Yannick Le Gall, who turned up at the beginning of the week as a CP, registered for the coaching sessions the BP Cup now runs to get people through their Pilot ratings, including taking the exam. At the end of the week, he came with us for the final task to Eyam Edge... and as I packed my glider away in goal, he flew over my head. A terrific performance. He was joined on the coaching group by John Metcalf, Matt Canning and Mike Mason, and as the icing on the cake for the week, I can report that they all passed their pilot exams, so do give them a pat on the back when you see them. Well done guys.
Report by Simon Blake (originally published in Skywings in 2015) photos by Viv Fouracre, Gareth Aston and Lester Gordon