Sunday, 17 February 2013

Welsh Winter League round four - Records Tumble

The Crest has always had massive potential for turning up something special in F3F. However, because our prevailing winds are normally South Westerly we rarely find ourselves on this slope in ideal conditions for F3F. However, every now and again something a little special happens, when they do you need to make the most of them!

Okay, the day didn’t start quite as planned, we all meet at the Wrecker Car Park and everything was shrouded in clag. A quick check on the Back or the Wrecker suggested it was flyable but it would have been right on the limit for wind direction. So although it was clagged in we made the decision to head over to the Crest in good faith that the clag would lift. This is a big leap of faith as it a fair old trek over to the far side of the Crest and on days like this there is a real danger the clag won’t lift, especially on this slope.

By 11:30 we were trying to put the course up but it was proving difficult to site the course because the far hill (the Ice Cream Slope) was very misty. However, by 11:45 it had lifted enough to finish setting up.

Mike Evans has always done well on the Crest in varying types of conditions and put this knowledge to good use and took the first round with a 34.97, followed by Simon Thornton with a 35.64 and Mark Abbotts 36.06.

Round two of the competition and Mark Abbotts flying his new Caldera clocks a 33:21 to take the course record for the Crest for the first time of the day. Another pilot to feature heavily in the day and all the way from Switzerland Stefan Bertschi taking second with a 34:73. Stefan’s travelling companion for the day Joel West took third spot with a 34:79.  It is worth a mention that Graeme Mahoney in only his fourth F3F race did his first sub 40 with a 36:49 with his Cyril.

Round three and the record tumbles again and Joel now lowers it to 32:97. Martin Newnham flying with his arm in a sling after a shoulder operation clocked a 35:16 and Mick Walsh was third with 36:57 which I believe was a new PB for him.

Martin was now getting use to the sling and took the next round with a 34:93. Joel and Mike were close behind with a 37:23 and 37:67 respectively.

Simon took round five with a 36:54 followed by Stefan with a 37:96 and Joel with a 38:79.

Now round six and things get very special. Part way into the round and Martin comes to the centre and breaks the record again with 32: 37. Martin was unlucky enough to have the full glare of the sun right over base B which undoubtedly cost him a sub 30 second run.  Things then go a little quite for a few pilots and Joel comes the centre and clocks 33:11 and clearly things are starting to build. Next up is Stefan who fly’s a near perfect EM style with his Radical Pro to clock a new PB and Course record of 30:01. Mr Mark Abbotts comes to the centre next with his new Caldera. As soon as Mark launches it is clear the good air is still there with the Caldera going ballistic. Mark screams in and fly’s an impeccable reversal course and stops the clock at 28:75 to take the round and smash the record, go Smork!

It should be also mention that one of the other first timers at the Bwlch Tony Livingstone breaks the sub 40 barrier for the first time and sets a new PB with a 37:37.

Martin clocks another 32:42 to take round seven followed by Mike Evans with a 33: 97 and Joel with a 34:37.

Clearly the conditions were dropping a little now and Martin takes the final round with a 34:77 followed by Mike with 34:82 and Mick Walsh finishes off an near perfect day by lowering his PB once more to 35:28.  

A quick check of the course length to make double sure every thing was fine and dandy. Wind speeds for the day were around 17 m/s probably getting up to 20 m/s at the very highest. Thanks to Dave Rumble for being buzzer supermo, Tony Livingstone for collecting all the money and Martin for helping out in the centre. Also a big thanks to everyone who lugged the course over to the far side of the Crest and especial Stefan who got landed with the timing gear both ways, although after flying a 30:01 it must of felt a lot lighter on the way back!

Mark stunning 28:75 run did just enough to leap frog Joel to win the day. So with Joel runner up, Simon found himself in third spot.

A great start to 2013, every pilot flew under 40 seconds at some point thought the day. Countless PB’s, I konw Ian Mason got one and I think may be Paul Stubley and Dave Rumble did as well. If I missed you am sorry but I hope you all enjoyed a great day.

All the best


Mark Abbotts
Joel West
Simon Thronton
Martin Newnham
Mike Evans
Stefan Bertschi
Dave Rumble
Mick Walsh
Paul Stubley
Tony Livingstone
Ian Mason
Andrzej Tabero
Graeme Mahoney


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