Nigel Witchalls (Contest Organiser) said:
"Well, that was a good comp to start us off, though not the easiest introduction back into timed flights. The forecast rain delayed the start till 11.30, but gave everyone a good chance to catch up. The wind was westerly all day, so was 15-30 deg crossed on the far end of the NW slope.
The first round started sluggishly, but then picked up by the end to give the later group of pilots a flying start. Mark Redsell set a time of 43s, well ahead of the others. This trend of one or two fast times per round continued across the day, with round wins by Mark Redsell, Mike Evans, John Phillips, Mike Shellim, Mark Treble (twice), Mark Passingham, and Dave Rumble. These were all in the low to mid 40’s. The spells of very poor air meant that all except JP scored times in the late 50’s or early 60’s at some point. There were many flights where conditions changed partway through the flight. JP flew very consistently and was only edged into the 50’s a couple of times.
The standard of flying was good across the whole field, especially considering the long lay-off,, and 15 of the 20 pilots finished with more than 900 points. The top 3 had made their dominance clear by round 5, with JP’s lead only being really challenged by Mark Treble’s FTD of 40.69 in round 6, and only 30 points separated the top 3 in the end. The rest of the field was extremely close as well, and continued to trade places all day - there were too many ups and downs to pick any out. Any cuts or missed opportunities had their cost.
The raffle main prize of an AHI was secured by a delighted Ian Mason. Other donated prizes included a fine bottle of wine, gorilla glue, and bottle of cyano. A total of £350 was raised through entry fees and raffle to be donated to the two charities that the English Open has supported in the last few years – Blood Cancer UK and Histio UK.
Huge thanks to Graeme, who organised the new club timing gear, and CD’d the whole day spending most of his time in the centre. Also to Dave Rumble who was trained on the timing system in round 1, then manned the centre in alternation with Graeme. Tony and several others assisted with a range of tasks - much appreciated. Buzzing changeovers happened very smoothly all day, so thanks everyone for that.
"All in all an enjoyable day was had by everyone, which is the main thing. Hopefully we can look forward to some winter league events, and a two-day English Open next year, with less restriction on numbers.