Stoke Ash 26 June 2021

Stoke Ash 26 June 2021

This competition was originally scheduled for Knettishall but when the Bury Club decided they would only host 1 competition this year as a result of Covid, the Mid Suffolk Radio Modellers agreed to step in and host it.

This is the first time the Club has hosted any form of competition and I was extremely grateful that they did so. However, this represented a risk if there was a strong wind as the site is surrounded on 3 sides by trees the turbulence from which can cause some difficulty in landing!

On the day, the sun shone and the wind was light so all was well! The Club had volunteered to put on a BBQ and we were treated to bacon sarnies after the pilot brief. Tough on those who were judging and flying first! Sadly, Andy Shutt had to withdraw as an aileron servo was misbehaving and Greg Butterworth did not appear so we were immediately down by 2 pilots to 11 competitors.

The Club groundsman, who is also the Chairman, had done an exceptional job of preparing the patch and it did really look like a bowling green!

Much to Graham Gooch’s relief, there were no cloud base problems on the day as he was first off (again) and as the only Intermediate pilot was followed by the only Clubman pilot, Richard Clouting. Both put in sound first flights. As Clubman was scheduled for 4 rounds, Richard flew again after the FAI(P) flights but this time had the misfortune to have his very nice approach abruptly terminated by the crop that grew right up to the field boundary! Thankfully, no damage was done other than to his score.

Masters were next up with Russ Bowey, Mike Rieder and Mark Allen competing. This turned into quite a tight competition with Russ always slightly ahead and Mike and Mark level after 2 rounds but Mike eventually taking 2nd and Mark 3rd.

FAI(P) saw the return of Steve Underwood to competition and it was grand to have him back! The field split into those who had flown in World Champs, some more recent than others, and those who hadn’t! So, 2 competitions ensued; one for top honours and the other for 5th and 6th place. Brandon won every round and was remarkably consistent – a mere 3.5 points separated his best from “worst” flight. That put him in pole position. Garry was still getting to grips with his Andes and so was lagging a bit behind. Steve put up a solid performance to take 3rd place. Javad took 4th with Peter Jenkins in 5th and Eugene Anker in 6th.

As I have no expertise with the Notaumatics, Phil Lewis kindly supplied me with a spreadsheet to accept manual scoring. So, scribes were back in business and our scorer, Jim Smetherham, who is yet to fly in competition, did a grand job collecting and transcribing all the score sheets into the spreadsheet.

Judging was provided by Brandon and Garry for Clubman to Masters with Al Williams and Mike Rieder dealing with FAI(P). Al requested a discussion before the first FAI flight to make sure everyone was singing off the same hymn sheet. A useful discussion on some of the niceties of judging points was of benefit to all of us flying in FAI(P). Special thanks to Andy Shutt who came without an aircraft and was flogged to death as a scribe. Thank you to the judges, scribes and scorer.

We all suffered from that peculiar blue sky that makes the aircraft disappear when it tracks away from the nice fluffy white clouds. However, for a competition the weather was amazingly good, apart from the blue patches, with many having to resort to sun creams.

Lunch was voted one of the best to date and the hungry pilots were all beaten into submission by the wonderful BBQ run by Irene and Richard who kept us fed and watered all day. A number of Club members turned up to watch proceedings and were quite taken aback at what F3A was all about. There seem to be some who might just have a go at flying the Clubman schedule and Mike and I will do our best to try and get some more recruits.

In conclusion, everyone had a great time, no damage was occasioned and we all felt that the friendliness and support of the hosting Club helped to make the day highly enjoyable.

Report and pictures: Peter Jenkins
30 photos