Sopot Round 2023

Sadly, we once again lost a UK round due to the weather and had to cancel our planned April round in the Yorkshire Dales. However, our bookings at The Dalesbridge have been held over and we will be back there again in May 2024 with fingers firmly crossed for some good flyable conditions.

Sopot, September 2023 - Report by Fred Winstanley

The BPCup is primarily an introductory, fun, laid back competition designed to give pilots a taste of competing, in a friendly environment.  This year, a round was held in Sopot, Bulgaria, and the organisers were aided by the local outfit “Skynomads” flying club, who provided, weather information, guiding advice and retrieves, as well as arranging accommodation and airport transfers.

Day 1 -  Monday 4th September. The forecast was for tricky conditions with a north wind blowing down the south facing Sopot take off, however, it was thought that the local anabatlc winds would counter this as the day progressed.  This was only partially true, never the less a 52km race to goal task was set.

Some of the early take offs were from the east facing take off and then it proved some time for the south face to become flyable via forward launches. Pilots were advised to push out from the hill into the flat lands, rough conditions close into the mountain caught a few unwary pilots to bomb out but those who pushed on into the flats were often rewarded with low saves and good climbs.

At the end of the day, seven pilots made goal, the top three being, Tom Webb, Swing Libra, Mark Simpson, Delta 4, and Simon Fouracre, Skywalk Cumeo.  Special mention must also go to James Lloyd, who flew to goal, but being new to competitions forgot about the “sign to fly” form and so scored nothing.  A hard lesson learnt but all congratulated him on a great flight, and reassured him he would not forget next time

Day 2 - Rain, no flying.

Day 3 - No flying due to weather.

Day 4 - Thursday A sixty one kilometre task was set heading East, out of the Sopot Valley through a narrow pass and the beyond the local gold mine and onto goal.  The passage at the end of the valley proved to be the crux of the matter and caught out a number of pilots.  One pilot inadvertently landed in a wild life park, and concerns were raised of the safety of the animals in the park.  Six pilots made goal, with Chris Blanchard, Flow Fusion Light, in first place, Neil Russell, Ozone Photon, second and third was Richard Taylor, 777 Queen 2.

Day 5 - Friday The wind direction again was not good for Sopot, so the pilots were loaded into vehicles for a two hour journey to Dobrostan, south of Plovdiv.

Conditions were strong and a number of pilots elected not to fly.  Never the less a 45.1 km to goal task was set.  Five pilots made goal.  Neil Russel, Ozone Photon won the day, with John Murphy, Macpara Eden 7 in second and Tom Webb, Swing Libra in third.

Later that evening overall positions were announced and prizes given out.  Mr Consistency Neil Russell, who made goal on every task, won overall.  Young gun Tom Webb was second and in third was John Murphy, which many considered an outstanding achievement flying a “B” wing.

Thanks must go to the sponsors, Cross Country magazine, Ozone, V12 Outdoor and Skynomad, especially Evo, Niki and Miti.

Once again we are indebted to Viv and Gareth for their endeavours and commitment to making the whole comp a success.

Sopot takeoff briefing - photo by Barb St Aubyn

Climbing out above Sopot - photo by David McLeod

Lots of chat and comparing of notes at the Pilot meal