Friday, December 17, 2010

A Real Summer From Now On

We have had no rain and our people flew in very good weather last week. Today we have the Cirrus that is over the whole southern part of Australia in the jet stream over us.  Conditions have been 6/8 kts to 9000,10000’.  
The issue with the wet country is not because we have had rain but because the dams are releasing water into the river systems.  The peak of the water has now gone through Narromine last week and the whole area is now drying out very fast. The headers are busy again and the harvest is on full time.

I suspect that we are over the worst and we are looking forward to a real summer from now on.

Hope to see you all here after Xmas.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

BRYAN HAYHOW - The Narromine Cup as a transition to XC & Competition Flying

We all had a great week at Narromine Cup this year and were blessed with good soaring weather. Narromine Cup Week has been the only organised meet this season to not be interrupted by bad weather so far.  Following are some of my thoughts on the Narromine Cup.

There has been a resurgence of the regatta concept among many of the more cross country oriented clubs in Australian Gliding of late. Some have a more formal competition element, others less so. All, however, share the same aim of giving less experienced pilots, the opportunity to experience XC/Comp flying in a less pressured environment, while having access to coaches and mentors. The concept has had great success with a good roll up of pilots and a lot of great flying being achieved.
The Narromine Cup has been around now for some eleven or twelve years and has become, probably, the most well known of these events. It continues to draw pilots from all over the eastern and southern states, and usually, some overseas visitors (this year from Spain, The Netherlands, Japan & the USA). It is always a chance to catch up with old friends, as well as get in some good flying for the old hands, while affording the newcomers the opportunity to take advantage of that wealth of experience.

The Cup has always been about providing the opportunity for pilots to be able to achieve their flying goals. There is a complete infrastructure on hand to facilitate that, along with full catering and the scoring via the On Line Competition (with its associated handicap factors). It really could not be made easier or more encouraging for the pilot. The focus is on distance flying and after the morning briefing & weather, pilots will usually split up and task according to their experience and aims.

It’s not uncommon to meet pilots who are looking for their first 50km or 300km flights and just down the grid, find others who are attempting 1000km. It is just that diversity that makes the Cup one of the more interesting for all the pilots involved, the newcomers can fly with coaches and mentors and pair up with others who can assist them around a task. That encouragement & assistance has always resulted, year after year, in many pilots going home with substantial developments in their flying.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Cup for that reason, and in previous years have been involved in a coaching role there at an introductory XC level. This year Paul Mander ran the morning lecture series and, as always, gave great insight into the art of soaring. We were blessed with six challenging days flying and a lot of kilometres covered.

If you are looking to extend your flying, or just want an atmosphere of mutual encouragement, consider adding the Narromine Cup to your schedule. I know that having flown five of the last six Cups has been of tremendous value to me and I look forward to seeing you there at the next one.