WA State F3F Open 2018
Saturday 3rd of March 2018 thirteen pilots gathered at Shelleys lookout to contest the WA State F3F Open. The forecast was for light SE conditions to around 10kts (5m/s). A pilots briefing was held at 11.00am and the course was set up ready for the days event. There was quite a bit of para glider activity at this location as well, so a fair amount of coordination had to be done between the F3F competition and the para gliders to create a safe environment for everyone to enjoy their activities.
However there was some delay waiting for enough breeze to begin our event. The wind indicator was showing above 2-4m/s ( FAI minimum limit is 3m/s ) so it was decided to hold proceedings up until this improved a little and showed a regular 4-5m/s. Fortunately the wind picked up enough and the first round was under way by 12.30pm although still light at a regular 4m/s. The wind picked up a bit more later reaching 6m/s mid-afternoon before backing off and becoming inconsistent but still enough to finish the rest of the afternoon off flying the competition.
Don Tester was first up in the lighter conditions for the day and struggled in his first two rounds. Don put in his best effort in round 4 with a 58.79. Andrew Muller flying his new Shinto, started out slow in the first round but was able to kick things along a bit in his second round with a 58.80 second flight. Almost everyone struggled with their first two rounds in the earlier light conditions and most did not improve on their times until rounds 3 and 4. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the fastest times of the day achieved by Stuart Hamilton flying his Precision. In round 5 Stuart scored a 54.04 second flight and flew very smoothly for a well deserved fastest time of the day.
Glen Twaddle flying a Shinto did very well in the conditions to score some consistent times all day but reaching his best time for the day on his last flight. Grant Andrews who does not fly at the slope very often struggled all afternoon, however put in a great performance on round 5 achieving a 57.33 second round which looked effortless. Brett Moffet also struggled through out the afternoon in the light conditions but put in his best flight in round 6 achieving 62.47 with a cut.
Steve Alcock flew his revamped Estrella and enjoyed each flight until round 5 when a problem after launch Steve had no signal and the plane flew off in a wide arc off to the left side of the course eventually coming to rest in soft bushes. I understand the plane had no more than a scratch. Steve was unable to complete round 5 and 6. Steve Revel flew his Precision. Showing more confidence with a 3m plane Steve managed some consistent times improving throughout the afternoon.
Brian Mitchell did not do so well with his Jedi. Brian struggled. His best times were in rounds 3 and 4 where he looked to be getting on top of the conditions but again in rounds 5 and 6 became a little lost on the course. Simon Watts also struggled through the 6 rounds with his best flight in round 4 flying a Ceres Lift. Rick Leonhardt however, flew very well, also flying a Ceres Lift and also posting his best time in round 4. Les Davidson flew a 60” Whippet consistently all day. His times where never going to match those of the 3m planes but it was good to see Les returning to F3F and we will be seeing more of him at future F3F events.
1st Andrew Muller 5589.50 Shinto
2nd Stuart Hamilton 5450.12 Precision
3rd Rick Leonhardt 5415.26 Ceres lift
4th Don Tester 5277.30 Pitbull
5th Glen Twaddle 5158.43 Shinto
6th Paul Marshall 5150.14 Cyril
8th Steve Revel 5139.99 Precision
7th Grant Andrews 5121.37 Ceres
9th Simon Watts 5041.90 Ceres lift
10thBrian Mitchell 4816.39 Jedi
11th Brett Moffet 4746.39 Cyril
12th Les Davidson 4619.04 Whippet
13th Steve Alcock 2909.44 Estrella
Results can be also be viewed here.
I would like to thank all those who helped out during the competition and special thank you to Glen Steve, Les and Jacin for organising the the permission required to fly at the locations available to us for this event and for the amount of work they have put in to securing and improving the site at T10 as a glider flight slope which we will be able to use as a group into the future.
Also thank you to Rodda, Grant Andrews wife, for sitting through the entire event and recording all the flights.